Friday, March 15, 2013
"The Team" members at UEA were warned that their tree ring interpretations were unsound
We now have what appears to be the first fruit of the ClimateGate 3 release of Warmist emails. Below is an email to Briffa and Jones from Don Keiller, a tree ring expert -- unlike anybody in The Team. Briffa did reply to Keiller but was so slippery that he enraged Keiller. Subsequent emails to the one below are at the link
From: Keiller, Donald
Sent: 02 October 2009 10:34
To: ‘ email@example.com’
Cc: ‘ firstname.lastname@example.org’
Subject: Yamal and paleoclimatology
Dear Professor Briffa, my apologies for contacting you directly, particularly since I hear that you are unwell. However the recent release of tree ring data by CRU has prompted much discussion and indeed disquiet about the methodology and conclusions of a number of key papers by you and co-workers.
As an environmental plant physiologist, I have followed the long debate starting with Mann et al (1998) and through to Kaufman et al (2009). As time has progressed I have found myself more concerned with the whole scientific basis of dendroclimatology. In particular;
1) The appropriateness of the statistical analyses employed
2) The reliance on the same small datasets in these multiple studies
3) The concept of “teleconnection” by which certain trees respond to the “Global Temperature Field”, rather than local climate
4) The assumption that tree ring width and density are related to temperature in a linear manner.
Whilst I would not describe myself as an expert statistician, I do use inferential statistics routinely for both research and teaching and find difficulty in understanding the statistical rationale in these papers.
As a plant physiologist I can say without hesitation that points 3 and 4 do not agree with the accepted science.
There is a saying that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”. Given the scientific, political and economic importance of these papers, further detailed explanation is urgently required.
Dr. Don Keiller.
Frack to the Future
Celebrities are now upset about fracking, the injection of chemicals into the ground to crack rocks to release oil and gas. With everyone saying they want alternatives to foreign oil, I'd think celebrities would love fracking.
I'd be wrong. Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono and their group, Artists Against Fracking, don't feel the love. Yoko sang, "Don't frack me!" on TV.
Stopping fracking is the latest cause of the silly people. They succeeded in getting scientifically ignorant politicians to ban fracking in New York, Maryland and Vermont.
Hollywood gave an Oscar to Gasland, a documentary that suggests fracking will shove gas into some people's drinking water, so the water will burn. It's true that some water contains so much natural gas that you can light it.
But another documentary, FrackNation, shows that gas got into plumbing long before fracking came. There's gas in the earth. That's why it's called "natural gas." Some gets into well water. Environmental officials investigated the flames shown in Gasland and concluded that the pollution had nothing to do with fracking.
FrackNation director Phelim McAleer tried to confront Gasland director Josh Fox about this, but Fox wouldn't answer his questions. Instead, he demanded to know whom McAleer works for. He also turned down my invitations to publicly debate fracking. Many activists don't like to answer questions that don't fit their narrative.
Even some homeowners who filed a lawsuit claiming that their water was poisoned by fracking weren't happy to learn that their water is safe. I'd think they would be delighted, but FrackNation shows a couple reacting with outrage when environmental officials test their water and find it clean.
The real story on fracking, say scientists, is that the risks are small and the rewards immense. Fracking lowered the price of natural gas so much that Americans heat our homes for less, and manufacturing that once left America has returned. For those concerned about global warming, burning gas instead of oil or coal reduces CO2 emissions.
Skeptical Environmentalist author Bjorn Lomborg points out that "green" Europe promised to reduce emissions, but "only managed to cut half of what you guys accidentally happened to do when you stumbled on fracking."
Still, the process sounds dangerous. It requires chemicals and explosions. So fracking is now scapegoated for the usual litany of things that peasants feared when threatened with curses centuries ago: livestock dying, bad crop yields, children born with deformities.
None of it is backed by scientific evidence. Even environmentalists who usually are too cautious (by my standards) see little danger. President Obama's first EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, told Congress that the EPA cannot show "that the fracking process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater."
One of the more outlandish fears is that fracking will cause earthquakes. Silly people at MSNBC say fracking creates "a skyrocketing number of earthquakes." Yes, cracking rocks does cause vibrations. But then, so does construction with dynamite or jackhammers -- not to mention trucks on the highway.
Time and again, as humans make a good-faith effort to find new, cleaner ways to produce the energy a growing population needs, environmentalists find a reason -- often very small or non-existent -- that makes the new method unacceptable.
They say coal is dirty and normal oil production might overheat the planet. Hydroelectric dams kill fish. Nuclear plants could suffer meltdowns. Windmills kill birds.
Some won't be happy unless we go back to what we did before industrialization: burn lots of trees and die young.
Nothing is completely risk-free. Companies make mistakes. Chemical spills happen.
But those risks are manageable. They are also far preferable to the risk of paying more for energy -- thereby killing opportunities for the poor.
So far, most regulators outside New York, Maryland and Vermont have ignored the silly people. So thanks to fracking, Americans pay less for heat (and everything else), the economy is helped, new jobs get created, we create less greenhouse gas, and for the first time since the 19th century, America may become a net exporter of energy.
Good things happen if the silly people can't convince all politicians to ban progress.
Eco-terror advocate slams climate 'deniers' on film
Last Friday, Big Green's entertainment division churned out yet another attempt to turn that around with a panicky new global-warming documentary. It opened on 51 screens with a weekend gross of $45,000 (that's $882.25 per screen, according to the Internet Movie Database). It was produced at an estimated cost of $1.5 million and comes with a screaming title: "Greedy Lying Bastards."
The illegitimi, of course, are "deniers," a term evocative of those who assert that Adolf Hitler's Holocaust against the Jews never happened. Nothing subtle here.
"Greedy Lying Bastards" seethes with catastrophic images -- wildfires, floods, droughts, dust storms, hurricanes -- as if such things have never happened before and anything bad that happens now is exclusively the fault of man-made climate change. Of course, the film's producers must have left their own trail of jet fuel-induced climate change behind them as they zipped to locations in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England, Kenya, Uganda, Peru and Tuvalu.
The documentary was directed and co-written by Craig Rosebraugh, former mouthpiece for convicted felon eco-terrorists of the Earth Liberation Front; he's also author of "The Logic of Political Violence." The movie is as thin on anything new as its skinny creator is on bulk, as seen on the cover of the DVD release. Reiteration, as noted by one movie reviewer, is the essence of "Greedy Lying Bastards": We've endlessly heard all this Koch-bashing and ExxonMobil stuff before. And Rosebraugh doesn't do himself any favors with his first-person voice-over: "He imparts all evidence in a snarky, patronizing tone that is sure to annoy many viewers sympathetic with his cause," said one review by the Austin Chronicle.
The major premise of "Greedy Lying Bastards" is that Big Oil moguls such as the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil "give billions to think-tank shills," including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Heartland Institute, who have convinced the public that global warming is a hoax. PR man James Hoggan comes on screen and explains that the mere repetition of talking points funded by the fossil fuel industry is winning the hearts and minds of the public. One viewer saw it differently: "I can't wait to hear the tally for the number of times the word 'deny' and its variations are uttered in this film." It comes as no surprise that leftie Hollywood star Daryl Hannah was executive producer for this disaster.
"Greedy Lying Bastards" begins with an epic dust storm engulfing Phoenix. One viewer who had lived in Phoenix noted, "That happens every summer because of the thunderstorm downdrafts."
The scene shifts to brushfires in hilly Colorado Springs, Colo., that burned many homes and left families horribly stricken. Global warming is stated as the cause. The homeowners, of course, didn't cut downhill brush in anticipation of such periodic conflagrations. The producers also didn't account for quirks of weather. A viewer told me, "I live just east of the High Park fire in Fort Collins. The rainfall map for the seven days before the fire shows most of the Front Range got inches of rain, but two places didn't -- the places where the fires occurred."
Of another scene, a viewer said, "We see what appear to be crops ruined by drought, yet fields of corn taller than a man are seen in the distance." Hmmm. Greenie lying bastards?
After that, the documentary sinks into an hour and 20 minutes of stale "ain't it awful" rants against fossil fuels. There's no need to pay to sit in a nearly empty theater to see "Greedy Lying Bastards." You only need to watch the three-minute online trailer to get the message. The rest is wretched excess.
Actor reveals he has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars investing in windmills
Kelsey Grammer has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars investing in windmills.
The former Frasier star expected his investment to be 'lucrative' but the venture flopped, leaving him worse off financially.
Asked by TMZ for his worst ever investment, he said: 'Investing in windmills.
'You'd think it would be lucrative, but it's not really a friendly environment for new technology, it really isn't. 'Big wind is doing OK but small wind isn't and it cost me a lot of money - it's got six figures.'
Though Kelsey insists his finances are still 'OK', he admits there is no chance of recouping his original investment. He added: 'I'm OK, but I didn't make up for it, it's one of those things that's just a straight loss.'
Religion: New versus old
Sometimes the best thing we can do is close our eyes, inhale the elevated CO2 levels in the air, and chill out. Although climate change alarmists want us to believe the contrary, fear will kill us before climate change will. Some things aren't worth the hassle, especially if you already know how the story ends. One day the earth will be renewed. Until then, we should enjoy life and do our best to maintain the planet.
The biblical truth "To everything there is a season" is valid and remains constant. Whether it is scorching summers or frigid winters, the earth continues to rotate while seasons change. From plant life forcing its way through volcanic ash to oceanic microbes swallowing up spilled oil, the earth has the Creator-granted ability to heal itself from wounds sustained by acts of man or God.
Of course, any mention of biblical principles in relation to scientific argument is consistently mocked by those who crow the sky is falling every time a cow passes gas or air temperatures fluctuate.
Indeed, carbon dioxide levels are on the rise, according to recent data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but there is no reason for panic. According to The Australian, the chief of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, recently confirmed despite elevated CO2 levels, there's actually been a "17-year pause in global temperature rises." On a lesser level, the University of Alabama's Earth System Science Center in Huntsville also confirmed what those weary from snow shoveling already knew: the planet experienced a rapid cool down in February from the month prior. Whew. Good news. It's okay to pull out your gas guzzling snow blowers.
Dr. Pachauri also said, "...science only thrives on the basis of questioning." If that is the case, then why do climate change alarmists not ask more questions? If they truly desire answers leading to solutions, why are they afraid to include the "God factor" in their line of questioning? Seems every time there's a drought, hurricane or snowstorm, alarmists suggest the planet is intentionally regurgitating on mankind for its ecological malfeasance. It seems laughable environmentalists and presumed scientific experts regularly talk about the planet having the ability to execute vengeance on global sinners, but scoff at the very mention of God playing a role in climate fluctuations.
Alarmists are quick to ridicule those embracing Biblical teaching suggesting an apocalyptic ending preceding a renewal of the planet, yet themselves promote a similar end, bereft the grace and hope for renewal. While they'd never admit it, they practice their own religion, coming across like Greek gods who can control the earth's climate and create weather.
Man can do neither, and the more we try, the more we hurt ourselves and the planet. A wind energy group, for example, is seeking permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to kill bald eagles and protected birds and bats through "Incidental Death." The USFWS claims a viable alternative to reducing those deaths is sporadic shut downs during certain migratory seasons, effectively reducing efficiency, and raising consumer energy costs. In a rare collision of liberal signature issues, fossil fuel wackos are willing to sacrifice bald eagles in the name of clean energy.
To understand the environmentalists' theology you must check common sense at the door. On the surface, wind turbines seem like a great alternative to fossil fuel. But the dirty little secret is fossil fuels are used to fill in during down times. And there are a lot of down times -- because the wind doesn't always blow...if only we could learn how to harness the hot air rising from the mouths of those who think they have the ability to change the climate.
Cars and conservatism
Why do the Green/Left hate them?
The first car I ever personally purchased, a tan-colored ‘73 Subaru, seemed so fresh and frisky and up-to-date when I originally took it home, but a mere eight years later it had become an aging, non-descript clunker. In recent years, I’ve been switching cars more frequently because it makes sense to lease them for business purposes, so the attachment never gets especially intense.
And for my children, those connections mean virtually nothing because cars hardly count as the potent symbols of power, maturity and self-reliance they represented forty and fifty years ago. Al Gore and his acolytes equate the internal combustion engine with climate change, over-consumption and environmental devastation, and the mayors of trendy towns like Seattle and Portland have declared war on the automobile as the enemy of civilized values. For enlightened souls in the upcoming generation cars have become surprisingly un-cool; riding light rail, bicycles or even buses represents a healthier, more responsible alternative.
With cars becoming politically incorrect, politically incorrect voices naturally flourish in the one medium—radio—that relies almost entirely on drivers riding alone in their vehicles. Perennial questions about the unshakeable conservative dominance of talk radio may well stem from the fact that most radio listening occurs during automotive commutes. Those who rely on mass transit or even carpools (where conversation among fellow-travelers trumps conversation on the air) are less likely to listen to talk shows about politics, regardless of ideological perspective. And no one can doubt that conscientious liberals are over-represented on bicycles, in environmentally responsible carpools, or especially in big cities with well-developed subway systems where radio-listening counts as notably more difficult.
Cars also appeal powerfully to one of the most important conservative values, so it’s not surprising that those who drive the most would find themselves tilting to the right. The big shift from trains to automobiles after the turn of the last century provided a powerful boost to individualism and the notion of American independence. Strap-hangers in public conveyances can only travel in groups, moving along with hordes of strangers according to schedules imposed by others. Once you get into a car, however, you go wherever you want whenever you want to leave, subject only to your ability to put gas in your tank. Those who relish that sense of control, and make the requisite sacrifices to enjoy it, will quite naturally ride to and from work in splendid isolation, kept company by simpatico conservative commentary by Limbaugh, Hannity… or Medved.
The emphasis on independence and self-empowerment in conservative thinking helps to explain the red state romance with automotive transportation… and with guns, for that matter, another favorite target of liberal critics. Sure, people on the right of a certain age may prove more likely to expend emotion in saying farewell to one specific car, but we will never go along with the idea of saying goodbye to cars.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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 5:32 PM