Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another castle in the air

We have below an impressive explanation of various marine phenomena in terms of global warming. Such a pity that there has not in fact been any global warming. Even according to Warmist climate tabulators, the earth warmed by less than one degree Celsius in the 20th century and in the 21st century the temperature has been completely flat. So the explanation given has to be wrong. The phenomena cannot be caused by global warming if there is no global warming

The global warming of sea waters is causing the biggest movement of marine species in two million years, according to a huge new international study by 17 different science institutes

Among the changes recorded by scientists contributing to Project Clamer is the fact that huge blooms of a venomous warm-water species of jellyfish are massing in the North Atlantic.

The Pelagia noctiluca 'dominates in many areas and outbreaks have become an annual event, forcing the closing of beaches,' says the report.

'This form of jellyfish is a gluttonous predator of juvenile fish, so researchers consider its spread a harmful trend.'
However, there was further bad news as the report also warned that the highly-venomous Portuguese Man O'War is also moving closer.

Physalia physalis, a jellyfish-like creature usually found in subtropical waters, is more regularly being discovered in northern Atlantic waters.

The research is to be published this year by Project Clamer, a major collaboration between 17 institutes on climate change and the oceans.

Among the other discoveries in worldwide waters, it was noted that aa 43-foot gray whale was spotted off the Israeli town of Herzliya last year.

Scientists came to a startling conclusion that it must have wandered across the normally icebound route above Canada, where warm weather had briefly opened a clear channel three years earlier.

On a microscopic level, scientists also have found plankton in the North Atlantic where it had not existed for at least 800,000 years.

The whale's odyssey and the surprising appearance of the plankton indicates a migration of species through the Northwest Passage, a worrying sign of how global warming is affecting animals and plants in the oceans as well as on land.

'The implications are enormous. It's a threshold that has been crossed,' said Philip C. Reid, of the Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in Plymouth.

'It's an indication of the speed of change that is taking place in our world in the present day because of climate change.'


British judge orders secretive Warmist organization to reveal its data

That it took a court to force into the open the data that normal scientific practice would have made freely available tells a story all of its own

Steve McIntyre

Breaking news: Today probably marks the closing chapter of the longstanding FOI request for CRUTEM station data. The UK Information Commissioner (ICO) has rendered a decision (see here) on Jonathon Jones’ appeal of the UEA’s refusal to provide Prof Jones with the CRUTEM station data that they had previously provided to Georgia Tech. The decision that can only be characterized as a total thrashing of the University of East Anglia.

Professor Jonathan Jones of Oxford University (like me, an alumnus of Corpus Christi, Oxford), is a Bishop Hill and CA reader and was one of several CA readers who requested the CRUTEM version sent to Georgia Tech earlier that year. (Contrary to disinformation from Nature, relatively few readers requested CRUTEM data; most FOI requests at the time were for the supposed confidentiality agreements prohibiting data being sent to “non-academics” – agreements that the University was unable to produce.

Jones’ request for CRUTEM data, like mine, was refused by UEA. Like me, Jones appealed the refusal at UEA (the first stage). On Oct 23, 2009, UEA rejected his appeal. (My appeal was rejected about 3 weeks later on the very eve of Climategate.) While I didn't pursue the appeal to the ICO, Prof Jones did appeal and the present decision is the result of this appeal.

I was unaware that this appeal was pending and the decision came as a surprise to me. Since the story started at CA, Andrew Montford and Prof Jones decided that news of the decision should also be broken here. I anticipate that Bishop Hill will also cover the story.

I urge readers to read the thoughtful decision. My own comments will be restricted to some legal aspects of the decision that intrigued me.

As a first comment on the University’s defence – in keeping with similar refusals of other requests, rather than focusing on their best line of argument,the practice of the UEA is to use a laundry list of exemptions – more or less throwing spitballs against the wall to see if any of them stuck. Many of the spitballs seem pretty strained, to say the least. In his ruling, the ICO picked each spitball off the wall and, in the process, established or confirmed a number of precedents that will hopefully encourage fewer spitballs in the future.

The ruling on intellectual property rights interested me in particular, as UEA has attempted to apply this in other cases as well (e.g. Yamal, presently under appeal). The ICO observed that the mere existence of a copyright or database right did not demonstrate the application of s 12(5)(c), let alone the primacy of the exemption over the public interest test.

In addition to other arguments, the UEA claimed both copyright and database rights to the CRUTEM station data and argued that, if released to Prof Jones, they would “lose any right of commercial exploitation of its [CRUTEM] databases. Once the information was released and freely available, extraction and reutilization of the data could be carried out by any party without further recourse to the UEA”.

The Commissioner dryly wondered how “UEA might have planned to commercially exploit the specific information requested and how disclosure might have impacted on any plans that it might have developed or been in the process of developing” before rejecting their arguments.

Some of the University’s arguments purporting to uphold their supposed “intellectual property rights” should ring as particularly contemptible to most members of the public. If climate scientists exhort the public to make personal sacrifices, it seems hypocritical that they should claim that their “intellectual property rights” prevent examination of data being used to underpin those requests to make sacrifices.


The future of the American car

On the finiteness of resources

by Don Boudreaux

Commenting on Mark Perry’s post that makes the same Simonesque point that I make here – namely, that humanity’s stock of ‘natural resources’ is not finite economically over time – one morganovich writes:
this seems like sort of a tricky exercise in semantics.

there is only a certain amount of coal in the ground, no matter how good we get at extracting it. if you took the whole earth and broke it up into piles of it’s constituent components, there would be X amount of coal. the amount we can use will always be kX where k<1.

The point is not that the number of atoms (or molecules, or whatever other physical form or substance you wish to name) available on earth to human beings is not finite or unable to be enlarged. Of course these things are finite. Instead, the point is that “resources” is not, ultimately, a physical concept; it’s an economic concept. And to be limited physically is not necessarily to be limited economically.

What is and isn’t a resource is determined by human ingenuity. Likewise, human ingenuity determines how much “utility” – satisfaction; gratification; pleasure; relief-of-felt-uneasiness (call it what you will) – can be gotten at any moment in time from any given unit of physical stuff. As long as human ingenuiity is free to create, there is no necessary practical limit to the amount of any ‘natural’ resource that is available for humans to use productively.

Consider petroleum. Is its stock strictly limited? For a physicist the answer is yes. But not so for an economist, who asks different questions than does the physicist. The economist asks: “How available is this particular substance – petroleum – for the continuing satisfaction of human desires?”

Suppose a brilliant physical scientist invents a very low-cost means of powering cars, airplanes, boats, and electricity-generating plants with seawater, and also a means to turn seawater into plastics and lubricants – indeed, a means to replace all uses of petroleum. The available economic supplies of petroleum would fall quickly to zero. Petroleum would become worthless; it would no longer be a resource. It’s physical presence in the earth – as measured by weight or volume – wouldn’t change. But its status as a resource would change.

Now consider a different scenario. The brilliant scientist invents not a means of turning seawater into a near-perfect and dirt-cheap substitute for petroleum, but, instead, a low-cost means of quadrupling the amount of energy that can be extracted from each ounce of petroleum. Economically the stock of the ‘natural resource’ we call petroleum is thus multiplied by four. Both history and some not-terribly far-fetched economic theorizing tell us that there is no reason to believe that petroleum (or any other resource) is finite in an economic sense.

UPDATE: morganovich e-mailed me to point out that the rest of his comment (referenced above) at Carpe Diem goes on to make a point similar to the one I make above. I apologize to him for reading his full comment too quickly. (I especially like his point there about the amount of energy in a glass of water.)


First Ignored, Then Attacked: 6th International Climate Change Conference

By Alan Caruba

In the words of Gandhi, “First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Thursday, June 30, will mark the beginning of the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, sponsored by The Heartland Institute, a free market policy center headquartered in Chicago. The conference will be held in Washington, D.C., an appropriate location considering how much hot air emanates from Congress and the White House.

I attended the first conferences that took place in New York City, just across the river from where I live, so I was “there at the beginning” for conferences that were, in the words of Gandhi, largely ignored by the mainstream media and subsequently mentioned but only as the object of mockery.

When, in 2009, emails exchanged between a handful of scientists who provided the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with the most specious, deliberately duplicitous “data” to prop up the “global warming" hoax were revealed, the whole house of cards began to collapse.

It has since been propped up by a bunch of media, political, and science dead-enders who had stacked their reputations on pulling off the great hoax of the modern era; that an infinitesimal amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—0.038 percent—was causing the Earth to heat up, the seas to rise, and Minnie Mouse to announce she was pregnant.

The success of the forthcoming conference, however, has been blessed by the modern form of respect, a preemptory news release attacking it. The Center for American Progress issued a “press call advisory” titled “Climate Deniers Congregate in the Nation’s Capital.”

It began, “The Heartland Institute, a conservative group funded by Exxon Mobil and Charles Koch…” Whoa! Mr. Chairman, we rise to question why the Center for American Progress would engage in an outright lie? Answer: That’s what progressives do because they are immune to the truth.

For the record, neither Exxon Mobil, nor Mr. Koch, has contributed to the cost of the conference. The former has not contributed to the Institute since 2006 and the Kochs have not sent any money in more than a decade.

But let’s finish the Center’s opening sentence that characterized the conference as “boasting a full agenda of notable climate deniers.” The term climate deniers has long been attached to any scientist, academic, politician, or commentator such as myself who had the temerity to point out that every single claim made on behalf of “global warming” was pure horse-hockey.

The Center for American Progress sought to make light of the conferences’ theme, “Restoring the Scientific Method.” And a damn fine theme it is considering the damage to the entire scientific community that, prior to the global warming hoax, was not famous for deciding what the truth was by “consensus.”

Real science still depends on peer review and the thorough testing of a hypothesis until it can no longer be disputed because it is reproducible. You can say the Earth is flat until you are blue in the face, but it is still round. The “warmists”, however, did everything they could to short-circuit this rigorous process.

The Center for American Progress is concerned that the forthcoming conference asserts that “global warming is not a crisis” and it will be devoted to “ending global warming alarmism” and “disputing that global warming is man-made.”

Would someone please tell the Center that the Earth is now more than a decade into a perfectly natural cooling cycle and that mankind does not control the sun, the oceans, the clouds, the volcanoes, or any climate event? Whenever a tsunami, blizzard, or tornado occurs, Mother Nature’s advice to mankind is “Get out of the way!”

Since I am loath to travel further these days than the Bagel Chateau one town over from where I reside, I shall be watching the conference on streaming video, June 30 to July 1. It should be noted that, in addition to a roster of some of the world’s most respected climate scientists who will make presentations, the Institute has routinely invited some of the most prominent alarmists—warmists—to participate.

A recent Forbes article noted that “a virtual Who’s Who of global warming media hounds” had been invited to participate in the conferences over the years. Conference coordinator, James Taylor, the Institute’s senior fellow for environment policy, said that Al Gore, James Hansen, Michael Mann and others “all seem to have some sort of scheduling conflict whenever they have to share the stage with a scientist who will be challenging their evidence.”

Meanwhile, the egregiously misnamed Center for American Progress will hold a conference call on Wednesday to launch an attack on the conference. No longer ignored or mocked, the Heartland Institute and its conference are clearly on the winning side.

Funeral ceremonies for “global warming” will follow with the mourners all wearing green.


More Evidence that Global Warming is a False Alarm: A Model Simulation of the last 40 Years of Deep Ocean Warming

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D.

NASA’s James Hansen is probably right about this point: the importance of ocean heat storage to a better understanding of how sensitive the climate system is to our greenhouse gas emissions. The more efficient the oceans are at storing excess heat during warming, the slower will be the surface temperature response of the climate system to an imposed energy imbalance.

Unfortunately, the uncertainties over the rate at which vertical mixing takes place in the ocean allows climate modelers to dismiss a lack of recent warming by simply asserting that the deep oceans must somehow be absorbing the extra heat. Think Trenberth’s “missing heat“. (For a discussion of the complex processes involved in ocean mixing see here.)

Well, maybe what is really missing is the IPCC’s willingness to admit the climate system is simply not as sensitive to our greenhouse gas emissions as they claim it is. Maybe the missing heat is missing because it does not really exist.

This is where we can learn from the 40+ year record of deep ocean temperature changes. Even the 2007 IPCC report admitted the oceans have warmed more slowly at depth than the climate models can explain.

Here I will show quantitatively with a simple forcing-feedback-diffusion model that recent ocean warming is actually consistent with a climate sensitivity which is so low that the IPCC considers it very unlikely.

I will also show how disingenuous the IPCC 2007 report was in presenting the ocean warming evidence to support its view that anthropogenic global warming will be a serious problem.

Much more HERE

Cool heads needed for climate talk

It's a case of double standards when it comes to Christopher Monckton -- comment from Australia -- where Monckton is at present visiting

It's just two sleeps until Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, addresses the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies in Perth. The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, will open the conference today.

The Australian media invariably latches on to controversial individuals visiting from overseas - left and right, foreign-born and expatriate. This reflects the fact that Australia has a large and competitive media along with a relatively small population. Visitors enhance the opinion pool, for a while at least, and controversial ones tend to get covered in the print and electronic media.

Monckton, who is perhaps best labelled as sceptical or agnostic to the idea that global warming is generated by humans, received wide-scale coverage when he visited Australia in February last year. Commercial radio and television, along with the tabloid press, tended to report him seriously. However, he was ridiculed on some ABC programs and in parts of the broadsheet press.

For example, The Age ran a story that Abbott would talk to the visiting hereditary peer under the heading "'Mad Monk' Meets Monckton". This was accompanied by a large colour photo of Monckton's face from forehead to nose only, replete with protruding eyes. He suffers from Graves' disease. It is impossible to imagine journalists mocking a sufferer of breast or prostate cancer in such a way.

Monckton, a mathematician, understands that one sure way to get coverage in the media is to ham it up and, on occasions, throw the switch to hyperbole. Last week news reached Australia that, in a recent speech in the United States, Monckton had accused the Australian economist Ross Garnaut of exhibiting "a fascist point of view" with respect to climate change policy and commented: "Heil Hitler - on we go."

Monckton's trivial and ahistorical exaggeration was met by predictable - and justified - criticism. It makes no sense to compare Western democracies with the excesses of fascist totalitarian regimes - or indeed communist dictatorships of the Lenin/Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot varieties. Monckton has seen the error of his ways. On Channel Ten's Bolt Report on Sunday, he apologised for having made the point he was trying to make in "such a catastrophically stupid and offensive way".

Monckton's original comment was reported in depth on Lateline. Last Wednesday Tony Jones interviewed Professor Ian Chubb, who in April was appointed as Australia's chief scientist. Asked about the Monckton outburst, Chubb spoke out against the use of "emotive language" and declared that "calling people names … ought not to be acceptable in a flourishing democracy like Australia".

Fair enough, provided the reprimand is universal. In the lead-up to the 2007 election, Chubb was vice-chancellor of the Australian National University. On November 19, 2007, The Canberra Times ran an article by Dr Bruce Kent - then an ANU visiting fellow - in which he alleged that there were similarities between some of John Howard's policies and those of the Third Reich. In particular, he linked Howard with such mass murderers as Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels.

Kent's analysis was so exaggerated that he even saw aspects of the Nazi regime in the Coalition's policy on - wait for it - the Murray-Darling Basin. There is no evidence that Chubb - or any of his colleagues at the ANU - distanced themselves from Kent's rave in their local newspaper.

Similar double standards prevail today. Monckton is rightly bagged for linking Garnaut with Hitler. Yet there was virtually no outcry when Mark Dreyfus, one of the better performers in the Gillard government, wrote an article in March where he accused Abbott of "Goebbellian cynicism". In a calm moment, Dreyfus well understands that Goebbels's evil was not located in cynicism but rather in his advocacy for genocide.

In his Lateline appearance, Chubb targeted the likes of Monckton. However, when interviewed by Chris Uhlmann on 7.30 in April, he commented that "we lost a bit of civility in the debate from time to time" and appeared to blame all participants for such an occurrence. If this is what Chubb was trying to say, he has a point. Take Garnaut, for example. He is a paid part-time consultant to the Labor government. No problem here. However, traditionally, it was accepted that individuals on the government payroll - whether in a full-time or part-time capacity - would moderate their language in the public debate.

This is not a stance adopted by Garnaut. He addressed the National Press Club in May in his capacity as head of the Garnaut Climate Change Review. In this talk he accused "parts of big business" of having taken the "role of spoiler" in the climate change debate and implied that those who declined to embrace his views were neither informed nor thoughtful. Garnaut also suggested that his critics believe that Australia is a "pissant country" and then accused his opponents of "shouting ignorant slogans".

Such an outburst is emphatically not consistent with a call for moderation in language. It was more of the same when Garnaut was interviewed by Deborah Cameron on ABC Radio 702 last week. The presenter introduced her guest as "Australia's leading economist" and suggested that unnamed economists who disagreed with Garnaut had "sold their souls" and become "handmaidens to climate science deniers". This was followed by the leading question: "Do more economists need to get out and actually be honest?"

In response, Garnaut said that there was a tendency for economists "to tailor the analysis to what their client wants". In other words, Garnaut was suggesting that economists employed by business cannot be taken at face value. But, apparently, economists who are engaged as consultants by governments are completely credible. I asked both Cameron and ABC management why Garnaut's role as a paid consultant to the Gillard government was not mentioned during the interview. There was no reply.

Of course Garnaut says what he believes. However, so do most of his critics. Of course Monckton was irresponsible to link Garnaut with Hitler. But so were those who linked Howard with the Third Reich. Any cooling of the political debate will require contributions from all parties.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 comment:

NikFromNYC said...

OMG, you have a Nancy Pelosi rubber doll in charge of your whole country!