This is a continuation of a remarkable thread that has now received 10,000 comments running to well over a million words. Unfortunately its size has become a problem and this is the reason for the move.

The history of the New Statesman thread goes back to December 2007 when Dr David Whitehouse wrote a very influential article for that publication posing the question Has Global Warming Stopped? Later, Mark Lynas, the magazine’s environment correspondent, wrote a furious reply, Has Global Warming Really Stopped?

By the time the New Statesman closed the blogs associated with these articles they had received just over 3000 comments, many from people who had become regular contributors to a wide-ranging discussion of the evidence for anthropogenic climate change, its implications for public policy and the economy. At that stage I provided a new home for the discussion at Harmless Sky.

Comments are now closed on the old thread. If you want to refer to comments there then it is easy to do so by left-clicking on the comment number, selecting ‘Copy Link Location’ and then setting up a link in the normal way.

Here’s to the next 10,000 comments.

Useful links:

Dr David Whitehouse’s article can be found here with 1289 comments.

Mark Lynas’ attempted refutation can be found here with 1715 comments.

The original Continuation of the New Statesman Whitehouse/Lynas blogs thread is here with 10,000 comments.

4,543 Responses to “Continuation of the New Statesman Whitehouse/Lynas blogs: Number 2”

Pages: « 181 82 83 84 85 86 87 [88] 89 90 91 » Show All

  1. 4351
    peter geany Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t (or doesn’t ) tea party stand for Taxed Enough Already. I know the BBC and the left here in the UK quote Tea party when ever they wish to emphasize radical anti government views, and this will quickly take hold in the minds of many in the UK who have little interest in their own politics let alone what is occurring in the US

    Bob_FJ Brute. I’m a New Zealander by birth, and sixth generation so family connections go back to the first settlers. New Zealand has a lot of integration but there was nothing in my upbringing to suggest we had any Polynesian blood in us although many of my relatives (not direct blood relatives though) did and we all thought nothing of it. Those that do have Maori blood can if they chose vote differently and get help with health and education over and above that available to the general population.

    One of my children was DNA tested when he was 11 or 12 when doctors thought he was not growing as fast as they thought he should. Imagine our surprise when the results came back and clearly showed his ancestry and mine contained Maori blood. I was perhaps more shocked, not for racial reasons, but because certain aspects of the health issue the doctors were looking at depended on ancestry which I got wrong. I should not have been surprised at all and upon reflection was not.

    Now the point of this is we cannot often tell who we are these days and I recall a professor at Waikato University suggesting that the criteria for anyone in New Zealand being Maori should be that they feel Maori, and not down to provable ancestry or now days DNA testing. This was back in the 80′s I believe and had my Father up in arms as he thought it would see more money in the way of welfare going to some that were “taking advantage” Me I thought it was silly, but in the light of 20 years latter, you have to ask who is right.

    Dose this new knowledge make any difference to me or my children. Not really although it dose give them a stronger sense of being New Zealanders despite the fact they have only lived there for 2 years.

    The other thing that many fail to grasp, is that in our current age of stupid, many bring race in subjects where it needs to be ignored, or race gets used to halt a valid discussion when there is clearly an issue to be discussed. And this really only happens in the west.

    Brute Your friend and his confusion over CO2 and CO is widespread in the UK. This is down to poor teaching in schools and a rubbish curriculum that has de-emphasized academic understanding.

  2. 4352
    Brute Says:

    peter geany,

    I’m not certain what you’re trying to get at with the reference to “Maori blood”.

    So what if someone in your lineage was an aborigine? How does having any specific ancestry entitle a person to anything?

    I’m certain that if we all go back far enough we can be linked to some “oppressed group”.

    Should I apply to the government of the United States for some favorable treatment because I can trace my lineage to ancient Gaul? That I should receive a tax break or otherwise free government largesse because my ancestors were somehow oppressed.

    This “you owe me” shit has got to stop………pay for your own stuff and everything will be fine. (Not directed at you personally PeterG).

  3. 4353
    Brute Says:

    So you’re saying that the only government spending which is constitutional relates to “common defence”?

    And all the other stuff: welfare payments to the unemployed, payments to farmers, education of children, support for the non-military part of space program, support of government scientific agencies, such government spending as there is on medical care, building of interstate highways, bridges etc is all unconstitutional and should be ended?

    Yes Peter, pretty much. I’m not going to go through these items one by one…..but in principle, everything you’ve listed is unconstitutional.

    The government of the United States is afforded specific enumerated powers. Anything beyond that is unconstitutional……..they don’t have the authority……….and granting themselves the authority to do these things is unconstitutional unless the amendment process is followed (according to the constitution).

  4. 4354
    TonyN Says:

    Excellent as this discussion is, it’s beginning to drift a very long way form climate the countryside and landscape.

  5. 4355
    Brute Says:

    Brute Your friend and his confusion over CO2 and CO is widespread in the UK. This is down to poor teaching in schools and a rubbish curriculum that has de-emphasized academic understanding.


    I’m not so sure that it was a lack of education…….I think it was more along the lines of being uninformed……too busy with his day to day obligations to pay notice. At least he understood the difference between CO & CO2. I think somewhere along the line he must have assumed that the debate is about Carbon Monoxide……..

    After all, what sort of idiot would declare plant food a pollutant?

    When I alerted him to the fact that Al Gore and the rest of the lunatic fringe were actually stating the carbon dioxide was a problem…….he looked at me quizzically……..and opened the basic chemistry book stored in his head since grade school.

    It took a few minutes as the wheels in his head began to turn…..I could see by the look on his face that he realized that he’d been duped all along by the media, politicians and “main stream science”.

    Realizing that government entities, agenda driven scientists and Marxists are actually proposing to tax and regulate a harmless (actually beneficial) naturally occurring trace gas was a revelation to him.

  6. 4356
    manacker Says:


    You wrote:

    And all the other stuff: welfare payments to the unemployed, payments to farmers, education of children, support for the non-military part of space program, support of government scientific agencies, such government spending as there is on medical care, building of interstate highways, bridges etc is all unconstitutional and should be ended?

    The USA has the largest per capita number of lawyers in the world.

    If there is ANY unconstitutional spending of federal funds, then I am sure this has been (or will be) challenged by someone via a bevy of lawyers.

    So far this may have occurred several times, but (with one exception) none of the items you mention, which involved federal spending, have been successfully challenged AFAIK (maybe Brute knows more). The exception is federally mandated health insurance, which some argue is unconstitutional and the US Supreme Court will eventually decide. Most of the social and educational items are handled by states or locally. Social Security was started by President Franklin Roosevelt and I believe there was an unsuccessful challenge to its constitutionality at the time The federally supported program of interstate highways was started by President Eisenhower, I believe, but I have not heard that there were any challenges to its constitutionality.

    The federal government has grown exponentially, starting under President Clinton, accelerating under President G.W. Bush and reaching runaway growth rates under President Obama. Libertarian groups and the tea party are apparently trying to stem this runaway growth (and spending) and (from what I read and hear here) the next election is expected to be decisive in this regard. If Obama loses, the spending spree will be curtailed; if he wins it will probably accelerate even faster (as he will not need to worry about getting re-elected).

    Correct me if my information is incorrect, Brute.


  7. 4357
    Brute Says:


    Pretty much spot on analysis.

    That being said……we Tea Party people don’t discriminate.

    If the current crop of Republicans start to back pedal on spending, we’ll get rid of them also.

    We don’t care what political party they’re affiliated with…….if they cast votes to increase spending or expand government…….they’re gone.

  8. 4358
    tempterrain Says:


    You ask “How does having any specific ancestry entitle a person to anything?” I think that’s called inheritance, Brute. Next time you are in London, you might want to ask the Queen about that.

    TonyN is right. Its difting too far OT but I’ll just make the point that the governments of the USA, Canada and NZ do still have treaty obligations to the indigenous populations of those countries which should still be respected, according to international law.

  9. 4359
    tempterrain Says:


    To get the thread back on track I’d just like to ask about your brother-in-laws thought process. I just like to understand different points of view even if I don’t agree with them.

    But I’m having some difficulty with his reasoning for rejecting, out of hand, the scientific case on CO2 build up. The first thing to say about CO2 is that its not really a ‘food’. Food is a source of energy and CO2 is just the opposite of that. The plant needs to absorb lots of energy from the sun to synthesise its real food. CO2 is just one input.

    However, even if he were to accept all this, would it change his mind? Probably not IMO. CO2 is a GH gas but does he even accept the GH effect? Has he even given anything that might possibly be considered as thought to the subject.

    The rational response, under those circumstances, would be to say he didn’t know and he’d have to look through the scientific evidence before expressing any further opinion.

    But not your brother in law. And as you say hundreds of thousands like him. He just knows that increasing CO2 concentrations can’t be a problem. How can that be? How can he just ‘know’?

  10. 4360
    peter geany Says:

    Brute, I think you misunderstood what I was trying to get at. My mistake and too far off topic. I’m in agreement with PeterM over indigenous people. However I’m against entitlement for racial reasons as it is always the easy way and doesn’t address the issues it is put in place for.

    TonyN I take your point about being somewhat off topic. However for me I don’t see much merit in discussing the science of climate change at present and going over the same old ground. The argument has been won and we have hit somewhat of a hiatus with not much new on the horizon. I check on WUWT everyday to see if their is anything new, but the argument has shifted dramatically in the real world to politics.

    We have a revolution going on in energy with cheep shale gas, with politicians in some quarters trying to stop it with one breath and criticising energy companies for increasing prices in another breathe when its these same politicians who pass the regulations that are directly causing these increases. We have an impending financial crisis coming which is going to define everything we do, and will have more effect on everything to do with global warming than if all the scientists were to change tract tomorrow. Science has been duped.

  11. 4361
    tempterrain Says:

    Peter Geany,

    “The argument [on the science of climate change has been won] ” .

    Maybe but not by you.

    Check out what the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences say on their websites if you don’t believe me!

  12. 4362
    Brute Says:

    But not your brother in law. And as you say hundreds of thousands like him. He just knows that increasing CO2 concentrations can’t be a problem. How can that be? How can he just ‘know’?

    To be perfectly honest with you Pete, I don’t think my brother in-law gives it much thought. He has a wife and three daughters (one recently became a teenager) a house payment and a job that I don’t think he particularly likes. He has other things on his mind.

    He’s a baseball/sports enthusiast, a technology geek, a computer whiz, a 4 year college degree in some type of computer/software field and a hell of a sweet guy……………….I just don’t think that he spends too much times wringing his hands over the plight of the polar bears.

    I do know that he assumed that all of the angst over global warming was centered around CO………….primarily because he knows that CO is poison and CO2 is benign……….

    My point in relating the anecdote was that my brother in law, and hundreds of thousands of others just like him, simply read the apocalyptic headlines/propaganda foisted on them by the main stream media and accept it as fact.

    When he learned that the discussion surrounds carbon dioxide, he felt betrayed………

    Peter Geany,

    I misunderstood. I apologize.

    Being somewhat of a news junkie, I am interested in your thoughts regarding the state of economic affairs (but not here).

    In short, my feeling is that the world is in for a severe economic hurt in the very near future.
    The “climate change” debate will resolve itself, becoming yesterday’s news very quickly.

    No one will pay for these pointless windmills and mythical solar electrical generating machines…………they’ll be too busy trying to find something to eat with a wheelbarrow full of Dollars (Euros) in tow.

    I think Max made mention of it a few years back that the (other people’s) money will run out and people will come to their senses returning to the tried and true fossil fuels as opposed to “tilting at windmills”.

    We simply will not be able to afford wasting money on these pipe dreams…….to entertain the whimsical, mythical, pseudo-religious dogma spouted by Al Gore and Peter Martin of impending environment catastrophe.

  13. 4363
    Brute Says:

    By the way Peter (Geany)…………..Gold is headed back up after the recent market manipulation failed.

  14. 4364
    tempterrain Says:


    “Impending”? Meaning “about to happen”? I don’t think you or your brother-in-law will be too adversely affected during your lifetimes, so your rejectionist attitutes towards climate science isn’t completely without a certain logic.

    Nevertheless, the long term consequences of increasing CO2 levels out of all control will still be felt by subsequent generations.

    David Archer describes it well in his book “The long thaw”.

  15. 4365
    peter geany Says:

    PeterM. your 4361. If the Royal Society and US National Academy of Sciences where to provide data and publications to back up those political statements there would have been no argument. That they don’t means myself and many other simply don’t believe them. It also means that counter arguments that have been posted with supporting data carry more weight.

    But as we can now see with the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight this was NEVER about science, and why scientific arguments had such little impact on what was going on until the full extent of the fraud was uncovered.

  16. 4366
    tempterrain Says:

    Peter Geany,

    There is a wealth of data on the net.

    What in particular are you looking for? And what are you going to do with it when you get it? Any idea?

    Bombarding small working climate groups with FOI requests for data in a co-ordinated fashion isn’t about obtaining data. Its about wasting as much time as possible, and has had the effect that all those who are seeking data, whether they are genuine or time-wasters, are naturally treated with suspicion.

    It did emerge from the CRU inquiry that the legislation on FOI hadn’t considered this possibility. I’m not sure if anyone did. Its just quite sad that this sort of particularly underhanded tactic is considered acceptable practice.

  17. 4367
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Peter Geany @ 4365
    The president of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse is hardly an honest man. Take his BBC movie; Science under Attack! How about his one minute video interview where he caught Delingpole in surprise? It was an obvious edit from something longer, and according to Delingpole, it was from over three hours of shooting, and an ambush in a different topic.
    And why did Nurse go to the USA for climate modelling, (but instead show video of weather modelling), when he could have popped down the road to Hadley/CRU?
    Then there was the revolt by 43 Fellows under the prior President, Lord Rees last year. They wanted exaggeration removed, and uncertainties added to the Society’s “dummies guide to climate change booklet”
    Similar grumblings in other icons of scientific truth in recent years.

  18. 4368
    Brute Says:

    How is the royal society funded?

    Do they benefit from perpetuating the global warming fraud?

  19. 4369
    tempterrain Says:


    James Delingpole doesn’t know what he is talking about. He studied English literature at Uni. If he’d been a as smart as he thinks he is he wouldn’t have got into a scientific argument with Paul Nurse. If he’d stuck to something like the novels of DH Lawrence he might have been OK but on climate change, he was always bound to end up looking pretty silly and he’s obviously still smarting from that.


    No, it doesn’t.

  20. 4370
    tempterrain Says:

    Brute, I’m just puzzled by your OT reference to the price of gold. You don’t think it’s a just another bubble then?

  21. 4371
    TonyN Says:

    Brute #4368:

    You might find some clues about Royal Society funding, and its political role, here:

    Who owns the Royal Society?

  22. 4372
    manacker Says:


    You are splitting hairs when you state that “CO2 is not a plant food”.

    CO2 is a naturally occurring trace gas in our atmosphere, which is absolutely essential to all life on our planet.

    Plants convert it to organic building blocks and plant matter via photosynthesis.

    Two other principal things are required for this process: sunlight and water. (Then there are smaller amounts of other elements/compounds.)

    Studies have shown that plant growth increases significantly at higher CO2 levels. It is anticipated that the increased levels will result in some increase in crop yields, and the slight increase in temperature, which is expected to occur preferentially at higher latitides, will also lengthen growing seasons in these regions, further increasing crop yields.

    Recent studies have shown that the amount of atmospheric CO2 converted by terrestrial plants has been underestimated significantly in the models cited by IPCC.

    It is ludicrous for anyone to refer to CO2 as a “pollutant”. “Plant food” is a much closer description, even if it is not 100% correct botanically speaking..


  23. 4373
    manacker Says:


    Re 4369, it was actually Paul Nurse, who ended up looking silly (go back to Tony’s thread on this matter to refresh your memory).


  24. 4374
    manacker Says:


    Re 4364

    the long term consequences of increasing CO2 levels out of all control will still be felt by subsequent generations.

    “Control” by WHOM?

    “Big Brother”?

    What “long term consequences” do you personally believe “subsequent generations” will feel (if “Big Brother” doesn’t step in with “controls”?

    I’d say the observed data to date would indicate that by 2100 we would see a maximum theoretical warming from AGW of around 1.8C, and a more likely warming of around 0.6C.


    Get specific, and back up your beliefs with some hard data, Peter, if you can.


  25. 4375
    peter geany Says:

    PeterM as usual you you have a very thin grasp of what is going on. For one, Paul Nurse is playing a very dangerous political game at present, especially when in Europe the population is slowly waking up to the fact that they have been well and truly screwed. I suggest he gets back to his biology and leaves the climate science to others. James Dellingpole does not need a degree in science, and nor does anyone else that went to school to realise that what we are being asked to believe is “unbelievable”

    The danger for science, and Nurse is making it worse, is that we the public who raise all the money for their research will cut off that supply if they try to tell us ever again how to live our lives based on a lie.

    This video is typical of the politicking and completely air heading thinking that goes on in government. I haven’t yet been able to watch this all the way through as it is too vomit inducing.

  26. 4376
    Alex Cull Says:

    @Peter Geany, I recommend you do watch the Bryony Worthington video to the end, as her account of the origins of the Climate Change Act is actually rather fascinating and certainly revealing. As you are probably aware, it has been discussed on Bishop Hill, where there is a good transcript of it by Barry Woods (which I have taken the liberty of replicating here.) She mentions the changes to the Conservative Party that were introduced by David Cameron (note the reliance on focus groups):

    … we then had a newly elected leader of the opposition. So David Cameron came in and wanted to reinvent the Conservative Party. And he decided to take an environmental theme. He changed the logo to a tree and he’d obviously listened to the focus groups, and he’d realised that the environment was actually an issue for the electorate. So he was lobbied by Friends of the Earth and he said, “Yeah, I’ll deliver you a Climate Change Act. If you vote me in, I’ll give you the bill you want that will bring in this legal framework.”

    Also interesting is Baroness Worthington’s description of the way the Climate Change Act legislation was brought about:

    …speed was another key factor, that looking back on it was really important, because one thing that Whitehall is very good at doing is producing huge amounts of documents, and papers, and concepts, and notes, but if you are moving fast, often if you bombard people with huge amounts of information they will usually find a couple of things that they object to and then you have to have a process of negotiation on those one or two issues as opposed to the minutiae of every single clause, every single policy.

    …so we ended up arguing with the Treasury more on the principle than on the detail. Because we were moving so fast that they only had maybe one or two policy people covering our brief, whereas we had a team of lawyers and us and all our special advisors and we basically just were able to outwit them a little bit by moving quickly so that was another element that, I think, led to it being successful.

    And the draft bill came out with I think elements in it that were true to the Friends of the Earth concept. Friends of the Earth always wanted it to be more ambitious, or slightly different in its format, but it had the basic premise there, which that was a legally binding cap, that would make the whole government responsible for delivering emissions reductions.

    It had adaptation clauses in there. It had enabling powers that meant that in the future if the government wanted to introduce policies to constrain emissions they could do so easily.

    Basically, what she appears to be saying, with a certain amount of pride, is that this was legislation that was rushed through, with minimal scrutiny, and containing “enabling powers”. There are comparisons to be made, are there not, with legislation that was drafted with equal haste in order to wage the “War on Terror”.

    [TonyN says: Hear! Hear!]

  27. 4377
    peter geany Says:

    Alex Cull. The most dangerous aspect of modern UK legislation are the so called “enabling powers”. These clauses are all through much of our recent legislation and allows governments to change legislation to their will without recourse to Parliament or the people. It should be outlawed. I bet the proposed changes over planning are riddled with them.

    I heard some government minster trying to say that planning regulations where holding back our economy which is total BS. I agree that some of the constraints, conditions and cost that are put in the way of redeveloping brown field sites need to be addressed, but we don’t do this by allowing central control over local planning.

    PeterM Not sure where gold is going but word on the street is “they” are trying to limit retail access to it. If we buy to much there is not enough for those with lots of stouch to stach. Word of advice , if you convert some of your millions into gold make sure its real and not paper. Now all this is relevant because in our stupidity converting cash to gold is locking up the only real money available for investment. So the species stupid has worked us into a position in the age of stupid where doing the “right thing” by saving is wrong!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. 4378
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Further my 4367 on the Nurse movie;
    I was wanting to ask; what has happened to cause the decline in the BBC “Horizon” series of documentaries? Has there been a change in management or something?
    More recently here there was a Horizon programme shown on SBS questioning the validity of the “Big Bang Theory”, a thingy that I’ve not felt comfortable with for quite a long time. It raised a few issues like why can’t we find that dark stuff that is required to support the hypothesis? Oh and to solve the difficulty of why the background microwave energy is uniformly @ 3K everywhere may be that the initial explosion stopped for a while to enable uniform mixing before….. oh groan.
    I thought that I was going to enjoy it as a topic of great interest to me, but what with so many silly video effects such as distorting the images of interviewees, and whatnot, I switched quite early to a different channel in disgust.

  29. 4379
    TonyN Says:


    I’ve moved your very useful comment about the Steve Jones interview to a more visible thread here:

  30. 4380
    peter geany Says:

    Bob_FJ Interesting your comments on the Horizon program. Horizon use to provide really thought provoking science programs that not so much challenged science but provided the viewer with a range of thoughts about a subject that left you wanting to know more. They made you think. Today all we get is less than you can read on Wikipedia and quite frankly they are wasting taxpayers money making them.

    We hear constantly from the likes of Paul Nurse and others about how science constantly challenges the orthodoxy but that we should all revert to peer reviewed papers for the current “truth” Whilst on the face of it this is true what we find are vested interests not only in climate science but in many other branches of science that block or “inhibit” the peer review process, and don’t like any other theories out and about least we the unwashed start thinking the great all knowing Ph.D.s are wrong.

    The BBC and the Horizon program has become part of this process by dumbing down its investigative science programs and in their efforts to make them “appealing” to the young they use all manner of gimmicks that have no place in serious science programs.

    Getting onto your subject of the Cosmos and the big-bang theory; this is a subject that needs some serious coverage, as we pour a lot of money into research on this subject and perhaps it is wrong. I’m like you not so sure as I once was about the big bang and this has got me looking at a number of other areas in space where we could be wrong. The Sun is a subject where I think we could be way off the mark as a lot of new observations are coming through that don’t fit the the model of the Sun being a hydrogen ball sustained by fusion converting H to He. If this were the case how do they explain the rocky planets that we know come from the remains of a supernova. Could not the Sun be a supernova remnant? It looks more and more likely that the sun has an Iron core and perhaps the nuclear reactions that sustaining it are quite different to those we commonly accept. This would also severely challenge those even further who think changes in the sun have a minimal direct influence over the earth’s climate.

    Of course I don’t know the answers to these questions, but what I do know is when we seem to have too many questions, and an establishment not openly prepared to discuss the uncertainties and options we have dead rats somewhere close. More evidence of species “stupid” leading us into the age of “stupid”

  31. 4381
    manacker Says:

    Polar bears threatened by Arctic ozone hole

    Gore’s sci-fi movie, “AIT” taught us that polar bears are at great risk due to human-induced global warming, but here’s a REAL threat for the hapless beasts:

    Where are the brave heroes who will volunteer to go up there to rub them all in with sunscreen?

    (How about your neighbor, tonyb?)


  32. 4382
    tonyb Says:


    What a wonderful image is conjured up by you of my nearish neighbour sledging to the arctic with a load of sunscreen and slathering it all over the polar bears. Mind you it wouldnt take long would it, as we all know they are virtually extinct!

  33. 4383
    manacker Says:


    Yes. It is a heart-warming image.

    The hapless bears may be nearing extinction, but it is clear to me that you courageous neighbor would also become extinct on this caper.


  34. 4384
    manacker Says:

    What’s going on here?

    Looks like the EU is looking at backing out of the programmed CO2 cuts.

    Who does that leave?


    New Zealand?

    Canada (maybe)?

    If these 3 nations shut down completely today it would not change temperature in year 2100 by 0.01 degree C.

    Even if the UK decided to “go it alone” without the rest of the EU, the theoretically averted warming would be less than 0.02 degrees C

    Bye-bye, Kyoto…


    Looks like

  35. 4385
    TonyN Says:


    As I understand the WSJ article, the EU recognises that making carbon emission reductions ahead of the rest of the world will harm competitiveness, retard growth and cause industries to migrate. All well and good, but then there is this editorial comment:

    To be sure, the EU will stick to its end-of-decade greenhouse-gas reduction goals …

    Without seeing the original document it is impossible to check what this is based on, but if it means what it seems to mean, then surely it marks a new low in EU strategic thinking. They seem to be saying. ‘We know there is a problem here, and that it will get worse with time, but let’s not do anything about it for at least another eight years’.

    Praying for a miracle? And if so, then what form is the Divine intervention supposed to take? Somehow I don’t think this would happen in Switzerland.

  36. 4386
    peter geany Says:

    Max & TonyN What we are seeing here is the weasel talk in the face of the realisation that there is no money left. If it wasn’t so serious it would be side splittingly funny. Our politicians are currently playing out one of the greatest comedies of all time.

    We have the cancellation of a CCS scheme where we know the technology doesn’t work, so its hardly surprising no one will do it, and almost in the same breath news that the Government are looking to cancel further subsidies to wind farms. Read all about it at the GWPF

    Whilst the nice people at the BBC have been reporting that our energy bills have gone up by 15%, the reality is more like my experience where I am having to pay double this year over last. Its the combination of needing more energy and higher prices that are killing everyone.

    And this is only the start. The entire world economy is winding itself back-wards, yet our governments seem quite incapable of reducing frivolous spending. The markets are reacting faster than species stupid can think. But for the first time in a long time I feel we are at the beginning of the end of the age of stupid. But I don’t expect any admission that they were wrong or any apology. Rather what will happen is events are going to dictate future behaviour and their will be no room for todays excesses.

    On a brighter note did you see how the All Black dealt with the Wallabies. Poetry in motion.

    [TonyN says: If other media follow up on this story and find that it is well founded I think it may move things along very nicely.]

  37. 4387
    tonyb Says:

    Peter Geany

    The worst thing is that so often when these schemes are pronounced (from the Euro to Carbon technology) we all scratch our heads and say ‘how on earth is that going to work.’

    The politicians then diuly spend the money and…it doesn’t work.

    Hopefully the credit crunch (another thing most of us, except politicians, saw coming) will make those who spend our money to think twice and follow through the logic of what they propose.

    Having said that, we are still having nonsensical schemes thrust on us . Google ‘nowhere Island’ an arts council climate change project coming to a West country port soon.


    [TonyN says: The link that tonyb should have provided is here. And whatever you may think of the NowhereIsland project, I'd certainly give £1/2m for that schooner which features in some of the graphics.]

  38. 4388
    tonyb Says:

    According to reports in The Times and The Financial Times the Govt subsidy for domestic solar panels will be slashed as wiil the subsidies for on shore wind farms.

    Note to TonyN;
    Sorry, can’t link as;

    a) The Times sites are behind paywall
    b) For some reason I can’t copy and paste at moment


  39. 4389
    Alex Cull Says:

    The schooner, I think, must be the Noorderlicht, originally built in Germany in 1910, often hired by Cape Farewell for their various expeditions, and at the moment chartered by the Nowhere Island project. I agree, it’s a beautiful ship, and it would almost be worth posing as an eco-activist-comedian-artist-media person of some sort, just to cadge a berth when it next sails for Spitzbergen on one of Cape Farewell’s jaunts.

    Re Nowhere Island, there was an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, not so long ago, with a spokeswoman from the Arts Council, who was justifying this waste of money on the grounds that it would inspire West Country schoolchildren (I captured the audio and am intending to transcribe it at some point.) Mind you, it isn’t the only project associated with the Cultural Olympiad that is bizarre/wasteful/pointless – check out “Forest Pitch” in Scotland, for instance (which is costing another £460,000) – in my opinion, there’s very little to justify it on either artistic, financial or environmental grounds.

  40. 4390
    TonyN Says:


    My feelings about the Noorderlicht exactly, especially having travelled in that direction — but only as far as the Lofoten Islands — this summer. I keep meaning to post my wife’s photos of that enchanted land.

    Speaking of transcriptions, did you hear Muller being interviewed about the BEST findings on Today this morning? Both he and Justin Webb seemed to be picking their words with extraordinary care, and the result was not at all what you might expect post Jones’ report on impartiality.

  41. 4391
    Alex Cull Says:

    Tony – missed it but have now listened on iPlayer; definitely one for the collection, and yes, rather different in tone to Steve Jones’s “slightly less but still overwhelming consensus that it’s [climate change is] due to human activities”.

    Justin Webb: You are not, then, saying: as a result of what you’ve discovered, this is certainly due to man-made global warming.

    Richard Muller: If we had seen no warming whatsoever, that would have indicated there’s no man-made global warming. If we saw twice as much, we’d be deeply concerned. But, in fact, we’re basically seeing what the other groups have reported, but we’ve made no independent assessment of how much of this is due to humans and how much is natural.

    Some interesting input from Doug Keenan and William Briggs on the subject of BEST. I’m inclined to agree with commentator Mike Jackson on the BH thread:

    Personally I don’t think the BEST papers tell us anything we didn’t know before. The press releases appear designed merely to knock down a straw man, namely that sceptics claim that the earth hasn’t warmed in the last 100 years which is not the position of any sceptic I know. So there is a media blitz which gives the likes of Beddington the chance to say that the work “adds to the evidence about how climate change is happening” which it doesn’t – Muller specifically does not draw any conclusions about the how or the why – and so far the papers have not even been published and reviews are still ongoing.

  42. 4392
    tempterrain Says:

    You aren’t giving the correct impression of what Richard Muller is actually saying. It’s good the WSJ have given him fair treatment with this article:

    “The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism: There were good reasons for doubt, until now.”

  43. 4393
    Alex Cull Says:

    Pete M, thanks for the WSJ link. Here’s how he concludes his article:

    Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.

    The only statement in that paragraph that I’d take issue with is “[p]erhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate”, because my understanding is that the majority of CAGW-sceptics would very broadly agree with the literal statement that “[g]lobal warming is real”. I think most people would not violently disagree with the idea that there has been a very gradual, uneven and gentle warming, off and on, for at least since about the mid-19th century, and so the real debate, on this blog and elsewhere has not actually been about whether or not global average temperatures have been increasing very slightly over a period of centuries (I realise I’m not doing anything like justice, though, to the various complexities and caveats that might apply, including the question of the value of “global average temperatures”).

    He succinctly describes the terms of the real debate in his next sentence. “How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects?” These are the key questions, and he has made sure to write that he has made no independent assessment of these matters. Which to me seems entirely in line with what he said at the end of the BBC interview.

  44. 4394
    manacker Says:

    Alex and PeteM

    One BEST sub-report had me chuckling a bit.

    It was the preliminary report on the impact of the Urban Heat Island effect on the temperature record.

    If we compare the satellite (UAH) and surface (GISS) records we see that the former shows warming since 1979 at a rate of 0.14C per decade, while the latter shows warming at a rate of 0.17C per decade over the same time period.

    Even if we ignore the fact that the troposphere should be warming more rapidly than the surface (and not the opposite, as observed), we arrive at a difference of 0.03C per decade (or 0.3C per century), which could be attributed to the UHI effect (plus poor station coverage and shutdown of stations).

    But the preliminary report concludes that urbanization has contributed 0.019C COOLING to the surface record.


    I think some urgent rework of this report is in order!


  45. 4395
    manacker Says:

    TonyN and Peter Geany

    The BEST study is interesting, but it is merely a sideline covering a small piece of the ongoing debate on climate change.

    The latest book by Donna Laframboise, “The Delinquent Teenager who was mistaken for the world’s top climate expert” is a hard-hitting expose of the IPCC and its corrupt process.

    On her climate blog, Climate Etc., Judith Curry has given a good review of this book, which is well worth reading.

    I believe that exposes such as this will result in pressure for the IPCC to be disbanded and replaced before its new “AR5″ report is published.



  46. 4396
    peter geany Says:

    The BEST Study tells us nothing new and was never likely to given that the figures had already been analysed to death. It has just been an indulgence by academia. People like Anthony Watts need to go along with it all as it would have seemed churlish of him not to, but once more scientists missed the whole point.

    What gets me though is that it must be obvious to most scientists by now that CO2 is not this great climate driver they once imagined it was, otherwise we would be seeing much higher temperatures. Given that, why are they still wasting time looking at just the last 150 years of instrumented records and not looking at the trends over thousands, tens of thousands and millions of years. Because if we look at the Holocene as a whole we are in an unequivocally cooling, and temperatures would need to rise significantly and remain so for hundreds of years before you could say otherwise.

    I’m finding it totally boring now reading regurgitated tosh, that brings nothing to the table. We have so many problems heading our way with the speed of an express train, and these people are arguing semantics.

    Alex I am one of the sceptics as you will see from my statement above that doesn’t believe in global warming at all. I do agree that the temperature has risen a little since the little ice age, but far from being global warming is just part of the rhythm of nature. The real challenge for us is to understand if we are going to plunge back down in temperature and see the glaciers increase and sea levels fall. After all we are in the latest of a number of interglacials that last on average 10,000 years of an ice age that has lasted more than 2 million years, and perhaps started 6 million years ago, and have been for a longer period than most previous interglacials (15,000 years) It is now recognised that it was the beginning of the ice age that triggered the evolution of modern man, so understanding this period as a whole is quite important.

    I understand why so many sceptics say they agree global warming is real and have never denied the temperatures are rising, but really that statement is only true in the context that CO2 is causing that rise, which to me is nonsense. We should not have to dance around the sensibilities of the overblown egos of some in the scientific community, just to get our point across.

    Our Solar system is still in and around the Orion arm or spur in the Milky Way so we are still likely to receive high levels of cosmic rays of the type that cause low cloud and come from super novas, and by implication temperatures will remain lower. And we also need to open our minds as to what the Sun is. It is not a simple ball of hydrogen that via fusions is turning Hydrogen into Helium. That model can not explain its strange behaviour nor the fact that the planets are iron rich supernova remnants. I could go on and on, but I have discovered lately it is not just climate science that does not like awkward questions.

    I believe we are on the cusp of a seismic change. One country will release the shackles of the age of stupid and embrace the information age and use it properly to progress through the 21st century and lead the world into our next age of discovery. For the last 30 years it has been the vision of just a few individuals that has defined what we do. This needs to change so that we avoid another con trick and disaster that has been DAGW.

  47. 4397
    Alex Cull Says:

    @Max, the UHI paper is interesting and I have to confess the “opposite of an urban heating effect” (p.11) has me scratching my head, too.

    Only during the very recent period does the difference between the very-rural station average and the average from the complete data set become statistically significant. This would suggest the existence of a residual urbanization bias in the Berkeley Earth averaging technique, albeit one whose sign is contrary to the traditional expectation. We hesitate to offer any explanation for this specific difference given the relatively short interval of deviation until a more detailed investigation has been made. The natural explanations might require some recent form of “urban cooling” and/or “rural warming”. Alternatively, the effect might be related to some subtle difference in the spatial coverage of rural and nonrural sites at recent times; however, preliminary analysis tends to make this latter suggestion appear unlikely.

    “Urban cooling”? “Rural warming”?

    @Peter Geany, I take your point about the bigger picture, in which the last 150 years are a mere blip. On that topic, Nir Shaviv I think is one who has written much that rings true.

  48. 4398
    Brute Says:

    I would have posted this sooner but I had to flush the new Al Gore, “low water consuming” toilet for a third time to clear the bowl…………….then I stumbled over the rug because I couldn’t see with the dim light provided by the Al Gore light bulbs………..

    Not Alarmist Enough

    Normally, I might not deal with a four year old paper by James Hansen, the NASA doyenne of serial doomcasters. However, I note that this paper has been cited ten times this year alone, so I thought I might comment.

    At some point when he was not giving a Press Conference, or getting arrested, or spending time complaining that he was being “muzzled”, Mr. Hansen wrote:

    Abstract. I suggest that a `scientific reticence’ is inhibiting the communication of a threat of a potentially large sea level rise. Delay is dangerous because of system inertias that could create a situation with future sea level changes out of our control. I argue for calling together a panel of scientific leaders to hear evidence and issue a prompt plain-written report on current understanding of the sea level change issue.

    I love the naked power grab. I mean, what an audacious plan!

    First, you unilaterally declare that there is some huge looming disaster a long ways in the future. Using a variety of methods fair and foul, you obtain the full cooperation of other scientists, governments, educational institutions, and the media the world around. With all of you, the whole chorus, baying for skeptic’s blood in full voice, you spend a quarter century trying to convince the people of the oncoming Thermageddon.

    Second, after said quarter century you notice that despite having the entire resources of the educational and media institutions of the planet and the blind agreement of other scientists and billions of dollars poured into trying … you have not been able to establish your case. Heck, you haven’t even been able to falsify the null hypothesis. In fact, after a long string of predictions of doom, none of which came to pass, and at the tail end of a 15-year hiatus in the warming, the US public doesn’t believe a word you say. Oops. Over two-thirds of them think climate scientists sometimes falsify their research. Oops.

    In response, you say that the problem is that scientists have been too retice … too re … sorry, it’s hard to type and laugh at the same time … you say that scientists have been to reticent, that they haven’t been alarmist enough or aggressive enough in promoting their views.

    That’s the problem? After 25 years of unbridled alarm from scientists and everyone else from Presidents to my kid’s teachers, the problem is that scientists are not alarmist enough, they’re too reticent to state their true opinion? Really? That’s the reason the public doesn’t believe you? Is that your final answer?

    (Does he really, in his heart of hearts, believe that? Possible, I guess, but it presupposes a level of self-delusion that is scary …)

    The real beauty of the plan, however, the sting in the tale, is the proposed solution—a “panel of scientific leaders” to inform the people of the error of our ways. I mean, the IPCC did so well, let’s make a sea level rise mini-IPCC. Staff it with people who will know what to say, who won’t have to be prompted.

    Mr. Hansen claims he is a scientist first and an activist second. He and far too many other climate scientists are activists first, and scientists maybe fourth or fifth if at all. He proposes convening a Star Council of Jim and his hand-picked acolytes to lecture us sternly on a radical sea level rise slated to occur when they are dead? He wants us to listen to his pals make predictions they’ll never be held accountable for? And all this from the man who in 1988 predicted a 10 foot (3m) sea level rise putting parts of NYC underwater in forty years? Fuggedaboutit. He probably felt safe with such a long-term prediction. In any case, we’re more than halfway there, and since 1988 the sea level in NYC has gone up by 2.5 inches (6 cm). Would you buy a sea level prediction from Jim?

    There certainly are many problems in the field of climate science. Reticence on the part of climate scientists to clean up their own backyard is high on the list.

    Reticence on the part of climate scientists to make alarmist claims, about sea level or any other imagined future disaster, is not on the list at all.

    The main problem, however, is thinking that it’s a communications problem. It’s not. The problem is that Jim and his Climategate pals lied and cheated and pulled strings and even destroyed evidence in order to advance their views. All of that was revealed clearly in the UEA emails. They stand convicted by their own words.

    As a result, lots of folks don’t believe a word that the climate scientists say. And reasonably so. I have seen no reason to believe they are now acting differently. There has been no “mea culpa” from even one individual involved. Noble Cause Corruption appears to have rotted the ethical parts of their brains entirely. They don’t even think they did wrong … and the rest of the honorable, decent, good climate scientists? Well, by and large they played the faithful dog Spot, they rolled over and played dead.

    That’s the problem, not communications or reticent scientists. I had hoped that Climategate would lance the boil and the healing could begin … foolish boy, wrong again …

    So no, I believe I’ll pass on the brilliant plan for the formation of the Official Panel Of The Sea-Level Wise Men. No need to even read the novel, most of us have seen the IPCC movie, and would prefer not to be forced to sit through a bad sequel.

  49. 4399
    tempterrain Says:


    No one is saying that the UHI isn’t real but the charge has previously been that it is incorrectly accounted for. The Best team have looked at the period 1950-2010 and have measured a small negative influence. So, they are saying that it is less now than it was in 1950. I agree that it is a surprising result. But is it wrong?

    Your heroine Judith Curry has her attached her name to this report, so she can’t think so!

  50. 4400
    manacker Says:


    Yes. I have a lot of respect for Judith Curry and her assessments.

    That she undersigned the preliminary BEST subcommittee report, which concluded that the net effect of urbanization since 1950 was one of net cooling does not mean that she would endorse this absurd finding per se.

    This finding goes against the findings of many local reports from all over the world, which show a significant local warming bias from urbanization.

    This BEST subcommittee has some rework to do, in order to come up with a credible estimate of the UHI impact on averaged land based global temperature.

    We’ll see how they approach this and what their final result will be. They have not yet spoken their last word.


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