' “Things are, in fact, more complicated than we thought.” If you’re a climate scientist, remember this well. It is your “get-out” clause.'

Blog comment by 'Anything is possible': http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/02/advances-in-understanding-of-the-greenland-ice-sheets-meltwater-channels/


Friday, 17 October 2014

Climate change 'prophets, and projectors, and half-instructed meteorologists': the press found them amusing back in 1871

IMAGINARY CHANGES OF CLIMATE
                    (Pall Mall Gazette)
THREE consecutive years of drought, while they have stimulated the inventive resources of practical agriculturalists, have had the natural effect of calling forth a plentiful crop of speculation from weather prophets, and projectors, and half-instructed meteorologists, and all the philosophic tribe of Laputa in general, to whom the periodical press now affords such fatal facilities. We have often noticed that in the tabular statements of those compilers of weather records who write to the Times, useful and welcome as their communications are, every season is sure to be “extraordinary”, almost every month one of the driest or wettest, or windiest, coldest or hottest, ever known. Much observation, which ought to correct a tendency to exaggerate, seems in some minds to have rather a tendency to increase it.



Hat-tip: Steven Goddard.


Steven Goddard's blog Real Science is an excellent resource to find old press cuttings relevant to climate that would enhance many a school project by helping give the perspective which is so easily missed.  

The above example would grace any project quoting any of today's 'half-instructed meteorologists' such as James Hansen (an astro-physicist) or Gavin Schmidt (a computer programmer) or Al Gore (no qualifications to speak of) as they take pains to persuade us that we are seeing "extraordinary" weather thanks to their pet obsession, carbon dioxide.  The press today, and now of course the broadcast media, are sure to give them 'fatal facilities' and have done so for decades, without even the sardonic challenge of the above quote.  

Note also the calm assurance about the three consecutive years of drought.  Today, this would be amplified as a crisis, a a catastrophe, as a forerunner of doom to come.  Back in 1871, they merely noted that the drought would have 'stimulated the inventive resources of practical agriculturalists'.  Perhaps they were made of sterner stuff in those days.  Perhaps they were less readily panicked.  Perhaps we could learn from them.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Sacrificing Children for a Better Climate: the Aztecs used knives to kill them quickly; we take longer by depriving them of energy, food, and hope – but we do get more victims in the end.

(1) The Aztec God of Rain: Tlaloc.

'The worship of Tlaloc [the rain god] was among the most ghastly in Mexico... children were constantly sacrificed to him. If we may believe Sahagun, at the feast of the Tlaloque "they sought out a great number of babes at the breast, which they purchased of their mothers. They chose by preference those who had two crowns in their hair and who had been born under a good sign. They pretended that these would form a more agreeable sacrifice to the gods, to the
end that they might obtain rain at the opportune time. . . . They killed a great number of babes each year; and after they had put them to death, they cooked and ate them. ... If the children wept and shed tears abundantly, those who beheld it rejoiced and said that this was a sign of rain very near." ... it is to be suspected that the rite was very far spread, for in the myths of many of the wild Mexican tribes and even in those of the Pueblo tribes north of Mexico the story of the sacrifice of children to the water-gods constantly recurs .... '



(2)The Eco Demon of Doom: CO2


Great Insights into the Eco-Scourge
Now the modern superstition is that our carbon dioxide emissions do what carbon dioxide has never been known to do before, and that is drive and dominate the climate system, leading to catastrophe.  There are so many people who dislike our industrial civilisation, that this invented horror over a trace gas has been like a gift from the gods.  They can use it to deprive the poor of all the great benefits that fossil fuels can bring.  They can use it to create agriculture that grows not food but fuel for cars, despite fossil fuel being generally cheaper and less damaging to their engines.  When basic food prices rise as a result, more people starve.  The food they need could readily be produced, but they can't afford to buy it.  The demonisation of CO2 also means higher energy prices in the developed world, increasing fuel-poverty and reducing the prospects for economic growth there because heavily-subsidised windfarms, solar farms, and other foolish indulgences, are being imposed by supine governments.  Supine in the face of the high-priests of the climate scare, and the countless opportunists who rally round them in search of political and financial advantage.

There are also tribes of followers of this new cult, almost all wealthy and intolerant of dissent.  For them the superstition science is settled.  Action must be taken.  We saw some of them marching through New York and other places last month.

YouTube

They all looked well-fed and prosperous beneficiaries of industrial societies, and obviously with time to spare.  Some of their leaders were there too, some fabulously wealthy.  A few of them can be seen on the left in a screenshot taken from a new video called 'Why Renewables Equal Death'.








The picture on the right is from the same video.  It shows the burning of dung, the renewable energy source that causes so much air pollution and waste of fertiliser in the developing world.









(3) A Modern Aztec Sacrifice: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who has lost his childhood


Earth Guardian
'A 14-year old Colorado boy with an Aztec name travels the world with his younger brother, 11, as a missionary for “global sustainability,” rapping, dancing and speaking for Earth Guardians, a group he directs. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is not descended from Aztecs, the bloody tyranny that ruled central Mexico for several centuries until Cortes and his Native American allies overthrew them in 1521.   But Aztecs have somehow emerged in the sustainability movement as an ideal of eco-friendly civilization.  Never mind that the Aztecs were a predatory empire founded on constant warfare, genocide, human sacrifice, and cannibalism.'  

The above paragraph is taken from the start of a penetrating article by Rachelle Peterson called 'How Radicals Hijacked Environmentalism'.  She goes on to note:

'The new cult of Aztec sustainability was on display at the People’s Climate March of September 21st, where a contingent of  would-be Aztecs drummed and danced their way down Sixth Avenue with a float decorated with sculpted human skulls.'

'Sustainability', she further notes, is now  'a big tent that shelters social and political agendas along with environmental ones. Social justice, managed economies, fair trade, gender neutrality, and racial diversity are just a few of the other movements that find ideological homes under the banner of “sustainability.” Anti-colonialism is only the latest to join these ranks.'

She concludes with a caution:

'Perhaps the real “colonialism” that activists should eye is sustainability itself. The broader the sustainability movement becomes, the more aggressive it becomes in shoehorning parallel social movements into its mold. In that sense, the Aztec imagery is apt.  The Aztecs were one of the New World’s most successful imperial powers and succeeded in dominating all the native peoples of central Mexico for a time.  Strangely enough, however, they proved unsustainable.  Their other indigenous peoples of Mexico jumped at the chance presented by the arrival of a small contingent of well-armed Europeans to put an end to the Aztec empire.  Xiuhtezcatl might at some point take some time out from his advocacy work to study some history.'

Steve Goddard has more illustrations of Aztec practices, ancient and modern, here: 

'Threatening Children With Violent Death'



(4) 'Sustainable Development' = 'Suppressed Development'

The list of harms caused by self-styled 'environmentalists' or 'radicals' or would-be 'guardians'  is very large.  Here is a listing of what may only be part of it: 'The Legacy of the Environmental Movement'.  Here are the sub-headings at that location:
'Prolonged Psychological Fear Based on Unfounded/Distorted Claims'
'Needless Death of over 30 Million Innocent Young Children'
'Loss of a Dependable Electrical Infrastructure'
'Dependency on Foreign Oil and Higher Fuel Prices'
'Starvation'
'The Agents of Fear'
'Development of the "Precautionary Principle" into a Fear Distortion Tool'
'Taking of Property without Just Compensation (Private Lands)'
'Endangered Species Act'
'Tying National Security Up in Knots'
'Eliminating or Weakening Flood Prevention Systems (Dams, Levies)'
'Depriving Workers of Their Livelihood'
'The Law of Unintended Consequences'
'The Destruction of Credible Science by Promoting Junk Science'
'The Destruction of Scientist who disagree with the Environmental Agenda'
'Promoting a Small Utopian World for the Elite through a Population Control Agenda (Isn't this called Genocide?)'
'Sponsor of Terrorism in the Name of the Environment'
'School Indoctrination: Driving Fear into the Hearts of Our Children'

So much harm.  So much enthusiasm for harm.  Superstition can do that.  They call it 'Settled Science' in our time.  It leads to great sacrifice, and great waste. Not least of our children.

Note added 17 October 2014.  Will Happer, the distinguished physicist, drew attention to the Aztec analogy back in 2009: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/physicist-compares-global-warming-craze-to-aztec-human-sacrifices

Note added 17 October 2014. Paul Driessen has more on the activities of the young boy with the Aztec name: http://capitolhilloutsider.com/mindless-green-indoctrination-of-children/
“We’re from the Earth Guardians group, and we’re working on fracking and how it’s going to affect our future and our health. So we wrote this song for all the gas companies that are putting their profits ahead of our future.”
'With that prelude, 12-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and his 9-year-old brother Itzcuauhtli launched into an anti-fracking rap song for Evergreen Middle School students whose teacher had invited them to travel 40 miles from their home in “the People’s Republic of Boulder,” Colorado. The song was well rehearsed, spirited, clever – and no doubt assisted by their mother, the founder and executive director of Earth Guardians, and maybe even by Boulder’s former  mayor, an EG advisor.  The boys have been inculcated in Aztec and Hard Green ideology from birth. '



Thursday, 2 October 2014

Children of the Global Warming Scare: coming of age with no global warming over their lifetimes

Cartoons by Josh
Children born 18 years ago have lived their lives without any of the 'global warming' with which some people have been intent on scaring them witless.


At school, they would have seen those graphs of relentless rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures in the last decades of the 20th century.  They might well have seen propagandists such as Al Gore up a stepladder declaiming how one caused the other.  They might have heard of a Dr Hansen who on a hot day in 1988 warned the world of those relentless rises.


They could well have seen the MBH hockey stick plot of temperatures published in 1998,  and widely promoted by campaigners including the IPCC for some years.  It was a contrivance of no scientific merit other than serving the PR needs of those intent on scaring politicians, as well as children, about how rising CO2 was dominating our climate.






Well, the CO2 has continued to rise - at rates well above some of the projections used by such as the aforementioned Dr Hansen.  But here's the thing, the global mean temperature, once so widely display in reports, textbooks, press conferences, leaflets, presentations and videos, has not risen along with it.

WUWT
The temperature rise turned out to be not so relentless after all.    A cause of much rejoicing you might suppose?  Far from it.  Catastrophe-talk has been so advantageous for so many people jumping on the global warming bandwagon, that they will not give up on it so easily,  Merely being contradicted by the data is only something that decent scientists would be troubled by.  As Feynman for example has pointed out, when your theory is contradicted by the data, your theory is wrong.  But decent scientists are few, and self-serving followers of the climate catastrophe cult are many, and they don't really care about the science. Here are some illustrations of that:

'We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.' - Timothy Wirth, former US senator

'No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits . . . Climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.'  - Christine Stewart, former environment minister in Canada

Another key insight for eco-activists is this related one:
'It doesn't matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.'  - Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace 

John Christy, one of the world's decent climate scientists has noted this disgraceful and unscientific view out there:  'there is still a strong belief system that greenhouse gases control the climate, and so if that is your belief system, then it doesn’t really matter what the evidence shows.'

It encourages this sort of thing:
'The Communist Party USA’s environmental program “presents a viable plan to carry out on the long march to socialism.”'  - Havel Wolf, Seattle Audubon Society

And this sort of thing:
'Are you interested in reducing your carbon footprint?  How about playing a part in the survival of a virgin rain forest and the numerous species found within? Are you interested in making extra income and helping OURF raise funds in the process? If so, you can get involved in the worldwide effort to combat global warming by participating in the global carbon credit market.'  -  Oppor Tunistic, a fundraiser typical of many.

And even this sort of thing:

Grist








I wonder what she will be angry about eight years from now?  Her parents?  Her lost childhood?  The harm and suffering caused by renewables?  The frequent powercuts?  Rotten teaching?  The nightmares she had about global warming? 





Meanwhile, alarmers are busy promoting more satisfactory totems for their purposes now that global mean air temperature near the surface has so badly let them down.  Lubos looks more deeply into fatuous temperature targets. They are stupid targets but my goodness they served the alarmists well for decades by giving the impression we could decide on planetary temperatures merely by destroying our civilisation.  'Stupid' is too good a word for such people.  Children of the Warming Scare will have been harmed by them.  Perhaps as adults, they will be able to think more for themselves more, and begin to develop a calmer, more rational, and more optimistic view of their future.

(Hat-tip for the Josh cartoon: Bishop-Hill)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Climate Scare Stories Cost Lives: teach yourself and your children how to see through them


It’s time to stop the climate scare stories


India Prime Minister Narendra Modi sensibly refuses to attend yet another climate summit – this one called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York for September 23, under the auspices of the United Nations, which profits handsomely from the much-exaggerated climate scare.
Environmentalists have complained at Mr. Modi’s decision not to attend. They say rising atmospheric CO2 will cause droughts, melt Himalayan ice and poison lakes and waterways in the Indian subcontinent.
However, the UN’s climate panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has already had to backtrack on an earlier assertion that all the ice in the Himalayas would be gone within 25 years, and the most comprehensive review of drought trends worldwide shows the global land area under drought has fallen throughout the past 30 years.
Mr. Modi, a spiritual man and thus down-to-earth, knows that a quarter of India’s people still have no electricity. His priority is to turn on the lights all over India. In Bihar, four homes in five are lit by kerosene.
Electric power is the quickest, surest, cheapest way to lift people out of poverty and so to stabilize India’s population, which may soon overtake China’s.
The Indian-born Nobel laureate in economics, Professor Amartya Sen, recently lamented: “There would appear to be an insufficient recognition in global discussion of the need for increased power in the poorer countries. In India, for example, about a third of the people do not have any power connection at all. Making it easier to produce energy with better environmental correlates (and greater efficiency of energy use) may be a contribution not just to environmental planning, but also to making it possible for a great many people to lead a fuller and free life.”
The world’s governing elite, however, no longer cares about poverty. Climate change is its new and questionable focus.
In late August the Asian Development Bank, for instance, based on UN IPCC rising carbon dioxide (CO2) scenarios, predicted that warmer weather would cut rice production, rising seas would engulf Mumbai and other coastal megacities, and rainfall would decline by 10-40% in many Indian provinces.
Droughts and floods have occurred throughout India’s history. In the widespread famine caused by the drought of 1595-1598, “Men ate their own kind. The streets and roads were blocked with corpses, but no assistance can be given for their removal,” a chronicler in Akbar’s court reported.
Every Indian knows that too much (or too little) monsoon rainfall can bring death. That is why the latest computer-generated doom-and-gloom scenario by the Asian Development Bank is not merely unwelcome – it is repugnant. Garbage in, gospel out.
In truth, rice production has risen steadily, sea level is barely rising and even the UN’s climate panel has twice been compelled to admit that there is no evidence of a worldwide change in rainfall.
Subtropical India will not warm by much: advection would take most additional heat poleward. Besides, globally there has been little or no warming for almost two decades. The models did not predict that. The UN’s climate panel, on our advice, has recently all but halved its central estimate of near-term warming.
Sea level is rising no faster than for 150 years. From 2004-2012 the Envisat satellite reported a rise of a tenth of an inch. From 2003-2009 gravity satellites actually showed sea level falling. Results like these have not hitherto been reported in the mainstream news media.
More than 2 centuries of scientific research have failed to make the duration or magnitude of monsoons predictable. Monsoons depend on sea and surface temperature and wind conditions in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, timing of El NiƱos in the equatorial Pacific, variations in Eurasian and Himalayan winter snow cover, even wind direction in the equatorial stratosphere.
Earlier this year, the Indian Meteorological Department predicted a 1 in 4 chance that the 2014 monsoon rainfall would be below the long-term average, leading to a year of drought
The prediction was wrong. Widespread floods in northwestern India and Pakistan have killed several hundred people. Many environmentalists and governmental officials are now insisting that rising atmospheric CO2 is the culprit. Yet the one cause of the recent floods that can be altogether ruled out is global warming, for the good and sufficient reason that for 18 years there has not been any warming.
Worse still for CO2 alarmists: 20th and 21st century warming did not occur in the western Himalayas, and paleo-temperature records from for the last millennium confirm no exceptional recent warming in this region, although the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today almost everywhere else.
Regardless of the numerous political manipulations of fact and reality, the scientific problems of forecasting monsoon self-evidently remain unsolved.
In 1906 the forecasts depended on 28 unknowns. By 2007 scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology were using 73. So insisting that just one variable – CO2 concentration – will drive future monsoons is unscientific.
Professor Nandakumar Sarma, vice-chancellor of Manipur University, recently confirmed that “even supercomputers cannot predict what will happen due to climate change within 10-20 years, since there are millions of variable parameters.”
Models said monsoons would become more intense. Instead, they have weakened for 50 years.
As for the floods in the north-west, a study of three major rivers floods in Gujarat by Dr. Alpa Sridhar confirmed that past floods were at least 8 to 10 times worse than recent floods such as that of 1973. CO2-based climate models have been unable to “hindcast” or recreate those floods.
Models also fail to replicate the 60-yr and 200-yr cycles in monsoon rainfall linked to solar cycles detected by studies of ocean sediments from the Arabian Sea.
A new study led by Professor K.M. Hiremath of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics shows the strong, possibly causative correlation between variations in solar activity (red curve) and in monsoon rainfall (blue curve) in Figure 1.
The red curve is actually the result of a simulation of the Indian monsoon rainfall for the past 120 years using solar activity as a forcing variable. The sun is visibly a far more likely influence on monsoon patterns than changes in CO2 concentration.
Governments also overlook a key conclusion from the world’s modelers, led by Dr. Fred Kucharski of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics: “The increase of greenhouse gases in the twentieth century has not significantly contributed to the observed decadal Indian monsoonal rainfall variability.”
Not one climate model predicted the severe Indian drought of 2009, followed by the prolonged rains the next year – up by 40% in most regions. These natural variations are not new. They have happened for tens of thousands of years.
A paper for Climate Dynamics co-authored by Professor Goswami, recently-retired director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, shows why the models relied upon by the UN’s climate panel’s recent assessments predict monsoons inaccurately.
clip_image002
Figure 1. There is a possibly causative correlation between variations in solar activity (red curve) and in monsoon rainfall (blue curve).
All 16 models examined had the same fatal flaw: they made rain too easily by artificially elevating air and water masses in the atmosphere.
Models are not ready to predict the climate. Misusing computers to spew out multiple “what-if” scenarios is unscientific.
Most fundamental problems in our immature understanding of climate have remained unresolved for decades. Some cannot be resolved at all. The UN’s climate panel admitted in 2001 what has been known for 50 years: because the climate is a “coupled, non-linear, chaotic object,” reliable long-term climate prediction is impossible.
Misuse of climate models as false prophets is costly in lives as well as treasure.
To condemn the poorest of India’s poor to continuing poverty is to condemn many to an untimely death. Mr. Modi is right to have no more to do with such murderous nonsense. It is time to put an end to climate summits. On the evidence, they are not needed.
______________
Willie Soon is a solar physicist and climate scientist at Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Lord Monckton was an expert reviewer for the Fifth Assessment Report (2013) of the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC.
To news and opinion websites September 22, 2014
Note  The above text is quoted verbatim from WUWT, based on my understanding that this is intended for widespread dissemination.  It certainly deserves to be widely read, not least by teachers and parents. 
Note Here is a useful reprise of a report published in 2010, a report which is a useful document to have to hand to help with the task of 'seeing through' the facile stories of climate alarm campaigners:  http://www.globalresearch.ca/more-than-1000-international-scientists-dissent-over-man-made-global-warming-claims/5403284
I

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Climate Cult Marches in New York and elsewhere on 21st September: the ill-informed and the ill-intentioned will call for more destruction

Cornwall Alliance
Climate policies such as the subsidising of renewable energy are destructive. They destroy lives in the developing world by raising the price of food. They destroy development prospects by raising the price of energy.








ConservationBytes
Climate alarm campaigners destroy morale in the young and other vulnerable groups by raising the spectre of imminent doom. They destroy educational ideals by turning classrooms into indoctrination centres. They destroy childhood innocence by demanding 'action' by the young, and using them as their political tools.
Grist
Some campaigners are ill-intentioned because of their hatred of society. The hard left, the deep greens, the bigoted and the malevolent. The climate scare merely gives them a new platform for their poisons.
(hat-tip for pic: Greenie Watch)






GreenieWatch

Some are surely innocents who want to good. They have heard that our CO2 is disrupting the climate and driving us towards disaster, and some may even think the disaster is already underway when they hear claims that droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other harmful phenomena are much worse than they used to be.  They are too easily led.  They are being taken advantage of.





It would be a whole lot healthier if we had marches and protests against what Paul Driessen has called the 'climate change scientist-government-environmentalist-industrialist climate complex'

Not a very snappy label, but as he notes,this 'complex' is 'well funded and powerful. But it is also arrogant and dishonest, and its assertions are so far removed from reality that they can no longer survive scrutiny and challenge.'

'The time has come to end its attempt to control our lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards, and life spans.'

Amen to that.

Notes added 22 September 2014   A sensible chap call Alex Epstein had his very own counterflow march in New York:

Here is another glimpse into his experiences there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcgH62jiocA
Part 1 of his video clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mojiBJ55G2g&feature 

Here is an example of a child being used as a political weapon on the march in New York:

This pic and many more at: http://grist.org/climate-energy/meet-a-climate-marcher/

Desmo
And another example of this exploitation of kids:







If you really want insight into just about anything at all, get a statistician to take a look at it.  Here are some insights from Matt Briggs who took a look at the march in New York, and tried to engage with some of the marchers: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=13644  Basically, he found a lot of people who did not really know what they were supporting, but came along anyway.

For the hard-left (and billionaires) at the march, see: http://donsurber.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/commies-and-billionaires-march-against.html
and: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/09/21/f-the-police-communists-radicals-spotted-throughout-climate-march-in-new-york-city-demand-revolution-nothing-less/

A report on the London march, and the mess the marchers left behind them: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/22/Climate-March-London-Piles-of-Placards

Note added 24 September 2014 Report from the San Francisco Oakland rally on 21 Sep (hat-tip WUWT) The hard-left dominated this event.  How sad to see such a spectacle in the land of the free! Lots of picture here: http://pjmedia.com/zombie/2014/09/23/climate-movement-drops-mask-admits-communist-agenda/  For example:

and 'Children were encouraged to hang out in the protest’s kid-friendly zone, where they could draw their own signs promoting “revolution.”'

Friday, 19 September 2014

Inspiration for the Climate Teacher: a call for compassion for the world's poor

As a non-believer, but nevertheless a great admirer of Christianity, I have been puzzled by the number of evangelical Christians who are prominent in the promotion of alarm over our impact on the climate.  Names that come immediately to mind are John Houghton, Bill McKibben, Katharine Hayhoe, and John Cook.  Puzzled because raising alarm with the scope and scale of CAGW is a shockingly irresponsible thing to do when the case for it is so weak and so speculative, and the policy consequences emerging from it are so dreadful for people and the environment all over the world.

But a group called the Cornwall Alliance has reassured me a lot about by publishing a far more compassionate and in my opinion, far better founded perspective on climate variation and climate policies.  It is called 'Protect the Poor: Ten Reasons to Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies'.

Here are the core elements of it:
  1. As the product of infinitely wise design, omnipotent creation, and faithful sustaining (Genesis 1:1–31; 8:21–22), Earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting. Although Earth and its subsystems, including the climate system, are susceptible to some damage by ignorant or malicious human action, God’s wise design and faithful sustaining make these natural systems more likely—as confirmed by widespread scientific observation—to respond in ways that suppress and correct that damage than magnify it catastrophically.
  2. Earth’s temperature naturally warms and cools cyclically throughout time, and warmer periods are typically more conducive to human thriving than colder periods.
  3. While human addition of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere may slightly raise atmospheric temperatures, observational studies indicate that the climate system responds more in ways that suppress than in ways that amplify CO2’s effect on temperature, implying a relatively small and benign rather than large and dangerous warming effect.
  4. Empirical studies indicate that natural cycles outweigh human influences in producing the cycles of global warming and cooling, not only in the distant past but also recently.
  5. Computer climate models, over 95% of which point toward greater warming than has been observed during the period of rapid CO2 increase, do not justify belief that human influences have come to outweigh natural influences, or fears that human-caused warming will be large and dangerous.
  6. Rising atmospheric CO2 benefits all life on Earth by improving plant growth and crop yields, making food more abundant and affordable, helping the poor most of all.
  7. Abundant, affordable, reliable energy, most of it now and in the foreseeable future provided by burning fossil fuels, which are the primary source of CO2 emissions, is indispensable to lifting and keeping people out of poverty.
  8. Mandatory reductions in CO2 emissions, pursued to prevent dangerous global warming, would have little or no discernible impact on global temperatures, but would greatly increase the price of energy and therefore of everything else. Such policies would put more people at greater risk than the warming they are intended to prevent, because they would slow, stop, or even reverse the economic growth that enables people to adapt to all climates. They would also harm the poor more than the wealthy, and would harm them more than the small amount of warming they might prevent.
  9. In developed countries, the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on energy than others, so rising energy prices, driven by mandated shifts from abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels to diffuse, expensive, intermittent “Green” energy, will in effect be regressive taxes—taxing the poor at higher rates than the rich.
  10. In developing countries, billions of the poor desperately need to replace dirty, inefficient cooking and heating fuels, pollution from which causes hundreds of millions of illnesses and about 4 million premature deaths every year, mostly among women and young children. To demand that they forgo the use of inexpensive fossil fuels and depend on expensive wind, solar, and other “Green” fuels to meet that need is to condemn them to more generations of poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The first point above is a bit too mystical for my tastes, but it is gentle and positive, and I imagine people of many other faiths could go along with it. The other 9 points deserve to be studied by anyone who teaches climate topics to schoolchildren, with a view to finding ways to get these key insights across to them.

The statement continues with direct appeals to Christians to take actions, and this is less suited to general teaching except perhaps for discussion with senior pupils. 

Here, on the other hand, is another Christian leader urging his flock to join the march in New York next week, a march intended to produce even more destructive and dreadful policies ostensibly based on overblown fears about our carbon dioxide: http://blog.archny.org/index.php/peoples-climate-march/comment-page-1/

So, it is not all good!




Thursday, 18 September 2014

Climate Chumps and Climate Cheats – '97%' is the tell-tale to find them

The sails on some boats have short lengths of wool attached to them to show the manner in which the air is flowing past. They are called tell-tales, and let the sailor know if the sail needs trimming.

The '97%' statistic can act as a tell-tale to let you know the manner of person you are dealing with when it is deployed to promote alarm over our impact on climate. I make the crude division of those who deploy it that way into climate chumps or climate cheats. The former have merely been deceived themselves, the latter want to deceive others.  

The basic deceit being that something like 97% of climate scientists or 97% of climate science papers support an alarmist view of climate change and our contribution to it.  Who could argue with such numbers?  Well, many people can and have.  When the sources of such claims have been checked out, they are found to be so unimpressive that it is grossly irresponsible for anyone to rely on them. At best, they indicate support for banalities such as 'climate changes', 'there was global warming in the 20th Century', 'CO2 is a greenhouse gas', 'humans contribute a warming effect by releasing CO2 into the atmosphere'.  None of these is intrinsically alarming.  For example, they are all perfectly consistent with the assertion that there is no problem.

The climate chumps relay the '97%' in conversation, in blog comments, and so on, but they do so in complete ignorance of the shoddy nature of the various derivations of this stinky statistic. Lots of ordinary members of the public might fall into this category. They may know next to nothing about the climate system, but they have heard the relentless propaganda in school, on tv, or in their newspapers for years and maybe the 97% number just struck them as impressive. They need your gentle help to get a clearer view.

The climate cheats know, or ought to know, that the '97%' is a stinker of a statistic, but nevertheless, they make a big deal out of it, even seeing it as a clincher in PR-work and other carefully produced materials. They include specialist journalists, bloggers, politicians, and civil servants. They ought to check the origins of prominent statistics used in their arguments. They deserve your sharp criticism for deploying something so shoddy and deceptive.

So, when you see the 97% being deployed in ways that are meant to impress and convince you that you should believe in climate catastrophe, or 'dangerous global warming' as President Obama put it, regard it as a tell-tale that you are reading/listening/watching either a chump or a cheat. A couple of questions, or maybe just a little more of your attention, should help you decide which label is the right one. If it is being used in this way in school materials which you or your children are exposed to, then make a formal complaint about them.

Andrew Montford has recently written a GWPF report (link is to the pdf file) on one of the most prominent and recent sources of '97%' - the notorious Cook et al. paper of 2013 - and he summarises some of the criticisms made about it by academics: 

e.g. Mike Hulme:

The [Cook et al.] article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed.
It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately
poor level of public and policy debate in this country that the energy minister
should cite it. It offers a similar depiction of the world into categories of ‘right’ and
‘wrong’ to that adopted in [an earlier study]: dividing publishing climate scientists
into ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’. It seems to me that these people are still living
(or wishing to live) in the pre-2009 world of climate change discourse. Haven’t
they noticed that public understanding of the climate issue has moved on?

e.g. Richard Tol

Reported results are inconsistent and biased. The sample is not representative and
contains many irrelevant papers. Overall, data quality is low. Cook’s validation test
shows that the data are invalid. Data disclosure is incomplete so that key results
cannot be reproduced or tested.

e.g. Jose Duarte

. . .completely invalid and untrustworthy (and by customary scientific standards,
completely unpublishable.) I had no idea this was happening. This is garbage,
and a crisis. It needs to stop, and [such] papers need to be retracted immediately,
especially Cook, et al (2013).


Montford quietly concludes 'The figure of 97% is entirely discredited, whatever the nature of the
consensus.'


For an introduction to criticisms of Cook et al. and other sources of '97%', see my earlier post: