A brick through Australia’s AGW window

This article from the Sydney Morning herald came with the message from Bruce saying:  “a brick through the AGW window in Australia”. After reading it, and seeing that it is based on a book Heaven and Earth soon to be released by prominent Australian geologist Dr. Ian Plimer, I’ll have to agree. But as usually happens, he’ll probably be labeled a “denier” or an “advocate” as Gavin calls them, and ignored. Still, it is worth reading, since the journalist that has written it seems to question his own past writings. – Anthony

Beware the climate of conformity

Paul Sheehan Sydney Morning Herald
April 13, 2009

What I am about to write questions much of what I have written in this space, in numerous columns, over the past five years. Perhaps what I have written can withstand this questioning. Perhaps not. The greater question is, am I – and you – capable of questioning our own orthodoxies and intellectual habits? Let’s see.

The subject of this column is not small. It is a book entitled Heaven And Earth, which will be published tomorrow. It has been written by one of Australia’s foremost Earth scientists, Professor Ian Plimer. He is a confronting sort of individual, polite but gruff, courteous but combative. He can write extremely well, and Heaven And Earth is a brilliantly argued book by someone not intimidated by hostile majorities or intellectual fashions.

The book’s 500 pages and 230,000 words and 2311 footnotes are the product of 40 years’ research and a depth and breadth of scholarship. As Plimer writes: “An understanding of climate requires an amalgamation of astronomy, solar physics, geology, geochronology, geochemistry, sedimentology, tectonics, palaeontology, palaeoecology, glaciology, climatology, meteorology, oceanography, ecology, archaeology and history.”

The most important point to remember about Plimer is that he is Australia’s most eminent geologist. As such, he thinks about time very differently from most of us. He takes the long, long view. He looks at climate over geological, archaeological, historical and modern time. He writes: “Past climate changes, sea-level changes and catastrophes are written in stone.”

Much of what we have read about climate change, he argues, is rubbish, especially the computer modelling on which much current scientific opinion is based, which he describes as “primitive”. Errors and distortions in computer modelling will be exposed in time. (As if on cue, the United Nations’ peak scientific body on climate change was obliged to make an embarrassing admission last week that some of its computers models were wrong.)

Plimer does not dispute the dramatic flux of climate change – and this column is not about Australia’s water debate – but he fundamentally disputes most of the assumptions and projections being made about the current causes, mostly led by atmospheric scientists, who have a different perspective on time. “It is little wonder that catastrophist views of the future of the planet fall on fertile pastures. The history of time shows us that depopulation, social disruption, extinctions, disease and catastrophic droughts take place in cold times … and life blossoms and economies boom in warm times. Planet Earth is dynamic. It always changes and evolves. It is currently in an ice age.”

If we look at the last 6 million years, the Earth was warmer than it is now for 3 million years. The ice caps of the Arctic, Antarctica and Greenland are geologically unusual. Polar ice has only been present for less than 20 per cent of geological time. What follows is an intense compression of the book’s 500 pages and all their provocative arguments and conclusions:

Is dangerous warming occurring? No.

Is the temperature range observed in the 20th century outside the range of normal variability? No.

The Earth’s climate is driven by the receipt and redistribution of solar energy. Despite this crucial relationship, the sun tends to be brushed aside as the most important driver of climate. Calculations on supercomputers are primitive compared with the complex dynamism of the Earth’s climate and ignore the crucial relationship between climate and solar energy.

“To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable – human-induced CO2 – is not science. To try to predict the future based on just one variable (CO2) in extraordinarily complex natural systems is folly. Yet when astronomers have the temerity to show that climate is driven by solar activities rather than CO2 emissions, they are dismissed as dinosaurs undertaking the methods of old-fashioned science.”

Over time, the history of CO2 content in the atmosphere has been far higher than at present for most of time. Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rise. It does not create a temperature rise. CO2 is not a pollutant. Global warming and a high CO2 content bring prosperity and longer life.

The hypothesis that human activity can create global warming is extraordinary because it is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics, astronomy, history, archaeology and geology. “But evidence no longer matters. And any contrary work published in peer-reviewed journals is just ignored. We are told that the science on human-induced global warming is settled. Yet the claim by some scientists that the threat of human-induced global warming is 90 per cent certain (or even 99 per cent) is a figure of speech. It has no mathematical or evidential basis.”

Observations in nature differ markedly from the results generated by nearly two dozen computer-generated climate models. These climate models exaggerate the effects of human CO2 emissions into the atmosphere because few of the natural variables are considered. Natural systems are far more complex than computer models.

The setting up by the UN of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988 gave an opportunity to make global warming the main theme of environmental groups. “The IPCC process is related to environmental activism, politics and opportunism. It is unrelated to science. Current zeal around human-induced climate change is comparable to the certainty professed by Creationists or religious fundamentalists.”

Ian Plimer is not some isolated gadfly. He is a prize-winning scientist and professor. The back cover of Heaven And Earth carries a glowing endorsement from the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, who now holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. Numerous rigorous scientists have joined Plimer in dissenting from the prevailing orthodoxy.

Heaven And Earth is an evidence-based attack on conformity and orthodoxy, including my own, and a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.

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182 thoughts on “A brick through Australia’s AGW window

  1. Dr. Plimer [from the article]:

    “To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable – human-induced CO2 – is not science.”

    Which is why those arguing the AGW/CO2 hypothesis are reduced to making ad-hominem attacks instead of debating the science. They lack the facts necessary to support their increasingly far-fetched CO2/runaway global warming conjecture.

    It looks like Dr. Plimer’s book will be well worth reading. Here’s one of his 10-minute lectures: click

  2. Anyone have a reference for what this quote is referring to?

    “As if on cue, the United Nations’ peak scientific body on climate change was obliged to make an embarrassing admission last week that some of its computers models were wrong.)”

  3. “To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable – human-induced CO2 – is not science”

    This is totally a strawman. This isn’t describing the science at all. The forcing charts in the IPCC reports don’t simply contain “co2″.

    “Despite this crucial relationship, the sun tends to be brushed aside as the most important driver of climate.”

    Another strawman. Noone has brushes aside that it’s the most important driver over thousands of years – the IPCC report again contains this info. However the evidence is *currently* against it being the most important driver of climate in recent decades.

    “Calculations on supercomputers are primitive compared with the complex dynamism of the Earth’s climate and ignore the crucial relationship between climate and solar energy.”

    Which is? To claim scientists are ignoring some aspect sounds nothing more than a conspiracy theory. Why would (or rather *how* could) scientists worldwide for decades ignore some aspect of the physics which this guy claims to know about?

    “Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rise. It does not create a temperature rise.”

    This is classic school-boy error. Please direct him to Lindzen and Roy Spencer who will correct him.

  4. Anthony,
    Can you send this article to the Catlin Expedition?

    I am sure it would cheer them up no end!

  5. Ian Plimer provides the rare qualities of common sense and perspective in climate change. See: The Inconvenient Professor

    Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer (part 1 of 5)

    Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer (part 2 of 5)

    Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer (part 3 of 5)

    Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer (part 4 of 5)

    Human Induced Climate Change – Ian Plimer (part 5 of 5)

    With 2,311 footnotes I hazard a guess that Plimer provides some scientific backing to his arguments!

    For a fascinating perspective see:
    It’s the Climate Warming Models, Stupid! Gregory Young, March 31, 2009

    Compounding the problems of inaccuracy in climate models is their subsequent and de facto publication, virtually assured if the study is favorable to AGW. Reporting in the journal Energy and Environment, Volume 19, Number 2, March 2008, Evidence for “publication Bias” Concerning Global Warming in Science and Nature by Patrick J. Michaels has found significant evidence for the AGW penchant in his survey of the two premier magazines, namely Science and Nature. Astoundingly, he found that it’s more than 99.999% probable that Climate studies’ extant forecasts are biased in these two publications.

    citing:

    Evidence for “publication Bias” Concerning Global Warming in Science and Nature, Michaels, Patrick J. Energy & Environment, Volume 19, Number 2, March 2008 , pp. 287-301(15)

    Abstract:
    The climate research community believes that published findings on global warming will have an equal probability of raising or lowering forecasts of climate change and its impact. This is a testable hypothesis based upon the recent literature and the assumption that extant forecasts are themselves unbiased. A survey of Science and Nature demonstrates that the likelihood that recent literature is not biased in a positive or negative direction is less than one in 5.2 × 10-16. This has considerable implications for the popular perception of global warming science, for the nature of “compendia” of climate change research, such as the reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, and for the political process that uses those compendia as the basis for policy.

  6. Speaking of Australia, Jennifer Marohasy has this:

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/04/fossil-fuels-fail-to-explain-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-levels/#more-4778

    “Most CO2 from fossil fuels is emitted in the northern hemisphere and it takes at least six months to spread to the southern hemisphere, which means that concentrations in the northern hemisphere should go up before they do in the southern hemisphere. In fact, they go up simultaneously, which suggests that manmade CO2 emissions are not the only contributor to the rise in global CO2 and there must be some other source.”

  7. This follows my views quite well. Natual variability is without question much greater than the small change we’ve seen. Claims of faster than ever are ludicrous because we don’t know what the temp was 200 years ago.

    The IPCC would cease to exist if they found global warming to be false, not dangerous or easily solved. Its very formation guaranteed that these three questions would be answered, its man made and real, it’s very dangerous and it’s very expensive to fix.

    If any of those 3 items were missing, the IPCC would have to close its doors.

  8. Chad,
    Given that all of your quotes follow the words: “What follows is an intense compression of the book’s 500 pages and all their provocative arguments and conclusions:”

    Wouldn’t it be worth waiting for the actual book to come out before passing judgment? I am sure the 500 pages condensed by a journalist may contain some errors. As to whether the actual book contains “classic school-boy errors” remains to be seen.

  9. “An understanding of climate requires an amalgamation of astronomy, solar physics, geology, geochronology, geochemistry, sedimentology, tectonics, palaeontology, palaeoecology, glaciology, climatology, meteorology, oceanography, ecology, archaeology and history.”

    And amalgamation, itself, might be thought a talent, or collection of same, which varies between individuals of equivalent intelligence, e.g., the ability to see that a belief in one discipline impacts a belief in another.

  10. Chad: I believe the IPCC reports/predictions are based on model runs assuming a doubling of CO2 and that may be what Plimer is refering to. Do you know if they also perturb other variables? e.g. TSI?

  11. The IPCC would cease to exist if they found global warming to be false, not dangerous or easily solved. Its very formation guaranteed that these three questions would be answered, its man made and real, it’s very dangerous and it’s very expensive to fix.

    The internet was invented to bring scientists together so they could collaborate. There has been a deviation from that goal because of the selfish egotistical political activists.

    The IPCC for all its faults has become more and more realistic and doubtful as each year passes even if it is just a little bit at a time. When the AGW house of cards falls they’ll simply move on to being a panel devoted to preventing disasters caused by natural climate change. That’s a good reason for its existence everyone can all get behind. Scientists should not be divided by the political aspirations of the few.

  12. “Which is why those arguing the AGW/CO2 hypothesis are reduced to making ad-hominem attacks instead of debating the science. They lack the facts necessary to support their increasingly far-fetched CO2/runaway global warming conjecture.”

    The thing is that it doesn’t matter what is thought by the people that actually dig into the subject and with a little research come to learn that the whole AGW problem is a marketing scam … what matters is what the huge majority of people who get their news from Facebook and MTV believe.

    AGW is about collecting votes to propel a certain political agenda. It isn’t really about climate or the environment at all. So it doesn’t matter if the entire thing is exposed as a fraud …. after their people have been elected to office and funneled the funds to their cronies.

  13. In his lecture Prof. Plimer provides an excellent summary of
    the “simple” solutions to climate change.

    It’s easy to stop climate change.
    All we have to do is:
    * STOP bacteria doing what bacteria do
    * STOP ocean currents changing
    * STOP plate tectonics and continent movement
    * STOP orbital changes to Earth
    * STOP variations in energy released from Sun
    * STOP orbit of Solar System in Galaxy
    * STOP surpernoval eruptions

    See: Part 5 of 5 at 4:51/7:38

  14. How can one make ANY conclusions without reading the book-I plan to get one.
    as the snow falls lightly outside my humple cottage in the Blue Mtns. of NE Oregon…

  15. “…a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.” Good phrase. Most ordinary people I know who believe in AGW to at least some extent are happy to do the first, but the reason they believe is because the possible existence of any ideology or subversion has gone totally over their heads.

  16. chad (13:31:36) :

    Well at least you didn’t prove his point by jumping immediately to insults and attacks … oh wait …

  17. Jeff Id: “The IPCC would cease to exist if they found global warming to be false” Any bets?
    I am sure it wouldn´t. It is not about climate and It was not from the beginning.

  18. What I am about to write questions much of what I have written in this space, in numerous columns, over the past five years. Perhaps what I have written can withstand this questioning. Perhaps not. The greater question is, am I – and you – capable of questioning our own orthodoxies and intellectual habits?

    That’s a rather graceful way for someone to concede they might have been wrong in the past. I somehow or other think that rather a lot of people will be looking for similar words very soon.

  19. Current zeal around human-induced climate change is comparable to the certainty professed by Creationists or religious fundamentalists.”


    Heaven And Earth is an evidence-based attack on conformity and orthodoxy, including my own, and a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.

    Love those comments above pointing out the similarities between the AGW Movement and fundamentalist religeous belief (of any persuasion), and the appeal to evidence over conformity to Orthodoxy.

    AGW Belief = Mind Slavery.

  20. ” Mark (14:48:21) : RealClimate.org is not too keen on geologists. ”

    Well, even those of us with *lowly* B.S. degrees in Geology aren’t necessarily all that thrilled with RealClimate.org either. A mutual admiration society ?

    :-)

    Geologists tend to take a really L-O-N-G view of all things related to the Earth – 10 or 100 or 1000 years is hardly a blip on the scale of time – and change.

  21. Benjamin Disraeli said in the 19th Century “there are lies, damned lies and statistics”
    Now we have lies, damned lies, statistics and the IPCC climate model.

  22. Pete,

    I would be grateful if that reference is found – IPCC admitting fault publicly doesn’t seem easy to find. Perhaps Anthony could highlight it as a separate thread.

    As a geologist who studied under Plimer, I can but agree with him totally.

    Incidentally Plimer is scheduled to deliver a lecture on this in Perth. Western Australia, later this year under the auspices of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists; I am the AIG News editor.

  23. One would think that thermodynamics, especially its Second Law, might have found a place in the long list of sciences that Plimer considers requisite for understanding climate. Nevertheless, I look forward to reading his book.

  24. idlex @15:34:44

    Only the early “transposers” will be able to hold their head high, legitimately. The rest will be just camp followers and bandwagoners.

  25. Chad….Chad, Chad… [snip] Chad…

    “To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable – human-induced CO2 – is not science”

    This is totally a strawman. This isn’t describing the science at all. The forcing charts in the IPCC reports don’t simply contain “co2″.

    Other factors are used in the IPCC report but this criticism was not leveled at the IPCC, but rather the mitigation efforts proposed by Activists (like my friend Chad here) target CO2 because it is weighted by content to be the main driver in climate and the primary forcing mechanism to reach the “fabled” tipping point to generate run-away feedbacks.

    “Despite this crucial relationship, the sun tends to be brushed aside as the most important driver of climate.”

    Another strawman. No one has brushes aside that it’s the most important driver over thousands of years – the IPCC report again contains this info. However the evidence is *currently* against it being the most important driver of climate in recent decades.

    Actually Chad the IPCC does brush solar influence away as a driver in modern times, and by drowning out the influence of solar forcings with GHG forcings and positive feedbacks as being dominant they attribute a rather small portion of warming to solar variance at all. They contend that it has limited to no influence on modern temperatures beyond being a constant input.

    “Calculations on supercomputers are primitive compared with the complex dynamism of the Earth’s climate and ignore the crucial relationship between climate and solar energy.”

    Which is? To claim scientists are ignoring some aspect sounds nothing more than a conspiracy theory. Why would (or rather *how* could) scientists worldwide for decades ignore some aspect of the physics which this guy claims to know about?

    The point here is that the literally thousands of coupled factors in the climate system cannot be represented by the relatively primitive computer models that we use to predict climate. There is not enough known about the coupled systems to accurately represent them via a model. Much of the “physics” as you call them are clearly shown by the IPCC to be in the realm of poorly understood.

    “Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rise. It does not create a temperature rise.”

    This is classic school-boy error. Please direct him to Lindzen and Roy Spencer who will correct him.

    I am not sure what school boy error you mean unless it is the ice core data that clearly shows this pattern in CO2 behavior, or the numerous studies that show a warming ocean and non-foliaged land mass releases more CO2 than it absorbs? I do not recall this statement refuted by by the Scientists in question, If I am mistaken please direct me to Lindzen and Spencer’s comments directly about CO2 and past changes where CO2 concentrations were a driver of these changes.

  26. Interesting to note that the warmist trolls now monitor this blog and try to respond quickly to any posts that they see as a threat to their orthodoxy.
    Congratulations Anthony! You’re on their radar screen!!

  27. I’ve asked Amazon to send me alert when this book is available, but if you can arrange to list it on your website with a link to Amazon I will buy it through you. It’s only right since you brought it to our attention. Have a look at Hawks anthropology weblog,

    http://johnhawks.net/weblog

    He gets a little extra money by recommending good books on his site.

  28. Did you ever see the movie Peter Pan?

    Towards the end Tinkerbelle drinks the poison meant for Peter and is dying.

    Peter turns to the audience and says: “if you believe….if you really believe enough, clap your hands and Tinkerbelle will live!”

    Boys and Girls, if you don’t believe and if you don’t clap your hands, Al’s Fairy Tale is going to die!

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack

  29. It is important to note that The Sydney Morning Herald is the mainstream politically left newspaper in Sydney. It, together with its Melbourne based stable-mate, “The Age” have pretty much led the CO2-Global Warming Disaster hysteria in the Australian press.

    The article itself isn’t that significant, it’s the fact that it’s in a bastion on one-eyed narrow-mindedness, particularly when it comes to any topic relating to the climate.

    Given the cool temperatures we are getting in this “heating world”, all that pesky ice at our “ice-free Poles”, and rain in our “never-ending droughts”, perhaps the SMH is finally starting to see the bleeding obvious!

  30. @CHAD

    You post using skeptic terminology, but you respond with logical fallacies of your own. Your responses include:
    – an “Appeal to belief”
    – an “Appeal to Authority”
    – an “Appeal to Popularity”
    – an “Appeal to Ridicule”
    – “Begging the Question”
    – “Biased sample”
    – As well as “Ad Hominem” and “Ad Hominem Tu Quoque”

    Any skeptic worth his salt will use more then a biased sources, they look at “ALL” sides to form an opinion. In the future CHAD, do your homework, look at non-biased sources, and yes, spelling and grammar count in a written debate.

    Logical fallacies list with definitions, source 1
    Logical fallacies list with definitions, source 2
    Logical fallacies list with definitions, source 3

  31. This man is yet more prestigious name in science that is speaking up!

    Clearly the tide is turning in the scientific world. It’s turning slow as the Queen Mary, but it’s turning. And all the yelling from the environmentalists and politicians can’t stop it.

    BYW, has there been any converts to the alarmists side? I haven’t heard of any names in a long time who have changed over to the alarmists side.

    But I have seen there’s a second edition of the Hockey Stick which is just as flawed as the first. The picture of the graph seems to pop up every where in Google anyway when you type in the words “Medieval Warming Period”. There must be some people burning the midnight oil posting that graph high and low in the internet.

  32. Paul Sheehan is a thoughtful and respected journalist and author and his comments on Ian Plimer’s book should stir some discussion. Have a look at any letters in the SMH in the days to come.

  33. There is no evidence that Disraeli ever referred to ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’. Mark Twain made this attribution in his Autobiography, published 25 years after Disraeli’s death.

    One early use of a version of the phrase (though still made more than a decade after the death of Disraeli) was in an address by Robert Giffen, the chief statistician at the British Board of Trade to the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science meeting at Hobart, Tasmania in 1892:

    ‘An old jest runs to the effect that there are three degrees of comparison among liars. There are liars, there are outrageous liars, and there are scientific experts. This has lately been adapted to throw dirt upon statistics… There are lies, there are outrageous lies, and there are statistics. Statisticians can afford to laugh at and profit by jests at their expense.’

  34. You know what’s the best thing about this? It’s that Paul Sheehan has demonstrated himself to be a man of quality and a man of integrity. He has
    provided an example of how to handle being provided with information that does not support his beliefs. This is unlike so many AGW alarmists who, presented with increasing evidence over recent years that CO2 is not a significant factor in dangerous climate change, have responded with increasing irrationality. It is tremendously heartening to see someone being willing to open their minds to another point of view, and report it so clearly and professionally.

  35. Why do a lot of these “new hockey stick” graphs state that the “Medieval Warming Period” was a warm period, but the zero point is set during that time, the warming data is “flattened”, as well as the LIA data?

  36. If the Earth was capable of storing excess Solar Energy in the form of fossilized or liquid biomass once, it’s capable of doing it again.
    The only other form of energy on Earth that is not related to the Sun is weak nuclear, which was formed not in our Sun, but in a nova from a larger star.
    Even gravitational is primarily forced by the Sun (tidal) and the Moon.
    From the standpoint of Astronomy, there is no other force acting upon Earth that surpasses the Sun. For man to usurp a star’s influence is preposterous and unimaginable, yet some still cling to it like Epicycles. Give it up. Copernicus showed the way a long time ago.

  37. Just Want Truth… (16:33:20) :

    This man is yet more prestigious name in science that is speaking up!

    Clearly the tide is turning in the scientific world. It’s turning slow as the Queen Mary, but it’s turning. And all the yelling from the environmentalists and politicians can’t stop it.

    BYW, has there been any converts to the alarmists side? I haven’t heard of any names in a long time who have changed over to the alarmists side.

    There is David Attenborough, does he count? He’s more media than science though. It is interesting for someone to claim to be skeptical of AGW at one point to become a patron of the Optimum Population Trust.

    “I was sceptical about climate change. I was cautious about crying wolf. I am always cautious about crying wolf. I think conservationists have to be careful in saying things are catastrophic when, in fact, they are less than catastrophic.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0524-24.htm

    ” The broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has become a patron of a group seeking to cut the growth in human population.

    On joining the Optimum Population Trust, Sir David said growth in human numbers was “frightening”.

    Sir David has been increasingly vocal about the need to reduce the number of people on Earth to protect wildlife.

    The Trust, which accuses governments and green groups of observing a taboo on the topic, say they are delighted to have Sir David as a patron.

    Fraught area

    Sir David, one of the BBC’s longest-standing presenters, has been making documentaries on the natural world and conservation for more than half a century.

    In a statement issued by the Optimum Population Trust he is quoted as saying: “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7996230.stm

    That last statement is a beauty.

  38. Steve Schapel (16:45:05) :

    You know what’s the best thing about this? It’s that Paul Sheehan has demonstrated himself to be a man of quality and a man of integrity. He has
    provided an example of how to handle being provided with information that does not support his beliefs. This is unlike so many AGW alarmists who, presented with increasing evidence over recent years that CO2 is not a significant factor in dangerous climate change, have responded with increasing irrationality. It is tremendously heartening to see someone being willing to open their minds to another point of view, and report it so clearly and professionally.

    Steve, agree %100. Mr Sheehan has allowed an honest scepticism to overlay earlier thoughts. Yes, he may be proven to be wrong with his re-considerations, but he has been honest and that is laudable and very, very brave.

    Mr S. you may have been premature with your doubts but you are one sound bloke!

  39. If the question of Climate change had been about the science. Then the Hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming would have been wrapped up and falsified over a decade ago…… However, AGW has nothing to do with Science….. AGW is purely a vehicle for a political ideology involving strange ideas of Environmentalism and Socialism.

    The fact that AGW has become so entrenched is a sign that our Bureaucracy is out of control and serves itself, rather than the citizens that bureaucracy is meant to serve…..

    I think it is serious. I look at the example of a man like Al Gore…. and I shudder.

    There is a rising aristocracy of elites who think of themselves as the Vanguard of a new enlightenment….. They are dangerous.

    History shows similar examples, some very recent. Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung…… will Al Gore, Barack Obama, Kevin Rudd, be the next names in infamy? Will tens of millions die because of their policies? Will hundreds of millions be oppressed, Just like the Ukrainian farmers in Stalin’s collectivisation of the 30′ or the Chinese millions in the Great Leap Forward?

    Time will tell. However, as a reminder. In Australia recently, we had nearly 200 people burn to death because of land clearing laws that prohibited them from making their farms, houses and towns bushfire resistant. The old rural practices where discouraged and the farmers replaced with ecotourism and unknowing greenies living among the trees…… Who burned to death because of ideology.

    I am heartened by people like Dr Ian Plimer. They are a bulwark against this flood of ignorance and deception.

  40. This looks like the turning point for the Australians love for AGW. BTW will anyone pursue Steiger’s Nature paper for withdrawal or recant LOL?

  41. Although the author makes it sound like Prof. Plimer is unique among geoscientists, he’s not, In fact, as a geoscientist, I don’t know of a single geoscientist that wouldn’t basically concur with Plimer & for the same reasons. We are taught the long perspective from day 1 & climate processes & geologic processes (especially tectonic & sedimentalogical processes) are absolutely intertwined. Our ability to be successful in our profession demands that we understand these relationships. What is most bewildering to most of us is that this is even an issue – that anyone would think one variable (GHGs) controls the whole climate system really just leaves a geoscientist speechless.

  42. Re: idlex (15:34:44) :

    That’s a rather graceful way for someone to concede they might have been wrong in the past. I somehow or other think that rather a lot of people will be looking for similar words very soon.

    I think it would be helpful to write up some procedure, to give our green friends the language to concede the reality about the AGW movement in as painless a way possible.
    We could all do without rubbing their noses in the boo boo.

  43. Chad,
    Hansen has made it clear that CO2 is the driving factor of AGW.
    Dissembling by asserting the IPCC is not saying that is simply not realistic.
    Neither the IPCC or Hansen are pushing for radical changes in land use to achieve their goal of managing the climate. They are seeking to control CO2 emitted by human enterprises.
    A better defense of Hansen and the IPCC would be to explain away the tremendous failure their models have experienced irt heat content of the largest part of the Earth- its oceans.

  44. O/T – Just wanted to point out that at nearly 12 million hits, Anthony and his wonderful team have not only thrown the biggest brick through the AGW window, they are demolishing the house. It is coming down around their ears, folks.

  45. Steve Schapel (16:45:05) :

    You know what’s the best thing about this? It’s that Paul Sheehan has demonstrated himself to be a man of quality and a man of integrity. He has
    provided an example of how to handle being provided with information that does not support his beliefs. This is unlike so many AGW alarmists who, presented with increasing evidence over recent years that CO2 is not a significant factor in dangerous climate change, have responded with increasing irrationality. It is tremendously heartening to see someone being willing to open their minds to another point of view, and report it so clearly and professionally.

    Steve – It’s a question of methodology. As Follows…

    [1] The Rational person uses “Evidence Based Reasoning” – When the evidence changes, the reasoned position will also shift in accordance to the evidence. In this method, Evidence is the primary source an imput into the reasoning process. Validating the evidence is a core activity to ensure that the reasoning process has something substantive to work with.

    [2] The Irrational person uses “Belief based Reasoning” – This process puts the cart before the horse and only searches for “evidence” to confirm the belief system. Contrary evidence will be ignored, devalued or actively hidden, or destroyed.

    Hence, the AGW Alarmists become more irrational as the evidence mounts that there core beliefs are not comming true. They have to spend increasing amounts of energy and time, ignoring, devaluing, hiding and (when they can) destroying the contrary evidence.

    The massive snowfalls of the last NH winter has done much to dent the spell of the AGW Alarmists. So much snow when the world is meant to be warming is too hard to deny.

  46. Papertiger – agreed.

    No one wins from making it harder for people to come to an honest assessment of the evidence for/against AGW.

  47. One comment:“Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rise. It does not create a temperature rise.” “This is classic school-boy error. Please direct him to Lindzen and Roy Spencer who will correct him.”

    My thought: No need to go to Lindzen and Spencer, just check out your bottle of pop. Put it in the frig and CO2 stays in there. Put it in the oven and you have an explosion! Just simple science.

  48. “Central characteristics of a scientific attitude are scepticism and a preparedness to revise one’s own views when they are shown to be mistaken. Science requires liberty; it cannot march to a non-scientific agenda, whether political or theological, without soon going wrong.”
    (Grayling, A.C. 2007, Towards the Light. London: Bloomsbury)

  49. “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.”

    What about the problem of Fascist aggression in WWII?

  50. I’ll will be ordering a copy of the book through my local bookstore. I was very pleased that they keep copies of “The Chilling Stars” mixed in with all the global warming books.
    (Although, I will check to see if its available here at the weather shop on the sidebar first. : )

  51. Lets face it, on a geological timescales nothing that we are likely to experience is all that extraordinary. Extinctions of most of life on Earth have occurred before, including events where 90% of all species disappeared. Even the extinction of the human race, or all mammals would not be particularly special or lamentable, give a perspective employing geological timescales.

  52. Yep, as a geoscientist myself with graduate courses in atmospheric physics I can’t believe that any intelligent scientifically trained person would swallow the AGW malarky. When I was taught all this stuff, I was also taught a good deal of humility – there is an a awful lot we still don’t know or understand.

    Those who play with their PC joysticks and make dire predictions are very likely deluding themselves and everyone else; creating amass hysteria when there is no basis for the confident “end of the world” predictions being rolled out.

  53. Mike Bryant (18:23:23) :

    “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.”

    What about the problem of Fascist aggression in WWII?

    I’m gob-smacked, – what an excellent refutation.

  54. BYW, has there been any converts to the alarmists side? I haven’t heard of any names in a long time who have changed over to the alarmists side.

    No, the public has by and large had it’s fill of being told they are going to broil & drown when in fact they are feeling the increasing effects of Deep Solar Minimum. The cold turns out to be cumulative in thier memory.
    Give it another year. You won’t be hearing too much about eco groups attacking power stations, you’ll be hearing about angry mobs wanting to get thier hands on the alarmists.
    The stone-cold quiet of today’s sun will in 1 years time result in an even icier winter.

  55. “Lets face it, on a geological timescales nothing that we are likely to experience is all that extraordinary. Extinctions of most of life on Earth have occurred before, including events where 90% of all species disappeared. Even the extinction of the human race, or all mammals would not be particularly special or lamentable, give a perspective employing geological timescales.”

    Well I’ve been watching the Discovery Channel and other cable channels so I now realize that there are many many things out there that can kill us all alot quicker than AGW, like killer asteroids, tornadoes, hurricanes, firestorms, lightning, meteors, comets, tsunamis, falling spacejunk, China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Jihadists, pirates, giant volcanoes, rabid dogs, bats and rabbits, bigfoot, chupacabras, ice-slinging windmills, soot, aerosols, sharks, supernovas, killer bees, stingrays, plastic bottles, bags and other packaging, our drinking water and the pitbull next door. This is only a very preliminary list.
    After carefully considering these threats it seems that there is only one sane response… PARTY TIME!!!

  56. Thanks Graeme, but the question is a laydown. Think about a few problems like raking the leaves out of the backyard for instance. I can’t think of any large problems that do not diminish with the addition of willing workers.

  57. O/T Not that anyone is interested but the weather in the State of Washington is running true to form with the expectations given a cold PDO. It is not pleasant but it is interesting with low temps, rain, hail, snow, and sunny with clouds. If you don’t like the weather you are getting – wait five minutes.

  58. Re Graeme Rodaughan (15:38:02) :

    “…Love those comments above pointing out the similarities between the AGW Movement and fundamentalist religious belief (of any persuasion), and the appeal to evidence over conformity to Orthodoxy…”

    Moderators – I think a response to the stereotype that is alluded to here should be allowed as it is often repeated on this site and probably disappoints some of your otherwise ardent supporters.

    The stereotype that I refer to is that the overall thought process of a religious fundamentalist and a global warming alarmist are similar. It then follows from this arguement that either AGW alarmists are just like religious kooks (fundamentalist is being deliberately defined in a negative sense above) and can be discounted/discredited, or that those with fundamentalist religious beliefs are unable/unwilling to embrace science and the scientific method and are just like AGW alarmist kooks and can also be discounted/discredited. If this isn’t an ad hominem attack I don’t know what is.

    Fundamentalism has many definitions and subtle differences within philosophical/theological thought. I would consider myself an Evangelical Christian of the low church tradition (Anglican), however depending on the standpoint of the viewer, it would not be surprising to me to find they considered me a fundamentalist.

    This however does not stop me from understanding the misrepresentation and ideology that is AGW. I will suggest that the majority of Christians I have contact with on a personal level are not convinced by the theory of AGW but would say they have reasonable doubts as to mankind’s role and impact in climate change as set forth by the IPCC.

    It is simply wrong to say or imply that a belief in a set of basic religious principles disqualifies me or others from the ability to embrace, understand or discuss the scientific method and specifically its abuse in the promotion of the theory of AGW.

    Kind Regards

    Michael

  59. Everyone I speak to knows that AGW is a crock of snip, and yet the drumbeat from the researchers feeding at the public trough continues.
    Recent headlines from Physorg.com.
    Biosphere 2 experiment shows how fast heat could kill drought-stressed trees
    Experts say cap and trade not enough
    Faced with global warming, can wilderness remain natural?
    Obama looking at cooling air to fight warming
    Climate change to spur rapid shifts in wildfire hotspots
    Ma and Pa solutions to global warming
    Warming brings more birds north in winter
    Desert damage: the dark side of solar power?

    All of these articles since April 8th…
    Stop already, the people of the world are onto you…

  60. Moderator, I just made a post that apparently hit the spam bucket, no indication of waiting for moderation. Should be 20:18 or so. How can I avoid this, it’s the second time today, and why is California two hours behind western Colorado since we went on DST?

    Reply: Stuff with links sometimes hits the spam filter. It’s nothing to worry about. It is checked regularly. I have no idea about the system clock. If in the mood sometime I will look into it. Otherwise, maybe Anthony may or may not jump on it. ~ charles the moderator

    Reply2: Ok. I also have manually adjusted the site for daylight savings. It is apparently a known issue at wordpress.com to be fixed at unspecified date. ~ charles the moderator

  61. I agree with Michael about the comparison of warmists to religionists. Ninety percent of the American people believe in God, and I think it would be wrong to alienate those people. The science stands by itself without denigrating those who believe in a supreme being. These comparisons ultimately hurt the cause of science and freedom.

  62. “I think it would be helpful to write up some procedure, to give our green friends the language to concede the reality about the AGW movement in as painless a way possible.”

    Agreed. How about:
    CO2 is not causing catastrophic warming.
    CO2 is not a pollutant, it’s a plant food.
    But pollution remains a critical issue and now more funds are available to fight worthwhile causes.

  63. Michael (19:13:35) :


    Moderators – I think a response to the stereotype that is alluded to here should be allowed as it is often repeated on this site and probably disappoints some of your otherwise ardent supporters.

    The stereotype that I refer to is that the overall thought process of a religious fundamentalist and a global warming alarmist are similar. It then follows from this arguement that either AGW alarmists are just like religious kooks (fundamentalist is being deliberately defined in a negative sense above) and can be discounted/discredited, or that those with fundamentalist religious beliefs are unable/unwilling to embrace science and the scientific method and are just like AGW alarmist kooks and can also be discounted/discredited. If this isn’t an ad hominem attack I don’t know what is.

    Kind Regards

    Michael

    Michael – You are correct, it’s a sloppy ad-hom, lacking in nuance and an off the cuff remark. If I have offended you, please accept my apologies and I will endeavour to be more nuanced in my comments in the future.

    Cheers Graeme

  64. Edward Mitchell (16:29:45) :
    Any skeptic worth his salt will use more then a biased sources, they look at “ALL” sides to form an opinion. In the future CHAD, do your homework, look at non-biased sources, and yes, spelling and grammar count in a written debate.

    Muphry’s Law strikes again :-)

    .
    Robert Bateman (17:14:06) :
    If the Earth was capable of storing excess Solar Energy in the form of fossilized or liquid biomass once, it’s capable of doing it again.
    The only other form of energy on Earth that is not related to the Sun is weak nuclear, which was formed not in our Sun, but in a nova from a larger star.

    Just plain old nuclear energy, s’il vous plait. Weak nuclear is not energy but a fundamental force, albeit the one responsible for releasing nuclear energy. Your other point about biomass storage is a good one on the energy budget front. Just how much of the energy of the sun is captured by plants as biomass, rather than going into heating the planet? I recall someone suggesting there was a “hidden” heat sink in the equation he couldn’t find. Maybe that’s it.

  65. That geologists are sceptical about climate change is nothing new…
    Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change
    EOS, VOLUME 90 NUMBER 3 20 January 2009
    By P. T. Doran and M. K. Zimmerman.

  66. Mike Bryant (19:28:34) :

    I agree with Michael about the comparison of warmists to religionists. Ninety percent of the American people believe in God, and I think it would be wrong to alienate those people. The science stands by itself without denigrating those who believe in a supreme being. These comparisons ultimately hurt the cause of science and freedom.

    Mike – Agreed – please see my apology to Michael above.

    Cheers Graeme

  67. Graeme Rodaughan (18:52:51) :

    Mike Bryant (18:23:23) :

    “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.”

    What about the problem of Fascist aggression in WWII?

    I’m gob-smacked, – what an excellent refutation.

    Yeah it was pretty good, we might be needing those numbers again because it looks like Deja Vu all over again.

  68. Edward Mitchell (16:46:12) Check out the post on WUWT by Frank Lansner, ‘Making Holocene Spaghetti Sauce by Proxy’. The hockeystick and its ilk are from tree ring proxies, that tend to ajust the local temperature to suit their photosynthesis needs: http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/article.php?q=08061131
    Frank and the comments that follow shed light on the poor use of tree ring proxies. For more detailed investigation, see Steve McIntyre’s blog, Climate Audit. Look at Steve’s dissection of Mann el al and Briffa. Mann used some enormous amount of tree ring proxies, then heavily weighted the ~1% that showed the response he wanted to show. Even the good proxies have a muted response to temperature, as Frank points out.

  69. Graeme,
    Michael’s post woke me up. I have often taken some silly delight in those comparisons that are really beyond the pale and not worthy of the posters, commenters, moderators and lurkers who people this site. Now I understand why Anthony would prefer that religion stays completely out of the mix.
    I also apologize for my similarly ad hom remarks in the past.
    Mike

  70. Michael and Mike Bryant

    I think the point is that the AGW crowd purport to have science on their side. Their actions, words and the facts show that, to the contrary, they beleive that they have God, whom the call Gaia, on their side. This is not science – and it is very dangerous to humanity.

  71. Re: Graeme Rodaughan (19:41:39)\

    No worries Graeme. It is very gracious of you, thanks.

    Regards

    Michael

  72. I would appreciate a short tutorial from a geophysicist on how Deep Time temperature and CO2 levels are ‘read’ from the rocks.
    And I wonder if David Attenborough has considered that to reduce the human population by a billion means that you must murder one million people a day for one thousand days. Oh, wait, that doesn’t cover the births that occur during that time. Makes my skin crawl to consider that level of inhumanity. How self-alienated you must be to desire such a project.
    I think we have had enough of coulds and mights. We should carry on with our progress. It is most likely that if we make a wrong choice we will have time to correct it before it gets expensive.

  73. The Twelve Step Plan to Shake Off the AGW Indoctrination”

    Step 1: Honesty
    Tell the truth, and listen to the truth.

    Step 2: Faith
    Believe what can be proven.

    Step 3: Surrender
    Don’t let pride keep you from freedom.

    Step 4: Soul Searching
    Listen to the voice of reason within you.

    Step 5: Integrity
    Don’t allow yourself or others to advance falsehoods unchallenged.

    Step 6: Acceptance
    Don’t think you are less of a person because you were wrong in the past.

    Step 7: Humility
    Realize that no one knows everything and that science is still advancing.

    Step 8: Willingness
    Make a list of those you convinced and set them straight.

    Step 9: Forgiveness
    Forgive yourself and also forgive those who still believe that CO2 is bad.

    Step 10: Maintenance
    Nobody likes to admit to being wrong. But it only hurts for a little while.

    Step 11: Making Contact
    Stay in touch with scientific advancement and those who also stay informed.

    Step 12: Service
    Help everyone around you remember that as you pursue truth, you are also pursuing happiness.

  74. Chad, in post #4 you said:

    Another strawman. Noone has brushes aside that it’s the most important driver over thousands of years – the IPCC report again contains this info. However the evidence is *currently* against it being the most important driver of climate in recent decades.

    You had the really bad luck to be right next to the solar chart where we see the sun till with “000” sunspots and Ap Index = 68! Yes 68! Not seen since 1913 and 1795!

    The *evidence* is currently supporting the sun as the main driver of climate, through the effects of Jovian cycles and baricenter position in the solar system.

    Wamers are becoming the new breed of deniers! The blogosphere is exploding now with ranting and spining full steam ahead.

    Too bad Mother Nature is not cooperating. Bad luck. Next time, perhaps in 100 years more you can run in the streets yelling “warming! warming!”

  75. “Jerk, jerk”, go the knees of the doubters! “Jerk, jerk” go the knees of the true believers. Many of the responders herein are endorsing (or occassionaly opposing) a body of work they have not read and are mostly unqualified to judge in any event. While I applaud a site the invites participation from all comers (otherwise, I certainly would not qualify), it should by now be apparent that interest in “scientific truth” is taking a back seat to political inclination. Political liberals generally tend to embrace AGW because they like where it takes us politically. Political conservatives are generally skeptical because they do NOT like where AGW would take us. In neither case is any real interest in scientific truth very much in evidence amidst the cacophony.

  76. Mike McMillan (19:49:10)
    Just how much of the energy of the sun is captured by plants as biomass, rather than going into heating the planet?

    Perhaps there are geologists about that know of different ages of fossilized biomass? How many distinct ages are known to exist? How do they correlate with ice ages and interglacials?

  77. “mr.artday (21:34:50) :

    I would appreciate a short tutorial from a geophysicist on how Deep Time temperature and CO2 levels are ‘read’ from the rocks.
    And I wonder if David Attenborough has considered that to reduce the human population by a billion means that you must murder one million people a day for one thousand days. Oh, wait, that doesn’t cover the births that occur during that time. Makes my skin crawl to consider that level of inhumanity. How self-alienated you must be to desire such a project.
    I think we have had enough of coulds and mights. We should carry on with our progress. It is most likely that if we make a wrong choice we will have time to correct it before it gets expensive.”

    During the ’70’s, on TV, he was one who followed the consensus of the day (Ice age coming), the only unfortunate thing is that I cannot find any reference/link to the statement.

  78. Chad, I had a mental lapse and said the A index was 68 when it is really 4. However it is the lowest since 1913 and 1795.

    The number 8 is the Solar Flux that indicates we are heading towards a Dalton minimum. Sorry for my blunder.

  79. Chad, while I don’t want to undermine your belief in AGW he is right about one thing and the IPCC agrees with him the models aren’t all that good. They haven’t actually predicted anything that has come to pass, but don’t take my word for it:

    Dr. Jim Renwick, a top UN IPCC scientist, June 2007″Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don’t expect to do terrifically well”.

    UN IPCC lead author, Dr. Kevin Trenberth:

    “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers ‘what if’ projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios,” Trenberth wrote in journal Nature’s blog on June 4, 2007. He also admitted that the climate models have major shortcomings because “they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.”

    Dr Trenberth, Nature Climat Blog, 2007:

    “There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess. … Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil causing it. He concludes,
    … the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate. But we need them. Indeed it is an imperative! So the science is just beginning. Beginning, that is, to face up to the challenge of building a climate information system that tracks the current climate and the agents of change, that initializes models and makes predictions, and that provides useful climate information on many time scales regionally and tailored to many sectoral needs.”

    Drs. Trenberth and Renwick are supporters of the AGW theory by the way and Dr. Tenberth was mortified that his words were used by sceptics to imply the human induced CO2 wasn’t the cause of GW, but he and Dr. Renwick are the quality of scientists we need in this debate, they tell it as it is. Typical Kiwis.

  80. Chad, I’m surprised you pointed to Richard Lindzen who has described the AGW theory as “junk sicence”.

  81. HSEHL Thank you so much for this Website, Anthony and thanks to David L Langen for the post: The Inconvenient Professor.. Excellent tool for getting the truth out.

  82. GerryM,

    His point being that even someone that cherry picks [snip - no evidence of that] the data in the manner of Linzden knows better than to argue the toss on that easily rebutted canard. Climatologists have known for decades that CO2 sometimes leads, sometimes lags temp. No mystery there. None. Never was. Its only chosen as a point to misdirect lay readers/listeners. [snip - lose the ad homs]

  83. Mike Bryant (21:37:49) :

    Would change :

    1O. It is OK to be wrong . Science advances by testing hypothesis and tossing the wrong ones out the window. You are a scientist !

  84. Matt Bennett (22:53:46) :

    Climatologists have known for decades that CO2 sometimes leads, sometimes lags temp. No mystery there. None. Never was. Its only chosen as a point to misdirect lay readers/listeners. So, as Chad points out, even the denier’s go-to man acknowledges that the ‘CO2 lags’ assertion is a schoolboy error.

    The mystery is in the climatologists minds, how from this “sometimes leads, sometimes lags ” , they can extract causality. Both fish and fowl. Schoolboys know much better.

    And on such a causality thread demand that the industrial world commits hara kiri.

  85. The claim that co2 doesn’t cause warming, which is a claim this guy makes, is akin to claiming the Earth is only 6000 years old. It is so divorced from the weight of evidence that it just calls into doubt the credibility of the other claims made. Spencer and Lindzen do not subscribe to such nonsense, accepting that co2 rise does have a warming effect.

    On the matter of the IPCC remember the IPCC don’t create the science they report on it. The models include TSI forcing and there is no other quantifiable mechanism for solar forcing. So the argument that the models “ignore” some well known significant solar forcing is false. You can’t make any calculations based on unquantified forcing and so you can’t claim they “ignore” such.

    What I find amazing is that people are willing to attack my arguments when I made them earlier, seemingly simply because, as one person put it -they thought I was an “activist” – and I guess that means I have to be challenged on every single point, irregardless whether my point is valid.

  86. GerryM: “Drs. Trenberth and Renwick are supporters of the AGW theory by the way and Dr. Tenberth was mortified that his words were used by sceptics to imply the human induced CO2 wasn’t the cause of GW”

    I am not suprised he was, because what you quoted there doesn’t support “imply the human induced CO2 wasn’t the cause of GW” in the remotest way. Talk about taking someone’s quote out of context. Perhaps there is more to what he said, but I doubt you left out the best bits.

  87. If you get the chance to see Plimer presenting in the flesh it is well worth the effort, especially in front of a crowd of AGW true believers. I had the chance to see this late last year at the “Great Energy Debate” in Adelaide where he confidently and effortlessly took their belief system apart piece by piece. No questions afterwards – they were all dumbstruck with their jaws on the floor.

    Like many commentators here, all the geologists I know regard AGW as a fashionable joke.

    Hopefully his book can result in the beginning of some honest mainstream debate before we are all locked in to punitive cap and trade regimes to no good purpose. I look forward to reading it.

  88. Mike McMillan (19.49.10):

    Estimates I have seen for % of TSI converted to biomass range from 0.4% to 0.8%. 5% of TSI is about 5.4W/sq.m.
    What interests me is that there is so much assumption and dependence on uncertain estimates. E.g. according to NASA:- satellite measures of TSI vary by 6W; there is very lttle data on spectral changes in TSI; estimations of TSI absorbed by atmosphere vary from 20 to 25% of TSI- 5% of TSI is HUGE; the 0.8W of GHG forcing is **inferred** by measurements including warming and sea levels.
    But the science is settled.

    Cheers
    Ken

  89. Paul R (17:36:40) :
    I’ve skipped down so if someone has already chinned you for missing the point with regard to celebrity alarmists I apologise – the OPT has nothing to do with climate change per se.
    I don’t believe in AGW and anyone who does believe that we can influence such a large and complex system so dramatically so quickly is suffering from an incredible dose of arrogance in my opinion.
    I do agree with the OPT
    We have to stop the breeding before we strip this planet of every single resource and survivable habitat as no animal in nature so resembles the locust as the beast humanity.
    One has nothing to do with the other!

  90. chad (23:57:28) :

    You do not have much in arguments.

    The claim that co2 doesn’t cause warming, which is a claim this guy makes, is akin to claiming the Earth is only 6000 years old.

    Is this an argument? “This guy”, whose by the way credentials we know, is not doubting the specific heat introduced by CO2 and the consequent expansion of the ability of the atmosphere to hold a bit more heat. He is quantifying the “a bit”, i.e. the anthropogenic part, the human induced part, and considers it minimal.
    There is no scientists that will say that CO2 is not contributing to the atmosphere’s retention of heat. ( I am a physicist by the way). It is the amplified role of this puny 1% anthropogenic contribution to the total atmospheric CO2 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle ) that is shaken as a bogey man to stampede the hoi polloi into suicidal policies that he is questioning.

  91. Chad wrote:

    This honorable scientist didn’t say such a thing. What he said is that co2 doesn’t have as important an effect as the alarmists defend. I completely agree with him. Of the 0,7ºC warming we have seen since industrial revolution, co2 could be guilty of about half of the warming, and by 2100 with a doubling of co2 we should see even more warming, if the sun so allows us to have. However it won’t be anything like 5ºC, loss of arctic ice, Maldives disappearance and over 2 meters sea rise. It will be more like +0,6ºC, +40cm sea rise and plant growth, food and prosperity all around the planet. The main threat to such a good perspective is us, humans, behaving in a too “human” way. Please look back at the 20th century, at the whole picture of it, and tell me how terrible a 0,7ºC rise was for human prosperity when compared to comunism, fascism, the WWI and WWII, the H Bomb and so many awful things we can do by behaving in a “human” way. I’m certainly much more worried about those than about climate.

  92. For some reason the cite didn’t work. I will try again. Moderators, you can delete the previous post.

    Chad wrote:
    The claim that co2 doesn’t cause warming, which is a claim this guy makes, is akin to claiming the Earth is only 6000 years old.

    This honorable scientist didn’t say such a thing. What he said is that co2 doesn’t have as important an effect as the alarmists defend. I completely agree with him. Of the 0,7ºC warming we have seen since industrial revolution, co2 could be guilty of about half of the warming, and by 2100 with a doubling of co2 we should see even more warming, if the sun so allows us to have. However it won’t be anything like 5ºC, loss of arctic ice, Maldives disappearance and over 2 meters sea rise. It will be more like +0,6ºC, +40cm sea rise and plant growth, food and prosperity all around the planet. The main threat to such a good perspective is us, humans, behaving in a too “human” way. Please look back at the 20th century, at the whole picture of it, and tell me how terrible a 0,7ºC rise was for human prosperity when compared to comunism, fascism, the WWI and WWII, the H Bomb and so many awful things we can do by behaving in a “human” way. I’m certainly much more worried about those than about climate.

  93. CHAD –

    [1] What are the falsification criteria for the idea that man made emissions of CO2 cause measureable global warming? I.e. What events if they were to happen would disprove the idea that man made emissions of CO2 cause measurable global warming? For example (a) lack of a tropospheric hot spot, (b) continued global cooling while CO2 levels increase?

    [2] What # of PPM would CO2 concentrations be considered “saturated”?

    [3] For man made emissions of CO2 to cause catastrophic global warming requires that water vapour provide “positive” feedback to cause a run-a-way warming process. What compelling physical evidence do you have that water vapour provides positive feedback?

    [4] How do you explain the cool/cold conditions that have been experienced over the world for the last two years – if CO2 is a potent GHG that causes serious warming? I.e. what’s stopping the warming from happening.

    [5] How do you explain that the world temperature seems to have flatlined over the current decade, when the IPCC forecasts are for an average 0.2 degrees celcius rise from 2001 to 2010?

    [6] Was the world warmer than now at any time since the end of the last ice age? If not, on what evidence do you base the conclusion that the current period is warmer than any period since the end of the last ice age approx 10K to 12K years ago?

    [7] What would be worse, a 4 degree average rise in temperature world wide, or the return of an ice age likely to run 70K to 100K years with 1 km high sheets of ice over much of Europe, North Asia and North America?

    [8] The current Pro AGW movement would like to shut down the debate, i.e. “The science is settled”, “The debate is over”. How do you reconcile such an attitude with human liberty and the open and free discussion of ideas that have been central values of western civilization and arguably core forces that have led to the prosperity that the modern world enjoys today?

    [9] Some commentators has professed the view that the recent bushfires in Victoria, Australia that killed several hundred people can be attributed to AGW, and hence to man made emissions of CO2. If you agree with this position, are you able to provide a measurable distinction between those weather events that are “natural” and those that are due to “man made emissions of CO2″?

    [10] The IPCC and Climate Science in general relies heavily on the outputs of Computer Models. Could you please describe what has been done to validate those models against empirical physical evidence?

    [11] The GISS data relies on a network of ground stations (USHCN), are you able to provide information on how many, or what proportion, of those stations are well sighted according to the Climate Reference Network Rating Guide?

    [12] Given that the IPCC use a single paper “Jones et al 1990 letter to Nature” to determine that UHI was 0.05 degrees Celsius per century, and the same author recently asserts that China UHI is around 0.1 degree celsius per decade – a difference of a factor of 20. How do you know that UHI is correctly factored in the measurement of surface temperature. I.e. is surface temperature measuring global warming, or urbanisation? REF: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/18/finally-an-honest-quantification-of-urban-warming-by-a-major-climate-scientist/

    [13] Given that CO2 is a necessary imput in the photosynthesis process conducted by plants that supports all life on planet Earth – how could it be a pollutant? Have you noticed that gardeners often pump CO2 into greenhouses to increase productivity. Are you able to provide an estimate of the increased biological production of land plants and phytoplankton under 385 PPM of CO2, as opposed to pre-industrial CO2 levels od less than 300 PPM?

    [14] If we reduced CO2 to pre-industrial amounts, and given a best case scenario of “green” electricity production. How much food could be produced at <300 PPM of CO2? How many people could be supported? How many people would have to die to meet the available food production?

    [15] Are you willing to go without electricity?

    Any assistance with these questions would be much appreciated.

  94. Lee (01:09:00) :

    Paul R (17:36:40) :
    I’ve skipped down so if someone has already chinned you for missing the point with regard to celebrity alarmists I apologise – the OPT has nothing to do with climate change per se.
    I don’t believe in AGW and anyone who does believe that we can influence such a large and complex system so dramatically so quickly is suffering from an incredible dose of arrogance in my opinion.
    I do agree with the OPT
    We have to stop the breeding before we strip this planet of every single resource and survivable habitat as no animal in nature so resembles the locust as the beast humanity.
    One has nothing to do with the other!

    What’s the natural birth rate (i.e. not migration) of the countries that make up the developed world?

    Wake up – it’s typically below replacement level. The drivers are economic development and personal freedom. Once people have the capacity to limit breeding in a meaningful way – they typically do so. Women in developed countries average less than 2 children each.

    The key to solving the worlds population problem is sustained economic development and the promotion of individual liberty.

  95. Lee,

    Oh the irony:

    “anyone who does believe that we can influence such a large and complex system so dramatically so quickly is suffering from an incredible dose of arrogance”….

    is followed hotly by,

    “We have to stop the breeding before we strip this planet of every single resource and survivable habitat as no animal in nature so resembles the locust”…

    Hmmm, is it just me?

  96. And what happens if the stats for 2009 come back with a global temp anomaly greater than or equal to ’98/’05, despite our US friends having had to huddle a little closer to the hearth this season? I can just hear the cries of foul play already – everyone has a tendency to give unwarranted weight to their personal experience. We’ll see….

    And meanwhile the world’s glaciers curl their toes a little further each year from the rising onslaught of an itinerant lowland climate.

  97. Why is it that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of examples like Mr Sheehan who were once AGW proponents but became “skeptics” after really looking at the science and virtually none going the other way? In fact, I cannot think of one prominent scientist or even journalist that started out a “skeptic”, reviewed the science, and then became a proponent. Not one…

  98. MattN,

    It’s easy to just make numbers up out of thin air. I started firmly as a skeptic (through most of the 1990s) awaiting what I felt was sufficient confirmation of the science before finally gaining an understanding and acceptance of the urgency of the issue through very wide reading of books, websites and esp scientific literature. I can think of a number of persons of ecological influence who took this approach and are now firmly assured of the man-made nature of our problem. Dr Suzuki and David Attenborough spring to mind as measured thinkers who are slow to rush to conclusions.

    Given that a few thousand (wherever you got that figure from) have decided that their understanding of the issue doesn’t give them confidence in its validity, how does that in any way stack up to the literally millions of informed persons who now understand that AGW is real who obviously at one point either didn’t know enough or, like me, needed to await further confirmation? How could you possibly assert there are “none going the other way”? It’s a multi-decadal, multi-disciplinary stampede that must be kind of hard to miss unless this little corner of the web is your sole solace….

  99. I will feebly try to defend myself by drawing a disticntion between merely using up all the fossil fuel and cutting down all the trees which we can do in fairly short order and completely altering the entire planets atmosphere/oceans and weather patterns away from the trend they were on all on their lonesome.
    I’ll stand by my opinion although I’ll admit the internal contradiction if you aren’t concerned with scale

  100. Graeme Rodaughan
    The OPT recognises your point which is why they call for stabilisation of the population in the developed world and reduction of the birth rate in the 3rd which is why they have a GLOBAL statement split into appropriate responses, you need to think a little bigger than Europe.
    You may be particulary interested in the last sentence of the of the Global statement – that is your point right?

    http://www.optimumpopulation.org/opt.policies.html

  101. From The Guardian article above:

    World will not meet 2C warming target, climate change experts agree

    Hmmmm… Isn’t it rather odd that attendees of the Copenhagen Conference would come to that conclusion?

    In related news The Guardian reported that attendees of the Westminster dog show agreed overwhelmingly that dogs make better pets than cats.

  102. Isn’t this whole AGW thing a bit like ‘ozone depletion’ or ‘millenium bug’.

    Remember 1999 turning into 2000? Many rushed out buying up stuff ’cause the world as we knew it was about to end. Yeah right……. Oh and be sure not to sit on Bondi beach.. its right under the ozone hole…..

    I for one have never believed the hype surrounding global warming and taught my kids to beware the motives behind those purporting global warming will be a diaster to their future lives.

    Oxfam and others now infiltrate schools and brainwash young students into believing this stuff. At what point does a government outlaw an organisation from preaching GW to kids……..

    Something else that annoys me…… Earth Hour….. a great marketing plan with little effect.

  103. Graeme Rodaughan…I too would like to see Mr Chad respond to your list of fifteen questions!

    Just one comment on question 13 though….you quote the pre-industrial level of CO2 as just under 300 ppm. If you follow the link from Smokey’s post [13:22:53] to one of Dr Pilmer’s lectures, Pilmer makes a seemingly convincing case to argue that 280 ppm is far too low for pre-industrial CO2 levels. His graph shows that as recently as 1820 it was more like 440 ppm!

  104. Reply2: Ok. I also have manually adjusted the site for daylight savings. It is apparently a known issue at wordpress.com to be fixed at unspecified date. ~ charles the moderator

    Since this site has an international audience (thank you Anthony), it would be nice if there was a note somewhere (About page perhaps?), explaining the current time difference to GMT of the time stamps. Some of us don’t even know exactly *where* you are :-)

  105. Graeme-Bravo! as for me I’ve felt the the left is for Population control of the third world because they cannot stand free-thinking healthy,prosperous dark skinned people…

  106. Lee (01:09:00) :

    Paul R (17:36:40) :
    I’ve skipped down so if someone has already chinned you for missing the point with regard to celebrity alarmists I apologise – the OPT has nothing to do with climate change per se.

    I’m not familiar with the term chinned, I feel guilty for taking this thread off topic already and deserve chinning for that but i was only answering a question. You and I have a different opinion about population perils and all I will say is that I see a correlation between those who push the AGW agenda and the overpopulation agenda. You obviously will have to be discarded as bad data since you upset my model with your AGW skepticism. :)

  107. One other thing would be to (even if you are buying a copy for yourself) request that the local library get a copy. If enough people gang up on them in an area they might make it more readily available.

  108. Where is my post addressing MattN?

    It was entirely reasonable…

    REPLY: Spam filter, patience.

  109. Mike Bryant, Michael

    “about the comparison of warmists to religionists.”

    As a Catholic, I’m deeply aware of the danger of mixing Science and Faith. I try to be very careful to refer to the “problem children” as “AGW adherents” and “Creationists.” Activist Creationists represent a minority of Christians, and certainly don’t speak for me. Clearly, they don’t speak for either of you.

    They share a similar problem: In order to advance their version of “science,” they have to deny elements of science. Since the entire body of science is interconnected, ultimately they have to displace all disciplines, and especially, in the case of AGW, those involved with developing tools and techniques. Thus, Creationists have to displace astronomy and geology, but wind up displacing physics, microbiology, etc. Similarly, AGW adherents must thoroughly corrupt modeling and simulation as an engineering discipline, as well as displace thermodynamics, physics, etc.

  110. Paul R (17:36:40) :
    Fair point about the correlation between agenda’s, I just happen to think the overpopulation doesn’t need to be dumped into the climate change argument to make ground.
    Climate change happens naturally and the debate about our significance into that process is open (hence this site).
    Our use of resources on this finite plant has to be dealt with for its own sake.

    I’ve been discarded as a bad date before but never for being bad data – thank you for providing my new experience for today :>

  111. I have to say, this thread was grand entertainment this morning.

    Thanks to Matt Bennett I have now been informed that “Dr Suzuki”, who I assume is David Suzuki, is a “measured thinker” as opposed to an agenda driven hippy radical popularist.

    This has caused great entertainment this morning at the office, as everyone who lives in Canada knows that “Dr Suzuki” has never been anything but an alarmist and environmental cause-jumper of the highest order.

    But hey, just go on believing that this guy, who comes across as a major nut-job in person by the way, has anything more than pseudo-scientific mumblings to his credit. In fact, part of my reason for mocking the warmists is my belief that the US counterparts of Suzuki (Gore, Hansen, et al) are similar to Suzuki, especially in areas of flexibility, openness to ideas contrary to their own, and honesty.

    If there was a “flammery index”, Suzuki would rate above whatever the highest number is.

  112. Slightly O/T:

    I was at the library yesterday so my kids could get some books to read. While I was waiting I picked up a climage change book. The opening statement went something like this:

    “The Earth has been warming and most scientists believe humans are responsible for most of the warming”

    Aren’t systems that require you to believe in something called religions?

  113. Perhaps we are not only entering in a Maunder Minimum but in an era of Darkness, where , like in the Middle Ages, a belief controls everything…
    Global Warmers have the power, they own the media, their church, The Green Church is gaining adepts all over the world. We must surrender to the sanctity of its Pontifices Maximum and accept his teachings as uttered Ex-cathedra.

  114. John W,
    Still, no one should be made fun of because of their religion. As a Catholic you are as big a target for the progressives as are fundamentalists are. Allowing the type of comparisons between AGW alarmists and Fundamentalists, I believe puts all people of faifh upon a slippery slope. Also I don’t believe those comparisons help the cause of freedom. I would also like to say that collectivism, socialism, fascism and the unholy alliance of government and science are far more dangerous to real scientific progress than any type of religion.
    Science, as well as religion, can only thrive under freedom. Since I believe that is true, each person must decide whether they would like to live where people can believe as they choose and science is free from government tampering, or where some religions are ridiculed and science is the true religion of the state.

  115. ““Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rise. It does not create a temperature rise.”
    This is classic school-boy error.”

    Indeed, waking up and finding oneself in the wrong lecture!

    Next time, quietly gather up your things and nodding apologetically to the professor, sneak away.

  116. “Muphry’s Law strikes again :-)”

    I was thinking the same thing!
    @ Graeme Rodaughan (02:00:52) :

    I am not Chad, but here are my thoughts as a climate dabbler.

    [1] It’s all about rates. CO2 is without a doubt a greenhouse gas and helps to amplify (or degrade) natural variations.

    [2] There is really no saturation point, unless you mean something different than what I am thinking wrt saturation.

    [3] Water Vapor is a greenhouse gas, and warmer air can hold more water vapor.

    [4] Weather is not climate? Why can it be -20 in winter and 100 in summer in Fargo North Dakota?

    [5] Weather is not climate?

    [6] We are still in an ice age.

    [7] Both would be bad for different reasons.

    [8] Doesn’t it happen on both sides of the discussion?

    [9] See 1.

    [10] Lots of science uses models. We put satellites into space using models, we model chemical reactions and prescription drug effects, geochemical evolution of magmatic systems, etc all using models. Typically we look at the model and compare it to real data. I don’t think people understand how much modeling is a part of ALL science, it just gets a particularly bad rap with respect to climate.

    [11] Corrections for the urban heat effect are relativity simple? Oh, and corrections to data happen all the time in science, just like models, wrt to climate science corrections get a bad rap.

    [12] http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/052.htm#2221
    (Some evil ipcc junk science)

    [13] I wouldn’t call it a pollutant.

    [14] The same as now. I will ask, how much food can be produced when aquifers run dry due to over use? This is a little mentioned thing in the media and the blog-o-sphere/interwebs.

    [15] Not me.

  117. “Paul Sheehan has demonstrated himself to be a man of quality and a man of integrity. He has provided an example of how to handle being provided with information that does not support his beliefs…”

    “I think it would be helpful to write up some procedure, to give our green friends the language to concede the reality about the AGW movement in as painless a way possible.”

    Well, Mike Bryant has translated the Twelve Step Plan, and I’ll be pleased to add this to my Primer, if that’s ok with you Mike.

    Another little gem of a book is the new cartoon childrens book by Marc Hendrickx, another Aussie geologist, converted last year: The Prince of Precaution – go to http://littleskepticspress.blogspot.com

  118. “(As if on cue, the United Nations’ peak scientific body on climate change was obliged to make an embarrassing admission last week that some of its computers models were wrong.)”

    Does anyone have a link to this story?

  119. pete (13:09:04) :

    Anyone have a reference for what this quote is referring to?

    “As if on cue, the United Nations’ peak scientific body on climate change was obliged to make an embarrassing admission last week that some of its computers models were wrong.)”

    I haven’t found it either, but you can find plenty of IPCC admissions of error. Look at any of their big reports, other than the first, and you find many mentions of how much more they’ve learned since the previous report. Look for words such as “improved” and “understanding”. The believers ignore how ignorant the IPCC says the climate scientists have been; it’s somehow assumed that right now everything is known.

    Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rise. It does not create a temperature rise.”
    This is classic school-boy error.

    Any schoolboy can look at the graph and suspect whether CO2 follows temperature. The red line is CO2.

  120. AnnaV,
    I like the change to #10 that you suggested perhaps Lucy will incorporate that into her Primer.
    Mike

  121. mr.artday,

    You projected that reducing global population by 1 billion people would require killing 1 million/day for 1000 days (not counting births). I couldn’t resist running the numbers myself.

    Assuming 1.188% global population growth and a current population of 6,706,993,152 (2008 CIA World Factbook), it would require 5.75 years (2,102 days) murdering 1 million fellow humans per day to reduce the human population to 5 billion. Put another way, all we have to do is re-fight World War II 42 times (every 50 days) to pull this off by New Year’s 2015.

  122. @ Graeme Rodaughan (02:05:27) :
    “…Wake up – it’s typically below replacement level. The drivers are economic development and personal freedom. Once people have the capacity to limit breeding in a meaningful way – they typically do so. Women in developed countries average less than 2 children each….”

    and this has been going on for a long time:

    “…Poverty, though it no doubt discourages, does not always prevent marriage. It seems even to be favourable to generation. A half-starved Highland woman frequently bears more than twenty children, while a pampered fine lady is often incapable of bearing any, and is generally exhausted by two or three. Barrenness, so frequent among women of fashion, is very rare among those of inferior station….”

    Adam Smith
    An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations
    1776
    Book One, Chapter VIII

    Adam Smith also analyzes why, for example, our courts now behave the way they do, and so the IPCC. Extremely worthwhile reading. Follow the money and the power.

  123. i’ve noticed that no one seems to ever defect from the deniers side to the side of the believers? now where have i seen this before……..oh yeah, that’s right….the Cold War.

  124. Matt Bennett (02:39:55) :
    And what happens if the stats for 2009 come back with a global temp anomaly greater than or equal to ‘98/’05, despite our US friends having had to huddle a little closer to the hearth this season? I can just hear the cries of foul play already – everyone has a tendency to give unwarranted weight to their personal experience. We’ll see….

    You are probably right as far as any unthinking sceptics are concerned. However, there are many among the “realist” sceptics, who would prefer temperatures to stay up or even increase a little (indeed I’ve seen that opinion expressed on this blog a number of times). Natural forces could take temperatures in any direction. It is just unfortunate, for those of us who find their understanding of the science and observations to date don’t support the mm CO2 calamity theory, that a rise in temperature would make that understanding more difficult to communicate, even though there were no proof of CO2 causation (in the relatively short term anyway).

  125. Troppo (04:48:12) :

    Graeme Rodaughan…I too would like to see Mr Chad respond to your list of fifteen questions!

    Just one comment on question 13 though….you quote the pre-industrial level of CO2 as just under 300 ppm. If you follow the link from Smokey’s post [13:22:53] to one of Dr Pilmer’s lectures, Pilmer makes a seemingly convincing case to argue that 280 ppm is far too low for pre-industrial CO2 levels. His graph shows that as recently as 1820 it was more like 440 ppm!

    Thanks Troppo – I am aware of the discrepency – the point is “What AGW Alarmists Believe” and can they back it up with evidence, or reason from that position without tripping over.

  126. Papertiger wrote: I think it would be helpful to write up some procedure, to give our green friends the language to concede the reality about the AGW movement in as painless a way possible.
    We could all do without rubbing their noses in the boo boo.

    That’s a very good idea. Something along the lines of…?

    “Now that I have stopped reading the Guardian/Independent/NameYourRag I have discovered/realised in blinding flash of light/comprehension/insight that there are two/three/several different points of view about global warming/climate change rather than just one, as I had been led to believe. I blame my newsagent/Al Gore/Jim Hansen/other people in general.”

  127. Steve Schapel (16:45:05) :

    “This is unlike so many AGW alarmists who, presented with increasing evidence over recent years that CO2 is not a significant factor in dangerous climate change, have responded with increasing irrationality. ”

    Steve, an excellent point. Which unfortunately fuels the fanatic and stereotype monikers hung on the alarmists. We are watching a fascinating exercise in behaviorism, ironically expedited by a digital world. Dr. Plimer’s book “Heaven and Earth” and Paul Sheehan’s remarkably adroit review – give me, for one, hope. Were this a cosmic test of human maturity and self-esteem, I suggest we are poised to pass with flying colors! Sheehan’s summation indicates the talents of an extraordinary, honest journalist and individual:

    “Heaven And Earth is an evidence-based attack on conformity and orthodoxy, including my own, and a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.”

  128. I just want to say that this crew is by and large a very civil and good natured bunch of posters.

    I run a fine site full of fine people so I know. Anthony, Charles and most of the posters here deserve a lot of appreciation for not only the content but the quality of community.

    Really. Well done folks.

    Mark Young
    Traders-Talk.com

  129. Benjamin P. (10:07:46) :

    [6] We are still in an ice age.

    Benjamin – thanks for the reply and pending time I will endeavour to provide you with some substantive responses.

    However point 6 above stands out. You are the first person I have come across who has asserted that we are “still in an ice age”.

    My original question was [6] Was the world warmer than now at any time since the end of the last ice age? If not, on what evidence do you base the conclusion that the current period is warmer than any period since the end of the last ice age approx 10K to 12K years ago?

    I’ll read your point as refering to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_glaciation i.e the current Ice Age… so technically you are correct and I grant the point.

    However – I was referring to the current holocene interglacial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene “as opposed to” Glacial periods Ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacial_period

    The point of the question is to highlight the fact that the climate is not stable to the point of stillness as described by the hockey stick of Michael Mann and to prompt inquiry in that direction.

    Cheers G

  130. @Graeme Rodaughan (16:51:36) :

    To answer your question more specifically, the earth is likely as warm today as in other interglacial periods. Perhaps a bit warmer, perhaps a bit cooler, but the further you go back, the more uncertainty you have with the proxies. And depending on the proxy, perhaps some have uncertainties that we don’t even know.

    I think as long as folks are open and honest and follow the data the truth will be ours at the end of the day. Unfortunately, i think many folks on both sides of the conversation have already determined that the “Science is settled” which is clearly not the case.

    I’d argue that science, in any field, is seldom settled.

    Ben

  131. CodeTech,

    And David Attenborough? Is it just senility kicking in? You forgot to address his cautious approach which now leaves him no room for doubt…. I’d say he’s been round the block a few times and knows a fad from a genuine warning. Or do you have a better ecological sense of perspective than he?

    My point remains unchallenged, there are/have been literally millions of smart people moving in the direction that MattN said had seen NONE. I’d stay silent too after that clanger.

  132. There are lies, damn lies, statistics and computer models.

    There are liars, damnlairs, and outliers.

  133. No one wins from making it harder for people to come to an honest assessment of the evidence for/against AGW.

    Part 1: Reach out and knock them back against the ropes.

    Part 2: Offer them a friendly hand up.

    Part 3: Don’t leave out Part 1.

  134. Matt Bennett (18:56:27) :

    CodeTech,

    And David Attenborough? Is it just senility kicking in? You forgot to address his cautious approach which now leaves him no room for doubt…. I’d say he’s been round the block a few times and knows a fad from a genuine warning. Or do you have a better ecological sense of perspective than he?

    My point remains unchallenged, there are/have been literally millions of smart people moving in the direction that MattN said had seen NONE. I’d stay silent too after that clanger.

    If we compare David Attenborough with David Bellamy – perhaps the key difference is a willingness to engage in prostitution of their science.

    One – Bellamy – is not willing: Ref http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/69623

    Of the other – no one knows, perhaps he believes the evidence free drivel he comes out with these days.

  135. Women in developed countries average less than 2 children each.

    You are also leaving out the “human nature” reason: In the undeveloped world, children remain highly profitable (indeed, necessary). In the developed world, children are an — extreme — expense.

    The key to solving the worlds population problem is sustained economic development and the promotion of individual liberty.

    Yes.

  136. In fact, I cannot think of one prominent scientist or even journalist that started out a “skeptic”, reviewed the science, and then became a proponent. Not one…

    I have also noticed this.

  137. Lots of science uses models. We put satellites into space using models, we model chemical reactions and prescription drug effects,

    Those are simple problems by comparison. Orbits are easy. Trying to model climate “bottom to top” using supercomputers is akin to trying to model the Russian front in WWII using Sniper rules. I.e., less than meaningless.

  138. F=ma is a model. The question is – how well does it comport with reality.

    Pretty well. And how about F = G * m1* m2/r^2 . That works pretty well.

    Now solve a three body problem. After a while (depending on the problem) the model diverges from reality. And that is for a simple system. So how soon will a climate model diverge from reality with all its complexities? A year in model time? A week?

    So. What is the Lyapunov time for a climate calculation for a system that is known chaotic to begin with? Not very long to be sure.

  139. Graeme,

    From you linked article:

    “The sad fact is that since I said I didn’t believe human beings caused global warming I’ve not been allowed to make a TV programme. ”

    What first class BS. From what I’ve heard, Bellamy was pretty much on board with the climate change consensus until into the ‘noughties’, by which time he hadn’t done much BBC since about 1995. So how he could accuse the BBC of not allowing his views any airtime, starting from the mid-ninties, because of a position he didn’t hold until 5-6 years later is beyond me. I’ll admit I may have the exact dates out by a year or two, as I don’t have time to google right now, but I’ll welcome any clarification on this.

  140. evanmjones (21:50:28) :

    Well, I am sure some folks in the chem and pharma industry may disagree! Perhaps orbits are ‘relatively’ straight forward.

    And I think folks are too eager to write off models completely with respect to climate science. It is hard to argue that we have not learned many a valuable things from climate models.

  141. LOL – Matt, you’re funny… and the best part is, I think you’re actually being serious!

    For the record, I have no idea who David Attenwhoever is… but I have met Suzuki several times, and “thoughtful” is not a word that gets anywhere near him. Suzuki rides whatever bandwagon gets him more viewers, end of story.

    Actually, your advice about “staying silent” is advice your kind never take for themselves…

  142. there are/have been literally millions of smart people moving in the direction that MattN said had seen NONE.

    Bennett, give me just ONE example of a prominent scientist or science writer that began a skeptic and switched to the AGW side. Just one. You say there are millions, so give us one, (and be prepared to prove it.)

  143. For the record, I have no idea who David Attenwhoever is

    For the record, he is and has been for the past 40 or 50 years the public face of British naturalism. He has produced series after series of TV programmes about the natural world. He has brought to millions his enthusiasm for wildlife of every kind, and helped shape a generations’ attitudes, in Britain at least. And he has become a greatly respected grand old man.

    He’s never been an advocate. He’s never been an ideologue. His love for all living things just shines out of him. He never goes shoving his beliefs down people’s throats. If he is lending his support to the global warming scam, it’s almost certainly because he’s been put under pressure to do so.

    His brother is the actor Richard Attenborough, who I last saw in Jurassic Park.

  144. “If it is settled it is not science.”

    Your ‘model’ is the best illustration we’ve seen!

  145. In the end, this is not an academic debate, because we and our children are part of the experiment. The consensus among scientists (yes, with a few exceptions, as is always the case in science) that we should decarbonise our economy as a matter of urgency.

    Say we decarbonise our economy, and it turns out that IPCC view is wrong? Well, we will have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in insulation and manufacturing and taken thousands out of fuel poverty. Not bad, but that’s not all. We will also have reduced the shock of Peak Oil and Peak Gas. And addressed our energy security problems. And prosperity in hot countries. Not bad.

    Say we go the way of the denialists/sceptics advocate? We will have problems with energy security, Peak Oil, Peak Gas, fuel poverty, unemployment, poverty, civil unrest and finally, massive, catastrophic climate disruption from droughts, floods, crop failures, disease, and war. With massive migration caused by environmental collapse. Not good.

    If I were a betting man, I would put my money on decarbonising the global economy. AGW. I’m sure Pascal would agree.

  146. Replying to…

    chad (23:57:28) :

    The claim that co2 doesn’t cause warming, which is a claim this guy makes, is akin to claiming the Earth is only 6000 years old. It is so divorced from the weight of evidence that it just calls into doubt the credibility of the other claims made. Spencer and Lindzen do not subscribe to such nonsense, accepting that co2 rise does have a warming effect.

    The fact is that over the entire Phanerozoic Eon (the last 650 million years) there is no long-term correlation between CO2 and temperature. Of the Phanerozoic’s four major ice ages, two occurred with far higher CO2 levels…Ordovician (4000-4500 ppm) and Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous (2000-2500 ppm)…And two ice ages with low CO2 levels Pennsylvanian to Lower Permian (200-1000 ppm) and Upper Tertiary to Quaternary (200-1000 ppm). We are currently living in the Quaternary ice age…We just happen to be enjoying an interglacial. There’s an online publication called “Plant Fossils of West Virginia.” This publication includes a chapter on Carboniferrous climate; in which you’ll find a very nice graph that shows the total lack of correlation between temperature and CO2 since the Cambrian Period.

    From a geological perspective, the only evidence of a “correlation” between CO2 and temperature is found in Pleistocene-aged ice cores. However, the changes in temperature always precede the changes in CO2 by an average of 800 years. Even Real Climate Dot Org acknowledges the lag-time problem…Well they acknowledge it and dismiss it.

    As far as Lindzen and Spencer go…My understanding of their views is that they believe that anthropogenic CO2 has a minimal effect on climate forcing and that natural drivers overwhelm any anthropogenic effects and that the climate’s feedback mechanisms to CO2 are more likely to be negative; rather than positive. Spencer also correctly asserts that Kyoto-style remedies won’t cool the planet and will waste trillions of dollars and the misdirection of gov’t spending will harm people – particularly poor people.

    As a geoscientist, I’ve come full-circle on this issue. Twenty years ago, I did not believe that anthropogenic CO2 had any influence on climate. By 1998, I started to accept the fact that maybe it did…It seemed to be getting hotter and hotter…Mann’s paleoclimate reconstruction sure looked convincing and some of the initial correlations of CO2 and temperature in ice cores made be think that CO2 was a significant driver. Since then, the Earth has begun to cool, Mann’s work was shown to be seriously flawed and the lag-time in the ice cores became obvious.

    Since then, Svensmark and others have clearly demonstrated the correlation of solar cycles, cloud cover and climate…I’ve discovered that plant stomatal data contradict the ice core data (CO2 has routinely been 300-500 ppm throughout Pleistocene interglacials and the early Holocene) and the ad hominem attacks against dissenting scientific opinion on the part of people like Al Gore has grown to a McCarthy-esque scale.

    I’m now convinced that Anthropogenic Global Warming is akin to the Ptolemaic Solar System. It’s only a matter of time until it collapses under its own version of retrograde motion. Hopefully it will collapse before the politicians waste too much of our money.

    On the matter of the IPCC remember the IPCC don’t create the science they report on it. The models include TSI forcing and there is no other quantifiable mechanism for solar forcing. So the argument that the models “ignore” some well known significant solar forcing is false. You can’t make any calculations based on unquantified forcing and so you can’t claim they “ignore” such.

    The IPCC proactively ignore most solar forcing…particularly the cloud/albedo effect. They mention Palle’s paper on albedo forcing in the 4th AR (or was it 3rd?) and then summarily dismiss it because it doesn’t fit the models and another way of measuring albedo effects fit the models.

    What I find amazing is that people are willing to attack my arguments when I made them earlier, seemingly simply because, as one person put it -they thought I was an “activist” – and I guess that means I have to be challenged on every single point, irregardless whether my point is valid.

    I have to admit that my initial reaction to your post was that you were an activist.

  147. Replying to…

    Richard Lawson (08:36:57) :
    In the end, this is not an academic debate, because we and our children are part of the experiment. The consensus among scientists (yes, with a few exceptions, as is always the case in science) that we should decarbonise our economy as a matter of urgency.

    Science is not a consensus building process. Prior to the Ptolemaic Solar System’s collapse under the increasing weight of contradictory observations, the “scientific consensus” was that the solar system orbited around the Earth. Plate Tectonics were first hypothesized in the early 20th century…It was 70 years before the evidence supporting it overwhelmed the geosynclinal theory. In the late 1960’s, the “scientific consensus” for mountain-building was that sediment load dumped into synclines pushed up mountain ranges behind those synclines. That consensus was sold right up until the weight of the contradictory evidence toppled it.

    And there is no “scientific consensus” that de-carbonization of the economy is urgent. The consensus is that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a primary factor in climate change…That paradigm will shift in the next 10 years as the Earth continues to cool. If anything the “consensus” is that the talk of urgency is counterproductive to reducing carbon emissions because the alarmism is unwarranted.

    Say we decarbonise our economy, and it turns out that IPCC view is wrong? Well, we will have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in insulation and manufacturing and taken thousands out of fuel poverty. Not bad, but that’s not all. We will also have reduced the shock of Peak Oil and Peak Gas. And addressed our energy security problems. And prosperity in hot countries. Not bad.

    De-carbonize with what? The only viable alternative of sufficient scale for electricity generation is nuclear fission. Who’s going to pay for this de-carbonization? Draconian carbon tax schemes will only serve to make the world’s most economical energy sources more expensive…This will sap the wealth of rich nations and permanently impoverish the poor nations – if no lead to genocide in the Third World.

    Say we go the way of the denialists/sceptics advocate? We will have problems with energy security, Peak Oil, Peak Gas, fuel poverty, unemployment, poverty, civil unrest and finally, massive, catastrophic climate disruption from droughts, floods, crop failures, disease, and war. With massive migration caused by environmental collapse. Not good.

    If you go the way that the free market advocates…Fossil fuels will eventually be replaced because market forces make the alternatives more economically attractive.

    The climate will do what the Sun, the stars and plate tectonics basically tell it to do irrespective of what mankind does.

    If I were a betting man, I would put my money on decarbonising the global economy. AGW. I’m sure Pascal would agree.

    Pascal would agree with what? De-carbonizing or AGW? If Pascal was a geoscientist, he’d know that AGW has no scientific foundation; and therefore Pascal’s Wager would not apply.

  148. “I would put my money on decarbonising the global economy. AGW. I’m sure Pascal would agree.”

    Pascal over Descartes? You will profit little on that bet.

    Give me a Scotsman over a Frenchman any day, thank you; Hume to be exact.

    Your bets from evidence, please, not dreamy.metaphysical.fairytale.unicorns-with-wings.moonbattery.

  149. Dave Middleton (09:12:36) :

    Replying to…

    chad (23:57:28) :

    Dave – Excellent Post.

    Cheers G

  150. idlex (03:48:02) :

    If he is lending his support to the global warming scam, it’s almost certainly because he’s been put under pressure to do so.

    By the BBC, no doubt (who never now show us Dr David Bellamy, who was almost as common a sight on our screens as David Attenborough at one time, but who is now outcast as an unbeliever in AGW).

  151. The Bellamy article also has a wonderful picture of the Goracle looking like a cross between an overfed cat and a used car salesman… :-)

  152. So how he could accuse the BBC of not allowing his views any airtime, starting from the mid-ninties, because of a position he didn’t hold until 5-6 years later is beyond me. I’ll admit I may have the exact dates out by a year or two, as I don’t have time to google right now, but I’ll welcome any clarification on this.

    No need to Google, Matt – it’s in the article: “It was in 1996 that I criticised wind farms while appearing on Blue Peter and I also had an article published in which I described global warming as poppycock.”

  153. I am not a highly educated man, yet I am not a fool. Common sense would agree with the good doctor that the largest energy source to our world is indeed the sun. That the energy emitted by the sun is absorbed by the planet and in absorbing this energy quite a bit would be converted to other forms of energy, one of these being heat energy. Those who ignore these simple facts are guilty of a sort of ‘scientific malfeasance’ in that they eschew the obvious as being too obvious and in turn search for an arcane, more devious answer that provides them with an intellectual superiority and thus empower them to make those who don’t possess this ‘knowledge’ subservient to their whims. These pseudo intellectuals (or as in the case of Al Gore ‘Sumo Intellectuals’) are seeking control of our lives because ‘they know better’. I’m beginning to see these folks as a throwback to the geocentric ideas of Ptolemy and Aristotle and as such suspect their ideas will be refuted in the future. But, will that occur in time to prevent them from sending our civilization back to the times of those two sages?

  154. Plimer has done good skeptical work in other fields, but methinks he has become overzealous on this one. The book is apparently full of errors and the numerous sources he cites tend not to show what he thinks they show.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/the_australians_war_on_science_39.php

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25434629-7583,00.html

    And ‘most eminent Australian geologist’? I’ve never heard him referred to as that, and I’m an Australian geologist.

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