Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Somewhere between 1968 and 2008 the social messaging wires have gotten tangled.

Forty years after enlightened baby boomers and academics decried conformity and told the world to ignore "the establishment," to not kowtow to "the man," to "rap about problems to find solutions," and to "not guilt-trip or judge other people's life choices," those same sorts - the now firmly ensconced "establishment" pretending otherwise - are wondering why they can't get people to fall in line and do as they're told to do and think as they're told to think with respect to the environment and the "crisis" of "climate change," the "crisis" which used to be called "global warming" until the news got out that the earth has been cooling for the last ten years and the arctic ice is refusing to melt.

Now, these establishment Boomers want you to kowtow to "the man." They'll brook no open discussions and they prefer you would learn to judge others - and to scold them - for their own good and for the planet's. To encourage you in those noble endeavors, the new establishment is bringing in the psychologists:

Armed with new research into what makes some people environmentally conscious and others less so, the 148,000-member American Psychological Association is stepping up efforts to foster a broader sense of eco-sensitivity that the group believes will translate into more public action to protect the planet. "We know how to change behavior and attitudes. That is what we do," says Yale University psychologist Alan Kazdin, association president. "We know what messages will work and what will not."

As to debating the issue or listening to opposing viewpoints, we won't see that: "News stories that provided a balanced view of climate change reduced people's beliefs that humans are at fault and also reduced the number of people who thought climate change would be bad, according to research by Stanford social psychologist Jon Krosnick."

It would seem that Al Gore was correct then, to eschew any debate on the topic of global warming, and correct again when he ordered the press to stop presenting balance and dissent in their global warming coverage - sorry, primary sources on that story can no longer be found in the archives of the obedient press. When you are trying to peddle the "crisis" mentality necessary to get Americans to hand over power, there is no room to "rap about" the questions or to introduce reason or balance into the non-discussion....

That's just what Americans need - more scolding. We don't get enough from the press, the political parties, and the establishment moralists; now we need to scold each other. Presumably, the next step after finger-wagging at our neighbors for their environmental failings will be informing on them - especially if we're suspected of not being "green enough" ourselves.

All of this manipulation and social engineering is necessary, you understand, because we're facing a "crisis." The environmental "crisis" is the mother lode of guilt-tripping; if it is successful - if people can be made to accept the unprovable theory that humankind, not nature, is responsible for "climate change" - then the tentacles of the nanny state will be able to reach into every aspect of every life, from how one may heat or cool one's home to how many children one may bear. It will be a necessary intrusion, meant to save the planet. For the children you should not have.

Americans - who are all for reasonable conservation measures, but not at the cost of our personal freedoms - are making it tough on our establishment betters. We're forcing them to play the headshrinker card on us. If only we would just conform, listen to "the man," stop questioning, and just judge others, the world would be a better and groovier place.

More here


Britain is "quite simply running out of power" and blackouts are almost inevitable within the next few years. This is the stark warning from the head of an energy think-tank who believes power cuts could be serious enough to spark civil disorder. Campbell Dunford of the respected Renewable Energy Foundation said: "It's almost too late to do anything about it. Nothing will stop us having to pay very high prices for power in future. "If we pull our finger out now we can limit blackouts but it's going to be pretty grim whatever happens."

Gordon Brown pledged last week to end Britain's reliance on the "dictatorship of oil" but Mr Dunford believes the Prime Minister's new interest in the security of energy supplies may have come too late. Only last Thursday, National Grid issued an urgent call for power after a series of power station breakdowns. Suppliers were asked to bring all their available generating capacity online, including costly oil-fired stations. In May, hundreds of thousands of people in Cleveland, Cheshire, Lincolnshire and London suffered blackouts when seven power stations were closed.

The electricity industry estimates it needs to spend œ100billion on new stations to ensure supplies. The "retirement" of a string of nuclear and coal-fired power stations will see 37 per cent of the UK's generation disappear by 2015, partly because of EU environmental directives.

An REF report predicts that the neglect of the power infrastructure will lead to a series of grim consequences, particularly electricity and gas price rises as Britain could be held to ransom by such foreign energy producers as Russia.

Blackouts could force the Government to impose electricity rationing, last seen in the Seventies. The REF report says the Government "should prepare itself to intervene with social policy to prevent hardship and maintain order". It criticises ministers for focusing too heavily on such untried renewable energy sources as wind and tide power, rather than making sure that secure new power generation was put in place.

The report concludes: "A near fatal preoccupation with politically attractive but marginal forms of renewables seems to have caused a blindness towards the weakening of the UK's power stations and a dangerous and helpless vulnerability to natural gas."

The REF warns that as many as nine million people could be plunged into fuel poverty, defined as spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy bills.

Ministers are already under massive pressure to do more to help people trapped in fuel poverty this winter because of soaring prices. Up to six million families are expected to face a stark choice between heating and eating following the series of massive energy price rises that have made a mockery of Labour's target to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016.

Mr Dunford said worse was to come: "Certainly we're going to be heading to eight or nine million in fuel poverty. "The people who are vulnerable are old people and the single mums. They rely on power. "If you are a single mum 14 storeys up in Hackney, you depend on electricity for everything in your life, even the water pumped to your flat, the lifts, the food and so on. "There's a very real chance that power, will not even be there when you need it. That's when you start worrying about social disorder."

Ministers have launched a belated plan to plug Britain's energy gap, including the construction of a string of nuclear power stations. power stations take up to a decade to build though and many experts believe the Government's move has come too late.


Man-made global warming? Worry about the sun

The debate in Northern Ireland: Last week Environment Minister Sammy WIlson caused anger among some environmentalists by questioning whether global warming was caused by man. The Green Party has already hit back - now NIGEL CALDER, former editor of the New Scientist defends Mr Wilson's position

There are warnings of gales in Shannon, Rockall, Malin ... .' When shipping forecasts like that occur repeatedly in summertime, you have to wonder if the global cooling feared by the best-informed climate experts has already begun to bite. The UK's rotten summer weather of 2007 and 2008 is a good reason to reopen the debate about global warming, as Northern Ireland's Environment Minister Sammy Wilson proposes.

Unseasonable storms plagued the Spanish Armada too. After the fights in the English Channel, it escaped homeward around Scotland and Ireland. But high winds, in the late summer of 1588, wrecked two dozen ships on the north and west coasts of Ireland. As Queen Elizabeth's Armada medal put it 'God blew and they were scattered'.

Why is that 420-year-old weather bulletin relevant today? Because a worldwide cooling event, the Little Ice Age, was just then becoming serious. A local symptom was summer storms tracking across the British Isles, rather than passing to the north as in warmer medieval times. The gloomy and wet weather brought misery to farmers, and between 1550 and 1600 the price of wheat in England went up by 200 per cent. With occasional intermissions, and a maximum chill around 1700, the Little Ice Age continued until about 1850.

A lazy sun explains it. The solar magnetic shield was weak, and the Earth suffered a larger influx of swift atomic particles coming from exploded stars.

Those cosmic rays helped to make more low clouds, which cooled the world during the Little Ice Age. But in the 20th century the sun doubled its magnetic strength and cut the influx of cosmic rays. That meant fewer clouds and a warmer world.

This is no crackpot theory. A string of discoveries by the physicist Henrik Svensmark at the Danish National Space Institute backs it up. He and his small team have even traced the chemical action of cosmic rays involved in cloud-making. Evidence for the cosmic-ray theory is now far stronger than for the politically fashionable notion that carbon dioxide drives global warming. Dr Svensmark and I explain it all in plain language in our book The Chilling Stars, published by Icon Books in 2007.

So what's the problem? Precisely the lack of debate that Mr Wilson complains about. A group of scientists who make fanciful computer models of the climate for the United Nations have allied themselves with politicians in many Western countries, with environmental lobbyists, and with journalists who have forgotten to take official pronouncements with plenty of salt. The science of man-made global warming is settled, they chorus, and there's nothing to discuss except how to avoid the climatic apocalypse.

Future historians will laugh about how climate science went crazy, but meanwhile life is not so funny for my friend Henrik. For 12 years, I've watched scientists who take the official line bad-mouthing him, starving him of funds and making it hard for him to publish his reports. Other physicists who think that the Sun rules the climate, or merely criticise the man-made warming theory, report similar experiences. They've certainly not had the open discussion of the evidence that scientists are accustomed to expect.

I'm afraid that the issue will now be resolved, not by rational argument, but by unmistakable global cooling, which will be bad news for farmers and everyone else.

In the 1990s the sun ended its spurt of increasing activity, and as result there has been no rise in temperature since 1997, despite the continuing increase in carbon dioxide in the air. The global warmers explain away the 'pause' by changes in the oceans. Isn't it quaint that any mid-term cooling effect can be just a quirk of nature, while any mid-term warming is obviously our fault?

In an updated edition of The Chilling Stars, published earlier this year, Dr Svensmark and I remarked that we were advising friends to enjoy the global warming while it lasted. Since we wrote that, portents of a solar downturn, and possibly even a new little ice age, have become more sinister. The sun ought to be freckled with sunspots now, as a symptom of magnetic vigour, but instead we've had more than a year with very few spots. Global temperatures are down on last year and Australia and South America are just emerging from a bitter winter.

Not convinced? Well back in April the UK Met Office, one of the shrillest of global warming outfits, issued a forecast for summer 2008. It declared, 'the risk of exceptional rainfall, as seen last summer, is assessed as very low'. These are the folk who claim to tell you what the climate will be like 100 years from now.

As I finish writing, amid torrential rain in Sussex, I notice that my roof is starting to leak.


Science slows global warming!

Yes, kids, science is a wonderful thing. But not nearly as wonderful as climate modeling, which can perform supernatural miracles. Honest! Climate modeling can raise the level of the oceans (even without Obama's intervention), it can burn up the planet a hundred years from now, and Shazzam! -- the models can save us again -- all without leaving your video games, and without the benefit of the real-world data that you need for boring old regular science.

At least, that's what Nature -- the oldest science journal in the world, going back to Isaac Newton -- now claims. According to credulous journalist extraordinaire Katharine Sanderson (who has no degree in climatology), we are supposed to believe that "sophisticated climate chemistry models have shown that the (Montreal) Protocol has done much more than rescue the planet from sunburn."

For all you great unwashed, the Montreal Protocol prohibited CFC's, which used to keep our refrigerators cold. Now we find out that not only has Montreal saved the world's ozone layer, but it has even postponed the dreaded catastrophe of Global Warming! How do we know that? What's the actual evidence? Well, ummmm... well... duuuhhh

Oh yes, it's a "sophisticated climate chemistry model"! Phew. tells us that
"The team worked out a predicted value for chlorine levels in the stratosphere ... in the year 2030, on the basis of how quickly chlorine levels were rising in the late 1960s and early 1970s. "Chlorine is known to be the main driver for atmospheric ozone depletion in the stratosphere, ... "They ran this value of chlorine -- 9 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) -- through their computer models simulating climate chemistry. For comparison, they also ran the models with a chlorine level of 3.5 ppbv, which was the level in the stratosphere by the late 1990s. ... (The computer model) showed what effect this ozone loss would have had on the planet's climate at the surface. And those changes are significant. "'What we're seeing here is a big signal,' says (John) Pyle (the Cambridge scientist who led the modeling team)."

So -- pay attention to this, now, kids -- these video gamers extrapolated the chlorine numbers from fifty years ago, before satellites were available to measure that stuff. Then they took another number from the 1990s. Then they projected two decades ahead to 2030 what would have been the value of chlorine without and without the Montreal Protocol. Then they took credit for the "improvement" in chlorine levels, which are supposed to stand for ozone levels, which are supposed to stand for global warming levels 22 years from now. Got that?

It is the ultimate example of scientific hubris. As Bjorn Lomborg just wrote in The Guardian, of all places,
"Much of the global warming debate is perhaps best described as a constant outbidding by frantic campaigners, producing a barrage of ever-more scary scenarios in an attempt to get the public to accept their civilisation-changing proposals. Unfortunately, the general public -- while concerned about the environment -- is distinctly unwilling to support questionable solutions with costs running into tens of trillions of pounds. Predictably, this makes the campaigners reach for even more outlandish scares."

And Freeman Dyson, who is a real Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist, not the fake kind, wrote in his autobiography that:
"...all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. ... I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models."

In no other field of science can you create a garbage-in/garbage-out video game about one of the most complex nonlinear systems known to science, the earth climate, and make wild guesses and get paid for it -- not to mention being celebrated in the pages of Nature. You just take a data point from fifty years ago, add another point from the 1990s, project it all to 2030, make inferences from chlorine to ozone to global warming, publish the result, and get celebrated for your non-existent proof of current pop orthodoxy about Armageddon.

And no, this is not "a big signal" in climate evidence, Professor Pyle. It's a big signal in your model. If you tweak a dozen other variables you could change that result without ever leaving your desk. And what's more, you and all the other global warming frauds out there know that perfectly well.

This is a sad reflection of the corruption of the scientific enterprise. Non fingo hypothesi, said Newton when he was urged to perform a similar miracle in his time: I do not make wildly speculative hypotheses. Today we do perform miracles of prediction, and earn Nobel Peace Prizes for superannuated politicians, not to mention billions of dollars to support fraudulent superstition in the name of science.

Today's climate modeling has gone far beyond Isaac Newton. Or beyond any other scientist in history, for that matter. Today, we can not only predict the things that will happen to Planet Earth a hundred years from now within a few degrees Centigrade, we can also tell you about all the terrible things that woulda happened if our Green politicians hadn't passed the Montreal Protocol. Whoever said scientists don't believe in miracles?



Two articles below

Relax, truth has surfaced -- in Ross Garnaut's official climate report

Economist Garnaut says it's cheaper to do nothing!

Kevin Rudd's global warming guru has finally - and reluctantly - exposed the con. Ignore everything the Government has told you. The truth, conceded Professor Ross Garnaut last week, is that it really is cheaper for Australians to do nothing about global warming. And, no, it's not immoral to figure there's no point spending big money to "stop" this warming when it won't make a blind bit of difference.

No wonder the Rudd Government refuses to comment on Garnaut's latest report, released on Friday. Much of the argument for its grand plan to make us slash emissions from 2010 has just been destroyed. I guess it's just hoping no journalists, most of whom are warming believers, will care to notice what Garnaut has just admitted through gritted teeth. As far as I can tell, only the Daily Telegraph's Piers Akerman has drawn the unmistakable conclusions.

Let's assume just for now that man's carbon dioxide emissions really are heating the world. Let's also assume that heating would be bad, and wouldn't actually help crops grow. Let's also ignore that the world has in fact cooled since 2002. Even given all that, it's bizarre to think Australia should lead the world in slashing emissions, losing billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. What difference to the world could Australia make, when we pump out less than 1.5 per cent of all man's greenhouse gases? Why make such sacrifices when giants such as China and India are stamping on the growth pedal, getting gassier by the week, and have vowed not to stop until they're rich? It's brainless, of course.

And to that argument, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has had one glib response: panic now or pay later. Or as he put it on June 23, and again on June 26: "The economic cost of inaction on climate change is far greater than the economic cost of action." One government minister, from Treasurer Wayne Swan to Environment Minister Peter Garrett, after another repeated the mantra -- that we must pay now or pay more later. Here, for instance, is Climate Change Minister Penny Wong on June 24: "The economic costs of inaction are far greater than the costs of responsible action now."

But is all this actually true? As Akerman has pointed out, Garnaut in his draft report in July calculated the cost if we did nothing about "climate change" and just adapted to whatever turned up. The cost by 2020, he estimated then, would be a cut of 0.7 per cent in the GDP we'd normally expect. Now compare that claimed cost with what we'd pay if we actually tried to stop global warming. In his report last week, Garnaut says if we cut our emissions by 25 per cent by 2020, and the rest of the world somehow agreed to do likewise, our GDP would fall 1.6 per cent. If we cut emissions by 10 per cent, we'd lose 1.1 per cent. And if we simply adopted the weakest version of the Government's planned emissions trading scheme, even without actually cutting gases, we'd still lose 0.9 per cent.

That is: doing nothing about global warming turns out to be cheaper than "doing something" every single time. So Rudd is exactly wrong: the economic costs of action are far greater than the economic costs of inaction. That's according to Garnaut's own reports, which, incidentally, point out that whatever happens, we're still likely to be seven times richer in 2100 than we are today. That's assuming that any reliance can be placed on his models, which haven't been checked by anyone outside the loop.

Now before you dismiss Garnaut as just another evil sceptic, consider this. He's actually the deepest believer in the theory that man is heating the world to hell. In fact, he even asked the City of Yarra Council for permission to build a steel roof on his home on the grounds that global warming would cause "severe and more frequent hailstorms". And, like so many devout believers in global warming, Garnaut skips over inconvenient truths -- such as the fact that even the alarmist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's four assessment reports admit that "decreases in hail frequency are simulated for Melbourne".

So Garnaut is a believer and confirmed catastrophist, but even he is now wondering how sane it is to slash our emissions when we're so irrelevant on our own. He now recommends that the Rudd Government promise only to cut our emissions by 10 per cent by 2020, a target that has horrified the green movement and warming scientists. Greens leader Bob Brown in particular is apoplectic, saying cuts of at least 40 per cent are needed to save us from Armageddon. Labor itself was thought to be toying with promising cuts of 20 per cent.

But now Garnaut says just 10 per cent is the most we can realistically hope to cut without sending jobs overseas for no real gain to the climate. Yet even that (relatively) modest target comes with a catch. Garnaut says that if the rest of the world doesn't promise at next year's Copenhagen Conference to make some cuts of their own -- even ones much less than ours -- we shouldn't even bother to cut our emissions by 10 per cent. Just half that would do, and even that would be just to set an inspiring example to the rest of the world that would "keep hopes alive of an international agreement, at reasonable cost".

Yeah, right. Like China and India are just waiting for a cue from Australia.

Why is Garnaut's concession so devastating to the Government? Because he's admitting that nothing we do on our own makes the slightest difference to the climate. Whether we cut our emissions by 5 per cent or 100, if the rest of the world, China and India in particular, keep gassing on, then the Great Barrier Reef will still die, polar bears still drown and St Kilda Beach will move to Fitzroy.

So much for Rudd's deceitful claim that, "if we do not begin reducing the nation's levels of carbon pollution, Australia's economy will face more frequent and severe droughts, less water, reduced food production and devastation of areas such as the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu wetlands". Rudd's own climate guru doesn't agree. And rightly so. (Oh, and relax: all that doom will only happen if man's gases are indeed frying the world, and even Garnaut admits "there is a large uncertainty" about that. He's not wrong.)

And here's the other damaging thing about Garnaut's report. He's suggesting it's not immoral to balance gain against pain, and to work out whether cutting emissions is a price worth paying for what little it achieves. Why, Garnaut is asking, must we add to our climate woes by cutting our economic throats as well? A good question. And I'd go still further than Garnaut yet dares, even though his own figures say he should: Why try to stop global warming, when doing nothing is cheaper? Indeed, why spend billions to stop a warming that in fact seems to have stopped already?


IPCC report the product of a small clique, not a broad consensus

ROSS Garnaut made it clear in his interim report that his climate change review takes as a starting point - not as a belief but on the balance of probabilities - that the claims made in the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are correct. Had he made even a cursory examination of the integrity of those IPCC claims he would have found a very troubling picture.

The IPCC encourages us to believe that about 2500 climate scientists supported the claim of a significant human influence on climate. It fails to clarify that the claim was made in chapter nine of the working group one contribution and that the contributions of working groups two and three were based on the assumption that the claim was correct. The first eight chapters of the WG1 contribution were mainly concerned with climatic observations and the authors expressed no opinion about the claim made in chapter nine, and chapters 10 and 11 assumed the claim to be correct. The entire IPCC thesis therefore stands or falls on the claims of just one chapter.

We are also led to believe that chapter nine was widely supported by hundreds of reviewers, but just 62 IPCC reviewers commented on its penultimate draft. Only five of those reviewers endorsed it but four of the five appear to have vested interests and the other made just one comment for the entire 11-chapter WG1 contribution.

As is the normal IPCC practice, chapter nine has co-ordinating lead authors, who are responsible for the chapter as a whole; lead authors, who are responsible for sections of the chapter; and contributing authors, who provide their thoughts to the lead authors but take no active part in thewriting. The IPCC procedures state that the authors at each level should reflect a wide range of views, but this is not true of chapter nine.

The expansion of the full list of authors of each paper cited by this chapter reveals that 37 of 53 chapter authors form a network of people who have previously co-authored scientific papers with each other: or make that 38 if we include a review editor. The two co-ordinating lead authors are members of this network. So are five of the seven lead authors. Thirty of 44 contributing authors are in the network and two other pairs of contributing authors have likewise co-authored scientific papers.

In other words, the supposedly 53 independent voices are in fact one dominant voice with 37 people behind it, two voices each with two people behind them, and perhaps 12 single voices. A closer check reveals that many of those 12 were academic or work colleagues of members of that larger network. One lead author was from the University of Michigan, as were three contributing authors, two of whom were not members of the network. Another lead author was associated with Britain's Hadley Centre, along with eight contributing authors, one of whom was not included in that network of co-authors.

All up, the 53 authors of this chapter came from just 31 establishments and there are worrying indications that certain lead authors were the superiors of contributing authors from the same organisation. The very few viewpoints in this chapter might be alleviated if it drew on a wide range of references, but among the co-authors of 40 per cent of the cited material are at least one chapter author. Scientists associated with the development and use of climate models dominate the clique of chapter nine authors and by extension the views expressed in that chapter.

Perhaps the increase in the processing power of their computers has increased their confidence in the software they have been nurturing for years. Imagine, though, the consequences were they to imply that the accuracy of the models had not improved despite the extra funding. These models are said to require a human component to reasonably match historical temperatures and the modellers claim that this proves a human influence on climate, but the human factor is an input so a corresponding output is no surprise. A more plausible reason for the mismatch without this influence is that the models are incomplete and contain errors, but of course chapter nine could never admit this.

Garnaut didn't need to evaluate the science behind the IPCC's claim to find that its integrity is questionable and that the report's key findings are the product of scientific cronyism. The IPCC has misled us into believing the primary claims were widely endorsed by authors and reviewers but in fact they received little support and came from a narrow self-interested coterie of climate modellers. We should now ask what else the IPCC has misled us about and why Garnaut, a skilled academic, so blithely accepted its claims.



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Steve said...

Hey, could you turn on post titles in your Blogger settings? You bold your titles in the body, but that isn't actually a post title.

If you look at your RSS feed, you'll see the title tag is blank. In Google Reader, it shows up as (title unknown).

JR said...

Each post is made up of a number of articles so there is no overall title