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”

  1. 1
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Max et al:

    It seems that Peter has moved to a new level of blind belief. Re his determined attribution of the 1975-1998 warming to mankind’s wicked GHG emissions, we found recently that, not only is he unable to refer us to any supporting empirical evidence, he is unable to refer us to any relevant evidence – indeed, when he tried, the best he could find was a report on how difficult it is to access Himalayan glaciers and a research paper about the depredations of a North American beetle. He claims this is “established mainstream science”. But, not content with these failures, he has now moved on to suggesting that the 1910-1940 warming was “largely anthropogenic too”. Few, if any, climate scientists support that view – certainly the IPCC does not. So now he’s even deserting his beloved “mainstream” science.

    I don’t think Peter is a creationist as suggested by TonyB. But apparent belief in the inherent wickedness of mankind indicates that he is moving firmly into crank/eccentric territory.

  2. 2
    manacker Says:


    My advice to you regarding Mann (9999).

    Forget about it – you are just making yourself look silly.


  3. 3
    manacker Says:


    Looks like this thread survived the “10K” threat (and is still going strong).


  4. 4
    Robin Guenier Says:


    When I invited you (and Peter) to comment on that Brill article I expected you might be rather more critical. (I didn’t expect much of Peter because I didn’t think he’d read it. On that, it seems I was right.)

    Overall, I agree with you that it’s good – but one or two things rather concern me about it. For example, he said that “since the end of the Little Ice Age” (no date provided) “natural variability has averaged 0.11C per decade”. In support of this he cited a 2005 paper by Phil Jones. But I cannot find that paper. Can you? And, in any case, would you agree with the 0.11C claim?

    If it’s accurate, the difference between it and the recent 0.161C per decade (accepted by Jones) is indeed a minute 0.051C or five hundredths of one degree C per decade as noted by Brill. So why haven’t other commentators focused more on this absurdly tiny anomaly? Or have I missed something? Or has Brill got it wrong?

  5. 5
    tonyb Says:


    You may think you have given an answer in 9990 but you haven’t. You believe that our politics directly drive our belief in AGW but they don’t, how many times do we collectively need to tell you that?

    I have re-read your previous link with interest and again I would point out that the gross generalities contained there do not fit my circumstances/beliefs nor, it appears, most of those on this blog

    Firstly, you don’t know my politics and second you don’t explain how that relates to my beliefs when these are grounded not only in the science but the precedents we have seen for similar periods throughout our history.

    The rise at the start of the 20th century is matched many times even within the 19th century, let alone other warmer periods in the 18th century and before. Have you ever actually looked at the older instrumental records? For example are you aware of the upturn in temperatures from 1855 to 1880 and the subsequent down turn from which Hansen commenced his records and the subsequent upturn?

    I think the only way you can reconcile your own beliefs is to apportion motives to other people that simply haven’t got them.

    It appears you are now latching on to the latest warmist argument that our emissions have prevented another ice age by adding a few molecules to the CO2 concentration, thereby reinforcing my growing suspicion that if you are not a creationist you are possibly a believer in ‘intelligent design’ who thinks man is automatically a pollutant :)

    Come on Peter, in the rest of your post are you seriously saying it may be cold now but just think how cold it would be without AGW? You can do better than that.


  6. 6
    TonyN Says:


    Looks as though I was asleep on the job!

  7. 7
    tonyb Says:


    Before TonyN wipes the vast amount of peerless thread knowledge from history, did you keep any sort of record of my question and the subsequent response to our ‘intelligent’ design conversation last year?


  8. 8
    TonyN Says:


    No question of it being wiped-out, see above.

  9. 9
    tempterrain Says:


    I would like to believe that most people are rational beings. However, The high level of public opposition to theories of evolution and climate theory tell me that is probably being a little bit too optimistic.

    Many creationists are quite able people who make good doctors, mathematicians, engineers etc. They are obviously quite sensible in most aspects of their lives, so why do they reject the fossil records and scientific evidence? In a nutshell, its because they are brought up with a certain world view. What happens when they first hear scientific evidence suggesting that this world view may be incorrect ? What happens when they hear preachers, and some scientists too, equating evolutionary theory with atheism?

    Sure, some can modify their religious opinions but for most it is much easier to deny the science.

    Its a similar, but not quite the same, story with anthropogenic climate change. Climate contrarians have a reputation of being somewhat elderly. This being the case it seems likely that their political opinions are of long standing. So what happens when scientific evidence suggests that their world view may be incorrect or obsolete? What happens when they read people equating global warming theory with socialism!

    Sure some can modify their political opinions but for most it is much easier to deny the science.

    Now I’m sure that there are a few oddballs out there who are disbelieve in both god and evolutionary theory. There may be a few global warming deniers who don’t froth at the mouth at the mention of Al Gore , the United Nations, or the dreaded carbon tax. There may well be a few people in America who, one week, will be out demonstrating with the tea parties against Obama’s health care reforms, and the next will be out with the Greens campaigning against CO2 emissions. A few but not many.

    I’m not claiming to be able to categorise everyone including the few, but not many, eccentrics and oddballs who seem to believe all sorts of odd things for no apparent reason! But I’d reckon to have a 95% success rate with climate sceptics.

  10. 10
    Barelysane Says:

    The government have responded to an e-petition calling for the suspension of the UEA CRU until the completion of an investigation.

    Nothing particularly surprising, though see if you can spot the response contradicting itself on funding.

  11. 11
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Your weird obsession with sceptics’ political views might have more credibility if (a) it had not been amply shown that sceptical contributors do not fit your stereotype and (b) you were able to refer us to one example of the “scientific evidence” that you proclaim.

  12. 12
    Brute Says:

    Paris scraps carbon tax plan

  13. 13
    Brute Says:

    Nicolas Sarkozy under fire after carbon tax plan shelved

  14. 14
    tempterrain Says:


    It doesn’t much bother me whether or not anyone has right wing views. What is of more concern is that those right wing views are the motivation for climate change denial, but the denial itself is dressed up in a scientific guise.

    You ask for evidence that this is the case- I previously posted this link showing how 141 English-language environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005 are linked to conservative think tanks.

    Writing in the Guardian (3 December), Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, based at the London School of Economics, said that pressure [hate mail, threats on climate scientists] was coming from a small number of individuals, many on the far right.

    Wanting to know the political motivations and beliefs, of climate change deniers, is no more “weird”, as you put it, than wanting to know the religious affiliations of those who seek to engage in a debate on evolution and creationism.

    I’ve known it for a while , of course, but there is really no point arguing with the sort of Zombie science that you guys try to pass off as rational thought.

  15. 15
    Barelysane Says:

    Latest climate disaster story doing the rounds.

    The above article seems to be doing the round in a number of news agencies.
    Having heard similar stories before a quick check on google found this:

    With the slightly interesting few paragraphs

    It wasn’t until I met Sugata Hazra, the director of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University, in nearby Kolkata, and the man who claimed to have discovered the disappearance of Lohachara in 2002, that the alarm bells started ringing at full volume. Dr Hazra claimed that “relative sea levels” in the Sunderbans were rising at 3.2 mm a year, about twice the global rate. It seemed fishy to me.

    Geologically, the Sunderbans may be sinking. The weight of the sediment coming down the Ganges from the Himalayas is gradually tilting the plate on which it sits. But this has nothing to do with global warming or rising sea levels. After all, no one ever links New Moore Island’s rise to “relative falling sea levels”.

    If about 2.2 mm of Hazra’s 3.2 mm came from “natural subsidence” and erosion, as Hazra’s own 2002 study admitted, wasn’t it a bit misleading to blame rising sea levels? “It’s a complicated process that isn’t fully understood”, was all Dr Hazra said when pressed.

    I truely despair of the laziness of modern reporting and journalism.

  16. 16
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I’m not remotely interested in “evidence” supporting your weird obsession with sceptics’ political views. What I would be interested in is evidence supporting your AGW beliefs. However, despite repeated requests, you have consistently failed to produce any. Maybe that’s why you’ve decided it’s best instead to pursue your boring political interests. Sad really.

  17. 17
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Good news here for Oz.

    But what’s particularly interesting about this development, whereby Australia will supply to China about 3.3 million tons of LNG a year for 20 years, is that the gas concerned is coal bed methane – a product making an increasing impact on world energy supplies. Potentially this is particularly significant as coal bed methane can be a substitute for gas supplies from unstable political regimes.

    It’s part of a wider global realignment whereby emerging economies, such as China and India, are getting their hands on secure supplies of cheap energy, thereby underpinning their future prosperity and stability. In total contrast, Western countries are busily turning their backs on fossil fuels and saddling themselves with high-cost, unreliable, dead-end technologies such as wind power, thereby undermining the future of their productive economies – all in the name of (pointlessly) “fighting climate change”.??

    We must be quite mad. And you spend your time wittering on about the political affiliations of sceptics!

  18. 18
    potentilla Says:


    I had the same thought as soon as I read the story in the Guardian. Subsidence of large deltas is a well-known phenomenon throughout the world. Coupled with erosion from wave action, islands in deltaic environments are unstable and disappear and reappear as a result of natural processes unless engineering works are constructed.

    The real problem with this type of story is that it will be taken as yet more “evidence” of the impacts of AGW.

  19. 19
    tonyb Says:

    Peter #9

    You do have this uncanny knack of linking to right wing blogs we have never heard of and will never visit again. Surely that must tell you your preonceptions are misplaced? :)

    Are you aware that one of the key scientists involved in Climategate is a creationist? Perhaps you can explain to me how he has calculated the ice core data and believes in them implicitly for 5000 years, but then he suddenly believes they are completely wrong? So all the ‘misguided’ people aren’t all on our side are they?


  20. 20
    manacker Says:


    Let me paraphrase the first sentence in your last set of gibberish.

    I would like to believe that most people are rational beings. However, The high level of public opposition to the premises of creationism, intelligent design and dangerous AGW tell me that is probably being a little bit too optimistic. Blah, blah…


  21. 21
    manacker Says:


    You opined:

    there is really no point arguing with the sort of Zombie science that you guys try to pass off as rational thought.

    You sure it is not “voodoo science” (as Pachauri called the evidence, which demonstrated that IPCC lad lied on Himalayan glaciers)?

    Just to get the terminology straight.


  22. 22
    manacker Says:


    Let me paraphrase your sentence to Robin, so you can see how utterly silly it was:

    It doesn’t much bother me whether or not anyone has left wing views. What is of more concern is that those left wing views are the motivation for climate change scare mongering, but the scare mongering itself is dressed up in a scientific guise.



  23. 23
    manacker Says:


    Until you can respond to Robin’s (and my) request to provide empirical data supporting your premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a serious potential threat, this premise remains unsupported.

    All your wafflings about political or religious motives, etc. are simply side tracks to distract from the fact that you are unable to provide these data.

    This ruse has become pretty apparent to one and all, and you only make yourself less credible by reverting to it.

    As we’ve tried to tell you, “It’s the SCIENCE, stupid!” (where “stupid” is NOT meant to refer to you, personally, but is just an emphatic part of the message).



  24. 24
    manacker Says:


    The only paper I could find reference to for Phil Jones in 2005 relating to natural variability is

    IDAG (International ad hoc Detection and Attribution Group, including Jones, P.D., 2005
    “Detecting and attributing external influences on the climate system: A review of recent advances.
    Journal of Climate, 18 1291-1314

    So far I was unable to get access to the paper itself, so cannot confirm the 0.11C natural variability claim, or how this is supposed to have worked.

    If the LIA “ended” in 1800, we have seen 21 decades since its end, so it is stretching the imagination that we have seen a steady 2.3C warming since then due to natural variability. Maybe TonyB knows more about this, but most references (Lean, etc.) put the warming since 1800 at around 1C.

    If the natural variability claim does not mean a steady 0.11C decadal increase, but rather multi-decadal swings in either direction of 0.11C per decade, then this is quite imaginable. It certainly fits for the past 9 tenths of a decade after 2000, as the Met Office, itself, has conceded.

    It would also fit for the other three multi-decadal warming cycles we have experienced since the modern record began. All three of these showed linear warming trends even exceeding 0.11C per decade, and the first two would hardly have had much anthropogenic warming from CO2, so most of the warming must by definition have come from natural factors.

    I’ll dig some more to see what I can find.


  25. 25
    TonyB Says:


    Usual alarmist nonsense from the Guardian I’m afraid. This is a mud island which the locals say was unstable and only appeared for the first time in the last 50 years. Prior to that it didn’t exist. These islands come and go in such a muddy delta.


  26. 26
    TonyB Says:


    The Lia is generaly reckoned to have had two final spikes in 1850-as Cru started recording- and in 1880-which coincides with Giss. Temperatures peaked just prior to both these start dates. 1810 was generally considered a very cold decade and it would hardly be surprising that temperatures should rise since.

    Temperatures plunged around 1350 from the peak of the MWP and generally edged upwards since then, but with some very notable peaks and troughs. The periods round 1420, 1530 and 1730 appeared to be very little different to today. Moberg missed the 1730′s warm period.


  27. 27
    tempterrain Says:


    when you write

    “It doesn’t much bother me whether or not anyone has left wing views. What is of more concern is that those left wing views are the motivation for climate change scare mongering, but the scare mongering itself is dressed up in a scientific guise.”

    It describes the problem perfectly because that’s the way you see it. It would be fair comment if the Socialist Worker, maybe in collaboration with a few other left wing papers, had taken it upon itself to declare that AGW a problem in the face of all scientific advice to the contrary.

    You think the BBC to be part of the ‘ultra left’ too but can you imagine them joining in too, taking such an anti-scientifc line as say Fox News or the WSL?

    Its not a Left versus Right issue. Its the ultra-Right versus mainstream science.

  28. 28
    manacker Says:


    Your query on natural variability got me to thinking, so I ran a quick calculation.

    The three warming cycles since the modern HadCRUT record started were
    · Late 19th century (roughly 1857 to 1882, 26 years)
    · Early 20th century (roughly 1910 to 1944, 35 years)
    · Late 20th century (roughly 1975 to 2000, 26 years)

    These were all statistically equivalent. Jones has agreed to this in the BBC interview, while he used a slightly shorter time frame for the late 19th century.

    If we calculate the theoretical GH warming from CO2 over these three periods, we see that there was a significant portion of the warming that was not related to the greenhouse effect. This is based on the IPCC formula for calculating the GHE of CO2, the IPCC statement that other anthropogenic factors cancelled one another out, the HadCRUT temperature record and IPCC estimates plus Mauna Loa values for atmospheric CO2. It also assumes no “hidden in the pipeline” postulation.

    The portion attributable to natural variability is around the 0.1C per decade mentioned in the study you cited:

    0.14C per decade (late 19th century warming)
    0.13C per decade (early 20th century warming)
    0.09C per decade (late 20th century warming)

    See table for calculation:

    Will keep looking for the Jones report confirming the 0.1C figure.


  29. 29
    manacker Says:


    As I pointed out with the paraphrase of your silly sentence: it would be just as SILLY if it were turned around.

    This is NOT my view, as I clearly stated. It is simply a paraphrase of your SILLY sentence (which may or may not represent YOUR view.

    Got it?

    (It’s really not that complicated, Peter. You just have to read what is written and not make up stuff.)


  30. 30
    manacker Says:

    Empirical data, Peter.

    Still waiting.


  31. 31
    tempterrain Says:


    Empirical Evidence? Here it is

  32. 32
    tempterrain Says:


    You say that the last quote wasn’t your view.

    What about this?

    “Forget all the junk science by so-called experts that are all in on the multi-billion dollar “climate research scam”?. Forget all the disaster reports being sold by environmental activists via the sensationalist media. Forget all the self-righteous calls for action by power-hungry politicians. Use your common sense. It’s all a hoax.”

    Would you say that was a bit nearer the mark?

  33. 33
    manacker Says:


    Sorry. You apparently do not know what “empirical evidence” means.

    It does NOT mean 1,000+ page pseudo-political IPCC reports with future projections, backed by some spotty and often bogus “science” (as is becoming more and more evident).

    It means data derived from actual physical observations, rather than simply model simulations based on theoretical assumptions.

    And what you need to support with these empirical data are NOT:

    - that it has warmed over the past 150+ years, since the modern temperature record started
    - that sea levels have risen over the past century or more, since tide gauge readings started
    - that Arctic sea ice has receded since 1979, since satellite readings started
    - that many non-polar glaciers have receded since around 1850
    - that atmospheric CO2 levels have increased, since around 1958 when Mauna Loa readings started
    - that human beings have emitted CO2 as a result of fossil fuel combustion, at an increasing rate since the end of WWII

    These are all obvious, undisputed facts.

    What is missing is:

    Empirical data based on actual physical observations to support the premise that AGW, attributed principally to human CO2 emissions, represents a serious potential threat.

    That’s what’s missing, Peter, and that is what both Robin and I have repeatedly asked you to provide.

    Keep trying.


  34. 34
    manacker Says:


    That quote is accurate. As you see, it has nothing to do with “left” or “right”.

    It has to do with junk science (as we are now seeing very clearly with each new revelation).

    It has to do with scare mongering by environmental activists (Gore, Hansen, etc.)

    It has to do with a sensationalist media that capitalizes on doomsday fads.

    It has to do with calls for action (i.e. carbon taxes) by power-hungry politicians.

    All this is still very pertinent, although Copenhagen, Climategate and the current cooling since 2000 may have signaled a “sea change”.

    Don’t you agree?

    If not, with which part do you not agree?


  35. 35
    manacker Says:


    Coming back to the estimate you cited for warming attributable to natural variability.

    The calculated weighted average rate of warming not attributable to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect over the three warming periods is 0.12C per decade, quite close to the 0.11C per decade warming attributable to natural variability according to the study you cited.

    This is compared to around 0.03C per decade average theoretical anthropogenic greenhouse warming over the three periods, using the IPCC estimates for radiative forcing, with no assumed net feedbacks and no energy “hidden in the pipeline”.

    From this one could conclude that the natural:anthropogenic ratio is about 4:1.


  36. 36
    tempterrain Says:


    So let me get this straight. You like the US tea parties. You don’t like Obama and the Democrats. You don’t like the UN. You don’t like government. You like the idea of minimal taxes. You don’t like environmnentalists. But you aren’t right wing?

    You dismiss the IPCC report I linked to as just so much “hot air”. Yet you describe yourself as a “layman”. If so, how do you know it is incorrect from a scientific viewpoint? Isn’t it stretching credibility a little far to suggest that your ‘not-a-right-wing’ viewpoint is not your motivating force?

  37. 37
    manacker Says:


    You want to get my “likes and dislikes” straight, so let me see if I can help you.

    As a rational skeptic, I like empirical data to support scientific hypotheses, such as the premise that AGW is a serious potential problem caused principally by human CO2 emissions.

    When empirical data are lacking, as is the case for the AGW premise, I am rationally skeptical of the premise until such data can be presented.

    I do not have much of an opinion on US tea parties, except that they appear to result from disappointment and frustration with the current US administration, principally the US Congress.

    Obama seems like a very nice person, so I do not dislike him. He has a few screwy ideas (such as cap ‘n tax), which I do dislike, since they will accomplish nothing positive whatsoever and would put added pressure on the entire world to follow. In all fairness, I have to agree that “cap ‘n tax” is not Obama’s screwy idea per se, but he seems to support this silly concept (possibly as a result of input he has gotten from his certifiably screwy senior science advisor).

    What is there to like or dislike about the UN? Switzerland thought long and hard about joining and some think it was probably a mistake to do so. The organization has had a problem with corruption, but this is understandable when you consider the many corrupt governments that have sent delegates there. UN peace keeping forces have had mixed reviews, but there may be no better alternate in some cases.

    As a Swiss, I do like democratic representative government that tunes in to the wishes of the people who have elected it. Like with any good thing, too much is too much, so it should be enjoyed in moderation. Local (communal) government is preferable to cantonal (or state) government, which in turn is preferable to federal (or central) government; this is quite simply because the more local a government is, the better it can respond to the wishes and needs of its electorate. There are, however, many functions, which are best handled at a federal or centralized level, and I like a central government, which handles these effectively and efficiently..

    I realize the need for taxes (at all levels) but I do not like excessive taxes (who does?). I like the Swiss system where the largest slice goes to the local communities, the second-largest chunk goes to the cantons and the smallest piece goes to the federal government.

    I like real environmentalists (as opposed to AGW-freaks). I am against pollution and waste. I like energy conservation and alternate domestic energy sources (such as hydroelectric and nuclear in Switzerland, which has no fossil fuels).

    I am not “right wing” or “left wing”.

    I do not “dismiss the IPCC report as hot air”. I just see that it is full of errors, exaggerations and omissions, which all go in the direction of making AGW sound more ominous than it really is. Many of these errors are now coming to light. I also see that the IPCC report, despite its extremely large volume, presents no empirical data to support its premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a serious potential threat. Instead it relies on flawed model simulations to make this claim.

    One does not have to be a “climatologist” (whazzat?) to see the weak spots and bias in the IPCC report. They are glaring.

    In your last sentence you asked:

    Isn’t it stretching credibility a little far to suggest that your ‘not-a-right-wing’ viewpoint is not your motivating force?

    Not at all, Peter. Expand your mind out of the old out-dated “left-right dispute”. As a rational skeptic, my primary objection to the AGW premise is that it is not supported by empirical scientific data (like creationism, intelligent design and a host of other “beliefs”). You have not been able to provide such evidence, despite your strong belief in the premise.

    Unlike the other “beliefs” I mentioned, however, AGW also has extremely large political, social, financial and policy elements, and is, in fact, a multi-billion dollar big business today, with many individuals and organizations already cashing in and others lining up at the trough to benefit from proposed trillion dollar taxes in the future.

    This aspect makes it all the more important that the premise is not based on shoddy, biased or flawed “science”, but on sound empirical scientific evidence.

    So I hope I have straightened you out once and for all about my motivations here, so that you no longer persist in bringing up silly conjectures based on your overly active imagination.


  38. 38
    tempterrain Says:


    I think if you do check your notes you’ll find that you did, on the 3 April 2007, refer to the IPCC report as “It’s all hot air”. I’m just wondering how much time you spent studying the report before coming to that conclusion?

    The IPCC has referred to 1000′s of papers. Some are based on climate modelling. Many more are based on an empirical measurements.

    I’m really don’t know what sort of paper you are looking for and I’m sure that you don’t either. Except that you seem happy to be asking for something that know which cannot possibly exist.

    But maybe I’m wrong in saying that. Maybe you’d like to tell us the sort of experimental results which you’d be happy to accept, one way or the the other, to decide the issue.

    If you can’t do that you are just playing with words to try to discredit mainstream science and support your-not-right-wing political stance.

  39. 39
    manacker Says:



    I do know what I am asking you to provide, in order to support your premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, presents a serious potential threat.

    It is, quite simply, empirical data, based on actual physical observations, which support this premise, as both Robin and I have told you many times.

    Quite simple, actually, except that you have been unable to provide such evidence.

    Does it exist? Who knows? No one has been able to show it to me as yet, and I will remain rationally skeptical of your AGW premise until someone does, as I am also rationally skeptical of “intelligent design” and “creationist” hypotheses, for exactly the same reason.



  40. 40
    manacker Says:


    Just some semantics regarding the rather long-winded AR4 report and its precursor, the 2007 SPM report, which came out in early 2007, based on 2006 or earlier data.

    Ignoring for now the many things that are correctly reported plus the numerous errors, exaggerations and omissions, many of which are just now coming to light, the report does contain an awful lot of what I would refer to as “hot air”.

    This is, of course, just my assessment.


  41. 41
    tempterrain Says:


    Well maybe you could describe just what data you’d like to see recorded or what experiments you’d like to see done! I don’t think you have the first clue as to what you are asking for but you could also try prove me wrong and show you are scientifically rather than politically motivated; and that your quest is a genuine one rather than just an attempt to set such a high level of “proof” that no-one can ever come near to it.

    PS. A little tip: If you are trying to avoid being associated with the sort of right wing elements who make the most noise on the AGW issue you should avoid these kind of remarks:

    Keep those “tea parties” humming. If enough people become aware of what the “renewable energy bill” really means (“cap ’n trade = carbon TAX), they will certainly reject this concept and let their Senators know to do the same. Right now it’s taking back stage to the health care plan. Are the two linked? You betcha!

    After promising all Americans earning less than $250,000/year a tax cut, the Administration needs lots of bucks to finance another campaign promise: health care.

    What better source could there be than the well-camouflaged “cap ‘n trade” bucks? After all, it’s only the big, bad oil and coal companies that have to pay this.

    Liberty is what it’s all about.

  42. 42
    manacker Says:


    You continue to waffle and squirm when you ask:

    maybe you could describe just what data you’d like to see recorded or what experiments you’d like to see done! I don’t think you have the first clue as to what you are asking for but you could also try prove me wrong and show you are scientifically rather than politically motivated; and that your quest is a genuine one rather than just an attempt to set such a high level of “proof” that no-one can ever come near to it.

    The answer (in caps, since you appear to be having a bit of difficulty grasping it).


    For more clarification, refer also to my post 33.

    The ball is in your court, Peter.


  43. 43
    Robin Guenier Says:


    You say (post 35) “The calculated weighted average rate of warming not attributable to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect over the three warming periods is 0.12C per decade”. Maybe. But that’s very different from Brill’s simple assertion (after noting Phil Jones’s confirmation of a 1975-2009 temperature increase of 0.161C per decade) that

    The world has been experiencing a long-term gentle warming since the end of the Little Ice Age. Professor Jones has said elsewhere [untraceable reference] that this natural variability has averaged 0.11C per decade. So, the “extraordinary” recent warming that calls for explanation is the balance of 0.051C per decade.

    That, if I understand the data correctly, is misleading. Yet it’s at the heart of Brill’s paper – otherwise reasonably well presented and argued.

  44. 44
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Why has your system’s clock just changed by an hour? It’s not BST yet.

  45. 45
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Here’s an article that may help re empirical evidence (a concept Peter seems not to understand). As you see, it refers to a web-based debate (hosted by an AGW supporter) about statistical support for the AGW hypothesis. A taster:

    And what’s going on on his website is one of the most signficant and unexpected happenings in all the debate on global warming. For three weeks now, a discussion on something as unlikely as statistics is coming close to rewriting climate change history.

    Here’s a quotation from one contributor to the debate:

    “The issues being addressed in this thread relate to a single question, “Does available real world data support the hypothesis that increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases increase global temperature permanently?”

    Note that: it’s about “real world data”. I’d be interested in your comments.

  46. 46
    manacker Says:


    The 0.11C per decade warming due to natural variability since the end of the LIA sounds exaggerated to me, since it would mean that we have seen 2.3C warming attributable to natural variability since around 1800, while the few studies I have seen on this indicate around 1C total warming over this period.

    The average total warming since 1850 was around 0.65C, or an average rate of 0.041C per decade.

    For the three multi-decadal warming periods we have seen since the modern record started in 1850, a warming of 0.12C per decade attributable to natural variability would sound reasonable; this would theoretically leave around 0.03C per decade on average for anthropogenic greenhouse warming.

    I have not been able to access the 2005 Jones et al. study, which cites this 0.11C per decade warming from natural variability.

    Sorry I can’t help you.


  47. 47
    manacker Says:


    The Thomas Fuller article citing the blog site of Dutch scientist, Bart Verheggen, is very interesting.

    Without going into the intricacies, it appears that the correlation between CO2 and temperature is not robust enough statistically to provide statistical support for causation.

    In arriving at this conclusion, Verheggen specifically excludes the theoretical considerations (GH theory, Stefan-Boltzmann, etc.) and concentrates solely on the statistical correlation based on “real life” observed data.

    Even this analysis would fall short of providing empirical data to support the dangerous AGW premise were it to show a robust statistical correlation, since even robust correlation does not provide robust evidence for causation. But the lack of such a robust correlation would seem to provide fairly compelling evidence against the premise, as the contributors have apparently concluded (assuming the observed data are correct).

    Interesting stuff.

    Let’s hope it all gets compiled and formally published.


  48. 48
    Robin Guenier Says:


    My reaction on reading Brill’s paper was that his 0.11C assertion must be wrong. It seems I was right. If so, that kicks one of his arguments firmly into touch. It’s interested that, although invited (twice) to comment, Peter didn’t even notice this apparent flaw in a sceptic’s position. Perhaps he was too busy investigating his political background.

  49. 49
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I agree about the Verheggen blog: very interesting.

    Your point about correlation/causation is important. Indeed it’s fundamental: when politicians, the MSM etc. are challenged about their claimed “overwhelming evidence” for AGW, they commonly trot out examples of the (usually ghastly) consequences of increased temperatures implying that, because it’s happening, mankind must therefore be responsible. Peter does the same thing: viz. his recent reference to a research paper about the depredations of a North American beetle.

  50. 50
    TonyN Says:

    Robin #44:

    Probably because the WordPress server is in a time zone that has summer time before us. It should correct on Saturday night.

  51. 51
    tempterrain Says:



    I’m having difficulty knowing just what you are asking for here. Can we have more detail of what you have in mind? Sensible people wouldn’t want to test the planet to destruction to get that data. But maybe you don’t do ‘sensible’ and think differently?

  52. 52
    barelysane Says:


    OT, if you’d like a really good example of absurd and the environmental movement have a look into the Gibe III project in Nigeria.

    Here’s a starter

  53. 53
    TonyN Says:

    I’ve moved some comments about the Oxfam report on sceptical networks to this thread:

    The warmists just don’t know what hit them

    I don’t think that I could in my wildest dreams envisage a better illustration of what that post was about.

  54. 54
    manacker Says:


    You appear to be confused about my request:


    I’m having difficulty knowing just what you are asking for here.

    Let’s see if I can clarify with some dictionary definitions:

    1 : originating in or based on observation or experience
    2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory
    3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment

    factual information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation

    1. of or concerned with matter and energy
    2. of or relating to physics
    3. perceptible to the senses; apparent

    1. the act of noting and recording something, such as a phenomenon, with instruments.
    2. the result or record of such notation

    So what I am requesting, as a rational skeptic of the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a serious potential threat, is factual information as opposed to theory, which is capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment, and which is based on perceptible and measurable results, which supports the above-stated AGW premise.

    Any empirical data that meets this definition will do.

    Hope this helps.


  55. 55
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I hope you don’t mind if I add a postscript to your excellent overview of what constitutes empirical evidence. I believe it’s pathetic that Peter has asked you (and, in an earlier post, me) to tell him what might constitute empirical evidence supporting the dangerous AGW hypothesis. Doesn’t his beloved “mainstream science” know? Perhaps he hasn’t he asked them – or tried to find out? Seems not.

    Let’s take two examples: one from history and one contemporary:

    First, William Herschel and his early 1780s postulation that nebulae (many of which he had identified) were huge independent star clusters existing outside our own Milky Way. This was extremely controversial at the time and difficult to establish empirically – most scientists thought it impossible. But Herschel persisted. Did he challenge his critics by asking them to tell him how they thought he should substantiate his hypothesis? Er, no – he built his own huge, expensive, unwieldy telescopes and carried out painstaking observation and calculation. As we know, he succeeded.

    Next, the current controversy about the existence of the subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Its existence would be critical to scientists’ understanding of the nature of matter – but it’s extraordinarily difficult to get. Did researchers say to sceptics – look this too difficult, our computer models and indirect evidence show it should exist so, unless you can define a way of solving this, you’ll just have to take our word for it. Er, no – at vast expense, they designed and built the Large Hadron Collider at Geneva and set about the extraordinarily difficult task of identifying the particle. They have yet to succeed.

    I suspect Peter’s difficulty may stem from a single awkward fact: it’s impossible to define, let alone set up, a means of obtaining empirical evidence supporting the dangerous AGW hypothesis. And, unfortunately for Peter, a hypothesis that’s unsupported by empirical evidence continues to be no more than a hypothesis.

  56. 56
    manacker Says:


    Thanks for your very pertinent postscript.

    FYI I posted the comment below on the Bart Verheggen blog.


    I believe this blog can help us solve a dilemma.

    Rather than concerning ourselves too much with the rationale behind those who are skeptical for political or religious reasons of the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a serious potential threat, let us concentrate on those who are rationally skeptical of this premise in the scientific sense.

    Scientific (or rational) skepticism is defined by Wiki as follows:

    Scientific skepticism or rational skepticism (also spelled scepticism), (sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is a practical, epistemological position in which one questions the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence.

    The key here is empirical evidence or data based on actual physical observations as opposed to theoretical deliberations.

    If we take as an example the premise of “intelligent design”, we see that there are many excellent hypotheses in support of this premise, but what is lacking is empirical data based on actual physical observations, which support the premise. For this reason, it does not pass the test of rational skepticism.

    Now, as the Chris Fields youtube clip showed, there are many physical data, which support
    · The fact that temperatures have risen since the modern record started in 1850, in three statistically indistinguishable multi-decadal warming cycles with cooling trends in between, with an underlying overall warming trend of 0.041C per decade or 0.65C over the entire 150+ year period
    · The fact that sea levels have been rising since tide gauge records were started in the 19th century, with several multi-decadal swings in the rate of rise along the way
    · The fact that Arctic sea ice extent has declined since satellite measurements started in 1979 (while Antarctic sea ice has grown over the same period)
    · The fact that atmospheric CO2 levels have increased since Mauna Loa measurements started in 1958, as well as possibly prior to this based on more dicey ice core approximations
    · The fact that humans have been emitting CO2 into the atmosphere, primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels, at an accelerating rate since the end of WWII
    · Etc.

    There are also many theories on how greenhouse gases trap and re-radiate energy, hypotheses supported by model simulations on feedback effects, etc.

    But there are no empirical data, based on actual physical observations, which support the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is the cause for the observed changes or that it represents a serious potential threat.

    A detailed statistical analysis, which shows a robust statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature, would be a major step toward providing the next best thing to empirical data to support causation (although that, in itself, would still fall short).

    On the other hand, failure or inability to provide this robust statistical correlation would be a clear falsification of causation.

    Let’s see what is out there.


  57. 57
    tempterrain Says:


    Yes I thought so. You’re back to your usual tactic of asking for evidence, but then when you get it you complain its not proof.

    But this time you actually used the phrase “capable of being verified or disproved” a little too early.

    Sorry but science is evidence based and the IPCC reports contains good evidence that CO2 emissions, unless curtailed, will seriously damage the planet’s health.

  58. 58
    James P Says:

    Higgs boson

    In view of the widespread acceptance of the AGW hypothesis, perhaps CERN has been tackling this the wrong way. After all, if the existence of the Higgs particle could be shown (i.e. modelled) to be environmentally unfriendly and its proliferation heavily taxed, I’m sure some supporting graphs would soon be forthcoming from a few of the less scrupulous academic institutions and the science would soon be settled… :-)

  59. 59
    tempterrain Says:


    You might like to think the “Hockey Stick is Broken” and that Michael Mann has been stripped of his PhD, his Uni job, and now scrapes a living flipping burgers, but as usual the truth is somewhat different:

  60. 60
    manacker Says:


    Nice blurb on the hockey stick, but it is dead and buried, so you can forget about it. Let it rest in peace.


    For a detailed “blow by blow” description of its demise, I can recommend The Hockey Stick Illusion, by A.W. Montford.

  61. 61
    manacker Says:


    You state:

    the IPCC reports contains good evidence that CO2 emissions, unless curtailed, will seriously damage the planet’s health

    Please give me the chapter and page of which IPCC report you are referring to here.



  62. 62
    tempterrain Says:


    The point about the blurb, if you’ve bothered to read it, is that there isn’t just ‘the’ Hockey Stick, presumably you mean Mann’s, but there are many such graphs showing a similar shape.

    Fantasizing that they are are all dead and buried, and their authors banished from mainstream society,(some sort of denier’s wet dream?), isn’t going to do you any good at all.

    Usually the discussion centres on relative warmth of the the MWP relative compared with now. What tends to be overlooked is the early 20th century warming which is always part of the hockey blade and therefore all hockey stick graphs, not just Mann’s, tend to suggest that this too may be due to the same causes (GHGs + land usage changes) as later warming.

    You are correct when you say it is thought to be anthropogenic because the warming cannot be explained any other way. As Sherlock Holmes would have said “When you have eliminated the impossible…..”

  63. 63
    manacker Says:


    Read the book I recommended and you will see the basic problem with the hockey stick and its “spaghetti copy hockey sticks”.

    And, while you are at it in your “search for truth”, check out the 20+ studies from all over the world using several different methods, which I cited earlier on the old NS thread, for evidence of a MWP that was warmer than today.

    But don’t let this all hinder you from continuing your search for empirical data based on actual physical observations, to support your premise of dangerous AGW. I’m still waiting patiently


  64. 64
    manacker Says:


    You bring up the old saw of “our models cannot explain it without anthropogenic forcing” for the late 20th century warming cycle, citing the (also fictitious) Sherlock Holmes.

    This has been discussed ad nauseam before, by both Robin and myself, and shown to be based on flawed logic.

    But keep looking for that empirical evidence, Peter. It must be hiding out there somewhere.


  65. 65
    tempterrain Says:


  66. 66
    tempterrain Says:

  67. 67
    Robin Guenier Says:


    You really don’t understand, do you? For example, you seize (#57) on part of Max’s quoted definition of “empirical” (“capable of being verified or disproved”) thinking it somehow shows that Max is asking for proof of the AGW hypothesis. He’s not. A reminder: the Scientific Method requires a hypothesis to be verified (not proved) by empirical evidence and, if it is, it’s regarded as valid. And that validity stands until/unless new empirical evidence shows it to be invalid – i.e. it’s disproved. The dangerous AGW hypothesis hasn’t even been verified so there’s no need to disprove it. Get it now?

    In case you still don’t, here’s a quotation from Einstein, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

  68. 68
    James P Says:

    it is thought to be anthropogenic because the warming cannot be explained any other way

    The Romans and Vikings probably couldn’t explain it either, but then they probably regarded the relative warmth in the northern latitudes as a good thing! With a nice bottle of Yorkshire Red on the table, who cared anyway?

  69. 69
    Brute Says:

    But keep looking for that empirical evidence, Peter. It must be hiding out there somewhere.

    Maybe it’s in the same place as Hansen’s “hidden” warmth…….just waiting to sneak up from behind you and cause havoc…..Then again, maybe it doesn’t exist.

  70. 70
    Brute Says:


  71. 71
    tempterrain Says:


    There isn’t a single scientific method.

    The method, to which you are alluding, of repeated testing, with empirical and other evidence being accumulated, leading to a theory being developed and which by consensus is regarded as unequivocally valid is just one way.

    There is another but fundamentally different method which would be more comparable to a detective arriving at the scene of a crime and is more a matter of deciding which theory best fits the available facts. Like, for example, the theory of human evolution. How do you verify that by empirical evidence? Recreate ancient hominids from scraps of their DNA , place them in a secure enclosure for several million years and watch how they evolve into modern humnas? Or the big bang theory of the origin of the universe? The same standards just cannot apply. Experimental testing just isn’t possible and, even if it was it might not be a good idea to set off another big bang! Is the big bang theory still science? Most people would say yes.

    The big bang theory is not seen as a threat to the established order, or the present economic system, but if it were, the Right wing blogosphere would be resonant with condemnation for anyone who espoused it. Fred Hoyle, with his alternative steady state theory would be revered in the same way as Richard Lindzen.

    The legal profession prefer to use the term ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ without defining what may or may not be considered reasonable when what they really mean is deciding which theory best fits the available facts. You are like the defence counsel who might argue, even though the defendant was caught with a knife in his hand and the victim’s blood on his clothing that he should be acquitted because no empirical and verifiable evidence was available. Other explanations to the circumstances might indeed possible, however unlikely.

    If every criminal trial was subject to the scientific standards you are demanding there would be very few convictions indeed. Who can say for sure that the defendant didn’t buy the stolen goods from a guy in the pub whose name and description he can’t remember and who he’d never met before? What empirical evidence would there be to disprove the defendant’s account ?

    And even if a serial killer were convicted, who is to say that he would re-offend when released? That would be just conjecture of course, and again, there would be no empirical evidence to show unambiguously that he would.

    So I guess you might be arguing the same way for CO2. Yes m’lud, even if it the most likely explanation for the measured empirical global warming is the 40% increase in CO2 and other GHG’s, who is to say that adding another 60% will cause any further warming? Where is the empirical evidence to even suggest that? Let these CO2 molecules go free!

  72. 72
    tonyb Says:


    Let me ask you a direct question for which I would like a direct answer.

    Do you seriously believe that adding a couple of molecules to CO2 since 1900 has started runaway Global warming. By ‘global’ I mean this warming is happening in all parts of the world to a greater or lesser extent.


  73. 73
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Newsflash: Peter Martin says Albert Einstein was wrong.

    Wake up Peter, the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are both excellent examples of the application of the Scientific Method: unlike the dangerous AGW hypothesis, both are supported by empirical evidence. Your idea that it’s all about replicating nature is utter nonsense: did Herschel build a model of the Universe to verify his hypothesis? Er … no. See my #44.

    Your waffle about the criminal law is irrelevant rubbish.

  74. 74
    manacker Says:


    Sorry. Your “Skeptical Science” blurb is not empirical evidence, but just a bunch of conjecture on correlations and theory.

    Keep trying.


  75. 75
    manacker Says:

    James P (68)

    The Vikings believed that Odin was at the time winning his battle with the evil Loki, who was single-handedly responsible for the drastically cold “fimbulvetr” that would some day herald the end of the earth.

    The Romans knew better (they always did). It was obviously the good work of Jupiter, who was in overall change of global climate, and who delegated related tasks to the goddess Nympha (who ensured sufficient rain) and the goddesses Fauna and Lacturna (who ensured good weather for crops and feed for livestock). Bacchus was also involved in the wine growing, vinification and drinking process, first coming up with the saying “in vino veritas”.

    The concept that man’s evil ways could be causing weather mishaps (known as “anthropogenic forcing” today) was first established by the ancient Sumerians and Babylonians and carried to extreme by Noah’s “Great Flood” story of the ancient Jews.

    PeterM still believes this version.


  76. 76
    manacker Says:


    the most likely explanation for the measured empirical global warming is the 40% increase in CO2 and other GHG’s…

    “Warming”: empirical

    “Most likely explanation”: conjectural

    Keep trying, Peter.


  77. 77
    manacker Says:


    BTW, Bacchus’ wise saying “in vino veritas” actually meant that the truth about past climate can be found by checking where wine was grown.

    Michael Mann obviously missed that part of history, preferring to chop down North American bristlecone pines in order to establish past global climate trends (while “hiding the decline” if it happened to disprove his preconceived notion of how the results should look).

    IMHO Bacchus had it right. And he didn’t need to sacrifice any 1,000-year old trees.


  78. 78
    manacker Says:


    Attached is a scanned partial text of the 1976 Peter Craigmoe article, “Do We Face an Ice Age?”

    After discussing some of the disturbing signs pointing to colder climate, such as expansion of Arctic ice, killer cyclones in Pakistan and Australia, drought in Europe, North Africa, South Asia and Latin America, crop failures in the Soviet Union and severe winter storms in Europe, the article continues.

    Warnings. These and other weather extremes have prompted many climatologists to issue dire warnings. “The evidence is clear,” said Dr. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin, “that climate is changing in a direction that is not promising.” Bryson, who once predicted the possibility of an onset of a new ice age by the mid-21st century, describes weather in the 20th century as the most abnormal pattern in a thousand years.

    “Bryson is the most important figure in climatology today,” says Dr. Kenneth Hare, University of Toronto, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society. “I take what he says seriously.”

    Dr. Hubert H. Lamb, East Anglia University, Norwich, England, adds, “Bryson and I have an almost identical view of this.”

    What prompted these dire predictions? Probably too much progress in too short a period of time. In the last decade, computers and space telescopes have had a profound effect on the world of climatology. The computer suggested the world was on the verge of runaway glaciation, and for awhile satellite cameras tended to agree. Meanwhile, solar astronomers were nudging their way into the territory staked out by climatologists. Small wonder there was controversy, but out of the dissent may emerge a more basic understanding of global weather patterns.

    Perspective. Climate is always changing. About 1000 B.C., there was a sharp cooling after 5,000 years of climatic optimum. Scandinavian winters became so severe as to inspire legends about the winter fimbulvetr – that heralded the end of civilization on earth.

    By the time of the Roman Empire, world climate was stable again: warm and dry. Then, from A.D. 550 to 800, the climate grew cold. This and other evidence suggested that changing climate might be the cause of many ups and downs in civilization. Could bitter winters be the cause of the Dark Ages?

    After A.D. 800, there was a remarkable warming that restored mild temperatures all the way to Greenland, which probably favored Viking expeditions across the Atlantic. Then came what is now called the Little Ice Age. Symptoms appeared in Europe in the 13th century and elsewhere soon after. Severe phases followed around 1430 to 1470 and between 1550 and 1700. The Norse colony died out. Chinese farmers abandoned orange growing in the southern province of Kwangsi. Winters were so severe in Ireland that famine became the norm. In a bout of gallows humor, the satirist Jonathan Swift suggested a solution to poverty on the Emerald Isle: that the British eat Irish babies.

    By 1850, the cooling reversed, and a warming trend continued until the mid-1940s. Summer rains came to the Sahel pastures south of the Sahara. The summer monsoon rains seldom failed in India. Then, after World War II, temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere began dropping, recently reaching the level of the late 19th century. Although the mercury drop averaged only one degree (C.), climatologists warn that another degree or two of cooling could remove Canada from the world list of major grain producers. Temperatures were only six degrees lower during the last ice age.

    Balance. The earthly atmosphere is a dynamic arena, and climate is influenced by many factors. Clouds and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are largely transparent to incoming short wave solar radiation, but they trap outgoing long wave (infrared) radiation in the atmosphere. This so-called Greenhouse Effect helps maintain earthly heat and keeps us from freezing.

    On the other hand, reflectivity of the planet – called albedo – prevents solar heat from being absorbed by the earth. Snow, ice and clouds increase albedo, cooling the earth.

    [If the current cooling continues for a few more years, we may have a resurgence of these articles, and Peter will have a new problem to fret about.]

    Have you contacted Craigmoe yet?


  79. 79
    tempterrain Says:

    Max and Robin,

    Einsteins theories of relativity, both Special and General, can be measured and remeasured by experimentation. Light from the sun can be seen to bend as it is influenced by the gravitational field of the planet Mercury. Atomic clocks can be flown around the world, and compared with a control clock on the ground, and the ‘moving clocks go slow’ result can be empirically and accurately measured.

    The ultimate test of the equation E=mc^2 can be clearly seen in an Atomic explosion.

    These kind of experiments fit well into what might be descibed as the “classical’ scientific method.

    Climate science doesn’t fit so well. Doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase temperatures by 3 deg according to the best current scientific estimates. Can that be determined by experimentation? Well yes it can, if we wait another 80 years or so but is it a good idea to do that? But of course someone will no doubt come along and say that the temperature will have warmed anyway. So, to do the experiment we’d need a control. Another Earth, in which the CO2 level was kept at lower levels.

    Is this the kind of scientific standard which you are demanding?

  80. 80
    Brute Says:

    ……….and who delegated related tasks to the goddess Nympha……

    I always liked Goddess Nympho……she’s one of my all time favorites.

  81. 81
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Reur 70, where you seem to despair that Arctic ice expansion may imply increasing cold; it is apparently all due to the wind gods, (as concurred by NASA and recently elaborated in WUWT), of which deities Wikipedia lists these:

    There are many different gods of wind in different religions:
    Aeolus, the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology.
    Anemoi, the Greek wind gods Boreas, Notus, Eurus, and Zephyrus.
    Ehecatl, one of the creator gods in Mesoamerican creation myths documented for pre-Columbian central Mexican cultures, such as the Aztec.
    F?jin, the Japanese wind god and one of the eldest Shinto gods. According to legend, he was present at the creation of the world and first let the winds out of his bag to clear the world of mist.
    Njord, in Norse mythology, is the god of the wind. There are also four dvärgar (Norse dwarves), named Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri, and probably the four stags of Yggdrasil, personify the four winds, and parallel the four Greek wind gods.
    Pazuzu, the demon of the South-West wind and son of the god Hanbi in Assyrian and Babylonian mythology.
    Stribog is the name of the Slavic god of winds, sky and air. He is said to be the ancestor (grandfather) of the winds of the eight directions.
    Vayu, the Hindu God of Wind, Hanuman’s father.
    Venti, the Roman gods of the winds, were essentially renamed Anemoi, borrowed from the Greeks.
    Hunaman, the Indian god of wind, who was said to have almost consumed the sun.

    But fear not; things are looking up on the solar front, as of 27/March, with a touch of activity:

    BTW, you mention that your favourite goddess is Nympho; mine has long been Jacqueline Bisset!

  82. 82
    tonyb Says:


    Yes I did contact Craigmoe but have had no reply as yet. Will try again.
    Thanks for the scanned article.

    Thanks also for the sea level stuff on the other thread. Chapter 5 is poor science, poor statistics and quite deliberate obfuscation of the facts. It warrants an article in due course.


  83. 83
    Robin Guenier Says:


    “The kind of scientific standard which [we] are demanding” is this: your acceptance of the basic principle that, until the dangerous AGW hypothesis is verified by the Scientific Method (#67), it remains no more than an unverified hypothesis. Your protest that, unlike every other branch of science, it is in a special category exempting it from the Scientific Method is pathetic.

  84. 84
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Something remarkable happened yesterday evening: the BBC allowed Jon Holmes on the Now Show to ridicule the IPCC and this evening’s daft “Earth Hour”. Listen to him here (about 19 minutes and 20 seconds in).

  85. 85
    tonyb Says:

    Yes Robin I heard the NOW show last night in complete amazement. It was a good job Marcus Brigstock wasnt there or there would have been a fight!


  86. 86
    tempterrain Says:


    You seem to be under the misaprehension that there is “the scientific method”.

    Contrary to popular opinion there is not a singular scientific method. Science is not a series of exact steps but rather a strategy for drawing sound conclusions.

    You may like to disagree with the conclusions drawn by mainstream science as detailed in various IPCC reports but the notion that they have somehow failed to follow “correct” scientific procedures is just a distraction. A diversion disseminated by the more hardcore of contrarians.

  87. 87
    Brute Says:


    This ultra politically right wing publication seems to be ringing the skeptism bell. I guess you were correct in that political ideology has shaped the debate!

    NYT: ‘Cap-and-Trade’ Loses Its Standing as Energy Policy of Choice – ‘Today, the concept is in wide disrepute’

  88. 88
    Brute Says:

    Slowly deflating

    The overwhelming sentiment is that it is a tax-raising “scam”, part of the continuum of dishonesty perpetrated by self-serving politicians who are concerned only to line their own pockets. Interest is evaporating – it is just another political scam to add to the rest.

  89. 89
    Robin Guenier Says:


    So the Scientific Method is, in your view, “a diversion disseminated by the more hardcore of contrarians”. What utter nonsense.

    The Scientific Method was developed during the Enlightenment (Darwin’s work, contrary to your “understanding”, is an excellent example) and codified in a landmark paper by Karl Popper in 1934. Here’s a summary:

    A problem is identified, a testable (i.e. refutable) hypothesis explaining it is published and the hypothesis is thoroughly tested against empirical (physically observed, not theoretical) evidence. If the evidence supports the hypothesis, the hypothesis is validated. But even that validation fails if the hypothesis is subsequently proved (usually by independent scientists) to be false: as Popper (and Einstein) showed, a scientific theory can never be finally confirmed by experimental testing whereas a single counterexample (commonly a failure to make accurate prediction) is logically decisive, showing the hypothesis to be false.

    That approach that’s been the bedrock of science for 300 years: some “diversion”! It’s a tough discipline. But it’s a discipline that’s proved to be a powerful tool in learning how the universe works. However, it’s obviously very inconvenient for proponents of the dangerous AGW hypothesis, as they cannot even get to the empirical evidence stage. So what do they do? Simple: they decide that its high standards don’t apply to them. And that really says it all.

  90. 90
    manacker Says:

    PeterM and Robin

    Regarding posts #86 and 89, I have to conclude (as a neutral observer) that Robin has won this debate hands down.

    The “scientific method” as pointed out by Robin is what we all learned in school that it is, and the “dangerous AGW premise” should not be excluded from its rigor, any more than other hypotheses, such as “creationism” or “intelligent design”, regardless of whether an “overwhelming consensus” among climatologists exists in support of this premise.

    Attempts to do so, such as those proposed by applying the concept of “post-normal science”, as espoused by Jerome Ravetz, would represent a clear surrender to agenda driven “pseudo-science”.

    The logic is not on your side in this debate, Peter.


  91. 91
    manacker Says:


    Let me address your post 79.

    We have already discussed the concept that the “dangerous AGW” premise must be subjected to the same rigors of the scientific process as any other hypothesis, and I believe that Robin’s post summarizes this rationale very well.

    You wrote:

    Doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase temperatures by 3 deg according to the best current scientific estimates. Can that be determined by experimentation?

    Let’s see if we can try to answer your question.

    The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is around 390 ppmv today, as measured at Mauna Loa. IPCC has estimated, based on ice-core studies, that it was 280 ppmv in “pre-industrial” year 1750, and around 285 ppmv in 1850, when the modern record of “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” (with all its warts and blemishes) started.

    Over this 160-year period, this global temperature indicator increased by 0.65C.

    GH theory tells us that the GH relationship is roughly logarithmic.

    Solar scientists attribute around half of this warming to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years), and, as we are seeing today, there are many other natural factors that can also affect our temperature.

    But let us see if we can get an empirical validation of the GH impact of CO2.

    IPCC tells us (based on various theoretical deliberations and model simulations) that the radiative forcing from CO2 alone is roughly equivalent to that from all anthropogenic sources (as cooling from aerosols and land use changes cancel out warming from other GHGs), so that simplifies our investigation.

    Using the logarithmic relation, the warming from the CO2 increase we have seen so far should represent around 45% of that from a doubling of CO2.

    So let’s look at two cases:
    a. the solar scientists are right, and half of the observed warming can be attributed to solar impact
    b. the solar scientists are wrong, and all the observed warming can be attributed to human CO2

    Solving the equation gives us a 2xCO2 temperature impact of
    a. (0.65 – 0.325) / 0.45 = 0.7C
    b. 0.65 / 0.45 = 1.4C

    So the empirical evidence shows us that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 could cause a temperature increase of 1.05 ± 0.35C (not 3C, as you have postulated, based on theoretical deliberations and model simulations).

    The big unknown here, of course, is the impact of natural variability (a.k.a. natural forcing factors).

    We know that the unusually high level of El Niño activity in the late 20th century caused some increase in the global temperature, while La Niña activity is now being blamed for the more recent cooling.

    In addition, solar activity has dropped to a very low level since 2007, as Solar Cycle 24 is having a hard time getting started.

    So getting a fool-proof empirical confirmation of the 2xCO2 GH warming impact is next to impossible to achieve, but it appears more likely than not that this is around 1C.


  92. 92
    tempterrain Says:


    It sounds like what you may have learned at school may have been an oversimplification.

    I’ve just skip read what is available of this book and it seems to take a more mature view of the topic. You may like to move on to the next grade!


    Climate Science is no exception to the rest of science as you claim. There is great deal of empirical evidence that the earth is warming: Satellite and ground measurements directly of temperatures, and also indirectly of effects such as melting polar ice caps and glaciers. This correlates with rising CO2 levels. The correlation is not perfect because there are other short term, and long term, factors are involved too.

    But what you are saying is that correlation doesn’t always mean causation. In other words the evidence is at best circumstantial. You say “If the evidence supports the hypothesis, the hypothesis is validated”. In this case I would say that the evidence does support the evidence but “validated” is too strong a word. “Not invalidated” would be better. Validated would imply close to 100% confidence whereas the IPCC say 90%.

    There are other forms of evidence too. The mechanism of how CO2 warms the Earth is well understood , unlike say the way smoking may cause cancer, and was first investigated by Arrenhius at the turn of the last century. Without the use of any computer modelling he came up with a range of values, for CO2 climate sensitivity, based on his experiments and empirical observations which were remarkably close to present day calculations. Although he may have been a bit lucky as the errors in his method did tend to cancel themselves out.

    So there is an abundance of evidence, which I agree is not proof, both empirical and otherwise, which all lead to the conclusion being drawn that CO2 and GHG’s from human sources are changing and will continue to change the Earth’s climate.

    You mention experimental testing. Is the extreme difficulty of doing climate experiments on such a large scale behind your objections? Not all scientific methods require experimental testing. For instance, Astronomy can only be based on observations of distant stars and Galaxies, but nevertheless it is still a science. Just as Climate science is largely based on more local observations.

    Finally I should just point out scientific methods have nothing to do with Climate contrarians. I’m not sure where you got that from. My only advice would be to at least try to understand what they are before you try to misrepresent them.

  93. 93
    Brute Says:

    Earth Hour In North Korea A Stunning Success!

  94. 94
    Brute Says:

    Now it’s CowGate: expert report says claims of livestock causing global warming are false

    It is becoming difficult to keep pace with the speed at which the global warming scam is now unravelling.

  95. 95
    Brute Says:

    Obama Energy Sec. Chu: ‘We don’t understand downward trend that occurred in 1900 or in 1940. We don’t fully understand the plateau that’s happened in the last decade’

    Flashback 2009: Obama’s ‘Climate Astrologer’: Energy Sec. Chu claims he knows ‘what the future will be 100 years from now’ — Morano Counter: ‘Shouldn’t Chu be touting these scary predictions of the year 2100 on a boardwalk with a full deck of Tarot Cards

  96. 96
    Brute Says:

    German fear of losing climate change

  97. 97
    manacker Says:


    Sorry, but all your verbiage does not lend scientific support to the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a serious potential threat. The empirical evidence to support this premise is lacking.

    I’ve shown you (91) how the 3C climate sensitivity for 2xCO2 as derived by model simulations and as used by IPCC as the basis for potentially dangerous AGW has been falsified by the observed data. These show us that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will have a theoretical warming impact of around 1C, so nothing to get very excited about.

    For a good summary explaining how the hypothesis of potentially dangerous anthropogenic greenhouse warming has been tested and has failed, read the summary below by a countryman of yours.

    Open your mind, Peter, and don’t stay stuck in the old, out-dated IPCC paradigm.


  98. 98
    tempterrain Says:


    Ah yes our old friend Bob Carter. I notice the first quote he gives is from his boss of the right wing think tank the so called “Institute of Public Affairs”. Got to keep his sponsor happy!

    He carefully explains how CO2 concentrations have a logarithmic effect then quotes Richard Lindzen that a doubling of CO2 levels should produce an warming of about 1 degree.

    He’s saying, in effect, that the equation is DetaT=3.32* log([CO2]/280)

    He then claims that current levels of Co2 are about 380 and that this means that we are 75% of the way to a doubling. However the correct answer is 44%.

    Australians do unfortunately tend to be considered not very bright by the Poms, and Bob Carter having reached university professor level unfortunately hasn’t done anything to counter that.

    Normally I would listen carefully to what a university professor might have to say but if he can’t do basic arithmetic, why bother? We’d be just as well reading what Brute might have to say on AGW theory.

  99. 99
    tonyb Says:


    Sorry, I didnt catch your answer to my simple question.

    “Do you believe in GLOBAL warmimg-that is all parts of the globe have been warming since at least 1900.”

    Presumably you take the IPCC line on this who believe it is-with the exception of South Greenland and a very few places in the Tropics. Do you agree with their viewpoint?


  100. 100
    tempterrain Says:


    NASA have this website which I’ve just discovered and looks pretty good:

    This page probably answers your question:

    Its not what I believe that matters. I’m happy to defer to NASA.

    Incidentally it might be interesting to apply the point that Bob Carter was trying to make to these maps. If CO2 levels are allowed to double, the warming for the year 2009 can be multiplied by 1/0.44 = 2.27

    So areas where the warming has been 2 degrees will become 4.54 degrees warmer. In time the warming will become more even, so 3 degrees of warming overall may well turn out to be somewhat of an underestimate.

    Note: I would like to assure readers that no computers were used in these calculations! Just a desktop calculator.

  101. 101
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Your #92 is waffle. The alarmist hypothesis is that AGW will cause dangerous climate change. Until that hypothesis is verified by the Scientific Method (#89), it remains no more than an unverified (albeit important and interesting) hypothesis. Every branch of science is subject to that demanding discipline. That you are trying to say that dangerous AGW need not be, is revealing of the weakness of your position.

    Yes, Peter, it’s a demanding discipline: and your “not invalidated” concept demonstrates your complete failure to understand it. Did Darwin stay at home and say “that’s my hypothesis [that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors], it’s not been invalidated so it must be regarded as valid? No – he travelled the world and gathered and published a vast quantity of empirical evidence supporting his hypothesis. It’s amusing that your concept is akin to that of the creationists.

    Yes, Peter, there’s an “abundance of evidence” that temperatures have been changing and that CO2 causes atmospheric warming. But there is no empirical evidence that mankind’s emissions of CO2 are the principal cause climate change and that further such emissions will endanger the planet. And, until there is, the hypothesis remains no more than an unverified hypothesis.

    You’re right about astronomy. But the fact that you mention it shows that (as usual) you are not paying attention. Go back and read the third paragraph of my #55 and the second paragraph of my #73: “experimental testing” may well be carried out by observation and calculation.

  102. 102
    tempterrain Says:


    I’m surprised at you for not understanding the difference between “validating” and “not invalidating” especially as you quoted Einstein has having said
    ““No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right [validating]; a single experiment can prove me wrong [invalidating].”

    In other words Einsteins theory is correct until someone else proves him wrong. Its the same with Darwin too. He might have gathered evidence but his theory has never been “validated” as such. It can never be.

    It’s the same with GHE theory. Neither can it be verified; but as long as it continues to explain the observed effects better than anything else it will stand as the most likely explanation , not only for 20th century warming, but the most likely warming to come in the 21st century and beyond.

  103. 103
    tonyb Says:


    Thanks for your #100, it was a genuinely useful link (if only to realise how Nasa are deluding themselves and the public).

    At some point I will write an article on the hundreds of places throughout the world that have been cooling for at least 30 years, but which have been overlooked because of the statistical artefacts used to compile a ‘global’ temperature. This means that a warming anomaly of say .2 C in some places (often due to UHi) overcomes a cooling anomaly of .15 elsewhere.

    The world is ceretainly not experiencing ‘global’ warming. Anyway, thanks again for the great link.


  104. 104
    Brute Says:

    We’d be just as well reading what Brute might have to say on AGW theory.


    Has anyone ever referred to you as a pompous, self-righteous ass?

    If not, I’d be amazed.

    You come across as one of those “power to the people” Hippie type radicals yet you espouse and promote a doctrine that places power in a select few (that happen to agree with your ideology). How convenient.

    Tell you what…………when you and your Eco-nut pals start living a “carbon free” lifestyle holed up in thatched hut on a desolate island, (and stay there), let me know.

    When that happens you can count me in as being an official convert to your “sky is falling” doomsday cult.

  105. 105
    manacker Says:


    Bring empirical evidence rather than waffles.

    I have shown you (91) that the bit of empirical data we do have points to a possible 2xCO2 impact of around 1C. Can you comment on that?

    If you disagree, please get specific.

    How do you explain the observed fact that the atmosphere has cooled, both at the surface and in the troposphere, since 2000, and that the upper ocean has cooled since Argo measurements started providing more reliable data than the old expendable buoys used previously in 2003, despite record increase in atmospheric CO2?

    Kevin Trenberth has stated he thinks the energy may be going “into outer space”, and that clouds may be acting as a “natural thermostat”.

    Do you believe that Trenberth is right, or do you have another explanation for the observed cooling?

    MetOffice states that the cooling can be attributed to “natural variability” (a.k.a. natural forcing). This is curious, since IPCC tells us that natural forcing played an insignificant role in the warming from 1750 to 2005, and that this warming can be attributed essentially to anthropogenic forcing.

    Can you explain how natural forcing has overwhelmed record CO2 increase over the past decade when it was inconsequential for the 25 decades before that?

    Following Einstein’s logic, I would conclude that these physical observations invalidate the model-based postulation of strong net positive feedbacks (resulting in a 2xCO2 GH impact of 3.2C, as suggested by IPCC based on model simulations), thereby invalidating the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, represents a serious potential threat.

    How would you interpret this?

    Do you have an opinion of your own, or are you satisfied to simply hide behind an alleged “majority consensus” as expressed by IPCC?

    If I am asking too much of you to get specific relating to the observed data, let me know.

    Otherwise please answer my questions.

    Thanks in advance.


  106. 106
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (#102):

    Is your misunderstanding a deliberate obfuscation or are you unable to grasp a simple concept? A hypothesis is neither “correct” (to use your term) nor is it incorrect. It’s just a hypothesis. But, when it’s been “thoroughly tested against empirical (physically observed, not theoretical) evidence” and has survived that testing, it is then, and only then, validated. And it retains that position until/unless new empirical evidence shows it to be invalid. Thus Newton’s view that space and time were absolute was seen as valid until invalidated by the new evidence of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

    Dangerous AGW is still at the “just a hypothesis” stage. It may one day be verified by observed empirical evidence. But that hasn’t happened yet.

    PS: likewise, and contrary to your observation, Darwin’s hypothesis has most certainly be verified. But it has not been proved. And it never will be. Try to understand the difference – it’s simple enough.

  107. 107
    manacker Says:


    Not to distract you from answering my specific questions (105), you wrote (98) of the article by Prof. Robert Carter, which I cited:

    I notice the first quote he gives is from his boss of the right wing think tank the so called “Institute of Public Affairs”

    Go back and read the paper; if necessary, put on your reader glasses first.

    The first quotation, which is actually quite neutral on the “premise of dangerous human-caused climate change” comes from John Roskam – Director, Institute of public Affairs, Melbourne, Australia.

    You should also note that the second quotation, which is a bit more critical of the “bogus science and media hype associated with the (dangerous) human-induced global warming hypothesis”, came from Professor Emeritus William Gray – Colorado State University.

    You then state:

    He carefully explains how CO2 concentrations have a logarithmic effect then quotes Richard Lindzen that a doubling of CO2 levels should produce an warming of about 1 degree.

    He’s saying, in effect, that the equation is DetaT=3.32* log([CO2]/280)

    He then claims that current levels of Co2 are about 380 and that this means that we are 75% of the way to a doubling. However the correct answer is 44%.

    The key observation here is that a doubling of CO2 should cause a theoretical warming of around 1C.

    Interestingly (see my 91) the physical observations seem to validate this theoretical increase.

    This is the key point.

    Whether we are 75% there (0.75C) today, or 45% there (0.45C) is relatively immaterial. It means we have between 0.25 and 0.55C left to go to year 2100.



  108. 108
    Robin Guenier Says:

    I recommend this speech by Lawrence Solomon (author of the excellent book “The Deniers“) made at the Colorado Mining Association last month. Here’s an interesting passage:

    The real significance of the Climategate emails doesn’t come from having revealed all these details. Most of these details, and much more, the sceptics knew long ago. Such information appears in numerous sources, my book being but one example. No, the real significance of the Climategate emails comes from the panic they instilled in the ranks of the doomsayers. With all these investigations going on, the doomsayers are starting to point fingers at each other. The conspirators are turning on each other in attempts to exculpate themselves.

    Canada’s top climate scientist, for example, for years a faithful insider at the IPCC, is now calling for the head of the IPCC chairman, and for the IPCC to be reformed. The IPCC’s past chair has started to criticize his successor. Even Greenpeace UK is demanding that the IPCC chair resign – otherwise, Greenpeace believes, the IPCC has no hope of regaining its credibility.

    More importantly, the press has stopped being a mouthpiece for global warming propagandists and has begun to show some curiosity in the views of the sceptics. Not the U.S. press – with the exception of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, the US press is still protecting the doomsayers.
    Both the British press and the Canadian press and the Australian press now smell blood and are starting to cover this scandal, the greatest scientific scandal in history.

  109. 109
    manacker Says:


    Thanks for link to talk by Lawrence Solomon. I have read his “The Deniers”, which is also quite revealing.

    The truth appears to be that many renowned scientists, from several related fields of science, are increasingly skeptical of the so-called “science” supporting the “dangerous AGW” premise.

    The many recent “Climategate” related revelations are helping to refute the “2,500 supporting scientists” claim.

    It is interesting that even a devout AGW proponent, such as Kevin Trenberth, who caused Chris Landsea from the National Hurricane Center to resign from IPCC in 2005, is now saying that clouds act as “a natural thermostat” (as Richard Lindzen had hypothesized a few years ago) and that the missing energy is likely being radiated “into outer space”, thereby invalidating the James E. Hansen “hidden in the pipeline” postulation, upon which a good part of the AGW hysteria rests.

    At the same time, Phil Jones acknowledges that the MWP may have been warmer than today and that earlier pre-CO2 warming cycles in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are statistically indistinguishable from the touted late 20th century warming cycle.

    Bob Dylan said it several years ago, but now it has a new meaning: “the times they are a changin’”.


  110. 110
    tempterrain Says:


    You seem to be using two interpretations of the word “validating.”

    If you mean does the theory fit the facts, on the AGW issue, then we can ask:

    Are we really sure that CO2 and other GHG’s like methane have a GH effect? Yes its been known since the 19th century.
    Have CO2 levels and other GHGs increased in recent decades? Yes they have.
    Has the Earth warmed at approximately the same time? Yes it has.
    Do we have any other measurements of other factors such as the solar flux? Yes we have.
    Can they explain measured warming? No they cannot.
    Have we empirical measurements to verify all these answers? Yes we have.

    So the hypothesis is validated. QED.

    However, if you are taking a meaning closer to the term ‘proof’ then its a not the same. Yes it could be just a coincidence. Yes it could be cosmic rays. Yes it could be a mysterious factor X which no-one has yet discovered. It ‘could’ be, but its not likely.

    If you wanted to be really pedantic you could argue that there it hasn’t been experimentally validated that the sun will rise again in the morning! Is this the kind of word game you are playing?

  111. 111
    temperrain Says:


    Lets just get this point cleared up then we can move on to the rest of the discussion.

    Is it 44% or is it 75% ?

  112. 112
    manacker Says:


    Does it really matter?

    Take your pick.

    It is less than 1degC until year 2100 in either case.


  113. 113
    manacker Says:


    You ask Robin

    Do we have any other measurements of other factors such as the solar flux? Yes we have.
    Can they explain measured warming? No they cannot.

    Sorry, Peter. Your answer here is wrong.

    “Other factors” (i.e. “natural variability” a.k.a. natural forcing) are being used by Met Office to explain the cooling since 2000, which occurred despite record increase in atmospheric CO2, so I guess they could very well explain a significant part of the 20th century warming.

    In fact, solar scientists attribute around half of the 20th century warming to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years).

    And ENSO (another “natural factor”) caused the “record year” 1998 (plus other late 20th century warm years), thereby contributing significantly to the observed late 20th century warming.

    Did you somehow miss all this in your myopic concentration on human CO2 as the cause for all warming (as the IPCC guys did)?

    C’mon, Peter. Don’t be silly. Try to be a bit more scientific and objective here.

    And, while you are at it, try answering my specific questions (105), if you think you can.


  114. 114
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (#110):

    Yes, there is empirical evidence that GHGs have a warming effect on the atmosphere. Yes, there is empirical evidence that GHG emissions have increased in recent decades – notably very recently. Yes, there is empirical evidence that the Earth has warmed (by a few tenths of one degree Centigrade) since the beginning of the 19th century – the correlation with the above GHG emissions being very poor. So, do we understand what caused the warming? No, we don’t: we understand it little (if any) better than we understand what caused the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period – and the many other temperature fluctuations of the Earth’s temperature during the Holocene and before that (not least the big temperature changes that occurred as we emerged from the last ice age about 12,000 years ago – itself just one of other ice ages that have occurred on approximately one hundred thousand year cycles for nearly one million years). We do know, to take but one example, that the movements between the layers within the vast oceans are a source of temperature variability and may even account for all climate change since the 19th century (Tsonis et al, 2007). But are they fully understood? No, they’re not. What we do know, however, is that the Earth’s climate is never in equilibrium.

    Does any of this support the hypothesis that mankind’s emissions of GHGs, if they continue, will cause dangerous climate change? No, it does not.

  115. 115
    tempterrain Says:


    Yes it matters. Just leaving aside, for now, the question of what the CO2 sensitivity might turn out to be, we need to know if the current levels of CO2 mean that we are 44% or 75% of the way there.

    I could have included in my list of checkpoints if there was a better theory than that the late 20th century warming was caused by GHGs. And there isn’t. You might not like the implications of it but it is cosnsidered to be the most likely explanation.

    The general fit between CO2 and temperature increase is not too bad when other factors such as volcanic eruptions, the 11 year solar cycle, ocean conditions, and the effect of particulate emissions are taken into account.

    So if we are using the term ‘validation’ to mean that the theory that additional GHGs warm the atmosphere then its validated. Just how much warming that might be is still uncertain. Hopefully Max will turn out to be correct with his 1 deg C figure for CO2 sensitivity but the empirical evidence doesn’t point that way.

  116. 116
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Yes, Peter, there are lots of “theories” – and different people have different views about which is “better” or “most likely” or is the “general fit” that is the least bad … and so and so on. And, yes, as I’ve said countless times before (you don’t pay attention do you?), the theory that additional GHGs warm the atmosphere is indeed validated.

    But, struggle as you may, you cannot avoid the plain fact of your inability to refer us to published research citing empirical evidence that (a) man’s GHG emissions were the principal cause of recent warming and (b) that further such emissions will cause dangerous climate change. And, until you can refer us to such evidence, the dangerous AGW hypothesis continues to be no more than another interesting hypothesis.

  117. 117
    tempterrain Says:


    I was wondering when you were going to play on the non-scientific meaning of the word theory. “Just a theory” is what the Creationists say about Evolution. There is no need to put quote marks around the word. To have a theory which you describe as validated is what science is all about!

    You say the theory that “additional GHGs warm the atmosphere is indeed validated.” then you question the mainstream scientific view that “man’s GHG emissions were [most likely to be -PM] the principal cause of recent warming”.

    Sounds like you are contradicting yourself there Robin!

  118. 118
    Robin Guenier Says:


    You claim that it’s “the mainstream scientific view” that “man’s GHG emissions were the principal cause of recent warming”. OK – then it should be very simple indeed for you to refer to the published research that cites empirical evidence substantiating that “view”. And, when you’ve done that, the next step is to refer also to the published research that cites empirical evidence that further such emissions will cause dangerous climate change. When you’ve done that you will have made substantial progress towards showing that the dangerous AGW hypothesis is more than just another unverified hypothesis.

  119. 119
    tempterrain Says:


    In November 2007, the American Physical Society (APS) adopted an official statement on climate change:

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

    The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

    Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases”

    There are many similar declarations. They are based on not just one scientific paper but on many as categorised by the IPCC. There are papers on the amount of warming, measured empirically, some groups will have published how CO2 has increased, this again is more empirical evidence, others will have done isotope tests to show that the CO2 is of anthropogenic origin. And yes this is backed up by those who have measured IR absorption by C02 in the laboratory and even those dreaded computer types who have modelled it all!

  120. 120
    Robin Guenier Says:


    “Official statements” from important bodies are not science. Science is based on empirical evidence – as I said in an earlier post, such evidence is the bedrock upon which science has been based for hundreds of years. But, yes, there’s lots of such evidence that the world is warming and that man-made CO2 emissions have increased. But, so far, there is no such evidence that such emissions were the principal cause of the recent warming (of a few tenths of a degree C) or that more such emissions will cause dangerous climate change. If you disagree, please refer to it. Thanks.

  121. 121
    Barelysane Says:

    Peter reur #119

    That is a statement from the governing board of the society not necessarily it’s members, so of which most definately disagree.

    However, the whole arguement is a little irrelevant as it’s classic “appeal to authority”. Although if;

    The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.


    Is true there must be vast swathes of emprical evidence available for you to post, look forward to reading it.

  122. 122
    Barelysane Says:

    so of which = some of which

  123. 123
    barelysane Says:

    actually my 121 is basically just one long typo by the looks of it, nevermind, you can get the gist anyway :)

  124. 124
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I said at #120 that “Official statements” from important bodies are not science. I expect you agree. You pointed out (no doubt correctly) that such a statement does not necessarily represent the views of the organisation’s members. But I hope would also agree that, even in the unlikely event that the APS had conducted a poll of its members that had determined that a majority agreed that further emissions of GHGs would cause dangerous climate change, that would not be science either. Science is not a matter for majority vote.

  125. 125
    Barelysane Says:


    Absolutely not, i take it on trust that everything a scientist says is factually correct and most definately doesn’t require repeat verification or evidence of any kind whatsoever. If only certain politicians and pesky bloggers could be expected to behave with such a stringent code of ethics and accuracy the world would be a much better and cooler place.

    Sorry, seems to have had a bit of an identity crisis for a moment.

    (btw when i posted my 121 your 120 hadn’t appeared, assuming i have so weird caching issues going on on this pc)

  126. 126
    manacker Says:


    You wrote:

    Just leaving aside, for now, the question of what the CO2 sensitivity might turn out to be, we need to know if the current levels of CO2 mean that we are 44% or 75% of the way there.

    The key issue here is the CO2 sensitivity. Prof. Richard Lindzen has estimated this to be around 1C, as has IPCC (Myhre et al.). As I pointed out, this checks fairly well with actual physical observations.

    A secondary issue, then, is whether we are 45% or 75% of the way there, i.e. whether we have seen 0.45C or 0.75C GH warming since 1850.

    I would personally think the lower number is more likely, based on the observed physical evidence, since the entire warming we have seen is only 0.65C.

    In addition, the logarithmic relation would point to the lower number.

    But this brings up my questions to you (105).

    Have you had a chance to study them a bit yet?


  127. 127
    manacker Says:


    You opined to Robin:

    Hopefully Max will turn out to be correct with his 1 deg C figure for CO2 sensitivity but the empirical evidence doesn’t point that way.

    You are wrong here, Peter.

    As I showed you (91) the empirical evidence does point to a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of around 1C. Check out the figures, Peter, and you will see that this is the case.


  128. 128
    manacker Says:

    Barelysane and Robin (124/125)

    You bring up a valid question.

    Why should a scientist be more honest by definition than a politician or an insurance salesman?

    The recent Climategate revelations have cast some doubts concerning the integrity of several very influential climate scientists.

    But I believe that there is no higher percentage of “dishonest” climatologists than there is of “dishonest” politicians or insurance salesmen.

    It is more worrying if a process rewards dishonesty, especially if this process is being driven by fear.

    For example, if politicians honestly believe that they are doing what is best for humanity by stopping human-induced global warming, they will see to it that climate scientists who report the dangers of AGW will receive funding. Less honest politicians, who simply see that it is in their personal interest, will do the same.

    The astute climate scientists will see that they need to report dire consequences from AGW in order to receive government funding. “Everything is just fine” is an unacceptable conclusion, which will ensure no repeat funding.

    The IPCC also needs to report dire consequences from AGW, or it loses its very reason to exist.

    The underlying driver for the AGW premise is fear. The public must be made to fear the consequences of AGW.

    If we were talking about small sums of money this would be a minor problem, but we are talking about several billions of dollars.

    Carbon taxes are being proposed that involve hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars. It is generally known that extremely large sums of money can corrupt.

    Many individuals, corporations, money shufflers, hedge funds and other organizations stand to gain billions of these dollars, and are therefore interested in keeping the fear alive. The media have always liked “impending disaster” stories, and this is a perfect one.

    But the general public is beginning to see through the fear mongering.

    Leaked e-mails are demonstrating that the scientists have manipulated the data upon which the dire consequences projected by IPCC are based, and that exaggerated or outright fictitious claims have been made by IPCC in order to keep the fear alive. Even worse, it appears that this has been a general trend, rather than just one or two isolated incidents.

    An increasing number of scientists are openly pointing out the basic errors in the science supporting the premise of dangerous AGW.

    And, worst of all for the fear mongers, the climate appears to have stopped warming.

    But back to the original premise. I believe that the root cause of any personal dishonesty on the part of climate scientists is a basically corrupt process, which rewards dishonesty.


  129. 129
    geoffchambers Says:

    There’s an interview with Lovelock here
    which will have the warmists knickers in a twist for months to come.

  130. 130
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I have made no allegation or observation about the honesty or otherwise of scientists. Nor did I bring up the matter. I have no reason to believe that intrinsically they are any more or less honest than anyone else – be they politician, insurance salesman, nurse, lawyer, journalist, policeman, businessman … or even banker. My point was simply that the result of an opinion poll of scientists’ views is not scientific evidence. A very different matter.

    I do, however, agree that a scientist (like – to take a recent example – a banker) can be prejudiced by the circumstances of his profession: if his income, family security, prospects, public reputation, professional standing, even personal safety are enhanced by his adopting a particular point of view, it takes exceptional character to jeopardise these things by taking an opposing point view. The best historical example is probably the Soviet regime’s vehement support for the agronomist Trofim Jysenko’s theories regarding an agricultural technique which he claimed would massively increase crop yields – a disastrous support that was a major reason for the crisis in Soviet collectivisation policies. Yet many scientists, especially geneticists, who had spoken out (honestly and bravely) against the theory were professionally (and, in many cases, personally) ruined.

  131. 131
    tempterrain Says:


    You’re wrong again. No single paper can address all the issues on AGW. Or if it can, I have yet to see it. That’s why the IPCC , and I hope you agree that they are an important body, was set up and their last series of reports in 2007 were indeed both in the form of “official statements” and scientific interpretation of literally 1000′s of papers. The IPCC report represents the position of mainstream science. If you are rejecting that you are rejecting science too.

    I’m sure you are going to point to the error over the Himalayan glaciers trying to make the case that because the report wasn’t 100% correct therefore it must be 0% correct. Scientists aren’t infallible but they get it right more often lawyers and judges!



    Lets just get this point cleared up then we can move on to the rest of the discussion.

    Is it 44% or is it 75% ?

  132. 132
    tempterrain Says:


    Please ignore the last part of the last post. I’d missed your #126. For a while there I was thinking that you couldn’t bring yourself to admit that Lindzen and Carter were wrong!

    The second link in #100 shows a world map with some areas showing little or no warming whilst some areas have warmed by several degrees. I was just wondering what your explanation might be for that?

    Wouldn’t you expect everything you warm up evenly?

  133. 133
    barelysane Says:


    OT – from the guardian thread.

    Geoff i really do recommend the book, it does have a few ideas that i get the impression many “warmists” simply don’t understand, they just see Gaia and get all mother earth. The central part of the hypothesis is that the earth is a “self regulating biosphere that acts to maintain homeostasis”, think feedbacks. Well worth a read.

  134. 134
    Brute Says:

    Been shopping a new “grocery getter”. I think this will do nicely. This would solve a lot of parking problems…………

    Whadya think Pete?

    Ford F-650


  135. 135
    Brute Says:

    I do, however, agree that a scientist (like – to take a recent example – a banker) can be prejudiced by the circumstances of his profession: if his income, family security, prospects, public reputation, professional standing, even personal safety are enhanced by his adopting a particular point of view……


    And therein lies the rub……these guys are leeches on the public dole dressed up in lab-coats. They justify their extremely expensive hobbies professing their “altruistic virtues” and their “self sacrifice”.

    The truth is these guys are histrionic in their core beliefs and have been indoctrinated through years of brainwashing all the while basking in the thin veneer of their fleeting stardom.

    These were the guys with the pocket protectors that couldn’t get a date……suddenly they’ve discovered that they can stand in front of a podium and pontificate to the great unwashed…….while raiding the public treasury year after year to fund their idiotic fantasies.

    They’ve become the rock-stars of the scientific community…………jet setting to exotic destinations to study Slugs…………all on the public’s dime.

    It’s a good gig if you can pull the wool over the eyes of the starry eyed coeds and the ideologically bankrupt politicians.

    Maybe I’ve painted with too broad a brush here…………however, I run into these charlatans every day.

  136. 136
    manacker Says:


    You opined to Robin

    The IPCC report represents the position of mainstream science. If you are rejecting that you are rejecting science too.

    This is a very naive statement, Peter, and it is basically wrong. One can reject large portions of IPCC 2007 AR4 WG1 and SPM exactly because of the poor science. Other parts are OK, but to claim that the whole report must be swallowed in its entirety, otherwise “you are rejecting science” is blatantly absurd.

    You are beginning to sound more and more like a religious fundamentalist defending every word in the Holy Bible as absolute truth.

    Can’t you see this?


    PS Are you going to answer the few simple questions I asked you, or do you prefer to avoid getting that specific?

  137. 137
    Brute Says:

    Gulf Stream ‘is not slowing down’

  138. 138
    manacker Says:


    You had some harsh words for the alarmist climate scientists, and I agree.

    In my past I knew quite a few scientists (none were “climatologists”). These were people working in industry, mostly in R+D jobs. They were not much different from other employees: some good, some bad, some hard-working, some lazy, some exceptional.

    I only met very few scientists who were on the government dole, and this contact was mostly limited.

    The problem we have now is that “climatology” (the modern form of astrology, with the crystal ball replaced by computerized climate models) has become a multi-billion dollar business, paid almost entirely by taxpayer funding, e.g. steered by politicians.

    As I pointed out earlier the whole process is rotten and corrupt. Dishonesty (or hyperbole) is rewarded; honesty (or simply sticking with the facts) is punished. Agenda driven science is encouraged.

    Climatology has been infiltrated by the likes of James E. Hansen, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, etc., and these in turn bring in more like-minded types. Some may actually think they are trying to “save the planet”, while others are simply charlatans. Peer review is a farce and editors of scientific journals are part of the problem.

    I am hopeful that it will now get cleaned up, but it will require not only many personnel changes (including a complete dismantling of the IPCC), but also a basic change in how climatology is funded.

    It is the process that needs to be cleaned up. Only then can the climatologists, themselves, begin to act like real scientists.


  139. 139
    manacker Says:


    Thanks for the good news on the Gulf Stream. Looks like central Europeans won’t have to worry about a new Ice Age (caused by AGW, of course) just yet.

    What a relief!


  140. 140
    Brute Says:

    Yes Max, I was harsh…………I’ve not been know to mince words……something the world desperately needs right now.

    Global Warming/”Climatology” has become big business and a soapbox for political ideologists to spout their rhetoric.

    Gone are the days of Jonas Salk, Edwin Hubble and Dr. Charles Drew I’m afraid.

    What we’re left with is Jimmie “Panama Red” Hansen, Phil “Fat-finger” Jones and Michael “The Lumberjack” Mann…………two bit, washed up “activists” more interested in making a name for themselves and spouting their political “philosophical” doctrines than furthering the once highly noble disciplines of scientific rigor.

    My apologies to Tony N…………

    Speaking of men of high principle and discipline, we visted the Edison winter estate in Fort Myers this January………I highly recommend it if you get back over here.

  141. 141
    geoffchambers Says:

    BarelySane #133 Thanks for the recommend for the Lovelock book. I wasn’t being sarcastic when I asked what was in it on the Guardian thread. Anyway, not necessary now, as he has revealed himself as an original thinker and the poor Guardian regulars are running round like an upturned ants’ nest. He says that the CRU scientists are corrupt or stupid, that you can’t forecast temperatures decades in advance, that man-made warming may not kick in for a thousand years etc. And he admires Lord Lawson and other “good” sceptics.

    Oh, and talking of CRU, “careers have been ended by this affair”.
    Does he know something we don’t?

  142. 142
    tempterrain Says:


    The position of mainstream science isn’t fixed. It’s you who are naive in comparing the IPCC reports to the Bible which clearly is static. In fact you could say it was writ, at least parts of it, in stone!

    It’s fair enough that the IPCC have been criticised for getting the Himalayan glaciers story wrong. However , unlike the RC church, no-one is claiming infallibility. It will be corrected next time and that will be the new mainstream scientific position – if it isn’t already.

    That’s the way science works. Mistakes are made, mistakes are corrected. The science we have now is better than it was ten years ago but not as good as it will be in ten years time. But , we don’t know what that will be. On the AGW issue it may move more in your drection , equally, it may well move away from it.

    However, the only smart thing, on all issues- not just AGW, is to stick with the best scientific knowledge we have right now.

  143. 143
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Lysenkoism and James Hansen
    An interesting article by Bob Carter, also titled;

  144. 144
    manacker Says:


    The position of mainstream science isn’t fixed.

    Take out the silly word “mainstream”, Peter.

    The position of science is not fixed. It never is.

    Yes, mistakes are made and corrected. This is what science is all about.

    It now appears that many mistakes are being revealed, which supported the IPCC premise of dangerous AGW.

    These include, most notably, the postulations that “positive feedbacks” greatly enhance the theoretical GH warming from CO2 and that unseen GH warming is being “hidden in the pipeline”.

    These are the two unsubstantiated suggestions that change the AGW outcome from a minor, probably positive, impact to a postulated disaster.

    Fortunately for us all, the “best scientific knowledge we have now” has shown them both to be false, so yes “science is definitely better” than it was just a few years ago, when IPCC AR4 WG1 and SPM 2007 were published.

    But how about addressing the specific questions I asked you?


  145. 145
    manacker Says:


    The “Doomed Planet” article by Bob Carter, which you cite lists the genesis of Lysenkoism:

    Lysenkoism grew from four main roots:
    · a necessity to demonstrate the practical relevance of science to the needs of society;
    · the amassing of evidence to show the “correctness” of the concept as a substitute for causal proof;
    · noble cause corruption, whereby data are manipulated to support a cause which is seen as a higher truth; and
    · ideological zeal, such that dissidents are silenced as “enemies of the truth”.

    Wow! This is exactly the same path that the AGW hysteria has taken!


  146. 146
    Robin Guenier Says:


    You really don’t get it, do you? Of course I’m not asking you to produce a “single paper [addressing] all the issues on AGW”. Your problem is this: you have no difficulty referring us to research providing evidence that the Earth has warmed, that GHGs cause atmospheric warming and that mankind’s GHG emissions have increased over recent years. But these are peripheral issues – albeit important peripheral issues. The IPCC refers to evidence for these and many other peripheral issues – hence the “1000s of papers” to which you refer. But, as you know, there are two specific issues that are fundamental to the dangerous AGW hypothesis: (1) that such emissions were the principal cause of recent warming and (2) that more such emissions will cause dangerous climate change. What I am requesting is that you cite for us published research that refers to empirical evidence (that can be confirmed by third party scientists) supporting these specific propositions. You say that the IPCC “represents the position of mainstream science” on the matter. If you’re right about this and “mainstream science” supports these two propositions, the published research you should be looking for will be referred to in the IPCC report. If it’s not, it would seem that “mainstream science” does not support the propositions after all.

    Therefore, please cite for us, if you can, the relevant evidence referred to in the IPCC AR4 report. A tip: you should look in WGI, Chapter 9 (Understanding and Attributing Climate Change). Remember: until you can refer us to such evidence, the dangerous AGW hypothesis continues to be no more than yet another interesting hypothesis.

  147. 147
    tempterrain Says:


    If you are asking my opinion I would say that Kevin Trenberth is speculating. I wouldn’t expect him to disagree – I’m sure he knows that as well as anyone. This article is probably being pretty fair about what is known at present.

    We tend to focus on too short a timescale; that is what has happened in the individual years since the turn of the century, instead of the decade as a whole which is a lot warmer than the previous decade.

    Warming tends to happen in jumps. We’ve seen relatively level temperatures for the last few years. As the solar cycle changes we’ll see another jump in the next few years.

  148. 148
    tempterrain Says:


    If anyone is out of step with scientific opinion it is yourself!

    You may be right that I “don’t get” your thought processes. They seem quite bizarre.

    Are you now saying?
    1)Yes. The Earth has warmed.
    2)Yes. GHGs cause atmospheric warming
    3)Yes. Emissions of GHGs from human sources have increased amospheric concentrations of CO2 by 40% and have doubled CH4 levels.

    So far so good. But then you appear to contradict yourself by suggesting that these particular emissions didn’t cause the recent warming???

    It’s like I said, no one can prove it. But if you do accept points 1, 2 and 3 then its hard to follow how you can fail to consider, it to be at least quite likely, that they are all connected.

    90% likely according to the IPCC.

  149. 149
    barelysane Says:

    Peter reur #148

    It’s like I said, no one can prove it. But if you do accept points 1, 2 and 3 then its hard to follow how you can fail to consider, it to be at least quite likely, that they are all connected.

    Peter, this is not science, “mainstream” or otherwise, it’s a leap of faith.

    You say;

    It’s like I said, no one can prove it.

    This is the ultimate cop-out and has been in use by religions for centuries. It’s the sort of thinking that absolves us of the requirement to search for answers and finally the truth.


    But if you do accept points 1, 2 and 3 then its hard to follow how you can fail to consider, it to be at least quite likely, that they are all connected.

  150. 150
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Pay attention: I am not asking you to “prove” anything. Many factors can cause atmospheric warming – and have done since the Earth’s beginning 4.5 billion years ago. I am simply asking you to refer us to empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that Man’s emissions of GHGs were the principal cause of the warming at the end of the 20th century.

  151. 151
    barelysane Says:

    149 cont

    As it relates to increasing C02 causing dangerous warming is lazy at best. It completely ignores various feedbacks not least of which clouds which by the latest research are net negative.

    Why are you so unable to admit that the research that would demonstrate your contention that human derived CO2 emissions will cause danagerous warming simply does not currently exist. It may do in the future (it’s looking progressively less likely in my opinion), but right now all you have is a belief based on personal choice.

  152. 152
    tempterrain Says:


    Climate science is in many ways quite straightforward. If you accept the three points in 148 then it is hard to argue that GHGs weren’t the principle cause of of AGW in the 20th century especially as the solar flux, the only other known possible cause, was level during the same period.

    Allowing a human influence is the only way that the empirical evidence can be explained. And that’s just as valid a scientific a technique as being able to do an experiment in the laboratory.

    However, Quantum Mechanics is a bit like you say. That does require a leap of what might be called ‘scientific faith’. Its not really understandable by the human mind, the effects on the atomic scale are just too weird. However, the theory does a pretty good job in explaining phenomena that just cannot be explained any other way. Despite much controversy the theory stands.

    This links shows that it isn’t just me that has these crazy ideas on the role of GHG’s in the atmosphere!

  153. 153
    barelysane Says:


    especially as the solar flux, the only other known possible cause, was level during the same period.

    Peter, that is a blatant lie as you well know (by flux i assume you mean TSI, and even if you don’t it’s still utterly untrue). Just to refresh your memory, a far from exhaustive list of possible other causes.

    Measurement inaccurancies (UHI, tidal vs satellite altimetry, siting issues)
    Solar magnetics
    Orbital variences
    Cosmic radiation
    and of course fudged data

    Allowing a human influence is the only way that the empirical evidence can be explained. And that’s just as valid a scientific a technique as being able to do an experiment in the laboratory.

    The absence of evidence for something is not evidence for something else, unless you have elimated all other variables and by their own admission the various modellers, climate scientists, and IPCC haven’t. Sorry Peter, argument from ignorance isn’t going to win you any debates.

    That does require a leap of what might be called ’scientific faith’

    There is no such thing, science is evidence based. It is demostratable and reproduceable, anything else is faith or sociology. The rest of that paragraph is just meaningless waffle.

    Wiki is NOT a authoritative source for anything ever. Fine as a starting position, but don’t expect me or anyone else to take seriously anyone using that as a primary source of information (besides the alledged biases of wiki on this area are well documented).

    Either as everyone else has asked, provide direct empiracle evidence, demostrate that all other variable have been accounted for, or admit that the hypothesis of AGW is unverified.

  154. 154
    Barelysane Says:


    Incidentally, i’m also quite interested in how you reconcile your 9935 from the previous thread:

    Solar forcing is just as much subject to positive feedback as any other forcing.

    Any change of solar flux produces a direct change in the Earth’s temperature and also sets off a feedback in terms of the level of H2O in the atmosphere.

    I thought that was something you understood. But maybe I was wrong?

    With your 152 above:

    If you accept the three points in 148 then it is hard to argue that GHGs weren’t the principle cause of of AGW in the 20th century especially as the solar flux, the only other known possible cause, was level during the same period.

    You seem to be adopting different positions on both.

  155. 155
    Brute Says:

    Biblical plagues result of global warming say scientists

  156. 156
    barelysane Says:


    Great read, now who would be the modern day Moses for the 10 plagues of AGW?

  157. 157
    manacker Says:


    Your logic (148) appears sound on the surface, ignoring all other factors and without going into any real detail, but let’s look at it more closely, and see if we can confirm it with actually observed empirical data:

    1)Yes. The Earth has warmed.

    The Earth has, indeed warmed since the modern record started in 1850. There were three observed multi-decadal cycles of warming (late 19th century, early 20th century and late 20th century, which are statistically indistinguishable. The first two could not have been caused principally by human CO2, because there was hardly any.

    2)Yes. GHGs cause atmospheric warming

    The GH theory tells us this is true, and it is generally accepted that the natural greenhouse effect was caused principally by water in our atmosphere, and to a much smaller extent by CO2. Scientists tell us that the relation between GHGs and temperature is roughly logarithmic, and estimate (IPCC, Myhre et al.) that a doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature increase of around 1C.

    3)Yes. Emissions of GHGs from human sources have increased amospheric concentrations of CO2 by 40% and have doubled CH4 levels.

    CH4 levels have increased both naturally and from human emissions (roughly half for each), and their impact has been relatively minor, so the human impact is quite small and can be ignored (in any case, IPCC tells us that all anthropogenic forcings beside CO2 cancel one another out).

    CO2 has increased by around 38%, which should have resulted in a theoretical GH temperature increase of 0.46C. The record shows warming of 0.65C since it started, and solar scientists tell us that roughly half of this warming can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years). If we assume (a) that the estimate by the solar scientist is too high by a factor of two, and (b) that there were no other natural forcing factors (ENSO, etc.) or distortions to the record (UHI), we can confirm the theoretical 2xCO2 GHE of 1C. If, however, either of these assumptions is incorrect, the 2xCO2 GHE would be lower than 1C.

    So, yes, we have compelling empirical evidence that the 2xCO2 GHE is no more that 1C, and possibly less than 1C.

    If atmospheric CO2 continues to increase at the same compounded annual growth rate as it has over the past 20 years, we should reach a level of around 560 ppmv (or twice the estimated pre-industrial value of 280 ppmv) by year 2100. This would mean that we should see added warming beyond today of no more that 0.54C.

    So you see that your “broad brush” statements confirm that AGW is not a serious potential threat, once they are examined more closely.

    Can we now agree?

    If not, please get specific as to why not (with logic and figures, rather than “because 2,500 scientists said so”).


  158. 158
    manacker Says:

    barelysane and Brute

    The sequel to the “ancient plagues” story: On the way out of plague-ravaged Egypt, Moses spotted the burning bush and the two stone tablets with the 10 commandments:

    Thou shalt not have a large carbon footprint

    Thou shalt not drive a big, powerful SUV…


  159. 159
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (#152):

    You say that, other than AGW, solar flux is “the only other known possible cause” of recent warming, that “human influence is the only way that the empirical evidence [for such warming] can be explained” and that it “just cannot be explained any other way”. In so doing, you display your ignorance – as Barelysane has observed. As I noted this morning, many factors (some known, some probably unknown) can cause atmospheric warming – and have done since the Earth’s beginning 4.5 billion years ago. (They may even have caused the biblical plagues – see Brute’s #155.) But then, as is now obvious, constrained by your own quasi religious beliefs, you don’t pay attention to anything others say here.

    So I will quote in its entirety my #114, dated only the day before yesterday:

    Yes, there is empirical evidence that GHGs have a warming effect on the atmosphere. Yes, there is empirical evidence that GHG emissions have increased in recent decades – notably very recently. Yes, there is empirical evidence that the Earth has warmed (by a few tenths of one degree Centigrade) since the beginning of the 19th century – the correlation with the above GHG emissions being very poor. So, do we understand what caused the warming? No, we don’t: we understand it little (if any) better than we understand what caused the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period – and the many other temperature fluctuations of the Earth’s temperature during the Holocene and before that (not least the big temperature changes that occurred as we emerged from the last ice age about 12,000 years ago – itself just one of other ice ages that have occurred on approximately one hundred thousand year cycles for nearly one million years). We do know, to take but one example, that the movements between the layers within the vast oceans are a source of temperature variability and may even account for all climate change since the 19th century (Tsonis et al, 2007). But are they fully understood? No, they’re not. What we do know, however, is that the Earth’s climate is never in equilibrium.

    Does this support the hypothesis that mankind’s emissions of GHGs are the only possible cause of recent warming and, if they continue, will cause dangerous climate change?

    No, it does not.

  160. 160
    Brute Says:


    You know, I was going to respond with something cute/sarcastic……but the entire debate is simply ridiculous.

    Last week there was a report that some scientist attributed global warming to causing his divorce or something equally ludicrous…Why anyone takes what these carnival barkers have to say seriously is beyond me.

    At first I thought that the global warming “believers” were just easily led, gullible people……but after all of the recent events (proof of data manipulation/fraud, collusion, distortions and outright lies); I’m convinced that they want to believe so strongly that no matter what the evidence is, they dismiss it……

  161. 161
    manacker Says:


    I have shown you (157) that the empirical observations point to a 2xCO2 GH impact of no more than 1C.

    Robin has pointed out that there are many other factors, which could influence our climate.

    We all know that the year 1998 showed an unusually high temperature anomaly, largely as the result of a very strong El Niño event, but this ENSO warming impact was not just confined to the year 1998.

    NOAA has made an estimate of the ENSO impact on late 20th century temperature.

    From these data we see that the ENSO impact alone on the 1976-2000 warming trend was around one-third of the observed linear trend of around 0.15C per decade.

    The most recent cooling despite record increase in CO2 is also being attributed by Met Office to “natural variability”, including an ENSO impact, this time a cooling La Niña effect. Of course, solar activity has also dropped to a very low level, as Solar Cycle 24 is having a hard time getting started, and this follows a 20th century period of very high solar activity, so this is likely also a part of the “natural variability” cited by Met Office.

    So Robin’s point is well taken: we know from recent as well as longer-term history that natural factors have played and are playing a major role in our planet’s climate, but we do not really understand how to quantify the impact of these natural forcing factors. This makes it virtually impossible to quantify the impact of anthropogenic factors.

    One can probably estimate an “upper limit” of the anthropogenic forcing based on the observed data (as I have done), but getting much closer than that would be very difficult.


  162. 162
    manacker Says:


    There you go again, blathering the tired old “can’t explain it any other way” saw again (152), this time to barelysane:

    Allowing a human influence is the only way that the empirical evidence can be explained.

    This is not true, Peter. The empirical evidence shows that there were three statistically equivalent warming periods, the first two of which cannot be explained by GH theory.

    The third (the late 20th century warming) is the period for which IPCC makes this claim.

    So the logic goes:

    1. our computers cannot explain the late 19th century or early 20th century warming periods

    2. our computers know that the late 20th century warming was caused principally by human GHG emissions, primarily CO2

    3. how do our computers know that this is the case?

    4. because our computers cannot explin it any other way.

    Peter, forget that one. It does not pass the credibility test.


  163. 163
    tempterrain Says:


    I know you like to delude yourself with the idea that AGW is just a computer glitch but the following is a more sensible way of describing the process.

    a) The observed change is not consistent with natural variability.
    b) Known natural forcings would, if anything, be negative over this period.
    c) Known anthropogenic forcings are consistent with the observed response.
    d) The pattern of the observed change is consistent with the anthropogenic forcing.

    According to the IPCC global temperatures increased by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) between the start and the end of the 20th century.

    Yes you are also correct when you say , so far, the non CO2 influences have cancelled each other out. If we take the figure of 44% which you now begrudgingly accept to be correct, then this would mean CO2 sensitivity (CO2 doubling) to be:

    0.74/0.44 = 1.7 deg C.

    Now this is on the lower end of the IPCC estimates, and you’ll understand why this simple calculation (requiring no computers) gives too low a figure, but at least you are now in the range!

  164. 164
    Brute Says:

    Must be a sensor malfunction……..

    Nothing To Sea Hear

  165. 165
    manacker Says:


    You state (163) that I “like to delude myself with the idea that AGW is just a computer glitch”.

    I have no notion where you got this absurd idea. Can you explain how you came to this erroneous conclusion? If you check the record, you’ll see that I have always conceded that there may well be a bit of warming caused by anthropogenic factors.

    But you, Peter, have “deluded yourself with the idea that AGW” is the only factor that has caused 20th century warming, an assumption that has been invalidated most recently by the 21st century cooling, despite record CO2 increase, which was attributed by Met Office to natural variability (a.k.a. natural forcing).

    As I pointed out to you earlier, several solar scientists have estimated that around half of the 20th century warming, or 0.35C (average of the estimates) can be attributed to the unusually high level of solar activity (highest in several thousand years). Note: The average of the peak Wolf Numbers of Solar Cycles 19-23 (1955-2008) was 68% higher than that of Solar Cycles 10-14 (1858-1902).

    NOAA tells us that late 20th century ENSO patterns also contributed to the warming of the 1990s, including, of course, the modern record year of 1998, as we all know. The NOAA estimates point to around 0.1 to 0.2C of the 20th century warming caused by the strong late 20th century El Niños.

    In addition, a major part of the warming we have seen since the modern record started in 1850 occurred prior to the end of WWII, before CO2 could have played much of a role.

    So, armed with these facts, let’s take a look at your arithmetic.

    You write:

    If we take the figure of 44% which you now begrudgingly accept to be correct, then this would mean CO2 sensitivity (CO2 doubling) to be:
    0.74/0.44 = 1.7 deg C.

    20th century warming (1901-2000) was 0.65C, according to HadCRUT. IPCC “modified” the conventional definition of the 20th century to avoid a early cooling cycle, changing it to 1906-2005. The HadCRUT record shows 0.74C total observed warming over this newly defined 20th century (as you state).

    If we take the solar scientists’ estimates of 0.35C and the mid-range of the NOAA estimate for ENSO impact of 0.15C, we are left with:

    0.74 – 0.35 – 0.15 = 0.24C attributed to AGW (= CO2 impact, 1906-2005)

    By end 2005 atmospheric CO2 was at 379 ppmv, so your 44% is correct, based on the logarithmic relation.

    So the 2xCO2 impact can be calculated as: 0.24 / 0.44 = 0.55C

    If we assume that the solar scientists exaggerated the solar impact by a factor of two, and if we take the low end of the NOAA estimate for ENSO impact we have a new calculation:

    0.74 – 0.18 – 0.1 = 0.55C attributed to AGW (= CO2 impact, 1906-2005)

    and the 2xCO2 impact would be: 0.55 / 0.44 = 1.25C

    So, a reasonable estimate of the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity based on observed 20th century temperatures, CO2 concentrations, ENSO oscillations and solar activity is 0.55 – 1.25C, or expressed scientifically 0.9±0.35K.

    Now we have a figure that makes sense, Peter, but let’s check it against IPCC claims.

    Not even IPCC is so silly to assume that all 20th century warming was caused by AGW. In their 2007 AR4 WG1 report (Ch.9) they clearly state:

    Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused most of the observed global warming over the past 50 years. This conclusion takes into account observational and forcing uncertainty, and the possibility that the response to solar forcing could be underestimated by climate models.

    HadCRUT tells us that 1956-2005 warming was 0.58C. Let’s say that “most of the observed global warming over the past 50 years” would be 70% or 0.41C, and that AGW was responsible for 30% of the balance of 20th century warming: 0.3 * (0.74 – 0.58) = 0.05C, for a total 20th century GH warming of 0.46C.

    We can then calculate the 2xCO2 impact:

    0.46 / 0.44 = 1.04C (pretty much in the middle of the range calculated previously).

    Looks like 1C is a pretty good number for the observed 2xCO2 GH impact, when all other factors are taken into account.

    This also happens to be the same 2xCO2 impact cited by IPCC (Myhre et al.), excluding any assumed feedbacks, so it tells me that the feedback assumptions (which are based on model simulations rather than physical observations) are invalidated by the observed data.

    Hope this helps clear this up for you, Peter.



  166. 166
    Robin Guenier Says:

    How objective is Roger Harrabin?

    Here’s a most interesting (especially I suggest to TonyN) find related by Robin Horby on BiasedBBC. He’s found that Roger Harrabin is registered with the Gordon Poole Agency (his entry here) to “chair sessions at plush conferences on climate change themes”. His fee is £5k to £10K. And the many conferences with which he has been involved would seem all to be designed to further the alarmist agenda.

    Far be it from me to criticise anyone for being registered with that Agency (the reason will be apparent from this) but I think it deplorable that Harrabin, who should be obliged by his employment not to be influenced by bias or personal interest re AGW, should be exploiting his licence fee funded role at the BBC and to make “bucketloads of cash” in a way that seems likely to jeopardise his objectivity and arguably his integrity.

  167. 167
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Der Speigel has published a major criticism of AGW scaremongering. The article is long, detailed and full of quotable extracts. For example, it describes PeterM’s erstwhile hero, Phil Jones, as someone who “does not come across as an objective scientist, but rather as an activist or missionary who views ‘his’ data as his personal shrine and is intent on protecting it from the critical eyes of his detractors”. But I liked this in particular. It quotes Reinhard Hüttl, head of the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam and president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, as saying that basic values are now under threat:

    “Scientists should never be as wedded to their theories that they are no longer capable of refuting them in the light of new findings,” he says. Scientific research, Hüttl adds, is all about results, not beliefs.


  168. 168
    manacker Says:


    The “Der Spiegel” article is very revealing. Recent polls tell us that public opinion in Germany has apparently shifted from a large majority (over two-thirds) believing the dangerous AGW hypothesis a few years ago to a small majority (52%) no longer supporting this premise today.

    This shift is obviously not a result of people becoming less informed on this issue (as Peter would have us believe), but on precisely the opposite.

    To the magical “two degree limit”, which EU politicians have been throwing around as an “upper acceptable limit”, the article states:

    As tempting as it sounds, on closer inspection this approach proves to be nothing but a sleight of hand. That’s because humans are children of an ice age. For many thousands of years, they struggled to survive in a climate that was as least four degrees colder than it is today, and at times even more than eight degrees colder.

    This means that, on balance, mankind has already survived far more severe temperature fluctuations than two degrees. And the cold periods were always the worst periods. Besides, modern civilizations have far more technical means of adapting to climate change than earlier societies had.

    And Hans von Storch has criticized the concept:

    “The two-degree target has little to do with serious science,” says Hans von Storch. Many of his fellow scientists, he adds, now see themselves too much as political activists who want to get something done. This, in turn, harms the credibility of science as a whole, he adds, and it is also a more deep-seated cause of the Climategate affair and the sloppy work on the IPCC report.

    “Unfortunately, some of my colleagues behave like pastors, who present their results in precisely such a way that they’ll fit to their sermons,” says Storch. “It’s certainly no coincidence that all the mistakes that became public always tended in the direction of exaggeration and alarmism.”

    [Recent scientific studies have shown that a two-degree warming above today’s level is highly unlikely to occur as a result of AGW even if no mitigating actions are taken, so the political discussion around this upper limit is really a hollow one.]

    It is very refreshing that “Der Spiegel” has the courage to publish such an open and unbiased critique of the AGW scare.

    Swiss journals have begun to follow (rather timidly, so far), with the weekly “Die Weltwoche” (a right-of-center publication) taking the lead.. The Guardian (and BBC) still lag a bit behind “Der Spiegel”, and the US MSM (other than Fox and WSJ) are still treading the “PC” path, but change is definitely in the air, as public opinion has shifted due, in part, to the Climategate revelations, and the general public has become more informed on the issues.


  169. 169
    Brute Says:


    What do you think is going on here? My thoughts are there must be some type of instrument malfunction. I can’t see any naturally occurring scenario that would cause this great of a deviation………

    I applaud the result………I’m encouraged that the ice cap is growing……I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. (I’m even skeptical of positive news).


  170. 170
    manacker Says:


    We’ll have to wait and see how NSIDC handle this surprising bit of bad news.

    - write it off to equipment malfunction (standard practice when observed results do not match theory or prediction)

    - rationalization that the ice is thinner than before (and will most likely no longer support the weight of a mother polar bear with cuddly cubs), so that we really have a net melting

    - rationalization that this is “new ice”, which is more vulnerable than “old ice”, and will, therefore, probably disappear more rapidly when it warms again

    - reset past measurements, to make “trend line” of net loss look steeper again

    - stop regular reporting of data and switch to something else that “proves” man-made global warming.

    “Science” is innovative; “climatology” knows no bounds.


  171. 171
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I don’t think anyone should get too excited about these Arctic ice data. After all, unlike last year, Antarctic sea ice extent is now (slightly) below the average. In any case, Arctic ice extents seem to bunch up in June (the so-called “straights of June”) whatever they were doing in March. Of course, the headlines are always about September – or, more accurately, they are if September levels appear abnormally low. I suspect these ice extent data really tell us little about global temperatures. These graphs may be helpful – I’m unsure.

  172. 172
    Bob_FJ Says:
    Click URL if no image:

    Multidecadal Ocean Cycles and Greenland and the Arctic
    By Joe D’Aleo
    May 12, 2008

  173. 173
    Jasper Gee Says:

    Haven’t looked here for a while, but from a quick skim it seems that VS’s explosive arrival on the climate scene may have escaped your notice. See

    Over 1000 comments in an altogether riveting narrative. Could even turn out to be a sort of Russell/Frege watershed for climate science: a must read.

  174. 174
    Brute Says:


    No, I’m not putting too much stock in the high sea ice number; I just find it rather curious.

    I fully expect the numbers to be “adjusted” sometime next week/month with the obligatory announcement that some technological “glitch” caused the high figure.

    Sea ice extent has been the poster child of the Anti-Human Agenda Warmists. Growing ice (meeting the “average extent of the last 30 years) is contrary to their doomsday assertions.

    As previously stated by global warming hysterians, the polar ice cap is expected to steadily decrease as soda-pop gas causes runaway warming melting the ice and turning Santa Claus’s compound into a red/white/green puddle of goo. The data would seem to run contrary to their previous assertions.

    Nothing to see here really as the Arctic ice waxes and wanes as it always has throughout time eternal (with a gradual trend toward melt for the last +/- 13,000 years).

    That being written, I find it hard to justify the statements, (by Eco-chondriacs), that miniscule amounts of plant food (CO2) is causing the entire planet to warm uniformly, melting the ice cap, when the extent of sea ice has been growing.

    Now, Peter Martin will pontificate that this is an “anomaly”, (attributing it to winds/El-Nino/Global “Dimming”/cow farts), but will not concede that the 2007 September minimum was also an “anomaly”……That as with the record blizzards just over a month ago, and the brutally harsh winter, this latest record extent ice pack will be attributed to “global warming as all along predicted by the climate model crystal balls”.

    Also, if the temperatures/sea ice extent actually supported the theory, why the need to make constant “adjustments”? (We Realists/Skeptics are simply too obtuse to understand the “complexities” of weather…..excuse me, “climate”).

    If the theory were to be supported by observation, the maximum extent would decrease year after year.

    As I wrote a while back, the Warmists constantly change the theory to fit the facts………after the fact.

  175. 175
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Jasper Gee:

    No, I hadn’t noted VS’s arrival on the scene. So thanks. But I’ve also been enjoying Willis Eschenbach’s contribition both as a commentator on the thread you referenced and in an opinion piece here.


    You’re dead right about Arctic ice extent being arguably the poster child for the warmists (although, for some unfathomable reason, they failed to mention the Antarctic’s record levels of sea ice). So this development is quite amusing. BTW I understand that the extract from Al Gore’s speech a year or two ago where he spoke about the entire Arctic ice cap disappearing in 5 years has mysteriously disappeared. Odd that.

  176. 176
    manacker Says:


    The Tisdale graphs you cited tell us that not very much has changed in either the Arctic or Antarctic temperatures, except the sea surface temperature has increased slightly in the Arctic. There have been many hypotheses to explain this, such as changing wind patterns and water currents, and NSIDC likes to link it to AGW.

    The fact that it happened before in the 1930s and 1940s is not PC to mention.

    The recent recovery of Arctic sea ice (back to the baseline value) may not mean anything in itself, but if we had seen the opposite trend, it would be news of a major man-made disaster for Bob_FJ’s cuddly polar bears (BTW the reclining bear looks like he had just lunched on a fat and juicy visiting climatologist).

    Look for either (a) silence or (b) one of the cop-outs I mentioned in 170.

    Peter will tell us that this one data point does not change the fact that the statistical trend line shows an alarming net decrease, which (if it continued) would result in (oh horrors!) an ice-free end-summer by 2030, 2050, 2100, 2150 (pick your year).

    After all, Arctic sea ice has been touted as the “canary in the coal mine”.


  177. 177
    Jasper Gee Says:

    Robin (and Max et al)

    In case the idea of ploughing through a 1250+ comment thread might seem a little daunting, may I whet your appetites with VS’s forthright dismissal of Eli Rabett

    and his equally scathing opinion of Tamino’s competence


    Regards, Jasper

  178. 178
    manacker Says:

    Jasper Gee

    The Bart Verheggen “global average temperature” thread you cited is very interesting, and VS has certainly been able to hold his own there. I have “lurked” there, but have not felt competent to contribute.

    When Eli Rabett tried “butting in” with a bit of sarcasm, VS shot him down pretty fast.

    As I understood the discussion, VS has questioned the robust statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature, based on the actual physical observations of empirical data.

    VS has made the point that, while correlation does not provide compelling evidence for causation, the lack of a robust statistical correlation based on empirical data from physical observations provides invalidation of causation.

    Several posters argued with this, raising many (mostly theoretical) points, but no one could satisfactorily convince VS that this correlation is statistically robust.

    Notable to me was the fact that (with a few exceptions) bloggers stayed on topic and avoided ad homs.


  179. 179
    Brute Says:

    The recent recovery of Arctic sea ice (back to the baseline value) may not mean anything in itself, but if we had seen the opposite trend, it would be news of a major man-made disaster…….

    Does this mean that data provided by NSIDC is somehow nefariously funded by British Petroleum or Exxon Mobil? That global warming skeptics have infiltrated the NSIDC and the place is now run entirely by Conservatives?

    Using Peter Martin’s rationale regarding empirical evidence, the cause of temperature increase/polar ice melt; may we now attribute the record high ice extent to CO2 simply because we have no other explanation?

    The “unprecedented” growth spurt of the Arctic Ice has to forebode a “dangerous” tipping point in Earth God Gaia’s health…………and accordingly, must be a result of my new flat screen television set.

    I’m waiting for the Leftist media sources to proclaim the headline reading: “Global Warming Causes Arctic Ice Increase!”

    As an aside Pete, I’ve managed to repair the Brute Estate’s farm tractor today without any help from the government…..thought you’d like to know that there are still a few people in the world that can manage things on their own…………..

  180. 180
    tempterrain Says:

    “The recent recovery of Arctic sea ice (back to the baseline value)”

    Unfortunately it hasn’t. I thought you’d previously understood the importance of looking at graphs? Maybe not!

    This is the lates long term graph I can find on the NSIDC website.

    It looks like one data point in the next graph for March may be on the high side but why not just wait and see what the graph looks like?

  181. 181
    Brute Says:

    Wow Pete, The Swedes and the Danes agree with NSIDC. Looks like you’re the odd man out….


  182. 182
    manacker Says:

    PeterM and Brute

    Yeah. The end-March Arctic sea ice extent shows a recovery but does not tell us much.

    More important is the sea ice extent at the end of summer (end September), when it is at its lowest extent, due to the annual summer melt-off.

    September 2007 was the low point, which triggered NSIDC and others to present dire forecasts of an imminent ice-free summer (with implied drastic survival impact on the hapless polar bears, who were apparently considered to be so inept that they could not adapt to such a situation, despite the fact that there have been warmer summers in the polar bears’ history, which they survived very nicely, thank you).

    By September 2009 (two short years later) the ice had recovered 39% of the total long-term loss from September 1979 to September 2007.

    The trend since satellite measurements started in 1979 shows us that if it were to continue receding at the linear rate observed since 1979, the Arctic would be ice-free by the end of summer 2110 (101 years after 2009).

    As we all know, there were periods in the 1930s and 1940s when Arctic temperatures were a bit warmer than today. There were no satellite measurements of sea ice back then, but Russian measurements tell us the sea ice extent was lower then than today.

    So this all tells us that it is unlikely that the Arctic sea ice will continue to recede at the same rate we have seen since satellite measurements started, but rather recede and expand in multi-decadal cycles as it has done in the past.

    But who knows? Not me. Neither of you. Not Marc Serreze of NSIDC and certainly not IPCC.


  183. 183
    Robin Guenier Says:

    I agree with Max that (as I said before) current Arctic sea ice recovery does not tell us much – wait till September for short term conclusions. But studies by Polyakov et al (2000-2003) show that such ice was at lower levels in the 1930/40s than today and paleoclimatic records show that near tropical temperatures have existed in northern latitudes in the past. So data “since records began” 30 years ago (i.e satellite records) are pretty meaningless. Nonetheless, the March “recovery” is amusing. See, for example, this article (Arctic ice recovers from the great melt) in today’s Sunday Times. Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – who quite recently warned the world of the Arctic ice’s “death spiral” – now says that “In retrospect, the reactions to the 2007 melt were overstated. The lesson is that we must be more careful in not reading too much into one event.” But alarmists needn’t worry as we’re assured by the Met Office’s Vicky Pope that “The reality is that greenhouse gases are making the world warmer, but it is a mistake to see short-term changes in weather, currents or Arctic ice cover as evidence of this.” You see, once again, we really must learn to distinguish weather from climate – i.e. it’s only climate when it gets warmer. She now expects that the Arctic “will still become ice-free in summer by around 2060.” Some relief, I suppose, from the 2013 previously predicted – and convenient for Vicky as she’s unlikely to be around in 50 years time. The really welcome news is the reprieve for the polar bears.

    What’s the betting that, if Arctic ice increases while Antarctic ice increases (not improbable), alarmist attention will switch firmly to the South?

  184. 184
    Brute Says:


    Speaking strictly in terms of thermodynamics, increased Arctic Ice Extent would indicate less heat (the absence of heat) in the system……..conversely, decreases in Arctic Ice Extent would indicate increased heat in the system.

    All things being equal, (although it never is within a chaotic system such as Earth’s atmosphere), I really don’t see any difference between winter maximums and summer minimums. Heat is heat………lack of heat results in colder temperature/more ice, blizzards, record snowfall……

    Without getting mired in discussions of undersea volcanoes, wind/ocean current patterns, albedo, etc……..the global warming theory (generally) states that the Arctic ice should decrease year after year with each winter maximum being lower and each summer minimum being deeper………that isn’t happening.

    Postulating about how many fairies can dance on the head of a pin is not science………the bottom line is that the ice has grown this year, and every year since 2007, (summer and winter) which contradicts the theory.

    I won’t bring it up again because I think it’s about as indicative as a summer thunderstorm being attributed to global warming………however, it does refute, (as do many other incidental facts), the general theory.

    Happy Easter.


    Please provide a link to any climate model that prophesizes an increase in Arctic Sea Ice due to global warming…………I’ve never seen one.

    I won’t even bring up the statements by global warming lunatics claiming an “ice free Arctic” (Al “D student” Gore) in 2010/2012/2015,2020……

  185. 185
    Brute Says:

    The global warming nuts are fumbling around trying to explain the Arctic Ice number………

    Quote of the week #33: What, no death spiral?

    I was reminded by Richard North via email today of this grouchy wordplay from NSIDC when Joe Romm wrote up a piece last year on this subject:

    Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThatClimate Progress, June 5th, 2009

    Okay, let’s compare that to what Dr. Serreze said this week in an interview with The Sunday Times:

    “In retrospect, the reactions to the 2007 melt were overstated. The lesson is that we must be more careful in not reading too much into one event,” Serreze said.
    Source: The Sunday Times – Arctic ice recovers from the great melt

    A timeline for the “breathtakingly ignorant” follows.

    2007: record Arctic ice minimum in 2007 – big news, unprecedented, shocking, Navy postgraduate school scientist says Arctic summers to be ice-free ‘by 2013?

    2008: ditto, this year’s ice recovery is just a blip, it’s really caught in a “death spiral”

    2009: ditto, this recovery for a second year means nothing – Arctic continues death spiral, you people are breathtakingly ignorant

    2010: Arctic sea ice approaches normal for this time of year, first time since 2001 – “…reactions to the 2007 melt were overstated…we must be more careful in not reading too much into one event”

  186. 186
    Robin Guenier Says:


    It seems this Arctic ice story won’t die. Now Richard North has posted a detailed commentary on Mark Serreze’s progression from cautious scientist to loud alarmist. An interesting read.

    But, as I keep saying, sceptics are I think unwise to get too excited by all this. It now seems the current ice level will not quite reach the “average” – just as, interestingly, the Antarctic seems to be heading back up. And, in any case, it’s the maximum melt in September’s Arctic level that’s most likely to be seen as important.

    The real issue, however, is this: do these sea ice levels tell us much about the global temperature and especially about human influence? I am dubious.

  187. 187
    Robin Guenier Says:

    This, from the Greenpeace website, is an absurd misjudgement of recent “climate change” developments. Its closing paragraphs:

    If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

    We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

    And we be many, but you be few.

    Gulp, that’s pretty scary: we’d better mend our ways.

    The best part is the comments section (interestingly now closed).

  188. 188
    manacker Says:

    Robin and Brute

    Of course you are both right. The Arctic sea ice story is basically a boondoggle. The fact that it has been declared the “canary in the coal mine” for AGW is an even greater hoax.

    The basis for all this is a satellite-based record that started in 1979. This shows a net decadal shrinking of 2% end-March (after winter expansion) and 8% end-September (after summer retraction), or around 3% on annul average. The end-September shrinking has been used to erroneously predict an “ice free summer” by 2015, 2030, 2050 (pick any year). In actual fact, 8% per decade shrinkage would require 12 decades (or 120 years) to reach an “ice-free” summer (yawn!).

    This false projection has been used to predict dire consequences for the polar bear population of this world, with WWF even trumpeting alarming predictions of extinction of the species.

    Prior shrinking and expanding of Arctic sea ice are ignored. Russian studies tell us that the summer ice extent was as low as it is today back in the 1930s and 1940s, and that it then recovered to record values by 1979, when the current record started.

    Studies from Greenland confirm this.

    So we are really measuring and reporting a brief shrinking “blip” in a long-term record, which goes through multi-decadal shrinking/expanding cycles. And, to make matters even worse, the “blip” we are measuring started at a high point.

    Antarctic sea ice is expanding, without much publicity from NSIDC. If global AGW were really the root cause for shrinking Arctic sea ice, the ice in the Antarctic would also be shrinking. This points to local conditions (ocean currents, wind patterns, etc.) as the more likely root cause.

    NSIDC spokesman Mark Serreze is a PhD in geography by education and an AGW-activist (on the tax-payer’s payroll) by profession. One should take anything he says or writes with a large grain of salt.

    Linking the current shrinking trend in the Arctic to AGW is foolish.

    Declaring Arctic sea ice the “canary in the coal mine” for AGW is downright absurd.


  189. 189
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I suppose my comment 187 (about Greenpeace’s [ironic name!] daft error of judgement based on total misunderstanding) should have been posted under “The warmists just don’t know what hit them” – where it undoubtedly belongs.

    I thought it might be of more interest here. Apologies – if needed.

  190. 190
    Brute Says:

    Hey Robin,

    I haven’t run the numbers and as previously stated, it isn’t really a big deal…………but looking at the last two seasons, the minimum (September) has increased which defies the global warming theory……add that to higher maximums (late winter/early spring) and it refutes the “ARCTIC IS MELTING!” cry by the Alarmists.

    Either way, it looks like less than 10% year to year (high and low).

    We’ll see what this September brings……………

    I’m certain if this season’s levels meet or exceed 2007 the Warmists will attribute it to group think Socialism and that by the power of “green” thinking, they have somehow willed the ice to grow…………possibly through Wiccanist intervention or some other Neopagan religion despite the negative thoughts of the CO2 spewing naysayers (which would be you and me)………

    On a different topic, my brother just bought a brand new Ford, full size, extra king cab 4 wheel drive truck………That, along with the massive Brutemobile and my father’s new Ford Extra Heavy Duty Expedition we now refer to ourselves as “The Carbon Footprint Family”………we’ve had tee shirts, bumper stickers, jackets and hats made………


  191. 191
    manacker Says:


    The Greenpeace clown that wrote the blurb you cited calls himself “Gene from Greenpeace India”.

    This guy obviously has a screw loose; read his “call for revolution (against democratic society)” here:

    The politicians have failed. Now it’s up to us. We must break the law to make the laws we need: laws that are supposed to protect society, and protect our future. Until our laws do that, screw being climate lobbyists. Screw being climate activists. It’s not working. We need an army of climate outlaws.”

    The proper channels have failed. It’s time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism.

    Call out the Brownshirts to bash in a few heads!

    Hardly sounds like a call for “peace”.


  192. 192
    manacker Says:


    The standard cop-out for the “warmists” when observed measurements do not support the AGW mantra (or cannot be secretly “bent” to fit) is “measurement error”.

    Josh Willis of NASA tried this ploy when the new Argo robots showed the upper ocean is cooling, in contrast to what had been believed earlier based on the very spotty data from the unreliable expendable buoys used previously.

    Why was the ocean cooling so important?

    The entire AGW-scare is based on the hypothesis (dreamt up by James E. Hansen) that most of the man-made warming is actually “hiding in the pipeline”, i.e. in the upper ocean, from where it will some day emerge miraculously, thereby warming our planet even more.

    This premise does not pass the “reality test” to start with. The top 100 meters of the ocean have 34 times the total heat capacity of the entire atmosphere (and the top 500 meters, which is where this energy is supposedly “hiding” have 170 times).

    This means that if half of the supposed atmospheric warming expected from a doubling of CO2 (1.6C) were “hiding” in the ocean, it would warm the top 100 meters by an imperceptible 1.6/34 = 0.047C (top 500 meters, less than 0.01C). Hansen does not have a mechanism by which this imperceptible upper ocean warming is expected to come back and significantly warm our atmosphere (because such a mechanism does not exist).

    Even worse for Hansen’s postulation are the facts on the ground:

    Since 2000 our atmosphere has been cooling; even Hansen’s “odd man out” GISS record shows slight cooling, while the other records (satellite and surface) show a substantial cooling rate (-0.1C per decade), where climate models had predicted warming of 0.2C per decade.

    Since they started in 2003, Argo measurements show that the upper ocean is cooling as well.

    The net amount of latent heat in observed melting ice plus theoretical net water evaporation is too small to be of any consequence overall.

    And, all the while, atmospheric CO2 has increased at a record rate.

    So there is obviously no heat hiding somewhere on our planet, i.e. any “greenhouse” heat from the added CO2 is either being radiated back out into space, disappearing into the deep ocean or being overshadowed by cooling caused by natural forcing factors.

    In either case, Hansen’s postulation, and with it the directly related assumption of strongly positive net feedbacks and a 2xCO2 GH impact of more than 1C, has been invalidated by the physical observations.

    This is why Willis et al. were jumping through hoops to declare the observed facts as false.

    You can be sure that Mark Serreze of NSIDC will do exactly the same if the data show that Arctic sea ice is really recovering on a sustained long-term basis.

    The “sad but true” real story is: The “scientists” you and I are paying with our taxpayer funding who are being paid to provide us reliable climate data are instead giving us their own preconceived AGW message, which often bears no resemblance to the real facts.


  193. 193
    Bob_FJ Says:

    RETRY removing all links
    Jasper Gee, Reur 177, and the comments by VS
    Thanks for that info… Very interesting! I made a little comment identifying Tamino’s Email address and real name, no problems. Then I tried to make the comment below the line and it disappears immediately upon submit. Repeated try gets message something like: You’ve already said that.

    Max, I see you are posting OK…… have you had any problems?
    In your comment above concerning Tamino’s competence it seems that you are not impressed by his wisdoms.
    Are you familiar with Tamino’s exchanges with statistician Ian Joliffe, that were initiated by false claims that Joliffe supported Tamino’s views on the Mann hockey stick? Do you agree with Joliffe, or would you like some more details?

    I’m no statistician, but over at Real Climate, I’ve been debating, one of Tamino’s articles that was severally cited to me; entitled “Volcanic Lull“. In my view, as an engineer, it is very deeply flawed in at least four different major aspects. I posted a comment on Tamino’s blog seeking clarification on the first one, but it was deleted without explanation. Then, about 6 days ago, I Emailed him on another issue, (Grant Foster tamino_9 at ), but no response so far, but then it is Easter, and I‘ll wait a bit longer before consolidating the concerns.
    BTW, my system tells me that the Grant Foster = tamino Email address was genuine.

    Here is my most recent comment # 667 (on unforced variations 3 thread) of significance at RC, for anyone that might be interested, but the whole thing has become fragmented and is now spread over two different threads. Interestingly, RC seems to have stopped deleting comments, and I’ve had no disagreements with the real concerns that I’ve raised on Tamino’s article.

  194. 194
    manacker Says:


    You say you haven’t “run the numbers” on the thermodynamic energy balance related to the observed Arctic sea ice recovery over the past two years.

    The average monthly extent for the last 12 months (April 2009-March 2010) was 11.27 million square km (msk), and for the same period two years ago it was 10.82 msk, for an increase over two years of 0.45 msk or 4.2%.

    This compares with an average loss since 1979 of around 3% per decade, so in two years, roughly 15 years of loss have been recovered.

    This compares with an average summer/winter difference of 10.2 msk (or 23 times this amount).

    Scientists (whodat?) tell us that the ice is on average 1.2 meters thick, and ice has a latent heat of fusion of 333.55 kJ per kg and a density of 0.917 so we have a net overall loss of energy from two years ago to today of 450,000 * 1.2 * 0.917 * 333.55 / 100 = 166,000 billion kJ.

    Each year there is a net gain/loss of energy of 3,740,000 billion kJ

    And the linear average loss rate of 3% per decade = 340,000 msk, equivalent to 115,000 billion kJ per decade.

    Do these numbers mean anything?

    Not really. They just show us that the whole to-do about Arctic sea ice is silly.


  195. 195
    tempterrain Says:

    We’ve heard many arguments to suggest that the intrepid band of climate sceptics on this site know better than the world’s scientists on the AGW question.

    We’ve heard, many times, all sorts of ‘reasons’ why humans, or rather the emissions produced by humans, are not warming the Earth’s climate.

    Would I be right in suggesting that there is an underlying assumption, amongst you all, that human kind cannot, no matter what, alter the climate?

  196. 196
    Brute Says:


    Using the Warmist’s talking points/hypothesis, the heat energy generated by the Sun and absorbed by the Earth is unvarying (or in any case, unvarying in as much as it doesn’t impact rising global temperature). They’ve dismissed clouds as a greenhouse gas………………which leads us to the evil culprit………Carbon Dioxide…..(plant food/soda pop gas).

    If the Earth was gaining heat as a result of being trapped by Carbon Dioxide, the system would increasingly become warmer (with me so far Pete?) causing Arctic temperatures to become warmer (summer and winter) causing a decrease in Arctic Ice Extent……………

    Here’s the problem……the Arctic Ice Extent is increasing (summer and winter) while the evil CO2 gas content of the atmosphere is increasing.

    The way I see it, the correlation between CO2 and rising temperatures is as solid as the correlation between rising temperatures and cell phone subscriptions over the last 30 years.

    Any “excess” heat is being radiated back into the cold dark recesses of outer space…………we can cross the “CO2 causes Arctic Ice Melt” off the list of results of human greed/consumption.

    See here:

  197. 197
    manacker Says:


    You ask:

    Would I be right in suggesting that there is an underlying assumption, amongst you all, that human kind cannot, no matter what, alter the climate?

    Rather than responding to specific questions I have asked you, you are now trying to set me (and others here) up with a trick question, so let me give you as straight an answer as possible on my personal conclusions, with which others may or may not agree.

    GH theory tells us that CO2 is a GH gas.

    This theory also tells us that all GH gases have caused a natural GH warming of our planet of 33C, mostly as a result of water in the atmosphere, and that GH warming from CO2 represents around 7C of this total. Based on this and the logarithmic nature of the GH relation, these scientists tell us that a doubling of CO2 would result in theoretical GH warming of 1C.

    Humans emit CO2. This is more prevalent in the wealthier industrially developed regions (N. America, Europe, Australia, etc.) than in the underdeveloped impoverished regions (N.Korea, sub-Saharan Africa, etc.), so it is clear that CO2 emissions are related to wealth or standard of living. As the world develops industrially, the CO2 emissions are expected to increase (viz. China, India, Brazil, etc.), so it is likely that human CO2 emissions will probably continue to increase at the same 4+% annual growth rate as they have since WWII.

    A portion of the CO2 emitted annually by humans (around 50%) appears to cause an increase in the atmospheric CO2 content. Whether or not this is the cause is unclear, but atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased since measurements started in Mauna Loa in 1958, so we can assume that the increase is anthropogenic.

    “Pre-industrial” CO2 level is estimated (based on somewhat sketchy ice core data) to have been around 280 ppmv, and today it stands at 390 ppmv. It is estimated that it will reach a level of 560 ppmv (or 2x the “pre-industrial” level) by year 2100.

    This should cause a theoretical GH warming of 1C, of which we have seen 45% today, leaving theoretical GH warming from CO2 of 0.55C from today to year 2100.

    The first nine years of the 21st century have shown cooling at a rate of 0.1C per decade, despite record increases in CO2. At the same time, the upper ocean has also cooled since more reliable Argo measurements started in 2003. This raises serious doubts as to whether the theoretical GH warming from CO2 is real or not. It also tells us that other, more powerful, natural factors are at play, which may also have been the cause for any warming we have seen to date.

    And, most of all, it tells us that we cannot “control” our climate. If we cannot even cause warming with maximum CO2 emissions, how do we expect to be able to influence our planet’s climate by curtailing CO2 emissions?

    Finally, there have been no actionable proposals for specific changes, which would result in specific decreases in CO2 levels with specific decreases in global warming. All we have seen is nebulous political “reduction targets in % of some year’s level” and a ludicrous politicians’ “target” of “no more than 2C temperature rise”.

    So, as a practical matter, I would agree “that human kind cannot, no matter what, alter the climate”.


  198. 198
    tempterrain Says:


    Why do you think its a trick question? There is no catch as far as I can see.

    You say “as a practical matter” but I would suggest that it goes a bit deeper than that. The CO2 issue seemed to come from nowhere in the 70′s and 80′s so its possible that, in the future, some other human induced climatic problem could arise that is presently unknown.

    If you thought scientifically your answer would along the lines of ‘lets wait and see’. But if you had a deeper philosophical conviction that this was just impossible, you wouldn’t need to wait for the science. You’d know straightaway that there could never be anything else to worry about. Wouldn’t you?

  199. 199
    tempterrain Says:


    You write “the Arctic Ice Extent is increasing (summer and winter)” Wrong!

    A quick lesson on how to read a graph:

    If the trend line points upwards it is increasing, if its downwards then it is decreasing.

  200. 200
    Robin Guenier Says:

    The Greenpeace “we know who you are and we know where you live” story may be going viral. Google shows 156,000 hits – including this from the massively popular (in the UK) Guido Fawkes who says:

    The implicit threat from Greenpeace of “we know know where you live” signals that having failed to yoke the world’s democracies to their demands, some on the fringes of the Green movement will, like their allies in the Animal Liberation Front, move on to eco-terrorism directed at individuals. We have been warned…

  201. 201
    Alex Cull Says:

    Guido mentions the ALF; there’s also the SHAC organisation, whose members have been convicted of offences such as burglary, incitement to violence and stalking. A salutary example of when activism crosses the line into terrorism.

    On the Greenpeace blog they are doing all they can now to insist that Greenpeace is peaceful, that Gene is a peaceful person who wouldn’t harm a fly, etc. However, his own words condemn him, and it looks as if he has created a PR disaster for Greenpeace. Are they simply that naive, I wonder; did they not realise how “we know where you live”, etc., would come across?

  202. 202
    manacker Says:


    You opined to Brute (199):

    You write “the Arctic Ice Extent is increasing (summer and winter)” Wrong!
    A quick lesson on how to read a graph:
    If the trend line points upwards it is increasing, if its downwards then it is decreasing.

    It all depends, Peter, when you start and end your data series to determine the trend.

    You are using the short-term “blip” starting in 1978 and ending today, while Brute is using the even shorter-term “blip” starting two years ago and ending today.

    You are both right, based on the “blips” you have chosen.

    A more meaningful trend would be for a period starting 100 years ago or more. Unfortunately, we did not have any satellites in the air then, but Russian studies have shown us that the ice was at around today’s extent in the 1930s and 1940s and then grew to the modern-day record extent in the late 1970s, when the satellite record (and your “blip”) started.


  203. 203
    manacker Says:


    You asked in 195:

    Would I be right in suggesting that there is an underlying assumption, amongst you all, that human kind cannot, no matter what, alter the climate?

    I gave you a straight answer (197)

    as a practical matter, I would agree “that human kind cannot, no matter what, alter the climate”

    and provided you with the logic and scientific data I used in arriving at my answer.

    You now come back with another curious bit of logic and a new strange question (198):

    If you thought scientifically your answer would along the lines of ‘lets wait and see’. But if you had a deeper philosophical conviction that this was just impossible, you wouldn’t need to wait for the science. You’d know straightaway that there could never be anything else to worry about. Wouldn’t you?

    As you can read from my answer, I have not said that anything was “impossible”. Thinking scientifically, I just do not think the data show that “human kind can alter the climate”.

    As far as the premise “that there could never be anything else to worry about”, I have a hard time figuring out what you are trying to get at.

    There are always things “to worry about”, but I do not conclude that the data provide empirical evidence to support the premise that anthropogenic greenhouse warming is one of these.

    Ergo, I do not “worry about” AGW.

    I hope this has answered your questions.


  204. 204
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Talking of Greenpeace:
    A week or so ago, a gentleman of unusual coiffure knocked on my door, complete with a fairly conventional Mohican style but in luminescent green. Additionally there was an impressive array of nostril and lip-rings etc. Interesting guy I thought, but after the initial distractions, I then noticed in large print, the word Greenpeace across his luminescent green T-shirt. I consequently abruptly informed the gentleman that I was not interested in donating.
    Was I being too harsh?

  205. 205
    manacker Says:


    No. I do not think you were too harsh with the gent from Greenpeace.

    But I would be watchful now.

    GP obviously “knows who you are and where you live”

    The second wave from GP may be the “climate outlaws” who may now (based on your refusal to donate) have reason to believe you are

    “one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission”

    These words were apparently written by a gent of the southern Asian persuasion, so if the next guy knocking at your door matches the description, have your defensive weapon of choice ready before you open up.

    If the guy knocks on my door I’ll hit him over the head with my alphorn.



  206. 206
    tempterrain Says:


    Despite your denial I’m sure you’ve figured out exactly what I’m getting at!

    You started out with comments such as:

    “The arrogance of thinking that puny man is changing global climate… etc etc etc”

    Was that the real Max talking or have you since changed your mind?

    We don’t see those sort of sentences now. Instead it’s something like:

    “OK human activity may changed global climate a little but not very much. And it may change it a little more in the future but there’s really nothing to worry about! I’ve worked it all out using Boltzmann’s equation!”

    The “its all a hoax and con trick” Max, from a few years ago, obviously had some philosophical objection to even the possibility of minor human induced climate change. OK fair enough. That saves a lot of thinking! So why bother with the pseudo-scientific clap-trap now?

    Is it that you’ve decided on a different approach? No more glimpses of the real Max? Have you now chosen to hide an ugly argument behind the fig leaf of a few dodgy scientific articles you’ve picked up on the denialists’ blogosphere?

  207. 207
    manacker Says:


    You are avoiding a discussion of the scientific points and simply beating a dead dog with your “philosophical objection” talk.

    Based on my understanding of the scientific data as I have outlined in 107, I question man’s ability to alter our planet’s climate.

    As pointed out, this has nothing to do with any “philosophical objection”; it is simply based on the data as outlined.

    These data support neither the premise of dangerous AGW nor the postulation that humankind has the ability to alter our climate.

    With all your rhetoric you have been unable to show empirical data to support a) the suggestion that human CO2 emissions have played the major role in the 0.7C warming we have seen since the modern temperature record started, b) the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a serious potential threat or c) the postulation that humankind has the ability to change our planet’s climate.

    Bring this empirical data and we’ll have something to talk about, but leave out your silly talk of “philosophical objections”. It simply points out how weak your argument really is.


  208. 208
    manacker Says:


    Further to my 207, in order to move our discussion forward rather than getting stuck in futile debates about purported “philosophical objections”, go through the scientific reasoning I outlined in 197 (not 107) and point out where you think there are logical errors and why, from your standpoint.

    {The observed compounded annual growth rate for atmospheric CO2 should read 0.4+% rather than 4+%.)

    Awaiting your specific comments so we can move this discussion forward.


  209. 209
    tempterrain Says:


    If you believe that your primary objection is based on science why didn’t you say so in your early posts? Why say that it was ‘arrogant’ to claim that the 26,000,000,000 tonnes of CO2, which are emitted from human sources every year, might be the cause of the problem?

    What’s arrogance got to do with it?

  210. 210
    Robin Guenier Says:

    The Financial Times – a normally alarmist publication – has published an article that suggests it may be edging slowly towards scepticism. Referring to Copenhagen, Climategate and IPCC errors, it says:

    These events have not disproved the scientific findings. The consensus remains that man’s activities are contributing to climate change in ways that may be disastrous.

    Hmm – “consensus”, “contributing”, “may be”. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of dangerous AGW.

    But I liked the three things it said scientists must do: (1) “be open about sharing the data that underlie their findings”, (2) “devote more effort to observation” and (3) “give weight to all the evidence, not just the consensus.” Ahem – and there was I thinking that real scientists did these things as a matter of course. And there’s the problem.

  211. 211
    James P Says:

    WRT Greenpeace, I wonder if that has now become an oxymoron..?

    Shame, really – I used to think they did some good.

  212. 212
    Robin Guenier Says:

    This article in The Times (about pressure on the Government to block an aid project that would benefit millions of South Africans) is a perfect illustration of how “greens” are prepared to sacrifice some of the poorest people in the world – their education, healthcare, clean water and the opportunity for their children to grow up in an expanding economy – on the sacred altar of an unverified hypothesis. It’s shameful that, for example, the once honourable Christian Aid is part of a campaign that could lead directly to children’s deaths.

  213. 213
    TonyN Says:

    Robin, #212

    Your comment on that very interesting article by Ben Webster would have fitted well with the new General Election thread.

    It will be very interesting to see which way the cat jumps on Thursday. If you notice anything do please put up a link.

    The following would have also been appropriate to ‘The warmists just don’t know what hit them’:

    “While there is significant energy poverty in South Africa this project is not focused on meeting the needs of poor communities but instead on supplying energy to major energy-intensive industrial users that already have access to some of the cheapest electricity in the world.”

    This is the kind of old thinking that might have worked six months ago, but now seems Neanderthal. Just how do the green groups expect poverty to be relieved in southern Africa if you make industries less competitive by clobbering them with higher energy costs for purely dogmatic reasons?

    If the UK has the casting vote, and the US is sitting on the fence, I wonder who the other participants are and how their sympathies are distributed. All in all this kind of controversy spells doom for the Mexico climate summit I think.

    You are exactly right in what you say about the suffering that such decisions can inflict on the developing nations. Even if the scheme gets last minute approval, the message that this wavering will send to countries that face the same kind of problems as South Africa will not be missed.

    And just how long will it be before the rest of the media tumble the fact that the equation comprising fossil fuel energy, alternative energy, competitiveness and employment applies equally in a ruined UK economy?

  214. 214
    Brute Says:

    Here’s Jimmie Hansen, radical activist, spewing nonsense……I thought that Liberals recoiled at people making moral judgments? I thought as far as Liberals were concerned, morality was subjective? It seems that in the Liberal mindset, moral judgments are conditional……

    Obama’s Second Chance on the Predominant Moral Issue of This Century

    The predominant moral issue of the 21st century, almost surely, will be climate change, comparable to Nazism faced by Churchill in the 20th century and slavery faced by Lincoln in the 19th century. Our fossil fuel addiction, if unabated, threatens our children and grandchildren, and most species on the planet.

  215. 215
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Bishop Hill has a link to this article. Worth reading.

  216. 216
    manacker Says:


    Regarding your 209, I have a question for you. Are you unable or simply unwilling to discuss the “science”, Peter?

    I am not interested in entering a silly conversation with you on what you or I wrote in a totally different context several years ago.

    In 195 you asked me a question (which you said was not a “trick question”).

    I gave you a straight answer in 197, listing the specific scientific reasoning supporting my answer.

    Instead of challenging my stated reasoning or data, you then tried (198) to intimate that my conclusions were not reached based on these, but rather on some preconceived “philosophical objection”, which you then use as a “sidetrack” to avoid a discussion of the scientific data and reasoning.

    When I point out to you that the basis for my answer to your original question is listed in the specific points I made in 197, you again come with a totally irrelevant statement that has nothing to do with a) the “non-trick” question you asked me, or b) the straight answer with reasons, which I gave you in response.

    Either we will discuss the points I made in 197 one by one or we will end this exchange. It has become repetitive and silly.

    I suggest we start with point number 1, which I will repeat below. Tell me you either agree or disagree and state the specifics of why you disagree, if you do.

    GH theory tells us that CO2 is a GH gas.

    This theory also tells us that all GH gases have caused a natural GH warming of our planet of 33C, mostly as a result of water in the atmosphere, and that GH warming from CO2 represents around 7C of this total. Based on this and the logarithmic nature of the GH relation, these scientists tell us that a doubling of CO2 would result in theoretical GH warming of 1C.

    Awaiting your specific answer, Peter.

    [Once we have discussed point number 1, we will move on to point number 2, etc., until we have gone through all the points.]

    It’s truly time to “put up or shut up”, Peter.


  217. 217
    tempterrain Says:


    It might not have actually occurred to you this way, but I’ve actually taken your advice and decided to apply some principles of rational scepticsm!

    The first thing I thought I’d try it out on was your claim to be a rational sceptic yourself. Anyone who was a rational sceptic, wouldn’t shoot from the hip when faced with some new scientific information. They would say something like “yes, we need to investigate that further” before coming to any conclusion.

    So I’m just wondering why that wasn’t your reaction too? I’m sure you remember quite well why you used the word ‘arrogant’ and terms like ‘puny man’ instead. But now you seem unwilling to tell us!

    So your claim to be a rational sceptic just doesn’t fit the facts. Sorry!

  218. 218
    tempterrain Says:

    PS I should have answered your point about “a totally different context” a few years ago. I’m pretty sure that you were ranting away about climate scientists who were all in on this “big scam” at the time, but have I got that wrong? I’d better go back and have another look!

  219. 219
    manacker Says:


    Waffle time is over. Please refer to the last line of my 216.


  220. 220
    tempterrain Says:


    I’m sure we have already gone over all the scientific points more than once. What’s the point of doing it all again?

    I have heard the same argument before, so you aren’t the only one, about it being ‘arrogant’ , or ‘extremely arrogant’ as you put it, to even think that 7 billion people collectively might be having an effect on the climate.

    Its really not a trick question when I ask why. I am genuinely curious to know the line of thinking, or belief, that is behind this sentiment. I was hoping that you might be more helpful but if your mother has called you in, and you have to take your ball home, then of course I understand.:-)

  221. 221
    manacker Says:


    For the reasoning behind my statement on the 7 billion humans and our planet’s climate, see below:

    GH theory tells us that CO2 is a GH gas.

    This theory also tells us that all GH gases have caused a natural GH warming of our planet of 33C, mostly as a result of water in the atmosphere, and that GH warming from CO2 represents around 7C of this total. Based on this and the logarithmic nature of the GH relation, these scientists tell us that a doubling of CO2 would result in theoretical GH warming of 1C.

    Humans emit CO2. This is more prevalent in the wealthier industrially developed regions (N. America, Europe, Australia, etc.) than in the underdeveloped impoverished regions (N.Korea, sub-Saharan Africa, etc.), so it is clear that CO2 emissions are related to wealth or standard of living. As the world develops industrially, the CO2 emissions are expected to increase (viz. China, India, Brazil, etc.), so it is likely that atmospheric CO2 levels will probably continue to increase at the same 0.4% annual growth rate as they have since WWII.

    A portion of the CO2 emitted annually by humans (around 50%) appears to cause an increase in the atmospheric CO2 content. Whether or not this is the cause is unclear, but atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased since measurements started in Mauna Loa in 1958, so we can assume that the increase is anthropogenic.

    “Pre-industrial” CO2 level is estimated (based on somewhat sketchy ice core data) to have been around 280 ppmv, and today it stands at 390 ppmv. It is estimated that it will reach a level of 560 ppmv (or 2x the “pre-industrial” level) by year 2100.

    This should cause a theoretical GH warming of 1C, of which we have seen 45% today, leaving theoretical GH warming from CO2 of 0.55C from today to year 2100.

    The first nine years of the 21st century have shown cooling at a rate of 0.1C per decade, despite record increases in CO2. At the same time, the upper ocean has also cooled since more reliable Argo measurements started in 2003. This raises serious doubts as to whether the theoretical GH warming from CO2 is real or not. It also tells us that other, more powerful, natural factors are at play, which may also have been the cause for any warming we have seen to date.

    And, most of all, it tells us that we cannot “control” our climate. If we cannot even cause warming with maximum CO2 emissions, how do we expect to be able to influence our planet’s climate by curtailing CO2 emissions?

    Finally, there have been no actionable proposals for specific changes, which would result in specific decreases in CO2 levels with specific decreases in global warming. All we have seen is nebulous political “reduction targets in % of some year’s level” and a ludicrous politicians’ “target” of “no more than 2C temperature rise”.

    So, as a practical matter, I would agree “that human kind cannot, no matter what, alter the climate”.


  222. 222
    tempterrain Says:

    Yes, yes, yes we’ve heard all that before.

    I could have understand that, having looked into the problem, the verdict of mainstream science may well have turned out to be very close to what you are describing. That is: AGW is real but not a serious problem. Unfortunately it didn’t.

    What you are still not willing to tell us, and I would very much like to know the answer, is how anyone could dismiss the possibility that AGW might be somewhat worse than in your account as with words such as “insignificant humans” and “extreme arrogance”. I’ll ask again: What were your sentiments behind them?

    We should always rationally sceptical: especially of people who claim the mantle of rational scepticism themselves. Their arguments for an improvement of science are quite bogus. Their true and hidden feelings are so strong that there is no hope of fruitful discussion of evidence and uncertainty, because their inner beliefs are driven by economic interests, politic, ideology, or philosophy, and not by science.

  223. 223
    manacker Says:


    I agree than one should always be rationally skeptical (in the scientific sense) and demand empirical evidence to support any claims that are made. This is true whether one is debating with a proponent of “Intelligent Design” or of “AGW”.

    This is actually the crux of rational skepticism, as both Robin and I have pointed out to you repeatedly.

    For this very reason, we have repeatedly asked you to provide empirical evidence based on actual physical observations or experimentation to support your premise thae AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, has caused a significant portiion of the observed warming to date or represents a serious potential threat for the future.

    So far, you have been unable to show such evidence.

    As far as “arrogance” is concerned, here is a definition:


    · having or showing feelings of unwarranted self-importance or excessive pride in oneself
    · overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors
    · feeling of superiority showing itself in
    a) claiming more importance than is actually due
    b) claiming to be always right

    Examples (related to AGW):

    “Humankind [is so important that it] is the principal cause for global warming”
    “We [are so important and powerful that we] will hold global warming to no more than 2C”
    [We are so knowledgeable that we are certain that] anthropogenic warming of the climate system is unequivocal”
    “The scientific consensus in support of the AGW premise [which we personally know is right] is overwhelming”
    “Those [inferior or ignorant souls] who deny that AGW is a serious threat are ‘flat-earthers’ who oppose ‘science’”

    Probably there are other examples, but these were just the first that came to mind (along with Einstein’s quote on ignorance and arrogance, which I will not repeat here).


  224. 224
    manacker Says:


    PS For the part of “insignificant humans” vis-a-vis Earth’s climate see post 221.


  225. 225
    Brute Says:


  226. 226
    Brute Says:

    Are you considering water vapor a greenhouse gas Pete?

    I’m just considering your question regarding whether or not mankind’s contribution to the planet’s CO2 budget has any effect……..just thinking in terms of the total greenhouse gas content and mankind’s contribution………

  227. 227
    Brute Says:

    Just checking things here Pete…….the small sliver in this graph is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (.04%)………I don’t have the figure handy, but if I remember correctly, a very large portion of that .04% is emitted through decaying vegetation and other naturally occurring processes (think geothermal vents)…………I think Max or Bob FJ had a good number for the percentage of this .04% that was contributed by human kind………are you speaking about this percentage of the atmosphere that will ultimately doom the planet to a fiery inferno of hellish apocalypse?


  228. 228
    tempterrain Says:


    There is of course debate and discussion between scientists on all kinds of issues. On AGW there is naturally the same debate and discussion between those who would argue that the warming will be on the high side of the accepted range and those who favour a lower estimate.

    That is all fair enough. But its just not scientific to assert that humans are either insignificant or arrogant. Whether or not they are having an significant effect on the climate cannot be assumed in advance – the answer comes as a result of scientific evidence. Otherwise is just circular logic. Human beings may well be arrogant as you suggest but that has absolutely zero effect on the climate!

    Your continued blathering about lack of empirical evidence is just nonsense. You seem to think that you have hit upon a form of words to which there is no answer. Its not as if we have 100 white mice is the lab and controlled experiments are possible by testing 50 in one way and 50 in another.

    There is just one white mouse, so to speak, and its not a good idea to put its life at risk. But you know that. You know that what you are asking for, if not proof then something that pretty darned close to it, is just impossible. You’ve no real interest in engaging positively with the scientific community.

    You yourself have described them as ” so-called experts that are all in on the multi-billion dollar climate research scam “.

    You’ve dismissed their work as “junk science”.

    So why are you so keen now to pretend that you are genuinely interested in the scientific evidence?

  229. 229
    tempterrain Says:


    Your argument is that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is just so small that it must have an insignificant effect on the climate.

    To test this out: Why not consult the people on your own side like Roy Spencer and Ian Plimer. Ian Plimer claims that without the 0.04% of C02, which I agree does sound very small, the Earth would be 18degC (32degF) colder than it actually is.

    Most scientists would not put it quite that high, and in fact hestitate to give any figure at all, because it is not possible to separate out the individual contributions to the natural Greenhouse effect that Roy Spencer will assure you is 33 deg C (58 deg F). Everything, in the atmosphere, does tend to depend on everything else. You can’t just change one component and expect everything else to stay the same.

    However, if you bear these figures in mind, then 3 deg C may seem quite a conservative estimate for the likely warming if CO2 levels are allowed to double from pre-industrial levels.

  230. 230
    geoffchambers Says:

    Monbiot has just posted his “last word” on Climategate at
    I feel it should be pointed out to him, and to Guardian readers, in as much detail as possible, just why there is still much to be said.

  231. 231
    manacker Says:


    You avoid empirical data to support your dangerous AGW premise, and that is quite understandable, as there is none.

    So (228) you ask me instead (although we have covered this topic ad nauseam):

    You’ve dismissed their work [IPCC] as “junk science”.

    So why are you so keen now to pretend that you are genuinely interested in the scientific evidence?

    As a rational skeptic, I want to see empirical data as scientific evidence, before I accept your premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, has been the primary cause for recent warming, or that it represents a serious potential threat.

    Simple model simulations based on theoretical deliberations do not constitute empirical evidence, just as a passage out of the Bible based on the word of some very sage ancient chroniclers or prophets in support of creationism would also not qualify as empirical evidence.

    Multi-model averages and assessed ranges to the year 2100 for surface warming, i.e. exaggerated 100-year predictions of future climate based on these model simulations and a myopic fixation on anthropogenic factors (i.e. CO2) while essentially ignoring known plus unknown natural factors, is what I would refer to as “junk science”. If you have another word for it, so be it. At any rate it is not empirical data.

    To assume that we know everything there is to know about what makes our climate behave as it does, and that we can therefore make such predictions 100 years into the future is not only ignorant, it is arrogant (as I pointed out earlier). [And we all know what Einstein said about ignorance and arrogance.]

    Empirical evidence is what I am interested in, Peter, not such “junk science”.

    Keep trying.


  232. 232
    manacker Says:


    You write Brute:

    Why not consult the people on your own side like Roy Spencer and Ian Plimer. Plimer claims that without the 0.04% of C02, which I agree does sound very small, the Earth would be 18degC (32degF) colder than it actually is.

    Peter, you know full well that this is a red herring.

    Your much-quoted and beloved “scientific consensus” puts the theoretical natural CO2 greenhouse impact at between 5degC and 7degC out of the total theoretical 33degC, with most of the natural GH impact caused by water.

    Spencer puts it in this range (as you also know full well).

    Why do you keep harping on this obvious error in Plimer’s book?

    Do you think this makes you look more intelligent or knowledgeable? It really just makes you look silly, Peter.


  233. 233
    manacker Says:


    Of the very thin sliver in your pie chart that represents CO2 (0.04% or 390 ppmv), an even thinner, almost imperceptible sliver (0.01% or 110 ppmv) is believed to be caused by human CO2 emissions.

    There are some caveats here, though.

    The “pre-industrial” value of 280 ppmv is not based on actual measurements, but rather on ice core data (which are notoriously inaccurate and unreliable, compared to actual measurements, which TonyB can tell you do not necessarily confirm the 280 ppmv number).

    The natural CO2 cycle is many times the increase attributed to human activity, and the question of CO2 half life in the atmosphere is also not resolved.

    Around half of the CO2 emitted by humans does not show up in the atmospheric increase, and it is uncertain where this is “disappearing” (into the ocean where a large portion is consumed by phytoplankton, into increased aboveground photosynthesis, etc.)

    But the “scientific consensus” (which Peter likes to invoke) tells us that the estimated increase atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic.

    But it remains a tiny, imperceptible sliver on your pie chart.


  234. 234
    Brute Says:


    A thought just occurred to me that I previously hadn’t considered…..

    We should be INCREASING our CO2 output……and pump more carbon into the atmosphere so that plants/phytoplankton can consume the stuff, die off and mingle with the sediments to be compressed and become sources of fuel for future generations!

    Just think of how future fossil fuel consumers will look back on this period in time and THANK us for being so thoughtful to provide them with all of the rich natural sources of gas/oil/coal!

    Sometimes I amaze myself with the genius that is Brute®.

    Cows absolved of causing global warming with nitrous oxide

    Livestock could actually be good for the environment according to a new study that found grazing cows or sheep can cut emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas.

  235. 235
    Brute Says:


    Just how much of the “Greenhouse Effect” is caused by human activity?

    It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account– about 5.53%, if not.

    This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn’t factored into an analysis of Earth’s greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.

    Water vapor constitutes Earth’s most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth’s greenhouse effect (5). Interestingly, many “facts and figures’ regarding global warming completely ignore the powerful effects of water vapor in the greenhouse system, carelessly (perhaps, deliberately) overstating human impacts as much as 20-fold.

    Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and miscellaneous other gases (CFC’s, etc.), are also mostly of natural origin (except for the latter, which is mostly anthropogenic).

    Human activites contribute slightly to greenhouse gas concentrations through farming, manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. However, these emissions are so dwarfed in comparison to emissions from natural sources we can do nothing about, that even the most costly efforts to limit human emissions would have a very small– perhaps undetectable– effect on global climate.

  236. 236
    tempterrain Says:


    When quizzed you on the use of the words ‘arrogant’ and ‘arrogance’ in connection with AGW your reply was couched in the following example.

    “Humankind [is so important that it] is the principal cause for global warming”

    I’m still puzzled. Yes, as a member of the species I’d like to consider than humanity is important and has a future, so if there is evidence that we may be fouling our own nest then it needs to be investigated. But arrogance is quite irrelevant to the investigation.

    I can only conclude that you were thinking quite irrationally at the time. Were you suffering from some delusion that humanity is somehow protected by a guardian angel? Were you thinking that the angel might be displeased if he thought that we were doubting his ability to look after us? Maybe you were worried that the angel thought we were getting above ourselves?

    If so, perhaps you could be described as ‘Mad Max’. You try to present a more scientific image these days. Has Mad Max gone away, been cured, or is he just hidden under a thin veneer? Just as worried as ever that we might offend the angel?

  237. 237
    manacker Says:


    Your latest ramble has not added anything constructive to our discussion. It is just another re-worded re-hash of the same old dialectic rubbish.

    I can well understand why you are avoiding discussing the “science” supporting your dangerous AGW premise, because it is apparent that it is not based on empirical data derived from actual physical observations in the real world, but rather simply from model simulations based on theoretical deliberations in the virtual world of computers.

    I have a hard time understanding why you are, as you have admitted, “still puzzled”. Does this reveal a lack of perceptive powers?

    In response to your question, I have given you a straight answer, explaining in great detail why I have come to the conclusion that humankind cannot change our climate. It makes no sense to return to this topic unless you want to challenge my stated reasoning.

    So I believe it is time to end this discussion unless you want to revert to the “science”.

    The other “blah-blah” is repetitive and uninteresting.


  238. 238
    tempterrain Says:


    You say “It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account– about 5.53%, if not”

    How do you arrive at these figures? I don’t just mean what the graph says. That seems to have water vapour way too high.

    Incidentally the total GHE is 33 degrees C so according the best estimate of the IPCC a doubling of CO2 will increase it by around 10%.

  239. 239
    tempterrain Says:


    Your initial ‘Mad Max’ posts on the subject of AGW contained no scientific arguments whatever.

    Its stretching credibility much too far for you to now claim you’ve reached a rational view based totally on your understanding of the scientific evidence.

  240. 240
    Brute Says:

    Were you suffering from some delusion that humanity is somehow protected by a guardian angel? Were you thinking that the angel might be displeased if he thought that we were doubting his ability to look after us? Maybe you were worried that the angel thought we were getting above ourselves?

    Maybe you and I aren’t so different after all Pete………..We both pray on bended knee…..(although you pray faithfully to your eco-politicians)……….another difference is that my God doesn’t confiscate my property at the barrel of a gun.

    By the way Pete, I managed to provide for myself and my family without government assistance again today…… should try it sometime…’s quite liberating.

  241. 241
    Brute Says:

    according the best estimate of the IPCC a doubling of CO2 will increase it by around 10%.

    In that case Pete, we can add that to the growing number of “best estimates” that the IPCC has gotten wrong.

  242. 242
    manacker Says:


    You opined to Brute:

    Incidentally the total GHE is 33 degrees C so according the best estimate of the IPCC a doubling of CO2 will increase it by around 10%.

    Please provide details of how you arrive at this. Most estimates, including those by IPCC (Myhre at al,) put it at 1C, rather than 3C.


  243. 243
    tempterrain Says:


    This value is estimated by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report who have the audacity, bluster, braggadocio, brass, cheek, chutzpah, conceit, conceitedness, contemptuousness, crust, disdain, disdainfulness, ego, egotism, gall, haughtiness, hauteur, high-handedness, hubris, imperiousness, insolence, loftiness, nerve, ostentation, overbearance, pomposity, pompousness, presumption, pretension, pretentiousness, pride, priggishness, scornfulness, self-importance, self-love, smugness, superciliousness, swagger, vanity to claim that this figure is

    “likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values.”

    Goodness knows what that Angel thinks of their arrogance. He’s even probably not to happy with you for having the arrogance to suggest that it might be even just one degree.

  244. 244
    tempterrain Says:


    Thank you for your recent posts. They were, in fact, useful.

    I’ve previously described climate change deniers as having beliefs which are driven by economic interests, politics, religious zealotry, ideology, or philosophy, not by science.

    I now realise that I need to add stupidity and ignorance to the list.

  245. 245
    Brute Says:

    I’ve previously described climate change deniers as having beliefs which are driven by economic interests, politics, religious zealotry, ideology, or philosophy, not by science.

    Very insightful Pete……and I’d agree.

    I also happen to think that anyone that denies that the Earth’s climate doesn’t change periodically must have a screw loose……If you come across anyone that believes that the climate hasn’t changed in the last 4.5 billion years or that believes that the planet’s climate won’t change sometime in the future, please be certain to let us all know.

    It’s particularly ludicrous considering all the evidence concerning the Ice Ages, The Younger Dryas, the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Optimum, the Little Ice Age, etc……

  246. 246
    manacker Says:


    Yeah. Call it what you want, but the IPCC figure you cite is not based on empirical data derived from actual physical observations from the real world.

    Instead it is based on model simulations based on theoretical deliberations conjured up by the virtual world of computers.

    What’s worse, it’s based on a myopic fixation on anthropogenic climate forcing factors while essentially ignoring known natural factors and – worst of all -assuming we know all there is to know about possible unknown factors (i.e. poor scientific logic).

    To assume that we know all that there is to know about what drives our planet’s climate is both ignorant and arrogant.

    To make 100-year predictions based on this limited knowledge is ludicrous (substitute any of your adjectives).

    It boils down to this, Peter: If you can show me that the IPCC 2xCO2 GHE of “2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C” is based on empirical data, please do so.

    Otherwise, we’ll have to put it into the same category of fiction as the rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers, the broken hockey stick, the “jimmied” temperature records, the soon-to-be destroyed African crops, the phony sea level charts, etc., etc.


    PS It appears that you “believe” in “angels”. Since I have seen no empirical evidence demonstrating their existence, I remain rationally skeptical that they do, in fact, exist. Can you show me any empirical evidence for their existence?

  247. 247
    manacker Says:


    Hey. Following your exchange with Brute, the light just came on.

    YOU are the “climate change denier”.

    Like the discredited Michael Mann (plus a few other MM-groupies and the IPCC writers) you deny that there has been any change to our planet’s climate before mankind started burning fossil fuels.

    I would fully agree with you that climate change deniers have beliefs which are not driven by science.


    Anti-capitalistic or anti-industrial views?


    A doomsday cult?

    Some other crackpot belief?

    Who knows?

    (Who cares?)


  248. 248
    tempterrain Says:


    I’m pleasantly surprised that you’ve suggested a figure of 4.5 billion years for the Earth’s age. For many Americans its more like 4.5 thousand years old.

    But, anyway what are you suggesting? That because the earth was uninhabitable 2 billion years ago, and may well be uninhabitable again in another billion years, then its Ok to let it become uninhabitable in the next 200 years?

    Or, because sea levels were 5 metres higher a million years ago, and may well be 5 mtres higher in another million then its OK to let them be 5 metres higher in the next 200 years?

    If you applied that logic to the house you’ve just built, you’d say it didn’t exist 20 years ago or whatever. It almost certainly won’t exist in another 500 years, so why worry if it gets eaten by termites the next 20 years?

  249. 249
    tempterrain Says:


    You might want to take a look at:

    And also note that no-one is saying that “we know all that there is to know about what drives our planet’s climate” However, just because we don’t know everything doesn’t mean we know nothing.

    If you ever need treatment for a serious illness, don’t despair even though the medics “won’t know all that there is to know” about it. They are quite likely to know enough.

    No computers and yes, based on empirical results Rahmstorf shows how the figure of 3.0degC, and how it could also be much higher, is derived. See pages 39-41 of:

    Sarah Palin is another one who has pushed the “arrogant to think humans can change the climate line”.

    Copenhgen=arrogance of man2think we can change nature’s ways.MUST b good stewards of God’s earth,but arrogant&naive2say man overpwers nature [Palin Tweet, 12/19/09]

    Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions;will cont 2 c chnges.R duty2responsbly devlop resorces4humankind/not pollute&destroy;but cant alter naturl chng [Palin Tweet, 12/19/09]

    Were you thinking along the same lines as SP? Why does she think that mankind cannot “alter” nature? Which is not the same thing as ‘overpowering’ nature.

    Is she saying that we can’t increase the natural GH effect by 10%?

    If so, what would be her philosophical basis? Any takers for that question?

    I guess you might suggest that I ask her, but as you’ve used the same argument I’m sure you know the answer, even if you are unwilling to tell us.

  250. 250
    Brute Says:

    The Earth was habitable 200 years ago, 2000 years ago……even 20,000 years ago. Odds are it’ll be habitable 20,000 years from now…………

    You’re a pessimist Pete, that’s (one of) your problems.

    You gullibly fall for every yarn and ploy put forth by a bunch of taxpayer funded, second rate Hippie activists who’ve never held a real job and decided to hang around with adolescents their entire adult lives.

    You put your trust in what these perpetual teenagers assert, and to make matters worse, believe that politicians and government bureaucrats, colluding with these parasitic “scientists” , will actually deliver on “solutions” to this problem by way of picking your pocket………

    The best advice I can give to you Pete is to stay far away from used car lots……………hold on tightly to your money, you’re gonna need every bit of it.

  251. 251
    manacker Says:


    Your latest does not provide anything new to the discussion.

    If you wish to discuss the issues surrounding the ongoing scientific debate on AGW, I would be most happy to oblige, but I am not interested in your thoughts on what Sarah Palin’s, Gordon Brown’s or Barak Obama’s opinions on this topic might be.

    Your cited Rahmstorf blurb is not very convincing. As you must know if you have delved into this topic at all, ice core data are notoriously inaccurate and dicey. You can use them to “prove” almost any point you want to make. (Maybe Rahmstorf, an ocean current specialist, is unaware of this problem, or maybe, as a climate alarmist, he uses it anyway to try to prove his point.) I would not call this empirical data to support a 2xCO2 sensitivity of 3+C. (In fact, it shows that the CO2 increase followed the temperature increase by several centuries, hardly a convincing argument for GH warming from CO2).

    Rahmstorf even cites the comprehensively discredited Mann hockey stick! Citing such rubbish is a very weak argument, and makes Rahmstorf look a bit foolish. (It’s almost as silly as citing IPCC AR4 WG1 or SPM 2007 as “scientific evidence”!)

    You need to show studies based on actual physical observations that demonstrate that clouds will exert a strongly net positive feedback with warming. Unfortunately, Spencer et al. and Lindzen and Choi have just published studies based on actual physical observations that show exactly the opposite, thereby directly invalidating the assumed 2xCO2 GH impact of 3+C based on model simulations.

    Also the NOAA record on measured atmospheric water vapor content shows that this has decreased since 1948, despite an overall warming, thereby raising serious doubts regarding the model-based assumptions of constant relative humidity (which even the short-term study by Minschwaner + Dessler has shown was incorrect, resulting in a significant exaggeration of the estimated water vapor feedback).

    Peter, you have got to come with some better stuff rather than some oceanographer’s poorly substantiated ramblings.


  252. 252
    tempterrain Says:


    Any scientific discussion his never going to get anywhere. You’ll just dismiss it as waffle or unproven or whatever. You just don’t ‘believe’ in it. And don’t give me all that crap about studying the science carefully. You’d made up your mind long before you picked up a text book and started doing any calculations.

    So lets concentrate on what you do believe in. Like not offending the angels, or the gods, with ‘arrogant’ talk about anthropogenic global warming!


    No I’m an optimist. Well most of the time anyway, although you do your best to make me think I’m wrong from time to time. I do believe that we’ll get our act together in time.

    No doubt you’re an optimist about your house not burning down too. But I’m sure that your expectations on that point aren’t based on optimism alone. Or maybe they are? Maybe there are no smoke alarms?

    And maybe you are so optimistic that you’ve decided that you don’t need any fire insurance? Why bother spending 2% of your income on that when you can just trust to luck?

  253. 253
    tempterrain Says:


    Second part of above is meant for you – not Max.

  254. 254
    Brute Says:

    although you do your best to make me think I’m wrong from time to time.


    I’m not trying to convince you of anything…’re free to think and do whatever you’d like……I do object when other people force me to think the same way that they do or force me to adopt, (and pay for), their enviro-religious beliefs.

    I’ve never understood the Warmist drive to force others to adhere to their viewpoint ……it creates resentment. If you want to live a “green” lifestyle with all of the other doomsday cultists, feel free………just leave everyone else alone. If others are attracted to your movement, your goal just may be achieved. You catch more flies with honey as the saying goes………Start private groups and collect funds from likeminded kooks to fund your “green” initiatives……if it’s so popular and the sentiment is so strong, I’m certain that you’ll be able to fund algae fuel farms, perpetual motion electrical generators and provide funding for research on self levitating “green” vehicles.

    Just think Pete; you could be the Lenny da Vinci of our time. School children all over the world may be taught the historic revolutionary endeavors of Peter Martin and how he saved the planet from certain destruction by virtue of his “green” ideas/inventions.

    Attraction rather than promotion should be your creed………forcing people to do anything against their will bring nothing but umbrage against your cause. No one likes being lectured to or be compelled to do anything………personally, if I’m forced to do something, I’ll rebel, simply because I resent being told what to do.

    Your analogy regarding fire insurance is sophistry and you know it. I don’t carry meteorite insurance, gamma ray insurance or insurance in the event my house is swallowed up by a black hole either……simply because the data doesn’t exist to support the expense……the same rational thought applies to the global warming theory……the data doesn’t support the assumption (You’ve given me an idea though………maybe I’ll begin selling global warming insurance to dupes such as yourself and retire to The Maldives……I understand a man can purchase land there cheap as the entire island is certain to be overrun with the sea due to global warming).

    I read somewhere that Al Gore just purchased a sprawling oceanfront estate there as a future investment to hedge against fluctuations in the green energy futures market.

  255. 255
    Brute Says:

    Bonn or bust – The UN’s last, desperate bid for unelected world government

    There are not many empty seats in the dismal, echoing conference chamber in the ghastly concrete box that is the Hotel Maritim here in Bonn, where the UN’s latest attempt to maneuver the 194 States Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change gets underway today.

    The “international community”, as it is now called, is here in full force, in the shape of expensively-suited, shiny-shod bureaucrats with an urbane manner and absolutely no knowledge of climate science whatsoever.
    However, one empty chair is a pointer of things to come. The Holy See – a tiny nation in its own right, with a billion citizens around the world – has left its chair empty. And that is significant. If “global warming” still mattered, the Vatican would make sure that its representatives were present throughout this gloomy gathering of world-government wannabes.

    This emergency conference, called by the UN’s bureaucrats because they were terrified that Cancun this December might fail as spectacularly as Copenhagen did last year, is a much quieter affair than Copenhagen. Not only has the air of triumphalism gone, after the scandals of Climategate, Himalayagate, Amazongate and so forth, but the belief that “global warming” is a global crisis has largely gone too.

    There are a few true-believers left among the national delegates, but more of them than before are open to discussion of the previously-forbidden question – what if the climate extremists have made the whole thing up?

    The Chinese Xinhua News Agency, for instance, came up to the table manned by the environmental campaigners of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which takes a hard-boiled, cynical view of the notion that a tiny increase in the atmospheric concentration of a trace gas is likely to cause a thousand international disasters.

    The reporters were genuinely interested to hear that there is another side to the story. Huan Gongdi, the Agency’s senior correspondent in Germany, asked me what I thought of the Copenhagen accord (a waste of time), what was happening in Bonn (a desperate attempt to ram through a binding Treaty that can be put in front of the US Senate before the mid-term elections make Senate acceptance of any such treaty unthinkable), and whether or not there was a climate crisis anyway (there isn’t).

    I explained to Mr. Huan that even if the UN had not exaggerated the warming effect of CO2 many times over there was still nothing we could do about the supposed “crisis”, because we were emitting so little of the stuff in the first place.

    For the record, I did the sum in front of him. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 today is about 388 parts per million by volume.

    However, we are adding just 2 ppmv a year to the air. So the warming we cause each year, even if one believes the UN’s wild exaggerations of CO2’s warming effect, is just 4.7 times the natural logarithm of the proportionate increase in CO2 concentration from 388 to 390 ppmv.

    Thus, 4.7 ln(390/388) = 0.043 Fahrenheit degrees – less than a twentieth of a Fahrenheit degree of “global warming” every year. That is all. Putting it another way, it would take almost a quarter of a century with no carbon-emitting activity at all – not a single train, plane, automobile, or fossil-fueled power station – to forestall just 1 Fahrenheit degree of “global warming”.

    That is why no Treaty based on controlling the amount of carbon dioxide the world emits can possibly work. And that is why there is no hurry anyway. The only reason for the UN’s sense of urgency – a panic no longer felt by the majority of the delegates here – is that the bureaucrats know the game is up. Opinion polls throughout the free world show that no one now believes a word of the climate extremists’ nonsense any more. If they can’t get a binding treaty this year, they won’t get one at all, and they know it.

    I shall be reporting frequently from the conference as events unfold.

  256. 256
    JZ Smith Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Been away, but had a chance to check the thread again. Whew! You guys are still at it toe-to-toe! I confess to not even looking at “#1″, skipped right to #2 and it still took a half hour to skim through it.

    If I may offer a viewpoint from the lay-American point of view: The polls all show a clear drop in public concern as a result of “Hadley-gate”. Average Americans, like average Australians, Britons, Swiss, etc. are smart enough to know a scam when they see one. It’s been fun to watch the squirming of the Warmers as the whole house of cards has come tumbling down.

    I am also happy to see that finally there appears to be some interest in a thorough statistical analysis of the data. I am confident that if all the real original data (if it still exists!) is carefully analyzed, that there will not be a statistical correlation between human produced atmospheric CO2 and temperature variation.

    I’ll try to visit more often

  257. 257
    manacker Says:


    In his excellent book, The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb writes about “epistemic arrogance” (tunneling and thinking narrowly), and how (and why) many “experts” who think they know how to forecast really cannot.

    He points out that forecasts made by “experts” are no more accurate, and usually less so, than those made by “non-experts”, due to this arrogance. What an expert knows when making a prediction is far less important than what he/she does not know. But, in his arrogance, the “expert” doesn’t even know this!

    The three basic fallacies which Taleb lists are:

    1. failing to recognize that the error rate due to variability is often so large that it is far more significant than the projection itself
    2. failing to take into account forecast degradation as the projected period lengthens
    3. misunderstanding of the random character of the variables being forecast

    It is quite apparent that IPCC, with its myopic fixation on human-caused GHGs (in particular CO2) has fallen into the trap of this “epistemic arrogance”; it has also misunderstood “the random nature of the variables being forecast”

    With its “our computers can only explain it with human forcing” logic, IPCC has underestimated the importance of the error rate due to natural variability, which has been “far more significant than the projection itself” (as we have seen for the period after 2000, as well as in the multi-decadal warming/cooling cycles in the record prior to the 1976-2000 “poster” period)

    With the ludicrous projections to year 2100 (and even beyond!), IPCC has obviously failed to “take into account forecast degradation as the projected period lengthens”.

    While the book has nothing specifically to do with climate science per se, Chapter 11 describes the flawed IPCC forecasting process fairly accurately.

    I can highly recommend this book to you, Peter. It is an eye-opener.


  258. 258
    manacker Says:


    To demonstrate how stupid and arrogant your statement is (252), let me play it back to you:

    And don’t give me all that crap about studying the science carefully. You’d made up your mind long before you picked up a text book and started doing any calculations.

    Does this fit for you, Peter?


    PS Bring real “science”, Peter (i.e. studies showing that your dangerous AGW premise is supported by empirical data derived from actual physical observations), not “op-eds” by someone, who even gets his data screwed up. This is not “science”, and it certainly is not “empirical evidence”.

  259. 259
    manacker Says:


    You wrote to our friend PeterM:

    I don’t carry meteorite insurance, gamma ray insurance or insurance in the event my house is swallowed up by a black hole either……simply because the data doesn’t exist to support the expense.

    You may want to reconsider “black hole insurance”.

    CERN in Geneva has a project going, which will attempt to recreate “Big Bang” conditions, and (as a side benefit) identify the “Higgins boson” and “dark matter”. They had a breakthrough a couple of weeks ago, when they created several “mini-Big Bangs”.

    Enviro groups were very concerned that they might create stable “black holes” that could devour CERN, the scientists and a good part of Geneva and surroundings (the anthropogenic black hole threat).

    The project will supposedly cost $ 9.4 billion, which sounds like a lot, but is a drop in the bucket compared to what IPCC AR4 cost the developed world’s taxpayers.

    And with the IPCC report, we didn’t even get a “bang” for our “bucks”; just a 3,000 page sales pitch for cap ‘n tax.


    BTW, if you want to buy “black hole” coverage, I have a friend at SwissRe that can give you a very attractive introductory rate. It’s slightly more expensive than current “global warming catastrophe” coverage (since it has a higher statistical probability of occurring, now that insurance statisticians have downgraded the “GWC” risk following Climategate, etc.)

  260. 260
    manacker Says:


    There has been a lively discussion on Bart Verheggen’s blog on the statistical robustness of the CO2 temperature correlation, with a blogger named VS, who is obviously well versed in econometrics and statistics in general, raising basic questions.

    The point made is that without a statistically robust correlation between CO2 and temperature, the case for CO2 temp causation is very weak (if not invalidated).

    The questions raised by VS remain unanswered on the site, despite a lot of back and forth discussion.

    Citing a paper by Beenstock + Reingewertz using econometrics,
    the cited article states:

    Bottom line, what this means for CO2 and temperature is that they exhibit two completely different sorts of behavior, behavior that can’t remain correlated for long. The further implication is that any correlations found between CO2 and temperature must be spurious, the result of inappropriate statistics. But their analysis did not stop there, they performed additional tests for more subtle and complex relationships:

    Normally, this difference would be sufficient to reject the hypothesis that global temperature is related to the radiative forcing of greenhouse gases, since I(1) and I(2) variables are asymptotically independent. An exception, however, arises when greenhouse gases, global temperature and solar radiation turn out to be polynomially cointegrated. In polynomial cointegration the greenhouse gases that are stationary in second differences must share a common stochastic trend, henceforth the “greenhouse trend”, that is stationary in first differences. If this “greenhouse trend” exists and if it is cointegrated with global temperature and solar irradiance, we may conclude that greenhouse gases are polynomially cointegrated with global temperature and solar irradiance.

    The result of this further analysis was that “although greenhouse gases share a common stochastic trend, this “greenhouse trend” is not cointegrated with global temperature and solar irradiance.” They go on to perform other tests, including decomposing the causes of global warming using data from NASA GISS. From the decomposition they calculate the contributions of various forcings to global temperature change during the 20th century.

    The results of this analysis showed that over the short-term period 1940-2000, forcing from solar irradiance resulted in 0.17C warming, while CO2 showed 0.20C warming and other GHGs showed 0.11C warming (i.e. 35% attributed to solar irradiance and 65% to GHGs).

    Over the longer-term period 1880-2000 the analysis showed that forcing from solar irradiance resulted in 0.40C warming with CO2 and other GHGs at 0.09C and 0.06C, respectively (i.e 74% attributed to solar irradiance and 26% to GHGs).

    The results are shown in Table 4 of the report.

    The forcing from GHGs was found to be of shorter duration than that from solar irradiance.

    Interesting stuff, Peter.


  261. 261
    tempterrain Says:


    No man is an island -John Donne

    No man is an island entire of itself; every man
    is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
    if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
    is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
    because I am involved in mankind.
    And therefore never send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

  262. 262
    Brute Says:

    That’s great Pete……very nice sentiment.

    By the way, I’m having difficulty coming up with the money to pay my income taxes……since you are “part” of me, please send me a couple thousand dollars……after all, what’s yours is mine and mine is yours……..which means my debt is essentially your debt also.

    Apparently, Mr. Donne had quite a problem with debt (he was a freeloader) and frequently put the bite on his friends……so I’d expect that he’d support the collectivist theme.

  263. 263
    Brute Says:

    CO2 Lifetime: Which do you believe- Models or Data?


  264. 264
    tempterrain Says:


    I seem to remember you saying that the chances of the IPCC being right were less than 10%

    The number of houses burning down or even suffering serious fire damage must be very much less than that but even so take out the necessary insurance.

    So doesn’t it make sense to take out that policy?

  265. 265
    tempterrain Says:

    Should be in above ” but even so the owners take out the necessary insurance.”

  266. 266
    manacker Says:


    Just because IPCC might be 10% right on average, does not mean that the IPCC projections for 2100 are 10% correct. These are 100% BS, based on flawed science and the virtual world of GIGO computer simulations, as has been pointed out to you.

    The second problem is that the insurance is much too expensive, even if there were a 10% chance the IPCC projections were right. Much cheaper to send a few Dutch engineers to populated low-lying coastal regions and build a few dikes, in the improbable case they were right (as the Dutch have been doing for centuries).

    Go ahead and take out the insurance for yourself, Peter, if you have let the fear mongering of the insurance salesmen frighten you. Just don’t expect me to do the same.


  267. 267
    manacker Says:


    Re 264/266.

    Please refer to Brute’s 254 concerning meteorite insurance, gamma ray insurance or black hole insurance. These risks are in the same category as “catastrophic AGW”.

    But let’s get serious.

    Exactly what are you proposing in the way of “AGW insurance”? (Please list specific actionable proposals with an estimate of cost and of benefit.)

    Is this an optional expense for the few worrying types in this world (like you), or is it a mandatory expense for all?

    Specifics, please.


  268. 268
    Brute Says:


    You’ll be elated to know that I have single handedly resolved the global warming issue once and for all.

    Over the weekend I cut down a very large old tree on the front forty of the Brute estate……I exhaustively and painstakingly examined the tree rings this morning before breakfast and have concluded that the tree was exactly 106, 3 months and 4 days old (give or take a couple of hours).

    Further examination of the rings after I finished my second cup of coffee indicated that the most robust growing activity occurred when the tree was between 10 and 16 years old which I concluded to be the longest growing season of the tree’s lifespan……subsequent years indicated that the growing season has become shorter which proves that planet has gotten colder since 1905 (Remember, CO2 has been increasing all this time).

    Whew! We can close the thread now and discuss the World Cup………(Why do they call it “The World Cup” when the entire world doesn’t participate?)

  269. 269
    manacker Says:


    Let’s forget the “science” for a moment and talk about logic.

    You wrote:

    the owners take out the necessary insurance

    This is a very good point.

    Dutchmen live along a low lying coast. It makes good sense for them (as “owners” of the low lying coastline) to invest in the “insurance” of a good dike system, with pumps, canals and all the other good stuff. The same is true for the sea walls and levees protecting New Orleans.

    It does not make sense for Swiss or Nepalese to invest in this “insurance”.

    In California and Japan structures are built to withstand occasional major earthquakes. The extra investment made is an “insurance”.

    It does not make sense for someone living in the UK or Norway to invest in this “insurance”.

    So yes. Those that “own” a potential risk can minimize this by investing in “insurance”.

    Who will be hurt by a putative 1 to 2C increase in global temperature? Nobody. Period. (We’ve seen this during the MWP, Roman Optimum, etc,, with no detrimental effects.)

    How about the extremely unlikely scenario that this is 3+C?

    Will the Sahara become green again as it was in warmer times of the past? How about the Sahel? Will Canadian and Russian wheat farmers be hurt or will they benefit from a longer growing season? Will crop growing all around the world benefit from slightly higher CO2 levels?

    There are just too many things we do not know, even if we did know that the temperature impact suggested by IPCC was real (which we definitely do not) or that we could do anything about it (which we also do not know).

    The pessimistic AGW-believer’s logic is that there will more likely than not be more negative effects than positive ones (Stern said so, right?), and since we are all one joined community of nations sharing this planet, we should all “pull together” to solve this potential problem before it becomes a disaster, with the richer, more developed nations carrying the cost to support their less fortunate partners in the world community of nations, starting off with a multi-billion dollar “guilt tax” to be paid by the rich nations to the (corrupt?) governments of the impoverished nations (to find its way into the private Swiss bank accounts of the corrupt leaders).

    This is not at all the same as “the owners takes out the necessary insurance”, so your logic is false.


  270. 270
    James P Says:

    (Why do they call it “The World Cup” when the entire world doesn’t participate?)

    OK, I’ll bite. About 200 nations take part – remind me how many are involved in your ‘World Series’? :-)

  271. 271
    James P Says:

    Brute (268)

    I thought trees lived forever! I mean, they’d have to for carbon offsetting to work, wouldn’t they?

  272. 272
    Robin Guenier Says:

    There’s an observation I’ve made to PeterM many times. It’s this: even if (unlikely though it may be) the dangerous AGW hypothesis is valid and we face catastrophic global warming and even if humans could theoretically do something about it by drastically reducing CO2 emissions, there is no prospect whatever that they will. That’s true partly because we in the developed West show little sign of being ready to take really drastic action but in particular because the developing economies (especially the so-called BRIC countries – Brazil, India and China) have made it wholly clear that, notwithstanding rhetoric to the contrary, nothing will be allowed to stop their economic growth. Hence China’s and India’s (and now South Africa’s) continuing investment in huge coal-fired power stations (with no prospect of carbon sequestration). That’s why Copenhagen failed and why last week’s UN climate conference in Bonn made no progress and prospects for Mexico are dismal – see this and this.

    So CO2 emissions are inevitably set to go on increasing and the West’s feeble attempts to make reductions are a waste of time. Therefore – I’ve said to PeterM (and I repeat to all contributors here) – all the debate about whether man-made climate change is happening and will continue is of little more than academic interest and important only in the context of whether or not disaster is inevitable and, if it is, how (if we can) we should prepare for it. Last time I pressed Peter for an answer (never easy!) I think he said he was “optimistic” and expected China etc. would agree to dramatic cuts after all. Well, recent history shows there is no chance of that happening. So what’s your view now, Peter? Do you still think mankind can avoid catastrophe? And, if so, why? And, if not, what should be done about it?

    There’s no better example of the true colours of the BRIC nations than last week’s quite remarkable story of the World Bank’s decision to loan South Africa $3.75 bn for the construction of what will be one of the world’s largest coal-fired power stations. Guess who backed it? No surprise there: it was Brazil, India and China. Guess who helped by not voting “No”? Amazingly it was the UK – yes, you read that correctly. See my post here.

  273. 273
    tempterrain Says:


    So what’s your argument?

    Humanity in general is so hooked on the drug of dirty coal burning that there is hope of ever getting clean. So lets just pretend that it’s nowhere near so dangerous as those so- called experts tell us!

    Does that sound about right?

  274. 274
    tempterrain Says:

    Sorry, should “no hope of ever getting…”

  275. 275
    Brute Says:

    I thought trees lived forever! I mean, they’d have to for carbon offsetting to work, wouldn’t they?


    Hundreds of thousands of pest in that tree……Ants mostly…….little devils……..a couple of birds nests and what looked like a Woodpecker’s hive/hole/lair………

    You’ll be happy to know Pete, that I gave the ants plenty of notice to vacate the premises so it isn’t my fault if they’re now homeless.

    By the way Pete, I used a 27 Ton Troy Built Gasoline Powered Hydraulic Splitter to break up the logs and a Two Stroke Poulan 24 inch chain saw to cut the tree into manageable pieces……the solar powered models I tried couldn’t cut a fart.

  276. 276
    James P Says:

    Robin (272)

    I don’t know if it’s still true, but I remember hearing not long ago that China was commissioning a new coal-fired power station every week, and that this was equivalent to the entire generating capacity of the UK every year, which makes our feeble attempts with low-energy light bulbs and windmills look a bit like pissing in the, er, wind.

    Brute – the comment about trees living forever was from me. It was an attempt at irony.. :-)

  277. 277
    Robin Guenier Says:


    You ask (#273) what is my “argument”. As usual you’re not paying attention: I neither made an argument nor expressed a view. No – I stated a truth and asked a question.

    The truth: despite years of “expert” pronouncements, the developing economies, already emitting more CO2 than the developed West, have no intention of cutting back. On the contrary, China and India for example (and now, with their support, South Africa) are building even more vast coal-fired power stations. Global CO2 emissions will inevitably continue to rise.

    The question: given your belief in the dangerous AGW hypothesis, do you think therefore that mankind faces catastrophe? (And, if not, why not?)

  278. 278
    Brute Says:

    I have about as much faith in this happening as I have that Al Gore will ever fly commercial…..

    UN process in danger unless world agrees on climate change

    The United Nation process is in danger of collapsing unless countries are able to agree on the best way to stop global warming by the end of this year, the outgoing head of climate change negotiations has warned.

  279. 279
    manacker Says:


    My name is Jimmy. I am an important climate scientist. In fact, I am in charge of one of the temperature series being used to measure our planet’s temperature, the “globally and annually averaged hand-picked land and sea surface temperature”.

    We have a lot of measurement stations all over the world. Some are in cities or towns , some at airports and some in rural locations. Some are near asphalt parking lots or AC exhausts, others are in the middle of a grassy field. In fact there are over 5,000 stations all over the place (but mostly in the USA and Europe).

    There used to be a whole lot more. We once had 15,000 stations, but we got rid of a whole bunch around 1990. These were mostly in ghastly rural places such as Siberia (once part of the Soviet Union), and many inside the Arctic Circle.

    Now you probably know that the “globally and annually averaged hand-picked land and sea surface temperature is around 15C. But in these awful spots the yearly average is 1 to 4C.

    So by eliminating 150 stations with 4C average temp, the average for the total stations would be increased by 0.4C. This is as much as the total warming we have seen since 1976, when the current warming spurt started.

    Now you may have heard warnings from me about “irreversible tipping points”, dangerous CO2 levels, drastic warming partly “hidden in the pipeline” and “coal death trains”, so you might think I would try to make the warming problem look worse than it really is. And you might think that by eliminating these stations, the global average was allowed to go up by these 0.4C, so that warming would look worse. But we took special care to make sure this would not occur by making the appropriate adjustments, right?


  280. 280
    Brute Says:

    Hey Jimmie,
    The correlation between temperature rise and number of weather stations seems to be the cause and effect needle in the haystack we’ve been looking for all this time.

    Instead of raising taxes, building windmills/solar panels and retooling our factories it would seem that all we have to do is build some more weather stations to stop the relentless, acute rise in global temperatures………


  281. 281
    Brute Says:


    Can you do a graph of Al Gore’s net worth vs. the global average temperature since 2000?

  282. 282
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Sorry, but by way of contrast to the earlier cuddlier polar bear image; “Polar bears turn cannibal because of AGW”

    For more details, see my teasing of blogger Marco here

    I was wondering whether to put this on the general election thread.

  283. 283
    manacker Says:

    Dear Brute

    Thanks for tip about adding weather stations to resolve AGW symptom. (See below for list of stations we operate today, plus some of those we scrapped.)

    Problem is, we’d have to put them back in these absolutely ghastly Arctic and sub-Arctic Siberian locations like Murmansk or Oktiabrskaya to get the desired impact, and it’s much harder to find station managers than it was back in the good ol’ USSR days, when you could simply give them the choice between the weather station or the nearby Gulag.

    Now they all want to be at the air-conditioned station on Wilshire Boulevard in downtown LA!

    Ah, the good old pre-Glasnost days of Socialist Realpolitik!

    Yours truly,


  284. 284
    Brute Says:

    I love this……Solar Farm operators in Spain figured out that because they can charge much, much more for “green” power to nutty environmentalist consumers…..they decided to hook up diesel generators alongside the solar panels and collect even more money from the dopey Eco-Chondriacs.

    Only trouble is, someone got wise when they figured out that the solar farms were producing electricity…………at night.

    The other reason for using diesel generators to boost the solar farm output is that the solar panel farms are producing far less power than originally stated and they needed to justify the expense so they can build MORE solar farms at taxpayer expense.

    So, the kooky liberals buying this (very expensive) electricity think they’re “saving” the planet……while the reality is that the power is generated by diesel generators puffing away……………

    The insanity of greenery

  285. 285
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Greenies at work.
    There has been a big stink going on here for about 9 (?) days following the grounding of a modest Chinese coal carrier on the Great Barrier Reef. It became a tourist attraction with federal and state politicians taking various flights to have a look. The PM expressed rage and threatened anyone responsible etc.

    First there was doom and gloom about oil spill, but in the end it was contained to an estimated 2 tons, whilst the remainder was pumped onto another ship.

    Then it was “shocking scarring” of the reef with one expert from the marine park authority that I saw on TV claiming that it was the worst damage he had ever seen.
    Here is an extract from one report:
    GBRMPA spokesman David Wachenfeld says the ship has left a scar on the reef about three kilometres long and 250 metres wide.
    “We found areas of up to 20 to 40 metres across where the top of the shoal has been completely pulverised, so all of the plants and animals have been killed,” he said.

    As I understand it from other reading, the area of severe damage was over a length of ~100m, caused as the vessel actually grounded. It has been claimed that the lighter and wider damage subsequently resulted from drift, (presumably sideways), despite two restraining tugs being in attendance. (It has been towed to a safe mooring BTW)

    Now they are worried about anti fouling paint scraped off the hull destroying all life.

    Then, shock horror, there was oil washed up on a nearby island bird sanctuary. However, rather embarrassingly, a TV crew followed the clean-up party, and they were only able to pick-up some hand-sized bits of what was very obviously OLD oil-tar, all contained in some hand-held plastic bags.

    I thought about trying to find, or mark-up a map of the reef, showing the scale of the damage, but unsuccessfully concluded that since it is ~2,000 k long it would be rather difficult to scale it.

  286. 286
    manacker Says:


    Shakespeare wrote about a story similar to your Great Barrier Reef apocalypse: “Much Ado about Nothing”.

    Had the ship been carrying giant wind turbine parts (or solar panels) from China, would the “disaster” have been so bad?


  287. 287
    Brute Says:


    Al Gore just held a news conference and stated that Britain is now being buried under pumice and ash just like Pompeii due to global warming……

    Are you guys alright over there?

  288. 288
    manacker Says:


    Al (our pal) is right, of course.

    We have seen a flurry of recent anthropogenically caused earthquakes causing massive loss of life, and now this anthropogenically caused volcanic eruption causing a shutdown of air traffic across Europe (even for private jets, such as that of our pal, Al).

    Apocalypse is obviously near (as PeterM will surely agree).

    We are doomed, Brute.

    But there is a glimmer of hope.

    If we all submit to a draconian carbon “guilt tax” or cap and trade scheme run by our super-huckster and world savior, Al, we might possibly be saved from (otherwise certain) damnation and destruction.

    Amen, brother! Pass the plate for Al, our pal.


  289. 289
    manacker Says:


    Re 284.

    It’s not only in Spain where power companies are cashing in on gullible greenies.

    The Swiss power cos also sell (at a premium) “green” power.

    Now Switzerland has no viable fossil fuels, but is fortunate to be able to generate a large %-age of its power from hydro-electric plants (how “green” can you get?), with most of the rest coming from nukes (not much deadly CO2 there, either).

    But nuclear power does not officially count as “green”.

    When the unsuspecting greenie signs up for “green power”, he is buying whatever is in the grid, whether it comes from a Swiss (or French) nuke, a Swiss hydroelectric plant, a Swiss gas-fired standby plant or imported power from coal-fired plants.

    But he feels good that he is doing something to “help save the planet”, when in fact he is only getting ripped off by the power company.

    Was it the famous P.T. Barnum (or your current President) that proclaimed that a sucker is born every day?


  290. 290
    Alex Cull Says:

    Brute, re your #287, it isn’t quite The Last Days of Pompeii over here just yet, although the sunset this evening was pretty and a harbinger of more like it, probably. It’s also eerily quiet in my neighbourhood, which is very close to Heathrow – no planes in or out until 1 o’clock tomorrow afternoon at least.

    If Katla erupts (and it might well) things might become even more interesting. The last time it blew up in earnest was 1918, and although there were no discernable effects on the weather then (or so I’ve read), it’s also probably worth recalling that when another Icelandic volcano Laki erupted in 1783, there was a severe northern hemisphere winter to follow.

    So climatically speaking, it’s one to watch, maybe.

  291. 291
    Brute Says:


    I’m suspending my rapier wit for this one post as I know that it is a serious situation and I pray for the safety and health of the people of Iceland as well as the UK and Europe.

    I’ll resume my sarcastic tone tomorrow. Keep us posted………

    God Bless.

  292. 292
    Alex Cull Says:

    Brute, fortunately the ash plume is keeping to high altitudes, so it’s mainly a threat to airliners, although locally in Iceland they are having to contend with a dusting of ash near the ground (and there’s also flooding from the melted glacier.)

    Just a very general observation – it’s ironical that while there’s so much that’s questionable and inconclusive in the global warming debate, when nature does do something that impacts on us significantly – like these eruptions, like hurricanes, blizzards, tsunamis and earthquakes – we know about it and right away!

  293. 293
    manacker Says:


    Here in Switzerland there has been no impact from the Iceland volcano (except that many flights to the north have been cancelled).

    A quick Google check on the potential “climate impact” shows “scientists” telling us that it will have no impact on global temperature, since the ash and SO2 has not gone high enough to reach the upper troposphere. So Alex may not need to be concerned that it will trigger very cold winters (we’ve had one of those just prior to the eruption, anyway).

    It will be interesting to see how the AGW crowd plays this one: if it warms this year “scientists warn that warming would have been much more severe without the Eyjafjallajökull eruption”; if it cools “scientists caution that Eyjafjallajökull only provides minor ‘speed bump’ in rampant global warming”.

    But to come to another point (made by Alex, as well). It appears that we have had an “unusual” number of earthquakes over the past several months, and now this volcano, with the news travelling fast.

    Can we be sure that these are not anthropogenically caused and somehow related to AGW? Maybe it is all that “hidden energy in the pipeline” from AGW (as postulated by James E. Hansen) that is now being released? Maybe NASA should launch a multi-million dollar (US taxpayer funded) study to see how big the AGW impact really was here.

    What do you think?


  294. 294
    Brute Says:


    I think that mankind has angered the Earth God Gaia as was foretold through the Sacred Scriptures (IPCC AR4)………Gaia is screaming out in anger over our disrespect and is punishing mankind by lashing out in climactic retribution to punish and destroy the wicked Enviro-realists (that would be you and me).

    If we don’t sacrifice some virgins quickly, all will be lost……

    Or, it could be that everything is normal and it’s been a slow news cycle………

  295. 295
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Well, the Earth God (Goddess?) Gaia has certainly punished me for my enviro-realist sins. Yesterday, Mrs G and I left for the airport for a short holiday in the Algarve and then Seville. As we left home, my computer said the flight was “operational’. When, after 20 minutes, we got to the airport it was cancelled. The airport was like a good humoured (no one to blame) but unruly zoo – and, after about 2 hours of queuing, we were just able to get 2 tickets for a flight just after midday tomorrow (Saturday). So we kept our cases packed and rebooked our taxi. I’ve just heard (10:30pm UK time) that tomorrow’s flight is now cancelled. We’ve given up.

    Trouble is that it’s so difficult to find virgins these days.

  296. 296
    Brute Says:


    Couldn’t you and Mrs. G use that wonderful train system over there that everyone is constantly bragging about? (primarily Europeans)….

    Isn’t there a under-channel “Chuttle” or some other budget busting project that is a “marvel of engineering” that you could use to get to the mainland?

    I must say, considering the amount of CO2 emitted to fly yourself and Mrs. G such a short distance is not very “green”….did you plant a bunch of trees to offset your “climate expense” before planning this trip?

  297. 297
    Brute Says:

    NCAR’s missing heat – they could not find it any-where

  298. 298
    Brute Says:

    Stock market is down 125 points today……..General Electric dropped a half a buck…… “green” energy investment strategy isn’t paying off…..

    They’d better start selling more of those stupid windmills or we’ll have to move to Great Britain and cash in on the free government handouts.

  299. 299
    tempterrain Says:


    “Free government handouts ?” I thought that those of us who lived in social democratic European type systems were “serfs” not pampered idlers?

    Make your mind up. Which is it?

    The way the system should work, and has so far for me personally, is that it starts off giving all children decent health care and a good publicly funded education. Then as earning power is increased that all gets paid back, and more besides, into the system through general taxation. Hopefully it will look after us all when we’re old but sometimes I’m not too sure about that.

    I don’t like writing out tax cheques any more than anyone else but, as you right wingers keep pointing out, we know we don’t get something for nothing.

    Brits, Europeans, and Aussies are free to come and go as we please. In many ways we must have more liberty than you Americans to do that. Its quite noticeable just how few American backpackers there are in Australia compared to young European travellers.

  300. 300
    Brute Says:

    “Free government handouts ?”

    It was a joke Pete……..Remember? Slow news day……..

    While I have you on the wire, something you can help me with…….you Socialists are always advocating increased government involvement and increasing government spending…….but never offer to pay any more than you owe……why is that? (It’s tax season here)……

    You’re always willing to shout from the hilltops, Spend!…..but never voluntarily write a check over your tax bill to the government…….you want “free” stuff for everyone as long as you don’t have to pay for it?

    Liberal Vice President Biden is a great example…..makes buckets of money and gives $4,000.00 to charity this year……big spender that one……..I guess he’s too busy redistributing other people’s wealth…….

  301. 301
    Brute Says:

    By the way, I don’t need or want the government to “look after me” when I get old…… family/frends will do that.

  302. 302
    tempterrain Says:


    Don’t you have any sort of “Aged” pension system in the USA?

    Many European workers retire on quite generous State pensions. Half pay or more in Germany? Why not, they’ve paid over the years with higher taxes. Not so generous in Australia or the UK but at least you wouldn’t starve.

    The idea is that people shouldn’t have to rely on charity. So, no-one is expected to pay in more than is required, which would be a charity donation. What is received isn’t classed as charity either. There is no stigma attached to collecting it.

  303. 303
    manacker Says:

    PeterM and Brute

    You mention retirement plans for “those who live in Europe”, Peter.

    Switzerland (a European country) has an old-age retirement scheme pretty similar to that of the USA. There is a government plan, paid for by payroll tax, which provides a minimum retirement income at age 65; ours is a bit less generous than the US Social Security benefit, especially if the maximum working years have not been reached by retirement. A second difference: there is no “cap” to the payroll tax deduction (as there is in the USA). This plan is known as the “first pillar”.

    Employers also offer a supplemental retirement package, where both employee and employer contribute, known as the “second pillar” here. A minimum plan is required by law (since the mid-1980s). This is similar to “401K” plans in the USA, but I do not believe that there is a mandatory minimum plan there.

    Then there are tax-deferred schemes for putting aside a limited amount of added retirement income, known as the “third pillar”.

    The government is directly involved in only the “first pillar”..

    Google tells me that the average retirement income in the USA was $49,000/yr in 2008 (Social Security is only a bit more than half of this: the maximum benefit was around $27,000).

    The maximum Swiss AHV pension is around CHF 26,800/year ($ 25,500 equivalent). Google tells me that the average “second pillar” was CHF 33,500/year ($32,000 equivalent), so the total comes out pretty much the same (but basic costs, such as food and housing, are quite a bit higher in Switzerland).

    Google tells me that a retired German household will receive a maximum of Euro 24,000/year ($32,400/year) from the state plan. In addition, many Germans, especially higher-paid salaried employees or self-employed individuals, have a private supplemental plan to increase the total retirement income. There are no published data on these, but I know cases, where this has added another 50% to 100% to the income from the state plan.

    All in all, there is not much difference between the three countries overall. People who have worked all their lives in any of the 3 systems will not have to worry about “starving to death”.

    “Fat cat” German retirement plans and “starving” US retirees are exceptions to the rule.

    But this all has little to do with our topic here.


  304. 304
    Brute Says:

    But this all has little to do with our topic here.

    Max is right.

    Don’t you have any sort of “Aged” pension system in the USA?

    Quickly, We do have the Social Security Trust Fund which our politicians have stolen and filled with IOU’s. This year, Social Security paid out more than was paid in……’s upside down…….Like any government run program, it’s mismanaged and insolvent. All of the people that were born just after WWII, (and there are a lot of them) begin collecting this year (age 65). The next few years will get even worse.

    A perfect storm for financial disaster.

  305. 305
    Brute Says:

    “Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes”

  306. 306
    manacker Says:


    Regarding the Iceland volcano:

    Another beautiful theory (AGW may cause ice cap to thaw, awakening Icelandic volcanoes) invalidated.

    Shucks! And it sounded so good.


    PS The ash cloud has touched Switzerland and the Geneva, Basel and Zurich airports were shut down today. Is this a real threat to jet airliners? (Bring back the good ol’ DC4s and DC8s.)

  307. 307
    Brute Says:

    Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t……

    Grounding Of Planes Across Europe Could Lead To Temperature Rise……

  308. 308
    Brute Says:

    Global Warming activist & CNN newscaster Rick Sanchez……..

    CNN’s Rick Sanchez: Iceland’s Too Cold For a Volcano

  309. 309
    Brute Says:

    Gore takes cash for water campaign from chemical firm

  310. 310
    manacker Says:


    Sanchez never was known for his smarts, as this clip shows.


  311. 311
    Brute Says:


    Is there any way to even begin to estimate how much “greenhouse gas” this volcano has emitted in a week and how many cars/power-plants/households would be an equivalent?

  312. 312
    manacker Says:


    Don’t have any data on “SUV equivalents” of current volcanic eruption, but just read in local newspaper that the last major volcanic eruption in Iceland may have been responsible for the crop failures and famines that resulted in the French Revolution.

    Louis XVI (in French): The peasants are revolting!
    Marie-Antoinette: They certainly are.

    The report states that the current eruption is not that strong (yet), so that no major cooling is expected to result.

    Let’s hope the report is correct.


  313. 313
    Brute Says:

    Harvey Korman (Count DeMoney):

    “The peasants are revolting”

    Mel Brooks (King Louis XVI):

    “You said it……they stink on ice”

  314. 314
    Robin Guenier Says:

    That volcano ash.

    This article suggests that “the European Union’s famous precautionary principle is behind this absurdly risk averse air travel ban.” A spokesman for Lufthansa (“rightly furious over this disaster” after carrying out its own test flights) said,

    We found no damage to the engines, fuselage or cockpit windows. This is why we are urging the aviation authorities to run more test flights rather than relying on computer models.

    It seems the EU relied on UN and UK Met Office computer simulations rather than “real science” – i.e. “testability, samples and experimental test flights”.

    Sound familiar?

  315. 315
    manacker Says:


    Yes. There is quite an uproar brewing because of the forced groundings, especially now that it is coming out that they were all based on the same kind of GIGO computer simulations used to “predict” future climate disasters and the infamous “precautionary principle” carried to extremes.

    Let’s get the names of those who made these studies and of the EU officials that were stupid enough to fall for them and issue the flying ban.

    I have heard that this is all costing $200 million per day. Of course, the nincompoops that have caused this grounding will not be held accountable in any way, but they should at least be exposed publicly.


  316. 316
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Re my 314 and Max’s 315, something extraordinary has just happened. After days of assuring us that the Met Office models were sound and aircraft were not to fly in UK airspace and after telling us today that, despite the rest of Europe virtually returning to normal, the restrictions would remain in place “until at least” tomorrow and despite the ash cloud still being up there, its suddenly been announced that “All UK airports can reopen from 2200″ tonight. Well, well. Hmm – it seems the decision was based on “thorough gathering of data and analysis”. Willie Walsh – British Airways CEO – said “lessons can be learned”, ominously adding: “There will be plenty of time for a post mortem of what has happened over the last few days.”

    This may have wide implications.

  317. 317
    Alex Cull Says:

    I live almost right under the landing path to Heathrow and a plane came in to land at about 9.50 this evening. I can hear distant aircraft noise from my garden now, so it sounds like things are starting to go back to normal.

    Richard North at EU Referendum is running with this story here and here.

  318. 318
    Brute Says:

    Ash cloud models – overrated? A word on Post Normal Science by Dr. Jerome Ravetz

  319. 319
    Brute Says:

    Climate sceptic wins landmark data victory ‘for price of a stamp’

    Belfast ecologist forced to hand over tree-ring data describes order from information commission as a ‘staggering injustice’

  320. 320
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Thanks for the references to North’s posts on the flight ban debacle. He has another (Breaching the barricades of bureaucracy) here.

    He suggests that British Airways CEO Willie Walsh, with 22 long haul aircraft converging on the UK, “had virtually made clear [they] were going to land, come what may” – and the bureaucrats, waffling for the first time about “risk assessment” and empirical evidence, buckled.

    Now, with hundreds more millions spent, much heartache and disruption and increasing chaos, ministers and officials have finally come to the conclusion that was evident almost from the start, that the total shutdown of UK aviation was a gross over-reaction, and entirely unwarranted.

    As I said at #310, this may have wide implications.

  321. 321
    TonyN Says:

    The Government’s Chief Scientist, Sir John Beddington, was wheeled out on the BBC R4 News at 8.00am to say that the advice given by scientists about the dangers of the volcanic ash was ‘unequivocal’. I wonder how that one will play out?

  322. 322
    Robin Guenier Says:


    As this story seems to be demonstrating, being unequivocal isn’t the same thing as being right.

  323. 323
    TonyN Says:


    I hope that the chaos of the last week will help policy-makers and the public appreciate that.

    Apparently the model that the Met Office is using was originally developed during the cold war to monitor the spread of nuclear fallout. The say that it has been updated over the years.

  324. 324
    James P Says:

    Does anyone know much CO2 the Eyjafjallajökull* volcano is putting out?

    *Cut and pasted – obviously!

  325. 325
    manacker Says:



    The Germanic pronunciation tip includes “Ah, ja!”, “Fiat”, “Joghurt” and “Merkel”, but appears a bit inexact, while the Anglophone version:

    “Ah, yeah…fee…Allah…yokel”

    sounds a bit closer.

    The French have given up. You can’t pronounce this word in French. The last TF1 news announcer that tried it got his tongue tied in knots and had to be hospitalized.


  326. 326
    manacker Says:


    Sorry for the digression…

    Does anyone know much CO2 the Eyjafjallajökull volcano is putting out?

    About as much as Brute’s 1,500 hp “eco-mobile” at full throttle speed in (fuel saving) overdrive.

    Maybe Brute can confirm.

  327. 327
    Brute Says:

    About as much as Brute’s 1,500 hp “eco-mobile” at full throttle speed in (fuel saving) overdrive.

    Maybe Brute can confirm.

    Let’s just say the 1500HP Brutemobile® creates it’s own atmosphere and leave it at that…………

  328. 328
    Bob_FJ Says:

    The volcano tongue twister:
    Did anyone see that TV doco’ several years ago about a handicapped savant with incredible memory whom visited Iceland with a task of learning the language? He was allowed one or two (?) weeks and then appeared on local TV for an interview before a panel. (In Icelandic) Apparently, he did astonishingly well.

  329. 329
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Volcano dust:
    On another TV doco about Hong Kong airport, which is badly exposed to “wind shear”, they introduced doppler lasers that were sensitive to the invisible particle movements in the air.
    Something similar might be useful, especially in the context of the huge cost etc of this debacle?

    But why could they not fly at low altitude?

  330. 330
    Robin Guenier Says:

    So far as this thread is concerned, the the key point of this volcano/flight story is not whether the authorities were right, important and controversial though that is. No, what’s important here is that it’s a perfect illustration of a simple yet basic truth: real world empirical evidence trumps theory and computer modelling every time.

    I’m tempted to note that that’s especially true when the computer modelling is done by the Met Office. But of course that would be irrelevant: empirical evidence trumps any computer model. What is worth noting, however, is that modelling the dispersal of ash from a volcano is absurdly easy compared with modelling the climate in 50 years time.

  331. 331
    James P Says:


    But why could they not fly at low altitude?

    I wondered that, too, but apparently commercial jets only run really happily at high altitude, and consume much more fuel in denser air. Turboprops (which are really jets with gears) seem OK, but presumably engines can be optimised for any altitude, on the drawing board at least.

    Max – thanks for your help with pronunciation. I noticed that even the BBC tried to avoid it, but it’s not so bad once broken down – I might even try throwing it into the conversation!

    Robin – couldn’t agree more. Do you think it’s the same model? :-)

  332. 332
    manacker Says:


    Volcanoes have become a “hot topic” lately.

    In his book, Heaven and Earth, geologist Ian Plimer argued that volcanic eruptions emit a larger amount of CO2 than humans.

    At first glance, this claim appears absurd. Studies of subaerial (land-based) volcanoes show us that these emit a far smaller amount of CO2 than humans. Gerlach et al. have estimated that, even doubling the amount of CO2 from subaerial volcanoes to account for submarine volcanoes and rifts, would put volcanic CO2 at 130-230 million metric tons, compared to 30 billion metric tons from human activities, including fossil fuel burning, cement production, land clearing and gas flaring,

    But is this estimate realistic, or does Plimer (as a geologist) know something we are overlooking?

    Writer O’Sullivan cites a study on submarine volcanoes:

    Oceanographers Hillier and Watts (2007) surveyed 201,055 submarine volcanoes, From this they concluded an astounding total of 3,477,403 submarine volcanoes must reasonably exist worldwide. They based this finding on the earlier and well-respected observations of Earth and Planetary Sciences specialist, Batiza (1982) who found that at least 4 per cent of seamounts are active volcanoes.

    Now 3.5 million submarine volcanoes begin to sound like a fairly substantial number, especially when we compare it to the 600 or so subaerial volcanoes that have had known eruptions during recorded history.

    If the Hillier and Watts estimate of 3.5 million submarine volcanoes is correct, and only one-third of these are active and emitting the same level of CO2 emissions as the subaerial volcanoes measured by Gerlach, then the amount of CO2 emitted would be:

    (1,170,000 / 600) * 130 to 230 million mt/yr = 250 to 450 billion mt/year

    Humans = 30 billion mt/yr

    Submarine volcanoes = 8 to 15 times human emissions.

    Since the isotopic composition of volcanic CO2 and human CO2 emissions from fossil fuel are identical, there is no way to be certain what is causing the acidification of the oceans.

    O’Sullivan argues that if the ocean acidification came from human CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, a similar acidification of fresh water lakes and reservoirs would occur. Since this acidification has not occurred, it is quite possible that most of the observed ocean acidification has come from somewhere other than the atmosphere, i.e. from submarine volcanic eruptions.

    Another study has shown how submarine volcanic eruptions may actually help the oceans process larger amounts of CO2 through photosynthesis.

    As the volcanoes pump out iron-rich water between Australia and Antarctica, phytoplankton blooms. The phytoplankton acts much like trees do, absorbing carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen, creating an all-natural carbon sink.

    So, it appears that the whole story is much more complicated than one would think from first glance.

    And Plimer may well have been spot on with his statement that volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans.


  333. 333
    James P Says:

    the whole story is much more complicated than one would think from first glance

    Ain’t that the truth! Perhaps the Met Office should reconsider its climate forecasts, when it appears unable accurately to map the cloud from a single volcano over a matter of days…

  334. 334
    tonyb Says:

    Max 332

    As you know I was sceptical of Plimers assertions on Co2 emissions as he made them without any back up figures i.e. based on what is currently published.

    Having spoken to vulcanologists when visiting my son at Cambridge University, it is apparent that all believe the number of volcanoes is greater by a very big factor than what has been believed until recently.

    So it is likely they do contribute a much greater anmount of Co2 than previously believed, but I do think Plimer ought to publish his figures.

    A second factor is that according to the IPCC a significant % of Co2 remains in the atmosphere for a thousand years. Therefore we need to take into account the emissions from volcanies for the 950 years prior to mans recent additions.


  335. 335
    manacker Says:


    Yes. I was skeptical of Plimer’s claims at first, as well, but it appears that latest studies may validate them. Apparently some 200,000 submarine volcanoes have already been identified and scientists believe there may be more that 10 times this number, which have not yet been identified, in regions which have not yet been explored..

    At any rate, it appears that the Gerlach et al. estimate made back in the early 1990s is outdated. This estimate was the basis for the “mainstream” opinion that CO2 emissions from volcanoes were much less important than those from human activities. This opinion may now need to be reconsidered, in light of the newest data.

    You wrote:

    A second factor is that according to the IPCC a significant % of Co2 remains in the atmosphere for a thousand years. Therefore we need to take into account the emissions from volcanoes for the 950 years prior to mans recent additions.

    This is a good point, although I do not believe the “thousand year” estimate for remaining “in the atmosphere”. Several studies have shown that this is less than 15 years. But the CO2 does apparently remain “in the system” somewhere for a longer period, maybe even hundreds of years. This means (as you say) that the emissions from past volcanoes may be just as important as anthropogenic emissions of today, as far as greenhouse forcing is concerned.

    The one study I cited showed that massive amounts of CO2 are absorbed by phytoplankton (and converted to oxygen), and that this process, itself, is enhanced by iron contained in submarine volcanic emissions, in sort of a “negative feedback”.

    At any rate, if these new studies turn out to be conclusive, it will shed a whole new light on the relative importance (or lack thereof) of human CO2 emissions.


  336. 336
    tempterrain Says:


    15 years is obviously too short a time for even the half life of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Currently the increase in C02 levels is just about, and to keep the numbers simple, 1ppmv per year. The Earth and oceans absorb about half, and again to keep the numbers simple, so it would be 2ppmv per year if it didn’t absorb any at all.

    If the Earth didn’t absorb any then the CO2 would stay there for ever even if human emissions suddenly stopped. However, if they did suddenly stop, the earth would next year still take up the same 1 ppmv as it did this year.

    So on the basis that the Earth always takes up half, the natural fall in CO2 would be at exactly the same rate as the rise we’ve seen in the last 150 years.

    I’m not sure how the IPCC calculates its figures but the danger is that the oceans and earth will find it increasingly difficult to take up their half share as CO2 levels increase. In that case the rate of fall would be much less than the rate of increase.

  337. 337
    Brute Says:

    Obama Earth Day Flights Burned More Than 9,000 Gallons Of Fuel

    Obama/Biden Celebrate Earth Day by Tying Up New York Air Traffic…

  338. 338
    Brute Says:

    Potentially deadly fungus spreading in US, Canada

    Freezing can kill the fungus and climate change may be helping it spread, the researchers said.

  339. 339
    tempterrain Says:

    Max and Robin,

    I’ve been thinking about your repeated calls for empirical evidence that mankind’s CO2 emissions are responsible for temperature rises. It seems that you aren’t totally convinced that the evidence is as strong as some people might claim.

    So, lets just say, for the sake of argument, that you are right. To resolve the question, we need to do some experiments, we need more tests.

    So, how about we reduce CO2 emissions down to about 20% of their current levels for the next 100 years or and see what happens? If mainstream science is right we should see CO2 concentrations slowly fall in the atmosphere and the temperature fall with it, but maybe after a 20 year or so time lag. After a couple of hundred years we can then let it rise again, then we’ll let it drop once more and see if the whole process is repeatable. Just another 500 years, which isn’t long in Geological terms, and we’ll all be much closer to an agreement.

    Its a pity that we won’t be around to see that but, as we all agree that science should be done thoroughly, with no corners cut, it would seem to be the only way to resolve the issue a little more “uniquivocally” ( was that the term you used? )than we can at present.

  340. 340
    tempterrain Says:

    I meant “unequivocally”. Mustn’t have had my spell checker switched on.

  341. 341
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (#339):

    Yes, that’s quite funny. But, you know, there’s no need for your “experiment”. As things are, man’s CO2 emissions have been increasing for years and that’s set to continue: whatever the developed West may do to reduce them (almost certainly nothing on current form), the developing economies, already emitting more than the West, haven’t the slightest intention of reducing theirs – see this (and read my #15). So emissions will continue to grow and grow. And grow. Until, that is, the day when mankind finds an economic and viable alternative to fossil fuels. Then, maybe in 100 years, CO2 emissions will start to fall. All you have to do, Peter, is wait and see what happens to temperatures over this period: is there a correlation between emissions and temperature? That might resolve it for you. Of course, you already have a clue to the answer: there’s little sign of correlation in the historical record.

    So, no need for your “experiment”.

  342. 342
    manacker Says:


    You wrote:

    15 years is obviously too short a time for even the half life of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    If you will recall, we discussed this once before.

    A study by Tom Segalstad gives an excellent summary of atmospheric residence time of CO2 based on 36 different studies using 6 different analytical methods; the average residence time is 7.6 years.

    And Brute also posted the results of several studies on this (263) (possibly from the same summary). Most of the studies showed atmospheric CO2 residence time of below 10 years (average was 7.5 years). Only one study was above 20 years (except, of course, for IPCC, which was over 100 years).

    These data are based on actual analytical procedures (not simply model simulations).

    As we saw from the volcano data, things are much more complicated than the oversimplified IPCC assumptions based on the myopic fixation on atmospheric anthropogenic CO2 as the principal driver of out planet’s climate.

    Where does the CO2 go? The ocean is a massive carbon sink, not only as dissolved CO2 (actually carbonate and bicarbonate ions in a slightly alkaline environment), but even more as plant life in the billions of tons of phytoplankton that apparently thrive on slightly higher CO2 concentrations. This carbon then enters the life chain; a significant portion eventually ends up as calcium carbonate, which settles to the bottom of the ocean, leaving the short-term “carbon cycle”. The very small portion that “stays in the atmosphere” is insignificant in comparison.

    As the studies I cited earlier point out, it is highly likely that a major portion of the added CO2 going into the ocean (and entering the life cycle there) is not coming from the atmosphere, as originally assumed, but rather from the large number of suboceanic volcanoes. The fact that fresh water reservoirs around the world are not showing increased CO2 concentrations indicates that increased oceanic CO2 concentrations are most likely not coming from the atmosphere, as the study points out.

    At any rate, it is pretty certain that the atmospheric residence time of CO2 is on average somewhere under 10 years, based on all the many studies made.


  343. 343
    manacker Says:


    Robin is right, of course.

    In our “experiment”, we do not have to resort to the drastic and very painful plan to “reduce CO2 emissions down to about 20% of their current levels for the next 100 years or and see what happens”, as you suggest.

    Besides, as Robin had told you many times, the “developing nations” have no intention ahatsoever of embarking on such a path.

    All we need to do is continue emitting CO2 at the rates that make sense for our world-wide economic development (as we are now doing), and see what happens.

    If we see a continuation of the cooling trend we have actually seen after 2000, despite record CO2 increase, we will know that AGW is not the principal driver of our planet’s climate, after all, and the premise of a serious potential threat from AGW will have been invalidated.

    If we see a return to a slow warming trend, as we have observed in multi-decadal spurts since 1850, we will still have the dilemma of explaining these oscillations despite gradually increasing atmospheric CO2.

    If we see the warming go as the IPCC models project, then we can look at the appropriate adaptation strategies. But let’s see which IPCC projections pass the “sanity test” to start off with.

    The top two IPCC projections (A2 and A1F1 scenarios) are physically impossible in any case (there is not enough carbon in all the fossil fuels on Earth to reach 1000 ppmv, let alone 1280 or 1570 ppmv, as projected).

    The next three projections (A1T, B2, A1B scenarios) show CAGR of atmospheric CO2 that are 1.5 to 2.5 times those actually seen for the past 5 or 50 years, so do not pass the “reality” test either, and can therefore also be discarded.

    So we are left with scenario B1, which predicts warming of 1.1 to 2.9C above 1980-1999 averages by 2100, or 0.8 to 2.6C above 2009 temperature.

    So we do nothing (except record temperature and CO2 levels) until we have seen warming of, let’s say, 0.5C above the 2009 temperature (annual anomaly equal to 0.94C).

    Let’s say this happens by year 2060 or so.

    By then we may know more about the natural variability (a.k.a. natural forcing factors) that caused the multi-decadal oscillations in the past plus the post 2000 cooling despite record CO2 increase.

    So we may know that the warming to an anomaly of 0.94C was not caused primarily by human CO2, but by something totally different. In this case we don’t need to worry about reducing CO2 at all, but just need to concentrate on adapting to our climate (as we have been doing for centuries).

    If, by then, we truly have conclusive evidence that human CO2 has caused the 0.5C warming after 2009, we can look at the pros and cons of a slightly warmer world. If we conclude, based on an exhaustive analysis of the pluses and minuses of a warmer world, that an added warming of 0.5C or more would be more harmful than beneficial, we can look at curtailing CO2 then, when new technologies, such as nuclear fusion (and others not even imagined yet) are available to make a smooth and painless transition.

    Sounds like a more reasonable (and much less costly) “experiment” than yours, Peter.

    What do you think?


  344. 344
    tempterrain Says:

    Max and Robin,

    Yes, just as I thought. You lament the so-called decline in scientific standards and methodology, but it is you who are arguing that normal scientific procedures shouldn’t be thoroughly followed.

    You can’t have it both ways much as you would like to.

  345. 345
    Brute Says:

    I see that interest in carbon offsets is running high………now’s the time to buy this hot commodity!

    get in on the ground floor!

  346. 346
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Please show me an example of my “arguing that normal scientific procedures shouldn’t be thoroughly followed”. Thanks.

  347. 347
    tempterrain Says:

    Detection and attribution of climate signals, as well as its common-sense meaning, has a more precise scientific definition.

    The point you have been making, in more scientific terms, is that the IPCC is claiming a detection of a climatic signal but that it cannot be described as an attribution in the classical scientific sense.

    “Correlation does not demonstrate (or prove) causation” is the oft used phrase. Unequivocal attribution, which is the closest that science comes to what the layperson, or lawyer, might refer to as proof beyond any reasonable doubt, requires controlled experiments with multiple copies of the climate system, which, of course, is impossible.

    What is just about possible, although it is so difficult as to be almost amusing as you pointed out, is to perform long term experiments on just the single climate system to which we do have access.

    You have asked for unequivocal and unambiguous evidence that the detected climate signal is attributable to human emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Yet you are ruling out as unnecessary normal scientific procedures, the very procedures that are needed to meet the ultra-high standards of verification you demand.

  348. 348
    manacker Says:


    You wrote (344):

    Yes, just as I thought. You lament the so-called decline in scientific standards and methodology, but it is you who are arguing that normal scientific procedures shouldn’t be thoroughly followed.

    You can’t have it both ways much as you would like to.

    Sorry, Peter, I cannot figure out what you are talking about here.

    I’m all for following the “scientific method” (see my post #343), rather than just relying on model simulations, which are only as good (or bad) as the input assumptions.

    The step by step approach I outlined in 343 is the most logical approach to test the AGW theory in actual practice at the lowest possible cost. It allows for the implementation of appropriate adaptation steps if and when it becomes apparent that this is required, while avoiding taking costly mitigation steps before we even know that we need to do so or that these steps will accomplish anything.

    I asked you for comments to this approach, but only received your confusing sentence above (which really has nothing to do with our topic).


  349. 349
    manacker Says:


    In your 347 you seem to favor the “scientific method” for testing the premise that AGW, caused primarily by human CO2 emissions, has been the principal cause for the warming we have experienced, and represents a serious potential threat.

    So do I, as outlined in my 343.

    Please comment.


  350. 350
    Brute Says:

    Apr 20, 2010

    Porn surfing rampant at National Science Foundation

  351. 351
    Brute Says:

    Scientist says Arctic getting colder

    Published: April 23, 2010

  352. 352
    tempterrain Says:

    So where has that 0.5 degC figure come from? You sure that your higher beings wouldn’t think even that estimate to be too arrogant?

    Its actually a lot more than that as you well know. You may be right and that not enough will be done in the next ten years but the longer the problem is left the harder it will be to fix.

  353. 353
    Brute Says:


    The Arctic ice is “normal”! How could this be??????

    Jimmie Hansen and Al Gore told us that the Arctic would be ice free by now and its growing!


    We’ll all be frozen to death under mountains of ice!

    Are you certain that Al Gore and Jimmie Hansen, (the dedicated guardians of the planet’s well being) weren’t looking at pornography instead of doing scientific research?

    Global Ice Age

  354. 354
    Brute Says:

    Personally Pete I believe that the data collection nerds at the NSIDC are being paid off by the evil, corporate, vested interests within the oil and coal industry to throw the game against the Church of Global Warming………what do you think?

  355. 355
    manacker Says:


    You ask (352):

    So where has that 0.5 degC figure come from? You sure that your higher beings wouldn’t think even that estimate to be too arrogant?

    Actually, it comes from the “consensus of your 2500 higher beings” at IPCC.

    Taking the mid-point from the projection by these “higher beings” for “scenario B2″ (the only scenario that passes the “reality test” – see 343), we have their “ouija board estimate” of 1.8C above 1980-1999 average, or 1.5C above 2009 actual.

    This translates to a decadal warming rate of 0.116C from now until 2100.

    So according to your “higher beings”, we should reach 0.5C above today in 43 years (by 2053 rather than 2060, so I was off by 7 years – sorry).

    The rest of the proposal still stands.

    Any comment on this “proposed experiment” (I believe it falls into the category of “no regrets” approach)?

    I think it makes more sense than the experiment you proposed in 339, which would essentially cripple the world economy based on a “hunch” from your “higher beings” and their computer oracles, which may very well turn out to be wrong.


  356. 356
    manacker Says:



    There is an arithmetic error in my latest post.

    The warming rate to 2100 as projected by IPCC is 0.163C per decade (and not 0.1163C, as I indicated).

    This means we would theoretically reach a warming of 0.5C above today by year 2040 (not 2053).

    Still gives us plenty of time to see if the IPCC wizards really got it right or not before acting.



  357. 357
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Oh dear, it seems you couldn’t answer my #346. Hmm. Well, here’s another question for you. This is easier.

    You say here “What happens in all countries is equally important”. True – provided of course that relative country sizes are taken into account.

    I set out a consequence of that truth at #341 (above): as the developing economies are emitting more and more GHGs than the developed West and have no intention of changing that and as Western countries, even when they have an opportunity to impede that, fail to do so (see this, especially my #15) and anyway themselves show little sign of reducing their emissions, overall emissions are set to increase for many years to come – whatever Western governments, pundits and institutions (and Peter Martin) may say.

    That doesn’t worry me because I don’t think the dangerous AGW hypothesis is valid. As you, in contrast, are sure that increased GHG emissions will cause dangerous, even catastrophic, climate change, you must believe that mankind faces disaster.

    Do you?

  358. 358
    Alex Cull Says:

    Anyone seen this article in the Telegraph, about dinosaurs made extinct by climate change?

    The last paragraph is interesting:

    “The drop in temperature is thought to have occurred because high levels of CO2 were in the atmosphere which caused global temperatures to rise and polar ice to melt – a phenomenon currently predicted for Earth.”

    Now my impression is that the Earth lacked major ice caps during the Cretaceous; someone else on WUWT also picked up on this. I could be mistaken, though. And weren’t there consistently very high levels of atmospheric CO2 throughout the Mesozoic? Just wondering why there would be high CO2 levels for millions of years without a massive die-off, and then a sudden extinction event out of the blue; seems odd. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about palaeontology than me could comment?

  359. 359
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Sounds like a bit of “creative” thinking to me….. maybe something to secure a research grant?

    WTF is there a photo of a fossil Ammonite anyway; they are everywhere are they not?

  360. 360
    tempterrain Says:


    An answer to your 346#? You must have missed my #347. Any idiot can just keep on repeating that I haven’t answered your question. You’ve asked for unambiguous evidence and I’ve told you how we need to start a long term series of experiments to obtain it.

    If you have any suggestions which will provide an answer in a shorter time scale, lets hear them!


    I don’t know why you are bothering to apologise for your latest error.
    Your posts are riddled with them. What makes #355 any different?

  361. 361
    Robin Guenier Says:


    That (your #360) is not an answer. My question was this: show me an example of my “arguing that normal scientific procedures shouldn’t be thoroughly followed”. I have said time after time that normal scientific procedures are the sine qua non of scientific practice and have never even suggested otherwise. As usual, you’re talking nonsense.

  362. 362
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Now answer my #357. Thanks.

    Brute (your #353):

    For what it’s worth, both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice are on the 1979 – 2000 average.

  363. 363
    tempterrain Says:


    So, on the one hand you are saying “you want unequivocal empirical based evidence that …etc etc”, but on the other, there is “no need for your experiment”. The very experiment that is designed to obtain it?

    Do you want the evidence or don’t you?

    Presumably if you have decided that the experiment I’ve suggested is unnecessary you’ve thought of a better one. Congratulations! No need to be modest now – we’d all love to hear it!

  364. 364
    tempterrain Says:

    Its a pity the Right wing view on Climate change isn’t given more of an airing in the UK election. I expect that this will happen later this year when we have an election in Australia.

    This, basically, is the core of the problem for those with that variety of political view:

    “AGW poses a direct threat to some forms of libertarianism and right-wing capitalism. I think that this may have played a strong role in my personal AGW skepticism, and perhaps in other libertarians. As I discussed in a previous blog post, values can determine whether someone considers themselves a libertarian, liberal, conservative, etc. One important value of libertarianism is the desire for smaller government. This rubs up against the problem of AGW. If the problem of AGW is real, and if we have any hope of solving it, we would most likely require development of gross regulations from governments.”

    “Rational judgement of scientific evidence is only one of these influences on our beliefs. In fact, for the case of AGW, I’d even argue that the scientific evidence plays an even smaller part in someone’s acceptance. The more complex a topic is, the harder it is to rationally judge the scientific evidence, therefore we use other methods to subconsciously decide what to believe.”

    These words are are actually written by a right wing libertarian. I did come to the same conclusion some time ago, but its nice to see confirmation from someone who has successfully struggled through to a more rational position.

  365. 365
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (your #363):

    As I have said many times, an unverified hypothesis continues to be just that until empirical evidence is produced that verifies it. To take a current and prominent example, consider the Higgs boson. It is hypothesised that it exists – an existence that would be critical to scientists’ understanding of the nature of matter. But it’s extraordinarily difficult to demonstrate that it does exist and, in an attempt to do that, scientists have, at vast expense, designed and built the Large Hadron Collider at Geneva. But, until that identifies the particle (if indeed it ever does), the hypothesis continues to be no more than an interesting but unverified hypothesis.

    You seem to be arguing that mankind must wait (what was it?) 500 years to verify the dangerous AGW hypothesis. OK, if you insist. But, as I pointed out, there’s no need for your experiment because mankind is actually carrying out the real life “experiment” of emitting more and more GHG into the atmosphere. Eventually that will either verify or not the validity of the hypothesis. So far, results suggest it is not valid.

    But whether we adopt your approach (and it would be interesting to know how you would go about it) or simply observe what actually happens as GHGs continue to be emitted, we will have to wait a long time for a result. In the meantime, the hypothesis will continue to be no more than an interesting but unverified hypothesis – precisely as I keep saying.

    The only solution for you is to produce some evidence that exists now. But you cannot. And that, I believe, is because there is none.

  366. 366
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Now answer my #357. Thanks.

  367. 367
    Alex Cull Says:

    Bob, re your #359, yes it ticks all the right boxes, doesn’t it. Major ecological catastrophe… CO2 the main driver… extreme heat/extreme cold (nicely hedged outcome)… grim lesson for humanity if we don’t mend our ways… The ancient Egyptians, the Roman Empire, the Mayans and now the dinosaurs, all done in by climate change! Is there any doubt that we will be next? :o)

  368. 368
    manacker Says:


    The Jonathan Abrams blog article you cited (364) allegedly tells the story “Why I am no longer a skeptic on climate change”.

    Once you read the article, it is easy to see that the author never was a “skeptic on climate change”.

    Read the blogger comments: they see through Abrams’ tale pretty clearly.

    He is really trying a very sneaky approach of discrediting “climate skeptics” by first putting it into the first person (before I saw the light, I was one of those), and then pointing out how skeptics are motivated by something other than the science (politics, consumerism, etc.).

    This is a cheap shot, and many of the blogger comments have spotted it and pointed it out.

    Those who are rationally skeptical of the dangerous AGW premise in the scientific sense (which Abrams never really was, despite his nice story), usually remain so unless and until empirical data can be shown to support this premise.

    These data have not yet been shown, so the true “rational skeptics” remain skeptical. In fact, the “scientific case” for dangerous AGW is unraveling before our eyes

    As one blogger put it:

    Jonathan, you did not describe any of the scientific evidence that made you a believer. As I’m sure you know, in science the onus is on the supporter of the hypothesis to prove it correct. And no one has yet scientifically proven the case for AGW. So, Jonathan, the world is waiting. Please present your proof.

    I am afraid that Abrams is a phony. Check the many “green industries” and “events” Abrams is profiting from. “No longer a skeptic?” What a farce!


  369. 369
    tempterrain Says:

    ” And that, I believe, is because…” Ah yes its all down to beliefs in the end. Mine’s science. What’s yours?

    Did you read the link to the Jonathan Abrams article? Do you recognise some of yourself in there?

    There is little point getting into any detailed scientific discussion with either you or Max on the AGW issue. Max pretends to understand. You don’t even bother to do that. Your line of defence are a few weasel words of phoney logic. How sad is it to “believe” that they are any sort of protection at all?

    “The sorts of beliefs that AGW would trouble include political/economic and religious beliefs. I won’t judge these core beliefs that people have, but they are key to understanding why AGW is doubted. Just as a religious world view could cause someone to not accept evolution, it too can make them less likely to accept AGW. One of these religious views holds that nature exists for humanity’s benefit, and therefore, is at our whim and cannot pose danger to us.”

    Yes, the last paragraph could have been mine but Jonathan Abrams perhaps puts it better.

  370. 370
    manacker Says:


    To my correction of an arithmetic error, you wrote:

    I don’t know why you are bothering to apologise for your latest error.
    Your posts are riddled with them. What makes #355 any different?

    Please point out which posts are “riddled with” errors, and specifically what these errors are in your personal estimation.

    Otherwise drop such stupid remarks. They just make you look like a dickhead (your term).


  371. 371
    manacker Says:

    Alex Cull (358)

    I’m sure that Alvarez (father and son) would roll over laughing at the silly suggestion that “global warming from CO2 followed miraculously by global cooling” caused the extinction of the dinosaurs!

    Unfortunately, Luis Alvarez (the father), who received a REAL Nobel Prize (Physics), died in 1988.

    The father/son team showed that the K-T boundary extinction occurred at the same time as a marked increase in irridium in layers found in several spots around the Earth. The impact theory was later corroborated by the discovery of a giant crater off the shore of Mexico.

    Do the dodos who are claiming extinction from “CO2-caused warming followed by cooling” have any explanation for the irridium, or the giant crater?

    Do they suppose the dinosaurs were driving too many SUVs to cause this problem?

    Such rubbish! It is truly amazing what junk can get published these days, especially if it can somehow be linked to AGW.


  372. 372
    manacker Says:


    You have opined (to Robin):

    There is little point getting into any detailed scientific discussion with either you or Max on the AGW issue.

    So far, Peter, you have danced around any scientific discussion, preferring to dwell on perceived political philosophies, etc. rather than discuss the science.

    To requests from both Robin and myself for empirical data based on physical observations to support your “dangerous AGW premise”, you have waffled and sidetracked, rather than “getting into any detailed scientific discussion”.

    Bring the science, Peter. We are both eagerly awaiting something specific from you, rather than just empty blah-blah.


  373. 373
    tempterrain Says:


    You quote your anonymous blogger “As I’m sure you know, in science the onus is on the supporter of the hypothesis to prove it correct. And no one has yet scientifically proven the case for AGW. So, Jonathan, the world is waiting. Please present your proof.”

    Possibly, because I’ve educated both you and Robin that science isn’t about proof, you haven’t made the same mistake as your anonymous blogger.

    But, what you both are asking for, if it isn’t proof, is so close as to be indistinguishable. You are happy to set the bar so high as to make it unreachable but you are only fooling yourselves.

    You seem to be familiar with Jonathan Abrams, but I only stumbled on him earlier today, just by accident when I was looking for something else. You must have thought that I wouldn’t have been interested in him otherwise you would certainly have shared the information in the spirit of true scientific cooperation! :-)

  374. 374
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I think your

    There is little point getting into any detailed scientific discussion with either you or Max on the AGW issue.

    was addressed to Alex, not (as Max suggests) to me. But, whether it was or not, please read carefully and respond to my #365. Just to remind you, it concluded with the observation

    The only solution for you is to produce some evidence [supporting the dangerous AGW hypothesis] that exists now. But you cannot. And that, I believe, is because there is none.

    Max says that we are “eagerly awaiting something specific from you”. I suppose I have to sympathise with your difficulty: as there is no such evidence you have a simple choice. Either you have to accept that truth (the honourable and logical position) or you have to come up with more “empty blah-blah”. Sadly (for you) you choose the latter. That, Peter, is not how science works.

    Then please answer my #357. Thanks.

  375. 375
    manacker Says:


    Jonathan Abrams has written what is called a “red herring”. Many bloggers spotted this right away. I’m surprised you apparently fell for it.

    His blog article on “Why I am no longer a skeptic on climate change” is as absurd as if I had written: “I used to be a true believer in the dangerous AGW premise, but now am a rational skeptic”, and then followed that up with my thoughts on why DAGW believers really believe in this doomsday cult for religious reasons (similar to “intelligent design” or “creationism” believers), or how some are secretly hoping for a communistic world government that will bring evil capitalistic corporations (especially those in the USA) to their knees, etc.

    That would be just as absurd as Abrams’ article.

    Now to the matter of “empirical data as scientific evidence” versus “proof”.

    Peter, I am not “setting the bar” for evidence to support your dangerous AGW theory “high” at all. I am just asking you for empirical data, based on actual physical observations, to support your premise.

    Bring the “empirical data”, Peter, and we’ll see if it is real or simply imagined.

    So far you have brought no empirical data to support your premise.


  376. 376
    tempterrain Says:


    You’ve never presented any scientific argument yourself, unless you count some story about Egyptians firing arrows into the air! Yes we all know that nothing is going to meet your standards. You’ll just say that I haven’t answered your question no matter what. What’s the point?


    You’ve never once shown any signs of give and take. There was one instance, some time ago, when you’d made an obvious mistake of taking the solar flux of the cross sectional area of the earth and applying that to the whole surface area of the earth. One is four times the other. When that sort of things happens in science, the correct response is to say “Ah yes, I wonder how that affects the final answer”.

    But you don’t work that way. You know the answer to start with. Then you work back towards the question and fudge the numbers along to way to try to give it all some semblance of scientific merit. Its all a sham. Your initial ‘Mad Max’ postings just about prove that’s the way you think!

    There is no point discussing science with you either.

    You are both just a waste of space and time.

  377. 377
    Robin Guenier Says:


    If you really think that asking to be referred to the empirical evidence supporting a hypothesis (i.e. the very basis of the Scientific Method) is not a scientific argument whereas continually refusing to answer the question somehow is, all you do is demonstrate your profound ignorance of science. The practice of science demands exacting standards and supporting hypotheses with empirical evidence is one of them. The Peter Martin method of waffle and subject changing most certainly is not.

  378. 378
    manacker Says:


    Your reference to some long-ago blogs on solar forcing is a bit out of context.

    As I recall, I simply provided evidence based on several solar studies that the combined impact attributable to solar forcing represented around half of the observed 20th century warming or 0.35C.

    This has little to do with the solar flux from direct solar irradiance.

    You talk about “fudging the numbers”. Are you referring to the GISS, NCDC and HadCRUT temperature records here? Or possibly to the Mann et al. hockey stick and its many “spaghetti copies”?

    Can you provide the link to these old blogs to which you refer, or are you just making all this stuff up as you go along?

    The point remains that you have not brought any empirical data to support the dangerous AGW premise. As the “bard” wrote: “there’s the rub”.

    And you have not answered Robin’s question, which I may paraphrase: since there is almost no hope that China, India and the many other developing nations will curtail their rapidly growing CO2 emissions (and the related increase in standard of living of their populations) and very little hope that the USA will do anything drastic either, do you believe that we are headed for certain disaster due to AGW?

    (Hope I got that about right, Robin.)

    And let me add. If your answer to the above question is “yes”, what adaptation measures should we be thinking about in case the postulated impending “disaster” is real and when should we undertake these?

    Alternatively, if you truly believe that there are no adaptation measures that could save us, when do you think we will all die (human civilization as we know it plus most other species) – at 500 ppmv CO2, at 750 ppmv or even 1000 ppmv (the physical upper limit, as limited by available fossil fuels)?

    Just interested in your thoughts on this. I’ll be glad to give you mine, as well.


  379. 379
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Yes, Max, you got that about right – although I didn’t make you adaptation point, believing that with Peter it’s best to keep things simple. Let’s see if he answers the basic question: given humans’ continued and increasing emission of GHGs, do you believe that mankind faces disaster?

  380. 380
    Brute Says:

    Why I Am Enlarging My Carbon Footprint

  381. 381
    Brute Says:


    Just considering your # 364……………

    Would you say that a “collectivist”, (more socialistic/less capitalistic) worldwide form of government would better suit the goals of the environmental movement?

    If national sovereignty were eliminated and all of Earth’s people were effectively governed under one political system………(i.e. one global set of laws/regulation)………would that better meet the “needs” of the planet in your view?

    If all profit were to be considered property of the State, would that be helpful in terms of eliminating “undesirable” environmental consequences?

  382. 382
    manacker Says:


    I like your carbon footprint article.

    Reminds me of a good cartoon (in the International Herald Tribune shortly after Kyoto), showing two older guys in baseball hats and overalls (obviously Americans) sitting in rocking chairs around an old wood-burning stove in a general store.

    The one old guy tells the other: “Toss another one of them Ky-oto reports on the fire; it’s gettin’ cold in here”.

    [These guys were obviously not from "The Peoples' Republic of Berkeley", as is the author of your article.]


  383. 383
    Robin Guenier Says:


    There are three possible ways of answering my #357: “yes”, “no”, or “don’t know”. Simple enough. Which is it?

  384. 384
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Oh BTW, Peter, about Egyptians and arrows, thanks for the reminder. Here’s what I said (way back in February 2008 on the NS Lynas thread):

    Mankind has always believed he can control the weather. For example, the ancient Egyptians thought they could do so by firing arrows into the air. Perhaps future generations will view current efforts to control global warming as equally laughable.

    That’s still my view. Although, considering those self-important politicians who assert that, unless we cut CO2 emissions by x% or y%, temperatures will increase by over 2 deg. C, I now doubt if that “perhaps” in the final sentence is warranted.

    The story of King Canute’s courtiers asserting that their mighty king could command the waves is another example of human hubris. Odd, Peter, that you should choose to line up with the ancient Egyptians and Canute’s courtiers.

  385. 385
    James P Says:


    WTF is there a photo of a fossil Ammonite anyway

    Lazy journalist syndrome…

    If the new hypothesis is correct, it’s curious that about the only reptile to survive the general extinction was the water-dwelling crocodile.

  386. 386
    manacker Says:


    You asked PeterM:

    As you, in contrast, are sure that increased GHG emissions will cause dangerous, even catastrophic, climate change, you must believe that mankind faces disaster. Do you?

    You gave PeterM three choices:

    a) yes
    b) no
    c) don’t know

    I think PeterM will object to being limited to these three choices.

    I could envision a fourth option, more to Peter’s liking, which goes roughly as follows.


    Mainstream science has established unequivocally that our planet is warming, and that it is very likely that this warming has accelerated since the mid 20th century, and more likely than not that this warming, as well as its observed acceleration, have been caused at least partially by human emissions of GHGs, principally CO2 (primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels), and that this accelerated warming, if allowed to continue, will more likely than not cause serious deleterious effects to the very survival of our planet, as we know it.

    These same 2,500 scientists have concluded that the rate of sea level rise over the next 100 years is likely to exceed 2 meters (possibly reaching 7 meters), with disastrous impact on coastal regions worldwide from Boston to Brisbane to Bangladesh, that there will more likely than not be more rain, more droughts, more snow and sleet, more cold spells, more hot spells, more storms, hurricanes and tornadoes and generally nasty weather, plus possibly more earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunami disasters than in the past as a direct result of the aforementioned warming.

    A second wave of highly qualified experts has warned us that these changes will more likely than not result in a sharp increase in the incidence of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, bubonic plague (and others too fierce to mention), as well as increased incidence and severity of pulmonary diseases, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, various types of influenza and increasingly virulent common colds.

    And yet another set of scientific experts have issued dire warnings that much of our planet’s current fauna, such as polar bears, deer, lions, tigers, zebras, wildebeests, bison, water buffalos, etc. as well as most birds including penguins (of all categories), will likely become extinct as a result of the aforementioned changes, with the mosquito, the common housefly, the tick and the cockroach more likely than not expanding their territories and numbers to fill the vacuum.

    This same scientific consensus has told us that the only hope to avert this disastrous development is for all of humanity to be forced by world government edict to (1) pay a “carbon tax” of $1,000 per ton of CO2 generated (to this same world government for discretionary use), and (2) drastically reduce its consumption of fossil fuel based energy and all products, which contain an energy or transportation component.

    Now then:

    It is, therefore, deemed unacceptable that certain nations or individuals attempt to disregard this forced voluntary change in lifestyle; those that try to do so should be exterminated (in an environmentally friendly manner, of course), thereby helping to reduce our planet’s looming overpopulation problem.

    Only in this fashion can we save human life on this planet and make it a sustainable and environmentally friendly place for our children and grandchildren to live again.

    (Sorry for being a bit long-winded, but I didn’t want to cramp Peter’s options.)


  387. 387
    Barelysane Says:

    So that would be

    a) yes
    b) no
    c) don’t know
    d) avoid direct answer and waffle

  388. 388
    Robin Guenier Says:

    I recently came across this entry from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook:

    My intention is first to consult experience before I proceed any further, and then by means of reasoning to show why such experience is bound to operate in such a way.

    For is the true rule by which anyone who wishes to analyse the effects of nature must proceed; for although nature begins with the cause and ends with the experience, we must follow the opposite course, namely (as I have said before) to begin with the experience and by means of it investigate the cause.

    (Source: Richter, Literary Works of Leonardo, #1148 A)

    An elegant early sixteenth century statement of the Scientific Method – Leonardo was one of the first genuine scientists of the modern age. It’s a pity some current so-called scientists no longer to follow his precept.

  389. 389
    Barelysane Says:


    There is a timely article on spiked-online on the theme of scepticism, with a couple of quotes on it from ancient greece. I’ve tried 3 times to post a link but it doesn’t seem to want to work.

  390. 390
    Robin Guenier Says:


    For some reason, the system doesn’t like the link. But it’s worth reading – thanks for the reference. I suggest people Google “spiked online article 8645″.

    A couple of quotations:

    English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, who coined the term ‘agnostic’, argued that the ‘improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority as such’, and added that ‘for him scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the unpardonable sin’. Liberal American philosopher and educator John Dewey depicted scepticism as the ‘first step on the road to philosophy’.

    Although there are numerous variants of scepticism, as a philosophical orientation it represents a challenge to the all-too human proclivity for embracing dogma. For the Ancient Greeks, scepticism was not about not believing or denying a particular proposition. The genuine sceptic rarely claims to know that a particular proposition is wrong and therefore could not counsel disbelief. No, to the Ancient Greeks, scepticism meant inquiry. Scepticism is motivated by a complex range of motives, but it is underpinned by a belief that the truth is difficult to discover.

    I think Leonardo would have agree with the latter sentiment.

  391. 391
    Brute Says:

    Yep, it’s all about science, helping polar bears and saving the planet………..

    More Global Warming Profiteering by Obama Energy Official

  392. 392
    Robin Guenier Says:

    This morning I learn from the BBC (story here) that

    The Australian government has shelved plans for an emissions trading scheme (ETS), the centrepiece of its environmental strategy.

    So we have yet another example of, as I say in my #357 [BTW I'm still waiting for an answer, Peter], Western countries showing little sign of reducing their emissions with overall global emissions being set to increase for many years to come – whatever Western governments, pundits and institutions (and Peter Martin) may say.

  393. 393
    barelysane Says:

    Yet another of the assumptions of AGW debunked by that pesky old empirical evidence.

  394. 394
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Further to my #392 (about Australia shelving its emissions trading scheme), Spiegel Online reports that “German Chancellor Angela Merkel is quietly moving away from her goal of a binding agreement on limiting climate change ...” Another example supporting my #357 contention that even Western countries are unwilling to take a stand on limiting GHGs.

  395. 395
    manacker Says:

    Robin (394)

    German Bundeskanzlerin Merkel has a bit of a dilemma, as last weekend’s news revealed.

    The 120-km human chain protesting a possible delay in the shutdown of a north German nuclear power plant puts a new “anti-AGW” slant on the word “green” in Germany.

    Merkel is intelligent enough to know that you “can’t have it both ways”.

    The alternates appear to be:

    - sign a long-term contract with France for nuclear power coming from across the Rhine
    - sign a long-term contract with Poland for new coal-fired power coming from across the Oder
    - say “to hell with it” and install new coal-fired plants in Germany, using some token German coal (and importing the rest at lower landed cost from South Africa)

    [Note: For all three alternates, it is important to sprinkle a few "feel good" wind turbines around.]

    The 2°C maximum warming target is a “red herring” in any case.

    Odds are extremely high that it will never be physically reached as a result of AGW.

    Odds are even higher that Merkel would not be around if it were ever reached.


  396. 396
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Alex Cull (358), James P (385)
    I mentioned earlier: WTF… fossil Ammonites… they’re everywhere aren’t they?
    Well knock me over with a feather, but there was a TV report here in Oz about Antarctica, and Ammonites were featured. There was also another fossil that appeared too; Brute’s friend Jimmy (Hanson) ….. I wanted to go and have a puke.

    But, I find, Ammonites ARE everywhere!

    A real live and prolific one has turned-up at WUWT starting here.

    Actually, it’s an interesting thread topic on sea-ice, and I’ve been having fun there, whilst avoiding Ammonite. (groan…. Others are handling that OK)

  397. 397
    Alex Cull Says:

    Bob, it looks like your humble ammonite is fast becoming the poster child for ocean acidification (the next big terror if AGW unaccountably fails to terrify us for much longer…) :o)

    Good thread on WUWT. Re sea ice, it’s my impression that there’s a curious lack of “ice-free Arctic” stories in the mainstream media so far this year. Of course, I shouldn’t really say that, as it’s tempting fate…

  398. 398
    Brute Says:

    This has the potential to bring down the Obama regime………not much air play yet; however, momentum is building…….

    The $10 Trillion Climate Fraud

  399. 399
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Der Spiegel made recordings of some discussions at the Copenhagen Summit – original article (in German) here and (part) translation here. If accurate, it would seem that the gulf between the West and China/India was even wider than has been reported. And, interestingly, there’s a suggestion that Obama doesn’t really see climate change as a major priority. He’s reported as having said, “…everybody here has other much more important business to take care of.”

    (Perhaps Max might comment on the accuracy of the translation from German to English. Note: the original discussion was in English which Der Spiegel translated into German for the article.)

  400. 400
    manacker Says:


    The translation looks good to me. Just reading the two, the German version sounded a bit more “pointed” (but maybe that’s just the German language).

    It’s clear from both versions that the EU hopes to get a commitment from China and India were completely thwarted, that Sarkozy lost his cool for a moment, that Merkel was disappointed, that Obama tried to “pour oil on the troubled waters” (but was miffed that China just sent a mere delegate), and that the whole meeting was a total fiasco.

    The official statement at the end was so thin (as Will Rogers once said) “that you could read a newspaper right through it”.

    Is this a preview for the next boondoggle in Cancun? If so, why even have it?

    The EU politicians (as well as Obama + co.) have to get it through their heads: AGW is a “rich man’s luxury”, which the leaders as well as the populations of the developing nations are not concerned about one iota.

    Now that it is becoming increasingly apparent to everyone on this globe (except maybe these politicians) that the whole AGW craze was based on flawed science, it will become even more difficult to sell carbon cutbacks (or taxes) to the rest of the world.


  401. 401
    TonyN Says:


    Is this a preview for the next boondoggle in Cancun? If so, why even have it?

    A good question to ask. You might even express it slightly differently: can the UN risk letting Cancun go ahead, or will it be ‘postponed’?

  402. 402
    Robin Guenier Says:


    You’re dead right about AGW being a “rich man’s luxury”. But even the EU (think Greece, Spain and Portugal – plus I’m afraid the UK) is hardly rich these days. And nor, in truth, is the US. We cannot afford luxuries either and our populations too are hardly concerned about the issue. Forget the developing world: selling carbon cutbacks (or taxes) to voters in the West was never easy and it’s getting increasingly difficult.

  403. 403
    manacker Says:


    You are right, of course.

    There may be a small percentage of the population in the “developed world” (such as maybe PeterM in Brisbane), who would be willing to pay 3 to 4 times the current price for energy (or any product, which contains a significant energy component) in the hopes of thereby “saving the planet from humanity”, but most people would balk at this suggestion today (when times are hard and the scientific justification for “saving the planet” by cutting or taxing carbon has come unraveled).

    Sarkozy grandstanded a bit about “hypocrisy”, but the Chinese and Indians have exposed the real hypocrisy (in the EU plus, more reluctantly, the USA, under Obama).

    The erstwhile “colonial powers” can no longer control their ex-colonies, nor can they keep their populations forever poor and without a cost effective and efficient (carbon-based) energy infrastructure to pull themselves up out of poverty as the industrial nations did in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    There may still be a lot of “wailing, lamenting and gnashing of teeth”, but the AGW craze is dying a certain and agonizing death.


  404. 404
    Alex Cull Says:

    Talking about Cancun, has anyone else taken a peek at the COP16 venue? It’s here at the Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort. More information here.

    “Nestled between 123 acres of tropical foliage and a secluded white sand beach stretching nearly 2000 feet, perfect for non-motorized water sports, this resort offers 2,457 luxurious rooms with either ocean or garden views.”

    I don’t think that blizzards will be an issue this time around, do you?

    Also, can’t see them cancelling this one – pass up an all-expenses paid junket in a premier tropical holiday destination, in December? Absolutely no way, Pedro.

  405. 405
    Robin Guenier Says:


    And the West, in the meantime, has foolishly handed the ex Third World a wonderful and unanswerable bargaining position. The more we preach about the dangers of global warming, the more they can say:

    OK, so it’s really dreadful and we (the world’s poor) are the ones who will get the worst of it. And it’s all your fault. We, not unreasonably, are just trying to catch up. So pay us lots of lovely compensation and then (when we’re all equal) we might start thinking about restricting our emissions.

    A no brainer, really. And secretly of course they don’t believe a word of it.

  406. 406
    manacker Says:

    Alex Cull

    They even had the “climatologists” at work: December is after the hurricane season.

    It should be a nice (taxpayer funded) outing for all the delegates.


  407. 407
    Brute Says:

    Hmmmm……this explains alot.

    Global Warming Fears Seen In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Patients

  408. 408
    Brute Says:

    “The decrease in upper ocean heat content from March to April was 1C – largest since 1979?

  409. 409
    manacker Says:


    The article on global warming fears in obsessive compulsive disorder patients is interesting.

    It got me to thinkung, so I did some googling.

    “global warming anxiety” gets 933,000 hits
    “climate change anxiety” gets 1,010,000

    “global warming hysteria” gets 510,000
    “climate change hysteria” gets 491,000
    “global warming fascism” gets 792,000
    “climate change fascism” gets 468,000

    “global warming fear mongering” gets 158,000
    “climate change fear mongering” gets 126,000

    The problem appears to be here:

    “global warming fear in children” gets 4,630,000 hits
    “climate change fear in children” gets 4,140,000

    Strange that “fear mongering” got so few hits, when that’s obviously the root cause of the “anxiety” and “hysteria”. Also interesting that “global warming fascism” got so many hits..

    Here is a link to the official kick-off film (entitled: “Please Help the World”) for the recent UN COP 15 Copenhagen climate conference. A great example of overt fear-mongering at its worst – aimed at children at that. (And, worst of all, paid for by tax-payer money!)


  410. 410
    Brute Says:


    3,270,000 hits for environmental propaganda…………

  411. 411
    manacker Says:



    And 57,200,000 hits for AGW fraud.


  412. 412
    barelysane Says:

    Slightly OT

    Was reading this article

    on the UK general election, and it got me thinking, is there such a thing as an AGW bigot?

    (TonyN, had no idea where to post this, please move or delete as you see fit)

  413. 413
    tonyb Says:


    There is an interesting thread on radiative physics here

    Half way down Ferenc M. Miskolczi starts to comment. I know we were both interested in his theory.


  414. 414
    Alex Cull Says:

    Barelysane, the spiked article mentions those who, paradoxically, accuse others of being bigots, while they “have internalised precisely the kind of intolerance and prejudice that is usually associated with bigotry.” True, hence the vitriol liberally splashed upon “deniers” by commentators over on Guardian CiF, for example.

    On a different note, I wonder if anyone has had time yet to read and digest the Hartwell Paper, pdf here, link from Pierre Gosselin’s blog here, also discussed here on WUWT. Could this signal the beginnings of a general shift away from the simplistic (and doomed) drive to bring down man-made CO2 by 80% below 1990 levels before mid-century? I’ve just skimmed this, will read it properly when I have more time, but I note that in this paper, the stated goal of “access to low-cost [and low-carbon] energy for all” (by when? not sure) depends on an “energy technology revolution” funded by a carbon tax (slowly rising but initially low). A tall order, I think. More efficient solar panels, biofuels and batteries (which is what the paper mentions by way of examples) will almost certainly arrive over the next few years and decades, but will these deliver low-carbon energy for all in a time frame meaningful to those who believe that man-made global warming is an immanent threat to the world? I wonder.

  415. 415
    Brute Says:

    Funny thing here…………I’m offering to automate a heating/air conditioning system at an office building here in Washington DC. The cost of the project will be returned to the client in a little over a month in electrical savings. The client happens to be a strong proponent of Obama’s Leftist/Global Warming policies (apparently for everyone else).

    I’m meeting stiff resistance from the principles of this outfit because……………they don’t want to have to wait ½ hour for their individual offices to reach optimum temperature (4 degrees lower/higher than night set-back temperature).

    This little project could save this business +/- $250,000 per year, (as well as ostensibly save the polar bears from drowning), but they’ll have none of it.

    They’ll shell out 250K to donate to Al Gore to plant non-existent trees in non-existent forests, but ask them to do something tangible to “help the planet” (and save themselves some money) and you’ll get the back of their hand because it will impact their comfort.

    I suppose the business I’ve chosen to be involved in has put me at the tip of the spear. Commercial energy consumption is a hot topic in my realm. I had no idea how little people understand (supposedly well educated people) about the personal implications of the laws and regulations that they support.

    They’re all for saving energy, except when their ox gets gored………………For guys like Peter Martin and the lunatic Romanticists that I’m dealing with here, all this talk of “going green” is wonderful…………(for everyone else)…………but ask them to sacrifice their personal comfort for ½ hour and they become indignant.

    I suppose the other factor is that it isn’t “their” money that is being spent/saved………………as long as (presumably) “someone else” is paying the tab, money is no object and asking them to endure 4 degrees of “sweltering/freezing” temperatures for ½ hour is too much to ask of these elitist, leftist, self righteous, saviors of planet earth.

  416. 416
    manacker Says:


    Thanks for link to thread (413). The discussion is interesting.

    The lead article by Jeff Id specifically tells us it is simply confirming (?) that CO2 acts as an infrared absorber, and thereby leads to warming, without going into any discussion of quantification or any of the other factors involved.

    What I miss is any discussion of changes in surface albedo and hence SW reflection from changes in cloud cover with increased surface temp. As I recall from Lindzen + Choi, this constitutes a significant part of the estimated net negative feedback.

    The exchange between Miskolczi and Steve Short is interesting, but a bit over my head.

    AGW proponents (such as Short) attempt to isolate Miskolczi “on the fringe”, because his theory would be a serious blow to AGW if validated. One of his strongest arguments is provided by the 60-year NOAA record on specific humidity, which shows that not only has atmospheric relative humidity decreased over time with increasing temperature, but so has specific humidity (atmospheric water vapor content).

    [I plotted this against the HadCRUT record, and (while short-term “blips” seem to follow an opposite trend, the long-term trend clearly shows less water vapor content with warming (and increased CO2), as Miskolczi’s theory stipulates.]

    AGW proponents usually attempt to discredit the record as erroneous (since shorter term studies show increasing water vapor content with surface warming). But could there be (as Miskolczi postulates) a long-term modulating trend between CO2 and H2O which acts as a natural thermostat?


  417. 417
    manacker Says:


    You ask (412):

    is there such a thing as an AGW bigot?

    bigot: one obstinately and irrationally, often intolerantly, devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group with different opinions or beliefs with hatred and intolerance

    When AGW proponents refer to those who are rationally skeptical of the AGW premise as “flat earthers”, “climate change deniers” (as compared to “Holocaust deniers”), “climate criminals”, etc., this seems to put them into the “bigot” role.

    Statements such as “Bring climate criminals to justice: The penalties must be proportionate, reflecting the unprecedented scale of death and human misery the Climate Criminals will cause”, tell it all.

    According to the Washington Times, Michael T. Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, or ACORE, sent a threatening missive to Marlo Lewis, senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, which read: “Take this warning from me, Marlo. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on.”

    Earlier this year, the Weather Channel’s Dr. Heidi Cullen called for the decertification of weathermen who were skeptical of manmade global warming.

    Grist magazine’s staff writer David Roberts said that his solution for the “bastards” who were members of what he termed the global warming “denial industry” is: “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards – some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

    Sounds a whole lot like “treating the members of a group with different opinions or beliefs with hatred and intolerance”, a.k.a. “bigotry” to me.


  418. 418
    barelysane Says:


    Was something of a rhetorical question wasn’t it :)

    Just struck me as i was reading the article, that the term fits perfectly with some of the more irrational and excitable warmists. Yet i’ve never heard the term used in the AGW debate, probably something to do with sinking to their level and them then beating you with experience. That said it might be fun to deploy it on CiF one day just to see the reaction, could create an interesting sub-debate.

  419. 419
    Brute Says:


    Re: #419

    Pretty harsh quotes…….are you certain that they are “in context”? (The usual dodge from bigots when they’ve been quoted with something particularly embarrassing).

    Quotes such as those highlighted above will be dismissed or ignored by the sympathetic/compliant media.

    Nothing shocks or surprises me anymore.

  420. 420
    tonyb Says:

    Max #416

    “But could there be (as Miskolczi postulates) a long-term modulating trend between CO2 and H2O which acts as a natural thermostat?”

    Yes. We constantly see these large swings in temperature but something usually stops it going outside ‘disastrous’ bounds. Willis Essenbach ran a thread on this at WUWT I think.

    Part of the thermostat are clouds, part are currents and part are winds/jet stream. No doubt there are lots of other factors we aren’t aware of yet.

    The mechanism obviously broke down in The Ice age and other extreme hot and cold periods so the thermostat is not perfect.

  421. 421
    manacker Says:


    Your point that “the thermostat is not perfect” is well taken. Nothing is.

    But it has kept the climate of our planet within the acceptable range for humans and most of the current plant and animal life for the past few million years, refuting the postulation of James E. Hansen of a climate dominated by positive feedbacks allowing the “entire planet to be whipsawed between [extreme] climate states”.

    Sure, there were warmer periods (MWP, Roman Optimum, to name two recent ones) and colder ones (LIA and Dark Ages cold period, to also name two recent ones), all within our present interglacial warm period. Then there was the Ice Age itself, to go back a bit further.

    History has taught us that colder periods are more difficult for human society than warmer ones.

    Despite Hansen’s hysterical “wolf cries”, the real danger is not that it will warm a bit more (due to whatever natural and possibly anthropogenic causes), but that it will cool significantly.

    Miskolczi’s theory is interesting, because it postulates one mechanism for this natural thermostat, a rather novel concept that H2O and CO2 compensate one another in the atmosphere to provide a constant GH effect. The long-term NOAA record showing decreasing atmospheric water vapor content as CO2 (and temperature) have risen seems to corroborate this postulation.


  422. 422
    Alex Cull Says:

    Brute, re your #415, what you may well have witnessed is this psychological phenomenon discovered by Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong. Your customers have already paid their 250K and have gained their “halo of green consumerism”, which entitles them to be extra selfish by way of compensation. It’s another form of offset.

  423. 423
    tempterrain Says:


    I’ve been waiting for you to open up a new thread on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Aren’t you interested in that? Or maybe you’ve just missed it in the news with all the excitement about the election?

  424. 424
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Hi guys…I’ve only been lurking here because I’m having too much fun over at WUWT, most recently with two threads on planet Venus and Carl Sagan’s fantasies about her.

    However, catching up: About 2 weeks ago, I was watching a TV doco about the vast coral island archipelago of Tahiti, and what a wonderful life the inhabitants there live. As the program progressed I was waiting for it; “any minute now“: But, all this will soon disappear because of AGW. But no, not a mention of it, or of rising sea levels, and everyone was smiling and relaxed.
    Well, stuff me pink, I thought, that’s amazing, and I felt warm and relaxed just like the Tahitians, that included interviews with French, a German, and Polynesians.

    But alas, my serenity was soon shattered by a following Oz doco where it was declared by various learned plant researchers that increasing levels of CO2 are either reducing productivity or poisoning some foods.
    Wheat is yielding less protein, Cassava has less tuber growth and increasing cyanide, and some other catastrophes, but worst of all, the iconic Koala (aka Koala Bear) is under threat because of bad things happening to eucalyptus (gum) leaves.

    Back on to the cassava: They showed what looked like fairly old film of some Africans paralytically stricken by cyanide poisoning, which at first was thought to be polio. However, cassava, (not indigenous to Africa), has always contained cyanide and it apparently had not been properly prepared for eating.

    In all this, although there were claims of less this, or more that, nothing, zilch, zero, was said about by how much!

    Check this out: “Koalas vulnerable to higher carbon dioxide levels”

    But then for a laugh, check this out; both are from the ABC: “Koala Wars“. (Too many koalas)

    Ho hum.

  425. 425
    manacker Says:


    You ask TonyN (423) whether he is planning to create a thread on the BP oil spill. Don’t know what such a new thread would contribute to the large amount of media coverage this is already receiving worldwide (yes, even in far-away Switzerland).

    There will be plenty of time later for investigations into possible malfeasance or safety shortcuts by BP, Transocean or Halliburton (who have already been asked to testify before the U.S. Congress), or of lobbyist pressure (successfully) applied on congressmen and Interior Department officials to relax safety requirements, etc., but now is actually the time to look for solutions to the problem.

    Here is a very simple and inexpensive solution, at least for the oil that has already spilled into the Gulf waters, which BP should be looking into more closely. To me, it looks much simpler and less problematic than the proposed chemical dispersants to sink the oil to the bottom of the Gulf.

    BP has spent enormous amounts of money in the past to spin a green “beyond petroleum” image with its sunflower logo, and has even sponsored PR blurbs about fighting climate change caused by CO2, enthusiastically lobbying for carbon trading schemes, promoting “solar home solutions”, etc.

    One can argue that much of this PR was opportunistic, as BP saw a chance to make a profit from “being green” (or rather, “being seen to be green”).

    With the exception of providing open news releases on cleanup efforts, BP would now best remain silent regarding the recent disaster, as the media, politicians, pundits and anti-oil environmental lobbyists are beating the “we told you so” drum in feigned outrage.

    Attempts by BP chief executive Tony Hayward to put the blame on the drilling rig operator on U.S. television or before U.S. Congress are ill advised, IMHO. BP was the owner and operator and carried the final responsibility. BP decided which safety devices to install and which ones to leave out. And, in the final analysis, BP paid for the whole operation, and therefore had the ultimate decision.

    To its credit, the company has spent a lot of money to make sure that its worldwide operations are environmentally safe and sound, but it appears that they may have “goofed” this time.

    Offshore oil exploration, development and production have always involved some risks, but, with very few exceptions, they have been very successful and environmentally safe in the past. This is one of those exceptions. And it is a biggie.


  426. 426
    manacker Says:


    Interesting bit of environmental news you cited:

    Koalas vulnerable to higher carbon dioxide levels

    Sounds ominous.

    It is well known that kangaroos, wallabies, etc. (like domestic cattle and sheep) emit significant quantities of the super greenhouse gas, methane, and that methane is gradually converted to the weaker greenhouse gas, CO2, in the atmosphere.

    Therefore, it seems that koalas and kangaroos live in sort of a deadly symbiosis. If there are too many kangaroos generating too much CO2, the koalas become vulnerable to the increased toxins in the eucalyptus leaves.

    One scientific study tells us that the koalas may become extinct in our lifetime and another warns of a population explosion of koalas stripping the forests. Sounds like the controversy surrounding the expanding polar bear population (which will, however, soon become extinct, due to AGW, according to WWF reports). At any rate it looks like there is no “consensus of 2,500 mainstream scientists” on the plight of the koalas, as there is on AGW.


  427. 427
    Alex Cull Says:

    Bob, Max: Koalas and kangaroos in a deadly symbiosis of doom; well, I just somehow knew that the situation was worse than we ever thought. ;o)

    Reason suggests that mutually contradictory scare stories like this should cancel out, like matter and antimatter, vanishing in a flash of pure logic. But observation tells us that this is not so, unfortunately …

  428. 428
    Brute Says:

    Lizards face extinction from global warming: study

  429. 429
    Alex Cull Says:

    Brute, that lizard article is a very good example of questionable science and lazy journalism, somehow a very common combination where AGW is concerned.

    The vast majority of the comments are critical, which says something too. Here is a comment, by Tomas57:

    ‘Sinervo made models of lizards with thermal monitors and left them in the searing sun of southern Mexico to measure how the reptiles would react to temperatures at different altitudes.’

    Computer lizards, not real lizards. As any programmer will tell you, garbage in, garbage out.

    ‘”I’ve been out there doing a lot of sampling over the past few years and you see the lizards in the morning and you see them in the evening. But in the hottest part of day, it’s just too hot, you don’t see them at all,” Bastiaans said.’

    So the lizards were smart enough to stay out of the hot sun, but the tourists weren’t? So, beside the fact that the lizards are smarter than the humans, typical cold-blooded behavior is somehow aberrant?

    Meanwhile, the rising heat of global warming is leading to a disturbing rash of animal suicides right here in London.

  430. 430
    Brute Says:


    I liked this comment………

    “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists” said Bauer

    Did I read that correctly? Let me read it again.

    “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists”

    OK. I think the statement is saying that lizards we haven’t discovered yet are going extinct because of global warming. In even simpler terms, we don’t know that they are there but we know that they are dying out because of us.

    If there is no honest mistake in the wording of the statement, then whoever uttered that statement should be stripped of all credentials as an Earthling and be declared as an alien fifth columnist. We don’t actually know that there are aliens out there, of course, but we know that we have successfully killed off most of them, and a few remaining survivors are now pretending to be human scientists sowing discord among Earthlings.

  431. 431
    manacker Says:

    Brute / Bob_FJ / Alex

    I’d like to see a study about the imminent extinction of the following animal and plant species due to AGW:


    poison ivy (and oak)

    Have any of you seen anything out there?


  432. 432
    manacker Says:

    PS Then there is the “common cold” virus, another species that will certainly be doomed to extinction with the warmer temperatures expected from AGW.

  433. 433
    Brute Says:


    I’m not particularly a big fan of these things……they rest passively around the (outside) of the house and as you approach they tend to fly directly toward your head. They should go. Evil, prehistoric looking things. I’m certain they serve some purpose in God’s garden of delights…..but I could live without them.

    Save a rat


  434. 434
    manacker Says:


    Another endangered species

  435. 435
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Brute Reur 430:

    “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists” said Bauer

    Actually Brute, I reckon that is very cleverly worded. It seems to me that the more outrageous a project is, the more likely it is to attract funding. Take for instance the Pen Hadow/Catlin circus. Did you see over at WUWT recently that somehow they got funding to do a REPEAT TRIP !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sheez!

  436. 436
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Lizard Armageddon thread at WUWT:
    I remember that one of the comments touched on the widespread loss of frogs as being caused by a fungus, and illogically how it rapidly spread around the world. Erh; just where the researchers were going to look for it.

    We have something similar in Oz, where Eucalypt (gum) trees in some areas are attacked in their roots by a fungus, and eventually die. (dieback disease). Parks people have woken up to the fact that its distribution correlates overwhelmingly with where people go. (down south here and way up north in Queensland) Part of a national park near me is closed off because of this, and one park I know has soft disinfectant mats to walk through at entry.

  437. 437
    Brute Says:

    Seeing is Believing

  438. 438
    Alex Cull Says:

    A couple of years ago I read Tim Flannery’s 2006 book The Weather Makers. Here’s what he said about the now (apparently) extinct golden toad, Bufo periglenes, of Costa Rica:

    “The golden toad was the first documented victim of global warming. We had killed it with our profligate use of coal-fired electricity and our oversize cars just as surely as if we had flattened its forest with bulldozers.”

    He leaves remarkably little room for doubt there.

    However, this recent article in Science magazine suggests otherwise. The dry conditions which are said to make amphibians vulnerable to the chytrid fungus, are part of El Niño, which has been studied for a relatively short time. “…it’s hard to tell if the unusually dry conditions that contributed to the extinction were part of a natural cycle or connected to global climate change patterns. That’s because reliable temperature and moisture data for the Monteverde forests go back only to the 1970s.”

    ‘“We expected to see some kind of trend related to global warming, yet when we developed the record it turned out the strongest trends were El Niño-related,” says Anchukaitis [climate scientist Kevin Anchukaitis], referring to the cyclical weather pattern that affects rainfall and temperatures on the Pacific coast of North America. In Monteverde, El Niño caused an unusually severe dry season at about the time the golden toad was wiped out.’

    But, as is often the case, the authors include a boilerplate warning about AGW at the end, even when their paper does not support the case that AGW directly contributed to the thing they were studying.

    Kevin Anchukaitis: “The fact that our research suggests it was El Niño and not anthropogenic climate change shouldn’t be any comfort when considering the future impact of climate change.”

  439. 439
    Embarrassed of Melbourne Says:

    Alex Cull,
    Tim Flannelly did you utter?
    Wash your mouth out!

  440. 440
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Alex Cull,
    Look, sorry for my outburst just above; Flannelly is relatively harmless compared with Al Gore or Brute’s friend Jimmy, it’s just that I feel embarrassed that Flannelly was crowned “Australian of the Year” in 2007.
    I should remember to take my blood pressure medication regularly, every day!

  441. 441
    Alex Cull Says:

    Bob, no worries! Tim does get a little intense though, doesn’t he. ;o)

    Here’s a quote from one of his essays; I think it is included in his latest book “Now or Never: Why We Must Act Now to End Climate Change and Create a Sustainable Future” (haven’t read this yet but looks interesting):

    “… we are evolved to serve Earth, and that our great and distinguishing characteristic – our intelligence – is not ours alone, but Gaia’s as well, and is destined to be used by Gaia for her own purposes. James Lovelock took the name Gaia from the ancient Greeks: it was their term for the earth goddess. I believe that over the course of the twenty-first century we will again come to serve our Earth goddess, perhaps even to revere her.”

    Writing about destiny in this way is fine when it’s by a priest or mystic; sounds a bit odd when the writer is meant to be a scientist, though. I’d want to ask him: as a scientist, how do you know this?

  442. 442
    Brute Says:

    Wow. Here’s the latest innovation for all of the environmentalists. Their concern for the health and condition of the planet knows no bounds. Now they can comfortably dine on caviar, sip champagne and view the unspoiled areas of wilderness in the style and comfort that they are accustomed to.

    Creature comfort: ‘Safari jet’ that becomes plush viewing platform…

    Environmentalist Jet

  443. 443
    Brute Says:

    Is it hot in here or is it just me?

    Record Temperatures

  444. 444
    manacker Says:


    There is obviously a problem with the “maximum/minimum” temperature records you posted (443).

    They have not been “homogenized”, “massaged”, “variance adjusted” and “ex post facto corrected” as the “globally and annually averaged [hand picked] land and sea surface temperature” records (GISS, NCDC and HadCRUT) have been.

    Let’s turn your friend, “Jimmy”, or the since discredited “Phil”, loose on these records, so they fit a bit better with the “theory”.


  445. 445
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Alex, Reur 441; Flannelly is “intense”,
    Well that’s a point of view, like some children can be “intense” (intensely irritating)
    I would like to put him across my knee and give him a good spanking, whilst crying; naughty! ….. You naughty, naughty boy!

  446. 446
    Robin Guenier Says:

    I haven’t posted here for a long time for various reasons – not least my fascination with our recent general election. One characteristic of that election was how the dreaded global warming (described a few days ago by our new Prime Minister as “the greatest challenge facing mankind”) was hardly mentioned. Hmm – maybe not so important after all.

    So was there anything about the GE that related to this topic? I can think of one: the outstanding accuracy of the exit poll. I was impressed how Professor Thrasher – who masterminded the poll – held firm against critics from all sides. Why is that relevant? Well, Thrasher trusted his empirical evidence. Need I say more?

  447. 447
    tempterrain Says:


    Its good to know that Professor Thrasher got it right. But, apart from some last minute fall away of the Lib Dem vote, didn’t all the pollsters do that? The ‘hung’ parliament came as no surprise.

    I did discuss the election with a few English friends who live in the South and they were mostly of the opinion that the pollsters, not just the exit pollsters, were wrong – mainly on the basis that no-one they knew planned to vote Labour! I did win a few pounds [ not that they are worth much these days :-) ] by sticking to mainstream science, going with the pollsters and backing a hung parliament. I don’t think I need say more either!

  448. 448
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Brute, Reur 442:
    I rather like that kool kite Avro aircraft, with its top slung wings. All passengers can keep an eye on the four engines, and I doubt if just one wing could fall off, so there would not be a prolonged spiral to earth-crunch as maybe with a mid-winger. I guess they’ve put a decent RSJ or something over the wide opening in the side, and I like the widespread undercarriage. The only thing that really bothers me is how does it land without scaring away the wildlife? No reverse thrust? Big ceramic brakes and parachutes maybe on glide-in?
    Also, I reckon the heavy marble flooring is a bit excessive…. Like extra jet fuel required ….. And it doesn’t fit my green credentials. I’d also like to know if the 16 million UKP’s includes a crew for say 3 years, before deciding whether to buy one. (I reckon I could probably enjoy it for say three years before it becomes a yawn)

  449. 449
    manacker Says:


    You may already have seen this, but here is a different slant on how to approach global warming from “The Economist”:
    Green view: Oblique strategies – A new look at the landscape of climate politics calls for subtler and more thoughtful approaches

    In its Executive Summary, the Hartwell Paper cited by “The Economist” points out that Copenhagen (and Kyoto) failed because of a faulty, “guilt-based” focus and a basic misunderstanding of the nature of climate change.

    The paper points out:

    Climate policy, as it has been understood and practised by many governments of the world under the Kyoto Protocol approach, has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years. The underlying reason for this is that the UNFCCC/Kyoto model was structurally flawed and doomed to fail because it systematically misunderstood the nature of climate change as a policy issue between 1985 and 2009. However, the currently dominant approach has acquired immense political momentum because of the quantities of political capital sunk into it. But in any case the UNFCCC/Kyoto model of climate policy cannot continue because it crashed in late 2009.

    It is now plain that it is not possible to have a ‘climate policy’ that has emissions reductions as the all encompassing goal.

    To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity is not just noble or necessary. It is also likely to be more effective than the approach of framing around human sinfulness –which has failed and will continue to fail.

    While one might not agree with all the suggestions of the Hartwell Paper, it does point out what has not worked and what needs to be changed to a) first ensure that the poorest nations can develop a cost-effective energy infrastructure, b) at the same time slowly moving the world as a whole away from its dependency on carbon-based energy by developing cost-effective alternates and c) “ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.”


  450. 450
    manacker Says:


    You’ll enjoy this one.

    In an article entitled: “Von der Kunst, die Klimadebatte aufs Glatteis zu führen” (“The art of getting the climate debate on thin ice”), the “Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ) reports about “Photogate”, where a “reworked” polar bear photo was used as the cover photo for a “manifesto” by 225 climatologists published by “Science”, which complains about McCarthy-like persecution of climate researchers and the lies of climate denialists.

    Australian ABC News also picked up on this latest AGW goof-up.



  451. 451
    manacker Says:


    Below is link to letter by 255 climate scientists published in “Science” (with the phony polar bear photo), per earlier post.


  452. 452
    Barelysane Says:

    Fairly interesting post over at Roger Pielke Jnrs site

    Particularly interesting is the quote

    The extension of the “denier” tag to group after group is a development that should alarm all liberal-minded people.

    And yet, while a sensible idea, we see it used again and again throughout the media and this blog.

  453. 453
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Max (449):

    Many thanks for referring me to the article in The Economist citing the Hartwell Paper. Most interesting – although, from the perspective of a dangerous AGW proponent, I would imagine the article is rather depressing: the article notes how the Paper correctly identifies the failure of the current “act now to reduce emissions” strategy and proposes a new, more indirect approach, only to conclude that that’s hardly going to work either. So, if that’s right and if the dangerous AGW hypothesis is valid, (as I keep telling PeterM – who refuses to hear) catastrophe is unavoidable.

    But I like (and could sign up to) the “easy opportunities” mentioned by Hartwell as part of that indirect approach: eliminating black carbon, reducing deforestation, helping the billion of the world’s poorest people get electricity (even if that means burning fossil fuels) and, instead of trying to make fossil fuels more expensive and subsidising renewables, developing strategies for secure low cost energy for all by developing new technologies. I would add developing strategies to enable us to adapt to whatever changes the climate might have in store.

    Perhaps there’s an opportunity here for building bridges between sceptics and alarmists.

  454. 454
    Robin Guenier Says:

    There’s an interesting article in the current New Scientist. By the paper’s Brussels correspondent, it’s headed Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth.

    Here’s an extract:

    … denial finds its most fertile ground in areas where the science must be taken on trust. There is no denial of antibiotics, which visibly work. But there is denial of vaccines, which we are merely told will prevent diseases – diseases, moreover, which most of us have never seen, ironically because the vaccines work.

    Similarly, global warming, evolution and the link between tobacco and cancer must be taken on trust, usually on the word of scientists, doctors and other technical experts who many non-scientists see as arrogant and alien.

    Many people see this as a threat to important aspects of their lives.

    Now this sounds like a view that would appeal to PeterM. But to anyone else?

  455. 455
    manacker Says:


    The “New Scientist” article you cited on “denial” is interesting. The author, Debora MacKenzie , is a “science journalist”

    There are one or two basic fallacies in the logic (at least in hindsight).

    “Denial” of vaccine efficacy “before the fact” can well be put into the category as described. However, there is no doubt that smallpox was once a major killer, which was essentially eradicated as a result of the smallpox vaccine, as the medical records show. The same is true of polio. To deny the efficacy of both of these vaccines today is to deny the overwhelming observed facts on the ground.

    “Fear” of the side effects of a vaccine is something totally different than “denial” of its efficacy. The medical records are very sparse and inconclusive on the postulation that autism in children can be caused by the measles vaccine, for example. Yet it is very clear that the incidence of measles has been reduced significantly as a result of mandatory child vaccination.

    The link between smoking and cancer has also been well demonstrated today. It is possible, however, when the US legislation first had the surgeon general’s warning put on cigarette packages, that the evidence was not yet conclusive at that time. The initial warnings were also cautiously worded. Now that the physically observed data demonstrating the smoking/cancer causation are firmer, the warnings are also more direct.

    The author rejects “rational skepticism” of a scientific hypothesis (i.e. the “scientific process” at work) out-of-hand and equates this with “denial” (a non-scientific attempt to “gain control” over nature, as she puts it). This is actually the weakest argument.

    All denialisms appear to be attempts like this to regain a sense of agency over uncaring nature: blaming autism on vaccines rather than an unknown natural cause, insisting that humans were made by divine plan, rejecting the idea that actions we thought were okay, such as smoking and burning coal, have turned out to be dangerous.

    It is precisely the AGW proponents who seek to “regain a sense of agency over uncaring nature”, by promulgating the premise that man can actually control our planet’s climate by reducing the amount of coal we burn.

    Putting “smoking” (a well-established killer, based on exhaustive physical observations from clinical studies) in the same category as “burning coal” (an imagined danger, conjured up by theoretical deliberations and computer simulations, but not supported by empirical data based on actual physical observations), the author, herself, falls into a trap of illogic.

    To extrapolate the “denial” reasoning to the current AGW premise by comparing it with the medical examples above or with the theory of evolution is a stretch.

    The medical examples have been covered above.

    The principles of the evolution theory have been demonstrated in laboratory experiments with simple life forms. Longer-term observations have confirmed the theory in practice with more complicated life forms.

    The premise of potentially dangerous AGW has not been supported by such empirical data (a point you and I have made repeatedly to PeterM).

    One could just as well apply the author’s reasoning on “denial” to the premise of “creative design” (which, like potentially dangerous AGW, has not been supported by empirical data).

    The author states:

    Denialist explanations may be couched in sciency language, but they rest on anecdotal evidence and the emotional appeal of regaining control.

    This may be true for the medical cases described by the author, but certainly does not apply for AGW.

    Try telling Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer or many of the other scientists who are rationally skeptical of the dangerous AGW postulation that their “explanations may be couched in sciency language, but they rest on anecdotal evidence and the emotional appeal of regaining control”.

    They would laugh you out of the room.

    The article is a fairly transparent attempt (based on flawed logic) to put those who are rationally skeptical of the dangerous AGW premise into the same boat as those who believe in “creative design”, reject the efficacy of vaccines or the link between smoking and cancer.

    The author obviously “believes” the dangerous AGW premise and is trying (in vain) to sell the concept that anyone who, unlike her, is rationally skeptical of this premise is not “scientific”.

    Sorry. No sale.


  456. 456
    James P Says:

    I’m pleased to see that Global Warming (Anthropogenic or otherwise) is not fooling our epidemiologists…

  457. 457
    James P Says:

    Sorry, that was a link to the discussion, not the article, which is here:

  458. 458
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Max (455):

    Well said.

    How do you find the time to write this excellent stuff? How about a comment on the NS website?

  459. 459
    Brute Says:

    Interesting…….I hope this graph is sized correctly……

    Despite The Predictions & “Hot” Rhetoric, The Evidence Shows Real Global Warming Is In Its Death Throes


  460. 460
    James P Says:

    I don’t want to go OT too far, but WRT vaccines, I do feel that they have been given uncritical credit for improvements, smallpox and measles in particular. Smallpox declined as soon as isolation was thought of, and as less than 10% of the world’s population was ever vaccinated, that can hardly have been wholly responsible for its eradication. In the UK, the mortality from measles reduced by over 97% in the first half of the 20th century, well before vaccination was introduced, simply as a result of improving diets and sanitation.
    The links between the early (DPT) vaccinations and cot deaths, not to mention ‘shaken baby syndrome’, are also still under consideration, despite enormous resistance from the same medical establishment that refused to acknowledge the real cause of stomach ulcers for over 20 years. If you want examples of ‘consensus science’ at work, look no further than the medical schools.

  461. 461
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Are we doomed by Peak Rare Earth Metals?

    Sorry to start yet another new topic (but Max seems to have disposed adequately with the “denier” item) but I just heard on the BBC’s “Costing the Earth” programme (here) something of which I had vaguely heard but no more. It seems that most “green” technologies, and especially electric cars, low energy light bulbs and windmills, depend entirely on rare earth metals (REMs). Yet there are serious suggestions (link) that they might not be available to us as early as 2012! It seems that China has a monopoly of REMs and will need all it has (a dwindling resource anyway) to cope with its own increasing demand.

    Gulp – is Peak REM a far more serious problem than the dreaded Peak Oil?

    PS: it seems that the mining of REMs can itself cause severe environmental damage – perhaps that electric care is not so environmentally friendly after all.

    PPS: it seems that Peak Lithium (also needed for “green” technology) may be another threat.

    Hmm – maybe as nuclear energy is so unpopular, the only solution is Ol King Coal after all. Or back to the Stone Age.

  462. 462
    Robin Guenier Says:

    In my first PS of 461 I meant to refer to “electric car” not “electric care”. But, as drivers of these vehicles think they are caring for the planet, maybe it’s the right word. Little do those drivers know, but as is pointed out in the article I mention above (second link),

    All these wind turbines, solar panels, hybrid car batteries and fiber optics may seem green to the consumer, but behind them there’s a very dirty mining business that rapes the planet and pollutes the rivers in order to recover these “green” rare metals.

  463. 463
    James P Says:

    Robin – I shudder to think what the disposal costs of large numbers of high-capacity Lithium batteries will be! It seems reasonable to assume that they will need replacing more than once during the life of the average electric car (unless they’ve been designed to fall apart after five years) and that will make up, in all senses, for the alleged savings. I like electric power for its tractability and ease of application (e.g. a motor in each wheel) and would welcome a vehicle with smaller batteries and an on-board generator that could be switched off in towns or heavy traffic, but I shall probably have to build it myself!

    I also agree entirely about the light bulbs. Has anyone done a proper audit of the TCO (total cost of ownership) of these? I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that tungsten (or better still, halogen) bulbs have the least overall impact…

  464. 464
    James P Says:

    Robin – I’m sure the REM problem is real enough, but I have to swallow hard before taking too seriously an article written by “an award-winning natural health author with a passion for sharing empowering information to help improve personal and planetary health” who “regularly pursues cycling, nature photography, Capoeira and Pilates” and who “shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at”.

    A prime candidate for Pseuds Corner, IMO.

  465. 465
    Robin Guenier Says:

    James (464):

    Perhaps – but Mike Adams isn’t the only person writing about the REM problem. See this, this and this for example. And, of course, the BBC.

    BTW, if windturbines and electric cars truly depend on scarce and depleting commodities that are controlled by a single supplier and the production of which causes great harm to the environment, they are hardly renewable, sustainable – or green.

  466. 466
    manacker Says:


    Your report on “peak REM” could well be an example of a “black swan” (an unforeseen “outlier” that changes all the predictions, as described by Nassim Taleb in his book, “The Black Swan”).

    If a reliable and rapidly growing supply of REMs are the key to developing cost effective sustainable “green power”, the “peak REM” prognosis may well mean that these solutions will forever remain outside our grasp.

    Nuclear power, with new fast-breeder technology (as being installed in India) may be a temporary bridge until nuclear fusion can become a reality. But we have a lot of grass-roots political opposition to anything nuclear, that must first be overcome.

    Or, more likely than not, something totally unforeseen will come out of “left field” and shatter all the prevailing paradigms.

    But I am with you for now – let’s not write off
    “Ol’ King Coal” just yet.


  467. 467
    manacker Says:


    You wrote:

    if windturbines and electric cars truly depend on scarce and depleting commodities that are controlled by a single supplier and the production of which causes great harm to the environment, they are hardly renewable, sustainable – or green.


    But the battle against human CO2 emissions has nothing to do with replacing fossil fuels with “renewable, sustainable – or green” energy sources. This is obviously simply a ruse to fool the more gullible.

    The real objective is to levy exorbitant taxes on the citizens of the more affluent nations, which have built up a cost-effective and generally low-polluting carbon-based energy infrastructure and, with it, the standard of living of their citizens, for distribution at will by politicians and bureaucrats.

    All the rest is “window dressing”.

    Remember Mencken.


  468. 468
    Alex Cull Says:

    So many interesting threads, so little time!

    1) Health – parallel to the government’s “Act on CO2″ advertisements are the “5 a day” campaigns, telling us that among other benefits, 5 portions of fruit and veg a day help to ward off cancer. Recent studies, like this one, have actually been negative or ambivalent, but that does not seem to affect the general perception that these are cancer-battling “superfoods”.

    (NB. This may be a good example of a dodgy consensus that is relatively uncontested, even though its scientific underpinnings are as controversial as those of CAGW. Many people, myself included, enjoy eating lots of fruit and veg anyway; to me, the fact that these probably don’t do very much to prevent cancer is neither here nor there, as no sweeping lifestyle changes are demanded.)

    2) Max: “…more likely than not, something totally unforeseen will come out of “left field” and shatter all the prevailing paradigms.” Nick Grealy of nohotair blog thinks that such a “black swan” event could well be the development of unconventional gas. Potentially very abundant: not limited to inaccessible/politically unstable zones: without the emotional baggage of nuclear: low CO2 emissions: no need for expensive futilities such as CCS: and (while not entirely free of problems) without the issues dogging renewables (unreliability, low performance, REM shortages, turbine gearbox breakdown, etc.) This could be one to watch. One of the possible “bridges” (as per Robin’s #453)?

  469. 469
    manacker Says:


    Thanks for shale gas India link. The cited article by Siddharta P. Salkia in the “Financial Chronicle” also mentions shale gas projects in North America (USA + Canada), Australia, China and Europe.

    It mentions that current proven reserves are:
    USA: 125 trillion cu.ft
    Canada: 50 trillion cu.ft.

    Which together only make around 5 trillion cubic meters (compared to proven world-wide conventional reserves, based on other sources, of around 180 trillion cubic meters).

    But I have also seen estimates that the world-wide shale gas deposits could well be as high as 50 to 100 times today’s “proven reserves”, thereby dwarfing the entire petroleum reserves of the Middle East.

    If this turns out to be true, we definitely have ourselves a “black swan”, both as a fuel source for electrical power generation as well as for motor vehicles.

    (In addition there is also a lot of oil in these shale deposits, but that’s another story.)


  470. 470
    manacker Says:


    The main “take home” from your graph showing NCDC decadal temperature trends versus decadal CO2 concentration trends (459) is that there is no correlation between the two.

    Based on the Hadley record, the most current decadal temperature increase of 0.068C as shown by NCDC actually becomes negative if you start in 2001 rather than 2000, even though CO2 increase (2001-2009) was at an all-time high.

    AGW-believers dance around this observed fact with all sorts of rationalizations, but the one that probably makes most sense comes from the UK Met Office, which attributes the recent cooling to “natural variability”, which has more than offset record increase in CO2. This explanation obviously raises serious questions regarding the premise that most of the observed past warming can be attributed to observed increase in CO2 (i.e. you can’t have it both ways: either the impact of “natural variability” is negligible or it is high enough to more than offset record CO2 increase).


  471. 471
    James P Says:

    Robin (465)

    I agree entirely. I just find American hubris a bit off-putting!

    On the car front, I subscribe to bangernomics ( on the basis that keeping an old car running is far ‘greener’ than buying a new one, however frugal.

    WT REM’s, I suspect that, like oil, once the scarcity (or Chinese export rules) begin to bite, then other sources will be found, either through recycling, or closer attention to waste products, such as the by-products of titanium dioxide production:

    My other, slightly heretical, thought is that it might be no bad thing if we had to make do with our existing mobile phones, computers and TV’s for a bit longer. Electronic bangernomics, really.. :-)

  472. 472
    James P Says:

    Oops – that link was confused by the brackets:

    and WT = WRT

  473. 473
    Robin Guenier Says:

    James (471):

    Oh no – and I just traded in my oldish Porsche for a Fiat 500 (seriously) – but I don’t think that keeping it would have been greener. Although a lot more fun. But the 500 is cute and impresses my greenie friends. (And I’ve still got a 4×4.)

    Max (467):

    You say that the real objective of the battle to reduce emissions is “to levy exorbitant taxes”. Well maybe – but would a government be so foolish as to trade off a very short term taxation opportunity against a short to medium certainty of economic disaster? (There’s no need to answer that.)

  474. 474
    Brute Says:

    My other, slightly heretical, thought is that it might be no bad thing if we had to make do with our existing mobile phones, computers and TV’s for a bit longer.


    Being (arguably) the most outspoken participant here on the skeptical side, I don’t find this heretical at all.

    One of the television sets in my home is circa 1979……………another dates from the mid 1980’s.

    Mrs. Brute’s car was built in 1994 (200,000 miles) and my daily driver was built in 2002 (180,000 miles).

    We maintain and care for our appliances carefully/regularly as we always have…….absolutely a Conservative philosophy.

    Our home is filled with antiques………as well as furniture that we purchased when we married. I believe my washing machine is +20 years old………

    Reusing/Repairing/Recycling products is really nothing new……the “psychology of ecology “is not something invented or developed by the “green” movement……it is simply good common sense.

    What I do resent is the implication by government bureaucrats & elitists Liberal do-gooders that people are too imbecilic to figure this out or that citizens should be forced through government manipulation to somehow feel guilty for having and maintaining a high standard of living.

    The myth that people (Americans in particular) simply dispose of things in perfectly good working order is just that……a myth.

    Of course, once something is completely un-repairable or the cost of the repair is prohibitive………into the trash heap it goes.

    As Max has alluded to previously………the “green initiative” is not about the environment…………the “green initiative” is simply a ruse to separate people from their money………period.

  475. 475
    Brute Says:

    Well maybe – but would a government be so foolish as to trade off a very short term taxation opportunity against a short to medium certainty of economic disaster?


    I course they would. The present administration is and has been since the beginning, manufacturing crisis after crisis in order to justify controlling ever increasing portions of the means of production.

  476. 476
    manacker Says:


    would a government be so foolish as to trade off a very short term taxation opportunity against a short to medium certainty of economic disaster?

    Brute has given his perspective from a US standpoint (where governments last 4 years).

    From a Swiss standpoint (even though governments may last a few years longer here) the answer is still the same (the old “bird in the hand” thing).

    I cannot say what your new coalition government in the UK will do, but it cannot be any worse than the path to which former PM Brown had committed. Maybe (if you’re lucky) it will actually be more reasoned (and less hysterical).

    But you’ll have to admit that the AGW ploy is really ingenious in actual fact. It enables the governments to don the apparent mantle of “long-term thinkers” (avoiding an otherwise certain climate disaster in year 2100) by “short-term action” (levying a carbon tax – and increasing tax revenues – NOW). The best of both worlds, as they say (or a politician’s “dream come true”).


  477. 477
    manacker Says:


    BTW, you’ll be pleased to know that “googling” “Is Al Gore a scam artist?” gets 35,200,000 hits.



  478. 478
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Re governments’ real intention, I’d hoped that my “(There’s no need to answer that.)” made my own view clear enough.

  479. 479
    James P Says:

    Robin (473)

    I don’t think that keeping it would have been greener

    Not even if you include the raw materials and energy required to manufacture the Fiat? Not that these things bother me unduly, but clearly they should matter to the greens, who are the ones exhorting us to scrap our (well, my) old vehicles.

    Brute – I’m glad to hear that you’re a conservator as well as a conservative. I must admit that I thought Americans were keen on changing their cars, but that may be because I grew up reading copies of the National Geographic, which used to have glossy (and to me, exotic) ads for new models every year!

  480. 480
    Brute Says:

    Not even if you include the raw materials and energy required to manufacture the Fiat? Not that these things bother me unduly, but clearly they should matter to the greens, who are the ones exhorting us to scrap our (well, my) old vehicles.


    Just curious……..what taxation would be involved with purchasing a new car in England?

    For example, is it a one time tax on a new purchase or do you pay annual taxes on personal property?

    Here in the US, I pay 5% when I purchase the vehicle…… time, that’s it. Every two years it has to be retagged (no inspection)…..just another (tax) fee every two years $120.00.

  481. 481
    tempterrain Says:

    Is this a discussion on various ‘scrappage’ car schemes? I heard about them when I was in the UK this winter.

    I would say that you are probably quite right that the amount of energy required to build a new car hasn’t been properly factored into the calculations. In principle, from what I understood the scheme to be, UK residents could receive a government subsidy of about UKP2k to replace a car over ten years old with a new one regardless of whether it was any better in terms of emissions.

    So, yes, the scheme had very little, if anything, to do with reducing CO2 emissions and everything to do with trying to keep capitalism going for a little while longer!

  482. 482
    tempterrain Says:


    You’ve raised the ‘it’s all a scam’ argument again. Governments around the world have conspired together and supposedly brainwashed the world’s climate scientists and reprogrammed them to write papers about AGW just so they have an excuse to levy taxes on carbon dioxide emissions.

    Do you really believe that? Its such a paranoid argument that it scarcely merits a reply. However, I would suggest that governments have successfully raised taxes for all sorts of reasons for many years now and they have never had to openly lie about the reasons for it. Sure they have bent the truth a little and left taxes in place long after the original stated reasons had passed. For instance, income tax was introduced in the UK as a temporary measure to fund the Napoleonic wars and similarly the Civil was in the USA. They are experts at they sort of stuff they don’t need AGW to do it.

    Increasing globalisation makes it much easier for multinational companies to arrange their affairs so that they make losses where corporation taxes are high and big profits where they are low. Whereas, in most countries, taxation paid by individuals is rising, taxes paid by corporations are falling.

    If governments were as smart as you suggest, they would be colluding with each other to stop it. Much easier than trying to herd cats, or rather control the opinions of independently minded scientists.

  483. 483
    manacker Says:


    You wrote:

    You’ve raised the ‘it’s all a scam’ argument again.

    No, Peter.

    I have simply mentioned to Brute that

    “Is Al Gore a scam artist?” gets 35,200,000 hits on Google.

    Check it out yourself and you will see why.

    But your point on the suggestion that many scientists write papers that support the politicians’ views (who finance them) is a point worth considering. As several scientists have pointed out, “science” risks becoming corrupted, when such large sums of public money are at stake.

    I’m sure that you are not so naïve to not see this danger, Peter. Or would you seriously claim it does not exist?


  484. 484
    manacker Says:


    You wrote (482):

    in most countries, taxation paid by individuals is rising, taxes paid by corporations are falling.

    Corporate taxes vary by country: in most developed countries these are between 30% and 40%.

    Highest corporate tax rates (2003 data) were in Japan (40.9%), Germany (39.6%) and USA (39.3%), while the lowest were in Ireland (12.6%), Norway/Sweden (28.0%), Finland (29%) and Australia/UK (30.0%).

    Personal income taxes also vary considerably, with most countries having a “progression” (whereby larger incomes are more heavily taxed than lower incomes). In addition, most countries have a national VAT (or sales tax).

    Japan (5-50%, + 5% sales tax); Germany (14-45%, + 19% VAT), USA (0-35%, no VAT), Ireland (20-41% + 21% VAT), Norway (28-49% + 25% VAT), Sweden (0-57% + 25% VAT), Finland (7-30% + 22% VAT), Australia (17-45% + 10% sales tax), UK (0-40% + 17.5% VAT).

    I have seen no statistics confirming your statement that corporate taxes are “falling” while personal income taxes are “rising”. Do you have any statistical data to support this claim?

    Your point is very valid that taxes, which have been implemented to address a specific problem (real or perceived), are not automatically removed once that problem has gone away. If a “carbon tax” would be imposed to stop “global warming”, it is quite likely that this tax would continue, even if we had moved into a new ice age and “global warming” fears had long disappeared.


  485. 485
    manacker Says:


    Back to personal income taxes.

    During the US Bush administration, most of the tax burden was paid by those taxpayers with the highest incomes:

    In 2002 that latest year of available data, the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid more than half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but reported roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income.

    This is expected to increase as the Bush tax cuts expire under the new Obama administration.

    A similar “progression” exists in most countries.


  486. 486
    Brute Says:

    Ran accross this Peter to help things along.

    On Philosophy

    August 28, 2007

    Mass Manipulation

    Filed under: Essays,Society

    Is it ethically permitted to manipulate the public? Are we allowed to subtly influence them so that the majority of people develop the attitudes and beliefs we want them to have? The question is often made more complicated than it needs to be by our tendency to focus on cases of mass manipulation used for evil ends, and from them drawing the conclusion that all manipulation is bad. That is much like focusing on car accidents and coming to the conclusion that driving is bad. To reason in such a way is too erroneously reach the conclusion that driving is intrinsically bad because it can be used in a way we would disapprove of. To properly consider the issue of mass manipulation we must address these concerns separately. Is it intrinsically bad regardless of its consequences? And can it be reliably used to achieve good results?

    If someone was to argue that mass manipulation is intrinsically bad it would have to be because takes away the freedom of people to have attitudes and beliefs independently of outside influences. In one sense it is hard to argue against this claim from first principles, because whether such freedom is good tends to be an assumption, or at least close to one. Fortunately there is a way around pondering that question; it is easy to show that regardless of whether we are being manipulated or not people have the same amount of such freedom, because the people who can be manipulated never had that freedom to begin with. To demonstrate why this is the case I must use an analogy. People are like a flock of birds, a flock not in physical space, but in the space of ideas. People naturally imitate other people, and so tend to have the same attitudes and the same beliefs. Of course not everyone is part of one flock, some are naturally independent and ignore the flock to a great degree, and depending on how you look at it there may very well be more than one flock (people are most likely to be influenced those that they are already similar to, thus allowing distinct groups to exist). The details are largely irrelevant. Mass manipulation works by using this flocking behavior to the manipulator’s advantage. People instinctively try to stick to the flock, so manipulators try to convince people that certain attitudes or beliefs are in the majority. And so, wishing to stick close to the flock, people begin to pick up those attitudes and beliefs until they really are the majority. The flock not equally sensitive to all of its members at all times; depending on the current state of the flock a change in some members may result in a large influence on the flock as a whole. The manipulator thus works by identifying these key members and influencing them, which in turn influences everyone. And by now I hope it is relatively obvious why no one is really “free” from manipulation, even in the absence of manipulator. Even if someone isn’t trying to control the flock it will still be influenced more by some members than by others. In the absence of external guidance they will tend to change their “trajectory” in the “space of ideas” in essentially a random fashion. This does not result in the members of the flock being free of external influences when they choose their attitudes and beliefs. Rather, their attitudes and beliefs are as subject to the flock as ever, only now the flock as a whole is guided essentially randomly instead of purposefully (subject to emergent manipulation, to coin a phrase). And I can’t see any intrinsic advantage in that.

    So mass manipulation is obviously not intrinsically undesirable. Which brings us to our second question: can mass manipulation be used reliably to achieve good results? The answer would seem to depend only on whether the manipulator is able to do a better job then the essentially random influences that would govern the behavior of the flock in their absence. Let us give the flock in its natural state the best possible advantage, and assume that the random influences (the emergent manipulation) reflects the average intellectual capacity of the members (although in reality it is probably worse than that; the emergent manipulation tends to reflect the intellectual capacity of the most well-connected members of the flock). This means that the manipulator can achieve better results assuming they are in a position to make a better decision than the average person. And thus that when it comes to manipulating the flock in large ways they probably do worse, as the individual is unable to take everything into account, while the average person, reflecting all the members of the flock, is influenced by everything, from foreign politics to the current price of eggs (the same reason that even a person intelligently trying to set prices does worse than the free market). But the manipulator probably can do better than the average person when it comes to specific issues. A professional is much better at making judgments about, for example, how many nuclear power plants we should have in proportion to solar wind and hydroelectric sources than the average person is (because of their irrational fear of nuclear power). Thus a manipulator who was a professional, or listened to professional advice, could conceivably direct the flock in a better direction, as long as they restricted their manipulation to a single issue (rather than trying to affect people’s opinions on a wide range of topics).

    Thus I am inclined to give mass manipulation, used wisely, the thumbs up. Of course that doesn’t say whether people who are currently engaged in mass manipulation are using it wisely. I suspect that the people inclined to try to manipulate the public aren’t restricting their influence to just a few issues, and thus aren’t using it wisely. But then we should condemn them for using their power to manipulate us poorly, not just because they were manipulating us, as we would condemn a driver who causes an accident for driving poorly, not just because they were driving.

  487. 487
    Brute Says:


    What would you think about a relatively small cadre of people, promoting the idea that a man was born through divine intervention, claiming that the man was the son of God and that he was the savior of the world……would you think that anyone could possibly be fooled by such a tall tale?

    Would you think that millions of people worldwide would embrace this?

    Could people actually be persuaded voluntarily to give their hard earned money to support this idea?

    Could people believe so deeply in this idea that they could be persuaded to die on behalf of this idea?

    That for over 2000 years they write prolifically about this?

    That this organization “brainwash” millions of people, all over the world, to fervently follow this idea, oftentimes marching to war to kill non-believers that oppose this idea?

    Could never happen………preposterous!

  488. 488
    Alex Cull Says:

    It’s rather nice and warm in London today, and here’s the Times quoting the Met Office’s Barry Gromett: “We are in for two cracking days this weekend. It is real ice-cream weather”. I heartily agree. In a nutshell: hot summer – nice! Freezing winter – not so nice. If the powers-that-be really believed in CAGW, you’d think this would be spun the other way round. Weather people on the TV would pull gloomy faces when talking of rising temperatures. The Met Office would not make connections between hot weather and pleasurable things like barbecues and ice cream. (They’d probably be on about sunstroke, wildlife extinctions and death!)

    It would be interesting if we did get a heat wave to rival 1976 or 2003 this year. After such a freezing winter, it would be easy to determine which – cold or heat – is generally costlier, deadlier and less bearable.

  489. 489
    James P Says:

    Brute (480)

    You’d think that was a simple question…

    Firstly, there is VAT (currently 17.5% on most things), a bureaucratic wet dream that replaced the much simpler ‘purchase tax’ (like your sales tax) that applied before 1973.

    Then there is a flat £55 ‘first registration’ fee for new cars, plus the ‘vehicle excise duty’ commonly known as road tax, which is now (inevitably) based on CO2 emissions. Electric and a few small cars squeeze under the wire here and are zero-rated, but most of us pay somewhere between £100 and £1000. This applies every year, although thankfully it doesn’t (yet) depend on your vehicle maintaining its emission rating.

    However, once it is 3 years old, every vehicle has to undergo an MOT (ministry of transport) test that used to be just a basic roadworthiness inspection, but now includes an ever-widening raft of checks designed to reduce the useful life of your car and force you buy a new one! This costs about £50 and is annual after the honeymoon period.

    As you probably know, we pay excise duty (like alcohol) on fuel, and VAT on top of that, making a UK gallon of petrol about £5.44 (over $8), which might be bearable if the resultant revenue (some £40bn) was spend on the roads but, of course, it isn’t…

    And still we drive!

  490. 490
    James P Says:

    Alex (488)

    “the Met Office’s Barry Gromett”

    Does he have an eccentric sidekick called Wallace?

    Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency of the message, although doubtless we’ll be told that while warmer weather is good, a warmer climate is bad.

    Some people seem to taking it much more seriously, though:

  491. 491
    tempterrain Says:


    You ask “Could people believe so deeply in this idea that they could be persuaded to die on behalf of this idea? ” The world has lots of different, and contradictory “ideas”, which cannot all be true. It doesn’t stop people dieing for these ideas, which I don’t object to, or them killing either, and to which I certainly do!

  492. 492
    tempterrain Says:


    You asked for evidence of the shift in taxation away from corporations and towards individuals.

    Take a look at This Book

  493. 493
    manacker Says:


    Your essay on “mass manipulation” (as well as the religion example) are thought-provoking.

    The conclusion reached is that “mass manipulation” is not “bad” per se, and that it can be used positively, if used “wisely”.

    Your example would both prove and disprove that conclusion. (Along with other religions) Christianity has been used over history to justify wars, mass murder, executions, burning at the stake, etc. But it has also created the likes of Mother Teresa, Compassion International (child sponsorship), the Salvation Army, etc., which have done a lot of good.

    But, if one looks at the historical examples of “mass manipulation”, the balance sheet appears to me to have been more negative than positive, unlike the analogy made with “automobile driving”, where the balance is clearly positive (e.g. the benefits have far outweighed the dangers or losses).

    When the powerful (or wealthy) use “mass manipulation” it is very often to maintain or increase their power (or wealth). This can be true for church leaders and rulers, or (in modern times) lobby groups, governments, corporations, etc.

    Are the politicians (like Al Gore, Ban Ki Moon, Rajendra Pachauri, etc.), political or AGW-lobby groups (IPCC, WWF, Alliance for Climate Protection, Greenpeace, etc.) and the many corporations who have joined in (General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Alcoa, DuPont, etc.) or those who lobby for the other side (ExxonMobil, Monsanto, etc.) using “mass manipulation” related to AGW “wisely” (i.e. for the “common good”) or are they using it for their own gain?

    I’m sure PeterM would answer this question differently than you or I would, for example.

    I would put the attempted “mass manipulation” against the AGW premise by lobby groups (supported by ExxonMobil, for example) into exactly the same category as the attempted “mass manipulation” for the AGW premise by opposing groups. Neither group is doing this “wisely” or “for the common good”, despite any claims they might make to this effect. [These claims are actually an integral part of the “mass manipulation” itself.]

    A rational skeptic (in the scientific sense) insists on empirical data, observation, test, or experiment to confirm the truth or rational justification of a scientific hypothesis. In science, no amount of positive or supportive evidence ever “proves” a hypothesis – and it only takes one contrary fact to disprove it.

    As a rational skeptic, my advice to avoid falling for “mass manipulation” (to quote Benjamin Franklin):

    “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.”

    And, above all, insist on empirical evidence.


  494. 494
    manacker Says:


    The EU study, which you cited (492) on corporate vs. personal income taxes is interesting. It does show that on average taxes on corporate profits in the EU have decreased (now at 35.2%) while personal income taxes have increased (to 40.5%), proving your point.

    The argument is made that taxing corporations (capital) at a higher rate than individuals (labor) induces corporations to “replace labor with capital” (i.e. install automation, low-labor processes, etc.), and that this is inherently undesirable. A questionable point, as far as I am concerned, because it ignores the fact that corporations must compete globally.

    Another study shows that it is generally the case in most other countries that corporate income taxes are lower than personal income taxes:

    Major exceptions are the USA and Japan, both giant economies, which tax their corporations at a higher rate (39%) than their individual citizens, on average (28% and 26%, respectively).

    There are no data for China, the other major world economy, or for Russia.

    I wonder what the worldwide average would be here? With the GDP of USA + Japan slightly higher than that of the EU, the “worldwide” average (excl. China and Russia) would probably show that corporate and personal income taxes are at about the same average level.

    Interestingly, both the Canada and Australia also tax corporations at a slightly higher rate than individuals, according to the statistic.

    But what happens to “corporate income taxes”? A portion comes off “the top” (reducing dividends, share value or top management bonuses), but the bulk is probably passed on to the “consumer” (the same guy, who is paying the personal income tax).

    That’s you and I, Peter.


  495. 495
    manacker Says:


    You doubt that “cash for clunkers” programs really do much beside help the car manufacturers and sales organizations (481).

    Financially the US “cash for clunkers” scheme cost every taxpayer an estimated $24,000
    (This seems high to me, but that’s the estimate.)

    Another estimate tells us (without including the energy required to produce the new car or destroy the “clunker”) the program will reduce US CO2 emissions by a whopping 0.04%.
    (This estimate also seems high to me.)

    A study shows that the average car will consume during its construction 10% of the energy used during its lifetime.

    This figures out to be slightly more than 27 barrels of oil. Twenty seven barrels of oil (42 gallons of oil per barrel) contain 1,142 gallon of oil.

    Per automobile this equals 11 metric tons of CO2 generated.

    Let’s add in another 2 metric tons of CO2 to dispose of the old “clunker”.

    This makes a total of 13 metric tons of CO2.

    690,000 cars were sold (and destroyed), for a total of 9 million mt of CO2.

    The USA emits around 6,000 million mt CO2 annually, so these cars represent a (one time) 0.15% increase in US CO2 emissions (or around four times what will be saved annually.

    So it will take four years for the “cash for clunkers” program to be “CO2 neutral”.

    Sounds like a “government boondoggle” to me, and you’re right, Peter.


  496. 496
    Brute Says:


    Wasn’t my essay regarding mass manipulation……… I don’t remember who wrote it, but I thought it was a good explanation of how manipulation over large segments of the population is achieved. I didn’t include the byline as Peter Martin would have attacked the author as some “right wing extremist”.

    You’ll notice that Peter had no retort concerning the “impossibility” of mass manipulation.

    That post and the one following were actually a rebuttal to Peter M’s dismissal of collusion amongst the media, political interests, big business and ideologists. Peter suggested that it was preposterous that so many people could be hoodwinked into believing a lie.

    These two were the best I could come up with on short notice without mentioning the “H” word and again getting Peter discombobulated and claiming “Godwin’s theory”.

    My point was that manipulation of the populous by governments, (or any other organization for that matter), has been going on since the beginning of time.

    For Peter to suggest that it is impossible that so many people could be conspiring (intentionally or unintentionally) to achieve a general goal illustrates how naïve or willfully ignorant he is of human nature and history.

  497. 497
    James P Says:


    As you note, the Met Office have switched to ice-cream to describe the weather. Do you think they’d mind if I had a barbecue instead?

    They’re going to be so annoyed if it really is a hot summer this time!

  498. 498
    Brute Says:



    It seems that your “choice” (no arm twisting by government there) of purchasing a new automobile is a substantial windfall to government tax coffers!

    It’s a wonder anyone purchase anything in the UK considering the oppressive tax burden.

    I suppose funding all of those who “won’t” falls onto those who “do”…………Such is the Socialist mindset.

    Good luck with all that!

    (Not a shot at the UK or its people……..the United States, under it’s current leadership, is heading down the same ruinous path).

  499. 499
    Brute Says:

    Do you think they’d mind if I had a barbecue instead?

    The Met Office is promoting outdoor barbecues? Isn’t that anathema to their “green” indoctrination program?

    After all, charcoal briquettes produce unduly large amounts of greenhouse gases…………and, unless you’re barbecuing vegetables, meat is unhealthy and contributes to polar bear stresses.

  500. 500
    Brute Says:

    Hmmmmm……did you know that Joseph Goebels learned his propaganda techniques from the (Leftist American President) Woodrow Wilson administration?

    The very same US President that Barack Obama idolizes?

    Just an interesting anecdote……

    Yes Pete, mass manipulation of the citizens by government has never, and could never, happen………

    Edward L. Bernays

  501. 501
    Alex Cull Says:

    Brute, James P, yes I suppose barbecues are deemed acceptably green, but only when the charcoal is ethically sourced from sustainable forests and organic seasonal vegetables are used instead of meat. As for ice cream though, loaded as it is with obesity-inducing sugar and fat, and coming from GHG-emitting dairy herds – pure evil!

    Re car scrappage, as Peter M has said in #481, this is more an attempt to kickstart/rescue the economy (like the bank bailouts, quantitative easing, etc) rather than anything to do with CO2.

    On the subject of greenness in general, I find it ironic but true that there is something of value there, once the planet-saving smugness and our old friend CAGW have been removed from the equation.

    Some good things that are associated with being green:

    * Energy efficiency: LED lights, A-rated boilers, decent insulation, etc. What’s not to like?

    * Waste reduction: re-using and repairing stuff: being ingenious. This pre-dates modern greenery, of course.

    * Protecting and looking after the natural world. Although we should be under no illusion that we’re doing this for any other reason but our own interests. Nature doesn’t care if elephants, dolphins and pandas go extinct, but I do.

    * Self-sufficiency and self-reliance. Again, these pre-date modern greenery.

    Anyway, there are probably some more, but it’s late and I’m off to bed. Just one more thing – Brute, I take my hat off to you re maintaining old TV sets (#474). I was proud of my own second-hand early-1990s TV, but you take the prize!

  502. 502
    James P Says:


    “A-rated boilers”

    You’d think you were on safe ground there, but I’m not so sure. The fact that the government is encouraging us to buy them with a ‘boiler scrappage’ scheme should ring alarm bells, and I know of several that have shown alarming unreliability, especially compared to the old-fashioned, non-electronic, cast-iron variety that often last even longer than Brute’s TV. Like modern cars, modern condensing boilers rely on gas sensors to control their combustion processes, and shut down at the drop of a hat if anything is not quite right. They also have fans to control the airflow (more to go wrong) and because they only work at their stated efficiency when the incoming air is within a limited temperature range, they do not give of their best when most needed, i.e. when it’s really cold outside. To keep costs and weight down, their heat exchangers are mostly aluminium, which has a limited life, although this may not matter too much if it becomes uneconomic to repair before then.

    As with old cars, keeping a slightly less efficient version going is still ‘greener’ than scrapping it and replacing with new, especially if that is likely to have a shorter life and fail just when you most need it.

  503. 503
    James P Says:


    “The Met Office is promoting outdoor barbecues?”

    Not as far as I know! That was really a reference to their rash promise last year of a ‘barbecue summer’, which left them with so much egg on their face that they announced this year that long-range forecasting wasn’t really feasible, especially as they had also forecast a mild winter here (spring only arrived about two days ago).

    As for the charcoal, we simply had a garden bonfire and grilled our food on the embers. No unsustainable fuel involved, but an awful lot of CO2!

  504. 504
    tempterrain Says:


    You put the 17.5% VAT (and soon to be even higher? )in the UK down to its inherent socialism. I doubt if it’s so simple. Maybe someone from the UK will fill us in with its history? Didn’t Maggie bring it in at 15%?

    In Australia we have it (GST) at 10%. Brought in by the Liberal (really the Conservatives) and opposed by the (socialist) Labour Party.

    Having said that, it’s not a bad tax, as taxes go, providing that it stays about the same level. As a business, we claim back all the GST we pay, and charge it on new sales – except on exports. So effectively we pay the difference every quarter.

  505. 505
    tempterrain Says:


    You say “During the US Bush administration, most of the tax burden was paid by those taxpayers with the highest incomes”

    In principle that’s how most tax systems work. However, from the taxman’s point of view, getting the rich to cough up what they are supposed to requires such a large effort with the involvement of lawyers, the courts , uncovering secret accounts in Switzerland (!) and other tax havens, that its often just too difficult. The poor don’t have any money anyway, so that leaves the working and middle classes….

    I’m not sure I agree with everything that Michael Hudson says:

    But I do have some sympathy for his general line that there is a “class war of finance against labor and industry.”

    and that “The wealthy won’t pay their taxes, so labor must do so”

  506. 506
    Alex Cull Says:

    James P, re your #502 you have a point there, actually. Our boiler was quite old when my wife and I moved here 13 years ago and hasn’t failed once. We got a quote for a modern condensing boiler, and would probably qualify for the scrappage scheme, but looking at online reviews for the type they recommended, I was dismayed to find a litany of problems, PCB faults being a very common one.

    So we might find ourselves keeping our old one going – more “bangernomics” in action!

    Re the link in your #490 (“Over 4.5 Billion people could die from Global Warming-related causes by 2012″) this appears to have been written back in 2007. The prophecy now has but 2 years to prove itself – time’s a-ticking!

  507. 507
    tonyb Says:


    On the Hockey Stick thread we are merely duplicating the material cited here ad infinitum so I have replied here to your last graph.

    A slow gentle rise (with intervening peaks and troughs) over many hundreds of years, caused naturally, is not the same thing at all as the temperature jumping vertically in recent years ’caused by CO2′as shown in your graph.

    The natural cyclical nature of the predominantly cold periods followed by predominantly warm periods is not explained by the Co2 hypothesis.

    I am therefore asking you to explain the causes for these shifts, with particular regards to this current centuries old rise (and the MWP and the Roman Optimums and the Holocenes) all of which took place without apparently a rise in Co2.

    Some big clue for the sudden upturn you seem to beleve in can be found in the way that global temperatures are calculated. If you were to look at the ‘dying of the thermometers’ and my own site which unravels the individual strands of temperature spaghetti we can see things in much better context.
    great animation from 1701 showing rise and fall of thermometers.

    If you were to read Hansens seminal 1987 paper constructing the 1200kms grid system and see how it is used in practice, the increasing urban bias of the ever changing stations; the tiny UHi allowance made; the measuring of micro climates completely different to the one that was started off with (the apples and oranges syndrome) can be clearly seen.

    You might then be able to see just why the notion of a unified global temperature- upon which the hockey stick and its derivatives hang-is flawes.

    The individual stations plus observations give us a much better idea of what is going on as we can idfentify the biases individually rather than try to pick them out of a giant pot full of dubious ingredients.

    It aslso helps to see our own era in a much wider historic context by looking at the various charts indicating the climate changes over the last 7000 years or so


  508. 508
    tempterrain Says:


    I’m not sure why you’ve switched to this thread. What’s wrong with ‘hockey stick’ graphs on the ‘hockey stick’ thread?

    And as I showed, the CET record agrees very well with Mann’s hockey stick graph and for which many scientific ignoramuses have berated him.

    Just try it for yourself if you don’t believe me and post up your own graph. If you aren’t capable of drawing and understanding graphs you should stop wasting other peoples’ time with pseudo-scientific drivel and take up stamp collecting, or something similar, to occupy your retirement time.

  509. 509
    tonyb Says:


    Tony N’s hockey stick thread specifically says;

    “If you are commenting here on what Sam has to say then please, please, lets not have yet another discussion of what Michael Mann’s work may or may not tell us about climate over the last millennium. That is not what the article is about. The Hockey Stick saga has far more interesting things to tell us about the relationship between politics, science and belief at the beginning of the 21st century than whether the 1990’s were the warmest decade for a thousand years – if that matters -and that 1998 was the warmest year.”

    We were doing precisely what TonyN asked us not to do, hence my suggestion we address the subject on the correct thread.

    You always seem to revert to bluster and incivility when you are unable to provide answers and never seem to bother to read the numerous graphs we post, or try to take them out of context.Did you actually read ‘the dying of the thermometers’?

    Why don’t you give us YOUR opinion on the validity of the construction of Global temperatures (not Real Climates) and then try to put todays modest gentle warminmg into the context of the last 7000 years of ups and downs, of which the current modest ‘up’ is neither precipitate nor unprecedented.

    The spaghetti graphs would be more helpful if they reflected more acurately previous periods of warmth, as today would be seen in its proper context. At present todays values are grossly exaggererated over previous periods although it’s much better than the first attempts.

    The world has not violently warmed since around 1900-it is doing what it always does-change.


  510. 510
    manacker Says:


    The effort “getting the rich to cough up what they are supposed to” (your 505) apparently does not stop the “rich” from paying the largest share of the tax burden (in the USA, at least).

    But you are right: it is primarily the middle class that ends up getting squeezed by higher taxes, be these based on income, purchases (VAT or GST) or on “carbon footprint”.

    That is why average citizens should fight tooth and nail against any new taxes.


  511. 511
    manacker Says:


    On the other thread you wrote to TonyB (69):

    If you are saying that the CET record shows a “slow gentle rise” which is “nothing to get concerned about” you’d have to say the same thing about Mann’s graph and all the other hockey sticks which you guys have got so worked up about in recent years. If you plot the CET record on top of these you can see that there is really very little disagreement.

    Wrong, Peter.

    To start off, there are two basic “disagreements”.

    The first is in scope: CET does not show the MWP (which Mann tried unsuccessfully to erase from history with his bit of “junk science”); nor does it show the onset of the LIA.

    The second basic “disagreement” is in methodology: CET is a record of actual thermometer readings (i.e. empirical data), while Mann (and the copies) are based on cherry-picked and statistically manipulated proxy data from tree rings, spliced onto the latest thermometer record, where the tree-ring data no longer fit the theory, etc. (i.e. bad science).

    But you are correct that they do agree in the conclusion that there has been gentle warming (with no apparent acceleration trend) since the mid-19th century.

    On this thread you wrote (508):

    And as I showed, the CET record agrees very well with Mann’s hockey stick graph and for which many scientific ignoramuses have berated him.

    Peter, not only have “scientific ignoramuses” berated Mann for his phony hockey stick. But serious statisticians have done the same (M+M, Wegman). Even the (IPCC-friendly) NAS begrudgingly stated that his findings prior to 400 years ago are doubtful.

    Two questions:

    Have you read Andrew Montford’s “The Hockey Stick Illusion”? (If not, you are not completely informed.)

    Would you refer to Montford as a “scientific ignoramus”?


  512. 512
    tonyb Says:


    You write

    “But you are correct that they do agree in the conclusion that there has been gentle warming (with no apparent acceleration trend) since the mid-19th century.”

    Correct, as I have frequently said Dr Hansen and Michael Mann merely plug into the end game of the gentle warming (Giss since 1880) that has been apparent for centuries from empirical data. To minimise the MWP or LIA in Dr Manns longer series (now being modified) therefore changes the apparent trend to give the apparent hockey stick shape. Hardly pseudo science (when even Phil Jones specifically agrees that we have got less cold rather than notably warmer)


  513. 513
    tempterrain Says:

    Max and TonyB,

    So let me get this straight – you are both agreeing that the ‘blade’ of various hockey stick type graphs, not just Michael Mann’s, isn’t a problem. This part of the graph shows a sharp increase in temperatures from the start of the 20th century.

    Its just the flatness of the ‘handle’ that bothers you? A flat handle implies that the MWP may not have been as warm as the late 20th century.

  514. 514
    manacker Says:


    You wrote (513) to TonyB and me:

    So let me get this straight – you are both agreeing that the ‘blade’ of various hockey stick type graphs, not just Michael Mann’s, isn’t a problem. This part of the graph shows a sharp increase in temperatures from the start of the 20th century.

    Its just the flatness of the ‘handle’ that bothers you? A flat handle implies that the MWP may not have been as warm as the late 20th century.

    Wrong again, Peter (as far as I am concerned). The “blade” of Mann’s hockey stick is the result of a graft of the recent surface temperature record onto a phony record based on cherry-picked and statistically manipulated bristlecone pine tree ring data, so both the “blade” and the “handle” are a totally meaningless piece of composite bad science, which has been comprehensively discredited.

    In addition, Mann’s hockey stick does not show the late 19th century and early 20th century warming cycles (which were statistically indistinguishable from the late 20th century warming cycle he “grafted” on), or the ensuing cooling cycles.

    Face it, Peter, it’s a total piece of “junk science”, so there is nothing to “agree” about except that it should be ignored.

    The “spaghetti copy hockey sticks” are not much better, so should also be ignored.

    There are over 20 studies from all over the world using several different techniques, which show that the MWP was between 0.4C and 3.4C warmer than today. If you wish, I can give you the references.

    In addition, there are a lot of historical data, which confirm a MWP warmer than today, as well.

    Have you “gotten it straight” now? (It really isn’t that complicated.)


  515. 515
    manacker Says:


    Further to 514 (as TonyB has pointed out repeatedly) there is nothing unusual or unprecedented in the late 20th century warming cycle, i.e. it is just one of many observed warming cycles.

    No need to believe that “the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years” (as IPCC erroneously claims in SPM 2007).

    No need to create a “hockey stick” to try to negate the observed facts.

    Read Montford’s book, and you will see why.


  516. 516
    Alex Cull Says:

    Re the “flat handle” issue, NOAA’s GISP2 ice core data from Greenland would seem to show a crooked handle, and also a descending path. There are some peaks (MWP, Roman, Mycenean warm periods, etc.) but these look as though they are dwindling as they approach the present day.

    This doesn’t tell us anything about the veracity (or otherwise) of AGW, of course, but does show a kind of plateau, after the deep freeze of the Younger Dryas, and a definite dip towards the end.

    If the pattern were to continue, I wonder if we could expect another slight rise (lower than the MWP), and then a fall below LIA levels.

  517. 517
    tonyb Says:


    I think Dr Mann was on a hiding to nothing because it is very difficult to show a hypothetical concept-global temperatures-in a meaningful form. I doubt if you will look at any of these links, but let us try once again to show you the problems associated with this Global temperature concept.

    This is the original article by James Hansen from 1987 where he identified the stations worldwide that he felt could be used in his own dataset that was to start from 1880. Figure 2 sums the numbers up. Essential reading for climate researchers as it puts the GISS datasets into context.

    This link to Joanna gives a number of good animations showing the enormous change in station numbers and their locations since 1701. We are not even comparing apples for oranges these days, and everything is further complicated by the considerable urban bias the Giss database now shows, without any sort of appropriate allowance for this accepted warming influence.

    Here are two links to Warwick Hughes which goes into some of the difficulties in trying to reconcile the individual stations to the melting pot they are all thrown into.

    Warwick Hughes runs an interesting blog-why don’t you ask him some question on what is happening in Australia and New Zealand?

    This is my own site which as well as the pre 1850 stations contains a considerable number of climate related articles.

    The available records show a slow gentle warming for centuries but-as noted by Phil Jones-this is caused by the decline of winter severity, not an inordinate increase in summer temperatures.

    To create an average of course, temperatures will be changing at different rates in different places, and there are certainly some places where, whilst they may be showing an increase since the 17th Century, they are nowshowing a decline-or are static- over the last thirty years or more.

    So I feel sympathy for Dr Mann in trying to portray a difficult concept and as can be seen by the newer spaghetti graphs our graphic capabilities improve all the time.


  518. 518
    Bob_FJ Says:

    I see that Mike the Manna man has written, on 15 May, a substantial lead article over at RC about regionality, proxy data, natural cycles and various stuff:

    I‘ve only skimmed it, and have not read the 400+ comments yet, but I suspect there could be opportunities for some fun there. For instance, how could regionality not apply to MBH99, and what about winter and nighttime growth rates?

  519. 519
    tempterrain Says:

    What about the CRC record. Is that OK or is that ‘junk science’ if it agrees with Manns’ blade?

  520. 520
    Brute Says:

    The failure of Spain’s green economy

    Bank of Spain seizes control of savings bank CajaSur

  521. 521
    Brute Says:

    So much for your Socialist Utopia Pete……….

    Fiscal crises threaten Europe’s generous benefits

  522. 522
    manacker Says:


    [Am resending this with the link separate, since the “spam filter”apparently doesn’t like it.]

    You ask (519):

    What about the CRC record. Is that OK or is that ‘junk science’ if it agrees with Manns’ blade?

    The CRC site starts off
    [see link]:

    Global temperatures have risen about 0.5 degrees Celsius over the last 100 years. However, scientists are not sure whether this rise is part of a natural warming cycle or whether it is due to human activity – the enhanced greenhouse effect.

    The report makes reference to a study of coral colonies in tropical waters near the Great Barrier Reef going back 237 years and continues:

    Growth trends in our corals may be a response to anthropogenic stress, or they may be a response to natural environmental change, or they may reflect natural variations in the system. Unnatural changes in coral growth, and hence in reef environments, can only be recognised when we can distinguish them from natural variation.

    This makes good sense and does not sound at all like agenda-driven “junk science”.

    There is, of course, no attempt to “re-write history” by “erasing” the MWP (as there was in the Mann study).

    “0.5C over the past 100 years” (HadCRUT puts it at 0.6C over the 20th century, so that’s close enough).

    The report also leaves it open whether the coral changes were caused by natural environmental change, natural variability or human influences.

    And, most importantly, Peter, the CRC study has not been comprehensively discredited as has the Mann hockey stick.

    Some advice, Peter: let the Mann hockey stick “rest in peace”. It has been buried as a piece of “bad science”, and you only lose credibility by trying to dig it up and validate it.


  523. 523
    tempterrain Says:


    Europe has a more managed form of Capitalism than does the USA. European economies are more mixed than you would be used to in the USA with a larger publicly owned sector. However, even publicly owned industries aren’t immune from the current GFC. The USA, as you’ll know from your own experience, is in crisis too. They didn’t cause the crisis but the ones who’ll have to pay for it, the American working and middle classes are in just as bad a position as their European counterparts. It many ways it is even worse, they just don’t have the same level of political organisation to defend their interests which would include getting out on to the streets if necessary.


    Its not your call to say whether the hockey stick of Mann is correct or not. You and others on this blog have introduced the CET record in an attempt to do so. However, for the period of the record, the fit between the two is excellent! Of course, the further back in time one goes, the harder it is to be able to make the necessary climate reconstructions. There are many such reconstructions all showing a ‘hockey stick’ like shape. The problem that you have is not with the scientific methods used but with the conclusions that have been reached.

  524. 524
    tempterrain Says:


    I didn’t get your CET link. Is this it?

    There is really nothing in there to support your argument.

  525. 525
    manacker Says:


    You just don’t give up on Mann’s hockey stick, do you (523/524)?

    Its not your call to say whether the hockey stick of Mann is correct or not. You and others on this blog have introduced the CET record in an attempt to do so. However, for the period of the record, the fit between the two is excellent!

    No, it’s not “my call” to say the hockey stick was incorrect. It was the “call” of McIntyre and McKitrick, Wegman, John Daly and (reluctantly) the NAS. Read Montford’s “The Hockey Stick Illusion”, and you will see why and how it was discredited.

    TonyB is a bit more charitable in concluding that Mann may simply have made errors, due to difficulties in drawing reliable conclusions, using his data series. Montford makes it clear that this was a piece of fraudulent bad science.

    The coincidence that it may show partial overlap with other records proves nothing whatsoever. The latter part of Mann’s hockey stick was a piece of the HadCRUT record, grafted onto his proxy record (to “hide the decline”), so it is logical that this part “fits”.

    What does not fit is the absence of a warmer MWP and a drop in temperature to a cooler LIA (since the CET does not cover the time periods involved). The CET record does show a 50-year period of warming starting in the late 17th century, which is even greater than the latest 50-year period (yet is much less apparent in Mann’s hockey stick). Refer to my post 37 on the “hockey stick” thread.

    The corrected hockey stick shows this period more clearly (and also shows that the MWP was warmer than today).

    Give up on this one, Peter, and move on to something else. You’ve already lost it and you just make yourself look silly by continuing to beat this dead horse.


    PS I did not post a “CET link”. I simply downloaded the CET figures and then plotted two 50-year periods (one pre-industrial starting in 1690 and the other covering the most recent 50 years, to demonstrate that there was no statistical difference between the two (with the earlier record showing a slightly higher rate of warming, despite no CO2 increase).

  526. 526
    manacker Says:


    For shame!

    You post (524) a partial CET record (by Parker) which truncates the late 17th/early 18th century warming period, to which I referred (and which was greater than the most recent warming period).



  527. 527
    manacker Says:

    Link for 522 [remove !]

  528. 528
    James P Says:


    Re GST, I’m not familiar with Australian taxation, but I had a quick look just now and note that your then PM (John Howard) had previously promised never to introduce it! Politicians, eh?

    My main objection is that it is bureaucratic, involving all parties in the chain of production, instead of just the final transaction. If your business has to record all the inputs and outputs just to claim the difference, don’t you mind all the extra work?

  529. 529
    manacker Says:


    Your comments to Brute on Europe versus USA do not necessarily apply for Switzerland, which has less government-owned industry than, for example, France (or, for that matter, the USA, now that it “owns” chunks of GM, etc.).

    Switzerland is also not feeling the recession as badly as either the USA or many EU countries, although there are worries that the strong Franc (versus the Euro) will cause problems for the Swiss export and tourist industries (EU is largest trade partner). As a result, the Swiss National Bank is buying Euros to try to bolster it.

    It is true that the “middle class” pays the price of a recession (all over the world) and also reaps a significant portion of the benefits of a boom.

    The “poorest” are covered by a “social net”, which is not much different in Switzerland (or EU countries) than in many US states. They may suffer a bit from “entitlement cuts” during a deep recession (and gain a bit from more generous “entitlements” when the economy is booming), but they are much more immune to swings in the economy than the middle class.

    The “wealthiest” seem to do well regardless of the economy (at least here in Switzerland).

    As far as the “middle class” getting “out on the streets”, this happens regularly in France and hardly ever in Switzerland. In the USA it appears that there are grassroots movements to do so (Tea Party, etc.), but it is also less of a “habit” than in France.

    Do Englishmen ever “go out on the streets” in protest? I cannot recall many instances of this (“stiff upper lip, and all that”), but maybe one of the English posters here has another thought on that.


  530. 530
    manacker Says:

    Brute / PeterM

    What percentage of the economy does the government run?

    US government spending (federal, state, local) represents 45% of GDP in 2010 (up from 32% in 2000).

    In Germany, this was 48.8% in 2007, while France had 61.1%, UK 50.0%, Switzerland 37.8% and Greece 50.7%. Australia was at 43.6% and Canada at 48.2%.

    Looks like the USA has “moved up” to the same level as the EU!

    Strangely, this was only 22.0% in China and 20.9% in Russia, while it was 30.9% in Japan.


  531. 531
    James P Says:


    Do Englishmen ever “go out on the streets” in protest?

    Not very often, and since about a million turned out to tell Tony Blair not to support Dubya’s mission to Iraq, and were studiously ignored, I guess we don’t bother so much. We can’t assemble within a kilometre* of Parliament, anyway, now.

    *A curious choice of measurement, since metric units are not (yet) allowed on road signs!

  532. 532
    tonyb Says:

    Peter and Max

    Peter, that was a curious attempt at changing the time scale as seen in your #524. I will charitably assume you were being mischievous, rather than trying to put forward a serious counter argument by changing the game whilst mixing apples and oranges.

    Here is CET (again) back to 1659 showing the modest slope.

    The corrected hockey stick -as Max points out- shows this period more clearly and that the MWP was warmer than today.

    We know of the characteristic warmth of the MWP from around 950 to 1300AD, we also know of the brief brush with the LIA before renewed warmth around 1400, the warm period around 1470 is widely mentioned, and we can trace by instrumental record the warm periods around 1670 and 1700 and 1750 which are of course all strangely omitted in the truncated chart you suddenly produced.

    This repeated link
    gives a great animation from 1701 showing the rise and fall of thermometer numbers.
    From here you can debate with such as Warwick Hughes what is happening in Australia concerning thermometer readings and climate in general.

    What with the stations distressing habit of frequently moving (often to Airports), being engulfed by the surrounding warm urbanisation and the potential of poor siting, the idea of this precise global temperature is a threadbare concept.


  533. 533
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Oh dear, after a burst of fairness, it looks like RC have returned to their old policy of editing out any inconvenient comments. Here follows a screen copy of my first comment on Mike the manna man’s thread; “What we can learn from studying the last millennium or so“:

    BobFJ says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    23 May 2010 at 8:04 PM
    I’ve joined the discussion late, but upon a quick look through, I notice that Mike and others here have stressed that whilst the MWP/MCA is said to exhibit regional warm and cold periods, the net claim is that the MWP was flat.
    However, this calls into question any millennial proxy study based on tree rings, since as I understand it, the regions in which MOST trees were sampled were in the high latitudes and/or altitudes in the NH. (where presumably it is assumed that snow cover and a few other things were constant over the millennia)
    It could hardly be more regional than that, like not many people live there, so if regionality is important and that issue is not resolved, what is the point in drawing any conclusions from it?

    However, it disappeared after a few hours. I re-posted it later in the day, and it too disappeared.
    Looks like it touched a raw nerve, or maybe a moderator wanted to shield it from Mikes eyes?

  534. 534
    manacker Says:


    JoNova’s youtube showing the number of temperature changes over time (your 532) is amazing!

    What is particularly interesting is the lack of stations in most of the world until the early 20th century, the rapid build-up until around 1990 and the drastic elimination of stations after 1990.

    If anyone had any real confidence in this temperature record before seeing this demonstration, it would surely be lost afterward.


  535. 535
    manacker Says:


    Re ur 533

    Looks like the RC site is returning to its old (pardon me, Peter) Josef Goebbels policy on censorship, allowing only the AGW-groupies, like John Mashey, DB Benson, Ray Ladbury, BP Levenson, Hank Roberts, etc. to gush praise on the lead blog authors (in this case “mighty Mann” himself), while blocking out any serious critique.

    Non illegitemi carborundum.


  536. 536
    tonyb Says:


    You said;

    “If anyone had any real confidence in this temperature record before seeing this demonstration, it would surely be lost afterward.”

    You’d think that wouldn’t you, but if you’re a true believer it’s more conmforting to ignore such things and keep eating the spaghetti soup.


  537. 537
    tempterrain Says:

    Max and Tony,

    There is no attempt to deceive. I didn’t realise you were so concerned about the period up to around 1750! I’ll put my own graphs up again which has the whole period.

    It is a record of central England only, which has a similar latitute to Canada, but a milder climate which is very dependent on ocean currents, so its not necessarily representative of the climate globally. For instance, the early 20th century warming which is apparent in the global record doesn’t show up at all.

  538. 538
    tonyb Says:


    Hubert Lamb spent a lifetime examining thousands of records from all over the world and much of what he has to say remains relevant today.

    Precisely because of our geographical location he thought the UK was a good proxy for much of the Northern Hemisphere. You wil remember the close mirroring it had to Zurich figures on the graphs I posted last year. Zurich then diverged over the last fifty years because of considerable -unaccounted for- urbanisation. The Cet figures from 1974 also suffer from this -although to a slightly lesser extent

    We shall no doubt remember your new found enthusiasm for 10 year rolling averages at another time.


  539. 539
    manacker Says:


    Glad you again include the entire CET record, including the 50-year pre-industrial period 1690-1739, which shows greater and more rapid warming than the most recent 50-year period, 1960-2009.

    How do you explain that, despite the fact that there was no human CO2 over this period it warmed more than the most recent period with record CO2 emissions?

    Could it be that CO2 feally does not play such an important role (despite the myopic fixation IPCC has put on this one trace GH gas as the principal driver of our planet’s climate)?

    Appreciate your explanation for this (you know what my explanation is, I think).


  540. 540
    manacker Says:


    You wrote of the CET record (538):

    For instance, the early 20th century warming which is apparent in the global record doesn’t show up at all.

    This is not true, Peter.

    If you plot the 35-year period 1915-1949, you will see that it has a linear warming rate of 0.24C per decade or 0.8C over the period.

    Check stuff out before you make statements, Peter.


  541. 541
    manacker Says:


    You wrote to Peter

    We shall no doubt remember your new found enthusiasm for 10 year rolling averages at another time.

    Yeah. For example, if the recent cooling trend suddenly reverses itself again after 10 years or so of cooling, you can be sure that “10 year rolling averages” will be dropped like a hot rock by the “mainstream consensus of 2,500 climate scientists” plus Peter.

    As the saying goes:

    Statistics don’t lie – statisticians do


  542. 542
    tonyb Says:

    Hi Max

    I don’t know if you ever saw my article here concerning the gradual lessening of the LIA through the 19th Century, as viewed through the prism of Charles Dickens.

    He and other commentators had a profound effect on our belief in the period as one of unremitting cold when really it was much more episodic than the word ‘age’ implies and there were very warm periods in between. This implies considerable variability, explicitly denied by the Met office.

    Most of our ‘warming’ has come about through a lessening of the severe winters which we can observe over the last 320 years, and which in turn has raised the annual mean average. That there were other cold episodic periods going much further back than that is also evident from such graphs as the one you originally posted, and which I repeated in my #532

    Leaving aside the nonsense of an accurate global termperature, what I would like to see explained are the reasons for the very cold interludes we can observe over the last 3 or 4 hundred years, in order to determine whether they can recurr.


  543. 543
    manacker Says:


    Enjoyed your “Dickens and English climate” blog.

    Really points out how silly all this commotion about AGW really is, if one looks a little bit further into history.



  544. 544
    Alex Cull Says:

    TonyB, I’d like to second what Max has said; your “Bah Humbug!” is an excellent and informative essay. As important as the graphs and number-crunching are, I find that nothing brings home the truths of our weird, wonderful (and highly variable!) climate quite like a historical perspective, such as the one you presented there. Any thoughts about writing a book on climate history?

  545. 545
    tonyb Says:

    Alex and Max

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    Several people have suggested I write a book on climate history as following the deaths of John Daly and Hubert Lamb-both giants in their field- there are very few people currently writing on the subject.

    The trouble is that I write for the internet age, whereby the links are an integral part of the articles narrative as well as being a cross reference.

    So it would work well as an online book but I’m not aware of any funding mechanism that could make this a viable proposition.

    I currently have around another 5 articles on the go, of which my one on the LIA is the most ambitious.

    Collectively I havbe already written around 6 articles so this would form the nucleus of a considerable volume of work.

    I do like to try and put things in their historic perspective but unfortunately we have a large group of people who prefer hypothetical computer models to real stories.


  546. 546
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Yes, as Alex says, an excellent and informative essay. Thank you. BTW in a follow-up comment you say, “It would be fascinating to see what proxies have to say about the same period, so if anyone has any particular expertise in this field it would be good to hear from them.” Did anyone respond?

  547. 547
    tempterrain Says:


    I’m surprised that you didn’t link to these graphs. I thought you might be interested in Switzerland’s climate.


    Do you have reference to the Zurich temperature data you mentioned?

  548. 548
    manacker Says:


    Tamino’s graphs of selected Swiss temperatures (up to year 2007) are interesting, but do not really tell us anything new.

    We all know that it warmed by around 1.7C from 1900 to around 1950, cooled by around 1.0C from 1950 to 1975 and then warmed by about 1.5C from 1975 to 2007 (with slight cooling since then).

    So what?

    Don’t try to tell me this has anything to do with atmospheric CO2 concentrations (either here in Switzerland or halfway around the globe in Hawaii).


  549. 549
    tempterrain Says:


    This was a common argument when GST was introduced

    “My main objection is that it is bureaucratic, involving all parties in the chain of production, instead of just the final transaction. If your business has to record all the inputs and outputs just to claim the difference, don’t you mind all the extra work?

    which I must say I’ve never understood. Recording the inputs and outputs are what every business should be doing anyway, regardless of the tax implications. You just need to be able to understand what 10% means to work out the tax. How hard is that?

    Anyway that’s maybe a pretty boring contribution from me today!

  550. 550
    tonyb Says:


    I received a variety of graphs and some borehole material plus tree ring estimates-the latter didn’t always match the instrumental records.


    There was an awful lot of background to these Zurich graphs as the city had grown something like five fold since the war. There is also a good view of the station now engulfed by urbanisation.

    This was the subject of a considerable number of posts between Max and myself a year or so ago.


  551. 551
    tonyb Says:

    Peter and Max

    I just read the link by Peter to Tamino who is another person who obviously doesn’t do history or delves too deeply into individual stations.

    Here are my own Basel records from an as yet unfinished article on UHI.

    Very built up area close to river in city centre

    Basel is the warmest place in Switzerland north of the Alps. The average temperature is mostly 2-3 degrees above those of other cities. This is nice during winter, but during summer, the temperatures, especially in the night, can be rather uncomfortably hot. Basel is situated in the Rhine valley, and the heat is conserved by the warmed up houses and the surrounding hills.

    Also much affected by wind direction so a change in these over a period can considerably affect the local micro climate and cause temperatures to vary against other Swiss records.

    Very long history from Celtic then Roman times
    20000 population in Roman times
    30000 in 1755
    Basel 166,000 people now 870,000 in Municipality

    A weather station also present 11km away in Mulhouse which is sometimes substituted for Basel, although its climate is notably different.

    The link above contains a brilliant history of Basel with numerous weather references. Clearly the ‘heavy’ atmosphere in the expanding town caused problems.

    “May 2, 1879 – On 2 May 1879, Nietzsche took a final health leave of absence from teaching, suggesting in parting that Basel’s weather might be responsible for his headaches: “abominable, noxious Basel, where I have lost my health and will lose my life.”66 Elisabeth wrote that she hardly recognized her dear brother, so exhausted and prematurely aged was he. Nietzsche finished The Wanderer and His Shadow, telling Cast that he knew mental effort would induce agonizing headaches”


  552. 552
    Brute Says:

    Oh dear Peter!

    NYT: Fears Turn to Doubts About Global Warming…

  553. 553
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Last week there was a debate in the Oxford Union on the importance of combating climate change. There’s a report here – probably a little one-sided but fun nonetheless.

  554. 554
    James P Says:


    There’s an excerpt from the Oxford debate at Bishop Hill. It sounds as though Lord Monckton was on good form…

  555. 555
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I daresay Monckton was on good form. But, despite admiring his ability to marshal the facts and effectively undermine opponents, I have to admit to a prejudice. I find him irritating: he seems to me to be rather pompous and over fond of himself. (Oh no, I’ve made an ad hominem comment.)

  556. 556
    tonyb Says:

    Max and Peter my #550

    I have dug out part of the conversation I had with Max last year about Zurich;

    “Getting back to global temperatures, you might be interested in the following graph as well-it is related to Zurich temperatures and is on the same template as Hadley. Zurich is another of those few places which have uninterrupted records going back a long way.

    The first link goes to Zurich Fluntern data only, so it can be seen more clearly. The temperature change since the 1970’s-when Max said it had become urbanised is very striking-

    This is the weather station in Zurich

    that provided the data-you can scroll out to see the way the station has changed-back in the 70′s this was apparently a completely rural area. Not surprising, as Zurich has grown fourfold since then and engulfed the reporting station.

    This sort of thing makes me very suspicious of the value of ‘global temperatures’

    According to wiki (it does have its uses)

    ‘An urban heat island (UHI) is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas. The temperature difference usually is larger at night than during the day and larger in winter than in summer, and is most apparent when winds are weak. …temperature diference can be up to 2.9degrees C”

    As you can see it very closely mirrors Hadley until the last 50 years when it displays classic UHI effects.

    Fluntern is in effect now part of Zurich and is now the largest city in Switzerland with a total population of over a million including suburbs. The data from the weather station would therefore seem to demonstrate a classic case of it becoming marooned in an urban heat island and its current temperatures likely to be much higher because of it.

    Historic note; James Joyce is buried in the Fluntern cemetery and Lenin and Trotsky took refuge in Zurich in World War 1

    So winter disappears and temperatures generally are higher. As it mirrors Hadley so well I would suggest the current peak temperatures would otherwise be more round an average mean of 9degrees C. Less cold winters? Where have we heard that before?

    “The temperature of the winter season, in northern latitudes, has suffered a material change, and become warmer in modern, than it was in ancient times. … Indeed I know not whether any person, in this age, has ever questioned the fact.” —Noah Webster, 1758-1843 (founder- Websters dictionary)

    Phil Jones must have known about Webster because he said;

    “Globally, minimum temperatures appear to be warming at a faster rate than
    Maximum temperatures (Karl et al., 1993), particularly since the 1950s (IPCC,
    2001), possibly associated with a change in cloud cover. Jones et al. (1999)
    found no significant increase in very warm days in the Central England
    Temperature series in recent years, but there was a marked decrease in the
    frequency of very cold days. A decrease in the diurnal temperature range has
    also been found in Northern and Central Europe (Heino et al., 1999)”


  557. 557
    Robin Guenier Says:

    There’s a revealing article posted by Donna Lamframboise on her No Consensus blog. It seems the IPCC have been rumbled yet again. She refers to a research paper by David Vaughan about possible West Antarctic ice sheet collapse that was cited (several times) in the 2007 report despite accepted for publication 29 months after the IPCC’s January 2006 deadline – long after WG1 (where it’s cited) was supposed to have been finalised. That’s bad enough. To understand the IPCC’s even more serious failure I quote Lamframboise:

    It is cited (incorrectly, given its eventual 2008 publication date) as Vaughan, 2007 … to support a statement whose plausibility it actually rejects. The IPCC declares:

    If the Amundsen Sea sector were eventually deglaciated, it would add about 1.5 m to sea level, while the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would account for about 5 m (Vaughan, 2007).” [bold added]

    But concluding remarks on page 13 of the January 2006 version of Vaughan’s paper leave a different impession:

    Since most of WAIS is not showing change, it now seems unlikely that complete collapse of WAIS, with the threat of a 5-m rise in sea level, is imminent in the coming few centuries“. [bold added]

    If the sole research paper the IPCC cites to establish the notion of a 5-meter sea level rise says such an event is “unlikely” shouldn’t the IPCC mention this fact?

    I suggest you read it all – yet another demonstration of the IPCC’s lack of professionalism.

  558. 558
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Max, Reur 535 concerning the return of blatant censorship at RC.

    Yes, it’s quite disappointing because I limited my first comment to the climate regionality issue, whilst avoiding the complexity of many other inconvenient issues, but alas my thought of having much fun over there has been cut short, even when I kept it simply to one point.
    Apart from that though, I was amused to find that the Manna Church is apparently wanting to further delete the MWP via a semantic mechanism of “re-naming it“. It should now be the MCA, (Medieval Climate Anomaly); lovely!
    It’s a bit like the way that some Christian fundamentalist creationists have moved to “Intelligent Design”, or some AGW churches have moved to “Climate Change”.

    I don’t know if you have had similar experience in Switzerland, but ‘ere in Oz, (anche Italia), whenever I’ve gone to enquire of a bureaucratic adviser on an issue, and I don’t like or disbelieve the advice given, I’ve found that to repeat the enquiry later, to a different expert, the advice can be quite different, and more helpful. With this in mind, I’ll try a resubmission of my comment to RC, with slight mollification of the wording, and hope that a different moderator may be less critical.
    BTW, I see that on ABC radio tonight, on “Late Night Live”, there is this topic, at about 10:40 pm local time:

    123 new species discovered in Borneo. But, given the alarming rate of habitat destruction on the island, is it a case of 123 more species to worry about?

    Philip Adams; the host, is of “The Church”. Could be entertaining, and I’ll let you know if it is

  559. 559
    James P Says:

    Robin (555)

    I’ve not heard him speak, but I’m sure you’re right. Our upper classes are not renowned for their modesty!

    H H Munro (Saki) described someone as able ‘to learn humility from a Duchess’, which must be fairly high up on the scale…

  560. 560
    James P Says:

    This caught my eye:

    As one who spent some years around commercial glasshouses where CO2 was (and still is) pumped in to encourage tomatoes and chillis to grow, I think their owners would find the suggestion that they get used to it pretty astonishing.

  561. 561
    Barelysane Says:

    Apologies if this is a re-post, but a decent balanced article

    How the Science of Global Warming Was Compromised,1518,695301,00.html

  562. 562
    Robin Guenier Says:

    It seems those poor cuddly polar bears are doomed after all. The BBC has a story today – link – telling us about “a new study”. It seems that computer models (yes, those models again) predict that the bears face a “tipping point” (yes, that reliable ol’ tipping point) “at which point reproduction and survival will decline dramatically and very rapidly”. It seems these models are far more effective than going out there and gathering evidence which, surprise, surprise, is “cost and time-intensive”. Yes – and sitting at a computer is much less dangerous: big fierce beasties those polar bears.

    The polar bear (probably, it seems, a recently evolved subspecies of the brown bear) has been around for around 100,000 years. It’s amazing it survived earlier warm periods. But, of course, there were no computers then. Perhaps that’s the real threat. Come to think of it: would there be an AGW scare without computers?

  563. 563
    Alex Cull Says:

    Robin, what’s especially ironical in the BBC article is that Dr Molnar dismisses the laborious “mark and recapture” procedures as leading to mere “educated guesses”, when the “mating ecology of polar bears” computer model does – what exactly? Yes, the model “estimates how many females…” etc… How is this not making yet more “educated guesses”?

  564. 564
    manacker Says:


    We have briefly touched on the AGW movement as a “doomsday” cult over on the “Martin Luther” thread, but a continuation of this discussion probably belongs here.

    Wiki defines a “doomsday event” as follows

    A doomsday event is a specific plausibly verifiable or hypothetical occurrence, which has an exceptionally destructive effect on the human race. The final outcomes of doomsday events may range from a major disruption of human civilization, to the extinction of humanity, to the extinction of all life on the planet Earth, to the destruction of the planet Earth, to the annihilation of the Solar system, to the annihilation of our galaxy or even the enture universe.

    Even though the term “doomsday” is taken from Christian eschatology referring to the Last Judgment, the term “doomsday event” as used here refers to alleged realistic dangers from natural or man-made causes, to be distinguished from catastrophic events in religious eschatology understood as an act of divine retribution or unalterable fate.

    The doomsday threat from dangerous anthropogenic global warming is usually depicted as “a major disruption of human civilization”, although some extreme alarmists have carried the AGW doomsday prediction even further to an apocalyptical “extinction of humanity” (and many other species).

    There is a legitimate role for apocalyptic thinking and literature in Christian theology (based on prophesies in the Bible), as well as that of other religions.

    In a 2003 article by Gregg Easterbrook (A skeptical guide to Doomsday) the author writes:

    Everywhere you turn, pundits are predicting biblical-scale disaster. In many scenarios, mankind is the culprit, unleashing atmospheric carbon dioxide, genetically engineered organisms, or runaway nanobots to exact a bitter revenge for scientific meddling. But even if human deployment of technology proves benign, Mother Nature will assert her primacy through virulent pathogens, killer asteroids, marauding comets, exploding supernovas, and other such happenstances of mass destruction.

    The AGW doomsday premise suffered a serious setback in Copenhagen, when the doomsday prophets were unable to convince the majority of the politicians of this world that the doomsday prediction is serious enough to warrant drastic political mitigation action (AGW spokesman, Yvo de Boer, resigned after this major setback for the AGW doomsday movement).

    From Nostradamus to James E. Hansen, doomsday predictions usually have three basic things in common:
    · The doomsday prophesy is supported by scientific or pseudo-scientific arguments
    · The predicted apocalypse is far enough in the future to be non-verifiable.
    · The doomsday prediction never really comes true (otherwise we would not be here today).

    This last fact is the strongest argument against any doomsday prophesy.

    Yet this basic fact is ignored over and over again, as humanity falls for yet another doomsday prophesy, demonstrating that humans apparently want to have the threat of a future doomsday event.

    Doomsday predictions have existed for millennia. These prophecies come from religion, oracles, prophets, scientists, or esoteric sources such as perceived messages from angels, guides, and extra-terrestrial beings.

    Many of the religious or pseudo-religious based doomsday theories include the concept of human guilt for the predicted apocalypse. This goes back as far as the Sumerians and later the ancient Jews, with relation to the “Great Flood”, so it is certainly nothing new. The AGW doomsday prediction is no different in this regard

    A psychological study entitled “Cutting down the dissonance: the psychology of gullibility” concludes:

    The human propensity to accept ideas at face value–no matter how illogical–is the fertile soil in which pseudoscience grows.

    This report goes on:

    Another reason people find pseudoscience plausible is a cognitive ability to “see” relationships that don’t exist. “We have an adaptive reflex to make sense of the world, and there is a strong motivation to do this.”

    The perceived CO2 / temperature causation fits this category, although the statistical correlation fails upon closer examination of the CO2 and temperature records.

    When people believe in something strongly…they are unlikely to let it go, even if it has been repeatedly discounted.

    In some cases, contradictory evidence can even strengthen the belief. As Leon Festinger and colleagues discussed in When Prophecy Fails, holding two contradictory beliefs leads to cognitive dissonance, a state few minds find tolerable. A believer may then selectively reinterpret data, reinforcing one of the beliefs regardless of the strength of the contradictory case.

    The malleability of memory compounds this effect. “Once you have a belief, the way you look at evidence changes,” says Tory Higgins, chair of the psychology department at Columbia, whose research specialty is mechanisms of cognition. “When you search your memory, you are more likely to retrieve information that will support it and avoid exposure to information that will disconfirm it. If you fail to avoid it, you attack the validity and credibility of the source, or categorize it as an exception.”

    This is happening today, as both the atmosphere and the upper ocean are cooling despite record CO2 emissions. We are being told by believers in the AGW doomsday prediction that this represents only a “speed bump” in global warming, that the missing heat is “hidden” somewhere “in the pipeline” and that, even if it has stopped for now, anthropogenic global warming will soon come back to haunt us “with a vengeance”.

    I am certain that there will be many serious psychological studies of the AGW movement, ten or twenty years from now, when it has been universally laid to rest as just another failed doomsday prediction.

    But, of course, we shall have to wait and see.


  565. 565
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Robin Reur 562 concerning the imperilled cuddly white bear!
    Computer modelling of said beastie’s sex-life etc! What ?!?!
    Sheez….*@%^ >>> ARGHH! Look, pardon my “French” :-:-:-:-:-:-
    Incroyabler murder!

    One might think that after publishing such a ludicrous study that the authors would suffer career threatening ridicule, but I doubt it. Take for instance the second Catlin “research expedition”. (nuff said?)

    Perhaps another way of looking at it is that the tax-payers money (?) for those bear-sex modellers, might have been granted more dangerously to those same academics for more serious research that might be taken with less ridicule. (so maybe it was better it was wasted that way?)

    I was also “amused” by the presumption in the description of these two photos:

    [1] Adult male polar bears gather near Churchill, Manitoba waiting for the sea ice to reform

    Erh, the photographer can mind-read these bears? Three adult males in a social gathering without any irritability from starving consequent of lack of sea-ice? Hey guys, let us hang loose here and party whilst waiting for the sea-ice to return?

    [2] A male in prime condition is spotted tracking a female

    Erh, how can the photographer know the bear’s purpose to be such when there are no evident tracks for it to follow? The bear seems to be more interested in watching the observer; perhaps sitting in a noisy helicopter?

    After seeing this sort of nonsense, it might be nice to have a special room in the house, that is padded and soundproofed, such that one could hurl ones self around recklessly and yell insanely without disturbing the neighbours.

    I’m reminded that recently I was dragged along by a friend, to a foursome dinner with friends of hers that have caused toe-wriggling irritation to me on previous occasions. This time they came out with the same old crap, and it was such a relief when it was all over! We parted in our separate directions, and as soon as I turned a corner, I yelled at the utmost; ARGHH! Heads turned in the street, and Pat was apparently embarrassed, but boy, I felt better!

  566. 566
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Robin, further to the cuddly bear stuff above, and your second link, this is a popular photo of a grolar bear. DNA test identified dad as a Grizzly, and mum as a polar bear

    There is other stuff on grolar and pizzley if you Google.

  567. 567
    manacker Says:


    Here is one you missed (565)

    It is captioned:

    A male grizzly bear in prime condition (and a romantic mood) is spotted by Arctic scientists tracking a female polar bear. Note that the bear is on high ground, as the Arctic pack ice has receded to an alarming level due to anthropogenic greenhouse warming.


  568. 568
    Robin Guenier Says:


    You say, at the end of your excellent post 564, “we shall have to wait and see”. Sadly, that’s probably true. But, while we’re waiting to see, we have to endure madness such as that reported on the front page of The Times yesterday: the EU says we must “cut emissions by 30 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020” – an increase on the 20 per cent cut already agreed. In all, this would cost EU countries £81 billion. We’re told “The European Commission is determined to press ahead with the cuts despite the financial turmoil gripping the bloc“.

    As James Delingpole puts it here, ” … in the greatest financial crisis we have faced since the 1930s, our leaders are behaving like imbeciles“.

    Yes, that’s a pretty accurate summary.

  569. 569
    manacker Says:


    Yes, the Times on line article and the comment by Delingpole are interesting.

    Times writes:

    Connie Hedegaard, the Climate Commissioner, will make the case for the EU to commit itself unilaterally to a 30 per cent cut, to inspire other countries to follow suit and accelerate the development of low-carbon industries.

    Times does not appear very enthusiastic, and it looks to me like Connie may have a bit of a problem getting her case through, in view of the current economic woes.

    As usual, Delingpole has got it “right” (no pun intended).


  570. 570
    Robin Guenier Says:


    The idea that China, India etc. are going to be “inspired” by Europe setting these ridiculous targets is neo-colonialist nonsense.

  571. 571
    manacker Says:

    Robin (150)

    I believe in bygone days this was called “the white man’s burden”.

    It no longer carries that name (but the meaning is still there).


  572. 572
    manacker Says:

    Robin (should be 570, not 150)

  573. 573
    manacker Says:


    More to Kipling’s “white man’s burden” (from Wiki):

    This view proposes that white people consequently have an obligation to rule over, and encourage the cultural development of people from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds until they can take their place in the world by fully adopting Western ways. The term “the white man’s burden” has been interpreted as racist, or taken as a metaphor for a condescending view of non-Western national culture and economic traditions, identified as a sense of European ascendancy which has been called “cultural imperialism”. An alternative interpretation is the philanthropic view, common in Kipling’s formative years, that the rich have a moral duty and obligation to help “the poor” “better” themselves whether the poor want the help or not.

    Substitute “cultural” with “ecological” (or “environmental”) and we have it pegged pretty closely. Note the point that we Europeans (whether we are physically located in Europe or in USA, Australia, etc. as ex-colonists),“have a moral duty and obligation to help ‘the poor’ [i.e. the non-European developing world] ‘better’ themselves whether the poor want the help or not”.

    Is this more or less what you had in mind with your remark about “neo-colonialist nonsense”?


    PS Wonder what Peter thinks about all this?

  574. 574
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Yes, Max, more or less.

    It seems our EU leaders have noted that unfortunately we cannot hope to occupy the countries of these poor misguided folk any more and that, without our wise and kindly guidance, they seem to be developing some incorrect values – such as the absurd and dangerous notion that they can grow their economies and improve the lot of their poor people by burning fossil fuels. Therefore, it’s our duty show them – by example – how things should be managed from hereon. No doubt the scales will then fall from their childlike eyes. And, once again, the white man will have led the way.

    I can only suppose that Peter shares that view.

  575. 575
    manacker Says:


    It looks like we are doomed according to the latest release of the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

    World Energy Use Projected to Grow 49 Percent Between 2007 and 2035; Rapid Growth Projected for Renewables, but Fossil Fuels Continue to Provide Most of the World’s Energy Under Current Policies

    Looks like the major contributors to this increase will be China and India:

    China and India are among the nations least impacted by the global recession, and they will continue to lead the world’s economic and energy demand growth into the future. In 2007, China and India together accounted for about 20 percent of total world energy consumption. With strong economic growth in both countries over the projection period, their combined energy use more than doubles by 2035, when they account for 30 percent of world energy use in the IEO2010 Reference case. In contrast, the projected U.S. share of world energy consumption falls from 21 percent in 2007 to about 16 percent in 2035.

    Sorry to have to pass on this bad news, but thought you should be getting ready for the 6-meter tidal increase.


  576. 576
    Brute Says:

    Wow, looks like Tony Blair has taken to turning tricks on Carbon Street with Al Gore…………another whore pitching global warming favors.

    Tony Blair to earn millions as climate change adviser

  577. 577
    Jack Hughes Says:

    The BBC polar bear story is bizarre.

    The ‘models’ predict a ‘tipping point’.

    The piece does not define a tipping point. There are no dates for this tipping point. No figures for population. In fact no figures at all. What kind of model was it with no numbers?

    What kind of journo can cover a crummy story like this without asking any questions?

    Maybe the whole piece is an artificial intelligence project – a kind of madlib article pressing all the eco-buttons.

  578. 578
    manacker Says:

    Jack Hughes

    You mention a “tipping point” related to the demise of polar bears.

    This concept is certainly tied to James E. Hansen’s postulation of climate “tipping points”, which will result in the demise of the West Arctic Ice Sheet, massive increase in sea level, coastal inundations, extinction of species, etc.

    But let’s examine the Hansen “tipping point” postulation.

    When I think of Hansen’s “tipping point”, the picture of a dump truck, loaded with manure, comes to mind.

    As the bed of the truck is slowly tilted, nothing happens at first.

    Then a critical “tipping point” is reached, and the whole load of manure comes rushing out to the ground.

    We are being inundated, not by the “meters” of water from the “demise” of the WAIS, but from the manure from Hansen’s dump truck.

    The knuckleheads that publish this sort of story are simply spreading the manure.


  579. 579
    James P Says:

    Brute (576)

    I’m not sure that Tony Blair appearance on the scene will do much for the credibility of the AGW movement. For most Brits, it merely confirms it as a scam!

  580. 580
    Robin Guenier Says:

    I recommend this article by the BBC’s erstwhile keen alarmist Roger Harrabin. Quite obviously, he hasn’t by any means become a sceptic but he’s demonstrating here an interesting adjustment to his thinking. And that, I think, is encouraging.

    He concludes his article with this:

    There will be some who welcome a demolition of the bastions of authority. But for governments and many citizens, the world will be much poorer if they do not know who they can trust.

    Well, yes, the demolition of the bastions of dangerous AGW authority is certainly to be welcomed. As to the second sentence, I believe the world would be richer if it knew whom not to trust. And, although it’s taking a very long time, I think it’s learning.

  581. 581
    James P Says:

    The alarmist formerly known as Harrabin? His recent adjustment didn’t stop him from referring to the CRU ‘hack’ when reporting from Heartland, though. I which he’d make his mind up, but I imagine he worries about his employment…

  582. 582
    Bob-FJ Says:

    Max, Reur 567;
    You provided a photo of a Grizzly bear, allegedly randy and searching for a blonde, with the definitive caption:

    A male grizzly bear in prime condition (and a romantic mood) is spotted by Arctic scientists tracking a female polar bear. Note that the bear is on high ground, as the Arctic pack ice has receded to an alarming level due to anthropogenic greenhouse warming.

    Max, please…. the original article was dated 1, April?
    No!….. please neither confirm or deny that!
    My padded and soundproofed room is not ready yet.

    BTW, “tall dark and handsome” appears to me to share a background of forest trees. Thus, he might have to settle for a brunette, because as I understand it, the blondes are normally situate in the Arctic, for which zone, according to some definitions of ‘Arctic’, trees should be absent: e.g.:

    Arctic – definition of Arctic by the Free Online Dictionary …
    Arc·tic (ärk t k, är t k). A region between the North Pole and the northern timberlines of North America and Eurasia. …

    Erh, and if on high ground as claimed, (not evident in the photo), the tree-line is further south on high ground.

  583. 583
    Alex Cull Says:

    I thought it was quite a thoughtful article from Mr Harrabin, more even-handed re the Heartland Institute than I’d have expected, and an acknowledgement that the blogosphere is ahead of the institutions and the establishment. Only six months ago, would he have written anything like this?

    Could we be entering a new phase of the climate debate? Given the fact that public enthusiasm for tackling climate change is in the doldrums and we’ve just about run out of money, also the possibility that we’re using less energy now (and that carbon emissions are probably reducing!) is there enough common ground between warmists and sceptics to be able to work towards common goals? Energy efficiency, saving money and wasting fewer resources, being inventive to get more from less – these are recognisably “green” ideals and also ones that many of us hold, who don’t consider ourselves to be particularly green. There are smart people on both sides of the debate – it’s fun to argue (and great fun to poke fun, too!) – but maybe we’ll start to see more co-operation, nuance and exploring the middle ground? Just wondering.

  584. 584
    manacker Says:

    Alex Cull

    Energy efficiency, saving money and wasting fewer resources, being inventive to get more from less – these are recognisably “green” ideals and also ones that many of us hold, who don’t consider ourselves to be particularly green.

    I am certain that you would get every single poster here who has expressed rational skepticism of the dangerous AGW premise to agree fully with your “green” list, Alex.

    Add to it: striving to eliminate real pollution of the atmosphere, rivers and oceans, and you will also get a 100% hit rate.

    An example where most if not all of the posters here would agree.

    Despite the fact that BP has spent millions on “green” PR to project a “green” BP logo and image and to show support for reducing CO2 emissions and introducing carbon caps, it may come out that the underlying root cause for the Gulf of Mexico disaster was saving less than a million dollars for a special fail-safe shut-off system, which is normally required for deep offshore wells, but was waived by government regulators after being heavily lobbied by BP that this extra safety measure and cost was not necessary.

    If this turns out to be the case (as is already being rumored) and there is no effective “cover up”, this would be an example of arrogant hypocrisy and poor environmental governance by BP (as well as the government regulators), as I am sure every poster here would agree (probably Peter, as well).

    It’s not what you “say”; it’s what you “do” that counts.

    BTW, I have seen the BP operations in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and I was very impressed with the measures taken there to avoid any pollution (which BP representatives were quick to point out), so I am not condemning all of BP – just those who made (or endorsed) the decisions that led to the Gulf of Mexico disaster.


  585. 585
    manacker Says:


    Good point (582) about the horny grizzly pic.

    Probably a phony, like the polar bear pic accompanying the letter in “Science” by 255 climate scientists regretting the recent events (see 450/451), complaining that they are:

    deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular

    at the same time insisting

    there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change

    The letter continues as a legal “plaidoyer” (or defense statement) for the dangerous AGW premise.

    The letter itself is defensive BS and the phony pic gives us a hint about its veracity.


  586. 586
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Alex (583):

    You ask if we could “be entering a new phase of the climate debate” – one where “warmists and sceptics [were] … able to work towards common goals” such as “energy efficiency, saving money and wasting fewer resources, being inventive to get more from less”.

    I certainly hope so – although I fear it will take a long time for those who have embraced dangerous AGW as a secular religion, where they are the elect and we are heretics, to change that view.

  587. 587
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Further to the above, see this concluding paragraph of an article (on the Royal Society review) by Gerald Warner of the Daily Telegraph:

    Slowly but surely, the sceptical camp is winning. Daily the alarmists are forced to give ground. They will contest every inch of the way; it will be trench warfare against them for years; but the tide of battle has shifted decisively and the AGW superstition will ultimately be defeated.

    He may be right. I certainly hope so.

  588. 588
    manacker Says:


    You wrote that you hope Gerald Warner is right when he writes in The Telegraph that “the AGW superstition will ultimately be defeated”.

    I believe he is right, for the reason that Abraham Lincoln stated so clearly long ago, i.e. “you cannot fool all the people all the time”.

    True, the AGW “marketers”, such as Al Gore, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, James E. Hansen, political sales groups such as IPCC and blog sites, such as RealClimate, have done an excellent job working the first two parts of Lincoln’s statement, i.e. “fooling some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time”, but they forgot the warning in the third part of Lincoln’s statement (which is now coming home to roost).

    But I believe Warner is also right when he writes that the defeat of the AGW superstition will not occur without a battle. The vested interests are just to great and the amounts of money involved just too obscene for AGW to simply “go away quietly”.


  589. 589
    manacker Says:

    Just how scientifically objective are climate modelers?

    This study, entitled “Seductive Simulations”, by Myanna Lahsen, a Research Scientist in the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, discusses the “distribution of certainty” around General Circulation Models (GCMs) – computer models used to project possible global climatic changes due to human emissions of greenhouse gases.

    The study

    challenges the assumption that knowledge producers always are the best judges of the accuracy of their models. Drawing on participant observation and interviews with climate modelers and the atmospheric scientists with whom they interact, the study discusses how modelers, and to some extent knowledge producers in general, are sometimes less able than some users to identify shortcomings of their models.

    It refers to a book by Donald MacKenzie, professor of Sociology, School of Social and Political Science at the Univ. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, which introduced the concept of the “certainty trough”, whereby those “alienated from institutions” or “committed to a different technology” [i.e. in climate science those independent scientists who are skeptical of “mainstream” model simulations] would psychologically show a higher level of uncertainty than those either “directly involved in knowledge production” [i.e. the climate modelers] or those “committed to technological institutions or programs as users” [i.e. users of model outputs] “rather than as producers”.
    MacKenzie, Donald (1990) Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missle Guidance (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

    In the concluding remarks, Lahsen writes (italics by me):

    Revising the Certainty Trough

    The certainty trough may account for the distribution of certainty at a broad, general scale. Generally speaking, atmospheric scientists are better judges than, for example policy-makers, of the accuracy of model output. However, the distribution of certainty about GCM output within the atmospheric sciences reveals complications in the categories of ‘knowledge producers’ and ‘users’, and the privileged vantage point from which model accuracies may be gauged proves to be elusive.

    Model developers’ knowledge of their models’ inaccuracies is enhanced by their participation in the construction process. However, developers are not deeply knowledgeable about all dimensions of their models because of their complex, coupled nature. Similarly, the empirical training of some atmospheric scientists – scientists who may be described as users – limits their ability to gauge GCM accuracies in some respects while enhancing their ability to do so in other respects; and, generally, they may have better basis than the less empirically oriented modelers for evaluating the accuracy of at least some aspects of the models. Professional and emotional investment adds another layer of complexity. Model developers have a professional stake in the credibility of the models to which they devote a large part of their careers. These scientists are likely to give their models the benefit of doubt when confronted with some areas of uncertainty.

    By contrast, some of the empirically trained atmospheric scientists, who are less invested in the success of the models, may be less inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, maintaining more critical understanding of their accuracy. The distinction between modelers’ public and non-public representations of models reflects modelers’ investment in the perceived accuracy of their models. The distinction implies that in their interaction with external audiences, modelers at times downplay model inaccuracies because they are interested in securing their authority.

    I argue that this framework needs to be stretched further to account for limitations in modelers’ ability to identify such inaccuracies, limitations that may arise from a combination of psychological, social, and political factors. Attitudes towards technology are affected by these factors, which introduce (lack of) distance of a different kind than what the certainty trough highlights.

    The Epistemology of Models (two quotations from the study):

    The biggest problem with models is the fact that they are made by humans who tend to shape or use their models in ways that mirror their own notion of what a desirable outcome would be.

    Firor, John, Senior Research Associate and former Director of NCAR, Boulder, CO, USA (1998) ‘Human Motives Sometimes Mar Models’, Boulder Daily Camera (25 October): 12F.

    In climate modeling, nearly everybody cheats a little.

    Kerr, Richard A. (1994) ‘Climate Modeling’s Fudge Factor Comes Under Fire’, Science
    265(9) (9 September): 1528.

    One modeler described how it happens that modelers can come to forget known and potential errors:

    You spend a lot of time working on something, and you are really trying to do the best job you can of simulating what happens in the real world. It is easy to get caught up in it; you start to believe that what happens in your model must be what happens in the real world. And often that is not true . . .

    The danger is that you begin to lose some objectivity on the response of the model [and] begin to believe that the model really works like the real world . . . then you begin to take too seriously how it responds to a change in forcing.

    Going back to trace gases, CO2 models – or an ozone change in the stratosphere: if you really believe your model is so wonderful, then the danger is that it’s very tempting to believe that the way it responds to a change in forcing must be right. [Emphasis added]

    While the study is not “easy reading”, it does point out very clearly (and in a very neutral, unbiased fashion) some of the pitfalls, which can influence the experts (climate modelers) to assume ownership of the outputs of their model simulations and therefore to lose objectivity with regard to known and potential errors in these simulations.

    A similar line of reasoning can be seen in Thomas Kuhn’s treatise on “paradigms”.

    The study does not cover any overt manipulations of climate model results to deliberately influence the conclusions in a desired direction (as recent revelations have exposed in some instances), but simply covers the psychological reasons why climate modelers understate the errors and uncertainties in their simulations.


  590. 590
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Max (588):

    Funnily enough, that quotation (“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time“) is only “attributed” to Lincoln – see my post 117 on the Martin Luther thread.

    And while we’re talking quotations, here are two you might like:

    One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

    Carl Sagan

    An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

    Mohandas Gandhi

    Re Sagan, let’s hope AGW is an example of his “almost”.

  591. 591
    Alex Cull Says:

    Max, I think much of your #589 could be summed up by another quote: “The map is not the territory”, by philosopher Alfred Korzybski.

  592. 592
    manacker Says:

    Robin and Alex

    Thanks for comments.

    Alex: I like “the map is not the territory”.

    Robin: Looks like Mohandas Gandhi and Lenin had opposing views on “truth” and “lies”. I’ll go with Gandhi.

    BTW, both were brilliant politicians. Gandhi’s (peaceful?) revolution has survived 60 years and appears to be flourishing today. Lenin’s (not-so-peaceful) revolution (or Putsch) lasted over 70 years before imploding.


  593. 593
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Alex Cull Reur 130 over on the hockey stick thread:

    Back on the subject of physics (as in “ye cannae change the laws of”) I’d be curious to know your reactions (and those of anyone else here, come to that) to a recent article (link here) regarding the Stefan-Boltzmann formula and the greenhouse effect. As far as I know, the authors have just published this on the internet, rather than via Nature or a similar journal, so whether it passes muster, scientifically speaking, I’m not sure at all. I’ve forgotten much of my secondary-school physics, so don’t have much to say about it that would be useful.

    I haven’t had time to read your link properly but I don’t think there is anything wrong with the S-B law. However, you have to be careful in its application, especially in dynamic situations. By coincidence, this old topic came up again recently over on the WUWT “Venus Envy” thread, my post here, is followed by agreement from Dr. Bill. (apparently a cluey physicist)

  594. 594
    tempterrain Says:


    You’re supposed to be good with words but I must say that I’m not convinced with terms like “secular religion” ? That’s a pretty gross oxymoron!

    Definition of Secular:
    “Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body:

    See what I mean?

    It’s quite common for anti-science advocates to equate science with religion. Just another belief system, so to speak.

    That’s what the Creationists argue too!

  595. 595
    tempterrain Says:


    You say “but I don’t think there is anything wrong with the S-B law.”

    Well that’s a relief!

  596. 596
    manacker Says:


    To expand a bit on your “definition” of “secular”:

    1. Worldly rather than spiritual.
    2. Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body: secular music.
    3. Relating to or advocating secularism.
    4. Not bound by monastic restrictions, especially not belonging to a religious order. Used of the clergy.

    Robin’s use (referring to the AGW movement as a “secular religion”) fits the definitions 1, 3 and 4. It also fits the second part of definition 2: “not specifically relating to a religious body”.

    Maybe one could “fine tune” the description of the AGW movement as a “secular pseudo-religion”.

    Would you like that better?


  597. 597
    tempterrain Says:

    No. Your line of argument is just the same as Robin’s. You are trying to describe science as just another world view and just as valid as any other world view. Like a belief in Voodoo or Scientology.

    Yes some people do believe that. I’m not sure that there is anything that we can do to help them. I suppose they are a bit like human induced climate change deniers in that respect!

  598. 598
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Oh dear, PeterM – you keep on missing the point. Yes, of course, “secular religion” is an oxymoron – and deliberately so. An oxymoron is a well respected figure of speech used to draw attention succinctly to an interesting paradox – thereby expressing a truth. A commonly used example is “deafening silence”. Thus, in the matter of “climate science”, it’s both interesting and amusing to note how something claiming to be science can – in some cases – adopt unscientific characteristics usually associated with religion. The common reference to authority rather than empirical evidence is an example. And consider all those papers that get published purporting to show that the world is warming with the strong implication that it must be due to AGW – and compare that with “God’s works are everywhere so He must exist”. Get it now?

  599. 599
    Robin Guenier Says:

    And PeterM, re your #597, another example of climate science adopting unscientific characteristics is this constant use of the word “denier” – compare that with “heretic”.

  600. 600
    manacker Says:


    I have a hard time figuring out where you are trying to go with argumentation such as:

    You are trying to describe science as just another world view and just as valid as any other world view. Like a belief in Voodoo or Scientology.

    This is a fully unsubstantiated claim, Peter.

    By insisting on “validation” rather than simply “attribution”, my demands on “science” as a discipline (as distinguished from “voodoo” or “scientology”) are apparently much higher than yours.

    But we are beginning to beat a dead horse here, Peter.


  601. 601
    Tempterrain Says:


    You’re denying the conclusions reached by mainstream science. So denier would seem a perfectly fair word. Some people do object to it because of its associations with Holocaust denial which is unfortunate.

    Michael Shermer of the New Scientist expounds on the meaning further:

    ” A climate denier has a position staked out in advance, and sorts through the data employing ‘confirmation bias’ – the tendency to look for and find confirmatory evidence for pre-existing beliefs and ignore or dismiss the rest.”

    Link to Article

  602. 602
    Robin Guenier Says:


    It seems you think that something called “mainstream science” (sounds like our old friend “consensus” again) has concluded that, if mankind continues to emit more GHGs, the result will be dangerous climate change. Please provide a reference to the empirical evidence supporting that conclusion. Thanks.

    Michael Shermer’s definition would appear to be a precise description of the views of climate alarmists.

  603. 603
    manacker Says:


    the tendency to look for and find confirmatory evidence for pre-existing beliefs and ignore or dismiss the rest.

    Sounds like the modus operandi of the IPCC.

    Do you think this is what Shermer was referring to?

    (Or is he part of the “mainstream” club himself?)


  604. 604
    manacker Says:


    Our responses to PeterM seem to be occurring simultaneously – at least they are not contradictory!


  605. 605
    Alex Cull Says:

    Firstly, Bob_FJ (#593), very good discussion over on WUWT re Venus (I can follow at least some of it!)

    Secondly, everyone, re science when compared with belief systems such as religions – I don’t think it’s simply that science goes on “out there” in the real world while religious beliefs, superstitions etc., happen within the human mind, and never the twain meet. Our perceptions and belief systems play a huge part in determining what it is that’s happening “out there”.

    For instance, if I drop a hammer on my toe, this is an event that definitely occurs “out there”. I see and feel the hammer hit my toe, other people might witness it, the event may be caught on camera, and I could have a lasting bruise as evidence that it happened. Okay, but setting aside philosophical speculation about what a “hammer” is, whether the toe could be said to be “my” toe, etc., what could be the explanation and context for this event? There could be a variety of explanations, some more plausible, consistent or advanced than others.

    1) Sorcery caused the hammer to fall – my enemy cast a spell which drew this object down to hit my toe.
    2) The Earth was desirous of the hammer, and sent an invisible demon to drag it closer to the ground.
    3) The force of gravity acted on the hammer.
    4) The hammer followed a curve in space-time.
    5) The hammer was affected in turn by vast numbers of “spin networks” in the loop quantum gravity weave. Etc., etc.

    The further our minds take us from the evidence of our senses, the greater the possibility of being caught up in a paradigm which might or might not be helpful or accurate. When someone says “I have seen global warming firsthand…” what did they see?

    Also, I think it generally good to check assumptions, however basic they are, and even if it seems silly. The Stefan-Boltzmann law may be sound – but no harm in checking it anyway! Stephen Jay Gould’s essay “The Case of the Creeping Fox Terrier Clone” (mentioned here) is a good illustration of the way scientific assertions get passed on through the ages without coming under scrutiny.

    I was going to write more, but my lunch break is at an end. :o(

  606. 606
    manacker Says:


    S-B is not really being questioned (as a theory) by Hertzberg et al., as I understood it (593).

    It appears that they are questioning its direct application to the real world, without first considering corrections for things that are not covered.

    The postulated discrepancies are significant. What’s more, they are based on actual physical observations on the moon, rather than simply on theoretical deliberations or model simulations; as a result they should be investigated seriously rather than just discarded as “junk science”.

    The conclusion that the whole GH theory can be invalidated by these corrections seems a bit extreme to me, but the quantification of the assumed 2xCO2 climate sensitivity may need to be revisited.

    Looking forward to your thoughts on all this, once you have studied the paper.


    PS The “Venus” blog is interesting. I had seen an earlier debunking of Hansen’s “High CO2 concentration caused runaway Venus warming” postulation (but cannot remember where).
    [There is (of course) also the closer distance to the sun, which should not be ignored.]

  607. 607
    Brute Says:


    Do the figures below represent “science”…… or “religion”?

    Antarctic Sea Ice for March 1980 and 2010

    2010 4.0 million sq km
    1980 3.5 million sq km

    National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado

  608. 608
    Brute Says:


    I’d think that since this area is closer to your part of the world, you’d have brought this graph into play………just look at the devastation that “global” warming is wreaking on the southern icecap!


  609. 609
    Brute Says:

    This certainly is cause for alarm……..

    Arctic Sea Ice Extent (April)

    2010 14.7 million square miles

    1990 14.7 million square miles

  610. 610
    Brute Says:

    Another disturbing comparison……………WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!

    Antarctic Sea Ice Extent (September)

    September 1981 (18.9 million square miles)

    September 2009 (19.1 million square miles)

  611. 611
    manacker Says:


    It’s only “science” when it shows an impending disaster.

    If it shows the opposite (or nothing at all) it must be “religion”.


  612. 612
    Barelysane Says:

    Max re:611

    Damn my decent education, i was so sure it was the other way round.

    Thanks for setting the record straight.

  613. 613
    geoffchambers Says:

    Bob FJ #593 (via Alex #605) + Max #606: Your post at WUWT on moon temperature seemed to me extremely sensible. It reminded me of one of my naive questions which occurred to me when I was trying to follow Monckton’s wrestling match with Stefan Boltzmann. Maybe someone here can help me.
    How can any type of theoretical calculation of temperature based only on simple physical laws arrive at a useful result, given that we’re dealing with temperature gradients running from millions of degrees at the sun, via near 0°K in space, to unknown thousands of degrees at the centre of the earth, while the only temperature which counts is in the biosphere, a miniscule skin of practically nothing, akin to the layer of grease on a much handled doorknob? Given the assumptions which have to be made, I just don’t see how those calculations of Watts/m2 can tell you anything useful which can’t better be determined by measurement. If that’s an unbelievably naive question, please feel free to say so.

  614. 614
    manacker Says:

    Good news for both Brute and PeterM!

    The Swiss parliament just endorsed a symbolic “20% reduction in CO2 emissions by year 2020”, at the same time rejecting a proposal by the Minister of Environment (social democrat) and the “left” parties (greens, social democrats) to enact a “CO2 tax” to be imposed on motor fuels.

    (Switzerland generates very little CO2 that is not produced from motor fuels or domestic heating, since electrical power generation comes mostly from hydroelectric and nuclear power).

    Looks like a compromise solution that fits for everybody!


  615. 615
    manacker Says:

    geoffchambers (613)

    How can any type of theoretical calculation of temperature based only on simple physical laws arrive at a useful result, given that we’re dealing with temperature gradients running from millions of degrees at the sun, via near 0°K in space, to unknown thousands of degrees at the centre of the earth, while the only temperature which counts is in the biosphere, a miniscule skin of practically nothing, akin to the layer of grease on a much handled doorknob?

    It can’t.

    And that is why the AGW team avoid actual physical observations in favor of model simulations based on theoretical deliberations, a point that Monckton has raised repeatedly.


  616. 616
    Brute Says:

    “Too bad……she was probably the last person on the planet that still liked him” – Mrs. Brute

    Former Vice President Al Gore to separate from wife Tipper after 40 years of marriage–gore-separation,0,7703509.story

  617. 617
    manacker Says:

    Brute (616)

    This bit of sad news just shows that being the “Savior of the Planet” is tougher on personal relationships than simply being US Vice President or the “Inventor of the Internet”.

    At least Tipper will get a piece of the $100+ million Al has amassed since he left public office and started hawking “climate change”.


  618. 618
    Brute Says:

    At least Tipper will get a piece of the $100+ million Al has amassed since he left public office and started hawking “climate change”.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if she bought a coal mine or an oil refinery with the 50 million?

    Even worse………what if she went out and bought a mansion on the California coastline……..whoops!

  619. 619
    Brute Says:


    Al Gore should stay married for the good of the planet…………selfish bastard.

    For the environment’s sake, don’t get divorced

    A rising tide of divorce is taking a huge toll on the planet, warns a groundbreaking analysis of the environmental impact of divorce.

    The environmental cost of a marriage splitting occurs because couples and their families move into separate properties after divorce – meaning they collectively occupy more space, burn more energy, and consume more water than they did as a family unit.

    “Divorced households are smaller than married households, but consume more land, water, and energy per person than married households,” says Jianguo Liu of Michigan State University in East Lansing, US, who carried out the 12-country analysis with colleague Eunice Yu.

    In the US, for example, 627 billion gallons of water, the use of 38 million rooms, and 734 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity would have been saved in 2005 alone if no-one had got divorced.

    In the same year, divorced households spent 46% more on electricity and 56% more on water per person than if they had stayed married.

    And following a split, US households consumed 42 to 61% more resources per person than while married.

    Staying together

    And the problem is likely to get worse, warns Liu. Between 1970 and 2000, the proportion of households headed by divorcees soared from 5 to 15% of all US households. Divorces are also steadily increasing in China, note the authors, where divorce rates have traditionally been low.

    “Divorce escalates consumption of increasingly limited resources,” the authors warn.

    Liu urges governments to publicise the hitherto unanticipated environmental costs of divorce, and couples to consider the potential impacts of a divorce before going ahead.
    He found that resource consumption shrank to what it had been originally if divorced couples remarry.

  620. 620
    Brute Says:

    Ah ha!

    Global Warming is causing increased divorce rates………I knew I could find an article written by Peter’s lunatic friends if I looked hard enough!

    Is global warming behind the increasing divorce rates around the world?

  621. 621
    manacker Says:

    Brute (619/620)

    It’s obviously a vicious circle, and we are in an unstoppable spiral into certain doom. Even Peter can’t help us anymore.

    Just imagine: Al + Tipper Gore’s power bill multiplied by two as they split up!

    All the fuses over at TVA are going to blow.

    The end is near!


  622. 622
    James P Says:

    I wonder if Tipper will get to keep the house? :-)

    Slightly OT, but bear with me: there was a high-profile resignation yesterday from a steering committee of our Food Standards Agency, by one Professor Brian Wynne, who is not happy with their bias towards promoting GM foods, while pretending to canvas public opinion. He was interviewed on the Today programme this morning, although I can’t link to this, as it hasn’t appeared on the R4 website yet (!)

    Looking further, I discovered that a Dr Helen Wallace resigned from the same committee the previous week (to lose one is unfortunate, to lose two looks like carelessness!) for similar reasons, stating that: “’The FSA appears to be actively engaged in trying to use the so-called dialogue to implement the industry’s PR strategy”. Sounds familiar? I hope the Royal Society’s paying attention…

  623. 623
    James P Says:

    The BBC item is now available (not a conspiracy after all)..

  624. 624
    manacker Says:


    Tell me something:

    Al Gore got a Nobel Prize, right?

    Based on his “AIT” film the prize was obviously NOT for science. Are you still with me?

    It was for PEACE!

    Mrs. Max has questioned how this could be, if he can’t even keep peace in his own family.

    Should he give his prize back to the committee knuckleheads that gave it to him in the first place?

    Another question.

    If (under Tennessee common law) he has to split his assets 50/50 with Tipper, which half of the Oscar statue will he get to keep?

    Pithy questions.


  625. 625
    James P Says:

    Brute (619)

    ..couples and their families move into separate properties after divorce – meaning they collectively occupy more space, burn more energy, and consume more water than they did as a family unit.

    Gosh – who’d have thought it? I wish I could get funding to report the bleeding obvious!

    As for “considering the potential [environmental] impacts of a divorce before going ahead” I’m not sure that would carry much weight in most households! Even the Gores couldn’t manage it…

  626. 626
    Brute Says:


    Would this be an example of empirical evidence?

    NZ research shows Pacific islands not shrinking

    Tuvalu and many other South Pacific Islands are not sinking

    An Auckland University researcher has offered new hope to the myriad small island nations in the Pacific which have loudly complained their low-lying atolls will drown as global warming boosts sea levels.

    Geographer Associate Professor Paul Kench has measured 27 islands where local sea levels have risen 120mm – an average of 2mm a year – over the past 60 years, and found that just four had diminished in size.

    Working with Arthur Webb at the Fiji-based South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Kench used historical aerial photographs and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land area of the islands.

    They found that the remaining 23 had either stayed the same or grown bigger, according to the research published in a scientific journal, Global and Planetary Change.

    “It has been thought that as the sea level goes up, islands will sit there and drown,” Prof Kench told the New Scientist. “But they won’t.

    “The sea level will go up and the island will start responding.

    One of the highest profile islands – in a political sense – was Tuvalu, where politicians and climate change campaigners have repeatedly predicted it will be drowned by rising seas, as its highest point is 4.5 metres above sea level. But the researchers found seven islands had spread by more than 3 percent on average since the 1950s.

    One island, Funamanu, gained 0.44 hectares or nearly 30 percent of its previous area.

    And the research showed similar trends in the Republic of Kiribati, where the three main urbanised islands also “grew” – Betio by 30 percent (36ha), Bairiki by 16.3 percent (5.8ha) and Nanikai by 12.5 percent (0.8ha).

    Webb, an expert on coastal processes, told the New Scientist the trend was explained by the fact the islands mostly comprised coral debris eroded from encircling reefs and pushed up onto the islands by winds and waves.

    The process was continuous, because the corals were alive, he said.

    In effect the islands respond to changes in weather patterns and climate – Cyclone Bebe deposited 140ha of sediment on the eastern reef of Tuvalu in 1972, increasing the main island’s area by 10 percent.

    But the two men warned that while the islands were coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions.

    No one knows how fast the islands can grow, and calculating sea level rise is an inexact science.

    Climate experts have generally raised estimates for sea level rise – the United Nations spoke in late 2009 of a maximum 2 metre rise by 2100, up from 18-59cm estimated in 2007

    Full story here. Even their source, the New Scientist was forced to admit the “good news” but says “sea level rise warnings stand”. Yeah, sure, whatever.

  627. 627
    tempterrain Says:


    So you are so anti-science that even when it actually comes out with something you might agree with, you still can’t bring yourself to link to it!

    Full story:

  628. 628
    Jedda Says:

    Hello all,
    I’m just a female canine, subservient to my master. Yet I whine; He has been very bad lately, has become stronger on the Sharia, has been more and more yelling really loud; ARGHHH, and even kicking me, to the extent that I’m surprised that the neighbours or our local authorities have not made enquiries.
    He kept muttering; those RC ******* bastards, (expletive disguised), they’ve got my ID and computer IP, so it is up to you Jedda to carry my sword!!! Tell them something on your computer. So, I done this wot I copied from the RC screen whilst it was in mediation:

    Jedda says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    30 May 2010 at 1:34 AM
    If I can intrude into the testosterone that abounds here, may I plead on something that puzzles me about the insistence that 30 years are needed to establish a [global temperature] trend?
    Take for instance the global temperatures for the period 1925 to 1955 in this CRU/UEA graph:
    It looks to me that the trend over 30 years is close to being a horizontal line, but isn’t that a bit silly?

    However, it disappeared, so I tried again:

    Jedda says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    2 June 2010 at 2:12 AM
    Hey guys,
    last Sunday I remember making a comment about a hot topic back then of :- “you need 30 years to see any global temperature trend“.

    But, it seems to have disappeared, so I’ll try again, and thanks for any help.

    Could someone please explain the 30 year trend between 1925 and 1955 on this Hadley graph:
    Puzzled of Melbourne

    OK, so RC can’t help; Can anyone here help?

  629. 629
    James P Says:

    Brute (626)

    calculating sea level rise is an inexact science

    Ain’t that the truth!

  630. 630
    manacker Says:

    Brute and James P

    Yeah. The “growing island” report is good news, even if it included the obligatory warning:

    But the two men warned that while the islands were coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea level rise could re-instate the earlier gloomy predictions.

    But are sea levels really rising at all? And, if so, is the rate if rise accelerating as IPCC would have us believe?

    Tide gauge records show that there was considerable variability in the rate of rise over the past century, with a slightly higher rate of rise in the first half.…/2006GL028492.shtml

    Extending the sea level record back over the entire century suggests that the high variability in the rates of sea level change observed over the past 20 years were not particularly unusual. The rate of sea level change was found to be larger in the early part of last century (2.03 ± 0.35 mm/yr 1904–1953), in comparison with the latter part (1.45 ± 0.34 mm/yr 1954–2003).

    IPCC have played the trick of changing measurement methodology (from tide gauges to satellite altimetry) and scope (from selected coastlines to the entire oceans, excluding coastal and polar areas, which cannot be measured) in 1993, and then cobbling together a record of the two measurement approaches over the different time periods to claim an acceleration of sea level rise in 1993. (Bad science, at best and outright skullduggery, at worst.)

    But wait.

    Just how accurate (or representative) are the satellite altimetry measurements?

    The scientists using them do not think they are very good.

    Carl Wunsch et al. have written:

    The widely quoted altimetric global average values may well be correct, but the accuracies being inferred in the literature are not testable by existing in situ observations. Useful estimation of the global averages is extremely difficult given the realities of space–time sampling and model approximations. Systematic errors are likely to dominate most estimates of global average change: published values and error bars should be used very cautiously.

    And two of the NOAA scientists making these measurements are even more skeptical (italics by me).

    However, every few years we learn about mishaps or drifts in the altimeter instruments, errors in the data processing or instabilities in the ancillary data that result in rates of change that easily exceed the formal error estimate, if not the rate estimate itself.

    It seems that the more missions are added to the melting pot, the more uncertain the altimetric sea level change results become.


    Looks like another case of flawed data and bad science being used by IPCC to bamboozle the public.


  631. 631
    James P Says:

    I think most engineers would be dubious of an inferred accuracy of millimetres from an orbiting satellite. The Eumetsat site says this: “An extremely precise knowledge of the satellite’s orbital position is necessary in order to obtain measurements accurate to within a few centimetres over a range of several hundred kilometres” and mentions that even to get this level of precision (1 part in 10^7), reference measurements have to be made on ‘fixed’ targets, such as land areas of known elevation.

    If the land itself is moving, however slowly, then such measurements are even less precise. Who knows how much vertical movement results from plate tectonics, or just occurs diurnally on our little world?

  632. 632
    tempterrain Says:

    The results of Australian research on sea level rise:

  633. 633
    manacker Says:

    James P

    Satellite altimetry for measuring changes in ice sheets (Greenland or Antarctica) give good results.

    Trying to measure a heaving ocean, when every ship gives a distortion covering several square kilometers, is a challenge, as the NOAA scientists, themselves admit. The errors are as great as or greater than the actual measurement itself!


  634. 634
    geoffchambers Says:

    Off topic, but AlexCull has just had a comment removed on a Monbiot thread at Guardian Environment. It happens to me all the time, but Alex is the politest blogger I have ever come across. What’s come over him?

  635. 635
    manacker Says:


    Your post on “Australian sea level research” (632) was interesting, but does not really tell us much..

    Here is a summary of sea level developments of the past century, based on the tide gauge record (with more recent records shown, as well).

    As you can see, there are a lot of multi-decadal “ups and downs”, but there is no real “acceleration”, Peter, despite what IPCC has tried to sell us.


  636. 636
    Alex Cull Says:

    Geoff (#634), it was one of my very silly faux news articles, in which I described tumultuous public reaction to the Prof. Abraham critique of Monckton, and mentioned fighting in the streets between Monckton and Monbiot supporters.

    No person, living or deceased, was harmed during my comment, however, although the mods must have considered it somewhat irritating!

  637. 637
    Bob_FJ Says:

    RE Hertzberg et al and S-B law
    I’ve read through the Hertzberg article this morning without checking the eleven references and am a bit discouraged by some immediate errors in application. They write incorrectly:

    THEORY: Climate science’s method of deriving a surface temperature from incoming radiant energy (whose intensity is measured in watts per square meter) is based on the Stefan-Boltzmann formula [1], which in turn refers to a theoretical surface known as a blackbody – something that absorbs and emits all of the radiance it’s exposed to. Since by definition a blackbody cannot emit less than 100% of what it absorbs, this fictional entity has no option of drawing heat into itself, for that would compromise its temperature response and thus its thermal emission. Its 100% thermal emission effectively means that a blackbody is a two dimensional surface with no depth.

    1) They appear to confuse aspects of the S-B law and Kirchhoff’s law. S-B refers to the instantaneous emission of a surface according to it’s surface temperature at the time, regardless of whether or not the body surface is in equilibrium. On the other hand, Kirchhoff’s law gives:
    At thermal equilibrium, the emissivity of a body (or surface) equals its absorptivity. Thus, thermal inertia of the body is important in dynamic situations, but is nothing to do with the S-B law.

    2) The S-B law applies to grey bodies also, by applying an emissivity factor. Also, most matter at low temperatures approximates closely to a black body in the infrared range.

    3) Presumably their opening line refers to the moon, and if that is what “climate scientists” do, than they are as guilty as they are in ignoring Kirchhoff’s law. (It is not applicable to a planet with an atmosphere, especially if there is an ocean.)

    I can’t get enthusiastic about the rest of it, but yes, the thermal inertia of the regolith is crucial on the Moon, but issues like heat loss via radiation being proportional to the fourth power of temperature, (ranging some 350C), and rapidly reducing solar input per unit area at high latitudes, and towards the solar terminator are not adequately discussed.

    To determine average surface temperature, it is necessary to integrate the entire surface area, and not just take the average of two points. The following statement thus appears to be wrong. For instance the day and night temperatures at high latitudes would both be much lower than at the equator.

    As the chart and the study indicate, actual daytime lunar temperatures were lower than expected because the real moon also conducts heat to the inside rather than radiating all of it to space. Conversely, actual surface temperatures throughout its two-week night were higher than expected because the moon “feeds on” the heat it had previously absorbed. Thus (within the zone in question) the surface of the real moon is roughly 20° cooler than predicted by day and 60° warmer by night, the net result being a surface that is 40° warmer than predicted.

    I might have a look at the eleven references when I have time.

    Disappointed of Melbourne

  638. 638
    Brute Says:

    Gee Pete, you wouldn’t want to defy the “consensus” now would you? Mainstream science has spoken quite loudly here Pete and it seems that “mainstream science” says the IPCC are a bunch of liars………

    Call off the evacuation: Pacific Islands are expanding

    Pacific islands growing, not sinking

    The Irony, It Burns …

  639. 639
    tempterrain Says:


    Leaving aside your assertion about ‘liars’ which is something you’ve just made up, quite nonsensical, and unworthy of further comment – I might just point out that I would actually like very much to challenge the consensus of mainstream science.

    Does that surprise you? Should I bother explaining why or can you figure out the answer for yourself?

  640. 640
    manacker Says:


    You take Brute to task (639) for referring to IPCC as “a bunch of liars”

    Leaving aside your assertion about ‘liars’ which is something you’ve just made up, quite nonsensical, and unworthy of further comment …

    li·ar n .One that tells lies.

    lie n.
    1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
    2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

    Brute is right, Peter, when he writes that IPCC has “lied” (and is thus a “liar”), i.e. has made “false statements deliberately presented as being true” and “meant to deceive or give a wrong impression”.

    There have been several instances in the recent revelations (rain forest loss, Africa crop loss, Himalayan glacier disappearance, etc.); most of these have to do with WGII lies.

    For WGI falsehoods, exaggerations, etc. I will again cite the excellent summary by Paul M., which came originally from a CA thread.

    This is worth going through in detail, Peter.


    PS Not everything in AR4 WG1 or SPM 2007 is a “lie”, Peter. But Brute is probably correct in stating that there are enough instances of “falsehoods” to qualify IPCC as “a bunch of liars”, especially since IPCC has been touted as the “gold standard” source of up-dated climate information, when it is quite obvious that it is not.

  641. 641
    manacker Says:


    Thanks for your 637 analysis on Hertzberg et al and S-B law.


  642. 642
    tempterrain Says:


    To get it straight – what Brute said was “..’mainstream science’ says the IPCC are a bunch of liars………”. We can all understand why denialists, themselves, would accuse the IPCC of lying but it is just nonsense to suggest that groups like the RS, or anyone from the scientific world, are using the same language.

    Brute quoted from the Financial Post, and I suspect he might believe what they write. However, regardless of what anyone’s views on AGW might be, can anyone having read this on the RS website:

    really say that this:

    is an accurate account?

    It is worth noting that the Financial Post give a link to an older pdf file but no link to the RS scientific review itself. I wonder why not!

  643. 643
    manacker Says:


    Regarding your 642 let’s see what the RS comes out with in summer, rather than speculating now. I have not seen the statements from the French or Indian societies, which were mentioned by FP. Have you?

    I have already expressed (on the thread covering the RS switch) skepticism that RS will do a complete 180 degree turn (as FP reports), but we shall have to wait and see.

    But I think it is a positive sign that RS is abandoning its former “the science is settled” stance – that just was not a fitting thing for a scientific body to say, especially considering the many vagaries associated with our planet’s climate.

    As to IPCC “lies” (or “untruths”, “falsehoods”, “prevarications”, “exaggerations”, etc. if you prefer these milder expressions for the same thing), the recent revelations have exposed several. The summary, which I cited, lists others.

    As far as the “mainstream science” (on AGW) is concerned, this term has never really meant very much and is obviously shifting today, as all these IPCC problems are surfacing.

    Roger Pielke, Jr. is a scientist, who is appalled at the recent IPCC falsehoods. Is he a “mainstream” scientist or a “sidestream” scientist?

    Nils Axel Mörner, another “mainstream” (or “sidestream”?) scientist, tells us IPCC has “lied” on sea level projections, while Richard Lindzen (which “stream” do you put him in, Peter?) also agrees that there is a lot of exaggeration in the IPCC temperature projections for the future. And then there is Roy Spencer and many more.

    I once gave you a list of 200+ scientists, who do not support the IPCC claims on “dangerous AGW”. Are these “mainstream” (or “sidestream”) scientists? Who decides who is which? You? Me? Brute?

    So, you see, that there area lot of scientists, who believe that IPCC have not told us the truth (i.e. have “lied”).

    And the list appears to be growing.


  644. 644
    manacker Says:


    Here is a report about the position of France’s National Academy of Sciences – apparently the NAS (wisely) supports neither the IPCC nor the skeptical position on AGW, but the French science ministry will hold a debate this fall on the subject.


  645. 645
    Alex Cull Says:

    Like Max, just to say many thanks to Bob_FJ re your #637, which chimes in with some other analyses I’ve seen on the web – it does look like the S-B law is safe for the moment. :-) I think these things are sometimes worth challenging though, be they ever so fundamental. Not to do so would be to assume that everyone else has done due diligence and questioned the basics: because, what if they haven’t?

  646. 646
    tempterrain Says:


    Yes I agree – it would have been better if everyone had refrained from drawing any conclusions until the RS report had actually been released.

    I’ll predict that the RS report will tidy up a few details. Himalayan glaciers is an obvious example of where the IPCC did get it wrong. But I’ll further predict that the RS will not make the fundamental change that many readers of the ‘journals’ such as the Financial Post have been led to expect. Will the Financial Post then acknowledge that they got it wrong? What do you think?

    I notice that even you can bring yourself to defend them. They weren’t the only ones of course. I’d include all the usual suspects like the UK’s Times, Mail, Express, Telegraph, Spectator, and The Australian. When it is so obvious that they are capable of this level of disinformation why do you believe them on anything at all?

  647. 647
    tempterrain Says:


    You say “apparently [France’s National Academy of Sciences] (wisely) supports neither the IPCC nor the skeptical position on AGW”

    Why “apparently”?

    But do the NAS take that view? Do they really? Have you taken the trouble to find out what they are actually saying themselves rather than what the right wing press claim they are saying?

  648. 648
    Brute Says:

    Let’s take a look Pete.

    Here’s 63 “falsehoods” associated with either the IPCC or the AGW premise. I’m certain if I spent more than 5 minutes I could come up with another 63.

    Face it Pete, the IPCC is propagating this lie in order to extort monies and justify their existence.

    The entire theory of AGW is a histrionic charade to separate hard working people from their earnings.

    You’ve been duped Pete.

    Swallow your pride and face reality.

    1. Acceleration-gate
    2. Africa-gate
    3. AIT-gate
    4. Amazon-gate
    5. Antarctic sea-gate
    6. Bangladesh-gate
    7. Boot-cleaning manual-gate
    8. China-gate and here
    9. Climate Camp-gate
    10. Climate-gate
    11. CRU data deletion-gate
    12. Dog-ate it-gate
    13. Discernable influence-gate
    14. Drought-gate
    15. EPA-gate h/t Climate Depot
    16. Five-star WWF-gate
    17. Finland-gate
    18. Flooded house-gate
    19. FOI-gate
    20. Fungus-gate
    21. Gatekeeping-gate
    22. GISS Metar-gate
    23. Gore private jet-gate
    24. Greenpeace-gate
    25. Hansen 1930s hot-gate
    26. Hansen stagecraft-gate
    27. Himalaya-gate and here
    28. Hockey-stick-gate and here and here WCR
    29. Hollywood hypocrites-gate and Dave Matthews
    30. Hurricane-gate
    31. Jesus Paper-gate
    32. Kilimanjaro-gate
    33. Malaria-gate and here (new!)
    34. Meat-gate h/t reader Catalina
    35. Mega-mansion-gate
    36. Met Office computer-gate
    37. NASA/NCDC bad data-gate and here
    38. New Zealand-gate
    39. NOAA adjustment-gate and here, and here
    40. NOAA/GISS data selection-gate and here
    41. NYT alarmism-gate and here
    42. Overpeck get rid of MWP-gate
    43. Oxbourgh-gate and here (bishop hill)
    44. Pachauri-gate and here and here
    45. Peer-review-gate 1
    46. Peer-review-gate 2
    47. Persecute and execute-gate
    48. Polar bear-gate and here
    49. Porn(soft)-gate
    50. Rahmstorf smoothing-gate and here and here
    51. Revelle-gate
    52. Russia-gate and and here video
    53. Solar-gate Spain solar-gate
    54. Sting-gate
    55. Student dissertation-gate
    56. Surface stations-gate and here
    57. Toad-gate
    58. UNEP-gate
    59. UN natural disasters-gate
    60. Ursus-gate
    61. Windmill-gate and here
    62. Wikipedia William Connelly-gate h/t to
    63. Yamal-gate

  649. 649
    manacker Says:


    I have seen a long paper by the French NAS dated in 2008, which stated several different viewpoints of different members, but gave a generally positive nod to the IPCC position.

    At that time there is no doubt that the management of most scientific organizations gave a “rubber stamp” to the IPCC stand. Was this primarily “political” or “scientific”? Who knows?

    I have not seen anything recent, as reported by FP (other than repeats of the FP story).

    It is apparent that the many recent revelations of IPCC malfeasance have caused some scientists (and organizations) to take another look at the whole story.

    Is this just a temporary shift or is it a “sea change”, as some commentators seem to think?

    Let’s wait and see how this all plays out, Peter.


  650. 650
    manacker Says:


    My personal opinion is that IPCC has permanently lost credibility among both the general public as well as among many scientists, as a result of all the many recent revelations, which it will not be able to regain.

    The IPCC reaction (arrogant denial and stonewalling) has not helped.

    In addition, the press, which was once very positive, has begun to turn against the IPCC.

    This is just my opinion (which may or may not be shared by others).


  651. 651
    manacker Says:


    Looks like that “moon study” just won’t go away.


  652. 652
    manacker Says:


    I have the feeling that you will remain a firm supporter of the IPCC “mainstream” view, even if it were to become completely unraveled (which appears to be happening today).

    My reason for saying this is that you incredibly still “believe” that the Mann “hockey stick” was based on “good science”, long after it had been comprehensively discredited.

    Are you really open to new viewpoints on AGW, or is your mind firmly made up?

    Just curious.


  653. 653
    manacker Says:


    Back to S-B and the “moon study”.

    Check out the comments on the blog thread I cited. They may add some new input on some of the points.

    I agree with you that S-B itself has certainly not been refuted (or invalidated) by the study, just that its direct application to the real world (planet Earth) as is being used by the IPCC contributors has been put into question, raising even more serious questions concerning the assumed 3 to 4-fold increase in warming resulting from increased CO2.


  654. 654
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Alex, Reur 645;
    Re: S_B law:

    “…it does look like the S-B law is safe for the moment. :-) I think these things are sometimes worth challenging though, be they ever so fundamental. Not to do so would be to assume that everyone else has done due diligence and questioned the basics: because, what if they haven’t?”

    Yes indeed! In fact I have a pondering on the S-B law over what seems to be the case that there is nothing in the literature over how does it apply when a body is immersed in an opaque fluid; even thinly so as in the Earth’s atmosphere, versus a transparent situation.
    Here is a first principles argument:

    a] Consider a block of concrete that is covered with opaque paint; There are no photon emissions from the concrete, but only from the paint surface.

    b] Consider a block of wet water-ice at zero degrees; There are no photon emissions from the ice, but only from the water surface. (a water skin is opaque to EMR photons that might otherwise emanate at low temperatures).

    c] Consider the rock surface of Venus; Apart from a small window around 2 microns wavelength, it seems probable that almost all free path lengths for photons would be blocked, and the surface can only loose HEAT via conduction, and convection will carry this HEAT away, accelerating that process.

    d] Consider where might be a transition point in less opaque fluids compared with the Venus atmosphere, when such an effect in c] starts to become unimportant.

    e] Consider the surface of Earth; Whilst the concentration of opaque molecules is very much less than on Venus, some must be in intimate contact with the surface, with conductive HEAT loss consequences. (if air temperature is below that of the surface) Again, convection/advection will accelerate this process.

    f] Should the S-B constant be lower on Earth in the humid tropics than in dry regions, or higher on the moon? I guess the answer is yes, but to an insignificant degree.

    Who knows? It seems that the answer is; no one.

  655. 655
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Max, Reur 651, 653,
    Re; Hertzberg & S-B.
    That’s an interesting link but again I think the author is hyperventilating, on a quick read through. Some interesting stuff there worth checking though.
    Concerning the Hertzberg article, notice that the average temperature of the moon cannot be concluded from the data given, which is rather key to the whole topic. Also, other very important thermodynamic aspects were not covered.

    BTW, in my 637, item 3), where I wrote:
    (It is not applicable to a planet with an atmosphere, especially if there is an ocean.)
    What I meant by ‘It’ was the alleged lunar method, and that the Earth’s surface temperature certainly cannot be determined from the solar input.

  656. 656
    tempterrain Says:


    The IPCC reports are effectively the position of mainstream science on the AGW issue. So I would say that you can’t deny the first without the second too. That is not to say the reports are perfect – but neither does it mean that any mistakes discredit the whole case which is of course what deniers try to suggest for their own political purposes.

    And, of course, as errors come to light they will be corrected in subsequent reports. It probably would be be worthwhile for the IPCC to produce iterim reports to deal with any issues on an annual basis. If they have the $$ millions ( or is it $$ billions ?) that you guys claim they have at their disposal it shouldn’t be too much of a problem!

    There is an old saying that the only way to avoid mistakes is to do nothing at all. However, looking at how many mistakes you guys make while effectively setting out to do less than nothing makes me wonder if that is really true!

  657. 657
    James P Says:


    what deniers try to suggest for their own political purposes

    Why must it always be a ‘political purpose’?
    We just don’t like the way the science was presented as ‘settled’ on what increasingly appears to be flimsy (and in some cases, fabricated) evidence, while its protagonists kept their fingers crossed that global temperatures (whatever they are) and sea levels would keep rising.

    I accept there’s a political element in clumsy government attempts to limit CO2 production and dodgy ‘carbon trading’ schemes, but that’s thanks to the warmists – nothing to do with us!

  658. 658
    tempterrain Says:


    You ask why I accuse denialists of being primarily motivated by politics rather than science. Would you at least agree that it is nearly always either one or the other?

    Now I could be wrong, and maybe you can tell me why, but I’d be very surprised if many, if any, of the regular denialist contributors to this blog had ever shown much, if any, interest in science until the AGW problem reached a certain level of prominence.

    The Australian CSIRO have never been accused of anything underhand or of any malpractice as far as I know. That may be a dangerous thing to suggest – I’m sure that people can be found who’d be quite willing to accuse them of just about anything! However, if you are genuinely looking for a scientific opinion, you might want to take a look at their website below:

  659. 659
    Brute Says:

    You ask why I accuse denialists of being primarily motivated by politics rather than science.

    Excuse me Pete but isn’t the United Nations (The IPCC) a political organization?

    Just checking………..

  660. 660
    Alex Cull Says:

    Peter M, re your #658, well I’ve been interested in astronomy and cosmology from an early age – I remember also being inspired by Cosmos, Carl Sagan’s TV series but even before then I was familiar with star types, Hertzsprung–Russell diagrams, etc. The climate change debate I find fascinating because not only does it tie in with astronomy but also with other interests such as history and psychology. How about yourself?

  661. 661
    tempterrain Says:

    Alex Cull,

    You ask about my scientific interests. Yes I have always been interested in science. Did a first degree in Physics, and then a postgrad in Electronics and in which I’ve worked since. So, I’m not claiming any direct experience in climate science directly.

    I wouldn’t even claim I was in much of a better position to directly assess the evidence than the most scientifically illiterate who may not know the difference between a proton and and a photon. I’d need to go back to uni to study climate science for a year two, then get involved directly in front line work. Despite what you guys think, it doesn’t actually pay that well so there no chance of it ever happening!

    However, I do know the way science works and the motivations of individual scientists who, by and large, are politically quite neutral, even non -political, which incidentally doesn’t prepare them well for their current position. If there were any serious flaws in the IPCC case, there would be no shortage of scientists willing to make a name for themselves by exposing them.

  662. 662
    tempterrain Says:


    Yes, of course, the UN is political.

    But what about organisations like NASA, NOAAA, NSIDC, and all your country’s university science departments? Are they political too? If you feel the IPCC is tainted with guilt by association with the UN, and you don’t trust foreign organisations like the UK’s Royal Society , why don’t you just listen to them?

    Incidentally, I do wonder if ex-President Reagan whose administration pushed for the IPCC to be set up under the banner of the UN, wasn’t shrewder than many of us gave him credit for at the time. Did he know that right wingers like yourself would use that UN link against them?

    I’m not sure if ‘shrewd’ is the correct word, though. Ultimately what is the point of seeking to prevent the truth from emerging?

  663. 663
    manacker Says:


    You asked (wisely):

    Ultimately what is the point of seeking to prevent the truth from emerging?

    That is precisely what the IPCC has tried to do, Peter, but as the recent developments are showing, the truth (about sloppy science, biased evaluations, exaggerated forecasts and outright fabrications on the part of IPCC) is emerging.

    You are right. The truth will eventually emerge and IPCC will be exposed. It is only a matter of time.


  664. 664
    manacker Says:


    Let me get this straight. You state that most scientists are “non-political”.

    Would you put James E. Hansen, Michael Mann, Richard B. Alley, Josh Willis, Phil Jones, Marc Serreze, Kevin Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt, etc. into that category?

    Or how about Richard Lindzen, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, Roy Spencer, Roger Pielke, Sr., William Gray, Syun-Ichi Akasofu, William Kininmonth, etc.?

    Which group would you say are “more political”?

    Just curious how you see things from your vantage point, Peter.


  665. 665
    manacker Says:


    Back to your 661 where you write:

    If there were any serious flaws in the IPCC case, there would be no shortage of scientists willing to make a name for themselves by exposing them.

    Look around you, Peter. “Serious flaws in the IPCC case” are being “exposed” quite regularly since the Climategate, etc. scandals have broken.


  666. 666
    manacker Says:


    You have a tendency to make sweeping (and totally irrelevant) generalizations.

    An example (658): Those who are (what you refer to as) climate “deniers” have no basic interest in science or technology, but are simply politically motivated, while those (like yourself) who have endorsed the IPCC position are motivated by a basic interest in the scientific “truth” about our planet’s climate and man’s role in changing it.

    Can you see how silly and one-sided such a standpoint is?

    Like Alex Cull, I have been interested in science since I was a young boy and was an avid reader of anything to do with astronomy, physics, etc. I studied chemistry before switching to chemical engineering.

    I have been saddened to see how “climate science” got hijacked and bastardized by the politicians of the UN and the billions of dollars involved in AGW.

    Face it, Peter.

    Your standpoint on AGW is no more correct than anyone else’s opposing view, nor is based more on “science” (and less on “politics”).

    It is interesting, as a matter of fact, that you are the one on this blog that brings up “politics” more often than many of those whom you accuse of being primarily politically motivated. Have you noticed that?


  667. 667
    tempterrain Says:


    I did say most. Not all. I wouldn’t include myself for a start!

    One name you haven’t included in your list is Fred Singer who started off as a good and able scientist but has had a pretty dodgy track record since. Naomi Oreskes certainly has him in her sights in her book “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming”.

    I haven’t researched the political opinions of any of the names on your two lists but I would expect the second list to be markedly more right wing than the first.

    Also, I doubt if any climate scientist, ever expected, at the start of their career, to become enmeshed in something quite as controversial. Many, including James Hansen, who regularly receives death threats from Right wing extremists, have had a harsh lesson in political realities:

    which would mean that they certainly could never again support the US Republican Party or the Australian Liberal Party though they may have done previously.

  668. 668
    manacker Says:


    There you go again, with a silly political assumption:

    I haven’t researched the political opinions of any of the names on your two lists but I would expect the second list to be markedly more right wing than the first.

    This is just as dumb as if I would write:

    I haven’t researched the political opinions of any of the names on the two lists but I would expect the first list to be markedly more left wing than the second.

    “Left wing”, “right wing”? “Fuggitaboudit”, Peter.


  669. 669
    manacker Says:


    I gave you a short list of 8 representative scientists on either side of the dangerous AGW hypothesis (obviously not a complete list) and asked for your opinion on whether or not one list was motre “political” than the other.

    I left off Fred Singer as well as Stephen Schneider, plus hundreds of others.

    Naomi Oreskes would not fit on either list, since she is a historian, not a scientist. Her “study” on percentages of scientists and scientific studies, which support the so-called “mainstream” position, got debunked afterward (but it was a good try and, like the IPCC reports, fooled a lot of people at the time).

    You did not answer my question, however, but tried a “side track”.


    PS Do you have any evidence for your statement that “James Hansen regularly receives death threats from Right wing extremists”? Or is this just more BS?

  670. 670
    manacker Says:

    The Swiss press is reporting that, under the conservative government of Stephen Harper, Canada announced on Friday a 90% reduction in its goal to cut CO2 emissions, evoking the anger of environmental groups, such as Greenpeace.

    According to the report in “Tagesanzeiger”, Harper has reduced the 2010 reduction goal from 52 million tons to 5 million tons, and the goals for 2011 and 2012 from 64 and 74 million to only 8 and 10 million tons, respectively, thereby canceling out the agreement of the preceding government to the provisions of Kyoto.

    The long-term goal will be a CO2 reduction of 17% compared to 2005 levels by 2020.

    Opposition politicians were very critical of the new government position. Bernard Bigras of the Bloc Québécois stated that Canada would become an “environmental criminal”.

    Too bad we do not have any Canadian posters on this thread to give us their thoughts on this new development there.


  671. 671
    manacker Says:


    You made a blanket statement:

    The IPCC reports are effectively the position of mainstream science on the AGW issue.

    This is pure balderdash, Peter (and you know it). I cannot believe that you are really naive enough to believe this.

    Even before all the revelations of bad and sloppy science, exaggerated projections, biased evaluations and outright falsehoods contained in the IPCC reports, they were not the “position of mainstream science on the AGW issue”, but simply one side of the story.

    Today, after all these revelations, it has become clear to one and all that these reports are simply one-sided “sales pitches” for the premise that AGW is a serious potential threat.


  672. 672
    tempterrain Says:


    If you don’t know its is better to just say that, as I did re: the political opinions of the scientists you listed, rather than make it up.

    You say that Naomi Oreskes “is a historian, not a scientist.”

    However according to Wiki:

    She received her BSc degree in Mining Geology from the Royal School of Mines of Imperial College, University of London in 1981, and worked as a Research Assistant in the Geology Department and as a Teaching Assistant in the departments of Geology, Philosophy and Applied Earth Sciences at Stanford University starting in 1984.

  673. 673
    tempterrain Says:


    You say “This is pure balderdash, Peter”. Of course anyone can say that when they have no argument to the contrary.

    The last IPCC report did include mistakes, on the glaciers, which have been blown out of all proportion but have been acknowledged. So I’m not including them. Everything else in the report is accepted as being the scientific consensus. There will be a new one out shortly and there will of course be updates, and corrections, but there is really nothing in the scientific literature to justify any wholesale revision.

    It sounds like you’ve been reading too many right-wing climate blog sites and have started to make the mistake of believing your own propaganda. You’d have a hard time finding critical references to the IPCC on any website of scientific repute. And no I don’t mean wattsupwiththat!

  674. 674
    James P Says:

    PeterM (658)

    Now I could be wrong, and maybe you can tell me why, but I’d be very surprised if many, if any, of the regular denialist contributors to this blog had ever shown much, if any, interest in science until the AGW problem reached a certain level of prominence.

    So, according to you, we’re all red-necked conservative/republican lobbyists for the oil industry with degrees in arts and humanities!

    I should have thought that the standard of debate on here would lend some clue as to the education and interests of most of contributors. People without a scientific background are hardly going to start challenging AGW on theoretical grounds without any awareness of the mechanisms involved.

    As I’ve said before, I swallowed the AGW line to begin with, as it seemed plausible enough until I started to think about it, and read some of the wackier statements from its protagonists (I used to take the Observer, and Hansen’s ‘death trains’ article confirmed it).

    I also worked in commercial greenhouses, which taught me that 1000ppm of CO2 is good for plants and not bad for people, and that the ‘greenhouse effect’ doesn’t actually apply to greenhouses, i.e. nothing to do with IR, which is attenuated by glass in both directions, as RW Woods demonstrated 100 years ago.

  675. 675
    tempterrain Says:

    James P,

    IR in the atmosphere is attenuated equally in both directions too. Energy comes into a Greenhouse mainly in the visible region and glass is transparent to that. Energy from the ground underneath the Greenhouse is radiated in the infra red. If the reflected infra red is attenuated by the glass, and yes it will be the same in both directions, the heat will be trapped and the GH will warm.

    A real GH also stops convection. The upwards movement of warm air. So even if the glass in the GH were totally transparent to IR it would still warm. So the GH effect may not be the best term, but it has stuck, and no-one has come up with anything better so I guess we’ll have to live with it.

    You can see the atmospheric GH in action on cloudy nights. These are warmer than clear nights as the clouds slow the radiation of ground heat into space.

    Its curious that you say “People without a scientific background are hardly going to start challenging AGW on theoretical grounds without any awareness of the mechanisms involved.” But they certainly do challenge it. Did you read that link I posted previously?

    This person obviously has some slight reservations over the position of mainstream science. Maybe they detailed their theoretical grounds in a separate post!

    Your mother was a goat f**ker!!!!!! Your father was a turd!!!!!!! You will be one of the first taken out in the revolution!!!!!!!! Your head will be on a stake!! C**t!”

  676. 676
    manacker Says:


    There is no question about it: IPCC (and with it the so-called “mainstream” position on AGW, as you call it) has lost a lot of credibility due to the many recent revelations of wrongdoing. As a result it is no longer the case (as you wrote) that:

    The IPCC reports are effectively the position of mainstream science on the AGW issue.

    A critical report by Marc Sheppard (in the American Thinker, which you might term a right-wing journal) puts it quite strongly:

    Unquestionably the world’s final authority on the subject, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings and recommendations have formed the bedrock of literally every climate-related initiative worldwide for more than a decade. Likewise, virtually all such future endeavors — be they Kyoto II, domestic cap-and-tax, or EPA carbon regulation, would inexorably be built upon the credibility of the same U.N. panel’s “expert” counsel. But a glut of ongoing recent discoveries of systemic fraud has rocked that foundation, and the entire man-made global warming house of cards is now teetering on the verge of complete collapse.

    Simply stated, we’ve been swindled. We’ve been set up as marks by a gang of opportunistic hucksters who have exploited the naïvely altruistic intentions of the environmental movement in an effort to control international energy consumption while redistributing global wealth and (in many cases) greedily lining their own pockets in the process.
    Perhaps now, more people will finally understand what many have known for years: Man-made climate change was never really a problem — but rather, a solution.

    Roger Pielke, Jr. is more charitable to IPCC in a recent article in the Guardian (which I am sure you would NOT term a right-wing journal) entitled, “Major change is needed if the IPCC hopes to survive”). His conclusion:

    The IPCC is an important institution, but it has fallen well short of performing as a credible, trusted, and legitimate advisory body. Rebuilding what it has lost will take considerable effort and a marked change of course. Some defenders of the IPCC explain that the problems found in the report are only a few of many conclusions, or not particularly important as compared to the headline conclusions. Such efforts to minimize the IPCC’s troubles are likely to backfire and further erode public opinion of climate science, which recent polls suggest has taken a serious hit.

    Similarly, efforts of some to demonize those who criticize the IPCC as “skeptics” or opponents to action on climate change only serve to intensify the politicization of climate science. Dealing with climate change is indeed important, but so, too, are issues associated with the integrity of scientific advisory bodies. We should be fully capable of addressing the challenge of climate change while at the same time focusing on sustaining the integrity of climate science.

    Standing up for climate science means openly supporting reform of the IPCC while underscoring its institutional importance. The climate science community has failed to meet its own high standards. If the IPCC continues to pretend that things will soon get back to normal or that it need only castigate its critics as deniers and skeptics, it will find that its credibility will continue to sink to new lows. It is time to reform the IPCC.

    What does this all mean for the future of the AGW movement?

    As Benny Peiser wrote in January (in a translation from a December article in the Swiss “Die Weltwoche”):

    The failure of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen is a historical watershed that marks the beginning of the end of climate hysteria. Not only does it epitomise the failure of the EU’s environmental policy, it also symbolises the loss of Western dominance. The failure of the climate summit was not only predictable – it was inevitable. There was no way out from the cul-de-sac into which the international community has manoeuvred itself. The global deadlock simply reflects the contrasting, and in the final analysis irreconcilable interests of the West and the rest of the world. The result is likely to be an indefinite moratorium on international climate legislation. After Copenhagen, the chances for a binding successor of the Kyoto Protocol are as good as zero.

    The times have changed, Peter.

    The “glory days” of IPCC as the “gold standard” of climate science are a thing of the past. Face it and learn to live with it.


  677. 677
    manacker Says:


    You wrote:

    The last IPCC report did include mistakes, on the glaciers, which have been blown out of all proportion but have been acknowledged. So I’m not including them. Everything else in the report is accepted as being the scientific consensus.

    “Himalayagate” is just one out of many IPCC screw-ups/falsehoods. Many others have been cited on this thread.

    Don’t stick your head in the sand, Peter.

    Otherwise you’ll start to look as defensive and silly as Pachauri.


  678. 678
    Brute Says:

    But what about organisations like NASA, NOAAA, NSIDC, and all your country’s university science departments? Are they political too?


    Of course they are. All of these organizations are funded by the taxpayers with monies allocated to them through the Federal budget.

    As for universities, they receive federal grants also to study whatever Congressman’s pet project happens to be. They lobby for funds and feed at the trough funded by taxpayers funneled through Congress.

    Congressmen then get kickbacks from industries that come up with proposed “solutions” to the “problems” illuminated by universities.

    Michael Mann recently received a $500,000 “grant” to study God knows what.

    Unless these institutions play the game the money gets cutoff……… know this……….not even you are that obtuse.

  679. 679
    manacker Says:


    For more info on taxpayer funding funneled through politicians to US universities and agencies for “climate studies” see:

    This political funding of “climate science” apparently totaled $79 billion in the USA a year ago.

    Large sums of money can corrupt, as has been pointed out repeatedly.

    And when the politicians see that the “big prize” will be even larger sums of money in the form of direct and indirect carbon taxes (justified by the “climate studies” which they helped fund with taxpayer money), the political (and economic) circle is closed.

    A true political bonanza!



  680. 680
    manacker Says:


    Here is the link to the original study by Joanne Nova cited by WUWT (679).

    The breakdown of the $79 billion spent to date (1989-2009) is:

    32.5 billion scientific studies
    36.1 billion technology
    3.5 billion foreign aid
    6.9 billion tax breaks

    One point made, which I am sure you will appreciate, Peter, since we have discussed it repeatedly:

    The most telling point is that after spending $30 billion on pure science research no one is able to point to a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon dioxide has a significant effect on the global climate.


  681. 681
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Queensland in Oz has certain reputations.

    Concerning a great deal of sillyness from there that has ended up here, and the page space wasted in response, I have this to say in brief:

    Y A W N
    I typed this very slowly, like how some Queenslanders speak. I hope it comes across OK.

  682. 682
    tempterrain Says:


    I wrote “You’d have a hard time finding critical references to the IPCC on any website of scientific repute. And no I don’t mean wattsupwiththat!”

    And you replied with something from the so called “American Thinker”, who seem to be more into survivalism than science and actually made “wattsupwiththat” sound quite reasonable!

    If you are going to claim that the IPCC has been discredited by Mainstream science, rather than the halfwits who write such nonsense you’ll have to do a bit better than that!

  683. 683
    James P Says:

    PeterM (675)

    the heat will be trapped and the GH will warm.

    To that extent, yes, but since the incoming IR has already been blocked, there is less heat entering the greenhouse, as Woods found when he substituted a clear panel of rock salt, which admitted more heat and caused a greater temperature rise, despite the extra losses.

    He concluded that “It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing the radiation from the ground, even under the most favourable conditions.”

    Where this appears in Wikipedia, William Connolley (unable to resist his own POV)dismisses this, asserting that “the troposphere is largely opaque to infra-red radiation”, apparently ignoring the evidence of sunbathers stretched out on beaches everywhere and enjoying the convenient spectral window between 8 and 14 microns. One can only assume that he doesn’t get out much.

    You can see the atmospheric GH in action on cloudy nights. These are warmer than clear nights as the clouds slow the radiation of ground heat into space.

    I’m not sure you can call it GH if it’s at night. I’d call it insulation!

    WRT the abuse, I am not my brother’s keeper. I’m sure I could find some equally outspoken remarks by warmists (‘death trains’ isn’t exactly polite) but that isn’t really the point. I chose the phrase “on theoretical grounds” deliberately, and I was talking (as were you) about contributors to this blog, none of whom, AFAIK, has accused anyone or their relatives of unnatural acts with goats…

  684. 684
    manacker Says:


    After first erroneously claiming (673) that only the “right-wing climate blog sites” have been critical of IPCC, you now state (682) that those who are critical of IPCC are “halfwits”:

    If you are going to claim that the IPCC has been discredited by Mainstream science, rather than the halfwits who write such nonsense you’ll have to do a bit better than that!

    Did you read the Guardian article by Pielke which I cited? It is quite critical of IPCC:

    The IPCC is an important institution, but it has fallen well short of performing as a credible, trusted, and legitimate advisory body.

    The climate science community has failed to meet its own high standards. If the IPCC continues to pretend that things will soon get back to normal or that it need only castigate its critics as deniers and skeptics, it will find that its credibility will continue to sink to new lows.

    Is Pielke what you refer to as a “halfwit”?

    Is the Guardian what you refer to as “right wing”?

    Wake up, Peter. You may not like to hear it, but IPCC has lost credibility as a result of the many revelations of screw-ups and falsehoods, confirming Abraham Lincoln’s statement that “you cannot fool all the people all of the time”.


    PS Lincoln was also right when he said that “you can fool some of the people all of the time”. Was he referring to people like you?

    PPS BTW, I’ve got a tunnel in the NYC region (named after Lincoln) that you might be interested in purchasing (the Brooklyn Bridge has already been sold to another “AGW-believer”).

  685. 685
    manacker Says:


    You referred to WUWT (673) as a “right wing climate blog site” and then wrote:

    You’d have a hard time finding critical references to the IPCC on any website of scientific repute. And no I don’t mean wattsupwiththat!

    WUWT is now listed as the Top blog in the Sciences category by Wikio.

    Here are two excellent WUWT essays by Willis Eschenbach:

    1. (From June 7, 2010): Are humans responsible for the post-1850 increase in atmospheric CO2? (Conclusion is that humans are the main cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2)
    2. (From June 14, 2009): The Thermostat Hypothesis (explains how Earth’s natural thermostat works in practice to keep our planet at an equilibrium temperature)

    Both are well worth reading, Peter.

    The first confirms the premise (which you endorse) that humans have been the primary source of increased atmospheric CO2, while the second demonstrates why this does not make much difference to our climate.


  686. 686
    tempterrain Says:


    I didn’t actually refer Anthony Watt’s website as a “right wing climate blog site” . I have ticked you off before about misusing quotation marks. They are supposed to represent words I actually used rather than ….

    But, what’s the point of trying to explain that to you? I’ll let it go. What I was actually suggesting is that there is no rift between mainstream science and the IPCC. None at all. And that I wouldn’t accept Anthony Watt’s opinion as evidence to the contrary!

    But, I do agree that if you are trying to make out a case to the contrary then quoting Anthony Watts is probably the best you can do.

  687. 687
    Brute Says:

    The Death Spiral for Climate Alarmism Continues

  688. 688
    manacker Says:


    You wrote

    It sounds like you’ve been reading too many right-wing climate blog sites and have started to make the mistake of believing your own propaganda. You’d have a hard time finding critical references to the IPCC on any website of scientific repute. And no I don’t mean wattsupwiththat!

    Peter, once you post something, it remains there.


  689. 689
    Brute Says:

    Where Has the Magic Gone?

    The New York Times plaintively ponders global warmism’s loss of credibility.

  690. 690
    manacker Says:


    I also quoted the Pielke article in theGuardian.

    Read what I post, rather than just making up silly commentaries that do not even apply.


  691. 691
    Brute Says:

    Latest climate climbdown: the Royal Society reviews its statements on global warming

  692. 692
    Brute Says:


    What has happened is that rank and file citizens are beginning to awaken to what the lunatic fringe groups like the IPCC have been up to and how these policies/recommendations are beginning to affect their lives……they don’t like what they’re seeing.

    Global Warming Alarmism was viewed as the realm of the environmentalist nuts (activists)………no one paid attention until their ox was gored. Now people are beginning to see the earth worshipping lunatic policies creep into their everyday lives and they resent it…………which is why we are seeing the backlash.

    The Royal Society is but one example of how organizations have been hijacked into espousing the global warming claptrap…………now we are seeing the sane members of these groups standing up and proclaiming enough is enough.

    The curtain is being drawn open to what these self serving ideologists have been up to…………a delayed reaction………

  693. 693
    James P Says:

    Sorry Max, but I can’t resist.

    Does Peter’s suggestion that “You’d have a hard time finding critical references to the IPCC on any website of scientific repute” mean that his definition of such a website is one that endorses the IPCC?

    QED, you might say.

  694. 694
    tempterrain Says:


    Your #688 doesn’t show that I wrote that “wattsupwiththat” was a right wing blog site. Read it again.

    But maybe it is, even though Anthony Watts is careful enough to keep out the most extreme nutters. I’m not sure where his funding comes from. I just don’t know.


    You ask if my definition of a website of scientific repute is one that endorses the IPCC?

    Not at all. How about any University run website? Doesn’t have to be in the public sector. That would enable you to say that they’d get their funding cut if they didn’t toe the government line!

    Incidentally that didn’t stop the Australian and American Universities, and their government funded science organisations, taking a very different stand on AGW to the previous denialist governments!

  695. 695
    Alex Cull Says:

    Firstly, thanks Peter M for responding to my #660 – I was out and about this weekend, making the most of the warm weather (while it lasted!), or would have come back sooner.

    Everyone, having read quite a few online comments about AGW sceptics being “anti-science”, here are several things that have occurred to me re science in general, which if valid would also, of course, apply to climate science:

    1) At any one point in history, science is not a homogenous block which can be accepted or rejected as a whole; it appears (to me) more like a spectrum, an ever-shifting mixture of basic truths, well-understood principles, as-yet unfalsified theories, tentative hypotheses, promising lines of enquiry and quite a few theories, assertions and assumptions which (from a later perspective) are thought to be (or shown to be) inaccurate, incomplete or just wrong.

    In this context, I don’t think that saying that someone is “rejecting science” or “denying science” is a useful or accurate statement – logically it would imply that the person believed they inhabited a very different universe, e.g., one that was governed wholly by magical or theological processes. I don’t know many individuals like that.

    2) Towards one end of the spectrum are relatively simple and well-understood statements about the universe, such as Boyle’s Law, and towards the other end are contentious fields such as dendroclimatology. I think it not unreasonable that a person can express relative certainty about some of the science that exists around the Boyle’s Law area of the spectrum, and express uncertainty, or have deep reservations, about some of the science that lies towards the dendroclimatology end of the spectrum.

    3) Looking at the history of science, it seems easier to determine where things lay on the spectrum in past eras than it is to analyse our own era. If we went back in time to around 1910, we’d find much that we’d still accept as true or accurate now (like Boyle’s Law, which has been around for centuries.) However, there would be much that was mainstream but has since shifted to the dodgy or defunct end of the spectrum – for instance, we’d find theories such as James Dwight Dana’s contracting earth still in common usage; a century later, we generally accept that Alfred Wegener and his successors had the right idea about continental movement (but who knows in what ways our understanding may change again over the next century?). The further back in time we go, the more the spectrum will appear unfamiliar and rife with wrongness. Phlogiston, anyone?

    4) Looking at James P’s quotes (Royal Society thread) by Lord Kelvin, it is clear that although Lord K was a brilliant man in his time, he had limits. He was wrong about quite a few things, as would have been multitudes of other people at the time, many scientific experts included. Fast forward to the year 2110 and what in today’s science will still be valid? Some things will probably not have changed that much (I’m confident that Boyle’s Law will still be there) but much else will be shown to have been inaccurate, poorly understood, exaggerated, once plausible but eventually falsified or on the wrong track completely. I don’t think it’s possible to predict with any great accuracy which theories will survive (futurology is an entertaining but notoriously unreliable field, after all!) but I think it reasonable to assume that a proportion of today’s science will have gone the way of Lamarckism, phrenology and the steady-state universe.

    This is becoming rather long-winded and convoluted, so to sum up: 1) at any given point in history, science appears not to be a homogenous whole so much as a spectrum varying wildly from the well-understood at one end, the theories of the day occupying the middle, perhaps, and the exotic, the misunderstood and the discarded at the other end, 2) that which seems settled and established now, may well not be so in the long term and 3) from a future 20/20 perspective, even the best minds of the time will have made Lord Kelvin-like misjudgements about the science of our own era.

    If that all sounds a bit half-baked, off the wall, or on the other hand simplistic, please let me know!

  696. 696
    tempterrain Says:

    Alex Cull,

    You are right to point out that Science isn’t infallible. It is quite likely that in another 50 years time some of will have changed and some of it, probably most, will be exactly the same. The problem is we don’t yet know which is which.

    It doesn’t make any sense to say that because Climate science may be wrong we can therefore ignore it. It is the best we have got and just as likely to understate rather than overstate the problem.

  697. 697
    Brute Says:

    Yes Pete, it’s all about altruism, saving the planet and “science”…………

    More Global Warming Profiteering by Obama Energy Official

  698. 698
    Brute Says:

    More taxpayer money wasted………..

    Department Of Energy Secretary Chu Throws $1.4B Loan To Nissan Leaf

  699. 699
    manacker Says:

    Alex Cull

    Your 695 sums it up very clearly and concisely.

    Add to the uncertainties and ever-changing knowledge base of science, which you point out, the immense financial and political implications surrounding the ongoing debate on climate science, plus a few overly ambitious and underly honest individuals, and you have the cast and setting for the drama that is going on today.

    I am sure that fifty years from now historians will only scratch their heads at how humanity could have gotten so wrought up about what turned out to be nothing at all.

    But few of us will be around to read their treatises on and analyses of “the early 21st century climate hysteria”.


  700. 700
    manacker Says:


    Re your 694 and James P’s 693.

    When you write:

    “You’d have a hard time finding critical references to the IPCC on any website of scientific repute”

    This essentially pinpoints YOUR definition of a “website of scientific repute” as one that does not make “critical references to the IPCC”.

    James P’s logic here is impeccable, Peter.


    PS MY definition of a “website of scientific repute” includes such sites as Climate Audit and WUWT, which have made “critical references to the IPCC”.

    So, you see, it’s all a matter of definition.

  701. 701
    tempterrain Says:


    The original comments in question were

    1) ““..’mainstream science’ says the IPCC are a bunch of liars………” from Brute
    2) “I have the feeling that you will remain a firm supporter of the IPCC ‘mainstream’view “- Max
    3) “The IPCC reports are effectively the position of mainstream science on the AGW issue” Me
    4) “This is pure balderdash…” Max

    Despite saying that the IPCC does represent the mainstream view in 2) you also say it is “balderdash” in 4). You are contradicting yourself.

    You were right in 2) – I am indeed a supporter of mainstream science – but wrong in 4) I do not support the line taken by Anthony Watts who runs an unofficial website promoting his own opinions which are clearly outside the mainstream.

  702. 702
    James P Says:

    unofficial website

    What does that make Real Climate, I wonder?

  703. 703
    manacker Says:


    I know you have had censorship problems at Real Climate, so this might interest you.

    On the Mann “last millennium” RC blog site, David B. Benson cited a study by Barton Paul Levenson on decadal time periods, which purportedly showed a good correlation between CO2 and temperature and confirmed the IPCC assumed 3.2C climate sensitivity at equilibrium for a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

    I tried to duplicate this study using the HadCRUT (rather than the GISS) record.

    I showed that there is no statistical correlation between temperature and CO2 over the periods studied, and that the climate sensitivity is somewhere between 1.4 and 2.1C, even if all other forcing factors are ignored.

    My post was censored out by Gavin.

    Taking the estimated CO2 values based on ice core data prior to 1957 (as listed by JPL after 1880 and “guess-timated” from 1850 to 1879) and Mauna Loa data after 1958, one can break down the HadCRUT record from 1850 to 2009 into five 32-year segments, to compare actual linear temperature increase, theoretical temperature increase (based on CS = 3.2C) and CO2 concentration at beginning and end of period (C1 and C2).

    This record shows:
    1850-1881 ln(C2/C1) = 0.0215 dT(theo) = +0.10C dT(act) = +0.27C CS = +8.8C
    1882-1913 ln(C2/C1) = 0.0307 dT(theo) = +0.14C dT(act) = -0.26C CS = -5.8C
    1914-1945 ln(C2/C1) = 0.0295 dT(theo) = +0.14C dT(act) = +0.47C CS = +11.1C
    1946-1977 ln(C2/C1) = 0.0739 dT(theo) = +0.34C dT(act) = +0.15C CS = +1.4C
    1978-2009 ln(C2/C1) = 0.1505 dT(theo) = +0.69C dT(act) = +0.48C CS = +2.2C

    1850-2009 ln(C2/C1) = 0.3137 dT(theo) = +1.45C dT(act) = +0.66C CS = +1.4C

    As can be seen, the CO2 temperature correlation is very weak and does not validate the assumed 3.2C climate sensitivity.

    Even if one assumes that it takes 40 years to reach equilibrium, the warming for earlier periods through 1945 has been reached. In addition, an estimated 75% of the expected warming from 1946-1977 has also been reached, leaving 25% still in the “pipeline”.

    The expected theoretical warming at equilibrium for the last 32 years is 0.69C, of which we have seen 0.48C (leaving 0.21C in the “pipeline”).

    This leaves in the “pipeline”: 0.25 * 0.34 + 0.21 = 0.295, say 0.3C.

    This would put the 160 year equilibrium warming at 0.66 + 0.3 = 0.96C, with an observed 2xCO2 transient response of 1.4C and a 2xCO2 equilibrium CS = 2.1C, assuming that all the observed warming can be attributed to increased CO2 concentrations.

    The study by Barton Paul Levenson (using GISS rather than Hadley and starting in 1880 rather than 1850) came up with a 2xCO2 transient response of 2.28C, which he then calculated to be equivalent to a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity at equilibrium of 3.2C.

    This is quite a bit higher than the actually observed transient response for 2xCO2 of 1.4C. The calculated 2xCO2 equilibrium CS of 2.1C is also quite a bit lower than the 3.2C assumed by the IPCC climate models (and calculated by Barton Paul Levenson).

    What is also not apparent is a good multi-decadal statistical correlation between CO2 and temperature. It bounces all over the place in a “random walk”.

    And another basic problem is that these analyses fixate myopically on CO2 as the sole driver of climate, ignoring all other factors.

    IPCC tells us that all anthropogenic forcing factors other than CO2 essentially cancelled one another out (1750-2005 total anthropogenic forcing = 1.6 W/m^2, compared with CO2 forcing at 1.66 W/m^2), so we can ignore these.

    What we cannot ignore, however (even though IPCC essentially did so) are the natural forcing factors (which are now being blamed by Met Office for the cooling since 2000).

    Solar scientists have estimated that around half of the observed warming (0.35C) can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years). If we include this solar impact alone, the observed 2xCO2 CS would be around 1C, rather than 2.1C, of course.

    So I think we can bury the Barton Paul Levenson study, which was cited by David B. Benson as proof of a good statistical correlation between CO2 and temperature and a 3.2C climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2.


    PS (to James P): Yes RC is an “official” climate site (in the eyes of PeterM, at least), since it censors out anything that may be inconvenient to the “mainstream mantra”.

  704. 704
    manacker Says:


    Try putting on your “logic” hat (assuming you have one)

    You wrote:

    Despite saying that the IPCC does represent the mainstream view in 2) you also say it is “balderdash” in 4). You are contradicting yourself.

    No contradiction at all, Peter.

    You claimed that IPCC represents (what you call) “mainstream science” (I do not use such silly descriptions for the IPCC view).

    I simply commented to your:

    The IPCC reports are effectively the position of mainstream science on the AGW issue.

    With the comment below:

    This is pure balderdash, Peter (and you know it). I cannot believe that you are really naive enough to believe this.

    Even before all the revelations of bad and sloppy science, exaggerated projections, biased evaluations and outright falsehoods contained in the IPCC reports, they were not the “position of mainstream science on the AGW issue”, but simply one side of the story.

    So: IPCC does not represent “mainstream science” on AGW and to claim that it does is “balderdash” (or BS, to use a more modern term).


  705. 705
    manacker Says:


    BTW here is the link to the statistical study of Barton Paul Levenson I cited (703).

    He claims a “60% correlation” over the entire period between CO2 and temperature, but, what the hell, I can show an 90% correlation between the sale of McDonalds “Big Macs” and temperature since the 1970s.

    What’s the old saying?

    Statistics don’t lie, but statisticians do.


  706. 706
    manacker Says:


    Forgot to mention that I also checked out the Temperature / CO2 coefficient of correlation, R, for the five 32-year periods between 1850 and 2009.

    As you can see, there is no statistical correlation (despite what BPL has claimed):

    1850-1881: R = 0.566; R^2 = 0.320
    1882-1913: R = -0.665; R^2 = 0.442
    1914-1945: R = 0.827; R^2 = 0.685
    1946-1977: R = 0.399; R^2 = 0.159
    1978-2009: R = 0.845; R^2 = 0.714


  707. 707
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Max, Reur 703, (plus 705/6)
    That’s a very interesting post, and thanks for that. It’s a pity that Gavin found it to be inconvenient though. I think it would be good if everyone posted such deletions by RC over at WUWT on the “Tips and Notes” (open) thread, and if enough show up, perhaps Anthony might start a thread, as I’ve hinted to him here. If it turns out that the RC disciples would start trolling in retaliation, then no matter how silly they are, their posts need not be deleted as probably hoped for by them, and they could add to the fun? Maybe?

    As for the credibility of BPL (Barton Paul Levenson), I think it is enough to say that he is an author of science fiction. (and Carl Sagan didn’t get everything right either) Also, both BPL and David B Benson have cited Grant Foster, (Tamino), which is really stretching their credibility too far, in my opinion.

    I’ll transcribe to WUWT shortly, those two posts from my dog Jedda at 628 above that were also deleted at RC.

  708. 708
    tempterrain Says:

    James P,

    Yes Realclimate is an unofficial website too. So is this one.

    Strictly speaking the body of scientific knowledge is contained as papers and letters in scientific journals which themselves can be used as references by other scientific papers. A good test of whether something can be considered ‘official’ is to ask if it could be used a reference in a new scientific paper.

    So, on this test, even the Royal Society’s own website probably wouldn’t qualify above a certain level.

  709. 709
    manacker Says:

    PeterM and James P (702/708)

    What is an “official” climate site (or “study”)?

    1. Of or relating to an office or a post of authority: official duties.
    2. Authorized by a proper authority; authoritative: official permission.
    3. Holding office or serving in a public capacity: an official representative.
    4. Characteristic of or befitting a person of authority; formal: an official banquet.
    5. Authorized by or contained in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia or National Formulary. Used of drugs.

    Looks like none of the definitions apply for “climate blog sites” or “climate studies”, unless one wants to go out on the limb of categorizing the IPCC as a “proper authority”.

    The fallacy of the “argument to authority” in science has already been discussed.

    To me the use of the word “official” with relation to climate sites or studies is as silly as using the term “mainstream science”.

    Both expressions imply a degree of absolute correctness, which just does not fit for this nebulous and tenuous scientific discipline (as we have seen).

    My advice would be to stay away from such descriptives and try to discuss physical facts and empirical data.


  710. 710
    manacker Says:


    Thanks for your 707. My posts have been censored out by RC so many times, I have stopped counting. There was a brief (post-Climategate) period, where Gavin allowed a more open dialog on RC, but his “groupies” (Hank Roberts, JPL, etc.) have now asked him to delete my posts. This all just points out the basic weakness of the blog site and its scientific opinions.

    Back to the “how much warmth is still in the pipeline” question.

    The recent cooling of the upper ocean (where this warmth is supposed to be “hiding”) has invalidated the “hidden in the pipeline” postulation, as it cannot be found anywhere else on our planet, either (Kevin Trenberth called this a “travesty” and then speculated that it may be escaping into “outer space” with clouds acting as a “natural thermostat”, sounding a lot like Lindzen).

    With no “hidden in the pipeline” hypothesis, the 160-year HadCRUT record would show a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 1.4C, assuming that CO2 (and other anthropogenic forcing factors) were the only factors affecting our climate (as IPCC has essentially assumed).

    As I showed, if one assumes that it takes 40 years for GH warming to “reach equilibrium”, then there would still be 0.3C atmospheric warming left lurking “in the pipeline”.

    IPCC (SPM 2007, p.12) assumes that this hidden warming is slightly lower, at only 0.1C per decade for the next two deacdes:

    For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1C per decade would be expected.

    This means that the observed warming plus that, which is postulated to be still “hidden in the mystical pipeline”, equates to a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of around 1.8 to 1.9C, if CO2 were the only forcing factor.

    In any case, no matter how you slice it, the physically observed data show us that it appears highly unlikely that the warming from CO2 to year 2100 will be more than 1C, so nothing to really worry about.

    This is obviously not the kind of information, which the RC site likes to hear.


  711. 711
    Alex Cull Says:

    This I find interesting. Much of it we’ve seen before – i.e., a psychologist who is sure beyond any shred of doubt that humanity is causing dangerous climate change and is figuring out ways of making everyone else believe it too (NB. are there many psychologists who doubt CAGW? They seem a very committed bunch.) Appropriately enough, Geoff Beattie has been advisor to Big Brother before (in the reality TV sense, rather than in the Orwellian sense.)

    The thing is: what Geoff Beattie is saying appears to be that there are people who say they want to be green, save the planet, combat climate change, etc., but their actual behaviour (body language, shopping habits, etc.) contradicts their words. ‘People “may care a good deal less” than the views they express, he says.’

    Now we know from polls over the last year or so that the number of people who consider AGW to be a threat is going down, and the number of people sceptical about the dangers of AGW is going up. In the UK there seems to be a majority of people who are sceptical about the threat posed by man-made global warming.

    I’m wondering: given that ever fewer people surveyed express concern about AGW, and also that there are those who might be giving lip-service only to the AGW threat (as Beattie’s research appears to be showing), could the polls actually be under-estimating the number of people who are sceptical about AGW?

    “Explicitly, people may want to save the planet and appear green, but implicitly they may care a good deal less. Given it is these implicit attitudes that direct and control much of our behaviour in supermarkets and elsewhere, these are the attitudes that we have to pursue and understand and change.” (Italics mine.)

    If I’m right, good luck with that!

  712. 712
    manacker Says:


    Interesting link. Looks like everybody is hopping on the AGW gravy train while it lasts:

    The research is to be published as a book called Why Aren’t We Saving The Planet? A Psychologist’s Perspective.

    Great to see that Prof. Beattie has found a way to make a buck on the AGW craze.

    Entrepreneurialism is a great thing!

    Doing well by going good is even more rewarding.


  713. 713
    manacker Says:


    More seriously, back to your link on Prof. Beattie’s study.

    “Why aren’t we saving the planet?” is a good question, but it should logically be prefaced with:

    “Are we really doing anything to destroy the planet?”

    Many surveys are showing that a majority of those asked do not believe so. You point out that the polls are most likely understating the level of AGW skepticism in the general public in the UK.

    I would tend to agree for Switzerland, where the polls are pretty ambivalent, but two-thirds of the people with whom I have discussed this topic now believe it is a hoax.

    So, obviously, if we all believe that we are “doing nothing to destroy the planet” it is quite logical that we aren’t concerned about “saving the planet” either.

    If Beattie is personally worried and wants to “do something to save the planet” (buy a hybrid car or walk to work), more power to him.

    If he wants to convince (or psychologically browbeat) others to do so, this is a bit more suspect.

    If he wants to turn a fast buck on the AGW hysteria while it still lasts, that could be a smart move.

    But if he is at the same time claiming the mantle of “savior of the planet” (as Gore has done), this borders on the hypocritical.


  714. 714
    tonyb Says:

    Hi Max

    As I think I mentioned before I am writing an article on the Little Ice Age through the perspective of actual instrumental records such as CET. I posted CET a few weeks ago showing it had been warming since 1690.

    I have subsequently had conversations with a number of people as it has become apparent that it is the cold episodes within the so called Little Ice age that drags down the overall mean average temperature.

    Consequently the higher mean averages we observe are primarily due to it becoming less cold in the winter rather than due to a general warming.

    You may be interested in the following link and my comments on it;

    The graphs only served to reinforce my own conclusions which were set out in an attachment that I recently sent to two colleagues working within climate science.

    Basically the LIA was very episodic and it is clear there were periods around as warm as today, so it appears to be the cold winters that are anomalous and mark out that period from today or the MWP. However some of the winters were notably warmer than the modern era so it is SOME of the very severe winters that are anomalous and which succeed in dragging down the annual mean temperatures.

    I have linked to two CET sets I often use that come from Jonathan Drake

    (Cet composite for year)

    (Cet by each month)

    I think the disconnect in 1850 is because CRU used that year as their start point and although they don’t use CET I believe that temperatures since then have been ‘adjusted’ to comply with their own. Prior to 1850 CRU consider instrumental records to be ‘interesting’ rather than ‘accurate,’ the more suspicious may claim this is because of Global warming politics, however I do know that Phil Jones has been involved in extensive EU funded research on some of the older datasets and endorsed the general accuracy of the older records.

    We must also remember that when Manley cleaned up the CET records he;

    a) rounded up temperatures to the nearest degree
    b) Allowed for uhi from 1974 (but a very inadequate amount)

    Also of course the CET stations have changed locations a number of times. All in all I think the generality of the trends (shown in the first link) can be trusted, rather than precise measurements to fractions of a degree, that the modern era has not been adjusted enough and the pre 1850 era probably adjusted too much.

    I think the increase in temperatures can be almost wholly attributed to the decreasing cold of the winter period-winter does of course show the greatest variability. If we were to look at the 6 winter months Jan-Mar and Oct-Dec i.e. when the sun is lowest in the sky and in Europe we need our heating turned on, we can see that in total the temperature increase from 1660 to the modern day totals around 8.1C during winter (aggregated for all months.)
    Jan 1.5c
    Feb 1 c
    Mar 1.5
    Oct 1.1
    Nov 1.3
    Dec 1.7

    In summer it is only 2.6c
    Apr 1 c
    May .2
    June flat
    July .4
    Aug .4
    Sept .6

    So a warming of the winter temperatures will have a disproportionate effect on the years overall temperature. In order to test the hypothesis that warming is primarily caused by the lessening of winter cold it would be useful to carry out several graphing exercises.

    1) See if the 50 coldest winters (Dec-February) coincide with the coldest annual temperatures
    2) See if the 50 warmest winters coincide with the warmest annual temperatures.

    It appears to me that just one or two exceptionally cold months can bring the overall mean average for the year down substantially, similarly a couple of warm winter months will substantially increase the overall mean average.

    What would be particularly interesting would to carry out a similar exercise to that conducted in the first link on other old datasets and see if the results are the same.

    Basically mean average temperatures have been rising since 1690, but if the severe but episodic winter period is accounted for as the main reason for the overall mean average being dragged down substantially, it is difficult to do other than conclude that global warming within the CET record is hard to detect, let alone the catastrophic man made variety.


  715. 715
    manacker Says:


    Thanks for your 714. It is very interesting.

    Let me go through this all in more detail, and I’ll get back to you later.



  716. 716
    Alex Cull Says:

    Max, re your #713, Geoff Beattie appears to have some involvement with Manchester Uni’s SCI (Sustainable Consumption Institute), so I think you’re correct that he’s making the most of this opportunity – while it lasts! He’s not alone – the careers of quite a few psychologists appear to be linked to sustainability; how sustainable they themselves will be, as money gets tight, remains to be seen.

  717. 717
    manacker Says:


    Here’s one I’d like to get your opinion on.

    The IPCC glossary definition of “climate” is:

    Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the “average weather,” or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.

    Scafetta has suggested that the period be extended to 60 years (or even longer), in order to enable climate models to incorporate celestial quasi-periodic cycles which affect climate:

    The failure of the climate models, which use all known climate forcing and mechanisms, to reproduce the temperature oscillations at multiple time scales, including the large 60-year temperature modulation, indicates that the current climate models are missing fundamental climate mechanisms. The above findings indicate, with a very high statistical confidence level, that major climate forcings have an astronomical origin and that these forcings are not included in the current climate models.

    A blogger named hempster over at Bart Verheggen’s “Global Average Temperature” thread made this suggestion, and I think it makes a lot of sense, also for another reason.

    As we have seen since the HadCRUT record started in 1850, global temperature has oscillated in warming/cooling cycles with a half-cycle life of roughly 30 years and an underlying warming trend of 0.041C per decade, sort of like a sine curve on a slightly titled axis. There have been two full cycles and one half-cycle: late 19th century warming followed by turn-of-the-century cooling, early 20th century warming followed by mid-century cooling and finally the most recent late 20th century warming half-cycle.

    Whether the observed 60-year cycle is related to the celestial forcings cited by Scafetta or not, the IPCC obsession on the half-cycle, which started in 1976, fits with its myopic fixation on CO2 as the major driver of climate, but is unrealistic: based on the past record (and the most recent years) this appears to be a warming half-cycle, which was preceded by a slight cooling half-cycle (1945-1975), and is possibly being followed by a new half-cycle of slight cooling.

    Let’s assume IPCC gets totally cleaned up and thus retains (or regains) its relevance as a respected source of global climate information (if not it can be forgotten, in my opinion).

    Part of this overhaul (if it happens) should be to become less biased and to give more weighting in the climate models to non-anthropogenic forcings, such as swings in ocean currents or those celestial cycles cited by Scafetta, at the same time expanding its definition of “climate” beyond a short 30-year “blip” (or half-cycle in the observed oscillation) in order to be able to more logically incorporate all these other factors.

    What do you think?


  718. 718
    manacker Says:


    Referring to your 56/57 from the other thread.

    You continue to bring up examples of fields of science where you say it is difficult to provide empirical data based on physical observations as evidence to support a hypothesis.

    There are many for evolution, for example (but there is no point going into that because it is irrelevant to our discussion here).

    I cannot speak for the tectonic plate theory, but I have not seen any empirical data to invalidate this as yet (again irrelevant to our discussion).

    As I pointed out to you, “climate science” is still in its infancy. I am convinced that “what we do not know” about our planet’s climate is several orders of magnitude greater than “what we do know”. It is a shame that this new scientific discipline started off with so much political, social and profit-making “baggage” that it is difficult to find any unbiased and objective active climate scientists. But that’s the way it is when a relatively small scientific sub-field becomes a multi-billion dollar big business.

    But, despite all that, I have shown you empirical data, based on actual physical observations, which tend to falsify the hypothesis of dangerous AGW (see earlier posts).

    The data are far from complete, but they are there (satellite measurements of incoming and outgoing SW and LW radiation, globally and annually averaged temperature of the atmosphere at the surface and in the troposphere, temperature of the upper ocean, atmospheric CO2 concentrations, etc.).

    These are the data you need to search for to see if you can find empirical evidence to support the dangerous AGW hypothesis. First, you will need to define the “means of obtaining the empirical evidence” you seek and then you will need to find it and analyze it, to see if it validates or falsifies the hypothesis. That’s the process, Peter.

    Lots of luck.


    PS In the meantime, a good start for you would be to go through the examples I gave you of empirical data based on physical observations, which do not support (or falsify) your hypothesis of dangerous AGW.

  719. 719
    James P Says:

    If there is a 60-year cycle, I think you have to extend the sampling period to 120 years to see it clearly. I’m sure a geologist would prefer a few millennia, though!

  720. 720
    manacker Says:

    James P

    Good point. I agree that a 120-year cycle would make more sense (Scafetta actually also stated that a longer cycle would be more meaningful).


    PS Going to “geological” time scales would make most politicians too uneasy (they usually think in election cycles, which are much shorter).

  721. 721
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (re #56 on the “hockeystick” thread – as are all references in this post unless stated otherwise):

    First, let’s be clear about one thing: there is no reason at all why the requirement that a hypothesis be supported by empirical evidence should be any less applicable to climate science than it is to all other branches of science. Yes, it can be a tough requirement – but it’s the discipline that’s proved to be a powerful tool in learning how the universe works. If that requirement represents an obstacle that’s impossible for proponents of the dangerous AGW hypothesis to overcome, that demonstrates the weakness of their hypothesis not of the requirement. I agree that climate science is still in its infancy – but that doesn’t enable it to ignore this basic scientific discipline.

    Thus, for example, if (as you surprisingly seem to accept) it‘s impossible to provide such evidence in support of the contention that mankind’s GHG emissions were the principal cause of late twentieth century warming, that’s the plainest demonstration of the weakness of the contention and therefore of the overall dangerous AGW hypothesis. As Max has shown (#55) there is, in fact, plenty of relevant data – the problem (for you) is that it doesn’t support the hypothesis.

    You seem to have acquired the curious notion that empirical evidence can be identified only by experimentation or testing of the type usually associated with, for example, particle physics. Not so: the observation and measurement of data from the natural world can be equally valuable (some might say more valuable): consider evolution, astronomy, plate tectonics, etc. – including much of medicine. The key is the replicable observation and testing of physical data, whether in the laboratory or in the natural world.

    I’ll end with a quotation from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook:

    My intention is first to consult experience before I proceed any further, and then by means of reasoning to show why such experience is bound to operate in such a way.

    For this is the true rule by which anyone who wishes to analyse the effects of nature must proceed; for although nature begins with the cause and ends with the experience, we must follow the opposite course, namely (as I have said before) to begin with the experience and by means of it investigate the cause.

    (Richter, Literary Works of Leonardo, #1148 A.)

    PS: as Max has noted, I’ve already answered your #54 (see #44 and #46) and, especially in view of the above, I don’t think it’s necessary to do so again. But, if you wish me to, I’ll gladly comply.

  722. 722
    tempterrain Says:

    Robin and Max,

    There is plenty of empirical data to support what the IPCC and just about every recognised scientific body in the world are saying about AGW. Its just one of those denier myths that its just about computer modelling.

    See for example:

    I’m sure I’ve given you this before but somehow you seem to argue that the empirical data somehow doesn’t qualify if it gives you an answer you don’t like!

    Despite what Robin has said he still hasn’t answered the previous question properly.

    But now I notice that he is saying that it isn’t quite so “impossible” if the data is to the contrary!

    So can I just get this straight: Are you still saying that it is is impossible to define a means of supporting, or even invalidating, what you always refer to as the “dangerous AGW hypothesis”? Yes/No Please delete whichever does not apply!

  723. 723
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Max, Reur 717;
    First of all, I think that trying to impose linear trends on something that is not linear is uhm, what’s the word: (?) inappropriate. You may recall my enquiries that were all deleted over at RC concerning “consensus-definitive 30-year trends”. For instance, I enquired what was the 30-year trend between 1925 & 1955.…. (= flat)….. Deleted.

    There does seem to be a ~ 60-year cycle that is crudely sinusoidal. Furthermore, the current plateau looks remarkably similar to that of around 1940. However, beyond hypotheses, we don’t know what caused the cycles seen in the shortish time to date, or whether they will continue.

    I can’t see how these cycles would be incorporated into climate models, given their unknown cause, and an anticipated resistance by the modellers to any assumed continuance of them.

    Meanwhile, it should be broadcast that the climate models, that are already based on an array of assumptions (guesses) and various tunings, do not include any rationale for these observed cycles. (If the temperature records are correct)
    My word, your reference is a very busy thread, and an opportunity to engage with alarmists:
    There is also an Open Thread, but slower moving

  724. 724
    tempterrain Says:



  725. 725
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Max, Further my 723,
    By coincidence, on this wet wintry day, I’ve just stumbled upon this concerning recent paper on the temperature records by Anthony Watts and Joe D‘Aleo, that I‘d heard about but not seen:
    I wrote in 723:
    [the models] do not [cannot] include any rationale for these observed cycles. (If the temperature records are correct)

    Can we be sure that there is a 60-year cycle?
    ALL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ‘Tis the official start of the snow-ski season this w/end, and skiers have good reason to be happy.
    Melbourne water reserves are up about 6% on this time last year, but there is a potential problem with a predicted locust plague come spring hatchings that will be the worst for about 40 years. Losses in crops said to be about $2 billion without effective intervention

  726. 726
    manacker Says:


    Re the you-tube (724) from “Climate Denial – Crock of the Week”.

    Sorry. This “sales pitch” does not provide any empirical data based on physical observations to confirm your theory of dangerous AGW, despite what the title advertises.

    It cites evidence that CO2 is a GH gas, going back to Arrhenius and Keeling (yawn!).

    It tells us humans are emitting CO2 and that evidence shows that this is at least part of the reason that atmospheric CO2 levels are rising (yawn!).

    Then Richard Alley tells us that it is straightforward that CO2 should cause warming (yawn!).

    Then we hear about the 33C natural GH effect (caused primarily by water and to a much smaller extent by CO2). (Yawn!)

    Then we see a headline in a paper that reads: “Increase in greenhouse forcing inferred from outgoing long-wave radiation”. (Yawn!)

    Then the talk is about measurements of outgoing LW radiation and conclusion that GH gases must be trapping more LW radiation (no talk about any observed changes in TOTAL incoming and outgoing radiation, though). ((Still yawn!)

    Then there is much talk about proof that it is warming (yawn!).

    We are even told that 90% of 29,000 independent data sets tell us it is warming (yawn!).

    I won’t mention all the indicators cited, such as Arctic sea ice retreat, etc., since they are all known.

    There is one statement (that has since been proven false), namely that glaciers are receding at an accelerated rate. Another “groaner” is the statement on accelerated sea level rise (which has actually been rising at about the same rate since the mid 19th century).

    But even if these statements were true, they would not provide any empirical data to support the hypothesis that the late 20th century warming was caused primarily by human CO2 or that this represents a serious potential threat.

    Peter, this silly sales pitch claims to prove a) that it is warming, b) that CO2 is a GH gas which causes a slowdown in radiation of LW energy into space and c) that humans are emitting CO2, thereby causing an increase in its concentration.

    That’s all, folks.

    Bring something a bit better, Peter, otherwise you are insulting the intelligence of both Robin and myself.


  727. 727
    Robin Guenier Says:


    To your #722 demanding a Yes/No answer (as to whether I think it impossible to define a means of supporting or invalidating the dangerous AGW hypothesis), the answer is No. BTW, it’s interesting that you’ve now inserted “invalidating”. Hmm: as others have shown, especially Max (see e.g. this and this), it’s clearly possible to refer to evidence that appears to falsify the hypothesis. But referring to supporting evidence seems to be rather more difficult.

    As to the links you provided, there’s little I can add to Max’s #726. But is that really the best you can do? I’m not asking for evidence that mankind’s CO2 emissions are increasing, that CO2 raises atmospheric temperature or that global temperatures have increased recently. As you know, I accept all that. Nor am I asking for links to websites or gimmicky preaching-to-the-converted videos. No, I’m requesting specific scientific references to empirical (physically observed) evidence supporting the contentions: (1) that mankind’s GHG emissions, and not natural processes, were the principal cause of late twentieth century warming; and (2) that continued emissions will cause dangerous climate change.

    When you’ve provided that (if you can), it will be possible to determine whether your evidence validates the hypothesis or whether other evidence falsifies it. As Max has said, “that’s the process”.

    PS: I’m glad to see you’re not disputing the points I made at #721. (Note: my references there to the “hockeystick” thread should have been to the “Royal Society” thread. Apologies.)

  728. 728
    tempterrain Says:


    So you are not still saying that “it is is impossible to define a means of supporting, or even invalidating, what you always refer to as the “dangerous AGW hypothesis”?

    You were in March.

    What’s made you change your opinion?

  729. 729
    Robin Guenier Says:


    No change of opinion: see this and this.

    Why is this so important to you (so important that you pay no attention to the answers I have already provided)? And do you still think that empirical evidence (re dangerous AGW) “is actually impossible to provide” (#40 on the RS thread)? A simple Yes or No, please.

    And I look forward to your response to #726 and #727.

  730. 730
    tempterrain Says:


    You now deny ever saying that it was impossible for empirical evidence for what you refer to as the ‘dangerous AGW hypothesis’ ever to be identified. Yes?

    But you clearly did say (25/3/2010) that it was “impossible to define, let alone set up, a means of obtaining empirical evidence supporting the dangerous AGW hypothesis”

    Can evidence ever be ‘identified’ even though it is ‘impossible to define’ let alone ‘set up’ and ‘obtained’?

    Are we writing in the same language here?

    Are these two statements compatible? Can I quote you on either one?

  731. 731
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Yes, I did write the words you quote. But I also wrote the words that preceded them. Once again (yawn) read this. Carefully this time.

    Then answer this question:

    Do you still think that empirical evidence (re dangerous AGW) “is actually impossible to provide” (#40 on the RS thread)? A simple Yes or No, please.

    And I’m still looking forward to your response to #726 and #727. Thanks.

  732. 732
    Robin Guenier Says:

    England’s debacle in the World Cup yesterday (a 1:1 draw with the USA) may have one positive outcome: bringing the word “Green” into (even more) disrepute.

  733. 733
    manacker Says:


    You apparently keep stumbling over whether or not Robin has opined that “it is impossible” to “define” and/or “obtain” the empirical data based on physical observations to provide support for your hypothesis that AGW, caused primarily by human CO2 emissions, has been the principal cause of recently observed warming and that AGW represents a serious potential threat.

    This seems to me like a side-track to avoid the main issue, Peter.

    As a rational skeptic of this hypothesis, I have asked you for these data, which you have (so far) been unable to produce. Robin has done the same.

    On the other hand, I have provided you three examples of empirical data based on actual physical observations (rather than simply theoretical deliberations or model simulations/assumptions), which tend to falsify your hypothesis. You have also not reacted to these posts.

    The type of empirical data, which you could use to validate your hypothesis, is the same sort of thing I have used to falsify it.

    So my advice to you is to keep looking. Maybe it’s out there somewhere.

    I am personally sure that if someone were to identify these empirical data, the news would be splashed all over the headlines that “EVIDENCE OF DANGEROUS MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING PROVEN BY ACTUAL PHYSICAL OBSERVATIONS!” (with detailed studies supporting this claim).

    And, since I have not seen these headlines (with supporting studies) anywhere so far, despite the billions of taxpayer dollars being spent on climate research, I must assume that the empirical data supporting the dangerous AGW hypothesis has not yet been identified.

    In order to find these data, you’ll have to (as Janice Joplin once sang): “try just a little bit harder”.


  734. 734
    tempterrain Says:


    Yes the words that preceded them were about sub-atomic particles and don’t answer the question at all!

    Are you willing to answer my question properly? No back references – just write something from scratch that might make some sense in your own words. Yes/No

    To answer your question The answer is No.

    If you want some elaboration I’d say that empirical evidence does exist and I have provided it to you. As the global experiment of raising CO2, and other GHG, levels continues more evidence will become available some of which is not yet available.

    Is it possible to ask for an impossibly high level of evidence which is tantamount to asking for proof? Yes it is.

  735. 735
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (#734):

    There’s an old story about a well-known theatre critic who wrote, “Last time I saw this play it was one of the best productions I’ve ever seen – this, in contrast, is dross”. The billboard read: “one of the best productions I’ve ever seen …” The words that preceded those you refer to were these: “I suspect Peter’s difficulty may stem from a single awkward fact: …” Note the “suspect” and the “may”.

    Get it now?

    Re your “No”, fair enough – but why did you change your mind?

    Max and I are simply asking (as we’ve done countless times before) for specific scientific references to empirical (physically observed) evidence supporting the basic dangerous AGW contentions: (1) that mankind’s GHG emissions, and not natural processes, were the principal cause of late twentieth century warming; and (2) that continued emissions will cause dangerous climate change. Without that evidence, the dangerous AGW hypothesis continues to be an interesting but unverified hypothesis. Simple really. Yes, you’ve referred to empirical evidence but not evidence supporting those key contentions. Were such evidence to become available in due course, that conclusion (that the hypothesis continues to be interesting but unverified) would have to be changed – unless the new evidence were falsified. As Max has said, “that’s the process”. It’s how science is done and has nothing to do with proof.

    What you describe as “an impossibly high level of evidence” is precisely the level that applies to all other branches of science. Yet you seem to believe that climate science should be treated differently. Why?

    Sounds like religion to me.

  736. 736
    Brute Says:

    Was Margaret Thatcher the first climate sceptic?

    Margaret Thatcher was the first leader to warn of global warming – but also the first to see the flaws in the climate change orthodoxy

  737. 737
    manacker Says:


    Re your latest waffle to Robin (734)

    Despite repeated requests and a lot of dialog, you have been unable to provide the empirical data requested to support your “dangerous AGW hypothesis”.

    I have given you some examples of such empirical data.

    Please respond specifically to my previous posts, where I showed empirical data based on physical observations, which invalidate (or falsify) your “dangerous AGW hypothesis.

    Awaiting a specific response, rather than another waffle or sidestep.


  738. 738
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Oh dear – the BBC reports on more UN climate change talks in trouble: “UN climate talks have ended, with delegates speaking of an improved mood but with major gulfs remaining between various blocs”. I was amused by this:

    Mystery surrounded a subsequent incident in which Saudi Arabia’s nameplate was apparently broken and placed inside a toilet bowl.

    The Saudis demanded an investigation, a request to which the UNFCCC agreed, with delegations of all flavours condemning a serious breach of diplomatic etiquette.

    But who was behind it remains unclear; and photos that are heavily rumoured to exist were kept under wraps.

  739. 739
    tempterrain Says:


    So, my difficulties possibly arise from a “single awkward fact“? That ‘awkward fact’ being you believe the sort of empirical evidence you are demanding is impossible to even define let alone setup a means of obtaining?

    You don’t have to be particularly clever to indulge in the tactic of demanding the impossible.

    Its tactic #4 in this list!

    It does surprise me that there can be such a thing as denialism about anything at all. Your frank admission that you know, or even “suspect”, you’ve been asking for the impossible is even more surprising, especially from someone who claims a legal background with its tradition of ‘the scales of justice’.

    You’ve been found out not just weighting those scales to get the answer you want, but actually clamping them down tight!

  740. 740
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (#739):

    Oh dear, it seems to be a rule that, whenever you provide us with links to read, their content makes you look foolish. Don’t you bother to read the stuff to which you refer us? Seems not.

    Here’s a suggestion. Go back and read (1) your Guardian link (its “fourth tactic”) and (2) its link to the Denialism Blog. Read them carefully. When you’ve done so, tell me whether you really think that what they’re saying applies to me (and to Max). If you do, I’ll show you how foolish that makes you look. If you don’t, we can get back to the science.

  741. 741
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Robin, Reur 738;
    Oh dear! you say; concerning Saudi “modern-westernised” toilets, which somehow I had until now imagined were still but a hole in the ground with pads to place one‘s footware!
    How entertaining can it get!
    Your quote brightened my day and may keep me smiling for a good while yet.
    I also found the following from your citation a bit of a giggle, particularly the first ten words!

    “The worst case is we would not see an outcome, we would not be able to conclude on the many items we are discussing,”

  742. 742
    manacker Says:


    Robin has brushed off your silly Guardian blog: “Climate change deniers: failsafe tips on how to spot them”, written by Mark Hoofnagle, who has a PhD in physiology from the University of Virginia (another “psychologists” entering the multi-billion dollar climate change biz).

    However, after going through this childish drivel, I will add a few comments.

    After the standard and totally irrelevant introduction comparing climate “denialists” with those who deny a link between HIV and AIDS (huh?) or “creationists” (whodat?). the good psychologist tells the AGW faithful to look out for the following signs of climate denialism:

    First is the assertion of a conspiracy to suppress the truth.

    Whew! Glad this one does not apply to me, as I have pointed out to you many times.

    The second tactic is selectivity, or cherry-picking the data.

    Have seen many instances where IPCC have done exactly that, but I try to avoid it myself. Of course, both sides of the debate will follow the advice of the old tune “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative”. That’s human nature, and even super-scientist, Michael Mann tossed out the tree-ring data that did not support his hypothesis. Phil Jones, James E. Hansen and all the others are also basically just humans, nothing more. Same goes for me. So (despite the good psychologist’s advice), this is no more a “sign of climate denialism” that it is a “sign of AGW activism”. It is a “sign of human nature”.

    …let’s talk about the third tactic, the use of fake experts, where both creationists and global warming denialists truly shine.

    Oops! Lindzen, Spencer, Landsea, Reiter, Loehle and the many others are apparently “fake experts”, while Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth, etc. are not. Talk about “cherry-picking”! How does our good psychologist tell the difference between the two (since he presumably understands zilch about the physical sciences in the first place).

    Here comes good ol’ number four (to which both you and Robin alluded):

    The fourth tactic – moving goalposts or impossible expectations – is the tendency to refuse to accept when denialists’ challenges to the science have been addressed. Instead, they just come up with new challenges for you to prove before they say they’ll believe the theory. Worse, they just repeat their challenges over and over again ad nauseum.

    This may be their most frustrating tactic because every time you think you’ve satisfied a challenge, they just invent a new one.

    Ouch! Peter, here you really shoot yourself in the foot. Robin and I have consistently asked you for exactly the same thing: empirical data based on actual physical observations, to support your hypothesis a) that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, has been the primary cause of recent warming and b) that AGW represents a serious potential threat. If you check the record, you will see that neither of us has “moved the goalposts”, yet you have been unable to provide the empirical data requested.

    As far as setting “impossible expectations” is concerned, I do not believe that it is “impossible” to provide empirical data to support a valid scientific hypothesis, although it certainly will be so to validate an invalid hypothesis. This is the crux of the matter here, Peter. Until a hypothesis is validated by empirical data, it remains an unvalidated hypothesis. And this is where (so far) none of the learned AGW climatologists have been able to provide this empirical evidence, despite the fact that billions of dollars have been spent trying to do so.

    I am sure that this inability to cite empirical evidence in support of the dangerous AGW hypothesis is, indeed, a “frustration” (as the good psychologist admits), but that’s the way it goes in the hard physical sciences (maybe things are a bit easier in “psychology”). Half baked hypotheses based solely on theoretical deliberations and computer model assumptions and simulations remain just hypotheses until they can be validated by empirical data. Even more difficult for these hypotheses is that they can be invalidated by the same empirical data.

    The comparison between “deniers” and “creationists” is made in the introduction. This comparison is actually much more valid for “creationists” and “AGW-believers”, for neither of the two groups have been able to provide empirical data to support their “beliefs”. As a result, both “beliefs” remain non-validated “hypotheses”.

    Peter, don’t you realize that the more you bring up such silly blogs to “prove your point”, the more foolish your argumentation looks. Stick with searching for the empirical scientific data Robin and I have requested without getting into silly side-line discussions by fuzzy-logic psychologists, who obviously don’t have a clue.


  743. 743
    manacker Says:


    Apparently Hoofnagel is not a “psychologist”, but a “physiologist”. My error (but it does not make much difference to the conclusion reached.)


  744. 744
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Physiology is a serious scientific discipline. Here’s what Wiki has to say, “In physiology, the scientific method is applied to determine how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells and biomolecules carry out the chemical or physical function that they have in a living system“. It rather seems Mr Hoofnagel doesn’t understand the relevance of applying that approach to other scientific disciplines, not least climate science.

  745. 745
    TonyN Says:

    I’ve put up responses to several comments on the RS thread that came in while I was away:

  746. 746
    tempterrain Says:


    Oh dear, it seems that Bob_FJ has caught the habit of using that quaint old phrase from you? Oh deary me-whatever can be be done?

    So you have finally caught on that I’m accusing you of being climate change deniers rather than sceptics? Oh dear. I do hope you aren’t too offended! But, and in all honesty, I would have to say that people like you an Max are exactly who Mark Hoofnagle had in mind!

    Yes, I am accusing you and Max of using the denialist tactic of what is sometimes known as moving the goalposts. If the goalposts are of the soccer type you’ve made the space between the posts too small even for the ball to squeeze through! If the goalpost were of the Rugby type the cross bar would be set so high that no-one could possibly ever kick it over.

    So raising the barrier of impossibility is probably a better way to describe it.

  747. 747
    manacker Says:


    Yes. I have seen several “psychologists” jumping into the AGW fray recently, so that I was blindsighted.

    As you point out (744),”physiology” is a stricter scientific discipline, where (as in climate science) empirical data, based on actual physical observations, are of paramount importance in validating hypotheses.

    But Dr. Hoofnagle has not written his “guide to the faithful” in the role of a serious “physiologist”, but has rather simply expressed his intellectually somewhat immature opinions on “how to spot” “climate change deniers”.

    It is basically a rehash of things we have seen on several blogsites of the AGW faithful.

    I would classify it under “whistling in the dark” when one suffers from the nagging fear that ones “AGW belief” may not really be validated by empirical data (or, even worse, may actually be invalidated or falsified by such data, as one AGW-faithful referred to recently as a “travesty”).

    I would suspect that, deep down, many believers in “creationism” or “intelligent design” suffer from the same nagging fear, and probably also hide this by “whistling in the dark”.

    But, as we have seen, “belief” is a very strong thing, whether this be in “creationism”, “intelligent design” or “AGW doomsday”.

    Data which invalidate the hypothesis or paradigm behind the “belief” are ignored, refuted, rationalized away or simply not seen.

    Then it is always easier to change the subject and talk about smoking/cancer or HIV/AIDS deniers than to face the facts.


  748. 748
    tempterrain Says:


    Yes you are right. Just why climate change deniers won’t face the facts is hard to understand at first.

    Take Robin for example. Even though he acknowledges that I’m right to say that 20th century warming has been attributed to anthropogenic causes to at least a 90% level of certainty, he still sides with the deniers.

    Mind you know Robin he’ll probably claim that this doesn’t necessarily mean that at least 9 times out of 10 the scientists who are saying that will turn out to be right!

    What’s your theory about that?

  749. 749
    tempterrain Says:


    Last paragraph should read

    ” Mind you, knowing how Robin argues, he’ll…..

  750. 750
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (#739):

    Your claim that Max and I have been “moving the goalposts” is crass.

    For months now (possibly years), we’ve been consistently asking you for exactly the same thing: for references to empirical data based on actual physical observations, to support your hypothesis (i) that AGW was the principal cause of recent warming and (ii) that mankind’s continued GHG emissions will cause dangerous climate change.

    Please explain how that is “moving the goalposts”. Thanks.

  751. 751
    Robin Guenier Says:


    I should, of course, have referred just now to your #746. I look forward to your answer.

    But, in relation to your post, I’ll add this: once again you’re bleating that we’re asking for the impossible. Yet we’re doing no more than request a level of evidence (empirical evidence supporting a hypothesis) that is precisely the level that applies to all other branches of science. Yes, it’s a tough discipline. But that’s the scientific process. You seem to believe that climate science should be treated differently. Sounds like religion to me.

  752. 752
    tonyb Says:

    As I was away for some of April you all may have discussed this document on the IPCC when it first came out at that time.

    It is written by Mike Hulme amd he seems to agree with Monckton that the IPCC ‘consensus’ on the overall science comes from a few dozen experts rather than the 2500 that others often cite. (page 10 and 11) but the whole document is well worth reading.


  753. 753
    Robin Guenier Says:


    You said (#747), ““belief” is a very strong thing, whether this be in “creationism”, “intelligent design” or “AGW doomsday””. True. But you might have included another area where “belief” is a very strong thing: religion. Indeed, it is based on it.

    I’ve pointed out to Peter (many times) that his views on dangerous AGW sound more like religion than science. I did so most recently at #751. Consider the similarities:

    A religious believer asserts that God exists:

    Look around you (he says), His works and wonders are everywhere. Moreover, the Holy Scriptures tell us He exists – as do the priesthood and, in particular, the leaders of the Church’s institutional authorities. No, I cannot produce now empirical evidence verifying His existence: your continuing insistence on it simply demonstrates your arrogant foolishness. But, of course, the evidence exists, and there’s one way of finding it: wait until you are dead. Then it’ll become clear enough! So now, like me, you must humbly believe in His existence, ensuring – if you truly want to be saved – that you observe His Holy laws.

    But, in your ignorance, you refuse to believe. Thus you’re a heretic.

    Peter asserts that dangerous AGW is a fact:

    Look around you (he says), the effects (retreating icecaps, species extinction etc.) are everywhere. Moreover, the IPCC Report tells us it’s a fact – as do the climate scientists and, in particular, the governing bodies of the scientific institutions. No, I cannot produce now empirical evidence verifying dangerous AGW: your continuing insistence on it simply demonstrates your arrogant foolishness. But, of course, the evidence exists, and there’s one way of finding it: continue to pump huge amounts of GHGs into the atmosphere. Then it’ll become clear enough! So now, like me, you must humbly believe that dangerous AGW is a fact, ensuring – if you truly want to save the planet – that GHG emissions are radically reduced.

    But, in your ignorance, you refuse to believe. Thus you’re a denier.

    Not much difference, it seems to me.

  754. 754
    manacker Says:


    Re 748

    Double-talk won’t hack it either, Peter.

    My “theory on that” is that you keep waffling and side-stepping (and bringing up ridiculous “how to spot a denier” blogs), precisely because you are unable to present any empirical data to support your dangerous AGW hypothesis (as I did to falsify it).


    PS Your “9 out of 10 scientists” have apparently also been able to show this empirical evidence to validate the dangerous AGW hypothesis (despite the billions that have been poured into “climate research”), otherwise you would parrot what they concluded.


  755. 755
    manacker Says:


    I agree with your analysis on “religious faith” and various “pseudo-religious beliefs”, which are not tied specifically to a religion, such as “doomsday theories”, “visits by extra-territorials”, “man-made disaster scenarios”, “disastrous AGW hysteria”, etc. or those that may be officially tied to one “religion” or another, such as “creationism”, “intelligent design”, “destruction of the earth by fire on Judgement Day”, etc.

    These all claim a scientific basis, of course, but their believers are unable to come up with empirical data based on actual physical observations or repeatable experiments to validate the belief scientifically. Often appeals to “scripture”, “prophesies by prophets” (or computer models) or “theoretical deliberations” are cited as “evidence” instead.

    The key similarity for me is that the “believers” will continue to hold their belief, even if it should be shown that it is unrealistic or it has been physically falsified by empirical data.

    The “doomsayer” will rationalize that “doomsday” did not happen exactly when first predicted, a) possibly because some miraculous action was taken to forestall the disaster or b) because some miraculous, uncontrollable event occurred, which will give us a bit more time until “doomsday” returns “with a vengeance”.

    Exactly these words have been used to describe the current reversal of global warming, caused by unforeseen “natural variability”, but which will return “with a vengeance” once the “natural variability” stops.

    The current cooling of the ocean is rationalized by Josh Willis, the Argo team leader as a “speed bump” in upper ocean warming.
    See: “The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat” by Richard Harris

    Interestingly, Willis is a co-author with doomsayer James E. Hansen of an earlier paper, claiming that a significant portion of GH warming is not realized today, but actually “hidden in the pipeline”, i.e. the upper ocean, from where it will eventually be released (by some as yet inexplicable mechanism) into the atmosphere to cause more GH warming. The apparent warming (at the time measured with inaccurate, expendable XBT devices, which were shown to give a warming bias) was cited as “evidence” for a high climate sensitivity and, therefore, for dangerous AGW. It would seem to me that the observed cooling, since more reliable Argo devices were installed in 2003, would provide “evidence” that the “hidden in the pipeline” postulation (and with it, the prediction of dangerous AGW) has been falsified, but true “AGW believers” do not see it that way, at all. It’s just a “speed bump”.

    AGW-believer Phil Jones agrees that there has been no warming of the surface atmosphere over the past decade (as confirmed for the troposphere by the satellite record), yet he still “believes” in potentially dangerous AGW.

    Kevin Trenberth, also an ardent believer in the “dangerous AGW hypothesis”, has stated that the “missing energy”, despite record increase in atmospheric CO2 is a “travesty”. He has stated (in an interview that will shock many staunch “believers”) that this “missing energy” may be radiated into outer space with clouds possibly acting as a “natural thermostat”. But the implication is that this is just a temporary hiatus from “doomsday warming”.

    The recovery in Arctic sea ice, which has occurred since the modern low end-summer level was reached in 2007, is “pooh-poohed” by NSIDC director, Marc Serreze as no real “reversal”, but just a slowdown on the road to disaster (for the hapless polar bears).

    The story is always the same:

    “THE END IS NEAR” (maybe not quite as “near” as we predicted 10 years ago, but JUST WAIT!).



  756. 756
    tempterrain Says:


    Do you accept the 90% figure? Yes/No?

  757. 757
    manacker Says:

    Sometimes a great slogan turns sour.

  758. 758
    manacker Says:


    You asked Robin whether or not he would agree with the sentence below, but I will respond as well:

    20th century warming has been attributed to anthropogenic causes to at least a 90% level of certainty,

    I would agree, provided you modify the sentence as follows:

    A portion of the observed 20th century warming has been attributed to anthropogenic causes, with a roughly equivalent portion attributed to natural causes, partly related to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity, both to an estimated high level of certainty.

    This change takes out the myopic fixation on anthropogenic causes alone and the unsubstantiated 90% figure.

    Would you agree to this modified version: Yes/No?


  759. 759
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Peter Martin,
    You might be aware that Anthony Watts, David Archibald and Bob Carter are giving a talk in Brisbane in about 3 hours from now as I write this; see:
    I imagine you would not risk purgatory, (in its religious sense), by entering that forum, but I could imagine you standing outside with a blazoning placard of doom.

    C’mon Pete, give us a good laugh and tell us what you declare on your placard. (or would have liked to)

    If you did attend, I hope a friend (?) took a photo for us to rollick over; please show it!

  760. 760
    Robin Guenier Says:

    PeterM (#756):

    Are you referring to your earlier statement that “20th century warming has been attributed to anthropogenic causes to at least a 90% level of certainty” (your #748)? If so, I suspect several people and institutions have made that attribution. Who did you have in mind?

    When you answer, remember that many people attribute mankind’s existence to supernatural creation with a 100% level of certainty. But that doesn’t mean they’re right.

  761. 761
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Robin, You wrote in part in your 760:

    When you [Peter Martin] answer, remember that many people attribute mankind’s existence to supernatural creation with a 100% level of certainty. But that doesn’t mean they’re right.

    Yes Robin, and that is especially true of the “most advanced nation in the world”, across the pond westerly from you.
    For example, I vividly remember a TV doco, where a helicopter tour guide for the Grand Canyon solemnly declared, sitting atop it, that the astonishing vista behind him, (not to mention the Brice Canyon sedimentary formations even above it), was the result of the famous Biblical Noah 40-day event some 4,000 years ago.

    I’ll avoid stating the obvious

  762. 762
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Here’s an interesting example of how science is really done – except, that is, (if PeterM is to be believed) climate science. According to the Standard Model of particle physics (which incidentally predicts the Higgs Boson – see this), the universe as we know it (stars, planets, gases etc.) represents only about 4% of the cosmos, the rest being dark matter and energy. And, according to the “Big Bang” hypothesis, it’s the latter that powers the expansion of the universe. But it’s now reported that the Royal Astronomical Society has published new findings, based on recent Nasa measurements, suggesting that dark matter and energy may not exist and calculations of the make-up of the universe may be wrong. As Dr Robert Massey of the RAS said,

    This would challenge greatly our assumptions about the long term future of the universe, because the assumption at the moment is that the universe is expanding and if it isn’t that would be a huge shock.

    For all I know, supporters of the Standard Model may claim that it has a 90% likelihood of being correct (although I rather doubt it – percentages are pointless in such a context) or that it is supported by a “consensus” of scientists. So can we expect them to start shouting that Dr Massey and the Durham University physicists who carried out the new research are “deniers” who “won’t face the facts”?

    Er … no.

  763. 763
    tempterrain Says:


    You seem very fond of your Bosons. The existence of these will, or will not, be confirmed by the results of experiment.

    The scientific standard method, of popular mythology, can be described in the following chart

    Which of course often, but not always, works fine. Testing by experiment is fine if the option exists. But what if scientists are looking at say the sun? What experiments can they possibly make? Sure, they can make observations, and devise likely explanations, but that’s not quite the same thing. So they aren’t scientists?

    What experiments can paleontolgists make? Are you saying they aren’t scientists either? Again, they can make only make observations and it is absolutely impossible to show by experiment, or test, that humans evolved from the little furry mammals which were around at the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. You can guess who’ll be making the same argument as you about that one!

  764. 764
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Once again you’ve shown that you simply don’t read what’s posted here. Here’s what I said to you only last week (#721):

    You seem to have acquired the curious notion that empirical evidence can be identified only by experimentation or testing of the type usually associated with, for example, particle physics. Not so: the observation and measurement of data from the natural world can be equally valuable (some might say more valuable): consider evolution, astronomy, plate tectonics, etc. – including much of medicine. The key is the replicable observation and testing of physical data, whether in the laboratory or in the natural world.

    Understand now?

  765. 765
    manacker Says:


    You seem to have a propensity for complicating things, as shown in your 763 to Robin.

    You post a diagram, which shows how the scientific method works, but then get side-tracked.

    Let’s not worry about the problems facing a paleontologist in identifying furry ancestors or physicists in searching for dark matter, but concentrate on the topic at hand: our climate and possible changes caused by anthropogenic GHG emissions.

    We have observations from satellites of the incoming and outgoing LW plus SW radiation, including measurements, which show how these change with higher surface temperature.

    We have measurements of atmospheric CO2.

    We have measurement of “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” (where there is a known possible upward distortion due to UHI, land-use changes, poor station siting, station shutdowns and moves, etc.), plus the same for the troposphere from satellites (where there is no such distortion), giving us an independent “reality check” for the surface record.

    Since 2003, when the Argo system replaced the old, less reliable XBTs, we have more accurate measurements of the upper ocean temperature.

    We have satellite altimetry, which works very well for measuring more or less stationary surfaces (glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice), but is less accurate for heaving seas, or seas located near coastlines, for example; fortunately we have a long tide gauge record of sea levels.

    We can measure solar activity, both directly (direct solar irradiance) and indirectly (sunspot number, solar cycle length, cosmic rays, magnetic field, etc.).

    Now with all this information it seems that we should be able to produce empirical data based on actual physical observations to either validate or falsify the hypothesis a) that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, has been the primary cause of observed warming and b) that AGW represents a serious potential threat.

    Forget the hypothetical or theoretical deliberations; forget the model simulations (which are only as good as the assumptions fed in). Forget all the waffles and side-tracks from “bosons” to “furry ancestors”.

    Concentrate instead on the physical data we have to see if the hypothesis can be validated or falsified.

    I have shown you three examples of specific empirical data, which tend to falsify the dangerous AGW hypothesis.

    Give me your specific reaction to this, and then we can move on.


  766. 766
    manacker Says:

    Robin and PeterM

    I will be away from my computer for a couple of weeks. Will try checking in from time to time.



  767. 767
    Robin Guenier Says:

    According to this, the IPCC’s Pachauri has told the BBC that climate change scepticism is OK and the debate is not over. In an article for the BBC, he said,

    … scepticism is inevitable, and has been the case with every area of new knowledge that has burst into human consciousness. We who are on the side of the consensus must remind ourselves that the evolution of knowledge thrives on debate.

    He continued,

    The IPCC and the scientific community at large should welcome the development of a vigorous debate on the science of climate change (so long as the level of that debate does not descend to personal abuse, as it has done at times).

    How, I wonder, is that to be squared with earlier assertions that “the debate is over” (see this for example) and constant references to sceptics as deniers (commonly coupled with personal abuse)?

    Perhaps Peter can explain.

    And this is the same Rajendra Pachauri who said in November 2007:

    If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.

    Well, the “next two to three years” are almost over and nothing has happened – except that emissions have increased markedly. Yet now he’s endorsing scepticism and debate. Seems odd.

  768. 768
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Max (#765):

    Peter seems to think that empirical evidence cannot be gathered from observation and measurement, but only from laboratory experiment (see my #764). I’ve no idea where he acquired that absurd notion but he’s found it useful as he thinks it supports his equally absurd notion that asking for empirical evidence re dangerous AGW is asking for the impossible. That’s why he seems to believe that the theory of evolution (hence his “little furry mammals”) is not supported by empirical evidence.

    Enjoy your holiday!

  769. 769
    TonyN Says:

    Robin, #767,

    Analysing Pahauri’s use the term ‘new knowledge’ in the first quotation could provide enough material for a book.

  770. 770
    Robin Guenier Says:


    Further to my #768, there of course is one circumstance where asking for empirical evidence re dangerous AGW is indeed asking for the impossible. And that’s when there is no such evidence.

    But I don’t think that’s what he had in mind.

  771. 771
    manacker Says:

    PeterM and Robin

    We have had a back-and-forth exchange on the postulated dangers of AGW and the merits of proposals to mitigate against these dangers versus adopting a “wait and see” policy of adapting to actual changes, if and when they actually occur.

    Unfortunately, our discussion has remained very superficial with multiple side-tracks and diversions, which have distracted from the main topics.

    Rather than continuing ad nauseam with the present back-and-forth exchange (which appears to be getting nowhere), I have now proposed two approaches to get a bit more specific in our debate, with the goal of finding some common ground on the two main topics we have discussed..

    1) The “science” [on this thread]: examining the empirical climate data based on specific physical observations that exist today to see whether they validate or falsify the “dangerous AGW” hypothesis, which Peter espouses, a) that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, has been the primary cause of recent warming, and b) that AGW represents a serious potential threat.
    2) The “policy” [on the “energy policy” thread]: examining the cost to normal households of a mandatory global carbon tax (direct or indirect) and the cost plus effectiveness of specific actionable mitigation proposals to change our planet’s climate.

    Peter, if you truly believe that we are facing a serious problem from AGW, which requires action on a global basis, you should welcome this discussion.

    If you, however, already have your mind made up and are hesitant to go more deeply into the subject matter for fear that your current beliefs may be challenged or invalidated, I can understand that, and we can break off our discussion.

    Think about it a bit, and then let’s see if we should continue or end our discussion.

    Robin, I think (from past posts) that you would also support such a switch in our discussion. If not, please let me know.


  772. 772
    manacker Says:

    Robin and TonyN (767/769)

    It appears that Pachauri’s current change in image is directed more at saving his job (and any perks and side earnings that may come from it) than anything else.

    It appears that he is beginning to see that the popular tide has turned against statements proclaiming “consensus of 2,500 mainstream scientists” and “the debate is over”.

    His “voodoo science” stonewall on the IPCC Himalayan glacier lie definitely hurt his credibility, and he is now trying some “damage control” following this and other IPCC screw-ups.

    Will the world fall for it?

    I sort of doubt it.

    Will IPCC do some “damage control” of its own and remove him?

    I also doubt this, because there is too much “loss of face” (or “loss of credibility”) involved.


  773. 773
    Robin Guenier Says:

    Noting Max’s #771 (with which I agree), i will probably not be posting here for a week or so. I’ve been deferring an important project for some time and really should make a start on it. I will not be away from my computer, however, so will check this site from time to time – and may post a comment if I become aware of anything that seems important.

  774. 774
    tempterrain Says:

    Mac You ask:

    “how, I wonder, is that to be squared with earlier assertions that “the debate is over” (see this for example) and constant references to sceptics as deniers (commonly coupled with personal abuse)?

    Perhaps Peter can explain.”?

    Well yes of course I can! I’m not sure about personal abuse though. You’d have to ask climate scientists how they cope with that.

    The best way to understand the scientific position on the ‘science is settled’ argument is to take a step or two away from climate science and look at what scientists are writing about AIDS and HIV. Is the science settled on that? Well yes up to a point it is.
    So does this mean there is no scientific debate about AIDS? Well no it doesn’t, but its still not a good idea to engage in unprotected sex with strangers. You can become infected with the HIV virus and that will probably lead to AIDs. But maybe the chances would be a good deal less than 90%!

  775. 775
    tonyb Says:


    My apologies as I don’t have much time to post at the moment, but thought you would be interested in this thread over at WUWT as it concerns politics.

    It was written by our friend Monckton and various other people from her administration have chimed in.

    I have criticised Monckton for his attack on Abrahams (whose rebuttal of Moncktons work has a few grains of truth but is also full of holes itself)

    In turn Monckton says he is publishing several letters that apparently refer to the Abrahams matter.

    As you will have noticed in my previous comments here, all us sceptics are not totally enamoured of Monckton nor his methods, but then again you have to bear the cross of Hansen, Mann and Gore!


  776. 776
    TonyN Says:


    I seem to remember that you took an interest in the Pine Island Glacier research a while back. I think that this is a little different to the what was ‘the latest findings’ at that time, but interesting nonetheless:

    It’s fascinating to see how quickly certainty can turn to doubt in climate science these days.

  777. 777
    tonyb Says:


    Thanks. As you say certainty seems to melt away once the subject is looked at more objectively.


  778. 778
    Alex Cull Says:

    And on the subject of melting glaciers, here‘s a liberal application of whitewash – non-metaphorical, for a change!

  779. 779
    TonyN Says:


    That really is quite a find. It reminds me of a printout of a magazine article I have somewhere from the early 70s, when the problem was a little different. I think the climate scientist concerned was Bryden Reid Bryson and he was pleading for governments to prevent global cooling by either spreading soot on the polar regions to reduce albedo or, as a last resort, ‘nuking’ them.

    And this is a publicity stunt by the World Bank?

  780. 780
    Alex Cull Says:

    TonyN, the World Bank appears to have launched a competition last autumn called “100 ideas to save the planet” and this page has a list of the winners, including the glacier-painting idea.

    “Climate change is melting tropical glaciers. A DM award will support Glaciares Peru as it engages local workers in the Peruvian highlands to produce a reflective cover that can be painted on the rocks surrounding glaciers. This will stop glacial melting and help restore glacial mass—a vital form of freshwater storage in the high Andes and the world.”

    Although the problems these ideas are meant to address are nominally climate-change related, with some of these, the connection seems to be a little tenuous, e.g.:

    “Nicaragua’s Miskito communities are hit by droughts, storm, floods and hurricanes. To roll back deforestation, restore wild game, and deliver better nutrition for 2,500 children, MASAGNI will use an award to cultivate Maya Nut trees. The nutrition-rich Maya Nut will generate five million pounds of food a year, improving health and local incomes.”

    There are links to some videos, which are interesting. This is from the glacier-painting idea video:

    “We’re going to produce and apply a white mineralogical paint to the exposed, dark-coloured rock surfaces around the receding glaciers. We’re going to decrease the greenhouse gas effect in the microclimate around them, enough to slow the melting and hopefully actually re-grow the glaciers.”

    All fascinating stuff. As per this page, it’s basically a competitive grant programme – up to $200,000 for each idea!

  781. 781
    Brute Says:

    Prosecutor: Al Gore was focus of sex crime inquiry in Portland
    Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Oh dear Peter……….looks like your idol, the Earth God, is in more trouble……..He should stay on Mount Olympus and away from the mortals………

  782. 782
    Bob_FJ Says:

    I received this Email (extract) from Amazon UK:

    Greetings from,
    We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased or rated Chill, A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory: Does Climate Change Mean the World is Cooling, and If So What Should We Do About It? by Peter Taylor have also purchased Climate: the Counter-consensus (Independent Minds) by Professor Robert Carter. For this reason, you might like to know that Climate: the Counter-consensus (Independent Minds) is now available. You can order yours for just £8.70 (13% off the RRP) by following the link below.

    I have admired Bob Carter’s work in the past and will be buying his book
    I’m also impressed by Amazon UK’s past speedy service

    I guess Amazon USA may also carry it, but I’ve not checked

  783. 783
    TonyN Says:

    Brute #781:

    I have no problem with you posting that link, but I do think that this is a story that we should all be very cautious about.

  784. 784
    James P Says:

    a story that we should all be very cautious about

    I’m still trying to poke out my mind’s eye! Still, I imagine that even the National Enquirer may get things right occasionally…

  785. 785
    tonyb Says:

    At this stage its mere gossip. A man is innocent until proven guilty. Give Gore a break-he has just broken up with his wife after 30 years, which perhaps is the motivation for this tittle tattle coming out at this time.


  786. 786
    Alex Cull Says:

    Just heard in the news that Kevin Rudd is out and Julia Gillard is Australia’s new PM; according to Roger Pielke Jnr (here), JG seems to be displaying a certain amount of caution on the subject of emissions trading (“She has offered only rather tepid support for reviving a carbon price and does not appear to have offered any explicit support for the ETS as it has been presented…”). On the other hand, BusinessGreen’s Tom Young is upbeat (here) about the possibility of her reintroducing climate change legislation (“Gillard put tackling climate change back at the top of the government’s list of priorities.”) Maybe it’s still a little early to say what the implications of this might be, though – only Day 1 (or is it Day 2 now?)… Was Kevin Rudd really that unpopular?

  787. 787
    Brute Says:

    Still, I imagine that even the National Enquirer may get things right occasionally…

    Not an avid reader of the Enquirer, but they do get things right. They broke the story about Presidential candidate John Edwards’ “love child”……….of course everyone initially said it was idle gossip……..they turned out to be absolutely on the mark.

    The police report regarding Gore is very damning……and credible. The story is making the rounds and starting to get traction here in the US.


  788. 788
    tempterrain Says:

    Alex Cull,

    At the start of the year, Kevin Rudd was very popular in Australia and seemed to be in no real danger at all.

    His troubles started when he ‘flipped’ on the ETS and was condemned by both the left, who wanted stronger action on AGW, and his natural opponents on the right, who wanted less or none at all, for ‘political cowardice’ especially as he’d described AGW as the “biggest moral challenge of our generation”

    He never recovered from that.

    He relied on his public popularity, rather than build up an internal party support base, and once that had gone, his opponents took their opportunity to get rid of him.

  789. 789
    James P Says:

    has just broken up with his wife after 30 years, which perhaps is the motivation for this tittle tattle

    Or maybe it’s the motivation for Tipper giving him the push.

    I’m with you really, Tony, and I would normally give anyone is his situation the benefit of the doubt, but (as Groucho Marx nearly put it) in his case I’ll make an exception!

    Given Gore’s profile and former legal career, I imagine that even the NE would be a bit careful of making wild allegations, although I’m disappointed that the masseuse couldn’t think of anything more colourful to call him than a ‘lummox’…

  790. 790
    Brute Says:

    Or maybe it’s the motivation for Tipper giving him the push.

    I doubt very seriously that this was the ultimate cause of the marital necrosis. The Goracle could have easily explained this away as a gold digging floozy looking to cash in on Al’s global warming loot.

    He must have done something unforgivable (and not so easily denied) for his wife of 40 years to walk away.

    Something that has not surfaced (yet) doomed the marriage.

    I’m thinking The Gorster may have some “secrets” hidden in his “closet” (if you understand what I’m getting at).

    He does sound like a gay Forrest Gump when he speaks…………

  791. 791
    tempterrain Says:


    It is sadly typical of Americans that they do seem to get into quite a lather over the sexual antics of their politicians. Things have moved on in the rest of the world, we have openly gay Cabinet ministers here in Australia, politicians have affairs and they don’t feel the need to resign and I’m sure the same is true of most European countries including the UK.

    I must admit to being slightly amused when some US evangelical is caught out engaging in extra marital activities with his secretary but really that’s just human nature! I wouldn’t use this sort of behaviour as an argument against Christianity. It really is quite irrelevant.

    I’m in no way influenced by Al Gore, rather he’s influenced by the scientific evidence and so am I, and if he is accused of any criminal offence then of course it should be investigated. But it seems somewhat spiteful to gleefully engage in what tonyb rightfully calls tittle-tattle at this stage.

  792. 792
    Brute Says:

    Things have moved on in the rest of the world, we have openly gay Cabinet ministers here in Australia, politicians have affairs and they don’t feel the need to resign and I’m sure the same is true of most European countries including the UK.

    I see………so someone that lies to their spouse you’d entrust with making decisions regarding your (and your loved ones) freedom and liberty…….that speaks volumes about your character.

    “If it feels good, do it” is your credo?

    The man is untrustworthy……even in matters concerning his own family…..yet you dismiss his/their deceit…………Unbelievable.

    I suppose the lack of integrity displayed by these politicians only occurs or involves their family members (which somehow makes it alright in your twisted mind)…………they’d never carry the lack of principles into their professional lives………(when dealing with complete strangers)……that would be immoral!

    Of course, morality is subjective in your world I suppose……as long as “the message” agrees with your personal agenda, anything can be excused.

    Sorry Pete……..I demand a higher standard……..

  793. 793
    tempterrain Says:


    You can’t think that every human relationship problem is the result of “lies”, “deceit”, “untrustworthiness”, or a lack of “principles” or “morals”.

    My view is that everyone, including politicians, has to work through these problems, as best they can, when they arise, and it is really no-one else’s business other than those immediately involved.

    I don’t know what the reasons are behind Al Gore’s marriage split, and I’m really not interested providing he hasn’t done anything illegal. If he possibly has, then that needs to be investigated, but, either way, it won’t change the science of the way the atmosphere and climate respond to increased CO2 levels.

  794. 794
    TonyN Says:

    I don’t want any discussion of Gore’s marital problems or sexuality here.

  795. 795
    Brute Says:

    Sorry Tony. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Gore will be selling pencils from a cup on a street corner in 5 years.

    IPCC “Consensus” on Solar Influence was Only One Solar Physicist who Agreed with Her Own Paper

    The IPCC conclusion about human influence on climate – and plans for reworking the entire energy economy on the basis of the carbon footprint – stands and falls with the question of how significant is the influence of solar activity. Yet the IPCC devoted only a few paragraphs to this essential topic, and based the “consensus” on a single astronomer, who agreed with herself.

  796. 796
    TonyN Says:

    This new site, run by engineers for engineers, may be of interest to those who are interested in the nuts and bolts of energy policy without the humbug that usually dominates this subject now:

    I’ve only glanced at it so far, but it will be very interesting to see how the site develops.

  797. 797
    tempterrain Says:


    Fully agree with your decision re Al Gore’s marital problems etc.

    But, I would just ask the question of why is he such a demonic figure for many climate “sceptics” including some who contribute to this blog? OK he’s on the liberal left of the USA ‘s political spectrum. He’s sided with the scientific consensus on the question of climate change and made a film about it. So what?

    Isn’t it possible to disagree with someone without hating them too?

  798. 798
    tempterrain Says:

    Tony N,

    Thanks for the link “run by engineers for engineers” Except that I’d say it should be for everyone – not just engineers.

    If the statement underneath is anything to go by these engineers aren’t going to please right wing libertarian climate sceptics, so I suspect that it may well not be spoken of with any approval in future! Except by me of course!

    “Prior to that, since 1947, electricity generation was publicly owned and the planning
    of it was engineering led. Now the planning is market led. This change has proved to be very

  799. 799
    TonyB Says:


    Al Gore had perfectly reasonable environmental credentials and kept Mauna loa running when others wanted to cut funding. He also wrote a pretty good book ‘Earth in the balance’ back in 1992. I don’t hate him and am reluctant to join in ad hom attacks on his private life.

    Publicly, he does cleverly manipulate the agenda- AIT was largely nonsensical or, at the least, parts were highly debatable. He refuses to take questions at his lectures, he endorses Dr Manns hockey stick even though he had written a book that solidly rebutted that version of climate,and he set up his carbon trading firm whilst being one of the biggest individual consumers of carbon on the planet

    He also set up his AGW ‘shock’ troops and has brainwashed them with strident propaganda-I have met several on the high streets of Britain and seen their handbooks and they are pretty scary,

    I find Gore hypocritical but don’t hate him or Dr Mann and get somewhat bemused myself by the vitriol they attract.


  800. 800
    Bob_FJ Says:

    Re 788, Concerning the demise of Kevin Rudd. That was a rather simplistic.
    Whilst the pragmatic dumping of the ETS was certainly media worthy, there were deeper problems, including I would say some truly head-shaking stuff too much to relate here.

    The fundamental problem in the labour party was the leadership style of Rudd and the so-called “Gang of Four”, that he led, and which reportedly made all the big decisions independently of Cabinet and Caucus. A rather ironic thing is that the number two and number three of the Gang of Four, are now the new PM and Deputy respectively. Number four retired from politics the same day, whilst claiming he made the decision weeks ago.

    So how important was the dumping of the ETS to the labour party? Well, it is well known that the new PM and her Deputy (Gillard & Swann) managed to persuade Rudd to drop it, whilst the retiree was unsuccessfully supportive of Rudd. There is not much suggestion that Gillard will reverse her position as yet.

    Out of a surprising number of farces and back-downs, the one that astonished me most was the announcement by Rudd just before the recent budget, of imposition of a 40% (forty) profits tax on the mining industry: details not clear.
    Of course the industry and the mining States of Queensland and WA went ballistic over the policy of “announce it first and then discuss/negotiate afterwards“, coupled with typical Rudd arrogance of there will be no back-down by him. Just about the first thing that Gillard did was withdraw the government advertising on the new tax. (I recall worth $38 million, and BTW, probably illegal). Now there appears to be a truce with the industry also withdrawing their ad’s.

    There is an interesting article over at WUWT, from which I draw this article

    How Abbott [opposition leader] found an unexpected ally over climate change in the Gang of Four an unexpected ally over climate change in the Gang of Four

    This is interesting too:

  801. 801
    TonyN Says:

    Peter M, #798:

    The site is run by The Institute of Shipbuilders and Engineers in Scotland. I would be very surprised if they saw pleasing ‘right wing libertarians’ as a priority, and that certainly doesn’t invalidate the stats and analysis that they have on offer.

    Having lived in Glasgow and then the West of Scotland during the dying days of ‘Red Clydeside’ and the shipbuilding industry there, I got a certain nostalgic pleasure from seeing the quote that you spotted. Evidently the flame still burns.

    “Good on yer Jummy!” one might say.

  802. 802
    tempterrain Says:


    I meant to give the link to my previous quote. In case anyone thought I’d made it up!

    I liked this one too

    Those operating in the market have to be focused primarily on making a profit and are not set up to take the engineered approach needed to satisfy public needs.”

    Public needs vs Private Profit eh?

    I’d be interested to see which way their argument develops. I can’t see how they can avoid the conclusion that the only way forward is to follow the French example and go nuclear but we’ll see.

  803. 803
    TonyN Says:

    Peter M:

    Given the present attitude towards nuclear in Scotland that would certainly be a novel development.

    So far as your two quotes from the IESIS are concerned, I actually think that they conceal an interesting point. Post privatisation of power generation, the last Tory government shelved setting out a comprehensive energy policy until they were voted out in 1997. Since then, the New Labour government were no more eager to grasp this particularly stingy nettle, and the present government looks as though they may have the same problem. At each of these three stages the stumbling block seems to be how to use nuclear without very unwelcome political consequences.

    The IESIS may have a point about public ownership of electricity in the sense that governments would no longer be able to dodge their responsibilities in determining overall strategy, but this is a very blinkered view of a much more complex problem. There will be few customers who can remember pre-privatisation days who would want to return to them.

  804. 804
    Alex Cull Says:

    Did anyone watch the BBC’s Panorama, “What’s Up With the Weather”, last night? (UK only, unfortunately, unless you can find a workaround to view it eventually on iPlayer) I only caught the last ten minutes or so; the message seemed to be less “raise the alarm”, more “the situation’s uncertain but better safe than sorry” (house insurance metaphor) – a fallback position? Poor Jo Abbess didn’t like it, which tells us that the Beeb fell short of being full-on alarmist (or were otherwise “complicit in mass deception”, according to Jo.)

    Will watch the whole thing on iPlayer at leisure later. One gem – Tom Heap taking the Nissan Leaf for a whirl, a totally “zero emission” car – but I fail to recall him mentioning the emissions emitted by making it and generating the electricity to recharge it!

  805. 805
    tempterrain Says:

    Alex Cull,

    The ‘house insurance metaphor’ is, in fact, quite a good one.

    If the chances of the house burning down are N% and the cost of the house burning down is $Y then the sensible amount to spend on insurance is $N*Y/100, but of course if it can be bought for less then its a good deal.

    So how much to spend on climate change insurance? The IPCC would put N at 90% whereas you sceptics would probably put it at 10%. In fact I think Max did put it at just that. How much damage could it do? Well I guess it could just about finish off world civilisation which has currently a combined GDP of $61 trillion. Over the course of this century, the time scale that is usually referred to, that would be about $6100 trillion if if there were no economic growth which is unlikely!

    So even taking Max’s 10% figure it would still make sense to spend $6 trillion per year on the house insurance. $1 trillion a year is ridiculously cheap!

  806. 806
    TonyN Says:

    Peter M:

    The fire insurance analogy, although it sounds very plausible, is in fact a very poor one.

    Fire premiums are determined by actuarial analysis based on abundant historical evidence of the extent of the risk, and also cost determined by competition between insurers. This is not the case with the threat of AGW where politicians have granted the IPCC a virtual monopoly of ‘actuarial analysis’ and the same politicians are in a position to determine the supposed ‘premium’ on the basis of whichever economists they choose to listen to; a process that is also included in the IPCC’s remit. Competition, either between ‘actuaries’ or ‘insurers’, plays no part in this process.

    We simply do not know the extent of the risk or the likely cost of indemnity. No reputable insurer would offer a policy on this basis and the analogy has no application to the climate debate other than to demonstrate the weakness of the arguments by which it is now being sustained.

  807. 807
    James P Says:

    I fail to recall him mentioning the emissions emitted by making it and generating the electricity to recharge it!

    And there’s the rub. I don’t know what the ‘carbon footprint’ of a 300kg lithium battery is, but it’s certainly not zero! Not to mention the rest of the car and the power to generate the electricity it runs on, most likely from a fossil fuelled power station…

  808. 808
    James P Says:

    WRT fire insurance, there is empirical evidence that houses do catch fire. I think the jury’s still out on whole planets…

  809. 809
    Alex Cull Says:

    Peter M, taking, for argument’s sake, the IPCC’s 90% certainty that humans have been mostly to blame for rising temperatures since the middle of the 20th century, and the IPCC’s projection of a 1.8 to 4 degree global temperature rise by 2100; this is a little different, I think, to a 90% chance that one’s house will burn down. Whether or not humans are to blame, I don’t think a 1.8 degree rise would finish off civilisation. (As for the IPCC’s theoretical upper range of 4 degrees, then we’re in uncertain territory, of course, unless it can be shown that the MWP indicated higher global average temperatures than today, but that’s by the way.)

    And given (again, purely for argument’s sake) the IPCC’s projection that global warming and sea level rise are expected to continue for centuries to come even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized, the best metaphor might not be that of insurance against a house burning down at some unknown future date but some sort of insurance or savings scheme to be set up to deal with ongoing or escalating house repair costs.

    I may be wrong but that would appear to be more or less Bjorn Lomborg’s argument; that if global warming is happening, and if much of it is inevitable anyway, impoverishing ourselves in the present, by struggling to meet unfeasible carbon targets, isn’t going to help. It would be better, surely, for sensible sums of money to be spent where appropriate on adaptation – sea defences in places affected by the max 43 cm of sea level rise by 2100, malaria prevention, desalination and irrigation to mitigate against drought, etc., and also money to be invested in superior energy technology which will help in the long term rather than the short term – thorium nuclear power, let’s say, rather than windmills. More like an affordable savings plan, maybe?

    James P: ” …think the jury’s still out on whole planets…” They did make a movie about this, though – scary stuff!

    I would write more, but my lunch break is up!

  810. 810
    James P Says:

    Alex – I’m afraid it dates me, but I do remember the film, from TV, if not the cinema! Nuclear bombs did generate a lot of anxiety then, which may have been no bad thing. I still think that WW3 is just as likely to be started accidentally as on purpose.

  811. 811
    Alex Cull Says:

    James, I like this line from the Wiki synopsis of the film: “Due to his unpopularity in the newsroom, Stenning is sent to the British Met Office to get some facts and figures on mean temperatures.”

    Re the nuclear threat, it is interesting how the perception of the danger has morphed over the years; in the 1950s and 1960s the favoured scenario was World War 3, with the US and Soviets duking it out, with the added twist of an accidentally-started war (as you say, a real possibility) and then Carl Sagan’s “nuclear winter” idea but now the perceived threat is mostly terrorism (dirty bombs and the like) or a limited but damaging war between Iran/Israel or India/Pakistan. In a way similar to the changes undergone by perceived environmental threats?

  812. 812
    tempterrain Says:


    You are saying that human induced global warming hasn’t previously been a problem so the risk is zero.

    That’s not a very smart argument.

  813. 813
    tempterrain Says:

    Alex Cull,

    I’m not totally anti Bjorn Lomborg – he’s among the more intelligent of the sceptics. He’s certainly no Christopher Monckton. His argument that it’s cheaper to adapt than mitigate is interesting but probably wrong. It’s not certainly wrong, but to make the case you have to choose figures, as you have done, on the low side of the IPCC estimates. 43cm of sea level rise. Just 1.8deg C rise in temperatures.

    But certainly there will have to be a program for adaptation. You’ve mentioned Thorium nuclear power which I would have thought was more mitigation than adaptation and which I wouldn’t disagree with, except that I would just question why nuclear power has to be Thorium based. It may happen in the future along with fast breeder reactors but there is no pressing need for it at present.

  814. 814
    TonyN Says:

    Peter M:

    I’m not saying anything of the sort, so that isn’t a very useful response.

  815. 815
    tempterrain Says:


    Or maybe you were saying “We simply do not know the extent of the risk” – therefore let’s assume that it’s zero!

    Or maybe I have got it all wrong and you aren’t saying it’s zero? OK, if it’s not zero what would you say it was? Approximately.

  816. 816
    peter geany Says:

    And the Cuts to greenery just keep mounting. The ways in which our previous administration was siphoning money out into useless green jobs that were achieving nothing is quite staggering. Just a couple of links to stories and apologies if they have been posted elsewhere.

    There is hope for this lot yet. I’m still not comfortable with much of the rhetoric from the coalition over CO2 but some of the actions are encouraging. However there is still much pie in the sky thinking, and the green ISA idea caught my eye in this article. No comment is necessary but if you wish to throw your money away this would be one of the better ways.

    With the energy report out from the Department of Energy and Climate Change it is clear to see that despite spending billions we still have not mad any progress towards moving to renewables. In fact we have gone backwards. At some point the coalition government will have to discuss this with us and explain why they wish to keep wasting money on wind turbines whilst people lose their jobs.

  817. 817
    TonyN Says:

    Peter M:

    Rather than guessing, how about reading #806 again.

  818. 818
    Alex Cull Says:

    Peter M, the argument I’m trying to make is something like this:

    1) The IPCC’s WGI Summary for Policymakers (AR4) states: “Both past and future anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will continue to contribute to warming and sea level rise for more than a millennium, due to the timescales required for removal of this gas from the atmosphere.” So logically, this would mean that CO2 mitigation is futile in the short term. To follow the house fire analogy, the fire has already started, and those who want to sink money into windmills and PV panels everywhere are like firefighters who are making huge efforts to put out the blaze with small buckets filled with water (in the knowledge that their efforts will not work) when they could have spent the time and effort obtaining a fire hose.

    Re thorium, that was just one example I could find of a power source it might be good to spend money on developing for the long term. The point I was trying to make was that even for those who believe a low-carbon economy is essential, it would surely be better investing in such promising technologies (more bang for our bucks, eventually) rather than wasting our money now on hugely inefficient wind farms and such, in the rush to meet impracticable carbon targets.

    2) Another point is that although CO2 emissions have fallen recently due to the recession and the fall in demand for energy, they will go up again when the BASIC nations’ economies gather strength. In the UK we keep hearing that we will lead the world with our green tech revolution, but if the Eigg experience is anything to go by, we will end up as a horrible example of how to fail utterly by relying on half-baked and inadequate ideas. The upshot is that it seems inevitable that man-made carbon emissions will keep on rising, if not from the UK or Australia, then from India and Brazil. To go back to the fire analogy, it is as if while the firefighters are pouring pitiful amounts of water on the blaze with their buckets, other people are feeding the fire by hosing fuel onto it.

    3) The third point is that we are short of money (Peter Geany’s comment at #816 illustrates this well!) The amount of cash we can blow on renewables or subsidies to electric car manufacturers, etc., is huge but is finite and is not sustainable. Certainly there won’t be enough for the sort of World War Two scale commitments some people have been calling for. Back to the house fire analogy, it’s like overtaxing ourselves by running back and forth with water buckets – after a while, we will collapse exhausted and the fire will still be burning.

    I’m being a devil’s advocate here, assuming (which I don’t tend to, personally) that the problem of man-made CO2 is a real and very dangerous one – and so, given that 1) man-made CO2 will continue to cause global warming for centuries to come (according to the IPCC), 2) man-made CO2 emissions will most likely continue unabated from the developing nations, and 3) money is becoming tight, isn’t it time for a re-think?

    This comment is already far too long, but, in a nutshell, wouldn’t it be practical (given that heroic short-term CO2 mitigation is futile) if AGW proponents and sceptics began to find out where they have some common ground? Are there practicable, cost-effective and long-term measures that would satisfy both groups? Developing new energy sources seems an obvious example – if they were eventually cheaper, cleaner and altogether better, as well as low-carbon, this would be a win-win situation. And are there areas where both sides could ever find a way to compromise?

    Anyway, enough with the rambling, it’s way past teatime.

  819. 819
    tonyb Says:

    I have reposted this over from WUWT, it is a report just released by TonyN’s near neighbours at CAT.

    I downloaded it and am depressed. They are trying to reach some sort of Utopia forgetting that we have 60 milion people in Britain not 2 million, and we rather like living in the 21st century rather than the 12th.
    Link and excerpt here;

    It’s non-stop fun in Zero Carbon Britain, 2030

    Zero Carbon Britain 2030 wants British livestock be reduced to 20 per cent of current levels, and since shipping in frozen meat is carbon intensive, and verboten, you’ll have to do without. Or be a Lord to afford one.
    This one example is just one of the random miseries to be inflicted on the population as part of the Trust’s proposed “New Energy Policy”, a collection of ideas assembled with the scattergun enthusiasm of the Taliban. I know it’s the end of the month, and everyone’s ignored this document – but I urge you to download it – all 4MB of it.

    Let’s look at a few examples. To get to a Zero Carbon Britain means reducing electricity consumption … by half. In turn, this means the end of modern industrial society – production of tangible goods would largely disappear. With nothing to sell, so would sales, marketing and support jobs. All domestic air travel will be banned, and all travel they deem unnecessary will also be impossible. With nobody working nobody would have to move about. It all fits together. Hopefully you now see the genius of the plan.

  820. 820
    tempterrain Says:


    Ah yes the ‘telling me to read it again’ tactic! Robin used to engage it that one when he cornered!

    No-one can foretell the future, so whether we like it or not we have to make stab at assessing the future risk. The IPCC have said 90%. Even Max has said 10%.

    If you aren’t saying 0% – what are you saying?

  821. 821
    TonyN Says:

    Peter M:

    You don’t “corner” people, or win arguments, by repeatedly asking them when they are going to stop beating their wife.

  822. 822
    tempterrain Says:


    I thought it was only politicians who were evasive! Nothing to with wife beating – or trick questions – I’m just asking very much a straight question. What you would do if you were in charge of reducing UK CO2 emissions.

    Your answer is nothing at all, isn’t it? You think the risk is zero (or the chances of the IPCC being essentially correct in their estimation.) Am I being unfair in suggesting that? I don’t think so.

    If you don’t think it is zero, maybe you could tick one of the following:
    a) Less than 5% b) between 5% and 20% c) between 20% and 50%. d) between 50% and 90% e) greater than 90%

  823. 823
    James P Says:

    “Zero Carbon Britain”

    I’m not sure I understand how anything inanimate can be ‘zero carbon’, especially energy production, transport and buildings. It doesn’t bother me, because I don’t regard CO2 with great alarm, but it clearly influences people with the power to bugger everything up. Can someone explain, for instance, how you build a carbon neutral house?

  824. 824