Sunday, October 21, 2007


Excerpts from a recent academic paper by Theodore Modis below: A new visit to an old topic. That more benign (warmer) weather might spur economic activity seems reasonable so some relationship between solar activity and economic activity also seems reasonable. So the warmer weather of recent years may have been a factor in economic growth over those years. So we see once again evidence that global warming is GOOD for us. No other explanation for the findings is apparent:


A correlation has been observed between the US GDP and the number of sunspots as well as between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the number of sunspots. The data cover 80 years of history. The observed correlations permit forecasts for the GDP and for the stock market in America with a future horizon of 10 years. Both being above their long-term trend they are forecasted to go over a peak around Jun-2008.

1. Introduction

There have been many claims and counterclaims for the existence of a correlation between sunspot activity (as measured by the number of sunspots) and the economy or stock-market movements. Interestingly, opponents of this notion, like astronomers J. V. Wall and C. R. Jenkins, claim that this correlation is well-known but mainly as folklore because trying to substantiate it is very difficult - and trying to find an underlying physical cause even more so. But they admit that this correlation may after all exist because global temperature is now known to correlate with sunspot number and long-term weather trends may have physical, social and economic effects [1].

At the same time, proponents of this notion, like "guru" Michael Wells Mandeville, claim, "it is easy to see that both political and economic affairs are profoundly caught up and influenced by the 'waves' of sunspot energy." But he also admits that there is zero correlation between daily price movements and average daily sunspot numbers and there is only a weak connection between long-term historical trends in the prices and average monthly or annual trends in the numbers of the sunspots [2].

The work reported here presents hard-to-dispute evidence for the existence of a correlation between stock-market movements as measured by the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) and sunspot activity, as well as between GDP growth and sunspot activity. No causality arguments are made and there is no attempt to understand the mechanisms behind the observed correlation. The author would be satisfied with as little explanation as the possibility that sunspot activity may influence the climate on earth, which in turn may influence the economy.

Still, given the correlation and the rather reliable forecasts for sunspot activity provided by NASA, the author ventures long-range forecasts for GDP growth and the stock market in the United States. [...]

5. Forecasts

The correlations observed can be combined with the trends to produce long-range forecasts for the DJIA and the GDP. The present upward excursions of the DJIA and GDP should continue until Jun-2008. Considering the regularity of past upward excursions we can assume that the recent upward slopes will persist until the time of the climactic point indicated by the right-most arrow on Fig. 2 and Fig. 4. At that time - around Jun-2008 - the excursions will have reached 12.6% and 1.1% with respect to present levels for the DJIA and GDP respectively. But these excursions take place on top of the trends, established as 1.2% and 2.6% respectively. Therefore, the level forecasted for the DJIA in Jun-2008 is 13908, and that for the GDP is 11976.5 billion dollars of 2000.

From mid-2008 onward both the stock market and the GDP should move downward toward their long-range trends. Invoking again the regularity of past fluctuations it is assumed that the downward movements will follow slopes equal to the negative of the upward ones and for the same duration. The calculations yield a rock-bottom level of 7919 for the DJIA in early 2014, and 12900 billion 2000$ for the GDP in late 2012.

6. Conclusions

Science-based decision-making tools enjoy objectivity and are particularly useful in situations where human bias can play an important role. But defending the idea that stock-market growth correlates to GDP growth does not need scientific support; after all, they both reflect fundamental aspects of the same economy. On the contrary, one is surprised that the correlation between DJIA and GDP turns out to be scientifically insignificant. Are our scientific criteria too stringent in this case?

If one accepts that there must be some correlation between GDP growth and stock-market growth as displayed in Fig. 5, then one cannot use the lack of scientific proof as an argument against the existence of correlation between the stock market and sunspots (Fig. 2), or between GDP and sunspots (Fig. 4). On the other hand, if these correlations are real, then we can venture long-range forecasts for the DJIA and the GDP.

The forecasts thus obtained carry a considerable uncertainty stemming not only from the limited correlation with the sunspots. The NASA-issued forecast for the future cycle of sunspots also carries uncertainty, and more importantly, there is a significant uncertainty due to the assumption that the present upward excursions of the DJIA and the GDP will turn out to be symmetric.

But long-range stock-market forecasts, as much as they are sought after, remain scarce and speculative. The levels forecasted here for the DJIA of 13908 in mid 2008 and 7919 in early 2014, may be daring but they have been obtained with minimal speculation. As for the GDP forecasts, obtained in exactly the same manner, it is unlikely that they will provoke any vehement objections from economists.

Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Volume 74, Issue 8, October 2007, Pages 1508-1514


In Correspondence in this week's Nature, John Shepherd from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and colleagues challenge the scheme proposed by James Lovelock and Chris Rapley to help the planet cure itself from the disease of global warming.

For those of you who missed it, a couple of weeks ago, Lovelock and Rapley put forward a geo-engineering solution to climate change in Nature, which involves the installation of large vertical pipes in the ocean that would pump nutrient-rich water from depth to the surface. This, they said, would enhance the growth of algae in the upper ocean, which in turn would transport more carbon to the deep sea.

Now, Shepherd and colleagues claim that the proposed scheme is based on false assumptions. They say the scheme would not lead to enhanced storage of carbon in the deep ocean below 1,000m and in deep ocean sediments, which is necessary for effective long term removal of carbon from the atmosphere. Instead, they maintain the scheme could actually worsen global warming by bringing high levels of particulate carbon back to the surface, where it could be released to the atmosphere. The authors also argue that such large scale engineering solutions could harm fragile ecosystems.

Peter Williams from the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University raised some of these same issues on the blog here last week, and also challenged the feasibility of the scheme from an engineering perspective.



With large frauds found in global warming claims

Douglas Keenan, a London-based Canadian mathematician, has made it his mission to lead the battle against the sloppy or malicious use of mathematics. You might think there isn't much scope for different opinions in mathematics, but when you're dealing with the interpretation of data, it's entirely possible for divergences of views to arise. The wrong interpretation can be made at times, and even consciously made. In particular, in the field of climate studies, opposing points of view are often backed up by scientific research that is based on the mathematical analysis of data. Because mathematics gives such pieces of work a stamp of credibility, politicians often rely on them. It is therefore all the more important for them to be carried out with care.

After studying mathematics at the University of Waterloo, Keenan worked on Wall Street for a few years, but in 1995 devoted himself completely to the forensic study of mathematics. Since then he has been leading -completely independently- a real crusade against shady mathematical machinations. The targets for his often vigorously worded attacks are numerous, and range from the misuse of statistical methods in determining the origin of volcanic ashes to the questionable use of tree-rings in evaluating the date of a shipwreck.

Three years ago, the scientific journal Nature published a study that used the ripening process of Pinot Noir grapes as an indicator for the warmth of the climate. The official start of the harvest in August is determined by the ripeness of the grapes, which in turn is determined by the temperature of the summer that has just ended. Since the dates for the beginning of the harvest in Burgundy have been recorded in city archives since 1370, they could conceivably be used as indicators for the way temperatures have developed over the past six centuries. A French research team came up with a model based on this data. It showed that the summer of 2003 was the hottest in 600 years. The conclusion was clear: Burgundy is warming up.

The work aroused Keenan's suspicion, and he wanted to test its mathematical foundations. In order to do this however, he needed the raw data-but the authors were not prepared to hand it out. It was only after two requests to Nature that they finally handed their documents over. Keenan immediately made a find.

The authors had smoothed the data for their study, confused standard errors with standard deviations, used incorrect parameters, and confused daily temperatures with average temperatures. Once all these sources of error are taken into account, the year 2003 does indeed display high temperatures, but not unexpectedly high ones. It's no surprise that the Nature editors hadn't noticed anything, since the data was never put at their disposal, and they never asked for it either. Had they done so, they would easily have seen through the authors' game. The mere fact that the grape harvest model gave a temperature for 2003 that was 2.4 degrees Celsius above the temperature actually measured by Meteo France should have made the editors suspicious.

Keenan's most recent targets are two pieces of work that examine the influence of urbanization on climate change between 1954 and 1983. In order to be able to compare measurements made over different periods, it is absolutely crucial that the location of the station where the measurements are carried out not change throughout the observation period. For example, because a city generates warmth, a measuring station that is moved from the center of the city to its periphery would record lower measurements. On the other hand, the measurements would be more likely to rise if a measuring station was moved from a position upwind from the city to a position downwind. Even small changes of location, like for example from a field to the asphalt road next to it, lead to deviations. Keenan was above all doubtful about the measurements made in China. He didn't believe that during Mao's Cultural Revolution, when scientists were thought very little of, a scientific study would have been carried out with much care.

When he asked which stations had been used to make the measurements, Keenan once again found himself running into a brick wall. "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" asked one of the authors. But the professor had not reckoned with Keenan's obstinacy. Since the professor was working at a university in England, he was subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which obliges employees of public institutions to release data. He was thus forced to hand over the list of the Chinese measuring stations to Keenan. And lo and behold: out of 35 measuring stations, 25 had been subjected to a change of location, sometimes even several changes, which often covered dozens of kilometers. For a further 49 measuring stations, documentation did not even exist.....

Article above by George Szpiro from Neue Zuercher Zeitung of 14 October 2007. Not apparently online until now. Translation provided by Benny Peiser. More on Doug Keenan's research can be found on his web site here

Mad ideas crack me up

Andrew Bolt comments from Australia on the latest Greenie commandments

NOT a month goes by without even more crackpot schemes to save a planet that shows no sign of sickness - and we are the ones to suffer. It's official: global warming zealots really do want humans to go rot to "save" the planet. Barrister Robert Larkins, founder of the Victorian Environment Defenders' Office, this week confirmed what I always suspected. No more cremations, he demanded. Hell is hot enough without us cremating our globe as well. As he puts it: "Cremation produces carbon dioxide and pollutants that go directly into the atmosphere."

And what does all our wicked carbon dioxide do, children? Repeat what you've been taught, please: That's right: it is killing your world. It is causing blistering heat. It is causing seas to drown whole islands. So, plop the dear departed in a cardboard box and offer his body to the species of life that best symbolises sacred Gaia: feed him to . . . a tree.

Oh, yes. Heed the sermon of "natural burial advocate" Roger Short, a Melbourne University professor: "Being buried at the base of a tree is such a simple way to go . . . it's the best sequester of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that's ever been invented, powered by sunlight and giving off oxygen as a waste product."

Such a comfort to the grieving. Feed humans to the trees to save the world. Says it all. After all, what is there left that we must not give up to "save the planet"? We're told by the Greens to "use alternatives to air conditioner", by Greenpeace co-founder Paul Watson to fly not in jets but "solar power blimps", by Greens leader Bob Brown to scrap coal-fired power, by Rough Guides founder Mark Ellingham to "travel less", by the Brumby Government to shower shorter, and by the Howard Government to use only stark-light low-energy globes.

You'll be sweaty, smelly and stuck at home lit like a toilet block with only a dole cheque to cover your soaring power bills. But that's OK -- it's to save the world, a cause so great that we must even sacrifice our children.

Absolutely true. Britain's Optimum Population Trust this year said having a large family should be regarded as an "environmental misdemeanor". Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery has called for our population to be cut by up to a third, and ABC radio even ran a lecture by a green zealot suggesting we "put something in the water, a virus that would be specific to the human reproductive system and would make a substantial proportion of the population infertile."

Not a month goes by without even more crackpot schemes to make us suffer to save a planet that shows no sign of sickness, or gratitude. Here's some newspaper reports from the last two weeks alone.

Item: More kangaroos should be slaughtered and eaten to help save the world from global warming . . . Greenpeace . . . urged Aussies to substitute some red meat for roo (or vice versa, actually) to help reduce land clearing and the release of methane gas. Now, even Skippy must die to save the planet from gassy cows?

Item: Plans to switch 90 per cent of milk supplies to long-life UHT have been put forward by (British) Government officials. They claim the move would help curb carbon emissions. Drink foul coffee after eating your roo -- for the planet's sake!

Item: Flat screen television manufacturers will have to become greener after the release of a (Howard Government) discussion paper suggested many plasma and some LCD TVs could be banned for being energy hungry.

Remember how Mao Zedong once demanded the Chinese peasants melt their cooking woks for scrap iron to feed the revolution? How we laughed at such a brainless gesture, which just left people even worse off. Now, the laugh is on us. And, again like Mao, we force even children to do useless work to show their faithful hearts. Here's a news report on an Adelaide child care centre which has just been given an certificate for forcing children to work for the planet:

"They help their carers by planting seedlings in the yard, recycling plastic containers and hanging out the washing on the line, rather than using the power-hungry clothes dryer." Work, children, work! It won't alter Adelaide's weather by a zephyr, but the planet demands your sacrifice, even though it hasn't actually heated since 1998 and may soon cool.

Of course, you'll console yourself with the thought that nobody could ever force such schemes on you. Not in a democracy. But the faithful have thought of that problem, as Professor David Shearman, an assessor with the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, explained this week on ABC radio.

"Do you believe that climate change can be arrested under our own sacrosanct system of liberal democracy?", he sneered. We voters would never agree to the "solution" to global warming, and "this condemns democracy".

Shearman, a medico, had a better idea: "If you were a patient in the intensive care unit, would you wish each decision made authoritatively by a medical expert or by a democratic committee?" So, feed democracy to the trees, too! To save the planet! And I can only ask: save the planet for what? It sure isn't being saved for humans, or even Skippy. So for whom?



An email from S. Fred Singer [] -- one of the 2007 joint winners -- as an IPCC reviewer

"The Nobel Peace Prize is worse than a joke. It's a fraud." [Manchester (NH) Union-Leader]. Unlike the Nobel science prizes, which are awarded by the competent Swedish academies, the Peace award is a purely political process determined by the composition of the Norwegian Parliament. In 1994 the five Norwegian politicians who award the prize gave it to "peace-loving" Yasser Arafat. Two years before that they gave it to literary fraud Rigoberta Menchu, whose autobiography was largely fabricated. Were Norway's anti-immigrant Progress Party to gain a majority, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize might well be Pat Buchanan.


For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


No comments: