Christopher Booker: Is the global warming scare the greatest delusion in history?

Posted: November 27, 2011 by tallbloke in Energy, Incompetence, Politics

It’s rare that I republish a strongly political opinion piece here on the talkshop. Mostly because on other blogs it it tends to generate exchanges which create more heat than light. But the time has come to consider the consequences of the policies being foisted on us in the name of averting the threat of global warming if they turn out to be aiming in the wrong direction.

A common argument from the better informed people on the co2-drives-climate-change side of the debate is that although we don’t know for sure if co2 really does drive climate change (formerly known as global warming) the consequences of not acting now if it is true are so bad that we should not delay in drastically cutting co2 emissions.

The article below from Christopher Booker is the counterpoint to this line of thinking. It asks what the consequences of  pursuing the policies already in place will be for us if they continue. In the face of the evidence that the small group of scientists at the centre of the co2 scare have strongly oversold the certainty of their public pronouncements, this is a salient question.

I have for some time been expressing my concerns about the inability of successive governments in the UK to get to grips with the looming crisis in energy production. The costs of renovating decrepit distribution infrastructure and building new generation plant are so vast that our leaders have buried their heads in the sand and used the co2 scare as an excuse to shelve much needed new projects. This has gone on for so long that the decimation of the UK’s engineering capability begun by Margaret Thatcher in the 80’s has brought us to the point where we simply don’t have the expertise or manufacturing capacity to deliver the huge amount of new equipment needed in the timescale required to avert energy disaster.

Our political class is so bereft of engineering understanding, coming as it does from the world of economics, law and finance, that it has allowed the situation to slide to the point where our only option is to ask foreign companies to build and run our energy supply. If they can see a profit in it. This will price many people out of being able to afford to keep their homes warm in the increasingly cold winters we have been experiencing in the last few years. Many premature deaths of vulnerable people will result. The commitment of these companies is to their profit, not our social responsibilities.

It’s time for our politicians, civil service mandarins, policy gurus and chief scientists to take a deep breath, read what Christopher Booker has to say without jerking their knees around, and face up to the state we’re in.

 Is the global warming scare the greatest delusion in history?

Christopher Booker – Daily Telegraph Sunday 27 November 2011

To grasp the almost suicidal state of unreality our Government has been driven into by the obsession with global warming, it is necessary to put together the two sides to an overall picture – each vividly highlighted by events of recent days.

On one hand there is the utterly lamentable state of the science which underpins it all, illuminated yet again by “Climategate 2.0”, the latest release of emails between the leading scientists who for years have been at the heart of the warming scare (which I return to below). On the other hand, we see the damage done by the political consequences of this scare, which will directly impinge, in various ways, on all our lives.

Read the full piece here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8917737/Is-the-global-warming-scare-the-greatest-delusion-in-history.html

Comments
  1. J Martin says:

    It’s a good article by the way. Though only the economic collapse of the UK as we drift helplessly into this coming Landscheidt minimum with it’s interesting consequences for a country so ill prepared for a colder climate will wake up the people and especially the dimwitted UK politicians.

    After the team of Mann, Santer, Jones, Hanson, etc. probably the worst offenders are the UK newspapers who have resolutely largely kept climate-gate II from the papers and who continue to preach global warming and catastrophic co2 nonsense with ever increasing degrees of shrillness.

    I find it curious that although all previous proclamations of the team have failed, the UK newspapers steadfastly ignore these failures and instead move on to the latest crop of proclamations in an almost religiously fervent manner. A good example is the graph that shows that World temperatures are now below the predicted temperatures for a zero growth of co2 whereas co2 growth has exceeded their highest predicted value (?).

    Thus the UK newspapers should by now be questioning the proclamations of the team and of Greenpeace and the WWF since their predictions have been shown by time to be so far adrift of reality. With the exception of Christopher Booker and James Delingpole, it would seem that our newspapers including publications like the new Scientist have long since given up even the most basic tenets of investigative journalism.

    Our UK politicians are almost without completely hopeless. Wasn’t the climate act voted in by all bar 3 MPs ? In other words our MPs get their education on matters of climate from the front page of a UK newspaper whilst sipping their designer coffee’s in their posy pink shirts. I doubt they even go beyond the front page in many cases.

    I have for years not voted nor bought UK newspapers. I continue to see no point in doing either.

    On another matter I was interested in some comments on WUWT who reckons that the failure rate of most cells in solar PV panels is 10% per annum. Which would mean that the panel’s productivity would decline steadily such that after 10 years it would effectively be just scrap. Which would mean that despite the immoral subsidies being paid, people with solar panels will, far from making a profit from them, will in fact be lucky to break even or will even lose money. The saying; “If it’s too good to be true then it almost certainly isn’t” springs to mind.

    PV panels have been around for some time now, I wonder if there are any available statistics on their rate of cell failure and reduction of output over time.

  2. J Martin says:

    I think I should have had my morning coffee before hitting the submit button.

    “Our UK politicians are almost without completely hopeless” should of course have been “Our UK politicians are almost without exception completely hopeless”

  3. malagaview says:

    Many premature deaths of vulnerable people will result.

    It is not “WILL” but “HAVE”.

    UK cold winter pushes ‘excess winter deaths’ to 25,700 in the winter 0f 2010/11

    http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/building-and-design/i/4662/

    And 2009/10 was just as bad according to the BBC:
    Winter death toll ‘unchanged from previous year’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15836494

    So the Precautionary Principle has a lot of blood on its hands [as usual].

    The BBC newspeak article calmly states:
    There were 25,700 excess deaths in total with the majority among the over 75s – similar to the previous winter.

    So I guess this is the policy regarding the over 75s.

  4. Pete Ridley says:

    Hi Roger, at first glance the finger pointing “ .. political class is so bereft of engineering understanding .. It’s time for our politicians .. to .. read what Christopher Booker has to say .. the political consequences of this scare .. ” seems appropriate, but is it?

    There was little opposition from our wonderful UK “Right Honourable!” and “Honourable!” politicians to the revival after the 2005 General Election of the Private Members “Climate Change” Bill inspired by “Friends of the Earth”. Only UKIP had argued strongly against the Bill, but even they did not reject the pseudo-science that was claimed to support the need for action. Riding high on the wave of MMS reporting of the distorted science presented by the politically motivated authors of the IPCC’s AR4 Summary for Policy Makers, the Act passed its third reading in front of an almost empty House.

    In Nov 2008 Christopher Booker covered this in another of his excellent articles “Climate Change Bill makes chilling reading” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/3563191/Climate-Change-Bill-makes-chilling-reading.html).

    One MP who has staunchly argued against this Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) nonsense is Sammy Wilson, despite angry words from “Friends of the Earth” (http://www.foe.co.uk/northern_ireland/press_releases/wilson_isolated_29102008.html and http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/newsletters/northern_ireland_170.pdf). At the time Wilson was NI Environment Minister but that didn’t continue for too long afterwards. Despite being “reshuffled” to Minister of Finance and Personnel in 2009 (I wouldn’t have done that to my worst enemy, considering the state the NI economy was in, but politicians are a different breed to us ordinary folk).

    I respect Sammy Wilson for his courage in continuing to campaign against the party line but I’m not so sure that some of the company that he keeps will enhance his career plans. Back in 2010 he sponsored a meeting in the Palace of Westminster involving a group of climate sceptics who offer rather unorthodox science in support of their climate scepticism then repeated the fiasco this year. This group, led by John O’Sullivan, who is trying to establish a publishing company Principia Scientific International (http://www.gofundme.com/1v39s is a good starting point, but also read the comments) is so unorthodox that it could do more damage than good for the sceptical “cause” (well, if Dr. Mann can have a “cause” why not we sceptics).

    Although I do not often agree with Leo Hickman, an associate of Christopher Booker from the other side of the debate, I can’t disagree with how he described that 2010 “Climate Fools Day” event (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/oct/25/climate-fools-day-sceptics-parliament).

    If anyone is interested in reading more about “The Slayers” they can get some background information from Professor Judith Curry’s “Letter to the dragon slayers” thread (http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comments).

    [Moderation note] And keep any response you may have over there.

    I started with a question about the validity of pointing the finger of blame for this CACC nonsense at our politicians. On the face of it that appears reasonable but let us not forget that when we point the finger there are three fingers pointing in another direction – who votes our politicians into Parliament? (As a side issue, there are those who point the finger of blame for our economic woes at the bankers, but who is it that provides the banks with their custom? – but that’s a debate about household economics)

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  5. tallbloke says:

    Hi Pete,
    some valid points, though I would contend that the collusion of the state broadcaster, the society of enviromental journalists, the core IPCC science group and the cross-party greenwashers has so effectivley misled the public as to the true uncertainty in the co2 conjecture that the argument that we got the policy we voted for and deserve is a bit thin.

    As my moderation note indicates, your debate with the Slayers will not be taking place here, though your points about them are noted.

  6. Pete Ridley says:

    Hi Roger (ref. 27th Nov. at 12:45 pm.) I fully appreciate the impact that the MMS has on public opinion but that really underscores my point. Most of the people that I talk with “casually” about issues that have a significant impact upon their lives, such as CACC, political manipulation, media bias, the economy, etc. seem to have the same attitude that my local MP had when during the political campaigning ahead of last year’s elections. His response to “Why do you support this CACC nonsense” was “I don’t understand it but that’s what the experts tell us”.

    I brought up my children (and encourage my grandchildren) not to simply accept but to question what they are told. It made life very difficult at times because they were so reluctant to do what I told them, but I still think they benefited from it. Too many of us seem to be too busy with our day-to-day activities to take an interest in things that have the greatest impact on our lives. I’m lucky that I’m retired and can spend time doing my own research but even those in the same position as I am that I try to discuss CACC with simply are not interested.

    The public in general allow themselves to be misled and that is what propagandist of all colours rely upon.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley.

  7. adolfogiurfa says:

    Just wait for the Thames river to freeze:

  8. tallbloke says:

    ” His response to “Why do you support this CACC nonsense” was “I don’t understand it but that’s what the experts tell us”.”

    Hi Pete. Yes, well this is a reflection of the hitherto high regard and trust that the institution of science has enjoyed since it supplanted the church as the font of knowledge and wisdom in the earlier part of the C20th.

    The way this trust has been imperilled by the cavalier attitude to how the scientific method should be adhered to and how the outputs should interface with policy making by some scientists, institutional administrators and political trendsetters is the issue now before us.

    It doesn’t look like the high-ups are in any hurry to fix what has been broken, so it’s up to rank and file scientists, those like ourselves who have had time to put some effort into thinking about it, and any other bright sparks we can engage.

  9. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Our political class is so bereft of engineering understanding, coming as it does from the world of economics, law and finance,”

    It isn’t too sound on economics law and finance either.

    Our political class actually comes from the pampered wealthy who have never needed to be at the sharp end of a business enterprise or household budget and it shows.

    They are consumed by so called middle class guilt and take every opportunity to make others suffer for it whilst they are insulated and above the fray.

    Western style democracy could fall because of their behaviour over the past 60 years but that behaviour has been at its worst over the past 15 years or so.

    It is no coincidence that so many of our institutions are all falling apart simultaneously.

  10. Chris Aviss says:

    Germane comments.
    Read Chris Booker’s “The Real Global Warming Disaster”, first published 2009, available in paperback from Amazon. Two years later, and the political situation concerning ‘climate change’ is worse than ever, especially in the UK.

  11. adolfogiurfa says:

    If we see the following Oulu neutron monitor graph:

    The lowest count was in 1991-92; according to Henrik Svensmark such a low caused a critical low in cloud cover, the oceans began to heat up, until the Big 1997-98 el niño which released all that heat. From then on “Global Warming” was in reverse. We can easily read its future from that graph.

  12. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The governments of Elites are bent on suicide and have their ears filled with the garbage that has been spilled to them in schools and their own circles. But the people that look to them for leadership are sitting jobless, starving and cold in the dark. The tide is turning and there will be hell to pay. Some of the political class are beginning to listen and speak out as the “Team” is loosing the power of it’s message. Now is the time to make the message of truth the loudest.

    The time of rebuilding of western civilization is near at hand. The next great leap forward. pg

  13. Stephen Wilde says:

    I agree that we need to rebuid western civilisation but it is going to be very disruptive during the process and no guarantee we will recover all that which we have thrown away.

    First step I think the Euro is going to have to fail. Germany will go down with it.

    Second step a huge devaluation and printing exercise for the UK and USA but that will wreck the value of all our savings and the reserves of China and India.

    Then rebuild our manufacturing bases as fast as we can.

    The trouble is that such a process will destabilise lots of other nations that have relied on selling stuff to us.

    Good luck to all.

  14. Roger Andrews says:

    It’s quiz time.

    Here are three recent quotes from three different people. Who are they and what do they have in common? (apart from an unquestioning belief in AGW – and no, none of them is Al Gore).

    1. “We are certainly facing more than a 50% chance our myopic ignorance will burn the house down — a 50% chance that on our current emissions path, we will destroy a livable climate”

    2. “The science behind climate change is settled, and human activity is responsible for global warming”

    3. “We now know that climate is changing all across the globe. The air and the oceans are warming, mountain glaciers are disappearing, sea ice is shrinking, permafrost is thawing, the great land ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica are showing signs of instability, and sea level is rising. And the consequences for human well-being are already being felt: more heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires; tropical diseases reaching into the temperate zones; vast areas of forest destroyed by pest outbreaks linked to warming; alterations in patterns of rainfall on which agriculture depends; and coastal property increasingly at risk from the surging seas….”

    What do these three people have in common?

    First, they all have scientific credentials (one of them has a Nobel, for what that’s worth any more), but they obviously aren’t scientists. They’re advocates.

    Second, and equally obviously, none of them knows – or cares – enough about the complexities of climate science to be qualified to offer an opinion.

    Third, all three of them work for, and talk to, Barack Obama.

    In order of appearance they are Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy (we need less fossil fuel and more high-glucose crops), Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the EPA (CO2 is a pollutant!) and John Holdren, Obama’s Science and Technology adviser (who loses no opportunity to tell his boss how nasty global warming is. And if Holdren’s name seems familiar, he was a disciple of Paul Ehrlich. ‘Nuff said.)

    And on the other side of the pond you blokes in the UK have Beddington, and the Australians have Steffen and Flannery, and the Germans have Schellnhuber, all of them clones of Chu, Jackson and Holdren.

    The case can of course be made that these and other “science advisers” aren’t making any difference because they are just parroting the official government lines on global warming and green energy. But we have to remember that they see themselves as missionaries (Lisa Jackson recently wrote an article on “Why We Need to Sell Environmentalism”) and maybe they are getting some converts in high places. And if they are we have to address two issues: 1) how they got nominated in the first place, and 2) how to get rid of them before they do any more damage.

  15. tallbloke says:

    I think, judging by the latest from David Cameron’s ‘strategy director’ and Green Advisor, they’ll soon be changing their tune…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066720/David-Camerons-green-guru-Steve-Hilton-reveals-doubts-global-warming.html

    I also found this:

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2011/09/steve-hilton-makes-his-first-public-speaking-appearance-and-says.html

    “Hilton and the other panelists set out a vision for Britain to become the most open and transparent government in the world. Using Eric Pickles’ phrase, Hilton said he wanted to turn a Britain of “post code lotteries into a world of post code choices”. Citizens, he said, should be given the information to compare the performance of schools and hospitals and then the mechanisms to choose the best ones. Crime data, for example, will drive campaigns to have better policing for neglected or hotspot areas during the new direct elections of police chiefs. They described a world of open data in which negligent doctors be exposed if their performance varied wildly from the norm and a world in which we could compare individual GPs’ prescribing habits and individual judge’s sentencing. Poor contract management would also be exposed. Taxpayers and commercial rivals would be able to see if IT or any other contractors went over budget on projects. A searchlight would be shone on every wasteful government initiative and government wouldn’t be able to hide that initiative by burying the failure under extra cash.”

    I wonder if he plans that this openness will extend to us being able to monitor the performance of climate scientists?

  16. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    I am ready to free advice, just drop me a line, Dave! I can make to No. 10 in about half an hour.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NVa.htm

  17. Pete Ridley says:

    Hi Stephen (Wilde) 2 ½ years ago you said on Anthony Watts’s blog that you “ .. the latitudinal position of the mid latitude jet streams (after accounting for seasonal changes) indicates whether the globe is warming or cooling overall .. the latitudinal movement of those jets is the climate mechanism whereby the energy flow to space is accelerated or decelerated in order to maintain sea surface/air surface temperature equilibrium .. ” (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/22/natural-drivers-of-weather-and-climate/). You then went on to say I can find nothing to support your hypothesis that the jet streams exert significant control over energy flow to space “ .. to maintain sea surface/air surface temperature equilibrium .. ” or that “ .. The extra CO2 slows down the energy flow to space but the shift in the air circulation speeds it up again by the same amount. .. ” . Can you provide a link to any scientific analysis? I don’t mean such as you offered in ClimateRealists (http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=1562) because I was somewhat surprised by your claim that “ .. When solar energy reaches the Earth it is in the form of radiant energy .. When that energy hits molecules in the atmosphere the energy is absorbed by the molecules in the atmosphere which then vibrate more quickly. .. ”.

    I am not a scientist (retired Chartered Engineer – Radio & Electronics, Computers, Control) so I may be wrong to believe that the main molecules in the atmosphere, N2 & O2, do not absorb radiated energy to any significant degree. As a consequence (ignoring water vapour and those trace gases like CO2, CH4 and SO2) the atmosphere is virtually transparent to the energy radiated by the Sun therefore most of it makes it down to the Earth’s surface. If I’m mistaken then please can you provide a link to a peer-reviewed paper or an established text book that explains why.

    Biologist Peter Taylor of Ethos UK (http://ethos-uk.com/about.html) agreed with you about lateral jet streams but his background is not in any of the scientific disciplines that are contributing to improving our poor understanding of the process and drivers of the different global climates. In my opinion Pete is correct to concentrate on adapting to changes in them rather than wasting his time trying to control them. That is all that the different forms of life on Earth can (or have ever been able) do in the face of whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at us.

    I am inclined to agree with much of what you said on 27th Nov. at 5:37 pm. but not with your comments about China and India, both of which have a major resource that we don’t have, a cheap labour pool that really does understand the meaning of poverty. That’s why our manufacturing base will continue to struggle.

    BTW, I understand that you are a lawyer so you may be interested in visiting Professor Curry’s “Letter to the dragon slayers” thread (http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comments).

    [Moderator note] Which we will not be discussing here. (Second admonition)

    Hi Roger [tallbloke] [snip], please forgive my cynicism but “openness” and “politicians” just do not go hand-in-hand.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  18. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    But you already are monitoring the performance of climate scientists. Since Climategate 1.0 no fewer than three separate independent reviews (Muir Russell, Oxburgh and the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee) have examined the activities and motives of CRU and found them to be as pure as the driven snow. And these reviews were conducted by some of the best scientists and politicians that money can buy.
    ;-)

  19. tallbloke says:

    Roger, I loved the Institute of Physics submission to the S&T committee.

    What are the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of scientific research?
    1. The Institute is concerned that, unless the disclosed e-mails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research in this field and for the credibility of the scientific method as practised in this context.
    2. The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital. The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner. This extends well beyond the CRU itself – most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change.
    3. It is important to recognise that there are two completely different categories of data set that are involved in the CRU e-mail exchanges:
    · those compiled from direct instrumental measurements of land and ocean surface temperatures such as the CRU, GISS and NOAA data sets; and
    · historic temperature reconstructions from measurements of ‘proxies’, for example, tree-rings.
    4. The second category relating to proxy reconstructions are the basis for the conclusion that 20th century warming is unprecedented. Published reconstructions may represent only a part of the raw data available and may be sensitive to the choices made and the statistical techniques used. Different choices, omissions or statistical processes may lead to different conclusions. This possibility was evidently the reason behind some of the (rejected) requests for further information.
    5. The e-mails reveal doubts as to the reliability of some of the reconstructions and raise questions as to the way in which they have been represented; for example, the apparent suppression, in graphics widely used by the IPCC, of proxy results for recent decades that do not agree with contemporary instrumental temperature measurements.
    6. There is also reason for concern at the intolerance to challenge displayed in the e-mails. This impedes the process of scientific ‘self correction’, which is vital to the integrity of the scientific process as a whole, and not just to the research itself. In that context, those CRU e-mails relating to the peer-review process suggest a need for a review of its adequacy and objectivity as practised in this field and its potential vulnerability to bias or manipulation.
    7. Fundamentally, we consider it should be inappropriate for the verification of the integrity of the scientific process to depend on appeals to Freedom of Information legislation. Nevertheless, the right to such appeals has been shown to be necessary. The e-mails illustrate the possibility of networks of like-minded researchers effectively excluding newcomers. Requiring data to be electronically accessible to all, at the time of publication, would remove this possibility.
    8. As a step towards restoring confidence in the scientific process and to provide greater transparency in future, the editorial boards of scientific journals should work towards setting down requirements for open electronic data archiving by authors, to coincide with publication. Expert input (from journal boards) would be needed to determine the category of data that would be archived. Much ‘raw’ data requires calibration and processing through interpretive codes at various levels.
    9. Where the nature of the study precludes direct replication by experiment, as in the case of time-dependent field measurements, it is important that the requirements include access to all the original raw data and its provenance, together with the criteria used for, and effects of, any subsequent selections, omissions or adjustments. The details of any statistical procedures, necessary for the independent testing and replication, should also be included. In parallel, consideration should be given to the requirements for minimum disclosure in relation to computer modelling.
    Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate?
    10. The scope of the UEA review is, not inappropriately, restricted to the allegations of scientific malpractice and evasion of the Freedom of Information Act at the CRU. However, most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other leading institutions involved in the formulation of the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change. In so far as those scientists were complicit in the alleged scientific malpractices, there is need for a wider inquiry into the integrity of the scientific process in this field.
    11. The first of the review’s terms of reference is limited to: “…manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice…” The term ‘acceptable’ is not defined and might better be replaced with ‘objective’.
    12. The second of the review’s terms of reference should extend beyond reviewing the CRU’s policies and practices to whether these have been breached by individuals, particularly in respect of other kinds of departure from objective scientific practice, for example, manipulation of the publication and peer review system or allowing pre-formed conclusions to override scientific objectivity.
    How independent are the other two international data sets?
    13. Published data sets are compiled from a range of sources and are subject to processing and adjustments of various kinds. Differences in judgements and methodologies used in such processing may result in different final data sets even if they are based on the same raw data. Apart from any communality of sources, account must be taken of differences in processing between the published data sets and any data sets on which they draw.

  20. Pete Ridley says:

    Hi Roger (Andrews) ref. 27th Nov. at 10:05 pm. please allow me to paraphrase “ .. these reviews were conducted by some of the best scientists that politicians can buy .. ” (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.com/2010/09/can-there-be-independent-investigation.html). – over and out.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  21. tallbloke says:

    Pete, you are welcome here, but help us maintain focus please.

  22. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    I think the bottom line is that when a politician says “openness” he or she really means “spin”.

    Got to agree, the Institute of Physics submission really is excellent. Whatever happened to it? (Sorry, dumb question.)

  23. tallbloke says:

    The IOP subcommittee which produced it got disbanded after pressure from the highups came to bear.

  24. manicbeancounter says:

    Rather than go over old ground about how crass the science has become, we should use the restart option. Take the analogy of mounting a criminal prosecution. In law the prosecution must make the case. They must present the evidence, and the defence can cross-examine and challenge the evidence and interpretations. Any evidence is graded from certain or near certain (like DNA), through circumstantial to hearsay. Evidence of supporters of one side trying to influence the jury would lead to a trial abandonment and the severest of penalties for those concerned.

    Climate Science will always have to rely on fairly weak circumstantial evidence. But Steve McIntyre’s work, along with some of the emails suggests the reliability of such evidence is much lower than is made out. Furthermore, the strongest part of the IPCC “consensus” case that “all the sound folk agree with us” would probably be struck down as irrelevant in a criminal case. Whilst the activities of NGOs (such as getting scientific organisations to pass resolutions) should be treated as attempts at jury-nobbling.

    Why should we restart and not ditch the whole lot? I believe that CO2 levels doubling in around 200 years could cause a problem. But any signal on temperature or climate instability will be faint within the natural variation. Lack of care with the data may totally obscure that signal, or it may be missed entirely.

  25. Pete Ridley says:

    Manicbeancounter (28th Nov. at 11:56 pm) you said “ .. I believe that CO2 levels doubling in around 200 years could cause a problem .. ” but upon what evidence do you base your belief? That statement standing alone would make me think that you had fallen into the same trap that our politicians seem to do of accepting the word of others without enquiring into the validity of what is claimed. That appears not to be the case, going by your opening statement “ .. about how crass the science has become .. ”.

    If present levels of atmospheric CO2 were to double that would bring it up to just under 800ppm (if we can trust the estimates made from those statistically manipulated readings on top of the Mauna Loa volcano. “ .. Mauna Loa is among Earth’s most active volcanoes, .. ” (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maunaloa/), which strikes me as a rather odd place to do measurements of atmospheric CO2. The article “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” by Dr.Vincent R. Gray (http://www.john-daly.com/bull120.htm) and the comments are helpful. It also draws attention to the no less questionable reconstructions of past atmospheric concentrations from air allegedly trapped unchanged during decades, centuries and millennia (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.com/2010/12/smogbound-on-molecular-fractionation-in.html – anyone with any constructive comments to make on this further area of significant scientific uncertainty is invited to make a contribution).

    If all other drivers of the different global climates were to remain unchanged (most improbable) the impact upon global temperature would be about 0.5C Rather than being a problem, that would be a welcome improvement in living conditions for not only humans but many other forms of life. Much plant life too would benefit from warmer conditions and increased CO2 content (optimum concentration forced in commercial greenhouses being about 1000ppm – see e.g. http://homeharvest.com/carbondioxideenrichment.htm).

    BTW, I love that picture you use as your gravitar. It reminds me of the many similar scenes that I saw during a tour of Australia in 2000.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  26. manicbeancounter says:

    Hi Pete,

    The point I was trying to make is that the mainstream have things are back-to-front with the evidence. The global warming case is based on the opinions of opinions of dubious evidence. There are too many vague clauses, and little or no robust evidence. That is why, I believe, we should challenge those who believe there is a case for catastrophic climate change to state it coherently. In particular, we should challenge the weak links like climate sensitivity or tipping points. In a court, the prosecution has to show a coherent and robust case. So it should be with scientific predictions reliant on a number of factors interacting in complex systems.

    The Gravitar is of Corupá waterfalls in Santa Caterina, Brasil. A holiday snap from 2004.