Tuesday, February 14, 2017
What fun! John Cook rides again!
He is the author of the famous 97% claim and a most energetic defender of Warmism. And he certainly is a crook Cook. He makes a great pretence of science by reporting known facts but ignoring or leaving some things out. He then pretends that he has proven global warming.
But his latest is a superb example of psychological projection. He takes some well-known examples of psychological defence mechanisms and purports to find examples of them among climate skeptics. But exactly those same mechanisms are common among Warmists. An excerpt:
I’m a cognitive psychologist interested in better understanding and countering the techniques used to distort the science of climate change. I’ve found that understanding why some people reject climate science offers insight into how they deny science. By better understanding the techniques employed, you can counter misinformation more effectively.
Every movement that has rejected a scientific consensus, whether it be on evolution, climate change or the link between smoking and cancer, exhibits the same five characteristics of science denial (concisely summarized by the acronym FLICC). These are fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations, cherry picking and conspiracy theories. When someone wants to cast doubt on a scientific finding, FLICC is an integral part of the misinformation toolbox.
He points to no specific examples of each fallacy among skeptics so, very briefly, let me point out how those fallacies apply to Warmists:
* Fake experts: Al Gore
* Logical fallacies: Some extreme weather events imply a general increase in extreme weather events
* Impossible expectations: No change is too small to be worth noticing. Even temperature changes in the hundredths of one degree mean something. No change is small enough to prove temperature stasis
* Cherry picking: Looking at only a short run of temperature records. The Central England Temperature record goes back to 1659 and shows no trend
* Conspiracy theories: Big oil is behind climate skepticism
Perhaps most amazing in Cook's latest screed is the way he refers to his own 97% paper. He accurately describes it as showing that:
"Among the papers stating a position, 97 percent agreed that humans are causing global warming"
He completely skates over the fact that two thirds of the papers he examined took no position on global warming. So only ONE THIRD of all scientists, and not 97%, agreed with global warming. It's typical Cook. He quotes facts but ignores their full implications.
And, as far as I can see, that goes for all of the other claims in his paper. For instance: He wades in to the uproar generated by the David Rose article which questioned a paper by NOAA's Tom Karl. He implies that Rose is wrong and the Karl paper is right. So there has been no C21 temperature "pause". He "forgets" to mention that, in the Fyfe et al. paper, some prominient Warmist scientists also distanced themselves from the Karl paper. Cook is so unbalanced it is a wonder he doesn't fall over.
Cook really is a crook Cook. David Rose replies to his critics below.
How can we trust global warming scientists if they keep twisting the truth
They were duped – and so were we. That was the conclusion of last week’s damning revelation that world leaders signed the Paris Agreement on climate change under the sway of unverified and questionable data.
A landmark scientific paper –the one that caused a sensation by claiming there has been NO slowdown in global warming since 2000 – was critically flawed. And thanks to the bravery of a whistleblower, we now know that for a fact.
The response has been extraordinary, with The Mail on Sunday’s disclosures reverberating around the world. There have been nearly 150,000 Facebook ‘shares’ since last Sunday, an astonishing number for a technically detailed piece, and extensive coverage in media at home and abroad.
It has even triggered an inquiry by Congress. Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who chairs the House of Representatives’ science committee, is renewing demands for documents about the controversial paper, which was produced by America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the world’s leading source of climate data.
In his view, the whistleblower had shown that ‘NOAA cheated and got caught’. No wonder Smith and many others are concerned: the revelations go to the very heart of the climate change industry and the scientific claims we are told we can trust.
Remember, the 2015 Paris Agreement imposes gigantic burdens and its effects are felt on every household in the country. Emissions pledges made by David Cameron will cost British consumers a staggering £319 billion by 2030 – almost three times the annual budget for the NHS in England.
That is not the end of it. Taxpayers also face an additional hefty contribution to an annual £80 billion in ‘climate aid’ from advanced countries to the developing world. That is on top of our already gargantuan aid budget. Green levies and taxes already cost the average household more than £150 a year.
The contentious paper at the heart of this furore – with the less than accessible title of Possible Artifacts Of Data Biases In The Recent Global Surface Warming Hiatus – was published just six months before the Paris conference by the influential journal Science.
It made a sensational claim: that contrary to what scientists have been saying for years, there was no ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the early 21st Century.
Indeed, this ‘Pausebuster’ paper as it has become known, claimed the rate of warming was even higher than before, making ‘urgent action’ imperative.
There can be no doubting the impact of this document. It sat prominently in the scientific briefings handed out to international negotiators, including EU and UK diplomats.
An official report from the European Science Advisory Council stated that the paper had ‘refined the corrections in temperature records’ and shown the warming rate after 2000 was higher than for 1950-99.
So, flawed as it was, the Pausebuster paper unquestionably helped persuade world leaders to sign an agreement that imposes massive emissions cuts on developed countries.
No wonder, then, that our revelations were met with fury by green propagandists. Some claimed the MoS had published ‘fake news’. One scientist accused me of becoming the ‘David Irving of climate change denial’ – a reference to the infamous Holocaust denier.
Yet perhaps more damaging is the claim from some in the green lobby that our disclosures are small beer. In fact, their importance cannot be overstated. They strike at the heart of climate science because they question the integrity of the global climate datasets on which pretty much everything else depends.
The whistleblower is a man called Dr John Bates, who until last year was one of two NOAA ‘principal scientists’ working on climate issues. And as he explained to the MoS, one key concern is the reliability of new data on sea temperatures issued in 2015 at the same time as the Pausebuster paper.
It turns out that when NOAA compiled what is known as the ‘version 4’ dataset, it took reliable readings from buoys but then ‘adjusted’ them upwards – using readings from seawater intakes on ships that act as weather stations.
They did this even though readings from the ships have long been known to be too hot.
No one, to be clear, has ‘tampered’ with the figures. But according to Bates, the way those figures were chosen exaggerated global warming.
And without this new dataset there would have been no Pausebuster paper. If, as previous sea water evidence has shown, there really has been a pause in global warming, then it calls into question the received wisdom about its true scale.
Then there is the matter of timing. Documents obtained by this newspaper show that NOAA, ignoring protests by Dr Bates, held back publication of the version 4 sea dataset several months after it was ready – to intensify the impact of the Pausebuster paper. It also meant more sceptical voices had no chance to examine the figures.
Our revelations showed there was another problem with the Pausebuster paper – it used an untested experimental version of the dataset recording temperatures on land, which had not been properly archived and made accessible to other scientists.
This was a fundamental breach of mandatory rules under NOAA’s Climate Data Records programme, which Bates had devised. Is it sharp practice? Certainly it carries the stench of ‘Climategate’ in 2009, when leaked emails showed scientists colluding to hide data and weaknesses in their arguments.
It is important to acknowledge the MoS did make one error: the caption on a graph, showing the difference between NOAA’s sea data records and the UK Met Office’s, did not make clear that they used different baselines. We corrected this immediately on our website.
The only ‘fake news’ in our revelations is the claim that they don’t matter.
In truth, they are hugely damaging, for they suggest an agreement made by figures such as Barack Obama and David Cameron rested in part on research that had not been published with integrity.
This is an age where many have come to question the role of experts. Restoring trust demands transparency.
In climate science, this means being open about the fact there are still critical uncertainties: not about the basic proposition that the world is warming, thanks in part to humans, but about the speed at which this is happening; and when it is likely, left unchecked, to become truly dangerous.
Al Gore famously said: ‘The science is settled.’ It is not.
We cannot allow such a vital issue for our future to be mired in half truths and deceptions.
Greenland has gained nearly 500 billion tons of ice this winter, blowing away all prior records and many @NASA lies
Can a children's lawsuit force action on climate change?
On Friday, President Trump was named the lead defendant in a lawsuit brought by 21 US students – one as young as nine – against the US government.
The case, Juliana v. United States, was first filed in 2015 with President Barack Obama listed as lead defendant, so the switch to Mr. Trump is largely procedural.
But the plaintiffs are seeking a court order that will compel the US government to drastically curb carbon emissions. With the change from Mr. Obama to Trump, they’re now taking on an administration that looks askance at climate science.
This marks the latest shift in a years-long legal campaign that aims to move beyond political inaction on climate change by establishing a Constitutional right to a stable climate.
"The US is most responsible for climate change, so it's really the most important case in the world right now on the issue," said Julia Olson, lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
The group sponsoring this lawsuit, Our Children’s Trust, has been attempting to litigate climate-change action since 2011, when young plaintiffs affiliated with the group filed lawsuits or regulatory petitions in all 50 states.
While these cases differed in their specifics, they all sought to apply the public trust doctrine – the concept that the government owns and must maintain natural resources for the public’s use – to the atmosphere, and, by extension, compel state governments to implement policies that would drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The group has had some success. In September 2016, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court sided with the group, Gov. Charles Baker issued an executive order directing the state government to establish emissions-reductions regulations by August 2017, and prepare a "comprehensive energy plan" within two years.
But elsewhere, judges saw greenhouse-gas reductions as a matter for the legislatures, not the courts.
In New Mexico, for instance, the state appeals court ruled that, "where the State has a duty to protect the atmosphere under ... the New Mexico Constitution, the courts cannot independently regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere as Plaintiffs have proposed.”
Robert L. Wilkins, judge for the US District Court in the District of Columbia, echoed these thoughts on the federal level, ruling that "federal courts have occasionally been called upon to craft remedies that were seen by some as drastic.... But that reality does not mean that every dispute is one for the federal courts to resolve, nor does it mean that a sweeping court-imposed remedy is the appropriate medicine for every intractable problem.”
But last November, a federal judge in Oregon ruled that a case brought by Kelsey Juliana and 20 other young plaintiffs could proceed to trial. Judge Ann Aiken grounded her ruling in the Fifth Amendment's promise that "no person ... shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
She wrote, "Where a complaint alleges governmental action is affirmatively and substantially damaging the climate system in a way that will cause human deaths, shorten human lifespans, result in widespread damage to property, threaten human food sources, and dramatically alter the planet's ecosystem, it states a claim for a due process violation."
The trial will begin in Judge Aiken’s courtroom later this year. The plaintiffs' attorney, Ms. Olson, is confident that the case will proceed to – and win in – the Supreme Court, as reported by Slate’s Eric Holthaus.
But legal experts caution that the trial and appeals process could take years, and that the Trump administration will likely want to drag it out for as long as possible.
And even the landmark legal victory sought by Our Children’s Trust might not mean the end of the story. The decades-long struggle to desegregate cities through busing and other programs revealed the difficulties of translating court orders into workable public policy – especially when doing so impacts citizens' day-to-day lives.
Even so, after years of legislative inaction on the issue, environmental activists are looking for outside-the-box solutions, and many see new hope in Our Children’s Trust.
As Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, told Slate, "There is no question that [Judge Aiken’s] decision, in both its eloquence and its bold declaration of a new constitutional right, breaks new ground."
Deep green climate evangelist resigns from Australia's Climate Change Authority over coal power
Should we be concerned? Hardly. He's about as dedicated a Greenie as they come. And, as such, he is a great prophet of doom. So much so that he shoots himself in the foot at times. He says, for instance, that "the world is on a path to a very unpleasant future and it is too late to stop it". If it is too late why bother? Why not just give up his Greenie warbling and kick the cat?
The Turnbull government's recent embrace of coal-fired power shows it has "abandoned all pretense of taking global warming seriously", Climate Change Authority member Clive Hamilton said, explaining why he resigned from the agency.
Professor Hamilton, who teaches public ethics at Charles Sturt University, sent his resignation letter to Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Friday, saying it was "perverse" that the government would be boosting coal when 2016 marked the hottest year on record.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull used his National Press Club speech last week to call for support for so-called "clean coal-fired power plants" to provide "reliable baseload power" while meeting Australia's carbon emissions goals.
Professor Hamilton said the comments were "completely irresponsible and perhaps the sharpest indicator yet just how completely Malcolm Turnbull has capitulated to the hard right of the Liberal Party".
"If the new coal-fired power plants were built, it would make the government's already weak 2030 [carbon] reduction target unattainable," he said in his letter.
"Deeper cuts in the subsequent decades, essential to limit the worst impacts of warming, would be off the table.
"Professor Hamilton told Fairfax Media the authority "no longer has any role in the development of climate change policy in Australia".
Mr Frydenberg said the government was "unapologetic that our priority as we transition to a lower emissions future is energy security and affordability".
"We are smashing our 2020 target by 224 million tonnes and we have an ambitious 26 to 28 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 on 2005, which on a per capita basis is one of the highest in the G20," he said.
The Senate blocked repeated efforts by Abbott government to scrap the authority. In October 2015, then environment minister Greg Hunt appointed five new members including Wendy Craik as chairwoman in a move the Greens said amounted to a stacking of Coalition-leaning appointees.
"In its first years, the authority did great work," Professor Hamilton said, including recommending Australia should aim to cut 2000-level emissions by 40-60 per cent by 2030.
The current government target is for a cut of as much as 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, which amounts to about 20 per cent below 2000 levels.
The authority, though, "has become a shadow of its former self", particularly since the departure of former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser as its chairman, Professor Hamilton said.
Last September, Professor Hamilton and fellow authority member David Karoly, issued a dissenting report, accusing the authority of failing to give the government independent advice.
The two claimed its Special Review of Australia's climate goals and policies was based on "reading from a political crystal ball" rather than meeting its own terms of reference.
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Posted by JR at 1:27 AM