About

Posing inconvenient and often politically incorrect questions concerning climate change, within a context of concern for the well-being of the countryside, is what Harmless Sky is about. It challenges received opinion whenever there is a firm evidential basis for doing so, but it is not concerned with conspiracy theories or detailed speculation about questionable scientific research.

The author of this blog does not pretend to know whether anthropogenic global warming is taking place or not, but three years of careful research has lead him to believe that the public is being routinely mislead about the quality of the evidence that is being used to shape their opinions.  It seems that climate science has become so contaminated by politics that it is no longer possible for anyone – whether scientist or layperson – to distinguish fact from fiction.

The politicisation of climate science is a major concern of Harmless Sky. Anyone who is suspicious of the dogmatic ‘scientific evidence’ that is presented to them by the media, politicians, green NGOs and businesses should find something to interest them here. And the extent to which this evidence is being exaggerated and misrepresented is apparent to anyone who cares to look behind the alarmist headlines, sound bites and slogans that now bombard us all on a daily basis.

Fear of global warming is already having a devastating effect on our landscape, with wind farms now dominating what were formerly some of the most tranquil and unspoiled parts of the countryside. This is the result of political decisions, scientific speculation, and public complacency, not observable minor geophysical changes in the climate.

Only rational and dispassionate consideration of the issues can ward off the hysteria that is now distorting every aspect of public discussion of this subject. For more information about how Harmless Sky came into being, see How this blog got its name and The wind, the climate and the media .

34 Responses to “About”

  1. 1
    David Whitehouse Says:

    Hi Tony,
    I wonder if you could contact me off list please re the New Statesman article.
    Regards,
    David.

  2. 2
    manacker Says:

    Note to TonyN

    Many people who are interested (as rational skeptics) in the ongoing scientific debate surrounding the AGW hypothesis appreciate the Harmless Sky site for exactly what it is. I, for one, am one of these.

    I am sure that those (like Peter Martin) that may not completely agree with my opinions regarding this debate, will also agree with the above statement.

    Rather than simply censoring out any data or opinions that do not conform with your own personal views (as some of the pro-AGW sites do as a matter of routine), I see that you allow all opinions (as long as they are pertinent to the debate and discussion).

    This provides a valuable channel of communication and information for the many non-specialists that are interested in following this debate.

    Thanks.

    Max

  3. 3
    TonyN Says:

    Thanks Max, and I would far rather that censorship of inconvenient comments remains the preserve of ultra-warmist blogs. I don’t remember ever coming across it on a sceptical site.

  4. 4
    TonyN Says:

    Per, Alex and Brute

    I’ve moved your comments, and my replies, concerning connectivity problems to the Admin thread. You’ll find them here:

    http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=104#comment-11069

  5. 5
    Philip Ferguson Says:

    Tony,
    Not sure how to pm you but hope this will do.
    Walked to Pont Sethin at easter and wondered why it was such a longtime since my last visit. It is a magical part of our local heritage….agriculture,engineering, optimism endeavour, banking!
    But as i drew close I was horrified by the erosion of the peat track on either approach to the bridge by what looked like motorbike tracks. I was then joined by some 3 motorbikes who met with another 2 and completed the 3 hour walk in about three minutes.
    I know you know about local access and highways and i know a bit about rights of way but if the parks really want to preserve some of our heritage then what are their views.
    Once this peat bog flora and fauna gets broken into like this it doesn’t take long for it to change it’s character completely and i fear the SNP will just say its more than their jobsworth and keep on spending taxpayers money on papers confirming the horrors of global warming etc!

  6. 6
    TonyN Says:

    Philip

    About ten years ago, the old Gwynedd footpaths officer (Will Owen) told me that it was possible to reclassify RoW very quickly if the will to do so was there. At that time we had waited years to get our RUPP sorted out.

    As an example he mentioned the track from Pont Scethin over to Bontddu. Apparently someone announced that they were going to start a business conducting long distance trail bike rides from Machynlleth to Snowdon, and the path past Pont Scethin was part of the proposed route. At that time it was still shown as an unclassified road on the Definative Map.

    Within a few days, parts of the way were reclassified as a footpath to prevent through traffic, but I don’t remember which parts.

    I very much hope that what you saw was a one-off Easter aberration, but it would certainly be worth an email to the SNP. There is a very good guy called Gareth Davies there who seems to deal with such matters. If you contact him, I’d be very interested to know what happens.

    As the forecast is good, I might go up and have a look on Sunday.

  7. 7
    Chris Says:

    So misguided you make me want to eat my own face!!!

  8. 8
    tonyb Says:

    Chris

    Perhaps you would like to elaborate on your cryptic comment then we can debate it rationally

    TonyN and Philip. I know that Pont Scethin path very well it is (was?) a very fine route although I have not walked it for perhaps 6 years or so consequently I do not know its current state. It is completely inappropriate to use such a route in the National park in the manner described.

    I am not against all groups having their own space per se, but some routes should be clearly off limits to mechanised transport.

    Tonyb

  9. 9
    Philip Ferguson Says:

    Yes, cant quite see why it might be considered offensive to suggest that the enjoyment of the many should not be ruined by the few who may also be destroying both a Welsh heritage and a habitat that cannot be replaced?

    By the way I was most excited to wake up to radio 4 informing me recently that the ice caps were indeed melting and so i waited for the expert to illuminate me as to in which location, by how much, by what percentage, by what area, at what rate, for how long, by when and based on what evidence?
    During his interview he used the word “mostly” and “at an alarming rate” so i am still in the dark!
    I hope these experts aren’t the same BBC climate experts that predicted the hottest summer ever to the extent that B&Q doubled their profits on outdoor garden equipment to include splashpools (water wasting), barbeques(air pollution)and gas patio heaters(energy wasting).
    Or is there really is no hope for the human race?

    By the way also I have just been given a large green plastic bucket on wheels by the council with “dry goods only” stamped on it. What should I do as the lid doesn’t shut properly and on the evidence of last nights light shower the design is not watertight? Should i use it to transport the children to the school bus instead of the car?

  10. 10
    TonyN Says:

    Philip:

    I understand that such bins can be converted into very handy compost makers.

    Update:

    J. tells me that when she got her (quite legitimate) free compost maker form the council it came with a warning that using it for any other purpose was an offence. On the other hand it does have a watertight lid. So if you order a free compost maker and then ……

  11. 11
    Hampy Says:

    Only rational and dispassionate consideration of the issues can ward off the hysteria that is now distorting every aspect of public discussion of this subject.

    Not sure how on earth anyone is supposed to see this site as being rational, when it has more bias than the BBC!

    The author of this blog does not pretend to know whether anthropogenic global warming is taking place or not

    Erm yes, that is obvious from this statement:

    …And the extent to which this evidence is being exaggerated and misrepresented is apparent to anyone who cares to look behind the alarmist headlines…

    Shorter Tony… “Hey, I’ll pretend I’m neutral, but really I’m not”.

  12. 12
    manacker Says:

    Hampy

    Wow!

    We have a new post in this long-slumbering thread.

    It’s true that Tony has his own views on the “climate change hysteria” (especially as it applies to the situation in the UK).

    Who doesn’t?

    But what I truly appreciate from this site, as opposed to many of those that espouse a more “mainstream” (i.e. “hysterical”) view in the ongoing climate change debate, is that this site allows all viewpoints to be aired without censoring out the “inconvenient” ones.

    Joe Romm, Gavin Schmidt and some of the other strident dangerous AGW-believers could learn a thing or two from “Harmless Sky” on how to run a site that allows an open debate. But this is not their intent.

    Instead, it is to make sure that only their own personal beliefs are allowed to be posted and all others are either attacked with snide “comments” or (if they are too difficult to counter) simply censored out.

    Max

  13. 13
    tempterrain Says:

    Max,

    I hadn’t noticed this thread previously.

    Tony says that he is suspicious of the dogmatic ‘scientific evidence’ that is presented to them by the media, politicians, green NGOs and businesses…”

    Yes he is right to be suspicious. Don’t listen to organisations like Greenpeace or politicians like Al Gore!

    To know the state of scientific opinion on the subject you need to by-pass anyone who may have a vested interest or may be offering an unqualified opinion. There are many reputable scientific organisations worldwide but the UK’s Royal Society and the USA’s National Academy of Sciences are two of the most authoritative and are as good a place as any to start.

    http://royalsociety.org/climate-change/
    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12784

    What does the National Academy of Sciences say?

    “Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses
    significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and
    natural systems.”

    [This blog only exists because of what organisations like the Royal Society, NAS, Greenpeace, and political campaigners like Al Gore, say about climate change. Your comment does not make sense. TonyN]

  14. 14
    peter geany Says:

    Max, PeterM and all

    This has not been the only long slumbering post on an open and free blogg that has been hit with this type of opinionated post. Could it be concerted effort by certain elements to have the last say on discussion bloggs that don’t share their point of view over “climate change hysteria”.

    Hampy’s post is completely out of context and just an opinion with no purpose other than to get someone to bite. That it needs to be answered goes without saying but is indicative of the fact that those that do subscribe to “climate change hysteria” have very little of relevance to add to the scientific debate or the political debate.

  15. 15
    manacker Says:

    PeterM

    Sure, you have a different “opinion” on whether or not AGW is a serious potential threat than I do, so your comments on this topic will, by definition, be different than mine. Not necessarily any more correct, just different.

    Some climate scientists might well support your viewpoint, while others would support mine.

    And the fact that TonyN allows all opinions (even some of the more screwy ones, in my opinion, like those recently expressed out of the blue by Hampy) without censoring them out is a differentiator between this site and some of the more strident “pro-AGW hysteria” sites out there.

    That was my whole point to Hampy.

    Max

  16. 16
    tempterrain Says:

    TonyN,

    You seem to have a comprehension problem regarding my #13 saying

    “This blog only exists because of what organisations like the Royal Society, NAS, Greenpeace, and political campaigners like Al Gore, say about climate change. Your comment does not make sense”

    Let me put it another way. I was essentially commenting on your statement on how “scientific evidence” is presented to the public.

    You may be right in that “the media, politicians, green NGOs and businesses” often get it wrong. Certainly magazines like the WSJ and the Spectator get it spectacularly wrong. The politicians in UKIP and BNP and businesses like Exxonmobil too are also off the mark. Not sure about NGOs. Green or not. But essentially I’m not disagreeing.

    My suggestion was to ignore the lot of them and go to authoritative scientific sources. And, no, not wattsupwiththat!

    Does that make more sense?

    [No. TonyN]

  17. 17
    manacker Says:

    PeterM

    There are a lot of data out there – some more valid than others, perhaps.

    But even the “outliers” tell us something.

    Often they tell us more than the data points that lie within the “mainstream paradigm” (Kuhn).

    I have personally learned a lot about the current scientific and political debate on AGW through this blog site – both directly and indirectly (including our exchanges).

    I have learned less from sites like RealClimate, because they simply parrot the “party line”, with some non-constructive “groupies” simply dishing out personal insults to anyone who dares question it.

    Max.

  18. 18
    manacker Says:

    PeterM

    You wrote in 13:

    To know the state of scientific opinion on the subject you need to by-pass anyone who may have a vested interest or may be offering an unqualified opinion.

    Wow! We are in agreement!

    This certainly includes the IPCC, whose very existence depends on a potential threat from anthropogenic global warming (no potential threat from AGW = no need for IPCC to continue to exist).

    Self-preservation is about as strong a “vested interest” as I have ever seen.

    So this disqualifies IPCC as a source of unbiased input on AGW, by definition.

    As far as “offering an unqualified opinion” goes, I’d say we have seen several examples of this in the IPCC reports (“bad science” “exaggerations”, “fabrications”, “misleading chartmanship”, “citing articles by activist groups as ‘scientific studies’”, etc.) but, what the hell, you have already disqualified IPCC as a reliable source for obtaining an unbiased version of the “state of scientific opinion on the subject” based on the first criterium, so there is no point going into all these reasons.

    Glad we agree, Peter.

    Max

  19. 19
    tempterrain Says:

    Max,

    There is a slight problem , if you think about it, with your idea of what is a vested interest. It means that no-one can ever engage any group of scientists to report on AGW because , by definition, they would be disqualified due to a “vested interest”.

    In the same way no-one could ever seek the paid opinion of a doctor. Or even a car mechanic.

    Is that the sort of barrier you want to raise? Will any smear do, to discredit anyone and everyone who dares give you an answer which you don’t like?

  20. 20
    tempterrain Says:

    Hampy,

    Its nice to have someone else like yourself who can be relied upon to make a reasoned argument.

    You might have noticed that when I suggested to TonyN that he should take his scientific information from the Royal Society rather than the Spectator, Daily Mail or even the BBC, and naturally encourage others to do the same, he replied that it made no sense. He didn’t seem to understand what I was saying!

    So you shouldn’t expect the highest standard of debate. If you’ve got better things to do I think I can manage perfectly OK on my own!

    [I'm afraid that your sneers, unwarranted assumptions and silly questions are becoming tedious not only for me but for other users of this bog. The time has probably come when you should find somewhere else to comment. TonyN]

  21. 21
    manacker Says:

    PeterM

    You missed the point entirely on “vested interests”.

    We all have them.

    You do. I do.

    But the IPCC has a very strong “vested interest”. It is “survival by ensuring that the AGW hysteria (which it helped create) continues” , i.e. no AGW hysteria = no need for AGW to continue to exist. (Bye-bye Cancun.) Pretty basic.

    What is yours?

    Max

  22. 22
    manacker Says:

    P.S. PeterM. Re: “vested interests”: You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.

    Max

  23. 23
    tempterrain Says:

    Looks like I’m being kicked off this blog! So its time to say goodbye!

    PS Max, I’d still be interested to know how you think it may be possible to set up any organisation to look at the the science of the AGW issue. How would your ideal IPCC look? And why wouldn’t they have the same vested interest that you are are complaining about with the present one.

    [See NS thread here. TonyN]

  24. 24
    Chris Holehouse Says:

    Hi there,

    Just following up from my recent comment about your RSS feed being published to Before It’s News.

    I’m the Environment editor at Before It’s News. Our site is a People Powered news platform with over 1,000,000 visits a month and growing fast.

    We would be honored if we could republish your blog RSS feed in our Environment category. Our readers need to read Harmless Sky what has to say.

    Syndicating to Before It’s News is a terrific way spread the word and grow your audience. Many other organizations are using Before It’s News to do just that. We can have your feed up and running in 24 hours. I just need you to reply with your permission to do so. Please include the full name and email of the person who will be attached to the account, and let me know the name you want on the account (most people have their name or their blog name).

    You can also have any text and/or links you wish appended to the end or prepended to the beginning of each of your posts on Before It’s News. Just email me the text and links that you want at the beginning and/or ending of each post. If you know html you can send me that. If not, just send me the text and a link to your site. It should be around 200 characters or less (not including links).

    You can, if you like, create a custom feed for Before It’s News that includes multiple links back to your blog or web site. We only require that RSS feeds include full stories, not partial stories. We don’t censor or edit work.

    All the best,

    Chris Holehouse
    Editor, Before It’s News
    http://www.beforeitsnews.com
    chris.h@beforeitsnews.com

  25. 25
    T.o.D Says:

    sorry for the double post, i forgot to tick the “notify me of follow up comments box”, so here goes again… please feel free to delete the previous one, and also to move the question to a suitable thread if it´s in the wrong place…

    [TonyN says: I've moved your original comment here, where you are more likely get a response]

  26. 26
    Chuckles Says:

    Tonyb, Given your several posts on matters historical, you may be interested in a couple of books recently scanned and issued by Munseys –

    http://www.munseys.com/book/35022/The_Philosophy_of_the_Weather

    http://www.munseys.com/book/34992/Narrative_of_a_Second_Expedition_to_the_Shores_of_the_Polar_Sea

    best regards,

    Chuck

  27. 27
    tonyb Says:

    Chuck

    Thanks for these. I shall read them with interest.

    tonyb

  28. 28
    Chuckles Says:

    You’welcome Tony, and as always happens, two more immediately appear – McKenzies journals

    http://www.manybooks.net/titles/mackenziea3565935659.html

    http://www.manybooks.net/titles/mackenziea3565835658.html

  29. 29
    tonyb Says:

    Thanks for these Chuck
    tonyb

  30. 30
    James Stafford Says:

    New Judith Curry Interview Just Published: The IPCC May Have Outlived its Usefulness

    Dear Tony,

    I just wanted to send you a quick mail to let you know that we have conducted a very interesting interview with the well known climatologist Judith Curry.
    It’s a very balanced interview and I thought you and your readers may be interested in reading about Judith’s concerns for climate science, how climate change is affecting the planet, reasons for the increase in scepticism and why climate scientists have lost touch with the public.

    You can read the full interview at: http://oilprice.com/The-Environment/Global-Warming/The-IPCC-May-Have-Outlived-its-Usefulness-An-Interview-with-Judith-Curry.html

    Some of the questions we asked Judith are:

    Q. You have said in the past that you were troubled by the lack of cooperation between organizations studying climate change, and that you want to see more transparency with the data collected. How do you suggest we encourage/force transparency and collaboration?
    Q. Do you feel climatologists should be putting more effort into determining the effect of the sun on our climate? As the IPCC primarily focuses on CO2 as the cause of climate change – Is the importance of CO2 overestimated and the importance of the sun is underestimated?
    Q. What are your views on the idea that CO2 may not be a significant contributor to climate change?

    The full interview is at: http://oilprice.com/The-Environment/Global-Warming/The-IPCC-May-Have-Outlived-its-Usefulness-An-Interview-with-Judith-Curry.html

    I hope you find the interview interesting.

    Best regards,

    James Stafford

  31. 31
    James Stafford Says:

    News Tip – The Limitless Potential of the E-Cat: An Interview with Andrea Rossi

    Dear Tony

    I wanted to get in touch as we were fortunate enough to interview the media shy Andrea Rossi, creator of the E-Cat this week and i thought you and your readers may be interested in hearing what he had to say.

    Mr. Rossi appears to have produced the first working “cold” fusion device, or low energy nuclear reaction (LENR), with his Energy Catalyser (E-Cat) machine. The E-Cat machine could provide almost limitless, clean, cheap energy and could prove to be one of the greatest inventions of all time.

    You can read the full interview at: http://oilprice.com/Interviews/The-Limitless-Potential-of-the-E-Cat-An-Interview-with-Andrea-Rossi.html

    It’s quite a long interview as Mr Rossi answered over 40 questions.

    Some of the questions we asked Mr. Rossi take a look at:

    · Why it took so long for him to go public with his discovery.

    · How the E-Cat will produce energy costing $10/megawatt hour.

    · When he will release more detailed information on the E-Cat.

    · Why he believes international media coverage of the E-Cat has been so muted.

    · His feelings towards critics and the scientific community.

    · His manufacturing and distribution goals.

    · How the E-cat will help reduce mankind’s dependency on fossil fuels.

    · + Many more details on the e-cat, LENR and Rossi himself.

    The full interview is not available for publication – but we are happy for you to use excerpts with a link back to the source.

    The full interview is at: http://oilprice.com/Interviews/The-Limitless-Potential-of-the-E-Cat-An-Interview-with-Andrea-Rossi.html

    I hope you find the interview interesting.

    Best regards,

    James Stafford

  32. 32
    Kathleen Hubert Says:

    Hello,

    I was wondering if you accept guest post for your blog. If you do, I would like to submit a few. I’m a recent college graduate, with an English major, looking to build out my portfolio. I can write on a wide variety of topics and am sure you would be happy with the quality. Please email me back if you are interested. Thank you for your time.

    - Kathleen Hubert
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002374243662

  33. 33
    Mike Haseler Says:

    Tony, could you contact me (info2012@scef.org.uk). I’ve set up a website to capture the information on bbc/28gate and I would welcome some background information from you.

    Mike

  34. 34
    James Says:

    New Anthony Watts Interview Just Published: Climate Change without Catastrophe (News Tip)

    Dear Editor,

    I just wanted to send you a quick mail to let you know that we have just conducted a very interesting interview with the well known figure in the climate debate Anthony Watts.
    It’s a very interesting chat and whether you agree or disagree with his comments I thought you and your readers would find some value in taking a look

    A few of the topics we discussed are:

    • The difference between “global warming” and “climate change”
    • Why CO2 is partially responsible but oversold
    • Why recent major weather events cannot be linked to CO2
    • Why we should be more worried about another ice age
    • Why carbon taxes won’t have any effect on the whims of Mother Nature
    • How the climate debate has taken on religious proportions
    • Why the Keystone protests are all for show
    • Why Mother Nature will be the final arbiter of truth
    • What we should and shouldn’t be doing to address global warming
    • Why “climate change” has become a favorite bogeyman
    • Why scientifically we’ve only scratched the surface of climate change

    You can read the full interview at: http://oilprice.com/Interviews/Climate-Change-without-Catastrophe-Interview-with-Anthony-Watts.html

    I hope you find the interview interesting.

    Best regards,

    James Stafford

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