Friday, June 25, 2010

A "consensus" of one!

The IPCC gets more amusing by the day, a Czech climate skeptic blog, has posted today an interesting article "Judithgate: The IPCC was only one Solar Physicist" (google rough translation). Her name is Judith Lean. On the basis of this "consensus of one" solar physicist, the IPCC proclaimed solar influences upon the climate to be minimal.

Objection to this was raised by the Norwegian government as shown in the AR4 second draft comments below (and essentially dismissed by the IPCC): "I would encourage the IPCC to [re-]consider having only one solar physicist on the lead author team of such an important chapter. In particular since the conclusion of this section about solar forcing hangs on one single paper in which J. Lean is a coauthor. I find that this paper, which certainly can be correct, is given too much weight"...: continues [google translation + editing]: "As I wrote elsewhere (article on pmode ACRIM), Judith Lean, along with Claus Frohlich, are responsible for the scandalous rewriting of graphs of solar activity.

Satellites showed that the TSI (measured in watts) between 1986 and 96 increased by about one third. Judith Lean and Claus Frohlich (authors of the single study noted above) "manipulated" the data.

People who were in charge of the satellites and created the original graphs (the world's best astrophysics: Doug Hoyt, Richard C. Willson), protested in vain against such manipulation.

Wilson: "Fröhlich has made changes that are wrong ... He did not have sufficient knowledge of (satellite) Nimbus7 ... pmode composites are useful for those who argue that global warming may be primarily due to anthropogenic causes."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The entire basis of greenhouse theory is coming under question

In a new essay, a climate skeptic scientist uses simple examples to challenge the conventional greenhouse gas theory of man-made global warming.

The reason Earth faces no danger from this benign trace atmospheric gas is eloquently illustrated in, ‘Why Conventional Greenhouse Theory Violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics.’ Author Alan Siddons offers his new essay as a follow up to his recent paper, ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon’ that he co-authored with Dr. Martin Hertzberg and Hans Schreuder.

Schreuder endorses his colleague's latest challenge to claims of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who assert that rises in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide may cause runaway global warming because, “Just like the legendary phlogiston, academia has elaborate formulae for it yet it has never been proven to exist.”

Global Warming Theory Violates Law of Thermodynamics

Siddons, a respected climate researcher, refutes "the silly heating-via-reradiation hypothesis." Laying down his challenge the former radiochemist says, "my critics be damned" as his essay repeats the points of the earlier 'Moon Paper.'

"If a body can heat itself by absorbing its own radiation, and thereby emit more radiation, then it is necessarily emitting more radiation than it’s receiving." This, argues the skeptic, is absurd as it runs counter to the 1st law of thermodynamics.

Although gaining credibility within the online science community for his insightful analysis, Siddons admits that one or two of the more conservative climate skeptics, such as Richard Lindzen, have still to come round to his way of thinking.

Lindzen, holds that, "CO2 absorbs in the infrared and reradiates heat downward, thus heating the earth." This is challenged by Siddons who disputes this "incontrovertible fact" by applying real-world analogies such as solar ovens and mirrors to prove his point.

Real World Examples Challenge Greenhouse Gas Theory

Siddons shows that solar ovens, by use of multiple reflections, allow their interior to receive more rays from the sun, so the food gets much hotter than it otherwise would be. He explains, “The operant principle is akin to how stage lighting works. In the zone where the beams intersect, the photon density is greater so more light is delivered.”

The researcher goes on to show that the two light beams pass through each other, “they do not clash like the Light Sabers in Star Wars movies.”

Significantly, just as with a solar oven, objects under the intense beam of meeting spotlights not only make their target brighter (increasing the amount of light being reflected) but also increase the amount of light (energy) being absorbed, as any perspiring stage performer will testify.

Challenging the Back-radiation Notion

Siddons then takes this logic to the next step; “Now, you’ve been told that terrestrial infrared is re-radiated back to the earth’s surface and heats it. So let’s test this notion by turning a spotlight off and seeing if we can mimic a second spotlight with a mirror, which will provide re-radiation.”

As we know, the mirror will have no idea of what it’s reflecting. It can just as easily be visible light or infrared 'heat rays.' What we find is that whatever rays are reflected into our mirror they can never be reflected back any brighter.

Siddons urges his readers to test this principle, “Close as you hold the mirror to the bright spot, there’s no effect. You might notice, though, that offsetting the mirror a bit can illuminate a zone that’s in shadow. In this case, light reflected from the bright spot brightens a darker area. But the mirror cannot make the bright spot brighter.”

Thus we see no increase in the light intensity from so-called 'back radiation' with this experiment and thus no added heat to make up for the missing second spotlight.
Reflected Radiation Cannot Increase the Total Energy Emitted

Siddons, from exploiting real-world examples, thereby instructs the non-scientific reader in the lesson that “radiant energy can only light something that has less radiance. Brighter illuminates darker.”

The author then urges the reader to get a better sense of this by omitting the spotlight altogether and to imagine a surface radiating light on its own.

“There's no difference between them, and it shouldn't need explaining that the mirror image is not illuminating the very object that it's reflecting. But if the mirror isn't illuminating that object, the mirror isn't heating it either.”

A mirror adds no radiance to the object whose radiance it is reflecting. Yet a mirror’s re-radiation is entirely in one direction and many times greater than a gas which emits in all directions and which only absorbs a fractional amount of light in the first place. This alone proves that re-radiation cannot heat the earth.

Thus, we find that there is no "back-radiation" of any sort because we can detect no illuminative or thermal effect. Or more simply, heat does not flow from colder to warmer surfaces and therefore the greenhouse gas theory is disproved.

SOURCE (See the original for links, references etc.)

British Government Shuns Low-Carbon Agenda In Budget

Chancellor George Osborne has today left low carbon businesses disappointed with arguably the least green budget address in recent memory.

The low carbon economy and the need to cut carbon emissions barely received a mention as the chancellor's first budget address focused almost exclusively on the spending cuts and tax rises required to tackle the UK's budget deficit.

There were a few bright spots for green businesses as the chancellor confirmed that the coalition government would "bring forward" plans for a green investment bank, although he provided no further detail on how such a bank would operate.

He also said that the Treasury would "explore" proposals to replace Air Passenger Duty with a per plane levy that the Chancellor said would help to cut carbon emissions. However, a report on the proposal will not be delivered until the autumn, despite the reform being included in both the Conservative and Lib Dem manifestos.

Groups campaigning for a carbon tax and an overall increase in green taxation will have been left furious, after the Chancellor provided no further detail on how the government plans to impose a floor price on carbon and announced that there would be no increase in fuel duty.

There are also likely to be concerns over cuts to the system of capital allowances, which could limit the tax breaks firms enjoy when investing in energy efficient equipment.

However, those calling for increased investment in low carbon infrastructure, such as the Institution of Civil Engineers, were offered some cause for encouragement as Osborne insisted that the new government would not cut capital spending.

He confirmed that the coalition would move forward with plans for a series of rail upgrades, extended metro systems in Manchester and Tyne and Wear; an upgrade to Birmingham New Street; and electric rail links between Sheffield and Liverpool.

There were also elements of good news for green businesses and start ups after Osborne announced that he would cut corporate tax four per cent over the next four years.

But overall green business commentators were left disappointed by the budget.

"Sustainability was a major focus in the Chancellor's speech, but from an economic and fiscal perspective, rather than in relation to the environment," said Richard Gledhill, partner for sustainability and climate change at PricwaterhouseCoopers. "Climate change has hardly featured."

There were also fears that government spending on green projects could be slashed as part of the Whitehall's autumn spending review, after Osborne confirmed budgets at non-protected departments, including DECC and Defra, will fall by an average of 25 per cent over four years.


Sir Paul McCartney just can't let it be

Another gullible entertainer

The former Beatle predicted in an interview that the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico might expedite a move to cleaner, renewable energy sources in the world.

Sir Paul could have stopped while he was ahead, but McCartney went on to compare people who don't believe in global warming to "those who don't believe there was a Holocaust."

"Sadly we need disasters like this to show people," McCartney said in an exclusive interview with The Sun. "Some people don't believe in climate warning -- like those who don't believe there was a Holocaust."

McCartney continued, "But the facts indicate that there's something going on and we've got to be aware of it if we want our kids to inherit a decent world, not a complete nightmare of a planet -- clean, renewable energy is for starters."

McCartney also defended President Obama's handling of the two-month-old crisis. "I don't accept the criticism of Barack over the oil spill," said McCartney, who met the president for the first time earlier this month. "I think he's been great. It's tough if we Brits whinge that he's whingeing at us. Tough, then don't spill oil."

A representative for McCartney in London said the singer would have no further comment.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of two books on environmental policy, blasted McCartney's comments.

"Was Posh Spice unavailable? I've seen quite a few reasons to look elsewhere than actors and crooners for deep thoughts on weighty policy matters," Horner wrote in an e-mail to "And this is certainly one of them."

Horner's message continued: "They've got computer model projections, Leonardo [DiCaprio] and the Cute Beatle. In the other corner are observations proving the models wrong, ClimateGate, NASA-Gate and the host of IPCC-Gates. "I'm comfortable with the balance of authorities here."


"Consensus" propaganda in the schools

The astonishing levels of hyperbole and calls for action on carbon dioxide (CO2) in particular, have encouraged many to take the message into schools, whether from the inside by professionals in education or government, or from the outside by those such as the 'Mothers Against Climate Change' whose website pushing 'Schools' Low Carbon Day' is the source of the quotations which I want to address in this series of 8 posts (1), each concentrating on a single chunk from their position statement. Although their mysterious website gives me no good reason to do so, I will treat it as coming from genuine concern over the future of our children. This is the first sentence of their statement on why we, and presumably our children too, should be worried about climate:

'Few scientists now doubt that due to human activity - burning fossil fuels and deforestation - the climate is changing.'

First, let me consider the literal interpretation of this sentence. It is true in the banal sense that everything participating in the climate system has some kind of effect on it. Be it cosmic rays, solar radiation, ice at the poles, ocean currents, mountain ranges, termites emitting methane, humans burning coal, or butterflies flapping their wings, the climate system spans so wide a range of space, time, and energy scales that they can all play their part along with countless others. One consequence of this swirl of varying factors and their interactions, is that the climate has always changed in the past, is changing now, and will not stop changing in the future. The challenge for those interested in climate science is disentangling their effects, using the very modest (compared with the scales of the system) and often very noisy data we have available.

So, let me now interpret the sentence as meaning that few scientists now doubt that human activity is a dominant driver of climate due to our recent burning of fossil fuels, and to deforestation. I want to concentrate here on the word 'few' and whether it might be better applied to the core group in and around the IPCC which has so successfully promoted alarm, rather than to the many scientists who have not been at all impressed by such promotions. The many thousands of scientists who have investigated the effects of climate change rather than their causes, I regard as of secondary importance here since 'causes' are our key concern for the time being.

I suppose many people would believe the sentence because, in essence, they trust the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), or organisational leaders such as some in the Royal Sociey of London who were keen to champion the IPCC position. But the IPCC is not worthy of our trust. Its story is one of goal-centred manipulation of people, processes, and publications from the very outset, see for example (2) and (3). It was invented not to explore climate change and report back, but instead to construct, and vigorously promote, a political platform calling for halting, reversing, or dramatically modifying industrialisation based upon a need to avert dramatic and dangerous temperature rises due to associated carbon dioxide releases. For many years, since at least the late 1960s, there has been a febrile and hostile-to-humanity culture amongst some environmentalists, and it continues to this day. Their doom-laden pronouncements are well-suited to sensation-seeking media, and have surely helped create the opportunities so well exploited by the IPCC, see for example (4) and (5).

The early moves in the 1980s and early 90s were spotted and opposed by 47 atmospheric scientists in a published statement (6):
'WASHINGTON, D.C., FEBRUARY 27, 1992---As independent scientists, researching atmospheric and climate problems, we are concerned by the agenda for UNCED, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, being developed by environmental activist groups and certain political leaders. This so-called Earth Summit is scheduled to convene in Brazil in June 1992 and aims to impose a system of global environmental regulations, including onerous taxes on energy fuels, on the population of the United States and other industrialized nations.

Such policy initiatives derive from highly uncertain scientific theories. They are based on the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action. We do not agree.'

The IPCC structure allowed many hundreds of scientists to take part in reviewing and writing reports. They were then by-passed by a handful of core activists with final editorial rights over press releases, other publicity, and the far more widely read and promoted 'Summary Reports for Policy Makers'. Criticisms of the IPCC working group reports can readily be found on the internet. See for example (7) and (8). Some IPCC authors chose to resign (e.g. 9), others soldiered on in the hope of improving things (e.g. 10). The latest group of IPCC reviewers, clearly chosen to spread participation over as many countries as possible, rather than by expertise alone, is an ongoing reflection of a political rather than a scientific imperative (11).

There are many other theories of climate change, theories brushed aside by the IPCC but not refuted by it. A very brief and readable account of some of them is given here (12). Furthermore, despite their going against the new conventional wisdom, several hundred peer-reviewed scientific papers have been found which do not support specific aspects of the IPCC position (13). The climategate emails confirmed that there were journals in which such works would have had little or no chance of being published (e.g. 14 & 15).

So the 'few' in our sentence of interest here, clearly can apply to those scientists at the heart of the IPCC machinations. The way in which the infamous 'temperatures like a hockey stick chart' was produced, protected and promoted (16), and the climategate emails (17) themselves, reinforce this picture of a handful of plotters and schemers, so wedded to their cause that all critics are seen as enemies to be attacked. Wegman (18) reported a fairly close-knit network of 43, and the climategate emails feature a few of them. Others report around 50 to 60 or so key players at the heart of it all (19). The claims of a consensus by the IPCC have often been challenged, for example in this analysis by Monckton (20), and recently a law professor, treating IPCC as if were presenting a legal brief, found grounds to condemn their materials and their methodology (21).

There are some signs that the tide may be turning. The leaders of the Royal Society of London, a body explicitly excluding advocacy when founded, went overboard in their support for dramatic actions based on concerns over CO2. But this year, enough of its fellows objected to being misrepresented, and the society has agreed to review its postion, hinting at a more reasoned and temperate approach (22).

There also many open-letters and petitions from well-qualified scientists critical of CO2 being given such a prominent role in climate dynamics. For example, there is such a letter supported by some 395 scientists and others from relevant subject areas published in Germany last year (2009): (23). Several such petitions or open letters or senate testimonies, have been published over the years (e.g. see 24 and 25). More recently, an environmentalist author has written about his discoveries when he looked more deeply into the IPCC (26):
'I was shocked by what I found. Firstly, there’s no real consensus among the scientists in the UN working groups, especially around oceanography and atmospheric physics. The atmospheric physics of carbon dioxide for example is presented as being pretty straightforward: it is a greenhouse gas, therefore it warms up the planet. But even that isn’t settled. There’s a huge amount of scientific disagreement on how much extra heating in the atmosphere you will get from carbon dioxide. It is even broadly accepted that carbon dioxide on its own is not a problem...

'So behind the appearance of consensus and settled science, there is now this tremendous battle going on. The dissenting scientists are described by certain journalists and environmentalists as ‘denialists’ and ‘sceptics’ funded by the oil industry. This is simply not the case. There are top-level atmospheric physicists, oceanographers and solar scientists who do not agree that the case is proven for global warming...'

In summary, the reality is that a few dozen scientists were exploited by the political activists behind the IPCC, giving their views on CO2 and climate a prominence utterly undeserved, and which were too readily adopted as gospel by thousands of other scientists or geographers more concerned with the effects rather than the causes of climate change, e.g those investigating natural habitats, and who would no doubt have found that adding a passing reference to 'global warming' did their grant applications no harm at all. To those who gained from the self-reinforcing tidal wave of grants and job opportunities in 'climate science', must be added those investors who see billions of dollars of profit in carbon trading, those NGOs such as WWF who enjoyed a surge in donations, and those politicians who see the required massive taxation and government intervention in society as highly desirable ends in themselves.

On the other hand, there are a great many scientists who differ, and who have been seriously un- or under-represented in the world of politics, as well as in some scientific and environmentalist circles wedded to what has now become the establishment view. The word 'cabal' is more apt than the word 'consensus' when it comes to scientists and the role of CO2 in climate, the dramatisation of which has provided advantages for many thousands of people in science, in finance, and in politics. That does not make it right, nor does it make it sensible. Nor does it make the critical scientists deserve the put-down of 'few'. For those most qualified to discuss causes of climate change, they may well be the majority.

More HERE (See the original for links, references etc.)

Evangelicals and global warming

Since 2005, evangelicals have divided into two roughly opposing camps over the question of anthropogenic global warming. Official statements of the Southern Baptist Convention through its resolution process, its Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and the Cornwall Alliance have typically rejected the theory of anthropogenic global warming and catastrophic climate change predictions. They assert that it is more likely that global warming will be moderate and have moderate or even helpful effects on the environment over all. They also argue that the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is unlikely to have significant impact on global warming. These groups have focused primarily on the impact of climate-change policy on developing economies and the poor. On the other side, the Evangelical Environmental Network, through its Evangelical Climate Initiative and (as it seems) the SBECI have affirmed the existence and danger of anthropogenic global warming and have called for action to prevent it.

Despite conflict among evangelicals over the existence of anthropogenic global warming, there has been a great deal of consensus on the theological basis for addressing environmental degradation. Most evangelical statements appeal to the fact that God is the creator of the world as a basis for understanding the value of nonhuman creation, and many note that God is its owner. Virtually every evangelical statement on the environment and climate change acknowledges that God has commissioned humanity with the responsibility of stewardship/dominion over the earth and that the execution of this responsibility has been perverted by sin, with negative impact on the environment. Evangelicals have also, almost without exception, affirmed the responsibility of Christians to care for the poor as an important factor in considering environmental policy.

One major motivation for all of the evangelical statements on climate change has been a genuine concern for humanity’s treatment of God’s creation. Another motivation, no less important, has been an apologetic concern to engage non-Christians with a Christian witness. The heart of the evangelical witness in the world is the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone. Seeking the conversion of men, women, and children is the sine qua non of evangelicalism. The priority of missions and evangelism has made evangelicals cautious about the potential of social ministry to overtake and swamp concern for the souls of men. As a result, evangelicals have traditionally subordinated social ministry to evangelism by seeing social ministry as a means to win a hearing for the gospel. Evangelicals have heeded the warning of James 2:14–16 that a faith that does not meet real physical needs is of no practical value.

Care for the poor, while a real good in and of itself, also serves the furtherance of the gospel. This strategy explains, in part, why evangelicals have taken great pains to tie their concern for the environment to concern for the poor. Some appeal to Christ’s command to love our neighbor; most affirm our responsibility to care for the poor. The connection between care for the poor and environmental concern is the fact that both the environment itself and human treatment of the environment by the private and public sectors will affect the poor, especially in developing countries.

Unfortunately, the public-policy response to global warming proposed by some evangelicals makes actually helping the global poor more difficult. The resources of the developed world are vast, but they are still limited. Addressing global warming through capping carbon dioxide emissions at 20 percent of current levels by 2050 will be hugely expensive. Directing a large portion of our resources at this problem will mean that other problems cannot be met. We may be able to meet some needs, but we cannot meet them all. Furthermore, if global warming prevention strategies have a negative impact on the economies of developed countries (as seems likely), this will further shrink the pool of available resources for addressing the pressing needs of the global poor.

If helping the poor in developing nations is made more difficult by the public policy proposals of evangelical environmentalists, then these policies would also undercut the traditional evangelical strategy of using social ministry to win a favorable hearing for the gospel. Drastic reductions of carbon dioxide emissions call for sacrifice on the part of both rich and poor nations. The rich however, are better able to absorb these changes with only marginal adjustments to their lifestyle. The global poor face the more difficult choice. To poor nations, the choice between electricity from expensive and/or unreliable carbon neutral sources and inexpensive, reliable fossil fuel burning sources is no choice at all. If required to build only carbon neutral power plants, which they cannot afford, they will not have power at all. The result will be continued exposure to a wide range of environmental hazards that lead to disease, malnutrition, and early death.

To hear a Western (i.e., rich!) evangelical environmentalist tell the poor that they must sacrifice the technologies that would improve the length and quality of life for them and their families in order to achieve a merely speculative benefit they will never see can only make the poor less likely to listen to the gospel that the evangelical brings. Such disillusionment will only deepen when it is realized that those evangelicals continue to enjoy the same lifesaving technologies they are effectively asking the poor to forgo.



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


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