Monday, October 06, 2014

WHO should now declare a public health emergency (?)

The boilerplate article below by Fiona Godlee writing in the BMJ is no great surprise.  BMJ is only partly an academic medical journal and has long been Left-leaning.  And her "bold" call for a declaration by WHO won't frighten the horses either. The WHO is often wrong and often ignored.  Godly FiFi is basically a twit.  Her tame and ill-informed declaration is a quite strange foundation for the claim by Warmists that Climate Change is a Bigger Health Emergency Than Ebola

When The BMJ started publishing articles on climate change, some readers told us to stick to our knitting. “What did this have to do with medicine?” they asked. And wasn’t climate change a myth, a result of natural climatic variation, nothing to do with human activity? There were surely more immediate challenges that The BMJ and its readers should be focusing on.

We listened politely but carried on, convinced of the threat to human health and survival. With others we set up the Climate and Health Council ( We published editorials and articles (, co-hosted conferences and seminars, lobbied funders, talked to policy makers and politicians, and worked with the BMA, the royal colleges, and their equivalents in other countries, all the time worrying that this was not enough. Our hope was to encourage doctors and other health professionals to take a lead in tackling climate change.

Now we have gone a step further, with the publication of an article that contains no medicine or healthcare at all. “The science of anthropogenic climate change: what every doctor should know” is pure climate science.1 Why? Because if we doctors are to become effective advocates against climate change, a better understanding of the science will help us.

As most readers will know, the news is not good. With a high degree of certainty the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded in its fifth report that the world is getting hotter and that human activity is mainly to blame. Global average temperatures have risen by about 0.5°C in the past 50 years and by 0.8°C from pre-industrial times. The effect of these higher temperatures on weather systems is already being felt. The IPCC reports that it is highly likely that global warming is causing climate change, characterised by more frequent and intense temperature extremes, heavier rainfall events, and other extreme weather events. Sea levels are rising as a result of the thermal expansion of the oceans and the melting of polar icecaps and glaciers.

The headlines should come as no surprise, but the detail may prove instructive. Higher seas mean more frequent and extreme tidal surges, coastal flooding, and the salination of vital fresh water supplies. Warmer air carries more moisture, leading to more extreme rainfall events. But warmer air also reduces the amount of moisture in the soil, contributing to soil erosion and flash flooding.

As for the main underlying cause, the IPCC is clear: it is the accumulation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Other gases and aerosols are also to blame, especially methane and nitrous oxide, and particulate black carbon. But carbon dioxide is long lived. Once released into the atmosphere it stays around for centuries. Deforestation makes this worse....

WHO has shown important leadership on climate change but has stopped short of declaring a global public health emergency. This may be understandable with Ebola raging. But it is what WHO should now do. Deaths from Ebola infection, tragic and frightening though they are, will pale into insignificance when compared with the mayhem we can expect for our children and grandchildren if the world does nothing to check its carbon emissions. And action is needed now.

More of the usual Warmist blah HERE.  FiFi  wouldn't know how to be original to save her life.

Studies fault warming in much of 2013 wild weather

The article below is just an example of people living inside a little bubble of belief and operating only on its assumptions.  How COULD global warming be responsible for wild weather when there has been NO global warming for many years?  Something that doesn't exist can't be responsible for anything, can it?

And the report is based on very limited data anyway.  I was amused by this:  "The influence on Australia's hottest year in more than a century is glaring".  That may be true of the limited time-frame they used but what if we go back over 200 years?  How do they explain the huge heat-wave in Australia of 1790? (Yes. 1790. not 1970).  There was NO fossil fuel being used in Australia at that time and there weren't even any sheep farting.

And Steve Goddard draws our attention to the clipping below, with the question: "I wonder what caused the "wild weather" of 1927"?

Scientists looking at 16 cases of wild weather around the world last year see the fingerprints of man-made global warming on more than half of them.

Researchers found that climate change increased the odds of nine extremes: Heat waves in Australia, Europe, China, Japan and Korea, intense rain in parts of the United States and India, and severe droughts in California and New Zealand. The California drought, though, comes with an asterisk.

Scientists couldn't find a global warming link to an early South Dakota blizzard, freak storms in Germany and the Pyrenees, heavy rain in Colorado, southern and central Europe, and a cold British spring.

Organized by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, researchers on Monday published 22 studies on 2013 climate extremes in a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

"It's not ever a single factor that is responsible for the extremes that we see," said NOAA National Climatic Data Center director Tom Karl said. "Natural variability is always part of any extreme climate event."

For years, scientists said they could not attribute single weather events — like a drought, heat wave or storm — to man-made global warming. But with better computer models and new research, in some cases scientists can see how the odds of events increase — or not — because of climate change. Other researchers question the usefulness and accuracy of focusing on single extreme events.

The editors of the 108-page compilation of studies wrote that people and animals tend to be more affected by extreme weather than changes in averages, so they pay attention to it. The public often connects extreme events to climate change, sometimes wrongly, so scientific analysis like this "can help inform the public's understanding of our changing environment."

The report seeks to find how much and how man-made warming has influenced the weather, said NOAA research meteorologist Martin Hoerling, an editor of the report.

The influence on Australia's hottest year in more than a century is glaring, the report's editors said.

"It's almost impossible" to explain Australia's hot 2013 without climate change, said Peter Stott of the United Kingdom's meteorology office, another report editor.

The most complicated issue is the California drought, the only extreme that has continued into this year.

Three teams studied that state's record drought in different ways. Two teams couldn't find a link to global warming and water and air temperatures, but the third from Stanford University looked at high pressure patterns in the air and found a connection.

A high pressure system parks over the northern Pacific during California's winters, which is normally when it gets rain. Higher atmospheric pressure usually means less storms and rain. The pressure was so strong last year that study lead author Daniel Swain called it "a ridiculously resilient ridge."

The Stanford team ran computer models with and without man-made warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas. The warming from greenhouse gases showed that the rain-blocking ridge of high pressure was more than three times more likely with man-made factors than without, Swain said.

"There's definitely a climate change signal," Swain said.

Earlier peer-reviewed studies looking at atmospheric patterns have also connected California's drought to climate change. However, the editors of the journal's special edition said that with the studies in Monday's report that couldn't find a man-made signal in California and the indirect nature of the Swain report, it is unclear whether a global warming connection can be pinned on California's drought.

Hoerling said there were still questions about the Swain study. Other scientists said Swain's study was convincing.

"The report as a whole is a reflection that more and more future climate extremes around the globe will be attributed to human-caused climate change," said University of Arizona climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck, who wasn't part of the research.

In two extreme events — the British cold spring and the September northern Colorado rains — the report found global warming actually decreased their likelihoods and yet they happened.


Climate change could shrink chocolate production(?)

The article below is pure speculation and prophecy and it also omits something important.  Rising levels of CO2 are not affecting temperatures but they ARE affecting plant growth.  CO2 is plant food so higher levels of it  make all things green more vigorous, including the trees from which cocoa beans are obtained.  So it is no surprise that "Ivory Coast just posted a record harvest and the government increased its minimum price to farmers".  So rising CO2 is doing no harm but it is doing some good  -- probably including INCREASED availability of chocolate

Scientists say climate change will eventually claim many victims -– including, according to a new report, chocolate.

As temperatures increase and weather trends change, the main growing regions for cocoa could shrink drastically, according to new research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

Ghana and the Ivory Coast –- which produce more than half of the global cocoa supply –- could take a major hit by 2050.

Currently, the optimal locations to grow the crop are about 330 feet to 820 feet above sea level, with temperatures of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees. That range will soar to 1,500 feet to 1,640 feet in four decades to compensate for hotter weather.

Cocoa production, which reached about $9 billion from 2008 to 2009 and accounts for 7.5% of the Ivory Coast’s gross domestic product and 3.4% of Ghana’s, could be in for a heavy slide.

Peter Gleick, a MacArthur fellow and chief executive of the Pacific Institute, bemoaned the potential decline of the sweet treat last week in an open letter to climate change skeptics in Forbes.

Many farmers will need to find alternative crops such as cashews and cotton. But researchers pointed out that as temperatures phase out some fields, others could become prime growing spots.

“Climate change brings not only bad news but also a lot of potential opportunities,” according to the report. “The winners will be those who are prepared for change and know how to adapt.”


RFK Jr. as a Greenie priest driving out the Devil

I commented on the ludicrous Robert F. Kennedy Jr yesterday but statistician Briggs has some more good comments below on that unhappy man.  In case anybody is inclined to take seriously Kennedy's wild and unsubstantiated accusations of a vast oil-company-led conspiracy to shout down meek little Warmists, there is a comprehensive demolition of such claims here:

No, this isn’t a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel take-down of yet another bug-witted politician who has stayed long past his expiration date. We’re after something deeper today.

Here in a piece (“What States’ Attorneys General Can Do About Climate Deniers”) under his name at the ultra-left Huffington Post (running a curiously old picture of the man), is Kennedy’s opening:

"Hysterics at the right-wing think tanks and their acolytes at The Washington Times, talk radio and the blogosphere, are foaming in apoplexy because I supposedly suggested that “all climate deniers should be jailed.”…Of course, I never said that. I support the First Amendment which makes room for any citizen to, even knowingly, spew far more vile lies without legal consequence."

Well, technically he’s right. He never said “all”, but here is a link to a video which has him (at the People’s Climate March) calling for the invention of new laws, and prosecution under old ones, including “treason”, of so-called deniers. Depends on all the meanings of all, I suppose.  He continues:

"I do, however, believe that corporations which deliberately, purposefully, maliciously and systematically sponsor climate lies should be given the death penalty. This can be accomplished through an existing legal proceeding known as “charter revocation.” State Attorneys General can invoke this remedy whenever corporations put their profit-making before the “public welfare.”

He slips in “death penalty”, allowing his dimmer readers (this is the Huffington Post) to infer he means it in its literal, cut-their-throats sense. Only later does he reveal it’s a euphemism for some obscure law which has the power to unincorporate corporations. So not real death, but slow asphyxiation by the removal of the means of livelihood. After this legalese is forgotten, he slips in at the end with, “The notion that a State Attorney General might actually execute one of these villains is not a pipe dream.”

His charge:

"For over a decade, petroleum industry behemoths led by Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, have waged a successful multi-million dollar propaganda blitz to mislead the public about global warming using the same techniques honed by Big Tobacco in its campaign to hoodwink the public about smoking."

It never does any good to tell people that you get nothing or next to nothing for your work in skeptical climate science (my total, from all sources, is fast reaching double digits). They don’t believe it. No, it’s worse than that. It’s like telling a UFO hunter that the government isn’t engaged in a secret cover-up. Of course you would deny the cover-up! That means there’s a cover-up!

Next week, in a review of Alex Epstein’s forthcoming The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, we’ll learn the opposite of Kennedy’s charge is true: that oil companies have done everything except abandon oil in order to conform publicly to Kennedy’s religion.

And how much money does Big Green—Greenpeace, Sierra Club, the federal government through the EPA, USDA, etc.—pump into the system? I’ve seen many estimates, but by any count the amount dwarfs what skeptics receive.

Kennedy mentions some “culprits”, like Cato and Heartland, and says:

"Like the Tobacco Institute and CTR, these front groups are snake pits for sociopaths. Run by venomous carbon industry toadies, they stable a craven menagerie of propaganda wizards, slick biostitutes, tobacco scientists, snake oil hucksters, voodoo economists and other so-called “experts” employed to publish beguiling studies, appear on TV and radio, and write deceptive articles critiquing the “flawed science” predicting climate change."

I have to admit liking that last sentence, though I haven’t any idea what a “biostitutes” is. We have seen time and again that “believers” like Kennedy have almost no understanding of climatology. They couldn’t define, say, a sigma coordinate system to save their lunches, let alone their lives. There is complete mystification over what convective available potential energy could mean. To them, the satellite inverse problem sounds like a vague oxymoron.

But it doesn’t matter. Belief is all they are after, and belief is what they get. Their belief is raw, primal. We’ve seen enough to know that environmentalism is pure religion, based on the false and ridiculous idea that Nature somewhere exists in its pristine, non-human state.

This is why questions are heresy, why Kennedy can foolishly call for his enemies to be jailed or executed. This deluded man isn’t the only one. Here is an abbreviated list of enviro-worshippers full of bloodlust: here, here, here, here.

Nature—a living god—must be appeased.

So the real question for discussion is, not the state of Kennedy’s sanity, but how this religion will progress. Ideas?


Scientists to 'fast-track' evidence linking extreme weather to climate change in sign of panic that they're losing PR battle to the sceptics

Since there hasn't been any climate change for a long time, they're going to have a job linking it to ANYTHING.  How can you  link to something that doesn't exist?

Environmental scientists want to introduce a new system to prove that adverse weather events are directly linked to climate change to counter global warming sceptics.

Under the new plan, a heatwave or major storm will be linked scientifically to man made climate change immediately after the event to prevent critics from blaming it on natural variations in the weather.

Scientists want to be able to provide proof of whether an event was caused by climate change within three day rather than the current system which can take up to a year.

Experts claim that such a long wait for proof means that the general public have broadly forgotten the event and are no longer interested with it.

Dr Friederike Otto of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University said: 'We want to clear up the huge amounts of confusion around how climate change is influencing the weather, in both directions. For example the typhoon in the Philippines that dominated the UN climate change talks in Warsaw last November and that many people put down to climate change - it turned out it had no detectable evidence. And the same goes for Hurricane Sandy.'

Dr Otto told The Independent there were many cases where scientists have proved that events have either been triggered or exacerbated  by climate change.  She said last year's heatwave in Australia and record flooding in Britain earlier this year.

Dr Heidi Cullen, chief scientist with Climate Central at Princeton.

She said:'It's very much like the kinds of risks we see in the health sector, with different levels of confidence  in the role played by climate change depending on the situation.

'It's like a weather autopsy. We know from rigorous scientific testing that smoking increase the likelihood of cancer and work out the conditional probability accordingly.'

The group of scientists hope to have their new system operational within the next twelve months. [Should be fun]


Martini Meltdown

Leaky Jonathan is still at it

By Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

The Sunday Times has reached a new height of incoherence with its science editor’s, (Jonathan Leake) column on Arctic ice cap in ‘death spiral.’

Nothing could be further from the truth. The ice cover in the Antarctic has recently reached a new all-(recorded)-time extent and the ice cover in the Arctic appears to be on a similar path. No wonder as the frost-free days in the Arctic, above 80 N have been fewer in the last two summers and the last winter in North America was brutally cold and long.

Danish Records

The best records of temperature in the Arctic are those by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) in Copenhagen. That’s not surprising as Greenland belongs to Denmark and they have a vital interest in knowing the facts about temperature and ice there. You can find their daily records, open and free at

Of particular interest are their daily records of the temperature at the latitude above 80 N, from 1958 onwards and their sea ice extent with a 30% minimum coverage and excluding coastal zones. Especially the latter clearly shows that the Arctic sea ice extent is anything but dwindling.

See for yourself in the plot below (the thick black line refers to 2014): Arctic sea ice extent

Clearly, that graph shows rather an average to high ice extent, not a “polar ice meltdown.” Perhaps the Sunday Times’ science editor was reminiscing about the ice cubes in his martini when he penned that column rather than sea-ice in the Arctic. That ice ain’t melting and the polar bears are thriving.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


No comments: