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. Peter Martin

    You asked where Sen. Fielding got the data for his CO2 / temperature graph.

    The temperature data looks like the HadCRUT record except:

    Years 1998 to 2000 appear to be higher than the latest record by 0.1°C.

    Hadley did “downward adjust” these years from an earlier record by around 0.05°C, but the 0.1°C difference looks a bit exaggerated to me (unless there was an even earlier “downward” adjustment by Hadley of which I am not aware). Unfortunately Hadley erases the old record when they adjust it “ex post facto”, so it is difficult to check this out.

    The CO2 figures do not show the normal seasonal fluctuations of Mauna Loa, so must be something like monthly “12-mo. running average” smoothed figures.


  2. Peter Martin

    I suspect the answers you are seeking are contained in this document

    Please also reply to my #200


    Have you got any comments on population constraints-there are too many of us- or any more on energy?

    I appreciate Switzerland has thought about its energy policy but our govt has sopent the last 12 years evading the issue. I would advocate coal, but that is an unrealistic aspiration at present for base supply. However nuclear has its safety and time scale drawbacks.


  3. Peter Martin

    To my earlier post on Fielding graph.

    This is the monthly HadCRUT record, not the annual, for which you provided the raw figures.


  4. Look, Peter (192), my point is simply that the RS wishes to appear to be a strong AGW supporter. Why? Well, we’ve discussed this before but my guess would be that it feels comfortable going along with the current “politically correct” orthodoxy – that way lies funding, praise, preferment, honour and media support. Plus the reward of being the good guy who is helping to “save the planet”. Hence all the convoluted wording in the body of its website. But what is significant is that, when faced with making an important general statement at the head of its website, it comes up with the vague and non-committal phrasing I have quoted. Why? My speculation is that it is well aware that there are weaknesses re the dangerous AGW hypothesis and has decided that it would be wise to hedge its bets. It must have considered this carefully and, if it was as certain about dangerous AGW as other parts of their website suggest, it would hardly have used such non-committal phrasing in such an important spot.

    As for the full Wikipedia definition of “consensus” you cited, I see nothing there with which to disagree. But the key words (“Scientific consensus is not by itself a scientific argument, and it is not part of the scientific method.”) are unaffected by the surrounding observations. Thus there’s a scientific consensus that Darwin’s theory of evolution is sound. But it’s not the consensus that makes it sound, it’s the empirical evidence on which it is based – i.e. the scientific method.

  5. Robin

    The Royal Society would have us believe climate science is settled despite a motto of ‘Nullius in verba’, roughly translated as ‘Take nobody’s word for it’.

    “It is an expression of the determination of the Fellows to withstand the domination of authority (such as in Scholasticism) and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment. The Latin words are taken from a passage of Horace in which the poet compares himself to a gladiator, who, having earned peace and retirement, is free from control.”

    The Royal Society was founded in 1660. The name first appears in print in 1661 and the Society produced its first books in 1662 ( John Evelyn’s Sylva and Micrographia by Robert Hooke.

    Somewhat ironically as Pepys’ observed during their first year in January 1660/61:

    “It is strange what weather we have had all this winter; no cold at all; but the ways are dusty, and the flyes fly up and down, and the rose-bushes are full of leaves, such a time of the year as was never known in this world before here.”


  6. Peter Martin

    TonyB is right about the data source for Fielding’s graph.

    It is exactly the HadCRUT monthly data from the Hadley source cited by TonyB.

    Strangely this is slightly different from the Hadley data I downloaded some months ago, but, then again, Hadley changes the record after the fact from time to time, so it’s a bit of a moving target.

    But Fielding is 100% correct. This is Hadley data.


  7. Robin,

    I’m not sure what you point is regarding the motto of “take nobody’s word for it”. Why should that apply more to Climate Science than anything else? And if it does apply equally, then surely there can never be a scientific consensus on anything at all according to your reasoning.

    You seem to be taking a somewhat more charitable, from your political standpoint, view of the RS than the IPCC. However, there is scientifically no perceptible difference. The IPCC reports are are full of the same sort of ‘non-committal’ language in which you seem to find some kind of hidden significance. There isn’t any. That’s just the way scientists talk.


    Do you have the reference for the Hadley monthly data? I’ll plot it out myself and we can see if the Fielding graph is accurate.

    Mr Fielding also made the news recently by commenting on Australia’s “physical” policy but really meant “fiscal”. He used the word several times so it wasn’t just a slip of the tongue.

  8. Peter Taylor

    Thanks for your post on nuclear risks. You have obviously given this subject a lot of thought over the years.

    You mentioned a “near event” at a French station 30 years ago. One could conclude from this that the safety record must be very good (as I am sure EDF will have us believe), but your point is valid that a major mishap could have long-term repercussions lasting more than 30 years (which would obviously not be the case for a fossil fuel-fired plant).

    Switzerland (where I live) has no domestic coal, no oil and no natural gas (all of which the UK has). It has a much more limited amount of land suitable for agriculture (than the UK). It does have water and mountains. And, of course, it is much smaller with fewer inhabitants.

    Switzerland also has the lowest CO2 emission per $GDP generated in the world (but this is not the result of a concerted effort).

    Currently hydroelectric power represents around 55% of Swiss power production (some of this is exported), 40% is nuclear and around 5% is from fossil fuel (primarily natural gas). Renewables (other than hydroelectric) represent less than 0.5% of the total today.

    According to its current energy policy, Switzerland will continue to have three principal sources of electrical power: hydroelectric, nuclear and (imported) natural gas (including peak-load stations). I, personally agree that this policy makes sense for Switzerland.

    The energy plan calls for several steps that will (hopefully) limit the total energy demand by 2020 to the same level as in 2006.

    How realistic this target really is, is questionable. A major part of this effort will be directed at reducing waste and improving energy efficiency at all levels.

    New nuclear plant construction in Switzerland will most likely be done at existing sites, replacing older plants that will need to be shut down by around 2020, possibly with somewhat higher capacity plants. The government feels that this approach should minimize the potential political problems and simplify the permit application process, thereby reducing the project time schedules.

    The energy plan calls for increasing the percentage produced by renewable sources including hydroelectric by 50% by 2020. Renewable sources other than hydroelectric (solar/wind) are still seen as too expensive and unreliable to become a significant part of the total mix, except for some small domestic solar warm water and PV, even if these technologies move up on the “learning curve” with some of the new developments you mention. With a limited total surface area, biomass has to compete with agriculture for food in Switzerland, and is therefore also unlikely to become a significant factor. An exception here is wood, as Switzerland has a lot of forests, but even here, the total amount of power generated from wood is minimal.

    You point out:

    “The most robust system over the next 40 years is a decentralised microgeneration grid (fuel cells using gas) for the domestic and small industrial/commercial sectors combined with passive solar, super insulation, solar cells and heat pumps to cut demand on that grid. It won’t be cheap, but the technology is available.”

    Switzerland does not have a very good natural gas distribution system at present (most municipalities have no access), so this would be required here for this alternate. In addition, a reliable low-cost supply source for natural gas would be required.

    How far developed are fuel cells for domestic use and what are the investment and operating costs?

    Peter, it appears that you in the UK have a totally different situation (as do the USA). It also appears from what I read here that the current administration in the UK does not have a real energy plan, as such, but is just hoping to reduce CO2 emissions with an expressed emphasis on “renewables” without really having a clear actionable plan of how to achieve this. Eliminating coal-fired plants (when one has fairly substantial coal reserves) seems silly to me. I personally do not believe that plopping unreliable, high cost windmills all over the landscape is a wise thing to do, but I guess this is up to the citizens of the UK to decide.

    I also believe that the fixation on CO2 is a distraction from the real issues here: gaining some sort of independence from imported energy sources, reducing waste and improving energy efficiency.

    One final question. What do you think of nuclear fusion as a future source of inexpensive electrical power? Do you have the same safety hang-ups here as you do with nuclear fusion, and, if so, why?

    Thanks again for your comments.


  9. Peter Taylor

    Correction. In my last sentence I should have written:

    What do you think of nuclear fusion as a future source of inexpensive electrical power? Do you have the same safety hang-ups here as you do with nuclear fission, and, if so, why?


  10. Hi all I have been busy moving house the last couple of weeks but have just about managed to keep up with all the discussion. Having finished Plimer’s book I’m a third though Peter Taylor’s. So far the difference for me between the books is that Peter Taylor goes further in trying to tie all the ends into something that is real and tangible that most open minded people should be able to understand. Other than that the science tells a similar story.

    Now I cannot let any comments coming close to supporting the Royal Society pass without being rebuffed. I support Robins view, and perhaps would go as far as saying that the Royal Society is in danger of losing its grip on science. It has played a very dangerous game at the altar of money and now needs to use its supposed cleverness to extract itself from politics and get back to unequivocal science. Its attempt to use the courts to censor Channel 4’s Great global warming swindle was a disgrace. In my view, not share by all, the RS have forfeited the right to be treated with the respect that they undoubtedly believe they are due. And if ardent supporters of science like myself feel this way they have a problem.

    Now for some interesting titbits.

    Wikipedia. Why do we continue to quote it? My 17 year old son has been told by his school not to use it, and to assume almost everything in it is inaccurate. Not a glowing endorsement is it. We all know how useful it can be but everything needs to be cross referenced to ensure it correct.

    My elder son is reading International Relations at Southampton, and his dissertation this year is on the Politics of Climate change. 6 months ago he had little support for this subject from the University and its lecturers. Now however he tells me he has support from all areas, and his approaches have all been met with a sort of relief that at last someone has the guts to cover this subject. A new wave of realism is sweeping the country amongst the people, and I believe we are about to enter the beginning of the end for climate alarmism.

    One thing that is coming through from these university types is that they all say one thing in private and another in public. There is a 50-50 split between those who think man is causing a problem with CO2 emissions and those who think it’s not so much of a problem. They all seem to want the matter to be discussed properly and have great at unease with the consensuses view. Disturbingly nearly 100% are ill-informed about matters such as melting ice, sea level rise and global temperature change. Some or even most realise this and for this reason want the debate opened up so they can get to the truth, whatever that maybe. Few realise that the whole basis of the climate alarm are computer models.

    One last pearl of wisdom from me. 99% of the scientists studying climate change are studying the effects, not the cause. Whatever results they get from their studies, these results have nothing whatever to do with the one matter that matters, and that is the process by which CO2 supposedly warms the earth. So all this research contributes nil to the debate. And I think it’s fair to say that none of the so called climatologists that purport to be the only people qualified to discuss the climate with any authority are themselves qualified to comment upon the physics of CO2. So this is how we go nowhere with all the research in the wrong area, and those that do know the answer ignored for not being climatologists. Sounds like Monty Python.

  11. Peter Martin #193

    I am deeply shocked that you can believe that gas is any sort of suitable fuel. Our new chief scientifc adviser says ‘setting fire to chemicals like gas should be made a thermodynamic crime’ so you seem to be as bad as the rest of us here :)

    I am not sure if this is worse than an ‘eco’ crime or merely a category of it, but it sounds very bad to me. You wonder why we think the warmists have lost the plot?

    Apart from this piece of stupidity the article makes interesting reading and echoes the comments we have been making concerning the inadequacy of renewables and the urgent need to build nuclear power stations.

    All joking aside, if we can’t have coal I personally don’t see what the alternative is but to build nuclear.


  12. Peter Geany

    Welcome back from your house move and thanks for your last post.

    I agree 100% with what you have written.


  13. Aw, c’mon, tonyb, don’t be so hard on Peter Martin.

    Coal is 100% bad (as we all know) and natural gas is only 44% bad, so it takes 2.25 natural gas power stations to be as dangerously “bad” as one equivalent coal-fired station.

    Make sense?


  14. Max

    So are you suggesting a thermodynamic crime is only 44% as bad as a coal carbon crime, and it should attract a fine or prison sentence only 44% as great? This seems to me to be moral relativism as both are obviously equally as evil.

    I am afraid you have been revealed as a leftie liberal after all. Have you booked your hotel in Copenhagen for December yet? :)


  15. Tonyb #197.

    I don’t suggest that anyone should be ignored, but if someone is a paid lobbyist who freely uses deception it should be taken into account. Especially as though you have not quoted her directly, all the ideas here can be found on her blog.

    As for the Wikipedia argument, I expected everyone to follow the references to check for themselves. I guess that was too much to expect and I will not do it again. The Monckton discussion was interesting, and highlights the back and forth which allows Wikipedia to get a consensus. Did Monckton really get banned from Wikipedia for misconduct, or is that one another lie from the ‘conspiracy’?

    Any comment on Willie Soon? That’s where the real action is.

  16. Just following up on Willie Soon and I stumbled upon the Mann/McIntyre debate. Soon contributed to the debate but his work was discredited by the authors he cited and dropped. That’s not as interesting as the Mann/McIntyre debate, which is basically realclimate vs. climateaudit. I know it’s been referenced here already but I didn’t give it the attention it deserves.
    I had to use wikipedia as following each comment and response is too time consuming. Apart from the most recent developments, why can’t I do that? The article is well referenced, has recieved a lot of attention (So Connolley hasn’t written it alone) and has no personal opinion which was not specifically referenced as such. There are no other articles I could find which did that.

  17. JH

    We sometimes have great difficulty here in getting long replies with links rejected by the spam filter, so my detasiled reply to your two points above has not appeared. I will attempt to post it in several parts.

    JH #215

    As I say I don’t follow the woman, but perhaps you would cite some specific authenticated examples of her deception?

    It may be true I don’t know, but it is obvious that Senator Fielding is also in line for the same treatment even though he used official CRU figures (see debate above). I don’t know the ins and outs or Jennifer or Fielding so you will need to cite actual examples of their perfidy.

    I would also point out that the head of the Met office is ‘a paid lobbyist’. I am not saying for a moment he intentionally spreads misinformation, but their entire existence is predicated on factoring in man made co2 in to their models in order to get the results the Govt (via Defra) requires. Without factoring in this the models would look entirely different.

    I have sat in on their presentations where their models are clearly not standing scrutiny against the observations.They know nothing of the PDO, NAO, Jet Streams or the effects of melting glaciers on sea levels. They also know nothing at all about natural cycles nor of history. They are an arm of the Govt and take their instructions accordingly as the Govt is signed up to the Kyoto agreement.

    Yes, Monckton was banned from Wiki. I dont know if he appealed to a higher authority and got reinstated, but he was always overruled by Connelley. The thing about Wiki is that it is the primary source of reference and most people take it at face value. It therefore assumes enormous importance and I do not think it right that the climate section should be run by someone with Connellys agenda and bias.

    However, please continue citing that source on climate matters as over the months we have taken a great deal of pleasure here in pointing out the inaccurate nature of much of the information presented.

  18. JH Part 2

    As for your aspersions on Soon, I did take the time to follow up on it in response to someone on another thread who wrote:

    “Soon and Baliunas 2003 is a discredited paper. The researchers whose results they used to create their proxies publicly protested that Soon and Baliunas had misinterpreted their findings. A repeat of their analysis with only validated sources could not reproduce their results.”

    Correction, SOME protested;
    Let’s turn the clock back to 2003 and consider the response by the Hockey Team to Soon and Baliunas 2003, much of which focussed on the alleged confusing of temperature and precipitation proxies (as if others weren’t guilty of that as well). So other readers can know the background of the SandB paper, this from that well known fair minded arbiter of climate science wiki;

    ‘Shortly thereafter, 13 of the authors of papers cited by Baliunas and Soon refuted her interpretation of their work.[12] There were three main objections: Soon and Baliunas used data reflective of changes in moisture, rather than temperature; they failed to distinguish between regional and hemispheric temperature anomalies; and they reconstructed past temperatures from proxy evidence not capable of resolving decadal trends. More recently, Osborn and Briffa repeated the Baliunas and Soon study but restricted themselves to records that were validated as temperature proxies, and came to a different result

    This from former editor of magazine that published the original study

    Mann and a big panel of the Hockey Team led off the assault against Soon and Baliunas in EOS, saying:

    ‘In drawing inferences regarding past regional temperature changes from proxy records, it is essential to assess proxy data for actual sensitivity to past temperature variability…The existence of possible underlying dynamical relationships between temperature and hydrological variability should not be confused with the patently invalid assumption that hydrological influences can literally be equated with temperature influences in assessing past climate (e.g.,during Medieval times).’
    (much more here in link below)

    This from CA; It was that the Hockey Team criticised Soon and Baliunas using criteria that should have been applied to Treydte’s paper, but weren’t. Who, after all, reviewed their paper prior to publication? And why wasn’t the EOS logic applied to it?

    I don’t want to get into the McIntyre/Mann spat (other than to say it is good that someone is auditing Dr Mann) nor even that the Soon report was 100% perfect-very few are. The basic problem is that the SandB report was a direct contradiction of Mann’s hockey stick work and an assault on that strikes at the very heart of the AGW hypothesis (no matter that warmists would say the HS is but one strand of the evidence)

  19. Peter Martin

    You asked:

    Do you have the reference for the Hadley monthly data? I’ll plot it out myself and we can see if the Fielding graph is accurate

    Check the link from tonyb (202) by P. D. Jones, D. E. Parker, T. J. Osborn, and K. R. Briffa of the Climate Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia.

    Click on “Digital Data”

    Then open “Table – Global Monthly and Annual Temperature Anomalies, 1850-2008”

    I then added on the first 3 months of 2009 from the HadCRUT monthly record from the link below and plotted these data to get the identical graph of Fielding.

    Check it out yourself, if you want to. You will find it is 100% accurate (contrary to what I first thought).

    The CO2 curve looks OK, but has the seasonal fluctuations smoothed out (12 month running averages?).

    Looks like Fielding knows his references. (But a tip: even though his temperature curve looks “flat” from 1995 to early 2009, you will get a linear warming trend if you plot it, albeit with a very low R^2 factor, so probably meaningless.)

    Now as to the mispronunciation of the word “fiscal” to “fisical”: this could well be a multiple “slip of the tongue”, Peter, and not refer to the word “physical”.

    Sort of reminds me of ex US President Bush talking about “nukelar” weapons (or former President Kennedy talking about sending aid to “Afriker”).

    We can’t all speak perfect “Crocodile Dundee English”, Peter.


  20. Peter Martin

    You opined (193)

    For a start it makes sense to not build any more coal fired power stations until “carbon capture and storage” is shown to be more than a piece of spin on the part of the energy companies.

    If carbon capture and storage can be demonstrated to work then coal power is a viable long term option.

    McKinsey has made a study on the feasibility and potential costs of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

    I personally believe that implementing CCS is a silly and even potentially dangerous exercise. The atmosphere, ocean and plant/animal life cycle is a far better and more natural place for our anthropogenic CO2 than underground geological formations.

    But the advantage of planning CCS is that it will not detract us from continuing to build coal-fired power plants (and chasing windmills plus other nonsense instead). Of course, the coal-fired plants should include all the flue gas cleanup equipment to make sure that there is no real pollution.

    And then, when the AGW bubble bursts in a few years, the CCS projects can all be scrapped and we can go back to business as usual.


  21. TonyB and JH

    Regarding your discussion on the validity of the Mann hockey stick (218/219), there has been a large amount of discussion on this topic.

    Even though MBH98/99 were comprehensively discredited, members of the “hockey team” still keep trying to revive it, IPCC still keeps it in its latest report (Chapter 6) and “spaghetti copy-hockeysticks” are cranked out in order to try to reclaim some sort of validity for the claim of unprecedented 20th century warmth.

    Of course, Real Climate still “believes” in it.

    But TonyB is right. There is no sense rehashing all this. MBH98/99 is dead. R.I.P.

    The more recent and very comprehensive study by Craig Loehle et al. shows that the MWP was slightly warmer than the late 20th century. Since Loehle only used data from peer-reviewed and published scientific papers, there should be no question of their authenticity.

    What appears to be emerging here is that properly conducted scientific research is already available in the literature, which refutes MBH98/99, so there is no point in rehashing the hockey stick saga.


  22. TonyB and JH

    Of course, there is significant non-paleoclimate study evidence of a MWP that was global and somewhat warmer than today, as you have pointed out earlier, TonyB.

    Historical evidence is powerful (although most climatologists don’t read history books, so are unaware of these data).

    These include crop records from many parts of Europe and Asia, old sea charts, records of past human migrations and settlement (the Vikings in Greenland, the Valser in high alpine valleys, etc.), records of natural vegetation found by explorers such as grape vines found in Newfoundland (“Vinland”) by Vikings, records of medieval alpine silver and gold mines covered by advancing snow and ice at the end of the MWP, etc.

    Physical evidence, such as remains of old vegetation and occasionally of past civilizations (including farm houses buried in the Greenland permafrost and one instance where the remains of an old silver mine were found as mountain glaciers receded), provide very robust evidence of past warmer times.

    This is what I miss with most of today’s climatologists. They concentrate so narrowly on their highly specialized field (in this case paleoclimate reconstructions), but are totally oblivious of all the other data out there, which lie outside their field.

    And I’m afraid that IPCC “cherry picks” the data that support the AGW premise and ignores the rest.


  23. Peter Taylor

    Presumably you saw my #147 here when I gave some links on Drew Shindell and suggested that Leif might be a good person to ask? I see he has responded to your WUWT comment;

    Leif Svalgaard (05:12:31) :

    Peter Taylor (04:20:34) :
    the work of Drew Shindell at NASA (I keep mentioning this but nobody seems to know what happened to the line of research) showed was correlated with a variable of solar output (UV light)

    Shindell’s work was based on the obsolete Hoyt-Schatten TSI reconstruction and cannot be considered to be valid; perhaps that is why it is quiet around that line of research.

    I am inclined to agree that whilst interesting the work might not be going anywhere. (unless you know different?)

    There were a number of comments on the Soon paper (comments #216 217 218) and wondered if you had any further thoughts on this work?


  24. tonyb (217)

    to get the results the Govt (via Defra) requires

    That chimes with the latest R4 Food Programme, where is was pointed out that Defra’s funding for hop (as in beer) research has been redirected toward climate change. Not the end of the world for most of us, but a worrying example of the side-effects of the AGW bandwagon.

    Another recent R4 offering was Stephen Fry’s piece on the ‘millennium bug’, which nicely illustrated the rapid build in momentum of a potential ‘bad news’ item. When better news (that it was being dealt with) appeared, nobody wanted to report it! Now what does that remind you of..?

    (Apologies to Robin for treading on his Y2K turf – it just struck me as an interesting parallel in news management.)

  25. Reading some of the stuff here I was moved to look up something I wrote some time back, and found the following (which is probably more adequate)- I wrote it about a year and a half back.

    …Disaster Capitalism, Militarial Industrial Complex, Neo-Liberalism, New-Conservatism… climate change, scarce resources, distribution of wealth, tax etc etc etc etc etc etc
    I follow some of the arguments, or try to, I even try to lead them… but never mind.
    I think Richard Attenborough was once doing some filming (probably in Zimbabwe) and he recalled the hospitality of Robert Mugabe.

    Well, I suppose like most tyrants, in a given context, they are usually capable of being charming, generous, affable, witty, gracious… even reasonable and rational and just generally being able to affect virtually all manner of characteristics that most people would consider as good.

    But ultimately, when it suits them, or rather when it doesn’t suit them, they are ruthless.

    It seems to me that so much of the debating on the internet when it comes down to it,, if you could finally win the argument, which is nigh on impossible, if you could prove your case, say, about the current food crises, the majority of people who would have to concede their position on rational grounds, as being in the wrong, would just resort to their irrational position, rather than do the honourable thing. Unless (unlike someone like Mugabe) they were confronted with the consequences of their position, this is where I have faith in most people. It’s just that most people don’t really have to confront, up close, the consequence of their lifestyles etc.

    and then I added

    And, afterall, a lot of people have really unhealthy lifestyles

    Great! but anyway, following on from the above

    I think an area of great importance is market mechanisms (wow, surprise) if, say you could apply the wikipedia model to the ideas discussed here

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