Quotes of the Day

Quote of the Day

Writing in The Conversation, Prof Steven Sherwood must have access to some very ancient observers of Canadian ice:

“The real significance of this, in my view, is that this ice has reportedly been there for thousands of years.” (source)

Reportedly? Who was noting the ice extent in Canada thousands of years ago?

And from the press release, Derek Mueller says:

“The ice shelves were formed and sustained in a different climate than what we have now. As they disappear, it implies we are returning to conditions unseen in the Arctic for thousands of years.” (source)

So thousands of years ago the climate was different, without any help from man-made CO2 or Stone Age SUVs? Who’d of thunk it?

Watts Up With That? has more on the story here.


  1. The Loaded Dog says:

    “Reportedly? Who was noting the ice extent in Canada thousands of years ago?”

    Errr, was it……”The Goracle”?

  2. Don’t look too hard under the melting Canadian ice because you might just find some ancient hunting tools. Wow, so you mean the Earth changed from open hunting areas to ice and now back to hunting areas again, all by itself?

    “Melting ice in Canada’s far north has revealed a treasure trove of ancient tools used to hunt caribou and other prey. Canadian archaeologists have discovered 2,400-year-old spear-throwing tools, a 1,000-year-old ground squirrel snare and bows and arrows dating back 850 years.”

    Now who’d have thunk that!

  3. Richard N says:

    The warmist doctrine clearly states that all climate change is due to human activities unless proven otherwise. So it is up to scientists who are not warmist programmed and controlled to prove the AGW theory wrong or at least massively overstated.Shouln’t it be the other way round? They proposed this therory so they should prove it. Gatherings of warmists scientists declaring that the science is settled proves zero , as does the likes of this warmist scientist airing his views on what might have happened thousands of years ago.

    • Richard, why don’t you find an actual scientist who believes human activity is in part responsible for the changes to the worlds climate, it shouldn’t be that hard, it’s not like seaching the Himalayas for the Abominable Snowman and ask them if they think that all climate change is due to human activities unless proven otherwise? You may be suprised.

      • Hey Jon, here’s an idea. Break the habit of a lifetime and actually address the point rather than making tedious sarcastic comments. If you disagree that the default position is to blame human activity, then argue that point.

      • OOOH look there is a nice straw man!!!. Most scientists would agree with “human activity is in part responsible for the changes to the worlds climate”. The question is HOW MUCH? So far the evidence suggests 3/5 of 5/8 of a bee’s dick. Not really something you can hang a carbon tax on and shutting down ALL the economy for though.

      • The Loaded Dog says:

        Welcome back Jon. I love it when you drop by. You’re a laugh a minute. You take yourself and your “science” so seriously.

        • Good boy Loaded Dog! you never stray too far from your masters side do you. Funny how you seem to post often but never actually say anything at all.

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          hehehe. I learnt a long time ago it’s a complete waste of time arguing with religious fanatics like you Jonny boy. I prefer to torment them now. Torment them as they troll sceptic blogs and try to “convert” with their funny little belief system.

        • As a matter of interest, Jon ,as a dedicated warmist,what is your position as to what proportion of so called climate change is due to the activities of man.I don’t seem to remember the likes of Flannery or Stefan adding any moderating clauses of doubt when they are actively scare mongering.As far as I can make out there seems to be no room for any doubt on the AGW theory amongst you lot.This is probably because your ilk realize that if you are going to try and force us to swallow the ludicrous carbon tax with out question then it is best to talk only in certainties.eg The barrier reef will be destroyed ,the Artic ice cap will disappear , it will never snow again in Australia,etc etc.

  4. Betty Whiffin says:

    Funny, it is “reported” that there are more polar bears in the Canadian Artic than there have been for many many years.

    • In fact Betty, there are so many polar beers the Canadian Inuit can’t decide how many to kill. It’s a veritable smorgasbord out there!

      “Last year (2010), Inukjuak hunters took about 70 polar bears – far more than the 15 a year they traditionally harvest. Late last week, hunters still disagreed about a fair number of bears to kill. ‘We could not get an agreement with Quebec to go back to historical harvest levels,’ said Drikus Gissing, the director of wildlife management for the Nunavut government. They did agree in principle to go down to 30 … but there was not an agreement even on that.’

      • Please read: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/22823/0

        and within the own article you quoted, the section titled:

        Many reasons for increased harvest

        Johnny Peters from the Makivik Corporation is responsible for wildlife in the Nunavik region.

        He says the lucrative market for polar bear hides is not the only reason for the increased harvest.

        “By Christmas time, there was still no sea ice,” says Peters. “For that reason, the polar bears could not hunt the food they normally do when the ice forms… when the ice finally formed they congregated near the Inujuaq area.”

        • The link you gave says the year assessed is: 2008 …. Please give me more up to date information Jon.
          Also, if the polar bear population were so depleted why are they not on the endangered list? If you had read the article in full you would have discovered that the Inuit still cannot agree on a sustainable number. They are the people living there … are you disputing their cultural attachment to the region in being able to access appropriate numbers to harvest?

        • As far as I can tell Polar Bears remain on the US “threatened” list. This is from FWS Director Rowan Gould copied from Watts Up, Dec 2010

          At the time, the service determined the bears weren’t danger of extinction, so did not warrant the “endangered” status. The bears were listed as “threatened” because they face serious threats from projected decline in its sea ice habitat due to global warming would result in them likely being in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future

          The article you posted isn’t particularly long, I did read it all and it doesn’t support you position at all. The motivation for killing more bears is primarily a monetry one, The increase is primarily driven by high prices for hides, and has “prompted concerns from the Nunavut government and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, an Inuit land claims organization in the territory.” & “Some Nunavut hunters are worried the scale of the hunt in Nunavik could threaten their future hunts.” So there obviously Innuit who are concerned about the scale of the hunt.

          What you are saying is kind of like, well more rhinos have being killed this year than any year previous and therefore they can’t possibly be endangered.

  5. John Angelico via Facebook says:

    EXACTLY! If they can’t verify timespans by observation, then they can’t claim it to be scientific knowledge. It may be verifiable historically, but that’s a different kind of knowledge.

  6. Are there estimates of previous melting rates? If so, how are these calculated? Presumably from sediment cores, giving an indication of energy, ie, thicker layers of coarse grained sediments equals a higher energy environment, equals more water flowing, and, in this case, might equate to more ice melting…or some such. Thats essentially what geologists assume when looking at sedimantary rocks, anyway.

    Not everything to do with climate, geology, or the environment has to change slowly. It’s also interesting to note that they neglect to explicitly mention that the presence of hunting tools meant the climate seems to have been warmer before.

    Surely, the humans around at the time would have been loving it, larger hunting grounds, larger animals (presumably), more food…until the ice came back, then they’d be a bit annoyed. It’s interesting to note how we are now encouraged to think the complete opposite.

    • Because the lifestyles of humans have changed considerably within the last couple of thousand years. Thousands of years ago a warming of the earth would have been beneficial for humans as we relied on hunting and gathering to sustain us, and we were nomadic, spreading across the globe where conditions permitted. Now, however, now a huge portion of our population lives in cities, often in low lying costal regions, we predominately farm our food and are heavily reliant on stable supply chains. Because of this, Climate Change, man made or not, could potentially have a devestating effect on our lifestyles. especially in poorer nations.

      • Thanks Jon,
        I am already fully aware of all that you have said (but obviously you could not have known that without being psychic), but I appreciate the effort you made to explain it.

  7. Simon, I’m sure Richard is a big boy and can defend himself. And I’m not actually being sarcastic. Richard should speak to somebody in the know before jumping to conclusions about what scientists believe.

    And I hardly think I’m off topic when the thread is at basically about having a go at things people say in the discussion about climate change and furthermore, the only difference between what I’ve written and what nearly everyone else writes on this blog is that I don’t agree with you. Oh, and if you’re looking for a new quote of the day you have to consider Grumpy’s assertion the implementing the carbon tax will result in the “shutting down (of) ALL the economy.” Pure gold!

    And here’s a thought, send Professor Sherwood or Derek Mueller a copy of this post and see if they think what you’ve written about them is tedious and sarcastic.

    P.S I actually know you are “agnostic, tending towards atheism.”

    • I don’t intend to waste time justifying the existence or purpose of this blog, but I will say this. I am an agnostic on the causes of climate change as well. However, the politicisation of the scientific process by the UN and the IPCC and national governments and scientific organisations (and yes it is to do with funding, I’m afraid) has meant that I for one am extremely sceptical of the “consensus”. If you wish to believe everything that those organisations feed you without question, that is your choice. But those organisations are demanding a wholesale change to our economies at massive cost, and I demand to see proper scientific processes followed before I decide on which side of the fence to jump. Once the integrity of science is compromised, then the argument for the consensus is lost. The IPCC has to stop being a mouthpiece for environmental advocacy groups, stop preparing reports to fit a pre-conceived agenda and START DOING SCIENCE PROPERLY. I’m still waiting to see that happen.

      Actually I am happy for people to disagree with what is written here, as the more debate the better, but setting up straw men and ad hominem comments tinged with sarcasm (which they were) generally indicate that the author is here simply to have a bit of fun “stirring up the filthy deniers”. Your comments to date have fitted that pattern, I regret to say, and I do not have the time nor energy to engage.

      I’m not going to waste my time sending my posts to Sherwood and Mueller. This isn’t a science blog (as is clearly stated in the About) it is more concerned with the politics and the philosophy of science. As for Grumpy’s comment, yes, hyperbole, true. It’s called humour – satire. This is supposed to be a satirical blog, poking fun at the climate religion. If you can’t take a joke or see the funny side of all this sometimes, better move on.

      • Simon, I don’t need you to justify your blog, I’m perfectly capable of reading your About and drawing my own conclusions about your motives. And I don’t need you to bitch and moan about wasting your time responding to my posts when I’m usually not directing my comments at you. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate that you spend your time to have these basically pointless arguments with me.

        So what if I want to have a dig a stupid comments people make. You do, at least I’m doing it in a forum where they are able to respond. If someone wants to post their opinion in a public forum then I am entitled to let them know what I think about it. I don’t think that just because someone posts a comment that more or less agrees the moderators viewpoint, means they should automatically get a free ride. I am never overtly rude, I’m sorry if you have some deap seated hatred of sarcasm, but that’s something you’re going to have to deal with. I never use the term “denier” nor do I think being skeptical is something to be ashamed of. However I do have a problem with people making comments that have absolutely no basis in reality.

        I think we have as much reason to be sceptical of those scientists outside the mainstream as we are of those within it. Take Spencer for example who is a Creationist. Mixing religion with science, now if that’s not a conflict of interest I don’t know what is. That’s not to say Spencer is wrong, but I don’t think when your blog doesn’t even bother to look both sides of the argument you have cause to accuse me of simply believing everything that is fed to me through the IPCC. Do you simply believe Spencer because he supports your viewpoint?

        • Yawn!

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          “Mixing religion with science, now if that’s not a conflict of interest I don’t know what is.”

          hahaha. oh very good Jonny boy. Err, perhaps you could inform Tim Flannery of this little “pearl of wisdom” of yours?

          Do you think I could be a gardner in Flanery’s Gaian super organism?

        • You’re confusing religion with philosophy. Spencer believes in and worships a God. Flannery believes in Gaian philosophy.

        • Talk of Spencer’s religious beliefs is a distraction, but a rather amusing one, since here is a guy who (like most Americans it must be said) is prepared to accept that the frequently confusing and incomprehensible tales set out in the Bible is the word of an omnipotent and omniscient god, but still doesn’t buy the alarmist nonsense pumped out by the IPCC and the Team. Shows how unconvincing their arguments must really be!

        • The Loaded Dog says:

          “You’re confusing religion with philosophy.”

          uhuh. so mixing philosophy with science is perfectly acceptable amongst warmists such as yourself and Flannery then?

  8. Confusious says:

    Is that The Professor from Sherwood forrest?

  9. On the issue of ice loss around the northern margin of Ellesmere Island. A search of the National Library’s newspaper archive (using the words Ellesmere Island ice shelf) finds a series of reports from the 1950s. I found this headline from the West Australian from the 8 November 1954 of interest:
    Two Canadian scientists, just back from the northern-most tip of Canada, said they found some evidence that the Arctic was becoming warmer.

    One of the goals of the expedition was to locate the source of 3 very large ice islands that were discovered in the Arctic Ocean in the late 1940s.
    From Geoffrey Hattersley-Smith. Northern Ellesmere Island. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 122, No. 1 (Mar., 1956), pp. 13-23

    “In 1946, on a reconnaissance flight, the United States Air Force sighted T1, the first of the floating ice islands of the Polar Sea to be discovered. By the end of 1950 the U.S.A.F. had discovered T2 and T3, two more of these huge ice masses with the unusual, ribbed surface pattern. T2, the largest of the three, had an area of about 300 square miles. Subsequent study of air photographs showed that all or most of the ice islands almost certainly originated on the north coast of Ellesmere Island, where the ice shelf shows the same unusual surface pattern.”

    It seems that the calving of large blocks of shelf ice into the Arctic Ocean is not unprecedented in recent history.

    • It also seems that these observations from the late 1940s should dispel in one fell swoop any notion that recent global warming could not be partly or mainly due to natural causes.


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