Archive for December, 2009

Scientists goosestepping after Gore

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

From the Swiss weekly magazine Die Weltwoche

  • We are delighted to reproduce this recent translation of an interview with Dr. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Planetary and Meteorological Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the most eminent climatologist alive today. The interview reveals something of the exasperation of the true scientist at the naive, religious belief of his colleagues in propositions that are either unknowable or unproven.

Professor Lindzen, you are called a “climate denier”. Does that make you feel like an outcast?

I am no outcast. If you want to soak up propaganda, that’s your problem. I work at the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I have the respect of my colleagues. Think for a moment about what you have just said. I am a survivor of the Holocaust. My parents fled Germany in 1938. Anyone who calls me a “climate denier” not only insults me – he also insults his own intelligence.

Why?

Because the topic of the climate is so complex. It has so many facets. Or do you really believe that every scientist rushes to goosestep in al Al Gore’s footsteps? Do you really believe that all of us ought to agree with him? Anyone who has even one or two neurons still working between his ears should know that anyone who uses the expression “climate denier” has lost the argument. (more…)

A Response to Michael Mann

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

by -Paul C. Knappenberger

December 29, 2009

Back of December 18, 2009, the Washington Post ran an editorial (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/17/AR2009121703682.html) by Penn State’s Dr. Michael Mann, who attempted to explain why the recent release of the Climategate emails “doesn’t alter evidence for climate change.” But Dr. Mann—a central figure in the released emails—is speaking only from one side of the issue—his side.  While the contents of the Climategate emails may not alter the evidence of climate change published in the scientific “peer-reviewed” literature, it is an entirely different matter when it comes to evidence of climate change that may have been kept out of the peer-reviewed literature.  And the Climategate emails illuminate continual efforts from Dr. Mann and colleagues to limit the contents of the peer-reviewed scientific literature to only those types of results and conclusions that they liked.  As such, the extant scientific literature of the past 5 to 10 years cannot be considered to be a fair representation of what it would have been had it not been manipulated. Thus, it is impossible to judge whether or not the evidence for climate change has been altered by the Climategate emails, contrary to Dr. Mann’s claims.

Below is a letter-to-the editor of the Washington Post that I submitted is response to Dr. Mann’s December 18th op-ed. Since it has been more than 10 days since I submitted it, I’ll assume that the Post has decided not to run it (they did not run any letter-to-the-editor on this topic, despite having received 651 comments on-line, the majority of them quite negative).  My letter is reproduced here:

In his December 18, 2009 op-ed, Dr. Michael Mann largely misses to point about the most important aspect of the contents of the climate emails. It is not so much what has appeared in the scientific literature after “decades of work by thousands of scientists around the world” regarding human-caused climate change, but what has not appeared in the literature. The emails reveal signs of manipulation of the peer-review process, and what’s worse, intimidation of individual researchers, from a group of prominent scientists who seek to closely guard their view of the evidence and who are largely intolerant of countervailing hypothesis or interpretations. The degree to which the extant scientific literature can be judged a fair representation of what our scientific understanding may have been like absent these tactics is impossible to ascertain. The unfortunate, but undeniable side effect, is that the foundation of state, national, and international assessments of the potential impacts of climate change and considerations of what actions may be necessary to mitigate them has been shaken—not by what our knowledge is, but by what it should be. The latter of which, through the actions revealed in the emails, has been rendered largely unknowable.

Dr. Patrick Michaels, a close colleague of mine, expresses a similar sentiment (including some specific details) his recent op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal titled, “How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704398304574598230426037244.html)

Time to ban Greenpeace and give its riches to the poor

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

The environmental movement – or, rather, the Marxist, anti-capitalist, pro-poverty, anti-Western threat to our liberty, democracy, prosperity, and security – should now be made illegal. Its increasingly desperate lies are causing real, serious harm. People are starving in their millions as a direct result of the doubling of world food prices caused by the misuse of land that once grew food for people that need it and now grows biofuels for clunkers that don’t. The environmental movement has the blood of these starving millions on its hands. It doesn’t care. It is now stepping up its ever-more-blatant campaign to propagandize and indoctrinate children and set them against their parents.

Greenpeace, whose genuinely environmentally-concerned founders left it when the Marxist entryists muscled in and took it over, has just issued a repellent advertisement showing a thuggish, surly, smutty-faced kid saying -

“The scientific community released a report that proves beyond a doubt that the Earth is getting warmer. This global warming is caused by things you grown-ups do, and by the things you don’t do. If drastic measures aren’t taken soon, by the time I grow up there won’t be any fish left in the sea; rain-forests and clean air will be a thing of the past; polar ice-caps will be gone; oceans will rise; entire countries will disappear; life will change in ways you can’t even imagine. There could be famine, worldwide epidemics, life expectancy will be lower. And we’re not just talking about the future: we’re talking about my future.

“But this is no surprise. You adults have known about this for years and, though you could have done something about it, you haven’t. You can say, ‘It’s not my problem”. You can say, ‘I won’t be around in 50 years.’ But from now on you can’t say, ‘I didn’t know.’ Starting today, the lines are drawn. You have to choose sides. Either you’re for my future, or you’re against it; you’re a friend or you’re an enemy. I may just be a kid today, but tomorrow I will be different. This is the last time I’ll be talking to you adults. You had your chance to fix this problem: now we have ours. We won’t be cute; we won’t be patronized; we will not be denied our future.”

Here’s the scientifically-correct version, to be spoken by a well-scrubbed little angel with a sad, gentle smile -

“The political community decided by show of hands that there’s a 90% chance that most of the past half-century’s global warming is caused by things you grown-ups do. The scientific community increasingly disagrees. In your generation, measured changes in cloud cover caused five times as much warming as CO2. If drastic measures aren’t taken soon, by the time I grow up even more millions of people in poor nations will starve because the misuse of food-growing land for biofuels has doubled world food prices. Global warming, whatever causes it, has no effect on fish or rain-forests or air quality; polar ice-caps will still be here; oceans will rise no faster; no countries will disappear; crop yields will improve; epidemics will be fewer; we will live longer than you. Warmer is better. Life will change in ways you can’t even imagine, but not because of global warming.

“Starting today, the lines are drawn. You have to choose sides. Either you’re for rational science, or you’re against it. I may be a kid today, and tomorrow I’ll still be a kid. Even so, I can smell b*llsh*t when I hear it. This is the last time I’ll pay any attention to the hate-filled, malevolent, anti-capitalist propagandists at Greenpeace. When I grow up, I’m going to outlaw environmentalism, confiscate its vast wealth, and give the money to the poor people its mad, bad policies have ruined. We will not deny them their future.”

If anyone sees the lying, Greenpeace version of this advert screened in Britain or any other nation where lies in advertising are unlawful, please let me know and I shall arrange for Greenpeace to be prosecuted.

Talking of adverts, do visit our good friends at www.globalwarmingheartland.org and watch the hilarious advert for Horner & Horner, Attorneys-at-Law, who offer to sue if your child is suffering from Global Warming Alarmism. The ad was made by Chris Horner, the Environment Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. It’s a hoot. Enjoy!

New Year’s Resolution: “Do not believe a word I say”

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Science is not a belief system. It is a rigorous, meticulous process of observation, enquiry, investigation, measurement, calculation, evaluation and checking, checking, checking. Therefore, anyone who declares that he or she “believes” – still worse “believes passionately” – in any scientific proposition that has not been rigorously proven has misunderstood what science is all about.

The father of numerical weather forecasting, Edward Lorenz, proved in 1963 that the the very long-run future evolution of the complex, non-linear, mathematically-chaotic object that is the climate cannot be reliably predicted by any method. “Very long-run”, in this context, means “more than a few weeks ahead”. In short, Lorenz proved that proof about the past, present, or long-run future behavior of the climate is impossible.

Yet the UN’s climate panel, whose case for alarm about the climate is founded almost exclusively upon numerical modeling rather than upon observation and measurement, invites us to believe, or even to believe passionately, that there is a 90% probability that more than 50% of the warming of the past half-century was manmade, and it presumes to tell us what the climate will be doing 100 years hence.

I am not as confident as the UN. Therefore, in my lectures on the climate worldwide, I always begin with the words, “Do not believe a word I say!” Many of my listeners find this approach rather startling. They are used to the Al Gores and Rajendra Pachauris of this world telling them that it is their duty to Believe. No, no, and thrice no. It is the duty of every “seeker after truth”, as the 11th-century Iraqi natural philosopher Al-Haytham called scientists, not to believe. It is the truth-seeker’s duty to be skeptical of all sides of any scientific debate.

The evolutionary biologist TH Huxley put it this way in 1860: “The improver of knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” The bed-wetters are beginning to realize that calling us “skeptics” is in fact a compliment, which is why they are more often using yah-boo words like “denialist” or “contrarian” these days. Of course, the term “bed-wetter” is a yah-boo word too, but sometimes even Homer nods.

So, do not believe a word I say. Everything that I say about the climate is rooted in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, in the data, and in my own calculations. All of these can be checked. You can check any of them for yourselves. Be at least as skeptical of me as you are of the supposed “consensus”. But also be skeptical of the assertion that, on the climate, there is a “consensus”. This assertion was first promulgated by a Leftist think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, in the UK late in 2006. The Institute circulated like-minded institutions (many of them taxpayer-funded) and suggested that, in future, the Left should pretend that “the science is settled, the debate is over, and now we must act.” It was a simple, appealing, successful but entirely dishonest political strategy.

Science is not done by consensus. It is particularly important to understand this today, when 99% of all scientific research is funded by taxpayers. Science, these days, is a monopsony: there is only one customer, The State. The pressures on scientists to conform to whatever The State – their paymaster – finds expedient, congenial, or profitable are very great, and it is no surprise that the majority of scientists crumble in the face of these pressures.

A reader from Holland puts it this way -

“Dear Lord Monckton, – Your challenge to us, the public, to check the original data rather than believe in the new religion is compelling. However, I am not a scientist. I’m not even any good at math. But I know people.

“If we add up all dead scientists, and also add up the number of scientists alive today, subtract one from the other, and we’ll probably see that today more scientists are alive than have ever lived in all history.

“This makes for quite a number of mouths to feed. Their deceased predecessors already had a tough time securing funding, so it’s a huge challenge being a scientist and make a living out of it today. Huge competition, because the money needs to be funded by taxpayers, and that is limited.

“So imagine a young scientist in need of a salary. His options: Take a current topic, and scream: “It’s even worse than anyone thought! Give me your money, and I will prove it!”, or “No, it is not true. I know everybody thinks I’m bonkers, but give me your money, and I will prove them all wrong!” Chances are nearly all scientists will take the first option, and understandably so.

“This is what we see daily in the media. ‘Knife-to-throat’-type of statements on any subject, coined by someone who has an interest in us believing the statement and wanting to do something about it (a.k.a. ‘give us lots of taxpayers’ money.’).

“In the climate debate we now see that there are too many of them who jumped on the bandwagon. Not enough money to go around. So the collective need to team up and broaden the capabilities to generate more income. Further taxation, global governance … hmmm.

“So, although you tend to refer to the left side of the political spectrum, I don’t think concerted political forces are at the basis of the climate scam. It’s scientists trying to secure their share of ‘money for free’.

“Politicians like this a lot. Since the sixties they’ve been looking for anything that will regain their control over society. Control that was waning as religion went into decline, climate being the new religion with all the usual aspects – deny yourself all joy and you’ll be a saint. For politicians, the climate scare is a Godsend.

“By your own invitation, I don’t believe what you say either, but I thoroughly enjoy the points you make, and the way you make them. Keep up the good work!”

Bottom line: Do not believe a word I say, but do not believe a word They say either. The grubby network of senior climate scientists whose sheer malevolence is so starkly evident in the Climategate emails have gained power, status, influence, and wealth as a result of the scare they have manufactured and peddled: and they have only gotten away with it because they have been able to rely on the general public not to have the time, knowledge, or inclination to check what “Scientists Say”.

“Scientists Say”. Those two words exasperate me every time some dopey enviro-zomb in the media trots them out in support of whatever fatuous exaggeration some sinister environmental group has put out in its latest press release. As a rule of thumb, disbelieve every supposed fact or finding preceded by the words “Scientists Say”. Check, check, and check again. The alternative is to abdicate politically, as the UK Conservative opposition’s chief of policy has done. Oliver Letwin once told me: “We cannot question what the scientists say.” If so, Oliver, then get out of politics and let the scientists run things directly. I, for one, will not be voting Conservative at the next UK election: there’s no point, now that the party has half-wittedly, cravenly abdicated in favor of whatever “Scientists Say”.

A very happy New Year to one and all. We are firmly snowed in here in Rannoch, though an aristocrat from the next glen with a chauffeur, a shovel, and a four-wheel-drive Range Rover is going to try to rescue us this evening. “Global warming”? What “global warming”? If you find any, please send us some. In the far Highlands of Scotland, we could do with all the “global warming” we can get.

Reader’s query: Are fossil fuels dangerously polluting?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

A reader has sent in the following query -

I fully agree with the views of the scientific community that is working to dismantle peice by peice the huge lie of AGW.  Difficult task because they have to face many different enemies lurking in the most strategic points of the society of control of public opinion.  One thing, however I need to understand is what is your opinion on what, in my opinion, is the most important thing at present about the use of energy from fossil fuels:  atmospheric pollution at the level of our lungs.

Nothing do do with CO2 or climate change or GW.  Treat the energy issue solely in these terms should be a the forefront in the interests of all those now are knelt down to AGW’s faith, beginning by the UN to pas through WWF, Greenpeace, governments, scientific panels, etc.

Reading your many articles I have never found this kind of discussion, but often I find praises for coal.  More than GW, I am concerned about exhaust gases that enter in my lungs and in my children lungs and about immediate or future harm that we will have (cancer and respiratory diseases).  I think it is so in the sense that we should spend all our knowledge and money.

Our reply:

Dear Enquirer – Thank you for your kind comments, and for your enquiry about pollution. In those Western countries that are prosperous enough and well-organized enough to have  sensible standards of environmental regulation, particulate pollution from fossil-fueled power stations is no longer a problem. Fluidized-bed combustion and other techniques intended to achieve stoichiometric burn, together with flue-gas scrubbers that remove certain particulates before the gases are vented to atmosphere, have proven very effective, so that respiratory diseases caused by fossil-fueled power generation are now at a very low level. There are indeed formidable problems in third-world countries, such as China, where cheap coal is burned in inadequate power-stations using old-fashioned methods, with minimal and ineffective regulation.

The correct scientific approach is to evaluate deaths and serious injuries or illnesses (known to statisticians as KSI) per GWh of electricity generated, for all methods of generation. Nuclear electricity is the safest, followed by natural gas, followed by oil, followed by coal, followed by hydro-power (dams have a habit of bursting and killing thousands: it has happened more than once). All of these methods of generation are a great deal safer than not having the electricity. The biggest single factor in determining life-expectancy in poor nations is the amount of fossil fuels they burn. The more they burn, the more prosperous they become, and the less poverty and early death there is. This is because fossil-fueled electricity is nearly always the cheapest on the market, and is relatively low-tech, and is therefore very suitable for poorer countries that do not have the scientific or technical infrastructure to run nuclear reactors, for instance.

We are agreed, I think, that carbon dioxide is not any kind of pollutant. It is a harmless trace gas, necessary to all life on Earth, that has been present in relatively recent geological time at 20 times its present concentration. Going very much farther back, CO2 once occupied one-third of the entire atmosphere. Its warming effect has been severely exaggerated by the UN’s climate panel and by the quite small clique of climate scientists on whose calculations it is willing to rely. – Monckton of Brenchley

I fully agree with the views of the scientific community that is working to dismantle piece by piece the huge lie of AGW. Difficult task because they have to face many different enemies lurking in the most strategic points of the society of control of public opinion. One thing, however I need to understand is what is your opinion on what, in my opinion, is the most important thing at present about the use of energy from fossil fuels: atmospheric pollution at the level of our lungs.

Nothing to do with CO2 or climate change or the GW. Treat the energy issue solely in these terms should be at the forefront in the interests of all those now are knelt down to AGW’s faith, beginning by the UN to pass through WWF, Greenpeace, governments, scientific panels, etc.

Teading your many articles I have never found this kind of discussions, but often I find praises for coal. More than GW, I am concerned about exhaust gases that enter in my lungs and in my children lungs and about immediate or future harm that we will have (cancer and respiratory diseases). I think it is so in this sense that we should spend all our knowledge and money.

Scientific American’s climate lies: some further reading

Monday, December 28th, 2009

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

A reader of our recent blog posting on Scientific American’s climate lies has written:

Your essay on the Scientific American blurb was excellent. In fact, it was one of the best expositions of skepticism on the “human caused global warming is cathostrophic” which I have seen in a while. (To give credit to Scientific American, they gave you an excellent target for your responses). Would it be possible for you to attach footnotes to some of your statements, particularly the one on changes in cloud levels? And then produce one of the position papers SPPI does. I would like to attach a copy of it to a letter to my senators. The essay demonstrated both clear writing and straightforward logic which made for clear reading and is short enough that there is a small chance that they might actually read it.

My reply:

Dear Enquirer – Many thanks for your very kind comments.

Two papers that you may find useful are Spencer and Braswell (2008), with another paper in the pipeline, and Palle et al. (2005). You will find these on the ISI Web of Science database of published papers from the peer-reviewed literature. Also, you may like to look at Lindzen and Choi (2009), and give a careful examination to the relative changes in short-wave and long-wave radiation escaping to space as measured by the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment satellite. Broadly speaking, a decrease in short-wave radiation and a corresponding increase in long-wave radiation denotes a decrease in cloud cover (so that less short-wave radiation is reflected back into space: instead it goes to the surface, where, depending on surface temperature, it is absorbed and emitted in the near-infrared, causing an increase in long-wave radiation).

You can correlate the ERBE graph with changes in low-altitude (and hence optically-dense) cloud as measured by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, which are available on the Internet. I hope that these data will prove to be a good starting-point for you.

There is a remarkable and excellent book, Chill, by Peter Taylor, now available on amazon.com, which explains just how much radiative forcing these measured changes in cloud cover over the last decade or two contribute: and it is many times larger than the radiative forcing from CO2 over the whole of the past 150 years. Bottom line: at least 80% of the warming from 1975-1998 (since when there has not been any warming) is from identifiable and measured natural sources, whereas the IPCC’s estimate of the warming caused by CO2 is, to a very substantial extent, guesswork based on notional quantities none of which can be directly measured. In the UN’s guesswork, there are many known and serious exaggerations.

So sorry not to have included all of this background in the original blog posting, but I am always doing my best to keep things readable, and am always happy to answer questions of this kind. -Monckton of Brenchley

Scarewatch: “CO2 warming will be worse than feared”. Oh, no it won’t.

Monday, December 28th, 2009

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

And still the scare stories keep coming. A paper in Nature Geoscience, published “coincidentally” just before the collapsed Copenhagen climate change conference, suggests that long-term temperature feedbacks in response to warming induced by anthropogenic CO2 emissions will be 30-50% higher than the already enormous estimates of the UN’s climate panel.

The British authors said the “more-than-expected” warming would unfold over a matter of hundreds of years, rather than this century. The findings do not mean that the predictions for temperature rise by 2100, established notably by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), should be rewritten, they said.

One of the authors came out with the now rather tired argument that “CO2 hangs around a long time in the atmosphere”. Actually, direct measurement – rather than the modeling on which (as usual) the latest paper is entirely based – establishes that half of the CO2 we emit is taken up by plants and the oceans immediately, and dozens of papers in the peer-reviewed literature establish that the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 7 years. (more…)

Got a problem? Blame global warming!

Monday, December 28th, 2009

This post from 2006 is worth a re-read.

Thursday 2 November 2006

From allergies to maple syrup shortages to yellow fever: apparently every contemporary ill is caused by climate change.

John Brignell

‘It’s all them atom bombs what’s doing it.’ That is what the old dears used to say in the event of unusual weather when I was growing up in the back streets of Tottenham in north London. There is something deep in the human psyche that requires a cause to be identified for every effect. Presumably this has an evolutionary advantage: man the toolmaker was able to turn abstract concepts, such as consequence and purpose, to his benefit.

Mind you, even in those far off innocent days they did not fly into a panic, as now, over a mild October. They just enjoyed it. They even had a term for it – Indian Summer. What a fine example of ratchet reporting we have seen in recent weeks, with almost every British newspaper showing horror pictures of… late flowering gardens. Yet they studiously ignored the fact that this has been the year without a spring, when the tree blossom was a month late (see these pictures from my website, Numberwatch, as illustration).

That instinct has been a gift for the shamans of each age, ours no less than those that went before. Now carbon, the very stuff of life, has been cast in the role of original sin and its dioxide, absolutely essential to the existence of life on earth, condemned as a pollutant. Just as deviation from the strictures of the gods resulted in calamities such as floods and earthquakes in the past, so our new godless religion decrees that every disaster and minor discomfort arises from our engagement in industry, progress and the pursuit of well-being. (more…)

Scientific American’s Climate Lies

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

In December 2009, Scientific American, once a respected popular-science journal and now a pulp science-fiction picture comic, viciously attacked US Senator James Inhofe because he had proclaimed 2009 to be the Year of the Skeptic. By skepticism, he meant “standing up and exposing the science, the costs and the hysteria behind global warming alarmism”.

Venomously, Science Fiction American’s editorial comment continued: “Within the community of scientists and others concerned about anthropogenic climate change, those whom Inhofe calls skeptics are more commonly termed contrarians, naysayers and denialists.” Yah-Boo! This name-calling marks the depth of unscientific desperation to which the proponents of the “global warming” nonsense have now sunk.

Unscientific American pompously continued: “Not everyone who questions climate change science fits that description, of course—some people are genuinely unaware of the facts or honestly disagree about their interpretation. What distinguishes the true naysayers is an unwavering dedication to denying the need for action on the problem, often with weak and long-disproved arguments about supposed weaknesses in the science behind global warming.”

Politicized American, following a host of similarly left-leaning bodies such as the Royal Society and the unspeakable BBC, proceeded to parody and then condemn the now-overwhelming scientific case against the notion that CO2 is the principal driver of the past half-century’s “global warming” by setting up and then knocking down seven feeble straw men – childish, dishonest simulacra of the true scientific arguments against “global warming” hysteria. It described its straw men as “only a partial list of the contrarians’ bad arguments”. Yah-Boo!

In this introduction, we have made some rude remarks about Scientific American. Did those remarks grate as you read them? If so, you will know what it feels like when, day after day, those scientists whose diligent research has shown the “global warming” scare to be nonsense have to put up with invective and vilification of the sort that Scientific American doles out in its poisonous article.
From here on, therefore, we shall confine ourselves solely to scientific argument, with no name-calling. Scientific American would do well to learn from this approach.

We shall reproduce each of Scientific American’s seven straw men in bold face, state the true skeptical argument in italic face, and discuss the scientific truth in Roman face.

Straw Man 1: “Anthropogenic CO2 can’t be changing climate, because CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere and the amount produced by humans is dwarfed by the amount from volcanoes and other natural sources. Water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, so changes in CO2 are irrelevant.”

True skeptical argument: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, second only to water vapor. It is settled science that the direct effect of adding it to the atmosphere will be some warming – but not very much. The effect of measured changes in cloud cover over the past 30 years has caused at least four times as much warming as CO2, which is a bit-part player. Water vapor concentration – column absolute humidity – increases as the atmosphere warms, theoretically causing an amplifying feedback that is, however, offset partly by the lapse-rate feedback and partly by the cloud-albedo feedback, which the IPCC finds strongly positive when it is in fact strongly negative. Even large volcanic eruptions do not cause significant increases in measured CO2 concentration: to this extent, therefore, volcanoes are irrelevant.

Scientific American’s knockdown of its straw man begins by citing with approval an 1896 paper in which Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish research chemist and Nobel chemistry laureate, had calculated that doubling CO2 concentration (which may happen this century) would warm the world by 6 C° (11 F°). Scientific American carefully failed to cite the 1906 paper in which Arrhenius acknowledged that his previous paper had overstated the position almost fourfold, and said that the direct warming effect of doubling CO2 was just 1.6 C° (3 F°), which might be doubled by the water-vapor feedback. He made insufficient allowance either for the lapse-rate feedback or for the strongly-negative cloud-albedo feedback.

(more…)

The unspeakable BBC: biased even when trying to be unbiased?

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

From Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christensen

  • We are honored to publish the following letter to the unspeakable BBC from Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christensen, one of the doughtiest scientists who have upheld scientific truth and integrity despite all pressures and temptations to subit to the New Superstition that is ‘global warming’. Dr. Boehmer-Christensen is the editor of Energy and Environment, a leading climate-science journal that allows scientists skeptical of the official ‘global warming’ theory to publish their papers where other journals have sold out to the money-men behind the scare. Dr. Boehmer-Christensen is here telling the BBC what she thinks of a programme by its political correspondent, Andrew Marr, in which – in a manner almost unprecedented at the BBC – he tried to allow both sides of the climate debate to be reflected.

Sir, – As an ‘expert’ on the science and politics of global warming since the late 1980s and the editor of a journal that has long given climate ‘sceptics’ a voice, I would like to complement the BBC for attempting, this morning on Radio 4 , an open-minded discussion of the science and politics of man-made global warming. Two sides were demonstrated. However, a number of outright mistakes and omission created enough bias to turn the programme into sophisticated  UK government propaganda.

Here are the main faults:

(more…)

A sense of due proportion

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, snowed in at his country seat on the shore of Loch Rannoch

It is a glorious day outside the window of the Library at Carie. A foot or two of snow is on the fields and forests and on the distant Grampian Mountains. It is so cold that Loch Rannoch, the watery remnant of a mighty glacier that once swept majestically down from Rannoch Moor to distant Dundee 110 miles to the east and now placidly laps at the foot of our graceful lawns, is giving off a pearly mist, through which occasional darts of sunlight strike diamond fire from the fresh snow on Beinn Mhorlach, the little mountain on the far shore.

We cannot go anywhere, and no one can come to us. The roads for 30 miles around are impassable, and there is nothing the gallant roadmen of Perth and Kinross Council can do to keep them clear. So there is time to think a little, after the pandemonium of the collapsed Copenhagen climate conference.

The glaciers were here as recently as 9000 years ago. Then, by little and little, they went. Did they go because of manmade “global warming”? No, of course not. There were too few humans. There had been no Industrial Revolution. Our ancestors’ few, puny fires did not emit enough CO2 to make any measurable alteration to the composition of the atmosphere. Yet the glaciers went. There are greater forces acting upon our planet than we yet understand, and a little humility from the climatological/political community would be in order.

How is it  that anyone, even for an instant, can seriously imagine that the doubling of today’s CO2 concentration that the IPCC predicts for this century will have a major and potentially catastrophic influence over the climate? Humankind is too insignificant to make any real difference to global temperature, as anyone with a sense of due proportion can see at once.

The ancient Greeks had a nifty aphorism – panta metrios. This means, “All things in due proportion”. Every great civilization has a sense of due proportion: every failing civilization loses it. Our classe politique, worldwide, has lost it big-time.

(more…)

“Green” shoppers more likely to cheat and steal

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

We are grateful to Mr. John Taschereau for kindly sending us this short but revealing article from the Ottawa Citizen, Canada

If buying an organic apple instead of one caked in pesticides eases your conscience, there’s a good chance that your next ethical decision might not be a good one.

According to the results of a University of Toronto study, participants who assigned more social value to ‘green’ shopping were more likely to cheat and steal in subsequent tests than those with less stringent shopping habits.

The study, to be published in the new year in the journal Psychological Science, is the latest in a growing field of research called “moral licensing.”

It’s a relatively new concept that posits humans might store up a reserve of good karma only to squander it later. It’s a little like Tiger Woods spending thousands of hours on golf and earning hundreds of millions of dollars on the PGA tour, only to fritter it all away with a few nights of extramarital indiscretion.

Co-authors Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong, professors at the university’s Rotman School of Business, set up tests for a sample of university students, which asked them to purchase a basket of goods at either a hypothetical organic shop or a typical grocery store. Those who bought more green items were found in separate tests to be significantly less likely than their conventional counterparts to share money with an anonymous recipient and more likely to cheat on and lie about the results of a simple quiz.

Just why this happens is unclear, said Mazar, noting that she and Zhong would like to look at the potential biological underpinnings for such decisions.

Copyright © The Ottawa Citizen, 2009

Our Heart to Lord Christopher Monckton

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Source: Courtesy of American Thinker

December 21, 2009

by Jane Jamison

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNCCC or COP15) in Copenhagen has concluded with no treaty , no “agreement”, no “goals” other than trivial ones, no “enforcement” provisions, and no “reparations” to third world countries, whom do we thank?

The person credited with the first, most credible denouncement of man-made global warming is MIT Professor Richard Lindzen, who presented a paper in 2005 called “Is the Global Warming Alarm Founded on Fact?”

There are the unknown conscientious “objectors” who, just prior to the UNCCC, released thousands of emails and documents proving decades of fraud by the “global warming” institutions and “scholars.”  Then came the many scholarly websites (junkscience.com, wattsupwiththat.com, climatedepot.com, icecap.us, cfact.org, sppi.org—to mention just a few) and the scientists who worked over-time analyzing the leaked documents.  They have pieced together at least twenty years of “faked” global warming graphs and organized suppression of opposing points of view.

Many of us had perhaps “heard” of the Copenhagen climate summit in recent years, but knew only that it was some sort of kooky follow-up to the Kyoto Treaty, which President Bush had refused to sign.

If it were not for the charismatic and diligent leadership of one man, America and the rest of the industrialized world might not have understood the expense and the socialistic aspects of the proposed Copenhagen treaty until it was way too late. Let us send a “heart” out to the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, otherwise known as Lord Christopher Monckton of the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), for his tireless efforts in the past two months. (more…)

Full Video of Lord Monckton’s Speech on Global Warming Hysteria, Updated, With Slides

Monday, December 21st, 2009

FORA.tv Exclusive Interview with Lord Monckton @ COP15

Monday, December 21st, 2009