Friday, March 05, 2010

The University of East Anglia CRU comes clean: there WAS a medieval warm period

Admitted by none less than Phil Jones's boss

Finally, after all this time we start hearing the truth out of a government inquiry.
Next to him, holding a metaphorical hand, was Professor Edward Acton, his vice-chancellor, who interrupted at intervals to tell the committee what a splendid fellow Jones was and how his unit was doing magnificent work warning the world.

Acton conceded that not everything pointed in the same direction. It’s acknowledged that several hundred years ago Earth became much warmer. If we knew why, we could explain a lot. “The early medieval period is something we should spend more time researching,” he mused.

The infamous ‘hockey stick graph’ is now debunked even by those who used to worship it.

If you use a graph as evidence, then the data you used to make it up is therefore equally exposed as being faulty.

All around it was a bad day for warmism and Dr Phil Jones.
The sight of another scientist being skewered makes for painful viewing. Whatever your view on man-made global warming, you had to feel sorry for Professor Phil Jones, the man behind the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia

Feel bad? You’ve got to be kidding me.


Global warming winners

The greatest scandal connected to global warming is not exaggeration, fraud or destruction of data to conceal the weakness of the argument. It is those who are personally profiting from promoting this fantasy at the expense of the rest of us.

Al Gore is the most visible beneficiary. The world's greatest climate-change fear-monger has amassed millions in book sales and speaking fees. His science-fiction movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," won an Academy Award for best documentary and 21 other film awards. He was co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his "efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

Meanwhile, Mr. Gore was laying his own foundations. As he was whipping up hysteria over climate change, he cannily invested in "green" firms that stood to profit in the hundreds of millions of dollars (if not more) from increased government regulations and sweetheart deals from connected politicians and bureaucrats. The multimillionaire climate dilettante was given a free pass by reporters, who refused to ask him hard questions about the degree to which he was profiting from the panic he was causing.

With the global-warming story line unraveling, the New York Times allowed Mr. Gore to run what amounted to an unpaid advertisement for his brand of climate-change hysteria. This screed, published Saturday, reiterated his claim that the world faces an "unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it." That's pretty good rhetoric for the person with the largest carbon footprint in the world.

Mr. Gore is not the only one profiting from climate fraud. Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace prize with Mr. Gore, is also the director general of the Energy and Resources Institute. The New Delhi-based research group has received substantial financial grants to examine the issue of the world's vanishing glaciers, a purported crisis that was highlighted in the 2007 IPCC climate-change report. The glaciology unit is headed by Syed Hasnain, who in 1999 claimed that Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035, which became a noted scare quote in the IPCC report.

A more detailed study found that glacial melt was far less pronounced and widespread than claimed by the global-warming proponents. Mr. Pachauri denounced this skepticism as "voodoo science." However, in January, Murari Lal, who wrote the glacier section of the 2007 IPCC report, admitted that the alarmist claims were not backed by peer-reviewed science but had been included in the report for a political purpose, which was to "impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action." No word on whether Mr. Pachauri will return his institute's grant money, but we doubt it.

The greatest potential profits are possible in the ill-defined "carbon trading" industry, currently valued at $126 billion. The trade in carbon emission credits - a key aspect of the beleaguered "cap-and-trade" energy bill now stalled in Congress - will make quick fortunes for the "carbon brokers" assisting companies with reducing their carbon footprints. But because carbon quotas and the acceptable means of measuring them will be determined by the government, this will benefit those who combine presumed expertise with political access, which in the Obama administration means the climate-change alarmists.

Mr. Gore is heavily involved in this scam through Generation Investment Management LLP, which he chairs, and Mr. Pachauri also has been accused of making millions from carbon trading. The dubious science of cap-and-trade and its productivity-killing implications make the bill unlikely to be passed in an election year, but any moves toward this framework will enhance the fortunes of these and other well-connected adherents to the global-warming cult at the expense of businesses and private citizens.

Given the clear conflicts of interest of those who both promote and profit from climate-change alarmism, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize should be rescinded.


The money trail

Rather amazingly, this was published on the site of Australia's very Left-leaning ABC

Somehow the tables have turned. For all the smears of big money funding the "deniers", the numbers reveal that the sceptics are actually the true grassroots campaigners, while Greenpeace defends Wall St. How times have changed.

Sceptics are fighting a billion dollar industry aligned with a trillion dollar trading scheme. Big Oil's supposed evil influence has been vastly outdone by Big Government, and even those taxpayer billions are trumped by Big-Banking.

The big-money side of this debate has fostered a myth that sceptics write what they write because they are funded by oil profits. They say, follow the money? So I did and it's chilling. Greens and environmentalists need to be aware each time they smear with an ad hominem attack they are unwittingly helping giant finance houses.


Money for Sceptics: Greenpeace has searched for funding for sceptics and found $23 million paid by Exxon over 10 years (which has stopped). Perhaps Greenpeace missed funding from other fossil fuel companies, but you can be sure that they searched. I wrote the Climate Money paper in July last year, and since then no one has claimed a larger figure. Big-Oil may well prefer it if emissions are not traded, but it's not make-or-break for them. If all fossil fuels are in effect "taxed", consumers will pay the tax anyhow, and past price rises in crude oil suggest consumers will not consume much less fuel, so profits won't actually fall that much.

But in the end, everyone spends more on carbon friendly initiatives than on sceptics-- even Exxon: (how about $100 million for Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project, and $600 million for Biofuels research). Some will complain that Exxon is massive and their green commitment was a tiny part of their profits, but the point is, what they spent on sceptics was even less.

Money for the Climate Industry: The US government spent $79 billion on climate research and technology since 1989 - to be sure, this funding paid for things like satellites and studies, but it's 3,500 times as much as anything offered to sceptics. It buys a bandwagon of support, a repetitive rain of press releases, and includes PR departments of institutions like NOAA, NASA, the Climate Change Science Program and the Climate Change Technology Program. The $79 billion figure does not include money from other western governments, private industry, and is not adjusted for inflation. In other words, it could be…a lot bigger.

For direct PR comparisons though, just look at "Think Climate Think Change": the Australian Government put $13.9 million into just one quick advertising campaign. There is no question that there are vastly more financial rewards for people who promote a carbon-made catastrophe than for those who point out the flaws in the theory.

Ultimately the big problem is that there are no grants for scientists to demonstrate that carbon has little effect. There are no Institutes of Natural Climate Change, but plenty that are devoted to UnNatural Forces.

It's a monopsony, and the main point is not that the scientists are necessarily corrupted by money or status (though that appears to have happened to a few), but that there is no group or government seriously funding scientists to expose flaws. The lack of systematic auditing of the IPCC, NOAA, NASA or East Anglia CRU, leaves a gaping vacuum. It's possible that honest scientists have dutifully followed their grant applications, always looking for one thing in one direction, and when they have made flawed assumptions or errors, or just exaggerations, no one has pointed it out simply because everyone who could have, had a job doing something else. In the end the auditors who volunteered — like Steve McIntyre and AnthonyWatts — are retired scientists, because they are the only ones who have the time and the expertise to do the hard work. (Anyone fancy analysing statistical techniques in dendroclimatology or thermometer siting instead of playing a round of golf?)

Money for the Finance Houses: What the US Government has paid to one side of the scientific process pales in comparison with carbon trading. According to the World Bank, turnover of carbon trading reached $126 billion in 2008. PointCarbon estimates trading in 2009 was about $130 billion. This is turnover, not specifically profits, but each year the money market turnover eclipses the science funding over 20 years. Money Talks. Every major finance house stands to profit as brokers of a paper trade. It doesn't matter whether you buy or sell, the bankers take a slice both ways. The bigger the market, the more money they make shifting paper.


Not surprisingly banks are doing what banks should do (for their shareholders): they're following the promise of profits, and urging governments to adopt carbon trading. Banks are keen to be seen as good corporate citizens (look, there's an environmental banker!), but somehow they don't find the idea of a non-tradable carbon tax as appealing as a trading scheme where financial middlemen can take a cut. (For banks that believe in the carbon crisis, taxes may well "help the planet," but they don't pay dividends.)

The stealthy mass entry of the bankers and traders poses a major force. Surely if money has any effect on carbon emissions, it must also have an effect on careers, shareholders, advertising, and lobbying? There were over 2,000 lobbyists in Washington in 2008.

Unpaid sceptics are not just taking on scientists who conveniently secure grants and junkets for pursuing one theory, they also conflict with potential profits of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and every other financial institution or corporation that stands to profit like the Chicago Climate Exchange, European Climate Exchange, PointCarbon, IdeaCarbon (and the list goes on… ) as well as against government bureaucracies like the IPCC and multiple departments of Climate Change. There's no conspiracy between these groups, just similar profit plans or power grabs.

Tony Abbot's new policy removes the benefits for bankers. Labor and the Greens don't appear to notice that they fight tooth and nail for a market in a "commodity" which isn't a commodity and that guarantees profits for big bankers. The public though are figuring it out.


Commissioner Bart Chilton, head of the energy and environmental markets advisory committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has predicted that within five years a carbon market would dwarf any of the markets his agency currently regulates: "I can see carbon trading being a $2 trillion market." "The largest commodity market in the world." He ought to know.

It promises to be larger than the markets for coal, oil, gold, wheat, copper or uranium. Just soak in that thought for a moment. Larger than oil.

Richard L. Sandor, chairman and chief executive officer of Climate Exchange Plc, agrees and predicts trades eventually will total $10 trillion a year." That's 10 thousand billion dollars.


Ultimately the atmosphere is what it is regardless of fiat currency movements. Some people will accuse me of smearing climate scientists and making the same ad hominem attacks I detest and protest about. So note carefully: I haven't said that the massive amount of funding received by promoters of the Carbon Catastrophe proves that they are wrong, just as the grassroots unpaid dedication of sceptics doesn't prove them right either. But the starkly lop-sided nature of the funding means we'd be fools not to pay very close attention to the evidence. It also shows how vapid the claims are from those who try to smear sceptics and who mistakenly think ad hominem arguments are worth making.

And as far as evidence goes, surprisingly, I agree with the IPCC that carbon dioxide warms the planet. But few realise that the IPCC relies on feedback factors like humidity and clouds causing a major amplification of the minor CO2 effect and that this amplification simply isn't there.

Hundreds of thousands of radiosonde measurements failed to find the pattern of upper trophospheric heating the models predicted, (and neither Santer 2008 with his expanding "uncertainties" nor Sherwood 2008 with his wind gauges change that). Two other independent empirical observations indicate that the warming due to CO2 is halved by changes in the atmosphere, not amplified.[Spencer 2007, Lindzen 2009, see also Spencer 2008]

Without this amplification from water vapor or clouds the infamous "3.5 degrees of warming" collapses to just a half a degree — most of which has happened.

Those resorting to this vacuous, easily refutable point should be shamed into lifting their game. The ad hominem argument is Stone Age reasoning, and the "money" insult they throw, bounces right back at them — a thousand-fold.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Debating the facts, who has the most to lose?

Joe Romm is one of the leading climate alarmists around and operates the ClimateProgress blog, which is associated with the left-wing Center for American Progress. Romm is one of the people the warming groupies turn to in order to learn their "talking points" in dealing with those big, bad, nasty skeptics.

Romm has been particularly unpleasant to Roger Pielke, Jr., perhaps because Pielke is also on the left side of the political spectrum but is most decidedly not a warming alarmist. Like most skeptics he does not deny warming (the deniers label is just one of the many inaccuracies that the alarmists like to push). But he also thinks the problems are grossly overstated and questions some of the science used to justify various political agendas.

Romm has used the usual tactic of sneer and smear that the alarmists seem to love. As much as they talk about science they really won't debate the science, instead they question the morality of their opponents, or their intelligence. That is not debate, that is the argument from intimidation that Rand exposed long ago.

Pielke offered to debate Romm and people put up a lot of money, to go to the charity of the choice of the debate victor. Romm immediately came up with multiple excuses as to why such a debate will never happen —mainly more of the same sneer and smear tactics again.

The matter started when Andy Revkin, a faithful alarmist who writes for The New York Times, said that Pielke should be part of the IPCC review of documents. In his typical hyperbolic fashion Romm called that suggestion "the most illogical climate post on Earth." It's not a bad suggestion, or a wrong suggestion. Nor is it just illogical. It is the most illogical post on Earth, which I guess means the most illogical post ever posted to the best of our knowledge. Wow! No sir, Romm isn't prone to exaggeration.

Romm then went on to attack Pielke in the same hyperbolic fashion saying that Pielke "is the single most disputed and debunked person in the entire realm of people who publish regularly on disasters and climate change." Wow! Now you know what to expect when he talks about the single warmest winter if the history of the planet and other such rot. Sneer, smear and gross exaggeration—that is the arsenal of the the warming alarmist in a nutshell.

Pielke offered to debate Romm and gave Romm virtually total control of the debate. Romm could veto any moderator for the debate. He could veto any resolution to be debated. He can pick the time and place of the debate. Foreign Policy magazine agreed to host the debate. And a donor would put up $20,000 to the charity of Romm's choice. None of that was good enough. Romm says that you can't trust audience votes at a debate because "antiscience ideologues" (the term he uses for scientists who disagree with his hysterical exaggerations) go to debates intending to lie.

I was wondering how they would explain three major debates I knew about —one in New York, one in London and one in Montreal— where the shift in audience perception was decidedly in favor of the skeptics. Apparently the reason the sneer, smear and exaggerate alarmists believe the audience is lying, even though many of the audience members are regular attendees at the series of debates.

Pielke says he is "offering Joe a chance to come out from behind his blog, where he bullies and systematically misrepresents my views. He has a chance to air his arguments about me in public and where I can respond to them directly. He will have a chance to explain why my views are so very wrong. At the same time, regardless of the outcome of the debate itself, we can do some good for people who need help, thanks to a generous donor."

Romm, of course, says that he won't debate because he doesn't want to give Pielke any publicity. That claim is disproved by the 75 posts he has written on his own site going after Pielke, including a recent 4,000 word extended attack. Pielke says: "Should Joe Romm turn down this offer, he will reveal his true colors to all -- a bully who hides behind his blog and who would rather call people names than engage in a serious policy debate on a topic of critical importance to our generation. There is no reason for Joe to turn this offer down, other than knowing that his arguments cannot stand up to scrutiny were he to emerge from behind his blog."

Mr Pielke doesn't understand that the entire purpose of the argument from intimidation is precisely to bully people into adopting a viewpoint. It is meant to bully. I think Rand's formulation of the argument was one of her more insightful contributions. She defined it:
There is a certain type of argument which, in fact, is not an argument, but a means of forestalling debate and extorting an opponent’s agreement with one’s undiscussed notions. It is a method of bypassing logic by means of psychological pressure . . . [It] consists of threatening to impeach an opponent’s character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: “Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X’s argument is false.” . . . The falsehood of his argument is asserted arbitrarily and offered as proof of his immorality. In today’s epistemological jungle, that second method is used more frequently than any other type of irrational argument. It should be classified as a logical fallacy and may be designated as “The Argument from Intimidation.” The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: “Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.”

Personally, when I see this argument used I conclude the user has an an empty intellectual quiver. They resort to the sneer and smear tactic because ultimately it's all they have. One reason, but only a small one, that I have to wonder if the skeptics aren't right, is because their opponents, the alarmists, act precisely the way individuals without good evidence act when debating opponents. They don't face the arguments head on, they instead use tactics to try and silence their opposition.

We saw precisely that in the emails from Climategate. Of course the alarmists immediately started screaming: "There's nothing to see here folks, move along." But the more people actually looked at the emails the more they concluded that there was most definitely something there worth discussing. Of course, Romm's talking points on the matter was to dismiss them and resort to sneer and smear. Consider this memorandum submitted to the British Parliament by the Institute for Physics. These are not scientific lightweights, nor are they known to be skeptics. In their submission to Parliament they said:
1. The Institute is concerned that, unless the disclosed e-mails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research in this field and for the credibility of the scientific method as practised in this context.

2. The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital. The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner. This extends well beyond the CRU itself - most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC's conclusions on climate change.

They also say that the emails "reveal doubts as to the reliability of some of the reconstructions and raise questions as to the way in which they have been represented; for example, the apparent suppression, in graphics widely used by the IPCC, of proxy results for recent decades that do not agree with contemporary instrumental temperature measurements." They write that the emails show an intolerance that "impedes the process of scientific 'self correction', which is vital to the integrity of the scientific process..." And they indicate the "possibility of networks of like-minded researchers excluding newcomers."

The Institute says that the entire climate change network needs investigation, not just the one center in England. They write "there is need for a wider inquiry into the integrity of the scientific process in this field."

What went out with the Climate Research Unit, and Romm's actions, both seem manifestations of the same sort of attitude. Even though they act like people who know they are wrong, I suspect they are true believers who think they are absolutely, 100% correct—they are the fundamentalists of science, with an infallible, inerrant scripture (the IPCC report)—at least they like to think way. And like fundamentalists, they get downright nasty when someone questions the infallibility of their beliefs. The intolerance of fundamentalists exists because of their own insecurity. Deep down they fear they might be wrong. The more they fear that their arguments are false the more intolerant they become.


Is Hansenism more dangerous than Lysenkoism?

This is the essay Australia's ABC tried to ban. See story here

On June 23, 1988, a young and previously unknown NASA computer modeller, James Hansen, appeared before a United States Congressional hearing on climate change. On that occasion, Dr. Hansen used a graph to convince his listeners that late 20th century warming was taking place at an accelerated rate, which, it being a scorching summer's day in Washington, a glance out of the window appeared to confirm.

He wrote later in justification, in the Washington Post (February 11, 1989), that "the evidence for an increasing greenhouse effect is now sufficiently strong that it would have been irresponsible if I had not attempted to alert political leaders".

Hansen's testimony was taken up as a lead news story, and within days the great majority of the American public believed that a climate apocalypse was at hand, and the global warming hare was off and running. Thereby, Dr. Hansen became transformed into the climate media star who is shortly going to wow the ingenues in the Adelaide Festival audience.

Fifteen years later, in the Scientific American in March, 2004, Hansen came to write that "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic".

This conversion to honesty came too late, however, for in the intervening years thousands of other climate scientists had meanwhile climbed onto the Hansenist funding gravy-train. Currently, global warming alarmism is fuelled by an estimated worldwide expenditure on related research and greenhouse bureaucracy of more than US$10 billion annually.

Scientists and bureaucrats being only too human, the power of such sums of money to corrupt not only the politics of greenhouse, but even the scientific process itself, should not be underestimated. In recognition of these events, the term Hansenism is now sometimes used to describe the climate hysteria which had, until recently, gripped western media sources and political, business and public opinion in a deadly grasp.

Histories of science contain an account of the ideological control of Soviet biology during the mid-20th century by plant scientist Trofim Lysenko, who by 1940 had risen to be Director of the influential Institute of Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Lysenko and his supporters rejected the "dangerous Western concepts" of Mendelian genetics and Darwinian evolution. They preferred the Lamarckian view of the inheritance of acquired characteristics; for instance, that cows could be trained to give more milk and their offspring would then inherit this trait.

Whilst this was not an unreasonable hypothesis to erect in the early 19th century, by the 1930s the idea had been tested in many ways and was known to be wrong. Requiring its application to agricultural and allied biological research in the USSR was disastrous, not least in the vicious persecution of scientists that took place, and the legacy of this sad episode still disadvantages Soviet biology today.

Lysenkoism grew from four main roots:

* a necessity to demonstrate the practical relevance of science to the needs of society;

* the amassing of evidence to show the "correctness" of the concept as a substitute for causal proof;

* noble cause corruption, whereby data are manipulated to support a cause which is seen as a higher truth; and

* ideological zeal, such that dissidents are silenced as "enemies of the truth".

The first of these roots has been strongly represented in Australian government attitudes to the funding of science as far back as the 1980s. The remaining three roots exemplify closely the techniques that are currently used by global warming alarmists in pursuit of their aims – as recently exposed for all to see by the Climategate and IPCCgate scandals.

Lysenkoism damaged mainly Soviet science and society, whereas Hansenism has now been exerting its pernicious influence worldwide for more than twenty years. The climate alarmism involved has long been undermining the precious public trust from which science draws its traditional influence and sustenance, and now Climategate has opened up new sinkholes all over the place.

Hansenist climate alarmism has also damaged the standing of many leading science journals and science organizations, which have replaced their formerly careful editorial and organizational balance with environmental alarmism and naked global warming advocacy.

Future historians of science are likely to judge the 1988-2009 frenzy of climate change alarmism as even more damaging than Lysenkoism, because of the distrust that collapse of the global warming paradigm has already inculcated about using science to inform modern policy making.

Instead of exercising the leadership that is desperately needed to correct this, and to restore public faith in science and scientists, public utterances from Australia’s senior research advisors show that they have so far lost the plot that they are no longer even in the theatre.

Thus we have Megan Clark, CEO of CSIRO, boasting on Brisbane ABC 612 radio that “there are 40 CSIRO scientists on the IPCC panel”, as if this were something to be proud of. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Universities Australia, Peter Coaldrake, describes the Climategate scandal as “this tabloid decimation of science”. Next, Margaret Sheil, CEO of the Australian Research Council, has said she is deeply concerned about the backlash generated by emails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit [and] the criticisms of Rajendra Kuma Pachauri, head of the IPCC. Finally, Chief Scientist Penny Sackett has, so far as I can determine, remained silent since her “me too” February 9th comment in support of an anodyne statement of blessing for climate sceptics issued by the U.K.’s chief scientist, John Beddington. How much influence the views of these independent scientists have had on Dr. Beddington can be judged from reading the apocalyptic study that he has just released regarding the effects of imaginary future climate change in Britain (Land Use Futures: Making the Most of Land in the 21st Century). This study is described in a letter by Dr. Gerrit van der Lingen in today’s Christchurch Press as:
A group of 300 ivory tower scientists, economists and planners in the UK, led by the British Government’s scientific advisor, have come up with a new apocalypse scenario, still based on the belief in catastrophic man-made global warming (February 27-28). They probably felt they had to do this because Climategate and the revelations of serious errors in the IPCC report have fatally exposed the man-made-global-warming scam. Their vision lacks any scientific credibility and totally ignores human nature. Their action is nothing more than a rear-guard action.

Moreover, Copenhagen has shown that the balance of world power has shifted to the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Western countries, including New Zealand and Australia were totally side-lined in Copenhagen. It is now extremely unlikely that an international climate agreement will ever be reached. Thanks to the BRIC countries, we can now all heave a sigh of relief.

Breathtakingly, in the light of all this, our Australian research managers’ expressed concern remains that the revelations of Climategate and IPCCgate have caused a public re-examination of the science of global warming, with a consequent shift in public opinion. Apparently they have nary a thought for the deep scientific malaise and malfeasance that has now been exposed for the whole lay world to see – part of which is being investigated currently in a British parliamentary committee investigation.

On the heels of revelations about meteorological data tampering overseas, irregularities have also been discovered in the way that Australian temperature data have been manipulated. And, across the Tasman, NIWAgate is developing apace, as the N.Z. National Institute of Water & Atmosphere battles to provide a parliamentary accounting for its historic temperature archive, which may yet prove to include the “dog ate my homework” excuse for the apparent absence of some records. Yet no comment at all has been offered on any of this - and related matters of science ethics, procedures and policy - by Australia’s science leaders.

It is crystal clear that there is only one way to restore public confidence in climate policy and research in Australia, and that is for an independent and authoritative investigation to be carried out into the matter before an experienced judge assisted by scientifically expert counsellors.

As Senator Fielding’s four scientific advisors – all of whom are experienced and independent climate scientists – have recommended in their due diligence report (item 7) on the advice being provided to Climate Minister Wong by her department: "Parliament should defer consideration of the CPRS bill and institute a fully independent Royal Commission of enquiry into the evidence for and against a dangerous human influence on climate. We add ..... that the scientific community is now so polarised on the controversial issue of dangerous global warming that proper due diligence on the matter can only be achieved where competent scientific witnesses are cross-examined under oath and under strict rules of evidence”.


Gore's overheated doomsday rhetoric

by Jeff Jacoby

THE CASE FOR GLOBAL-WARMING ALARMISM is melting faster than those mythical disappearing Himalayan glaciers, but Al Gore isn't about to back down now.

In a long op-ed piece for The New York Times the other day, Gore cranked up the doomsday rhetoric for which he has always had a weakness. Human beings, he warned, "face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it." His 1,900-word essay made no mention of his financial interest in promoting such measures -- Gore has invested heavily in carbon-offset markets, electric vehicles, and other ventures that would profit handsomely from legislation curbing the use of fossil fuels, and is reportedly poised to become the world's first "carbon billionaire." However, he did mention "global-warming pollution" no fewer than four times, declaring that "our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation" if we don't move decisively to reduce it.

By "global-warming pollution," Gore means carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a "pollutant" in roughly the way oxygen and water are pollutants: Human existence would be impossible without them. CO2 is essential to photosynthesis, the process that sustains plant life and generates the oxygen that human beings and animals inhale. Far from polluting the world, carbon dioxide enriches it. Higher levels of CO2 are associated with larger crop yields, increased forest growth, and longer growing seasons -- in short, with a greener planet. A study published in Science in December suggests that elevated CO2 can even help prevent losses of biodiversity.

Of course carbon dioxide also contributes to the greenhouse effect that keeps the earth warm. But the vast majority of atmospheric CO2 occurs naturally, and it is far from clear that the carbon dioxide contributed by human industry has a significant impact on the world's climate.

On the other hand, it is quite clear that the economic and agricultural activity responsible for that anthropogenic CO2 has been enormously beneficial to myriads of men, women, and children. In just the last two decades, life expectancy in developing nations has climbed appreciably and infant mortality has fallen. Food production per capita has soared. Hundreds of millions of Indian and Chinese citizens have been lifted out of poverty. Whatever else might be said about carbon dioxide, it has helped make possible a dramatic increase in the quality of many human lives.

But there is no awareness of such tradeoffs in Gore's latest screed. He brushes aside as unimportant the recently exposed blunders in the 2007 assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These include claims that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, that global warming could slash African crop yields by 50 percent, and that 55 percent of the Netherlands -- more than twice the correct amount -- is below sea level.

Gore seems equally untroubled by Climategate, the scandal involving researchers at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, who apparently schemed to manipulate temperature data, to prevent their critics from being published in peer-reviewed journals, and to destroy records and calculations to keep climate skeptics from double-checking them.

Both the IPCC errors and the CRU scandal have triggered major investigations, and opinion polls show a falloff in the percentage of the public that believes either that global warming is cause for serious concern or that scientists see eye to eye on the issue. Yet Gore insists, against all evidence, that "the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged."

To climate alarmists like Gore, everything proves their point. For years they argued that global warming would mean a decline in snow cover and shorter ski seasons. "Children just aren't going to know what snow is," one climate scientist lamented to reporters in 2000. The IPCC itself was clear that climate change was resulting in more rain and less snow. There were vivid scenes of melting snow and ice in Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth.

Undaunted, Gore now claims that the blizzards that have walloped the Northeast in recent weeks are also proof of global warming. "Climate change causes more frequent and severe snowstorms," he posted on his blog last month.

Gore is a True Believer; his climate hyperbole is less a matter of science than of faith. In almost messianic terms, he urges Congress to sharply restrain Americans' access to energy. "What is at stake," he writes in his New York Times essay, "is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption."

But while Gore prays for redemption via government compulsion, the pews in the Church of Climate Catastrophe are gradually emptying. The public's skeptical common sense, it turns out, is pretty robust. Just like those Himalayan glaciers.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: