Saturday, May 21, 2005


They once rallied around appeasement of Hitler too

"I've had a letter from Sir David Wallace, CBE, FRS. In his capacity as treasurer and vice-president of the Royal Society, he writes: "We are appealing to all parts of the UK media to be vigilant against attempts to present a distorted view of the scientific evidence about climate change and its potential effects on people and their environments around the world. I hope that we can count on your support."

Gosh! The V-P of the Royal Society! How could anyone not support such an eminent body, especially as Sir David warns: "There are some individuals on the fringes, sometimes with financial support from the oil industry, who have been attempting to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change." I say! A conspiracy as well. Definitely time to rally round, chaps, and repel fringe individuals. To help us do so, there's a "guide to facts and fictions about climate change written in a non-technical style" that even non-members of the Royal Society can grasp.

There's no doubt that this is a difficult subject that arouses strong emotions and which, if the more pessimistic projections turn out to be anywhere near the truth, will cause mankind some serious problems in the coming decades. Yet I fear I am going to be a great disappointment to Sir David. However vigilant we may be against attempts to present a distorted view of the scientific evidence, he cannot count on my support, and it's not merely because of my instinctive leaning towards individuals on the fringe. In his helpful, non-technical guide, he refers to a survey of 928 papers (count 'em) on climate change published between 1993 and 2003, which found that three quarters of them accepted the view that man's activities (anthropogenic, in the jargon) have had a major impact on the climate.

Amazingly, not a single one rejected it. Never mind that this is probably a greater consensus than can be found for the theory of evolution, the lack of a single dissenting voice smacks of the sort of result Nicolae Ceausescu used to get in his Romanian elections. So just what was this survey? It is by one Naomi Oreskes, and was published in Nature last December, and it has surprised those whom Sir David might describe as fringe individuals. Among them are eminent researchers who have discovered periods in history when the Earth was hotter, even with lower levels of carbon dioxide than in today's atmosphere, and other scientists who believe that solar activity is the biggest cause of recent climate change.

These people are not nutcases, nor are they in thrall to the oil companies (even if they were, does anyone seriously believe that Big Oil wants to destroy the planet?). They are just as capable of doing serious science as those who take it as an article of faith that global warming is all our fault. Six such individuals have just published a paper arguing that cosmic ray intensity and variations in solar activity have been driving recent climate change. They even provide a testable hypothesis, predicting some modest cooling over the next couple of years, as cosmic ray activity increases cloud cover. Since the conventional - sorry, consensus - wisdom says we are on a rising temperature curve to disaster, a couple of cool years would deal a serious blow to the anthropogenists.

There is much more in Sir David's briefing paper that other experts could challenge. One of the more terrifying aspects of global warming is the threat of rising sea levels as the polar ice melts, and the oceans expand through rising temperatures, threatening the millions of people who live in places only a few feet above sea level. Dramatic pictures of receding ice shelves in Antarctica seem to back this up, but a report in February to the Earth Observation summit in Brussels found that the ice masses there seem to be growing. Sea level does not appear to be rising; satellites can't detect any change, and low-lying islands such as Tuvalu are refusing to disappear beneath the waves.

As I said, this is a difficult subject, and it would be foolish to assume that everything will turn out fine, whatever we do. But that hardly justifies Draconian measures that will make us poorer, unless the scientific evidence is overwhelming. This was what the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change was set up to do, and its findings form the basis for the Kyoto treaty. Yet a closer examination of the scientific case shows that what are now considered by the doomsayers to be firm forecasts of temperature rises are actually "scenarios" of what might happen on different assumptions. There is a huge margin for error here, certainly enough to justify America's refusal to sign up to the treaty. It's fashionable to claim that George W. Bush has rejected Kyoto because he's too stupid to see the problem (and, of course, he's in thrall to Big Oil), but he can just as plausibly argue that the treaty is based on bad science.

Climate change is an important, perhaps vital, debate, but it remains just that. Warning of disaster has become a global industry, and the livelihoods of thousands of scientists depend on our being sufficiently spooked to keep funding the research. The worry is that many of these researchers have stopped being scientists and become campaigners instead. I do hope that the vice-president of the Royal Society is not one of them."

From The Telegraph


(Prof. Philip Stott's comment:)

And, thank goodness, the media has reacted quite correctly as the true guardians of free and open debate: 'Global warming generates hot air' (The Daily Telegraph, May 16):

"There's no doubt that this is a difficult subject that arouses strong emotions and which, if the more pessimistic projections turn out to be anywhere near the truth, will cause mankind some serious problems in the coming decades. Yet I fear I am going to be a great disappointment to Sir David.

However vigilant we may be against attempts to present a distorted view of the scientific evidence, he cannot count on my support, and it's not merely because of my instinctive leaning towards individuals on the fringe."

One up to the media there; yet, a lamentable day for science. I, for my part, shall continue to smuggle out corrective comment on a daily basis from the Arcetri of my PC.

And, by the way, can I stress, yet once more, that yours truly has no links at all with the oil industry and that I am a totally independent academic who is simply interested in seeking the 'truth', however darkly we may perceive it. This snide 'smeering' (nice neologism, Philip) has to stop - (The Smeerings of Snide Corner - a truly Dickensian construct!)

Galloping Galileos. Papal bulls are the enemies of 'truth' in science. Steady state or big bang? Time recedes.

Philip, needing a solid lunch. We live in a dangerous age. The Inquisition is round the corner..... Reminds me all too vividly of Schiller's Don Carlos, which I have just seen at 'The Gielgud' in London. Splendid. A warning from history.


This will not come as news to seasoned number watchers, but it is still a shock to see it revealed in a national newspaper. Leading scientific journals 'are censoring debate on global warming' is the headline in the Sunday Telegraph of May 1st. The decline of that once great scientific journal Nature has been one of the recurring themes of Number Watch since its inception, a decline that is paralleled by that of another once great journal, Science.

The reason for the decline is that they have both been taken over by editors who are members of the eco-theocracy. Nothing illustrates the nature of the beast better than this quote:

"The idea that we would conspire to suppress science that undermines the idea of anthropogenic climate change is both false and utterly naive about what makes journals thrive"

Contrast this statement with the reality, which gave rise to the opening diatribe of this year. This habit of saying one thing and doing another is reminiscent of your bending author's experience as an apprentice working in a shop controlled by a communist shop-steward. The similarity to communism does not end there, for one of its most powerful techniques was "entryism". Eco-theologians have penetrated the most powerful and influential bodies in science at the highest level, even the Royal Society. Needless to say, the ranks of environmental correspondents in the media are filled by the exclusive brethren who ensure that alternative ideas are suppressed by ruthless censorship. The behaviour of Jonathan Leake towards the Apocalypse No conference is an egregious example.



They KNEW the Oreskes paper was wrong when they published it

Six eminent researchers from the Russian Academy of Science and the Israel Space Agency have just published a startling paper in one of the world's leading space science journals. The team of solar physicists claims to have come up with compelling evidence that changes in cosmic ray intensity and variations in solar activity have been driving much of the Earth's climate. They even provide a testable hypothesis, predicting that amplified cosmic ray intensity will lead to an increase of the global cloud cover which, according to their calculations, will result in "some small global cooling over the next couple of years.".....

What the Russian, Israeli and Canadian researchers have in common is that they allocate much of the climate change to solar variability rather than human causes. They also publish their papers in some of the world's leading scientific journals. So why is it that a recent study published in the leading U.S. journal Science categorically claims that skeptical papers don't exist in the peer-reviewed literature?

According to an essay by Naomi Oreskes, published by Science in December, 2004, there is unanimous "scientific consensus" on the anthropogenic causes of recent global warming. Oreskes, a professor of history, claims to have analyzed 928 abstracts on global climate change, of which 75% either explicitly or implicitly accept the view that most of the recent warming trend is man-made. When I checked the same set of abstracts, I discovered that just over a dozen explicitly endorse the "consensus," while the vast majority of abstracts does not mention anthropogenic global warming. Oreskes even claims that this universal agreement had not been questioned once in any of the papers since 1993 and concludes: "This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences and the public statements of their professional societies. Politicians, economists, journalists and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect."

What happened to the countless research papers that show global temperatures were similar or even higher during the Holocene Climate Optimum and the Medieval Warm Period, when atmospheric CO2 levels were much lower than today; that solar variability is a key driver of recent climate change, and that climate modeling is highly uncertain? An unbiased analysis of the peer-reviewed literature on global warming will find hundreds of papers (many of them written by the world's leading experts in the field) that have raised serious reservations and outright rejection of the concept of a "scientific consensus on climate change." The truth is, there is no such thing.

In fact, the explicit and implicit rejection of the "consensus" is not restricted to individual scientists. It also includes distinguished scientific organizations such as the Russian Academy of Science and the U.S. Association of State Climatologists, both of which are highly skeptical of the whole idea....

In the meantime, activists, campaigners and a number of scientific organizations routinely cited Oreskes' essay as final confirmation that the science of climate change is settled once and for all. In a worrying sign of attempted press containment, Britain's Royal Society has even employed her study to call upon the British media to curtail reporting about the scientific controversy altogether.

Yet the scientific community is far from any global warming consensus, as was revealed by a recent survey among some 500 international climate researchers. The survey, conducted by Professors Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch of the German Institute for Coastal Research, found that "a quarter of respondents still question whether human activity is responsible for the most recent climatic changes." Remarkably, a research paper about their survey and some of its key results were submitted to Science in August, 2004. Yet shortly after the paper was rejected, the journal published Oreskes' study, which claimed a universal consensus among climate researchers.

The decision to publish Oreskes' claim of general agreement (just days before an important UN conference on global warming, COP-10) was apparently made while the editors of Science were sitting on a paper that showed quite clearly the opposite. It would appear that the editors of Science knowingly misled the public and the world's media. In my view, such unethical behaviour constitutes a grave contravention, if not a corruption of scientific procedure. This form of unacceptable misconduct is much worse than the editors' refusal to publish the numerous letters and rebuttals regarding Oreskes' flawed study....

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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