Thursday, July 07, 2011

Study Finds Higher Educated Less Concerned About Warming

Warmists very frequently claim that skeptics are dummies and that if only they understood "the science", they would become Warmists. These results shoot that down. The authors waffle on in an attempt to explain the finding in ways that preserve Warmism but the parsimonious explanation is simply that Warmism is wrong. In science, the most parsimonious (simplest) explanation is normally the one chosen


The conventional explanation for controversy over climate change emphasizes impediments to public understanding: Limited popular knowledge of science, the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information, and the resulting widespread use of unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk. A large survey of U.S. adults (N = 1540) found little support for this account. On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.

More importantly, greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated with greater cultural polarization: Respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased. We suggest that this evidence reflects a conflict between two levels of rationality: The individual level, which is characterized by citizens’ effective use of their knowledge and reasoning capacities to form risk perceptions that express their cultural commitments; and the collective level, which is characterized by citizens’ failure to converge on the best available scientific evidence on how to promote their common welfare. Dispelling this, “tragedy of the risk-perception commons,” we argue, should be understood as the central aim of the science of science communication.


Commentary on the above paper here

A desperate lie

As most people know, I am a lukewarmer -- somebody who accepts carbon dioxide's full greenhouse potential, but does not accept the much more dubious evidence for net positive feedbacks on top, and who therefore thinks that a temperatuire rise of more than 2C in this century is unlikely.

This view just got a strong boost. Nic Lewis, the indefatigable mathematical sleuth who helped expose the mistakes in a paper about Antarctic temperature trends has been looking at how the IPCC estimates climate sensitivity -- that is, the warming expected for a doubling of CO2. He finds that the one study that estimated sensitivity entirely from experimental data -- Forster and Gregory 2006 -- was distoted by the IPCC when it came to present their results.

The distortion was the imposition of a Bayesian "uniform prior" in a way that statisticians say is wholly inappropriate, because it effectively assumes a priori that strong warming is more probable than it is. Yet you don't even have to know that the use is inappropriate to know that it's inappropriate to take a published result and alter the graph from it, adding an obscure footnote to say you have done so. A published result is a published result.

The effect was to fatten the tail of the graph, making a warming of more than 2C look much more probable.

The probability peaks very sharply at about 1.5 degrees Celsius (meaning that more extreme temperature increases are very unlikely) and even the IPCC tricks couldn't change that much. They just increased other probabilities slightly -- JR

I defy you to look at that graph -- the green one -- and tell me that a temperature rise oif more than 2C is not "unlikely" according to that study. I defy you to look at the graph -- the blue one -- and not conclude that whoever drew it had better have a very good argument for fattening the tail compared with what the authors had originally published.

NIc has found that the IPCC did much the same to most of the other estimates of climate sensitivity, which rely mostly on models. This mistake is central to the IPCC's case, not peripheral. It undermines the credibility of the case for urgent action against climate change and strongly supports the argument that, other things being equal, CO2 doubling will not cause more than a mild and net beneficial warming.

Here's Nic's first paragraph:

"The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report of 2007 (AR4) contained various errors, including the well publicised overestimate of the speed at which Himalayan glaciers would melt. However, the IPCC’s defenders point out that such errors were inadvertent and inconsequential: they did not undermine the scientific basis of AR4. Here I demonstrate an error in the core scientific report (WGI) that came about through the IPCC’s alteration of a peer-reviewed result. This error is highly consequential, since it involves the only instrumental evidence that is climate-model independent cited by the IPCC as to the probability distribution of climate sensitivity, and it substantially increases the apparent risk of high warming from increases in CO2 concentration."


California’s long-term cooling trend cited as evidence FOR global warming

The un-disproveable theory

Want to know why global warming alarmists and climate scientists in general have lost credibility with the American public? Consider a new study released today — and the unintentionally hilarious weasel words of its author — as Exhibit A.

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle today, a meteorologist did a 30-year survey of temperature and precipitation data for most of the largest cities up and down the state of California. Conclusion? In 75% of the sites, the weather has grown colder and rainier than it used to be:

Of course, this “inconvenient truth” was not what either the study’s author nor the Chronicle‘s reporter wanted to see, so the spin cycle goes into overdrive right from the headline, which manages to use the word “warmer” first despite there being only two warmer cities in the entire study: “CA climate: inland warmer; coast cooler and wetter.” Uh-huh. But that’s just the aperitif. How does the author, a meteorologist named Jan Null [Well-named!] who also happens to be on the global warming bandwagon, explain away the trend he uncovered? Behold:
"The data may appear to bolster the arguments of global warming skeptics, but Null said the findings actually fit in with the predictions of scientists who believe the climate is changing as a result of human-caused carbon emissions.

“People say, ‘Wait a minute, what about global warming? Shouldn’t it be warmer?’ ” Null said. “Well, if you have more warm days in the Central Valley, you are going to have a stronger sea breeze so you will cool off the coastal areas. That certainly does not contradict any of the models about global warming. This is what is to be expected.”

They always say that: Whenever evidence of cooling is found in the data, it somehow magically becomes confirming proof of global warming, because cooling is “expected” in the forecasts. Of course, whenever localized warming trends are found, those too are cited as evidence of global warming.

Which leads me to my Global Warming Spin Axiom: Hot we win, cold you lose!

What’s most astounding is that Null, who claims to be a world-class expert on California meteorology, uncorked the whopper “if you have more warm days in the Central Valley, you are going to have a stronger sea breeze so you will cool off the coastal areas,” which as anyone who lives in Northern California knows is complete balderdash. Hot days in the Central Valley are generally caused by high-pressure systems settling over the area, which also cause off-shore (i.e. reverse of normal) winds and higher temperature at the coasts. Incoming low-pressure fronts cause cold temperatures at the coasts and cooling inland. To say that warm temperatures inland somehow induce cold and rain on the coast is wrong in more ways than I can count. And Jan Null knows that, so he must be purposely obfuscating to undermine the conclusions of his own unfortunate study.

One thing I will say in Null’s favor, though: At least he released the stats he uncovered, rather than burying them once he realized that they undermined his favored thesis (as other researchers have done, we now know). But he would have been wiser to just release them and make no further comment, because every time a climatologist cites cooler temperatures as proof of global warming, another angel dies in heaven and another thousand Americans lose faith in the global warming mania.


Global warming? A new ice age? The only certainty is that YOU'RE paying for the hysteria of our politicians

Comment from Britain

Who would possibly have thought it? The latest news is that the world may be threatened by a sharp drop in temperatures, possibly so severe that it could herald a new mini ice age. And one reason being put forward for this is that all the pollution being chucked out by thousands of coal-fired power stations may be blocking the sun's heat from the Earth.

Dr Robert Kaufman of Boston University blamed China this week. 'During the Chinese economic expansion there was a huge increase in sulphur emissions,' he said. And this was the cause of global cooling.

But hang on a moment. Aren't these new climate scaremongers the very same people who only a few years back were telling us that the planet was in danger of being fried to a crisp by runaway global warming?

And wasn't it on their say so that the world's politicians, led by our own here in Britain, were committing us to spending hundreds of billions of pounds to save the planet from the catastrophic warming caused by those same evil power stations?

The question this extraordinary turn of events raises is whether any of these supposed experts actually have the faintest idea what they are talking about.

But perhaps the most bizarre thing about this latest twist in the ongoing climate scare story is the way it takes us precisely back to where it all started 40 years ago.

All of us today have become so accustomed to the notion of global warming that it is hard to believe that in the Seventies, U.S. scientists began to warn us the world was heading for a cooling so severe it might even herald a new ice age. This was because for 30 years, after a sharp rise earlier in the 20th century, global temperatures had markedly dropped.

And the cause of this cooling, it was argued by the U.S. scientists, led by climatologists Stephen Schneider and James Hansen, was all the sulphur dioxide and other particulates being chucked out by burning fossil fuels — notably those from coal-fired power stations.

Fifteen years later, the very same scientists were at the forefront of the great panic over global warming. Schneider, who became Professor of environmental biology and global change at Stanford University, argued this time that the damage was being done not by soot and sulphur preventing the sun's heat reaching the earth, but by carbon dioxide and other 'greenhouse gases', which were trapping heat.

It was men such as Schneider and Hansen who, at the end of the Eighties, so terrified the politicians with their theory that CO2 equalled global warming that, within a few years, the world's leaders were gathering in vast conferences in Rio and Kyoto to sign treaties that committed us to massive cuts in the CO2 emissions on which the global economy depended.

For a while it seemed that the theory they had programmed into dozens of computer models was being confirmed by the evidence. CO2 levels continued to rise and temperatures appeared to follow suit.

But then, more recently, it became obvious that something had gone seriously awry with the theory. Sure, CO2 in the atmosphere was still continuing to rise. But no longer were temperatures rising in synch, as the computer models predicted they should.

By 2007, as temperatures temporarily plummeted by as much as their entire net rise in the 20th century, experts were beginning to question the global warming orthodoxy. An increasing number of breakaway climatologists were saying the cause of that late 20th century rise in temperatures might not be CO2 at all.

Perhaps, they suggested, there were other factors responsible for shaping the earth's climate — such as fluctuations in radiation from the sun and shifts in the world's major ocean currents.

So, some of those on the warm-ist side of the argument came up with a compromise theory. Maybe, they agreed, the world was now heading for a period of cooling, but the effect of these natural factors was only to 'mask the underlying warming trend'. Within a decade or two, the warming produced by man-made CO2 would come back worse than ever.

In the past few years, as much of the world has endured three of its coldest winters for decades, it has become almost comical to see how, whatever our weather does to us, the warmists still manage to cling on to their pet theory.

Whatever happens now, whether it is hot or cold, whether we get heatwaves or record snowfalls, floods or droughts, sooner or later we hear those familiar little voices piping up to tell us that the blame for all these 'extreme weather events' still lies on 'disruption' to the climate caused by the sinful activities of mankind.

They're all at it — from the environmental activists of Greenpeace, the WWF and their allies in the BBC and the Met Office, to those thousands of scientists across the world who have received billions in funding from governments investing in climate change research and prevention — all still battling to keep in being the greatest scare story in the history of the world.

The truth is that it becomes ever more obvious that none of them really has a clue as to what is responsible for the changes in our climate. They can't even tell us what global temperatures will be next month or next year, let alone what they will be in 100 years' time, as they like to pretend their computer models can predict. But the really terrifying thing about all this is that our politicians have become so locked into the scare story that there is not yet the slightest sign they are prepared to notice the reality now crowding in on them on every side — that global warming is by no means a certainty.

Three years ago, when the hysteria over global warming was still at its height, our own British politicians voted almost unanimously for the Climate Change Act committing us, uniquely in the world, to cut our CO2 emissions by 80 per cent within 40 years. Even on the Government's own figures, showing that this will cost us up to £18billion every year until 2050, it is by far the most expensive law ever passed by Parliament.

We are also committed to meet an EU target that, within a mere nine years, we must generate a third of our electricity from 'renewables' — mainly by spending £200 billion on building thousands more windmills so useless that, last weekend, they could produce only half a per cent of the power we actually needed.

As our politicians continually impose on us ever higher taxes and other costs supposedly in the cause of 'fighting climate change' — costs that have already helped to increase every family's energy bills by an average £200 a year — they have been carried away by a collective fantasy that has no parallel in history.

And all this is happening in the name of a theory so fraudulent that the same people who told us the world is about to fry unless we close down all those power stations are now telling us the same power stations may be heading us into a new ice age.

Truly, the lunatics have taken over the asylum. And short of some massive injection of common sense from the British people, it seems the rest of us are condemned to live in it.


British energy experts slash estimates on household savings from using solar panels

Solar panels that cost up to £16,000 will knock just £70 a year off household bills, which is almost half the original estimate, energy experts have admitted.

Environmental advisers the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has cut its estimate on how much households could save on their electricity bill using solar panels from the previous £120 a year. The EST had estimated that about 50pc of the energy produced by solar panels is used in the home. It now says the figure is more like 25pc.

This is because solar panels work only during the day, when most people are out. The admission comes as solar panel salesmen have been criticised for misleading many households over the benefits of these panels, which can cost as much as £16,000.

The Government has also come under criticism for its controversial green taxes, which are levied on all households via their energy bills to pay people with solar panels to generate their energy.

Every home in Britain could be paying £300 a year through gas and electricity bills by the end of this decade to fund climate change schemes. These schemes have resulted in 300 million energy-efficient lightbulbs being sent in the post to households.

Now an undercover investigation by consumer champion Which? has found many firms selling solar panels were overestimating how much energy the panels would produce.

Jenny Driscoll, energy campaigner with Which?, says: ‘Consumers must really be on their guard when it comes to solar panels. There is a massive amount of exaggeration about the benefits from salesmen. ‘Remember the households that will benefit the most from solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels are those with sunny, south-facing gardens who are in all day.’

PV panels convert sunlight into electricity. They are being advertised by many big names, including Sainsbury’s and British Gas.

Which? found that homeowners can pay between £7,000 to £15,600 for them to be installed on their roof. Around 45,000 homes in the UK have had solar panels installed.

Many of these were convinced to make the investment by a salesman who boasted of huge savings. A big attraction is that householders are actually paid for the energy they generate, regardless of whether or not it is used.

But the actual savings homeowners can make are vague, as much depends on where their property is, which direction the roof faces, and the weather. Working out the benefits is also a complicated sum.

For example, the EST says a typical household pays £560 a year for their electricity. They might pay £12,000 to install solar panels. If only 25pc of the energy generated by the panels is used in their own home, they would save £70 a year on electricity bills — reducing their bill to £490.

The homeowners are also paid about 35p per kWh for the energy they use. The remaining 75pc of unused energy that has been generated will be sold back to the grid for about 41p per kWh. A typical family makes about £800 a year from doing this. However, most solar panels do not store energy — to do this homeowners must install expensive batteries.

So at night, in the evening and on cloudy days — when the solar panels cannot produce any energy —the homeowner must buy electricity from their supplier at a rate of about 20p per kWh. Although this is still a saving, it is not nearly as much as the saving they would make if they simply used their own energy.

These green, so-called ‘feed-in’ tariffs, are paid for by other homeowners by a levy on their energy bills.

By 2020 every household will be paying about £11 a year to fund the scheme. Rosalyn Foreman, of the EST, says: ‘While these are typical estimates, it’s quite possible that someone could save more than £70 if they were at home in the day or set all their appliances to run in daylight hours.’

Which? says there is still a lot of confusion regarding how much energy is produced by solar panels and how much money people can make. This is partly because some salesmen are giving people misleading information.

Solar panels need to be installed on a building with a roof or wall that faces within 90 degrees of South, without being overshadowed by other buildings or trees. Yet seven out of the 12 salespeople in the Which? investigation recommended installing solar PV panels on a shaded part of the roof.

Also, under Government rules installers are not obliged to take into account where people live when calculating how much energy can be produced. In fact, this will depend on your home’s location and the weather.

Virginia Graham, chief executive of solar panel trade body the REAL Assurance Scheme, says: ‘We have always been clear that the people who will benefit most from panels are those who are in during the day. ‘We are also working with charities to ensure that vulnerable consumers are protected from mis-selling. We would like to see doorstep mis-selling banned because it is a unsuitable way to promote this technology.’


Australian Warmist cuts off interview when science is raised

His only stock of wisdom was "ad hominem" accusations

ABC radio presenter Adam Spencer has been told to "shut up" and stop being childish during a heated on-air exchange with climate change sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton.

In what was more a debate than an interview, Spencer hung up on his guest before calling back to resume the interview.

The tension began when Spencer asked Lord Monckton about his claims that he is a Nobel Laureate. Lord Monckton said he was given a pin by a US professor who felt he deserved one for his work and he sometimes wore it as a joke.

"That's what we on the centre right would call a joke, it's something you on the left and the ABC might not perhaps fully understand."

Spencer replied by saying he wasn't on the left or the right or in the centre. "I'm trying to establish your credentials ... because there seems to be a consistent pattern, sir, when you speak publicly and analyse climate science," he said.

"It's my understanding you've never held any academic position at any university or any research institute attached to any science connected with climate science." Spencer then pursued Lord Monckton about alleged misrepresentations in his work.

Lord Monckton replied, "You say you're not taking a position, it's clearly a position which is deliberately hostile, you're entitled to do that, it's what the ABC is infamous for on this debate."

Spencer said he was simply putting out questions. "I apologise if you're detecting hostility."

Then after several minutes of arguing about his work, Lord Monckton said Spencer had been unable to raise a single scientific point on which he was wrong.

The interview was then terminated by Spencer



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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The consensus scientists can't be wrong on AGW. The US government said so. After all, the 25 cent USA postage stamp showed an official picture of the brontosaurus - and we all know that existed - consensus scientists told us so.