Saturday, February 06, 2010

BBC: 'Dramatic shift' -- Climate skepticism 'on the rise' -- AGW believers in minority

The number of British people who are sceptical about climate change is rising, a poll for BBC News suggests. The Populus poll of 1,001 adults found 25% did not think global warming was happening, a rise of 8% since a similar poll was conducted in November. The percentage of respondents who said climate change was a reality had fallen from 83% in November to 75% this month. And only 26% of those asked believed climate change was happening and "now established as largely man-made". The findings are based on interviews carried out on 3-4 February.

In November 2009, a similar poll by Populus - commissioned by the Times newspaper - showed that 41% agreed that climate change was happening and it was largely the result of human activities. "It is very unusual indeed to see such a dramatic shift in opinion in such a short period," Populus managing director Michael Simmonds told BBC News. "The British public are sceptical about man's contribution to climate change - and becoming more so," he added. "More people are now doubters than firm believers."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) chief scientific adviser, Professor Bob Watson, called the findings "very disappointing". "The fact that there has been a very significant drop in the number of people that believe that we humans are changing the Earth's climate is serious," he told BBC News. "Action is urgently needed," Professor Watson warned. "We need the public to understand that climate change is serious so they will change their habits and help us move towards a low carbon economy."

Of the 75% of respondents who agreed that climate change was happening, one-in-three people felt that the potential consequences of living in a warming world had been exaggerated, up from one-in-five people in November. The number of people who felt the risks of climate change had been understated dropped from 38% in November to 25% in the latest poll.

During the intervening period between the two polls, there was a series of high profile climate-related stories, some of which made grim reading for climate scientists and policymakers. In November, the contents of emails stolen from a leading climate science unit led to accusations that a number of researchers had manipulated data. And in January, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admitted that it had made a mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

All of this happened against the backdrop of many parts of the northern hemisphere being gripped by a prolonged period of sub-zero temperatures.

However, 73% of the people who said that they were aware of the "science flaws" stories stated that the media coverage had not changed their views about the risks of climate change. "People tend to make judgements over time based on a whole range of different sources," Mr Simmonds explained. He added that it was very unusual for single events to have a dramatic impact on public opinion. "Normally, people make their minds up over a longer period and are influenced by all the voices they hear, what they read and what people they know are talking about."

SOURCE (See the original for graphics)

Former IPCC Leader Says Climategate Scientists “Manipulated data.”

Dr. William Sprigg is research professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona and was head of the International Technical Review Panel for IPCC’s first report. The distinguished doctor slams the conduct of some of his global warming colleagues and accuses fellow IPCC scientists of “too much hubris.” He also told the Arizona conference, “climate data has been withheld and manipulated ”and that it is clear that “someone took out information.”

Here is a newly released video from the Heartland Institute, of Sprigg’s presentation to a packed audience of scientists at the 13th Annual Energy and Environment Conference, Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday February 2, 2010

Although a non-skeptic, the esteemed former IPCC man is now on the campaign trail to restore the credibility of his profession. Still adamant that human carbon dioxide emissions are impacting the climate, the professor is deeply disturbed by what he has read in the leaked Climategate emails and calls for more respect to be shown to scientists who hold sceptical viewpoints.

Sprigg bemoans the fact that the IPCC has scorned any further reviews, and is unimpressed with the computer forecasts of climatologists calling their scenarios “tentative models.”

All scientists should applaud Sprigg for a clear show of honest principles so wanting of late at the IPCC. We commend Professor Sprigg’s honorable example and we hope that this leads to open sharing of data that needs to be placed in the public domain.

SOURCE (See the original for video)

Climategate Necessary to Cover Incorrect Climate Basics of IPCC

By Dr. Tim Ball

Canada and the US announced new targets for carbon reduction that are completely unnecessary. It is madness and ultimately destructive to western society but what the perpetrators want. Despite exposure of the complete corruption of the science they continue to assume CO2 is a problem. UN Climate chief Yves De Boer said, “what’s happened, it’s unfortunate, it’s bad, it’s wrong, but I don’t think it has damaged the basic science.”

British Climate Secretary Ed Miliband said, “It’s right that there’s rigour applied to all the reports about climate change, but I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it’s somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that’s there,” It’s not one mistake but a complete fabrication of every aspect of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports. In addition, science is only correct when accurate predictions are made and the IPCC have been wrong in every single one. Miliband’s thinking helps explain why the UK is on the brink of economic disaster and needs a diversion. It is said, despite the disclosures, because the objective of eliminating fossil fuels and destroying industrial economies is still pursued.

What they don’t understand or choose to ignore is that the basic science was wrong from the start.

The corruption disclosed was necessary because the science and the evidence didn’t fit what they wanted. They made the science fit the political goals and stopped at nothing to achieve the end. They succeeded, because beyond manipulations that duped politicians, media and most of the public, they knew many scientists who participated did not understand climate science. Blinded by career ambitions and large funding they ignored what was going on or lacked the expertise to know. Now some scientists incorrectly claim the basic evidence is still valid.

Politicians and political leaders worldwide accepted and adopted these reports as their political Bible. Most of them still don’t understand what went on and therefore failed to react properly. Scientists in political positions support them in their chosen ignorance manifest in inappropriate reactions.

John Beddington, science advisor to the UK government and professor of applied population biology demonstrates his lack of understanding of climate science. He says, “It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. But where you can get challenges is on the speed of change.”

There are serious questions about the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. For example, the IPCC claimed CO2 stays in the atmosphere for up to 100 years but we know that this residency time is wrong. It is between five and six years. The duration was an essential part of the political game to increase pressure for action: even if we stopped CO2 production right now the impact would be felt for decades. There’s also the troubling fact that in every record of any duration for any time in the Earth’s history temperature change precedes CO2 change. We have little idea of the greenhouse effect when we have no understanding of the role of water vapor. His argument about the speed of change is not an issue either. They made it one by claiming current change is faster than in the past. It isn’t.

Beddington’s comments show he doesn’t understand the scientific method. He said, “I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper skepticism.” How does he distinguish between skepticisms? What is “proper”? All scientists are skeptics and all of their questions and inputs are healthy. The CRU gang and government agencies actively excluded skeptics and skepticism. The use of the term is dismissive and in a backhanded way acknowledges their behavior.

Complaints about the control, typified by CRU Director Phil Jones’s statement he would keep certain papers out even if it meant changing the peer-reviewed process, led to an external review process. It was a sham, a public relations exercise allowing them to say they were inclusive of skeptics, when they changed virtually nothing. I could never discover who chose the reviewers. Virtually none of the corrections amendments and additions proposed by the external reviewers were included. One review editor claimed he had eliminated files when pushed for an accounting.

Recently a paper published in Science announces, “climate scientists have overlooked a major cause of global warming and cooling, a new study reveals today.” No they haven’t, only the scientists involved in the IPCC have overlooked it. We then have a quote from Dr. Susan Solomon of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “current climate models do a remarkable job on water vapor near the surface but this is different it’s a thin wedge of the upper atmosphere that packs a wallop from one decade to the next in a way we didn’t expect.”

No, the current climate models do not do a remarkable job. In fact the entire issue of water vapor as a greenhouse gas is essentially ignored and badly handled. Dr. Solomon was a co-chair of the Working Group 1, the Scientific Group of the IPCC. This means responsibility for the content of their report. Solomon was in direct communication with the people at CRU. Dr. Solomon failed to identify the serious problems now being disclosed. How does the certainty of the Reports and especially the Summary for Policymakers fit with this statement by Solomon? “We call this the 10/10/10 paper, 10 miles above your head, there is 10% less water vapor than there was 10 years ago. Why did the water vapor decrease? We really don’t know, we don’t have enough information yet.”

Despite this Solomon must play down the limitations the findings imply saying, “this isn’t an indication that predictions on global warming are overstated”. Yes it is, and the cooling trend since 2002 while CO2 levels increased is another. “This doesn’t mean there isn’t global warming.” “There’s no significant debate that it is warmer now than it was 100 years ago, due to anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gases.”

The only place were that statement is true is in the computer models of the IPCC and we know they are useless. As CRU and IPCC member Trenberth said on October 12 2009, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Solomon apparently found an answer by claiming the upper level water vapor, “very likely made substantial contributions to the flattening of the global warming trend since about 2000.” And that is probably what the research is all about.

Dr. Solomon was also involved in the claim that CFCs were destroying the ozone when there was never any evidence. In fact, UV interacting with oxygen creates ozone but they incorrectly assumed UV was constant. We now know it varies by up to 200%.

The hypothesis that CO2 was causing warming was accepted as fact before scientific testing began. They blocked most testing and challenges, but it never was the cause. As the evidence accumulated this was the case Climategate became necessary to corrupt and falsify. Now dismissal of Climategate ignores how the fundamental science is wrong. Climategate became necessary to achieve the political objective. Politicians and scientists who bought into the objectives don’t want to believe Climategate or abandon the benefits of appearing green, advancing careers, making money, or imposing taxes and political control on everybody to destroy western economies and democracy.


The IPCC, a would-be Vatican

THE recent climate science scandals have been revealing. For those of us who have had the experience of environmentalists accusing us of being "deniers" and "doubters of The Science", as if science is a gospel truth that you question or ignore at your peril, they have also been enjoyable.

Take the revelations that academics at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia bent over backwards to keep "deniers" out of respected journals, and tried desperately to wriggle out of Freedom of Information demands on their work, or the expose of the bizarre story of the Himalayan glaciers melting by the year 2035, which turned out to be the flighty speculation of a single scientist.

The scandals have revealed that leading lights in the climate change story sought to suppress debate and demonise their opponents, and allowed their moral conviction about humanity's hubris bringing about the end of the world to sprint ahead of the "scientific facts".

The scandals reveal that many climate change alarmists are intolerant and censorious. Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has attacked the sceptics who are asking entirely rational questions about some of the IPCC's claims, accusing them of indulging in "skulduggery of the worst kind".

Behaving more like a secular Vatican than a genuinely enlightened, open-minded, inquisitive gathering of investigative scientists, the IPCC's overlords treat dissent as something disgusting.

Of course it is a serious problem when wrong or skewed or speculative science is promoted as "the truth" to the public. And what the recent climate-science scandals reveal is that such dodgy science becomes more likely as science is politicised and used to motor social policy and social-control initiatives.

The elite flattering of scientists as oracles of wisdom whose work can help both to illuminate and possibly offset what is allegedly the worst crisis mankind has ever faced - global warming - must inevitably pollute and distort the scientific process.

Some now claim, disingenuously, that the melting glacier thing was just one little claim in the IPCC's 3000-page report. This slyly overlooks how that one little claim became one of the most widely cited pieces of climate-change evidence among both green-leaning journalists and world leaders.

Why did that happen? Not because it was scientifically airtight - it was no such thing - but because it chimed perfectly with the ridiculous biblical prophecies of a future doom brought about by mankind's sinful behaviour that underpin green thinking today. The glacier claim suggested that millions of people in Asia would run out of water and die of thirst or spread around the world like crazy, politically destabilising environmental refugees.

The various climategate scandals suggest that the most alarming-sounding science tends to get bigged up, and that peer review has become an increasingly politicised, back-patting exercise where science that is "politically right" gets elevated over science that is "politically wrong".

But it is not enough to pick apart the bad science of the politics of environmentalism, and to call for the IPCC either to apologise for that bad science or to expunge it in the interests of putting its documents once more "beyond criticism". The bigger, more profound problem is the elevation of science itself to such a sacred, esteemed position in politics, society and international debate. In many ways it doesn't matter if that science is airtight or flimsy, its sanctification is deeply problematic either way.

Fundamentally, the IPCC is a scientific crutch for elites that are bereft of political vision and stunningly lacking in an inspiring or human-based morality. Science has become one of the only sources of authority for politically exhausted and morally bankrupt governments and institutions.

The politicians and green activists desperately calling for the IPCC to get its house in order, to get rid of the crap science and only keep the allegedly good stuff, know which side their bread is buttered. They know that the IPCC is the emperor's last shred of clothing, providing otherwise denuded rulers and campaigners with a form of unquestionable authority for their backward, killjoy, misanthropic agendas.

They are really demanding the preservation of the IPCC by any means necessary because they value the way it provides them with a God-like authority for Orwellian action at a time when serious democratic debate is notable by its absence. And perhaps we should call for the abolition of the IPCC, not because some of its science is daft, but for precisely those same reasons.


Climate alarmists out in the cold

Comment from Miranda Devine in Australia

As the wheels keep falling off the climate alarmist bandwagon, it's suddenly become fashionable to be a sceptic. Out of the woodwork have crawled all sorts of fair-weather friends. But where were they when the going was tough, when we were being hammered as Holocaust deniers, planet wreckers, in the pay of the "Big Polluters", bad parents, pariahs, equivalent to murderers? It was pure McCarthyism.

But now, even the most aggressive alarmists have gone quiet or softened their rhetoric and people who sat on the fence have morphed into wise owls. They still think it's acceptable to mock touring British sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton's protruding eyes, a distressing symptom of his thyroid disease, in an effort to marginalise him as a lunatic, rather than address his criticisms. But, when even the British left-leaning, warmist-friendly Guardian newspaper has begun to investigate the fraud involved in "sexing up" climate change science, it's clear the collapse of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's credibility and the holes in the case for catastrophic man-made climate change can no longer be ignored.

We are witnessing an outbreak of neo-open-mindedness and face-saving from people who brooked no nuance. The formerly alarmist British chief scientific adviser, John Beddington, has said: "I don't think it's healthy to dismiss proper scepticism." Hallelujah.

Australia's Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett, who just three months ago was telling us that we had only five years to stop catastrophic global warming, is similarly less gung-ho these days. On ABC television's 7.30 Report this week she expressed concern about "a confusion" between the science and the politics of climate change. "I think that we're seeing more and more a confusion between a political debate, a political debate that needs to happen, it's important to happen, and the discussion of the science. I feel that these two things are being confused and it worries me, actually."

Funny, proponents of the theory of catastrophic man-made climate change never expressed concern about the "confusion", aka politicisation of science, when it was running their way.

Blows to the climate alarm case keep coming, from fraudulent claims about melting glaciers, increased hurricanes and drought, dying Amazon rainforest, disappearing polar bears and the flooding of half of Holland.

The latest, most serious, blow was the revelation this week that an influential paper discounting the so-called urban heat island effect was based on vanished and perhaps fraudulent data from remote Chinese weather stations. The 1990 paper was co-authored by the besieged director of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, Phil Jones and a US colleague, who are now accused of a "cover-up".

Jones, of course, and other leading scientists, have been exposed by their leaked "Climategate" emails, as political partisans who tried to suppress data, subvert freedom of information laws, and blackball journals and scientists who didn't toe the alarmist line.

Meanwhile, revelations pile up about shoddy references used to sex up the IPCC's Nobel Prize-winning Fourth Assessment Report of 2007. Among them is the bogus claim that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, based on a speculative interview in a popular science magazine. The IPCC lead author of the chapter that contained the reference, Murari Lal, told Britain's Mail on Sunday last week that he knew the glacier claim was wrong but included it to put political pressure on world leaders to cut emissions. "We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policymakers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action."

Because it was in a good cause it was somehow OK for the United Nations' lead climate change body to slant science, cherry-pick data, and base claims on such flimsy references as Greenpeace and WWF propaganda, a student's master's thesis and anecdotes in Climber magazine.

This sort of "noble cause" corruption appears to have permeated climate change science, and set back the legitimate cause of fighting pollution. The dishonesty will have only ensured a generation of people will no longer trust environmental warnings.

One of the most significant recent revelations is how influential and embedded were environmental activists such as WWF and Greenpeace. Not only were their publications cited in the 2007 report in at last 24 instances as if they were proper peer-reviewed science, but their staffers were in familiar communication with East Anglia climate researchers, and were regarded apparently as "honest brokers" rather than political lobbyists. In one email, Alan Markham from WWF writes to climate scientists urging a paper on climate change in Australia be "beefed up".

WWF "would like to see the section on a variability and extreme events beefed up, if possible," Markham wrote in 1999. "I guess the bottom line is that if they are going to go with a big public splash on this they need something that will get good support from CSIRO scientists."

In another email to East Anglia scientists, WWF's Stephan Singer offers "a few thousand euros" to write a paper about the economic cost of Europe's 2003 heatwave.

They got away with it for a very long time. Today, the bankruptcy of the climate alarm cause is demonstrated by the fact its highest profile champion is Osama bin Laden. "Boycott [America] to save yourselves … and your children from climate change", he said in an audiotape released last week.

Rising in the opinion polls, the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, has found himself on the right side of history. He was even able this week to utter the former heresy that "carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas" and "these so-called nasty big polluters are the people who keep the lights on". But in the game of musical chairs that politics often is Kevin Rudd has found himself with no place to sit.


Costly Proposed Air Standards Lack Scientific Basis

In testimony delivered in Houston today, officials with the American Petroleum Institute said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new ozone pollution standards would exact significant costs on consumers, jobs and the economy without delivering commensurate benefits. Furthermore, they said there was no solid scientific justification for imposing the more stringent standards.

“Without a clear certain scientific basis for selecting a different numeric standard, the ozone standard need not be changed now. We urge the Administrator not to pursue this proposal,” said policy advisor Ted Steichen, who presented API’s testimony. He said EPA’s own studies failed to support a lowering of the ozone standards.

Steichen emphasized that tremendous progress has been made improving the nation’s air quality, in large part through oil and natural gas industry efforts, and said more improvements will follow – under the existing ozone standards – because of pollution controls in place or soon to be implemented.

EPA’s trends data (Figure 1 above), according ot API, shows that the emissions from six criteria air pollutants dropped by 60 percent between 1970 and 2008, while vehicle miles traveled (VMT) went up 163 percent.

“Thanks to implementation of the Clean Air Act,” Steichen testified, “our air quality has demonstrably improved. Since 1990, the oil and gas industry invested more than $175 billion – that’s billion, with a ‘B’ – towards improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities, and operations.”

Both cleaner vehicles and cleaner fuels will contribute to further improvement, he explained, with “annual emission reductions from the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel with cleaner technology engines … equivalent to removing the pollution from more than 90% of today’s trucks and buses by 2030.”

Steichen said moving forward with the proposed new standards could “impact citizens while they are still suffering from a severe recession, in the very communities where we need to be creating jobs.”

SOURCE. (See the original for graphics)


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