Tony Thomas: The Cream of the Climate Croppers

Posted: June 2, 2016 by tallbloke in Accountability, alarmism, censorship, climate, Critique, humour, solar system dynamics

At Quadrant we respect winners, so hats off to newly-elected Australian Academy of Science Fellows, Professors Neville Nicholls and Ian Allison. Both are climate catastrophists, each seemingly oblivious to the empirical research which has downgraded the CO2 climate-sensitivity guesstimate (i.e. positive feedback number) from the IPCC’s 1.5-4.5 times to barely more than unity.

These real-world observations suggest that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from pre-industrial levels would generate, all things being equal, a beneficial increase of about 1degC in warming, not the supposed life-frying 4-6deg rise by 2100 on which the whole multi-trillion-dollar climate scare is based.

The IPCC’s fantasy figure for sensitivity to CO2 is one of the reasons why 111 of its 114 climate model runs  over-estimated the negligible warming in the 15 years to 2013. However, the main reason why the climate models are duds is that the very notion of complex and chaotic climate forces being controlled by a simple CO2-emissions dial is laughable.[1]

As for the new Academy Fellows[2], I’m not even sure I’d accept a   Fellowship, if beseeched. Who would want to be a co-Fellow with Tim “Desal Plant” Flannery FAA, for example,[3] or the ABC’s Robyn Williams FAA, the latter supporting the writing of horror fiction about global warming killing off families’ beloved kittens and spaniels in 2023?

For Neville Nicholls, a Fellowship is small beer. Monash University had previously awarded him a share in the IPCC’s 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (or even in a Nobel Prize, according to the Monash headline), to which he had responded, that “it was a great honour to be recognised through the extensive scientific reporting and reviewing that gave the work of the United Nation’s body such prestige and integrity.”

Actually it was all a stuff-up as the IPCC bans individual contributors from claiming Nobel Peace  Prize credit, an honor reserved for peace titans like Yasser Arafat, Barack Obama and (doubly weirdly) the European Commission.

Nicholls and Allison were among signatories on a  denier-bashing series of articles on the taxpayer-funded web-site The Conversation in 2011.[4]

Here’s some the spittle-flecked essay to which Nicholls and Allison announced their   endorsement:

The “open letter” Nicholls and Allison signed includes:

Understandable economic insecurity and fear of radical change have been exploited by ideologues and vested interests to whip up ill-informed, populist rage, and climate scientists [poor little billion-dollar financed things, TT] have become the punching bag of shock jocks and tabloid scribes.

Aided by a pervasive media culture that often considers peer-reviewed scientific evidence to be in need of “balance” by internet bloggers, this has enabled so-called “skeptics” to find a captive audience while largely escaping scrutiny…[i.e. let’s ban them from the media, and see the climategate mails I cite below – TT].

We will show that “skeptics” often show little regard for truth and the critical procedures of the ethical conduct of science on which real skepticism is based.

The individuals who deny the balance of scientific evidence on climate change will impose a heavy future burden on Australians if their unsupported opinions are given undue credence.”

In fact, more than 130 peer-reviewed papers hostile to the IPCC  dogma have been published this year alone, and 280 last year. I don’t notice botanists and  conductive-polymer experts claiming that their science critics are lying rogues who should be censored out of the media.

Top signatory to the “Open Letter” was Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a psychologist, whose co-paper “Recursive Fury” had to be pulled from the journal Frontiers because of ethical/legal problems about his research.[5] Another signatory, from Melbourne University, had to pull his much-media-touted co-paper out of its journal because skeptic bloggers immediately spotted that it was a statistical mess.

Also a signatory was Prof Chris Turney who later led the hilarious “Ship of Fools” expedition to the Antarctic to document the loss of sea ice, only to be expensively (at least $2.5m) trapped by sea ice.

The Climategate Emails

Just for interest, I entered Nicholls’ name into the data base of thousands of Climategate emails leaked from the East Anglia climate research server.  Strange items of correspondence turned up. I emphasise that they don’t incriminate Nicholls (left), but they do show that dodgy scientists overseas liked to improperly bandy his name about and keep him informed of their nefarious plots, as shown below. If I were Nicholls, I’d sue them.

The Academy submitted questions from Quadrant Online to Nicholls about these emails but he has not responded within our proposed 48 hours.

November 22, 1996: email 0848679780

Background: Geoff Jenkins was head of climate change prediction at the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre. He writes to his colourful science pal Phil Jones at East Anglia  University (then one of the biggest names in climate science) about literally “inventing” the forthcoming December 1996 global temperature data and then feeding the phony year 1996 data out via Nicholls and others. Jenkins wrote (emphasis added):

“Remember all the fun we had last year over 1995 global temperatures, with the early release of information [via Australia], “inventing” the December monthly value, letters to Nature, etc., etc.  I think we should have a cunning plan about what to do this year, simply to avoid a lot of wasted time… We feed this selectively to Nick Nuttall [of the United Nations Environment Program] (who has had this in the past and seems now to expect special treatment) so that he can write an article for the silly season. We could also give this to Neville Nicholls [climate scientist at Melbourne’s Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre]?… I know it sound a bit cloak-and-dagger but it’s just meant to save time in the long run”.

Our unanswered questions to Dr Nicholls:

  1. Did Jenkins or anyone else provide you with 1996 temperature results (including the “invented” December data) and ask you to disseminate them to the media?
  2. If so, did you do so?
  3. Do you have any comments about that email you would like Quadrant to publish?

Another email reads far worse ethically, and again, I make no assertion that Nicholls, a scientist of integrity, even knew about this plot, let alone acceded to it in any way. As he self-described last week, “What I love about science is simple and elegant solutions to difficult problems.”

August 5, 2009: email 1249503274 e

As background, here is the Journal of Geophysical Research’s specifications re selection of peer reviewers (emphasis added):

“Please list the names of 5 experts who are knowledgeable in your area and could give an unbiased review of your work. Please do not list colleagues who are close associates, collaborators, or family members.”

Phil Jones[6], in seeking peer reviewers for a “Comment” attacking a 2009 peer-reviewed paper by McLean, de Freitas and Carter, which didn’t conform to the IPCC party line, treats the journal’s safeguards with contempt (emphasis added):

I agree with Kevin [Trenberth]  that Tom Karl has too much to do. Tom Wigley is semi-retired, and, like Mike Wallace, may not be responsive to requests from [the Journal]To get a spread, I’d go with [three in the United States], one Australian, and one in Europe. So [I suggest] Neville Nicholls and David Parker. All of them know the sorts of things to say—about our Comment and the awful original, without any prompting.

This is how the Lavoisier Group parsed that email:

“To be ‘prompting’ the reviewers of their Comment would, in itself, already be a serious violation of professional ethics; but to propose reviewers who already ‘know the sorts of things to say’ is simply corrupt.”

Quadrant Online’s unanswered questions to Dr Nicholls were:

  1. Did Jones contact you about providing a reference for their Comment?
  2. If so, did you provide a reference for Jones?
  3. Do you have any view about that email you would like us to publish?

Again, it is not Nicholls’ fault that a cabal of offshore climate “enforcers” chose to throw his name around. He may have been unaware of what they were plotting. I’m sure he would have been outraged. Reviewers remain anonymous, so it is not discoverable who exactly did review the inconvenient McLean et al paper.

Dr Barrie Pittock, then of  CSIRO, penned an interesting email to Nicholls and others. Pittock was a contributor to four IPCC reports, author of catastrophist climate books, and recipient  of various science prizes.

Pittock’s plan was to use every slur and bullying tactic to silence and punish Chris de Freitas, the then-editor of Climate Research journal, and a scientist of considerable eminence.[7]  That journal had published a paper by   Soon  & Baliunas suggesting the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age were global and not local northern hemisphere events, thus undercutting the IPCC efforts to play down those natural (not C02-caused) events.

Pittock emailed on April 17, 2003 (emphasis added):

 … I see several possible courses of action that would be useful.

(a) Prepare a background briefing document for wide private circulation, which refutes the claims and lists competent  authorities who might be consulted for advice on this issue.

(b)  Ensure that such misleading papers do not continue to appear in the offending journals by getting proper scientific standards applied to refereeing and editing. Whether that is done publicly or privately may not matter so much, as long as it happens. It could be through boycotting the journals, but that might leave them even  freer to promulgate misinformation. To my mind that is not as good as getting the offending editors removed and proper processes in place. Pressure or ultimatums to the publishers might work, or  concerted lobbying by other co-editors or leading authors.

(c) A  journalistic expose of the unscientific practices might work and  embarrass the skeptics/industry lobbies (if they are capable of  being embarrassed) e.g., through a reliable lead reporter for Science or Nature. Offending editors could be labelled as “rogue  editors”, in line with current international practice? Or is that  defamatory?

(d) Legal action might be useful for authors who consider themselves libelled, and there could be financial support for such actions (Jim Salinger might have contacts here). However,  we would need to be very careful to be moderate and reasonable in our responses to avoid counter legal actions….

Best regards to all,
Dr. A. Barrie Pittock,
Post-Retirement Fellow,
Climate Impact Group 
 CSIRO Atmospheric Research

A week later came a reply to Pittock from Auckland-baed Jim Salinger, then a principal climate scientist with the NZ weather body NIWA, and a 2007 IPCC lead author on Australasian climate change. After 25 years at NIWA, Salinger was fired by NIWA in 2009, given three hours to clean out his desk, after a series of unauthorized briefings to the press about alleged climate change/weather crises hitting NZ.

Salinger copied in Nicholls, eight CSIRO scientists (those bastions of impeccable scientific objectivity), the IPCC’s then-chair, Rajendra Pachauri, who is currently facing court over massive sexual harassment charges, and  three others:

Salinger: “… I have had thoughts also on a further course of action. The present Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland, Professor John Hood (comes from an engineering background) is very concerned that Auckland should be seen as New Zealand’s premier research university, and one with an excellent reputation internationally. He is concerned to the extent that he is monitoring the performance of ALL his senior staff, from Associate Professor upwards, including interviews with them. My suggestion is that a band of you review editors write directly to Professor Hood with your concerns. In it you should point out that you are all globally recognized top climate scientist(s). It is best that such a letter come from outside NZ and is signed by more than one person … Some suggested text below:

We write to you as the editorial board (review editors??) of the leading international journal Climate Research for climate scientists

….We are very concerned at the poor standards and personal biases shown by a member of your staff. …..

When we originally appointed … to the editorial board we were under the impression that they would carry out their duties in an objective manner as is expected of scientists world wide. We were also given to understand that this person has been honoured with science communicator of the year award, several times by your … organisation.

Instead we have discovered that this person has been using his position to promote ‘fringe’ views of various groups with which they are associated around the world. It perhaps would have been less disturbing if the ‘science’ that was being passed through the system was sound. However, a recent incident has alerted us to the fact that poorly constructed and uncritical work has been allowed to enter the pages of the journal. A recent example has caused outrage amongst leading climate scientists around the world and has resulted in the journal dismissing (??).. from the editorial board.

We bring this to your attention since we consider it brings the name of your university and New Zealand into some disrepute. We leave it to your discretion what use you make of this information.

The journal itself cannot be considered completely blameless in this situation and we clearly need to tighten some of our editorial processes; however, up until now we have relied on the honour and professionalism of our editors. Sadly this incident has damaged our faith in some of our fellow scientists. Regrettably it will reflect on your institution as this person is a relatively senior staff member…

Quadrant Online’s unanswered questions to Dr Nicholls:

  1. Do you recall receiving these emails to which you were copied in?
  2. If so, did you reply, and to what effect?
  3. Can you suggest why you were copied in on such emails?
  4. Do you support the concept of blackballing and persecuting editors of science journals who publish articles with which you disagree?
  5. Do you have any other points about those emails you would like us to publish?

It is not known if the  draft petition by Salinger NIWA was ever sent and if so, who signed it. But the whole affair shows the tawdry nature of the “climate science” upon which the world is now spending trillions of dollars – including Australia’s billions – for CO2 reductions that will make no measurable difference to global temperature, even by 2100 and even if current CO2 cuts are fully implemented.

I make no suggestion that Neville Nicholls was complicit in the actions discussed or proposed in the above emails. Quadrant Online remains very willing to publish responses to our so-far-unanswered questions to Nicholls about the emails). I merely note with interest that he was being kept in the information loop about much of the dubious activity, as were numerous CSIRO scientists. It appears  that none thought to complain to scientific ethics investigators about these tawdry communications.

I was once in an audience hearing Neville Nicholls lamenting that in one high school group of senior students, 600 had enjoyed the climate-horror flick Day After Tomorrow but only five had seen Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Strange that a science guru like Nicholls hadn’t noticed Gore’s nine significant errors (such as claiming that Pacific Island populations had been evacuated as climate refugees).[8]  After citizen protests, UK High Court Judge Michael Burton in 2007 agreed that the film violated laws against propaganda in classrooms. The judge  ordered that it be shown to UK school children only after the teachers had warned kids about the nine errors.Our  Academy has not uttered one word of criticism or warning to schools about Gore’s mendacious film.

On a more important local matter, Nicholls launched the  “Adjustocene” at the Bureau of Meteorology 25 years ago, involving new overlays of adjustments to Australia’s raw weather data.[9] He left the Bureau in 2006 but controversy over the “homogenization” of data continues. The BoM’s homogenising of the RAAF Amberley base’s temperatures, for example, converted a 1decC-per-century cooling trend to to a 2.5degC-per-century warming trend. As blogger JoNova comments, “This is a station at an airforce base that has no recorded move since 1941, nor had a change in instrumentation.” A similar  conversion at  Darwin switched a raw-data cooling trend of 0.7degC-per-century to a 1.2degC warming – another massive, 2degC-per-century adjustment to the trend. For perspective: total global warming in the past 150 years has been only about 0.8degC.

Nicholls was so confident that the Bureau had nothing to hide [10] that last September, he endorsed skeptic calls for an independent public audit of the data.  Sad to say, Climate Faith Minister Greg Hunt had already scotched Abbott’s audit plans.  Hunt proclaimed,

“My answer was very clear: we have perhaps the best or one of the best meteorological organisations in the world. I have full confidence in their data and the idea was killed at that point [2014].”

When that didn’t satisfy critics, he appointed a panel to examine the adjustments via a friendly annual visit (tea and biscuits provided, one would hope) that strikes sceptics as a tick-the-boxes exercise garnished with TimTams and boffinish bonhomie.

Pardon my digression, but the unsourced rumours and Abbott-loathing in Niki Savva’s book, Road to Ruin, has a genuine scoop (p135). When Abbott won the Opposition leadership from Turnbull in 2009 by one vote, Hunt had voted against him. To get Hunt on-side, Abbott then offered him the climate portfolio, and lawyer Hunt agreed — but only on conditions including “That the science of climate change was never challenged”. If Savva’s report is correct,  it doesn’t matter what scientific evidence emerges to demolish IPCC and warmist claims of impending climate doom, Hunt isn’t, and won’t be, interested.

The Academy’s other new Fellow Ian Allison (right), when not signing Open Letters about suppressing the views of evil sceptics, is proving that the deep ocean decided to eat the warming during the 2006-13 halt to warming in the atmosphere.[11] This is one of 60-plus science papers asserting either that there wasn’t any halt, or conjuring up reasons for the halt. The deeper oceans’ temperature has only been measured for a decade by the 3500-buoy Argo program. Each drifting buoy has to take the temperature of 200,000 cubic km of ocean and the explanation of how the heat might have reached the deep ocean is weak. I’d give Allison an elephant stamp only for effort.

For the Academy to appoint two climate catastrophists among 21 new Fellows last week is analogous to the IPCC’s ever-growing confidence in its modeling at the same time the divergence widens between the actual and the modeled global temperatures. As Nicholls put it last week, “I am only the third meteorologist/weather forecaster ever elected to the Academy. It shows recognition of how important meteorology is from operations to research , important because of its impact on peoples lives.”

Nicholls’ colleague Allison is specialist in Antarctic sea ice, which happens now to be at satellite-era record extent, contrary to all the IPCC models.

These climate quibbles trouble the Academy not at all. President Andrew Holmes indeed achieved Peak Silliness last year while sucking up to an audience of greenies in Hobart. Among his zingers:

  • The Academy was divesting all fossil fuel companies from its investment funds  to help save the planet  – lumping companies like BHP in with its other pariah companies in gambling, tobacco, the sex trade, and napalm production. I estimate the Academy divested about $A5 million worth of fossil-fuel stock (ExxonMobil’s market cap alone happens to be $US375b).  The Academy continues to switch on its fossil-fuel-powered mains electricity, of course.
  • Holmes revived the “sceptic death threat” scare that made the Academy a laughingstock five years ago.[12]
  • He was economical with the facts when boasting that the Academy had done a major study on “climatic change” as early as 1976. As Holmes told his green fans,“That report carefully examined the evidence and foresaw that the changes in climate would create social and economic problems that would require multidisciplinary solutions.”

What Holmes didn’t say – it would have ruined his pitch – was that the panic of 1975-76 was about the perceived threat of another little ice age  that would bring on Australian crop failures and global starvation. PM Gough Whitlam had asked then-Academy President  Geoff Badger to check out how serious the ice threat might be.  The Academy’s answer: A possibility, but not for thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of years, rather than in decades or centuries.

The President’s  virtue-signalling and political theatre at Hobart was bad enough but as nothing compared to the   execrable “science”, aka activist materials, the Academy has been foisting on 9000 teachers and 50,000 high school students. One course (I gather it was recently and mercifully removed), the same material lionised ex-Greens leader Bob Brown and shoved anti-mining propaganda down the throats of 15-year-olds. (“Could we do without it … Would you work for a mining company?“[13] Teachers were advised to “Ask students if they have ever taken action or advocated for a cause.   Do they know of anyone who has?”…  Key vocabulary: advocacy, campaign, champion, environmentalist.)[14]

The Academy has never surveyed its members’ views about its leaders’ climate alarm. In contrast, a survey of the American Meteorological Society members published last March found a third rejected the IPCC claim that humans had caused most of the past 60 years’ warming.

Apologies, this has been a long and roundabout essay. It indicates that our highest-profile climate scientists and their Academyare not actually Kevin Rudd’s “humorless scientists in white coats who go around and measure things”. They are deluded taxpayer-funded political players and the key ingredient of their science –- dispassionate inquiry — has gone missing in action. When PM Turnbull said at the leaders’ debate last Sunday, “We absolutely support the science, I have always supported the science”, he should first have taken a look at how climate “science” uniquely operates.

Tony Thomas blogs at No B-S Here, I Hope. His new book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print can be purchased here.

[2] The election to Fellowships of two climate alarmists involved them getting two-thirds of votes on the slate of candidates, but that is of votes cast in person, not of the total membership. The Academy will not say what proportion of its members attended and voted.

[3] Flannery not only predicted Perth becoming a waterless “ghost metropolis”, and permanent drought in the Eastern States, but speculated that during this century “the planet will have acquired a brain and a nervous system that will make it act as a living animal, as a living organism”

[4]  The Conversation is so anti-conversation that any comment I submit to its discussions, no matter how polite, is deleted by moderators within an hour.

[5] Frontiers said,

As a result of its investigation, which was carried out in respect of academic, ethical and legal factors, Frontiers came to the conclusion that it could not continue to carry the paper, which does not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects. Specifically, the article categorizes the behaviour of identifiable individuals within the context of psychopathological characteristics.

[6] Jones also authored the famous email 1089318616, July 8, 2004,   “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC Report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the ‘peer-review literature’ is!”

[7] During his time at The University of Auckland,  de Freitas has served as Deputy Dean of Science, a Head of Science and Technology and four years as Pro Vice Chancellor. He has been Vice President of the Meteorological Society of New Zealand, and Vice President of the International Society of Biometeorology. For 10 years he was an editor of the international journal ‘Climate Research’. He has three times been the recipient of the New Zealand Association of Scientists, Science Communicator Award.

[8] One Kiribati chap in NZ did claim to be a climate refugee, but the NZ court said he wasn’t, and deported him. His previous NZ employee said the man had been fired over physical and sexual assaults. The UN and Oxfam forecast 50 million climate refugees by now, but the Kiribati chap is the only claimant so far.

[9]   Here’s how an East Anglia CRU compiler ‘Harry’ Harris described the BoM data when trying to collate global warming data:

“COBAR AIRPORT AWS (data from an Australian weather station) cannot start in 1962, it didn’t open until 1993! …getting seriously fed up with the state of the Australian data. So many new stations have been introduced, so many false references.. so many changes that aren’t documented…I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was…Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight.”

[10] Climategate email from David Jones, BoM, 7/9/2007:

“Fortunately in Australia our sceptics are rather scientifically incompetent. It is also easier for us in that we have a policy of providing any complainer with every single station observation when they question our data (this usually snows them)…”

Such was how the taxpayer funded BoM fulfilled its statutory duty  of transparency  to the public.

[11] Allison:

“Between 2006 and 2013, ocean waters shallower than 500 metres warmed by 0.005C per year, while between 500 and 2,000 metres the ocean warmed by 0.002C per year.”

I wonder how these amazingly precise temperatures were generated by instruments with at least 0.1degC margins of error.

Strangely, even the Argo buoy data was downgraded a year ago by the alleged ‘pause-busting’ NOAA paper of Karl et al. Karl preferred to take the temperature of the ocean via the previous system of buckets thrown from ships or via ships’ engine-room intakes. This paper was so ludicrous that even Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann rejected it in a paper in Nature three months ago.  Meanwhile Karl et al are fighting FOI requests demanding disclosure of their suspicious email tete-a-tetes while writing a paper that suited Obama’s agenda .

[12] Holmes hyperventilated:

The costs to individuals can be high. It is therefore critical that as scientists and experts we stand together. The ability of scientists to conduct their work, free of fear or hindrance, is vital to the future wellbeing of our community, and the Academy will continue to advocate for academic freedom….”

The original ‘death threat’ scare was a mis-heard conversation about kangaroo culling in Canberra. Holmes has said nothing to defend Bjorn Lomborg from academic boycotts at UWA and Flinders U.

[13] Holmes: “Our work in science education and science policy are small parts of being scientific leaders in the community. We will continue to expand our presence in the community, to be a bulwark of factual scientific advice when we can.”

[14] Another sample: Activity 6.6 Climate change and Politics. “Lesson outcomes: At the end of this activity students will …  appreciate the need to lobby at all levels of government to ignite and lead change – even if it is unpopular with the voters.” Yet “the Academy is fiercely apolitical”, President Holmes claims.

  1. oldbrew says:

    Hey Profs: what happened to that runaway global warming we were all promised?

    I want my money back 😉

  2. Curious George says:

    Why should alarmist not enjoy the fruits of their 97% consensus?

  3. oldbrew says:

    What money? This for a start…

    Modern Debacle Of Wasted Trillions. Consensus: Efforts To Prevent Climate Change “Will Almost Surely Fail”!

    Paris target requires 37 x more wind turbines by 2028.

  4. m thomas says:

    they should all be charged with fraud

  5. Mjw says:

    111 out of 114 realizations show a GMST trend over 1998–2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend ensemble .

    Whacko, that’s the famous 97%.

  6. mem says:

    I am glad that AGW isn’t a real problem because the “solutions” developed by the academics, green scientists and bureaucrats will never make one iota of difference to the temperature.