Peter Taylor’s CHILL: a Reassessment of Global Warming Theory is really two books in one. The first part covers the science of climate change in exhaustive detail and provides an alternative to the orthodox view. Taylor, who has impeccable green credentials, describes “the technocratic and communalist approach” in a masterly analysis of how we arrived at this point through “a combination of zealotry which somehow has managed to portray the science as unequivocal when it’s not”. The second part covers policy, politics and remedies.

A main theme of the first part of the book is that we take too linear a view of
climate-trend projections, without recognising past patterns and cycles
which could include future cooling. I am comfortable with that notion, as any observer of history is provided with clear evidence that climate oscillates in numerous
cycles of warm and cold periods.

Readers who believe Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, and who consider the IPCC
climate assessments are factual, unbiased and objective, will not like this
book. As Taylor says: “It is clear to me that IPCC has made such a forthright commitment to the standard (Co2 ) policy model, that it has a biased attitude to new data that does not conform to that model.” And:

“It is striking that a small group of men working behind computer screens created a virtual reality in which the future climate became the enemy of mankind. That original cabal was likely innocent of any underhand motivation and genuinely believed mankind faced a threat and that they would sound the alert and potentially stave off disaster. But sociologists will go a little bit further and look at the social environment that pawned the very concepts of the climate game, many of which we take entirely for granted. For example the notion that humanity itself can be under threat or that the planet might need to be saved. These are very recent notions, at least from a societal perspective, and do not bear closer scientific scrutiny. “

This book is a breath of fresh air in pointing out the numerous contradictions in the orthodox climate science camps that believe themselves uniquely exempt to the notion that they should actually prove their scientific hypotheses – that by altering the climate and doubling Co2 emissions, mankind will cause a rise in temperatures of up to 6 degrees C.
The author clinically examines areas of uncertainty, plain misunderstandings, and assertions in the existing ‘consensus’ by reviewing numerous high quality ‘contrarian’ papers that rarely receive much coverage in the science and popular media, which is obsessed with the notion of anthropogenic global warming. Climate science is a very small world with authors frequently peer reviewing each other’s papers, some of which might be based on their own work in the first place (Google US Congress hearing by Wegman). Also, they often pronounce on subjects of which they have little
knowledge. When talking of Solanki – a leading solar scientist – Taylor comments:

“This is another classic example of senior scientists publishing in the peer
reviewed literature and commenting on issues entirely outside of their field,
such as carbon dioxide and atmospheric physics, without reference to other
entire fields of relevant climatology, seriously compromised by
compartmented approach or political correctness in the face of
‘controversial’ science.”

That Taylor – and many other commentators –  believes that even the IPCC’s
lowest Co2/temperature rise scenario exaggerates its case by at least a
factor of three is amply illustrated, and as the author demonstrates, sea
levels and temperatures have obviously not read the IPCC’s script.

Having demolished what currently passes for peer reviewed and settled
science, Taylor moves on to remedies and the consequences of the politics in
the second part of his book. He argues that we are not doing enough to adapt to
inevitable changes, and that in particular we are vulnerable to the climate
cooling, for which there is no ‘Plan B’ whatsoever. The author believes many
of the actions for mitigating the supposed impacts of warming are counter
productive. He stresses the need to create ‘resilient systems’ to cope with
all eventualities. As the author says in examining the ‘collusion of
interests’ he has identified; “I can see how it works to everyone’s interest
to believe in the scary climate story.”

This excellent but lengthy book deals with a difficult subject and therefore
its structure is especially important to ensure accessibility and achieve
the influence it deserves, but in this there are problems. For example,
omitting the chapter number at the head of each page yet referring to
chapter numbers in the text was irritating, as wer the constant references to
papers placed on the author’s web site. As much of the science is complex
and multi-layered, it cannot be read like a novel at one go, so it would be
useful to provide a chapter summary. Also I felt it was missing a chapter on
the IPCC’s politics, rationale and peer review processes, that would
illustrate how they became part of the ‘collusion of interests’ intent on scaring
everyone to death when really we have far more important things to worry
about. Nevertheless, the book remains essential and provocative reading.

Finally, to extract from the major review of the science in the first part
of the book is not easy, given the volume of material covered. But here is a
dip into the section on ocean cycles (page 131), which illustrates the tone
of the message:

“The oceans play a crucial role in the absorption and dissipation of heat
over decadal and millennial timescales and with distinct cyclic patterns.
These patterns are poorly understood and not replicated in global warming
models, and any conclusions drawn with respect to those models being able to
isolate an anthropogenic global warming signal must be regarded as unproven
and unlikely”.

These are brave words from a career environmentalist who has managed to keep his head when all around him are losing theirs.

CHILL: a Reassessment of Global Warming Theory
Peter Taylor
Clairview Books, 2009, 404 pages
£14.99 Pbk  ISBN  978 1 905570 19 5

[or try  –  TonyN]

For a profile of Peter Taylor follow the link;

421 Responses to “Peter Taylor’s CHILL: an environmentalist’s very cool look at global warming”

  1. tonyb wrote:

    “I agree with you about the attempts at censorship but not the ‘nazi’ references.”

    Tony, Monckton is quick to label lefty protestors as hitler youth and then when he’s criticised tries to censor the criticiser.

    “Monckton is bombastic and does not represent me, but does puncture the pomposity of others.”

    Monckton has had his own pomposity punctured by
    St Thomas U basically telling him to get stuffed.
    “We received your email response to our June 25, 2010 letter. The University of St Thomas respects your right to disagree with Professor Abraham, just as the University respects Professor Abraham’s right to disagree with you. What we object to are your personal attacks against Father Dease, and Professor Abraham, your inflammatory language, and your decision to disparage Professor Abraham, Father Dease and The University of St Thomas.

    Please be advised that neither we nor the University of St Thomas will communicate with you any further about your decision to sully the University of St. Thomas, Professor Abraham, and others rather than to focus on the scholarly differences between you and Professor Abraham.

    Signed: Phyllis Karasov, Moore Costellow and Hart, P.L.L.P.”

    Do we really need this buffon to represent climate skeptics?

  2. Manacker wrote:

    “I’d say that TonyB’s analysis of Monckton is pretty accurate and objective and that Babaji is a bit too tough on him in simply writing him off as a “buffoon” and net liability to the cause of AGW skepticism..”

    If I am too tough on Monckton it is because he is a crank, and not a scientist. Monckton also talks far too much codswallop in ratio to the little sense he talks. But my main beef is that he is a liar, and makes claims that just aren’t true. He’s fond of telling tall tales. If his name was Trenberth or Mann, you’d be calling him out on his lies. Because he is a climate skeptic you laud him.

    “You obviously have a thing about Monckton, but, I might say in his defence, at least he does have a go at getting involved in scientific argument.”

    Tempterrain, you obviously have a thing about Monckton too, that blinds you to the fact that he’s not a scientist. A crank that isn’t qualified in any of the relevant scientific subjects is still A CRANK. Got that?
    You “Monckton Moonies” just don’t get it do you? You just don’t see what a bufffon he is.
    I’ll repeat my view on Monckton: He’s not a scientist, he’s a crank that thinks he can cure AIDS and won the Falklands war.
    We need level headed climate skeptic scientists to represent us. Hans Von Storch, Wibjorn Karlen, remember? Real scientists with the relevant qualifications, not pseudoscientific CRANKS.
    Why is it that some climate skeptics embrace scientifically unqualified nut jobs like Monckton or Delingpole and ignore actual honest to goodness scientists?
    When warmists claim that skeptics are anti science I’m inclined to accept that some of us are just that. Some of us would rather accept the ranting of a pseudoscientific buffoon like Monckton than the work of a climate skeptic scientist.
    If we are to convince those who are neutral on the subject of climate skepticism we need science from scientists. Not buffoons that are damaging our cause with their stupid antics.

  3. “Do we really need this buffon to represent climate skeptics?”

    Whoops! I meant buffoon not:

  4. Well, that shut the Monckton moonies up!
    Anyone with a shred of integrity will avoid Monckton and his anti science allies like the plague.
    Arguments for or against AGW will only be solved by bona fide scientists. If youare sad enough to think that a non qualified [ snip ] buffoon like Monckton is worthy of saying anything on matters scientific, then you’re part of the problem.
    Get an education Monckton moonies!

    [Sorry Babaji, this blog is rather cautious about remarks like that, and I assure you it applies to both sides of the argument, See blog rules: TonyN]

  5. Babaji,

    You said ” Tempterrain, you obviously have a thing about Monckton too, that blinds you to the fact that he’s not a scientist. A crank that isn’t qualified in any of the relevant scientific subjects is still A CRANK. Got that?”

    Yes, sir, I have. You’re absolutely right. He is a crank who claims he can do just about anything- like as you say cure AIDS. I don’t know what came over me when I decided to speak up for him. I really don’t. :-)

  6. PeterM and Babaji


    We’ve trashed Monckton (who successfully trashed Gore first and then Abrahams, who tried unsuccessfully to trash Monckton).

    Let’s just ignore all three and move on.


  7. Babaji Please look in the mirror

  8. Peter, I am looking and I don’t see an unscientific crank, like Monckton. For the AGW hypothesis to be shown to be wrong requires proper science, from proper scientists. Not cranks, or mystics.

  9. Babaji

    Yes. You are absolutely correct when you write

    For the AGW hypothesis to be shown to be wrong requires proper science, from proper scientists. Not cranks, or mystics.

    But let’s look at what you referred to as the AGW hypothesis”.

    Is there a human impact on climate? Most likely, at least locally and regionally. Urban heat islands are one example, but there are certainly others.

    Is CO2 a greenhouse gas (GHG)? That’s what scientists have concluded.

    Do GHGs absorb and re-radiate outgoing LW energy, thereby contributing to warming of the atmosphere? That is what the GH theory postulates, and it is most likely that this is correct.

    Do humans emit CO2, particularly in the industrialized world? No doubt.

    Are atmospheris CO2 levels increasing, at least since continuous measurements have been installed at Mauna Loa in 1958? Yes. That is what the record shows.

    So it is very likely that AGW is one of causes of the observed warming of our planet’s atmosphere (leaving out any caveats about upward distortion of the temperature record). Since the satellite record (since 1979) also shows warming in the troposphere (at least until 2000), admittedly at a slightly lower rate than the surface record, it is reasonable to assume that some warming has occurred, and that some of this may have been caused by human CO2.

    The “AGW hypothesis”, per se, is not being questioned by most scientists, however.

    It is the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, has been a primary cause of 20th century warming of our planet, and that AGW represents a serious potential threat to humanity and the planet. Let’s call this the “dangerous AGW” hypothesis.

    The “dangerous AGW” hypothesis has been falsified by empirical data based on actual physical observations as observed and reported by scientists (rather than “unscientific cranks or mystics”).

    These are (notably):

    1. The physical observations of Spencer et al. on cloud feedbacks, based on CERES satellite data, which have demonstrated that the net overall feedback from clouds with surface warming is strongly negative, rather than strongly positive, as was assumed by all the model simulations cited by IPCC.

    Prior to the study by Spencer et al. IPCC had estimated in its AR4 report that the net positive feedback from clouds with warming would result in an increase of the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity by 1.3C, i.e. from 1.9C to 3.2C (on average).

    The physically observed strongly negative feedback from clouds provides actual empirical data to falsify the IPCC model assumptions of strongly positive feedback from clouds.

    Based on this new empirical evidence, the resulting 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is now likely to be between 0.6C and 1C. This means that AGW is not a serious potential threat to our society or our planet, thereby falsifying the “dangerous AGW” hypothesis

    2. Lindzen and Choi have also made estimates based on ERBE satellite observations of Earth’s energy budget. These observations also show a net negative overall feedback with surface warming. The L+C calculations result in an even lower estimate of the 2xCO2 CS (as low as 0.4C), but the calculation methodology has been challenged. Spencer has reviewed L+C and has concluded that the estimated 2xCO2 CS is too low, and that 0.6C would be a better value based on the observed data.
    (See attached chart for comparison).

    3. The surface temperature record tells us that the atmosphere has cooled slightly after 2000. The satellite record tells us the same for the atmosphere at the troposphere. At the same time, the upper ocean has also shown a cooling trend since ARGO measurements replaced the older, less reliable, expendable XBT measurement devices in 2003. In other words, our planet has cooled. In one of the “Climategate” emails, Kevin Trenberth has referred to this lack of warming as a “travesty”. In a later interview, Trenberth stated that the missing energy may be going out “into space”, with “clouds” actung as “a natural thermostat”. (This could well be a hidden reference to the Spencer et al. study, although this was not mentioned in the interview).

    But we have had record CO2 levels, which have grown at a rapid rate over this same period, based on the Mauna Loa readings.

    In other words, we have seen our planet cooling despite increasing CO2 levels.

    The Met Office has attributed this cooling to “natural variability” (i.e. natural forcing factors) which have overwhelmed the warming impact of the rapid increase of atmospheric CO2, although IPCC had concluded in AR4 that natural forcing of our climate was insignificant and that most of the past warming was, thus, a result of AGW. This model-based premise has been falsified by the actual empirical evidence.

    This is more than just a “travesty” for supporters of the “dangerous AGW” premise, it is a direct falsification of the hypothesis that CO2 is the principal driver of our planet’s climate.

    So you are 100% right.

    And the “proper science from proper scientists” has falsified the “dangerous AGW” hypothesis.
    (as you state).
    Without Christopher Monckton (although I am sure he has noted that these studies exist).


  10. #409 The same old debunked rubbish regugitated again. You guys really out of the loop when it comes to real science.

    See you on the Bad Astronomy blog where we’ll kick your asses.

    [TonyN: If anyone wants to reply to this, I suggest that you do so elsewhere]

  11. Ocean cooling BOOM! There goes another canard:

  12. “The Met Office has attributed this cooling to “natural variability”

    El Nino and El Nina. So whats wrong with that?

  13. Link to Loehle study on upper ocean warming 2003 to 2008

  14. PS The “warming” was negative = “cooling”

  15. Artigkern

    You make a good point.

    Met Office attributed the recent cooling to “natural variability” (a.k.a. “natural forcing”), which includes ENSO, as you say (plus solar factors and others we probably do not yet know how to quantify).

    It is generally recognized that an unusually strong El Niño event was a major contributor to the all-time record warm year 1998.

    It is less commonly known that there were four strong El Niño events over the late 20th century: 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997/8.

    The HadCRUT record shows that the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” warmed by around 0.15°C per decade over the late 20th century warming period 1976-2000. Taking the NCDC data cited above, we can back calculate that these El Niño events contributed statistically around 0.06°C per decade of this observed warming.

    ENSO later shifted to the cooling La Niña phase, as Met Office has indicated. This has been cited by Met Office as the reason why the surface temperature record has cooled by around 0.07°C since the end of 2000, in effect “overpowering” a record increase in atmospheric CO2 over this decade, which had been projected by IPCC to cause 0.2°C per decade warming.

    So yes, ENSO plays a significant part in the global temperature, as you wrote. It goes both ways, as a matter of fact.

    However, it is still unknown how ENSO correlates with PDO, and how these are both affected by the sun or other as yet unknown forcing factors.


  16. Tony Samuelson

    Thanks for RealClimate link to the Fasullo, Trenberth and O’Dell blog article, which attempted (unsuccessfully) to “unravel” Lindzen + Choi (2009).

    If you check your link out more closely, you will see that in the comments (#47 through #59) a blogger named H. Tuuri systematically deconstructs the Fausullo et al. blog article and conclusions. O’Dell tries to defend his attempted refutal of L+C09, but loses the debate with Tuuri and finally remains silent.

    In other words, TonyS, the attempt to discredit L+C09 on RealClimate, which you cited, failed and Gavin Schmidt had to hastily shut down the comments to minimize the damage (but it was too late).


    PS A better critique of L+C09 was made by Roy Spencer. While Spencer agrees with the L+C conclusion that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is below 1C (an insensitive climate), he has issues with L+C calculation methods and concludes that L+C arrives at a 2xCO2 value that is too low at 0.4 to 0.5C (see my #409 with graph).

  17. Artigkern

    Further to my 416 on ENSO, PDO, etc. Roy Spencer, in his latest book “The Great Global Warming Blunder” makes a compelling case for the impact of natural cloud variations on temperature, with the cloud variations correlating quite well with the PDO, further reinforcing your point on the importance of natural climate variability from ocean current oscillations..

    Worth reading, if you have not already done so.


  18. Artigkern

    You don’t actually need to purchase Spencer’s book (my 418) to read his work correlating low cloud cover and PDO to global temperature.

    Before publishing his book he published the results of his studies online.


  19. Manacker, ever bother to check your claims?

    For instance, you claim that the instrumental record shows cooling since 2000.

    In addition to 10 years being too short to extract any useful climate data (there’s a reason we use 30-year intervals), your conclusion is wrong.

    The lowest of the instrumental records is HadCRUT, since it doesn’t include the arctic (which is warming more than the rest of the globe). HadCRUT, over the last 10 years with complete data (1999-2009), has a statistically significant *warming* trend, of 0.07C/yr. You can check for yourself, since the data are freely available.

    This isn’t climate, since it’s too short to properly extract a climate signal, but it is contrary to your one factual claim, and kind of subverts your thesis that we’re cooling despite CO2.

    This is also incredibly naiive, since no one claims CO2 is the only driver – just the biggest control knob. The obvious example from recent history was the mid-century cooling despite CO2 increases, due to a stronger cooling signal from aerosols.

    Furthermore, you cite Lindzen and Choi. Even Spencer, as you note, points out that they’re flawed, and they still haven’t replied to Trenberth’s peer-reviewed takedown of their claim.

    (Oh, and speaking of Trenberth, the “travesty” quote was *not* referring to what you claim, but was instead summarizing elements from this paper:

    which merely emphasizes existing uncertainties in measurement. In no way does it suggest cloud feedback is negative, nor that our measurements were showing cooling instead of warming or vice versa. Way to misrepresent things, which is all “Climategate” ever was.)

    I could go on, but I can be more productive elsewhere. Next time check your claims.

  20. Hi Peter sorry to use this site but only link i can find to my cousins please contact pauline susan has the address regards steven

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