Scientists: no need to panic about "global warming"

WSJ Online

Sixteen scientists, including such luminaries as Lindzen, Kininmonth, Happer and Shaviv, write to the Wall Street Journal, expressing the view that the global warming scare is completely overblown, and that AGW alarmism may result in increased research funding. Shock!

What heresy! Wait for the excuses: they’re not the “right” scientists, of course. They’ve all been “bought off” by big oil. They’re all probably suffering from delusions caused by mental illness. The fact that they may have reached these conclusion by means of proper impartial scientific enquiry wouldn’t occur to the alarmist head-bangers (given they haven’t a clue what “impartial scientific enquiry” is – “Surely science is avoiding FOI requests, deleting data and fudging results? That’s what I was taught!”).

Cue collective warmist head-pop in 3, 2, 1…

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before—for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word “incontrovertible” from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question “cui bono?” Or the modern update, “Follow the money.”

Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet. Lysenko and his team lived very well, and they fiercely defended their dogma and the privileges it brought them.

Read it all.

That distant explosion was Monbiot, by the way…

(h/t Climate Depot)

UPDATE: Check out Un-skeptical Pseudo-Science’s hilarious over-reaction to this article here (the only reason I know about it is because they linked to me as a “denier blog” – LOL!)

UPDATE 2: Lubos Motl assembles links to all the hysterical responses from the headbangers here. Probably best to be sitting down when you read them.

UPDATE 3: Add to the list Andrew Glikson from ANU writing at The [One-sided] Conversation. Glikson cites NASA GISS (i.e. Hansen) data for global temperatures, and Munich Re (alarmist insurers) for “evidence” of more extreme weather. Would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic. Go here (if you really must).

Mann's "dirty laundry" – first official email release from UVA

Dirty laundry finally being aired in public

If you have been reading the full collection of 5000+ Climategate 1 and 2 emails, not much of this will be new, however, the fact that an organisation has succeeded in obtaining the release of a selection of these emails through an FOI process must bode well for the release of the remainder.

From the press release:

The selected emails include graphic descriptions of the contempt a small circle of largely taxpayer-funded alarmists held for anyone who followed scientific principles and ended up disagreeing with them. For example, in the fifteenth Petitioners’ Exemplar (PE-15), Mann encourages a boycott of one climate journal and a direct appeal to his friends on the editorial board to have one of the journal’s editors fired for accepting papers that were carefully peer-reviewed and recommended for publication on the basis that the papers dispute Mann’s own work. In PE-38, he states that another well respected journal is “being run by the baddies,” calling them “shills for industry.” In PE-39 Mann calls U.S. Congressmen concerned about how he spent taxpayer money “thugs”.

PE-18, 20 & 27 illustrate the typical fashion with which Mann used a UVa email account to accuse co-authors and other respected scientists of incompetence, berating them in emails copied to colleagues living throughout the world. UVA claims this is somehow exempt from VFOIA as scientific research.

In PE-22, Mann alludes to his “dirty laundry” which cannot come out, requesting his correspondent to not pass the email or the data attached to it to anyone else (UVa has claimed no attachments to any emails were preserved on their system). In this email, Mann admits he has failed to follow the most basic tenet of science, to keep a record of exactly what he did in his research, and thus himself could not reproduce his own results.

PE-24 & 25 characterize the efforts of this small group of academics to hide what they are doing and to avoid their work being held up to inspection under the Freedom of Information Act. In PE-26, Mann goes so far as to ask a federal employee — impossibly, as he send it to an email account subject to the federal FOIA — to “treat this email as confidential” though all the email does is complain about a Wall Street Journal author’s efforts to report the science impeaching Mann’s early work. PE-26, like many other emails UVA wishes to keep secret, is subject to release under the federal FOIA.

These emails, if honestly representative of the entire collection, do not make Virginians proud of having paid Mann’s salary.

“ATI, like Greenpeace and its peers, as well as the media, is committed to using transparency laws to make science and government policy open to the citizens who underwrite it, to the exclusion of properly exempt information such as proprietary material,” said Chris Horner, ATI’s Director of Litigation. “Universities are routinely asked to produce emails under FOIA, and most do so quickly. This has recently been proved true at another Virginia university when the media sought emails of a Mann critic. Why UVA wishes to boast of such outlier status within the academic community makes one ask, ‘what is it they are trying to hide?’” (source, where you can also download the emails)

What indeed. It looks increasingly likely that we will eventually find out.

Eco-extremists have nothing left but abuse

Lord Lawson

Lord Lawson, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, was interviewed on the BBC yesterday. The “environmentalists” were furious:

LORD LAWSON had barely removed his microphone when the vitriolic attacks began.

The veteran politician had just taken part in a calm debate about the merits of extracting gas from shale. During the discussion on the BBC’s Today programme he stated his firmly held view that there has been no global warming so far this century.

It was the catalyst for an outpouring of venom on message boards and social networking sites. In a selection of the printable insults Lord Lawson was described as “a rabid climate change denier”, “a liar” and “a lone nutcase”. One listener even posted: “Why isn’t he dead yet?” (source)

The “environmentalists” have lied, spun, and misrepresented the global warming debate for their own ends for so long that people are switching off in droves. And now, when faced with some inconvenient truths that challenge their sacred belief, they attack like wounded dogs. Click the image below to see some Twitter responses to Lawson’s interview. Hardly any address substantive issues, but plenty talk about Lawson being a “shill” for Big Oil:

Twitter rage (click to enlarge)

As if that wasn’t enough, the green juggernaut is desperately trying to establish who “funds” the GWPF – three men in a shed somewhere, with a computer. Funny how no-one asks who funds the greens, because the greens have the moral high ground, and therefore are above grubby concerns like that.

The reality is that sceptical organisations like the GWPF survive on the tiniest fraction of the massive funding streams that green groups like FOE, Greenpeace or WWF receive.

Big Green = Good, Tiny Oil = Bad. So don’t even think of mentioning sceptics funding…

P.S. I put “environmentalists” in quotes, because that term is too nice for them, makes them sound like harmless tree-huggers, instead of the anti-human totalitarians that they really are.

UN: sustainability an "easier sell" than climate change

"I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it"

As Basil Fawlty said, “Don’t mention the war”, or in this case, climate change. Who’d have thought it? Climate change has been good to the UN over the past few decades, delivering the global organisation influence and power well beyond its wildest dreams, and far in excess of what it deserves.

It has also provided a healthy revenue stream to the UN, allowing its delegates to enjoy the high life, swanning around the globe to attend hundreds of climate talk-fests, almost invariably in exotic, luxury locations. And all paid for by someone else: you.

But the gravy train is coming off the rails at alarming speed. Watts Up With That reported yesterday that the US public rate “global warming” dead last in a list of priorities for 2012, after campaign finance, lobbyist influence, moral breakdown, and even general environmental issues! So much for the greatest challenge since the dawn of time.

Where the US goes, the rest of the world generally follows, so the UN is beginning, subtly, to hedge its bets. It has already flagged “biodiversity” as the next great cash cow (see here), but now it is almost embarrassed to mention climate change for fear of the world shrugging its collective shoulders:

Representatives from around the world gather in Rio in June to try to hammer out goals for sustainable development at a U.N. conference designed to avoid being tripped up by the intractable issue of climate change.

But there is concern in the lead-up to the conference, known as Rio+20 or the Earth Summit, that it risks ending up as all talk and little action.

In an attempt to avoid too much confrontation, the conference will focus not on climate change but on sustainable development – making sure economies can grow now without endangering resources and the environment for future generations.

U.N. conferences over the past decade have begun with high hopes for agreements to compel nations to cut climate-warming emissions and help adapt to a hotter world, but they often ended with disappointingly modest results. That was the case last year in the global climate change summit in Durban, South Africa. Participants at that meeting agreed to forge a new deal by 2015 that would go into force by 2020.

The “sustainable” branding for this year’s summit, rather than climate, is by design, said Ambassador Andre Correa do Lago, who headed Brazil’s delegation to the U.N. climate talks in Durban and will be a chief negotiator for Brazil in Rio.

Sustainable development is an easier sell globally than climate change, even though sustainable development is a way of tackling global warming and other environmental issues, he said. (source)

“An easier sell globally than climate change.” I think that tells us all we need to know.

Solar decline "unlikely to offset greenhouse warming": Met Office

Irrelevant, apparently

Naturally, nothing the Sun (1.9891×1030 kg of blazing hot nuclear fusion right on our doorstep) can do compares with what our omnipotent man-made CO2 can do – all, er, hundred odd parts per million of it. Another study,  undertaken by the University of Reading and the UK Met Office, dismisses solar effects on the climate:

New research has found that solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years but that will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases.

Carried out by the University of Reading and the Met Office, the study establishes the most likely changes in the Sun’s activity and looks at how this could affect near-surface temperatures on Earth.

It found that the most likely outcome was that the Sun’s output would decrease up to 2100, but this would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).

Gareth Jones, a climate change detection scientist with the Met Office, said: “This research shows that the most likely change in the Sun’s output will not have a big impact on global temperatures or do much to slow the warming we expect from greenhouse gases.

“It’s important to note this study is based on a single climate model, rather than multiple models which would capture more of the uncertainties in the climate system.”

And just to ram home the “it ain’t the sun, stupid” point even further:

Peter Stott, who also worked on the research for the Met Office, said: “Our findings suggest that a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases on global temperatures in the 21st century.” (source – University of Reading)

Focussing on TSI as the only variable ignores many other possible mechanisms of climatic influence, not least cosmic ray modulation, which, whilst not proven, is about as convincing as the CO2 argument right now.

The abstract from JGR is here.

Activist website targets sceptical US TV weathermen

Forecast the propaganda

This says more about the website’s creators, seeking yet again to demonise and silence anyone who dares question the global warming consensus, than it does about the TV weathermen speaking their opinions. From the site,

Intense droughts, fierce storms, increased flooding. Scientists have been predicting for years that human-induced climate change would lead to a future of increasingly dangerous extreme weather events. That future is now upon us.

But when most Americans tune into their local weather report, they won’t hear a peep about climate change. Why? Because the majority of TV meteorologists don’t believe in it. That’s right: the professionals most responsible for informing the public about the weather are systematically missing the most important weather story of our lifetime.

With over 1,000 TV meteorologists across the country, the level of denial varies widely. Some TV meteorologists spout outright falsehoods on air–like the idea that the earth is actually cooling, or that global warming is caused by sunspots (not Co2 and other greenhouse gasses.) In other cases, they cover increasingly extreme weather events like droughts, wild fires, flooding, and winter storms, without ever mentioning the scientific consensus that climate change is making these events more likely and more intense. It’s the equivalent of a news anchor reporting on a string of murders without saying that there is a suspect in custody. (source)

LOL! Where’s the evidence that we’re seeing more extreme weather events again?

The front page splash asks:

“Do you believe there is solid evidence the earth is warming?” Yes or No

If yes, then you’re a goody two-shoes. If no, you’re a filthy denier. The question is ridiculous of course, because most climate rationalists, including myself, would answer yes when faced with such simplistic options. But that seems to be the puerile level of the whole exercise, setting up straw men to bravely blow them over. The site’s authors obviously have so little understanding of the real issues that they have demonstrated themselves, on the front page, incapable of even asking a vaguely sensible question about climate change.

One of the site’s partners is the extreme environmental advocacy group, which believes that there is a mythical level of CO2 below which the planet will be safe:

Three years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2remained above 350 parts per million. Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist [by which I guess they must mean railway engineer Pachauri - Ed] has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster.

Don’t anyone tell them that there were floods, hurricanes, tornados and plenty of other weather-related disasters when CO2 was way below 350ppm. Any organisation associated with transparent nonsense like that has immediately lost any credibility it may have had. Furthermore, Watts Up With That claims to have found alleged shady funding links, and since Watts himself was once a TV weatherman, he lets rip at these cheap tactics (see more here).

And even the Washington Post is embarrassed by the schoolyard bully tactics:

“… a sincere effort to respectfully make science-based arguments and carry on a dialogue sure beats the tactic of denigrating those who disagree with you.” (source)

The warmist desperation grows apace. Maybe you’d like to send them a tip:

Trenberth's missing heat found – it's hiding in the "uncertainties"

"Hey, where's my heat? Has anyone seen my heat?"

Phew. The Cause is back on track. A new study has “found” Kevin Trenberth’s missing ocean heat:

“When we looked at the results of previous work suggesting inconsistencies, we found that it hadn’t factored in the considerable uncertainties between systems used to record the measurements.”

Loeb’s team conducted a new analysis of data captured between 2001 and 2010 of global satellite data collected daily by CERES satellite-based instruments, as well as upper ocean temperature measurements taken by expendable bathythermographs and more recently Argo floats.

They found that once these uncertainties had been factored in, along with considerable short-term variations known to result from temperature, cloud cover and humidity changes associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the measurements were found to be in broad agreement.

What’s the saying, if you torture the data enough it will confess? And ACM old favourite David Karoly is crowing:

University of Melbourne Professor of Meteorology David Karoly, who wasn’t part of the research team, says this study is a wonderful example of scientists checking the facts when things don’t add up.

It helps answer the concerns originally raised by climate scientist Dr Kevin Trenberth [from the National Center for Atmospheric Research] over the adequacy of observational systems to monitor the response of the climate system to increasing green house gases.” (source)

So the moral of the story is, if the data simply won’t agree with your rigid global warming narrative, just widen the error bars until they do.

Here’s the abstract.


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