Monday, March 18, 2013
The Great Green Con: The hard proof that finally shows global warming forecasts that are costing you billions were WRONG all along
By David Rose
No, the world ISN'T getting warmer (as you may have noticed). Now we reveal the official data that's making scientists suddenly change their minds about climate doom. So will eco-funded MPs stop waging a green crusade with your money? Well... what do YOU think?
The Mail on Sunday today presents irrefutable evidence that official predictions of global climate warming have been catastrophically flawed.
The graph on this page blows apart the ‘scientific basis’ for Britain reshaping its entire economy and spending billions in taxes and subsidies in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. These moves have already added £100 a year to household energy bills.
Steadily climbing orange and red bands on the graph show the computer predictions of world temperatures used by the official United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The estimates – given with 75 per cent and 95 per cent certainty – suggest only a five per cent chance of the real temperature falling outside both bands.
But when the latest official global temperature figures from the Met Office are placed over the predictions, they show how wrong the estimates have been, to the point of falling out of the ‘95 per cent’ band completely.
The graph shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated. Yet those forecasts have had a ruinous impact on the bills we pay, from heating to car fuel to huge sums paid by councils to reduce carbon emissions.
The eco-debate was, in effect, hijacked by false data. The forecasts have also forced jobs abroad as manufacturers relocate to places with no emissions targets.
A version of the graph appears in a leaked draft of the IPCC’s landmark Fifth Assessment Report due out later this year. It comes as leading climate scientists begin to admit that their worst fears about global warming will not be realised.
Academics are revising their views after acknowledging the miscalculation. Last night Myles Allen, Oxford University’s Professor of Geosystem Science, said that until recently he believed the world might be on course for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than five degrees this century.
But he now says: ‘The odds have come down,’ – adding that warming is likely to be significantly lower. Prof Allen says higher estimates are now ‘looking iffy’.
The graph confirms there has been no statistically significant increase in the world’s average temperature since January 1997 – as this newspaper first disclosed last year.
At the end of last year the Met Office revised its ten-year forecast predicting a succession of years breaking records for warmth. It now says the pause in warming will last until at least 2017. A glance at the graph will confirm that the world will be cooler than even the coolest scenario predicted.
Its source is impeccable. The line showing world temperatures comes from the Met Office ‘HadCRUT4’ database, which contains readings from more than 30,000 measuring posts. This was added to the 75 and 95 per cent certainty bands to produce the graph by a group that amalgamates the work of 20 climate model centres working for the IPCC.
The current Energy Bill is set to increase subsidies for wind turbines to £7.6 billion a year – leading to a combined cost of £110 billion. Motorists will soon see a further 3p per litre rise in the cost of petrol because this now has to contain ‘biofuel’ ethanol.
Many scientists say the pause, and new research into factors such as smoke particles and ocean cycles, has made them rethink what is termed ‘climate sensitivity’ – how much the world will warm for a given level of CO2.
Yesterday Piers Forster, Climate Change Professor at Leeds University, said: ‘The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the terms changing climate, make the high estimates unlikely.’
And Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said: ‘The models are running too hot. The flat trend in global surface temperatures may continue for another decade or two.’
James Annan, of Frontier Research For Global Change, a prominent ‘warmist’, recently said high estimates for climate sensitivity now look ‘increasingly untenable’, with the true figure likely to be about half of the IPCC prediction in its last report in 2007.
Avowed climate sceptics are more unequivocal. Dr David Whitehouse, author of a new report on the pause published on Friday by Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘This changes everything. It means we have much longer to work things out. Global warming should no longer be the main determinant of anyone’s economic or energy policy.’
David Bellamy comments:
This graph shows the end of the world isn’t nigh. But for anyone – like myself – who has been vilified for holding such an unfashionable view, possibly the most important thing about it is its source: the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Since its creation in 1988, the IPCC has been sounding the alarm about man-made global warming. Yet here, in a draft of its latest report, is a diagram overlaying the observed temperature of the earth on its predictions.
The graph shows a world stubbornly refusing to warm. Indeed, it shows the world is soon set to be cooler.
The awkward fact is that the earth has warmed just 0.5 degrees over the past 50 years. And Met Office records show that for the past 16 years temperatures have plateaued and, if anything, are going down.
As the graph shows, the longer this goes on, the more the actual, real-world temperature record will diverge from the IPCC’s doom-laden prediction.
Yet this prediction is used to justify the ugly wind farms spoiling our countryside and billions in unnecessary ‘green’ taxes that make our industry less competitive and add up to £100 a year to household energy bills.
Man-made global warming has become scientific orthodoxy, with no room for dissent. Tragically, the traditional caution of my brethren has gone out of the window along with the concept of sceptical peer reviewing to test new theories.
Opponents of man-made global warming are regarded as dangerous heretics, as I learnt to my cost. Soon after the IPCC was created, I was invited to what is now the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Exeter to hear a presentation on global warming.
As the face of natural history on the BBC and a science academic, they wanted to enrol me in their cause. But when I read the so-called evidence, I realised it was flawed and refused to ‘sign up’.
I rapidly found myself cast out from the BBC and the wider scientific community. When I helped some children campaign against a wind farm as part of a Blue Peter programme, I was publicly vilified. Abusive emails criticised me. I realised my career at the BBC was over.
But scientific theory should be tested. That’s why I question the science which casts carbon as the villain that will bring about the end of the world.
Geology tells us that fossil fuels are predominantly carbon which was part of our atmosphere before being locked away in the earth millions of years ago. At that time, there were more than 4,000 carbon parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere. Over time this has been as low as 270ppm and is now about 385ppm.
It is obvious the world can live with these fluctuations in the level of atmospheric carbon.
Indeed, there may be many factors that determine our climate. Australian scientist David Archibald has shown a remarkable correlation between the sun’s activity and our climate over the past 300 years. Climate scientists insist we must accept the ‘carbon’ orthodoxy or be cast into the wilderness.
But the scientists behind the theory have a vested interest – it’s a great way to justify new taxes, get more money and guarantee themselves more work.
The reality is that man-made global warming is a myth: the global temperature is well within life’s limits and, indeed, the present day is cooler by comparison to much of Earth’s history. Perhaps this will be the moment that this fact becomes the new scientific orthodoxy.
Warmest Temperatures In 4,000 Years? Not So Fast, Global Warming Alarmists
The mainstream media are reporting in breathless fashion about a new paper claiming current temperatures are their warmest in 4,000 years. Already, however, objective scientists are reporting serious flaws in the paper. The media may wish to paint a picture of runaway global warming, but the science tells a completely different story.
Recently graduated Ph.D. student Shaun Marcott has published a paper claiming he compiled a proxy temperature reconstruction indicating current temperatures are their warmest in at least 4,000 years. Proxy temperature reconstructions require careful scrutiny because the proxies are not direct temperature measurements, but represent other data and factors that may or may not have a close correlation with past temperatures. Some proxies are better than others. Also, an agenda-driven researcher can easily cherry-pick certain anomalous proxies that support a predetermined conclusion while ignoring a much larger set of proxies that tell a different story.
Perhaps the most notorious of agenda-driven proxy reconstructions was published by global warming alarmist Michael Mann. As a young, relatively unknown recent Ph.D. graduate, Mann attained wealth, fame and adulation among global warming alarmists after assembling a proxy temperature reconstruction that he claimed showed global temperatures underwent a steady, roughly 1,000-year decline followed by a sharp rise during the 20th century. The media reported on the Mann hockey stick reconstruction as if it settled the global warming debate, but objective scientists pointed out several crucial flaws that invalidated Mann’s claims. Eventually, Congress commissioned distinguished statistician Edward Wegman to review and report on Mann’s methods and conclusions. After assembling a blue ribbon panel of experts to study Mann’s temperature reconstruction, Wegman reported the criticisms of Mann’s reconstruction were “valid and compelling.”
The Marcott proxy reconstruction shares much in common with the Mann hockey stick. Marcott is a young, recently graduated Ph.D. student whose asserted temperature reconstruction has launched him out of obscurity into media fame. As was the case with Mann’s hockey stick, objective scientists quickly pointed out serious flaws in the Marcott reconstruction. Also similar to the Mann hockey stick, the media is ignoring the devastating critiques of the Marcott reconstruction and misleading the public into believing that we finally have a study showing essentially the same thing that Mann claimed before his hockey stick was discredited.
Although objective scientists have had little time so far to dig into the meat of Marcott’s data, methods and conclusions, their initial observations are devastating. Don Easterbrook, geology professor emeritus at Western Washington University, has published two papers available here and here summarizing and documenting many of the already discovered flaws in Marcott’s reconstruction. Easterbrook reports that at least one more such paper is on the way, as he and other objective scientists find more and more flaws and areas of concern in Marcott’s reconstruction as they continue to analyze it.
Easterbrook points out that 80 percent of the data used by Marcott reflect oceanic data, not atmospheric temperatures. “Thus, they may reflect temperature changes from ocean upwelling, changes in ocean currents, or any one of a number of ocean variations not related to atmospheric climates,” Easterbrook writes. Given the opportunities for cherry-picking anomalous data to support a predetermined conclusion (such as objective scientists found regarding the Mann hockey stick), Marcott’s heavy dependence on oceanic rather than atmospheric proxies “in itself means that the Marcott et al. temperatures are not a reliable measure of changing atmospheric climate,” Easterbrook reports.
Easterbrook also notes that Marcott recycled Mann’s proxies to help compile the small portion of Marcott’s land-based proxies. Discredited proxies by any other name are still discredited proxies. Perhaps most damaging, Easterbrook observes that many other published studies and data, including analysis of extremely reliable Greenland ice core data, completely contradict Marcott’s asserted proxy data.
When many temperature studies, including studies presented by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicate current global temperatures are cooler than the vast majority of the past 4,000 years, and then an outlier study with quickly identified serious flaws claims exactly the opposite, one would think the media would make note of the discrepancies. Unfortunately, the media has demonstrated little interest in doing so. There are several reasons for this.
First, the news media is prone to overhype the news events of the day. Hype sells newspapers and attracts viewers. This is the case for all news topics and certainly applies to global warming.
Second, fear captivates people. This is one of the reasons why television and print news contains so much bad news and so little good news. A single breathless report of impending global warming doom is going to rope in more viewers and readers than a whole collection of reports explaining that current temperatures are actually quite cool in historical perspective.
Third, it is no secret that the media drifts left on many issues, and drifts left on environmental issues in particular.
Combine these three factors and you have a textbook recipe for yellow journalism; a perfect storm representing all the reasons why people no longer trust the mainsteam media to be fair, balanced and accurate.
The scientific record shows quite clearly that current temperatures are significantly cooler than the 4,000-year average, yet the media uses a seriously flawed study to claim the opposite. Global warming alarmists put their trust in the media, while global warming realists put their trust in the science.
Climate propaganda cut from British national curriculum for children up to 14
And the Warmists are having a wail
Debate about climate change has been cut out of the national curriculum for children under 14, prompting claims of political interference in the syllabus by the government that has failed "our duty to future generations".
The latest draft guidelines for children in key stages 1 to 3 have no mention of climate change under geography teaching and a single reference to how carbon dioxide produced by humans impacts on the climate in the chemistry section. There is also no reference to sustainable development, only to the "efficacy of recycling", again as a chemistry subject.
The move has caused alarm among climate campaigners and scientists who say teaching about climate change in schools has helped mobilise young people to be the most vociferous advocates of action by governments, business and society to tackle the issue.
The draft contrasts with the existing curriculum: under the heading of geography, there are several mentions of the interdependence of humans and their environment and the impact of that on change, including "environmental change". The current syllabus explicitly discusses sustainable development and "its impact on environmental interaction and climate change".
"It's just hollowed out argument," said John Ashton, the government's climate change envoy until last summer, and a founder of the independent not-for-profit group E3G. "Climate change should have as much prominence as anything in teaching geography in schools."
The shift of any mention of climate change from geography to chemistry "makes me more concerned, not less", said Ashton. "What's important is not so much the chemistry as the impact on the lives of human beings, and the right place for that is geography."
The proposed changes, which are still under consultation by the Department for Education (DfE), were broadly welcomed by other groups, including the Geographical Association which represents more than 6,000 geography teachers, and the Royal Geographical Society.
"In the past, in some instances, young people were going to start on climate change without really knowing about climate," said Rita Gardner, the RGS director, who does, however, want climate change taught at GCSE and A-level. "What we have got [in the new draft] is a much better grounding in geography, and it has the building blocks for a much better understanding of climate change and sustainability."
A DfE spokesman said the idea that climate change was being excised from the national curriculum was nonsense: "All children will learn about climate change. It is specifically mentioned in the science curriculum and both climate and weather feature throughout the geography curriculum."
A source at the Liberal Democrat-led Department for Energy and Climate Change said they were relaxed about the changes: "There's nothing from the DfE that says climate change is off the agenda or will never be taught. Sensible teachers will look at that as the broadest of signposting."
Sarah Lester, a policy researcher specialising in climate change education at the Grantham Institute of Climate Change at Imperial College, London, said also rejected the argument that pupils first needed to learn the "building blocks" before they were taught about climate change. Such issues were already taught in the three sciences, even religious education and citizenship – and "all come together in geography", said Lester. "I don't think that's what's being done: I think it [climate change] is just being stripped out of the curriculum."
Attenborough should check his facts on polar bears
De rigueur though it may be to describe Sir David Attenborough as a “national treasure” and our “greatest living naturalist”, it really is time he was called to account for the shameless way in which he has allowed himself to be made the front-man for one particular propaganda campaign that has stood all genuine scientific evidence on its head. Last week yet another report picked up on the part Sir David has played in promoting what the facts show to have been no more than a colossal scare story.
It is now seven years since Sir David was first wheeled out by the BBC as the main cheerleader in its campaign to whip up panic over man-made global warming. In two documentaries, he presented himself as a one-time “climate sceptic” who had now been convinced by the evidence. The only problem was that, as he repeated a series of familiar alarmist mantras, there was little sign that he had checked the evidence for any of them: not least his claim that, thanks to the melting of Arctic ice, the world’s polar bear population, already down by a quarter, could be facing extinction.
Pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth had already made polar bears the most iconic image for their crusade to save the planet. WWF, in its relentless pursuit of funds, was moving on from pandas to appealing to the public to “pay £3 a month to adopt a polar bear”.
Vainly, in the face of this avalanche of propaganda, did an array of experts and bodies such as the US National Biological Service and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature point out that, thanks to curbs on hunting in the Seventies, the world’s polar bear population had, in fact, risen from 10,000 in 1966 to 25,000 or more in 2006; that all but one of their 19 main groups were significantly increasing in numbers; and that, based on observed data rather than highly questionable computer models, there was not a shred of evidence of any threat to the bears from climate change.
Al Gore twice famously fell flat on his face in promoting the cause, first when his film An Inconvenient Truth focused on the fate of four bears that were later shown just to have drowned in a storm; then when he made big play with a picture of two bears on a half-melted iceberg, which the photographer later protested she had only taken because it was a striking image, unconnected in any way with climate change.
But although Al Gore may have been notoriously reckless in misusing evidence, he has no pretensions to being a scientist. Sir David’s reputation, on the other hand, is that of a man with respect for science, although this did not prevent him in 2009 from supporting a ridiculous BBC publicity stunt involving a giant blow-up plastic polar bear floating down the Thames, or making polar bears a key feature of his Frozen Planet series in 2011, ending in a propaganda pitch for global-warming alarmism that somehow managed to overlook the fact that polar sea ice had recently been greater in extent than at any time in 30 years.
When, last week, the Global Warming Policy Foundation published a new report, Ten Good Reasons Not to Worry About Polar Bears, Matt (now Lord) Ridley referred in his foreword to Sir David’s bizarre determination to ignore the evidence. The report’s author, Susan Crockford, an experienced Canadian polar bear expert, explains just why there is no connection between the thriving polar bear population and climate change, and how this has been concocted into one of the great urban myths of our time.
Nothing is going to stand in the way of Sir David’s reputation as a national treasure, even though it rests so largely on the extraordinary skill of the cameramen who make his documentaries so memorable. But for his readiness to lend his immense prestige to a scare story that defies all the evidence he deserves no respect at all.
Green tax boost for wind farm profits
The full extent of the profits to be made by wind farms in Britain can be spelt out for the first time.
A briefing document on the wind industry written for investors – and seen by The Sunday Telegraph – shows how attempts to increase the supply of green energy will make turbines far more profitable over the next decade.
It predicts that wind farms will generate greater income following the introduction of a new tax on energy from gas and coal-fired power stations because it will drive up the cost of electricity over the next seven years.
The new tax, intended to cut pollution from traditional sources of electricity, will allow wind farm operators to charge more for the power they produce, with the extra costs expected to be passed on to consumers through their bills. Energy industry experts predict the new tax will cost electricity customers an extra £1billion a year from 2016.
The documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph show how:
* Wind farms are already making hundreds of millions of pounds of profits, with half the income from existing consumer subsidies;
* Coal-fired power plants are being forced to close ahead of the new carbon tax as it will make operating too expensive;
* Electricity prices are expected to increase at an accelerated rate due to the resulting reduction in power supplies;
* Energy costs will rise by around eight per cent each year between now and 2020, meaning wholesale prices will almost double.
The details are contained in a 70-page prospectus drawn up by Barclays Bank and sent to financiers looking to invest up to £260million in a new energy fund, Greencoat UK Wind, which is planning to buy stakes in six big wind farms around the UK.
The document will anger backbench Tory MPs, who have campaigned for wind farm subsidies to be cut – only to discover that they will effectively be receiving a new subsidy on top of existing ones the industry receives to encourage renewable energy.
Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative MP who has led a campaign to reduce wind farm subsidies, said: “I find it hard to believe that the Department of Energy and Climate Change has pulled the wool over the eyes of those in the Treasury.
“This prospectus explains the massive rush of wind applications, as developers know they will get rich whilst pushing thousands of energy consumers into fuel poverty.”
The financial prospectus shows just how much money the bank is convinced investors can now make from wind energy, providing the most detailed insight yet into the workings of the wind industry.
Most of the profit comes from the generous subsidy currently offered by the Government to encourage green energy, which is subsequently added on to electricity bills.
The document says the introduction of the new green tax on polluting forms of energy – called the “carbon price floor” – will have the effect of driving up prices, not least because coal-fired power stations are being shut down as a result, making wind farms even more profitable.
The Government, through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has committed £50million to the Greencoat fund to underpin the scheme.
Critics complain that this means the Government is unlikely to reduce generous subsidies on which it is now also staking its own money.
Investors were told in the prospectus that electricity prices should rise by 55 per cent from £45 for each megawatt-hour to £70 by 2016. On top of that wind farms receive an additional subsidy of about £50 for each megawatt-hour.
Dr John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity which has highlighted the cost of wind farms, said: “Wind power is already over-subsidised, so it is simply astonishing that government should calmly and one suspects incompetently spread another generous layer of jam on the revenue of existing wind farms.”
A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman said it was investing £50million in Greencoat “to help catalyse the additional private sector capital required” to increase investment in renewable energy.
Richard Nourse, managing partner at Greencoat Capital, which will manage the fund, said: “Greencoat UK Wind offers investors the prospect of a six per cent dividend yield expected to increase in line with inflation.
“In these days of low interest rates and high volatility, this seems to be attractive to investors.”
Radioactivity is good for you
I’m in my swimsuit sitting on what looks like a theme park ride, about to travel a mile into a mountain in Austria. It is 100F (38C) and sweat drips from every pore. I’m trying an amazing treatment.
At the Gastein healing caves, in Radhausberg mountain, a controversial form of therapy with radioactive radon gas is used to treat a long list of medical conditions, including arthritis and other joint pain, chronic bronchitis and skin conditions such as my psoriasis.
The medical staff are evangelical about the healing benefits of the low-level radon gas found in the caves: they say it can offer sustained pain relief, reduce the need for medication, stimulate the body’s anti-inflammatory abilities and help people who have suffered for years.
These may be eyebrow-raising claims but the patients who flock here – 75,000 last year, mostly from Central Europe – would agree with them. The therapy is so accepted in Austria and Germany, it’s available on health insurance.
Miners who went into the mountain in the Forties in search of gold were the first to discover their health complaints disappeared. Studies carried out by the University of Innsbruck identified the temperatures of up to 106F (41C), high humidity and the radon as the reason.
Yet the therapy is virtually unknown in the UK. Medics who have heard of it tend to regard radon with suspicion, for in high doses the gas is believed to be toxic and can increase the risk of lung cancer.
Dr Hasan Tahir, a consultant rheumatologist at Whipps Cross University Hospital in East London, says: ‘It may be an interesting option for patients to take this treatment alongside conventional medicine.
'However, as radon is potentially carcinogenic – admittedly at a much higher dose – I would like to see more long-term safety data.’
But doctors at the clinic in Austria say the radon in the caves is completely safe. ‘Scientific studies have shown exposure to low-dosage radon stimulates DNA repair, antioxidant action and immune response. And no adverse effects have ever been reported,’ says Dr Liane Weber, who has worked at the clinic for a decade, alongside a team of physiotherapists and massage therapists.
The argument that low-level radon may be healing is based upon a scientific principle called hormesis. Small doses of a particular substance may be beneficial – even if high doses are harmful or lethal.
In 2001, Maastricht University studied patients with ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory condition which causes severe joint pain and stiffness. One group had radon treatment in the caves followed by physiotherapy, a second group had sauna treatments and physiotherapy, and a third had physiotherapy alone. Improvements were significantly better in the radon group.
Similar studies were carried out by Leipzig University in 2000 with patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. After six months, there were significant improvements in pain relief and function in the group exposed to the radon.
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Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here
Posted by JR at 4:19 PM