Booker on BBC’s Science Under Attack

Christopher Booker on BBC and The Royal Society bias, ClimateGate, The Met cold winter forecast and 2010 hottest year ever:

Horizon’s “Science Under Attack” turned out to be yet another laborious bid by the BBC to defend the global warming orthodoxy…… Hours of film of climate-change “deniers” are cherrypicked for soundbites that can be shown, out of context, to make them look ridiculous…… Although Sir Paul presented himself as the champion of objective science, he frequently showed that, for all his expertise in cell biology, he knows little about climate.


The fact that someone is an expert in one particular field – even if he is President of the Royal Society – gives him little more authority to pronounce on issues with which he is unfamiliar than a man holding forth in a pub……. the BBC has been turned, in Peter Sissons’ words, into a mere “propaganda machine”……. Comparing the actual data…… shows that for four years the original figure has been adjusted downwards. Only for 2010 was the data revised upwards, by the largest adjustment of all, allowing the Met Office to claim that 2010 was the hottest year of the decade……

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8290469/How-BBC-warmists-abuse-the-science.html

h/t to Amino Acids in Meteorites

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138 Responses to Booker on BBC’s Science Under Attack

  1. John Kehr says:

    Just imagine how desperate they will become if a significant cooling period kicks off for the next ten years. Any rational person familiar with climate recognizes that such an event will happen. Could be starting now in fact.

    Such a natural reversal means little, but the claim of warming is the only basis the warmists have. The desperation will be impressive. Maybe they will even claim that the new wind power has made a difference.

    John Kehr

  2. Corky Boyd says:

    “He who controls the past, controls the future” — George Orwell in 1984

    What the warmist scientists are doing is no different than what Winston did (airbrushing out unpersons from news photos, etc.) in Orwell’s 1984. It was a fraud in his book and it is a fraud now.

    But of course it furthered the cause of the party which made it justifiable.

  3. Al Gored says:

    Ah yes, the BBC. I find Richard Black’s blog to be relentless propaganda. Here’s the latest example:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2011/01/if_the_arctic_is_really.html#comments

    Back in the good old pre-Climategate era, it used to be great fun watching the BBC’s almost daily ‘Global Warming Catatstrophe Report’ by David Shukman, but he seems to have melted away much faster than the ice cap did. Now their propaganda is more subltle. They can always seem to find some sign of ‘climate disruption’ to cover, including minor ones on slow news days, which has the cumulative effect of delivering that message to viewers without explicitly stating it. Lots of networks doing that trick these days, and with video cameras everywhere they have coverage of everything. Look! A mudslide in some remote corner of Bolivia! That previously no one except locals would ever have heard about…

    Back on topic, if this dustup between the BBC and the MET doesn’t shake something up, the UK truly is hopelessly enslaved by the AGW industry.

  4. Bill in Vigo says:

    Makes on wonder!!!! What about all those that aren’t properly trained in the correct field to study or comment on the climate science. It appears that It is only if your are in disagreement with the “consensus”.

    Bill Derryberry

  5. Cassandra King says:

    Actually science is under attack, it has been under attack for some time yet the BBC are trying to portray the perpetrators as victims.Paul Nurse has no expertise in climate science and his breathtakingly ignorant prejudice only confirms this, he is interested in defending the CAGW narrative. The Royal Society has a terrible track record over the last couple of hundred years in selecting and defending ridiculous assertions and consensus ignorance, if there has been a dragging anchor holding science back it has been the RS.
    The BBCs sole purpose and aim in making this propaganda film was in order to smear unbelievers and sceptics, the BBC has much invested in CAGW both in fiscal and ideological terms, they believe and they are not just believers but leaders of the CAGW narrative.
    This programme by the BBC was in fact an admission of failure, it will be seen in the near future for what it is and will I believe undermine and help to destroy the BBC. I see this effort from the BBC coming back to haunt them.

  6. David Ball says:

    Cassandra King says:
    January 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm
    One can only hope. Goes double for the CBC, as well.

  7. vigilantfish says:

    Is this comment actually being published in the paper (as opposed to one of the Telegraph’s blogs)? I certainly hope so, as it is a crushing rejoinder to the Beeb’s propaganda piece and needs the widest possible readership. Imagine stating that human beings are responsible for putting out 7 times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than natural processes! Nurse should be removed from his position in the Royal Society for his abuse of science and sheer carelessness with facts. When will the membership of the RS wake up?

  8. pat says:

    Again we see ill-educated politicians, many ignorant fools, professing “special knowledge” that is neither backed by facts or logic. An attempt to subject populations to a system of regulation that will stifle all scientific research and leave industry to Asia and other countries that realize this is nothing but nonsense.

  9. Malaga View says:

    BRAVO BOOKER!

    Far from it being “science” which is under attack from all those experts who dispute the orthodoxy on global warming, the truth is the very reverse. It is the dissenters who are trying to speak for genuine science, against those who misuse its prestige to promote a cause which has too often betrayed the very essence of proper scientific method.

    The fact that the BBC has been turned, in Peter Sissons’ words, into a mere “propaganda machine” is scandal enough. But a far greater scandal is the way the authority of science has been hijacked to serve a fatally flawed belief system which threatens to inflict irreparable damage on the future of us all.

  10. charles nelson says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    January 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm
    frank verismo says:
    January 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    @RockyRoad:
    This is what happens when a cult replaces science. The faster the MET and BBC are discredited the better.

    Funny you should mention those two in the same sentence. Further to my previous post:

    Head of the BBC’s pension fund: Peter Dunscombe
    Head of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change: (wait for it . . . . ) Peter Dunscombe!

    Does anyone else detect a pattern here?

    ====================================================

    Yes, I do. It’s called manipulating the market.

  11. jim karlock says:

    I do hope someone in England files a complaint about (or to?) the BBC in the same manner as the warmistas did against “the great global warming swindle” a few years back.

    Thanks
    JK

  12. xyzlatin says:

    I believe that there is a mixture of incorrect reasoning when attacking Nurse for his lack of credentials in climate science. Firstly, is it right to exclude someone simply because he has no formal training in the climate field? If so, this is a slippery slope for any skeptic as well who does not have formal qualifications in that field, including Booker. That is a two edged sword.
    It is also raising the science of climate change as is practised by the CRU and the team, into a higher realm than it deserves. In fact, from what I have learned, in general, the so called climate science teaching at many universities right round the world is short on the science skills such as required by mathematicians or astrophysicists, but long on activism and politics.
    One does not need a degree in anything to work out that there is something shonky going on with the thermometer placements conveniently being reduced in colder areas.
    One also does not need a degree to read emails written in English language in particular the Harry Read Me file, which is full of comments telling everyone he has to make a lot of the figures up.
    In fact, one does not need anything other than commensense, to be able to work out that if the theory is that the temperature will rise with increased C02, and it hasn’t, then the theory is wrong.
    So why is Nurse backing the wrong science (as will eventually be shown)?
    The answer is something for the psychology folk to ponder on in the future when the scam is finished, on their grants!

  13. Steeptown says:

    The most interesting bit is discussed by Biship Hill at http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/1/29/booker-wades-in.html#comments.

    More data manipulation by the Met Office. Talk about corruption of science. No wonder it is under attack.

  14. Baa Humbug says:

    I’ve read in a couple of places now about data from 4 years being adjusted down and data from 2010 being adjusted up, but I haven’t seen actual figures.

    Does anybody know where one can see these figures? I’d like to know how much was adjusted down/up.

  15. tango says:

    the blind leading the blind very sad

  16. TFNJ says:

    But it was good to see Phil Jones back from his stint as curator of the Turin shroud…
    Wasn’t it?
    Pity about the purple shirt tho’.

  17. Roger Carr says:

    Thank all things beautiful for the “Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate”.
        All of these pesky facts and fancies will be reconciled there and no argument or disagreement will remain, leaving us free to glory in all ice, snow, flood, drought and famine in the true innocence of our noble savage ancestry.

  18. Mike Haseler says:

    Science under attack

    It is not us, but people like Trenberth trying to reverse the Null Hypothesis that are attacking science.

    Nothing could be so fundamental to science as having to prove your assertions rather than putting the onus on other people to disprove them.

    It is like having a criminal justice system, when one day, a prosecutor on a difficult high-profile trial, stands up before the jury and says: “I think this case is so important that from now on it should be up to the defendant to prove they are innocent and not up to the state to prove they are guilty”.

    N.B. They’d make global warming “denial” a crime – which means if it was up to Trenberth, we’d all be guilty unless we could disprove their ridiculous mumbo jumbo. It’s hot: global warming. It snows: global warming. Wet: global warming. Dry: Global warming. And if there’s no extreme weather: It’s global warming

  19. Jimbo says:

    Instead of asking the cell biologist Sir Paul Nurse to present the show why couldn’t the BBC use Dr. Paul Jones of CRU to do the presenting? ;O)

    Apparently Sir Paul posed a question to Delingpole of the Telegraph:

    “…if a dear relative was suffering from a fatal disease, would he opt for the “consensus” treatment recommended by doctors, or advice to drink more orange juice offered by a fringe maverick quack?”

    My answer would be that I would opt for any treatment that is effective even if it’s orange juice. Consensus does not come into it. Why? Well in 1982 two Australian scientists, Robin Warren and Barry J. Marshall, showed that most stomach ulcers and gastritis were caused by colonization of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori and not by stress or spicy food as had been assumed by the consensus. I wonder how Einstein would have progressed today?

  20. Jimbo says:

    I would like to remind Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, about the institution’s motto:

    “The Royal Society’s motto ‘Nullius in verba’ roughly translates as ‘take nobody’s word for it‘. It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.”

    AGW’s forecasts are failing and yet we are told to abandon scepticism.

  21. Green Sand says:

    vigilantfish says:
    January 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Is this comment actually being published in the paper

    Yes, it is in the main paper. Booker has a weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph.

  22. Stephen Brown says:

    @vigilantfish, the article is in the print version of the Telegraph see here:
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/01/back-to-nursery.html
    for a picture of the page.

  23. Ian W says:

    xyzlatin says:
    January 29, 2011 at 11:08 pm
    I believe that there is a mixture of incorrect reasoning when attacking Nurse for his lack of credentials in climate science. Firstly, is it right to exclude someone simply because he has no formal training in the climate field? If so, this is a slippery slope for any skeptic as well who does not have formal qualifications in that field, including Booker. That is a two edged sword.

    It is a two edged sword if it is _just_ making a non-expert comment. However, this was not ‘just a non-expert comment’ – this was The President of The Royal Society who I am sure at no time stated that he had no expertise in the field. If you are asked to comment -as a scientist- in a field in which you have no expertise, then you state that clearly and ensure that the people you are talking to are aware. Then you act like a scientist and are sceptical about everything you are told and ask for some level of support for assertions.

    Had The President of The Royal Society acted like a scientist he would have corrected the totally false statement ” 7 gigatons (billion tons) are emitted each year by human activity while only 1 gigaton comes from natural sources such as the oceans” but it would appear that in this regard at least he was notacting like a scientist. One starts to wonder in how many areas are we trusting those in authority and their reporters when they are not acting with professionalism.

  24. Jordan says:

    Horizon was once one of the great general science TV programmes of the UK. Now it is trash.

    This latest eposide is truly disgraceful. Nurse harps on about the public not accepting the global warming catastrophe theory, and asks why that should be. But I cannot see how this programme is supposed to improve anything.

    Horizon probably still keeps a reasonably highbrow audience, and I don’t think neutral observers would have been much impressed by the cringeworthy scenes of Jones explaining how he decided it was better not to show all of his data, or playing the victim card because he felt harassed by FOI requests.

    Horizon was very quick to portray Jones as the victim of the FOI requests, without any background to how things got to where they did. There was no attempt to approach the people who were asking for information, or what had led them to go down the FOI route. That made this part very one-sided indeed.

    Horizon tried a real stitch-up on James Delingpole – although I think it will have backfired.

    At his blog, James explains how Nurse visited him for 3 hours to discuss climategate. Nurse tried to throw a curveball with a question on who to believe when you have cancer. James pointed out that it’s a bad analogy and insisted they stick to climategate. And out of 3 hours discussion together, what did Horizon choose to show? You guessed it – James appearing to refuse to answer the question.

    The programme also shows James Delingpole admitting that he’s not a climate expert and doesn’t read the primary research literature. Also a clar attempt to discredit Delingpole.

    This is a classic example of demanding higher standards from your opponents: there is no doubt that many public supporters of global warming catastrophe theory do not read the primary research literature, but will appear in the media to make their point. Did Nurse suggest that they should butt-out of the discussion because they are not experts? Nope – missed that one completely. It’s only dissenting non-experts who are to be questioned on their qualifications.

    In fact most people feel entitled to have an opinion on many things. They may have their own insights on a topic, their own interests, and do their own examination of the issues, without feeling it necessary to go to the primary research literature. I’m sure Nurse is in exactly the same poisition on many issues.

    On the point of reading the literature, Nurse failed to deal with the issue that the global warming catastrophe theory is so poorly defined that it cannot be explained. That’s a major part of the issue. The Horizon programme acknowledged the uncertainty in clouds. But you can go over to Judith Currie to see endless debate about fundamental points such as the role of feedback in sensitivity, questions like whether the “zero feedback sensitivity” has any physical meaning or is it just an abstract construct.

    In early December, poster “Nullius in Verba” wrote this at Currie’s blog:

    “A great deal of confusion is caused in this debate by the fact that there are two distinct explanations for the greenhouse effect: one based on that developed by Fourier, Tyndall, etc. which works for purely radiative atmospheres (i.e. no convection), and the radiative-convective explanation developed by Manabe and Wetherald …. Climate scientists do know how the basic greenhouse physics works, and they model it using the Manabe and Wetherald approach. But almost universally, when they try to explain it, they all use the purely radiative approach, which is incorrect, misleading, contrary to observation, and results in a variety of inconsistencies when people try to plug real atmospheric physics into a bad model. It is actually internally consistent, and it would happen like that if convection could somehow be prevented, but it isn’t how the real atmosphere works.”

    Climatologists don’t have a consistent explanation to support the catastrophe theory. Now THAT would have been a good point for Nurse to have addressed if he hadn’t been so occupied in trying to discredit dissent.

    Then there was the irony of Nurse’s starry-eyed visit to the RS archives, seeing some of the works of his science heroes. But many of these people were dissenters of their day – many of them never received recognition in their own lifetime. So what the hell did Nurse think he was doing when he attacked modern-day dissent and defended his assumed consensus.

    Well done Christopher Booker – we need you to speak out on these things.

    And to the the folks of WUWT – please show your support to James Delingpole. In one respect, James has arrived through this programme (that’s why I think the smear tactic has backfired). But James will be the UK whipping boy for the climate extremists and that’s not going to be easy.

  25. EFS_Junior says:

    [snip- stop using the D word to label individuals - keep it up and you'll be banned - Anthony]

  26. Stacey says:

    Nobel Prize winner so what.
    Some of them went on to be active nazis and if Al Gore can get it. Well?
    The thing that I find base is that Nurse is the President of a learned institution and should he should therefore be above the fray, also I would have thought that they would have rules on professional conduct?

  27. Mike Haseler says:

    It’s all over folks! The shere scale of the evil denier empire has been exposed in the Guardian

    the secretive Global Warming Policy Foundation(http://www.thegwpf.org/), founded in November 2009, is funded by anonymous donors, compared with income from membership fees. Its total income for the period up to 31 July 2010 was £503,302, of which only £8,168 came from membership contributions. The foundation charges a minimum annual membership fee of £100 .

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/20/global-warming-policy-foundation-donors

    Compare that with these:

    A loss of £4.3m ($7m) funding will hit the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Changehttp://www.enviro-live.com/news/science-technology/met-office-funding-cut.html A loss of £4.3million!

    ‘Climategate’ professor Phil Jones awarded £13 million in research grants http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6735846/Climategate-professor-Phil-Jones-awarded-13-million-in-research-grants.html

  28. cal says:

    I wrote to the BBC about this. Only the second time I have been compelled to do so (the only other time was after that terrible experiment with the CO2 in a bottle).

    Most of the points I raised have been covered by Booker and others on this thread but one of the false arguments has not been covered and it really got me annoyed because it sounded so reasonable.

    Nurse asked Delingpole how he would react if a consultant told him that he had cancer and that the consultant and his colleagues agreed that a particular treatment was best for him. Would he not go along with that consensus. It was a difficult for Delingpole to argue against this as the question was put and of course the viewer was left to make the parallel with “consesus” in climate science.

    However the question should have been put in this way. What if a consultant funded by a the world’s biggest drug company said that you had cancer and that the drug made by the same company was best for you. Consultants working for the suppliers, distributors and shareholders of that company all agreed with him. When pressed he would have to accept that there were other consultants who disagreed but they were not to be believed because they had not published in the journal owned by the same drug company.

    I think I might ask for a second opinion!

  29. Les Francis says:

    Forget about the science and climate change.

    The UN Sec gen Ban Ki Moon has laid it out : Capitilism is evil we need a revolution

  30. Chris Wright says:

    vigilantfish says:
    January 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Is this comment actually being published in the paper (as opposed to one of the Telegraph’s blogs)?

    Yes, it’s in today’s printed Sunday Telegraph. Booker’s column appears every week in the printed version. He has done fantastic work, shining a pitiless light on both the wretched state of climate science and the equally wretched European Union.
    Chris

  31. Richard Lawson says:

    Paul Nurse reads this blog (which he referred to as a ‘denier web site’ in the programme) and commented to Anthony on the story of midges in Alaska saying “please stop this cherry picking”

    [Reply - er, that was a regular commenter changing aliases ~jove, mod]

    This man is not only a disgrace to his position of President of the Royal Society (motto: On the word of no one) but a disgrace to his entire profession of ‘scientists’.

    This man knows nothing on climate science, yet uses his position as some sort of High Priest on the topic. He has the audacity to tell others to stop cherry picking after colluding with the BBC to produce the most cherry picked diatribe possible.

    This man should resign his position immediately simply for ignoring the Society’s motto and the BBC Trust needs to investigate the non-impartiality that coursed through the veins of this editorial.

    Paul Nurse (you do not deserve the courtesy of your full title) if read this take note. You are a hypocrite. Resign your post immediately. The Royal Society is, historically, a great organisation. I simply cannot be great with you as President. Your fore bares must be turning in their graves!

  32. Chris Wright says:

    Jordan says:
    January 30, 2011 at 2:33 am

    “Horizon was once one of the great general science TV programmes of the UK. Now it is trash.
    This latest eposide is truly disgraceful.”

    I agree. It showed two sceptics, Fred Singer and James Delingpole, and they both came over as very weak. Doubtless they recorded several hours of conversation with nurse, but they showed two brief pieces that were almost certainly selected to show them in the worst possible light.

    Nurse’s analogy about the doctors was bad, but if I had been Delingpole I would be kicking myself. I would have said something like: “Yes, I would probably accept the doctor’s concensus because I have no reason to believe they have been cooking the books”. Simple. But instead Delingpole seemed stuck and tried to change the subject. So naturally that’s what they showed.

    Thinking about it, I think this Horizon program is actually worse than Climate Wars, as it does seem to contain an outrageous lie (about human versus natural emissions). In Climate Wars the presenter actually showed evidence that supports the sceptical case, in particular UHI at Las Vegas.
    Chris

  33. Anthony Hanwell says:

    Following the BBC Horizon programme I wrote to Sir Paul Nurse as follows: Didn’t even get round to the IPCC!

    Sir Paul Nurse
    President
    The Royal Society
    6-9 Carleton House Terrace
    London SW1Y 5AG

    Dear Sir Paul,
    I watched with interest your contribution to the global warming debate last night on Horizon. I think it was a pity that your genuine wish to find out why there is such a public mistrust of science was bound up with the BBC who have publicly acknowledged that they are not impartial on this issue as they believe the “science is settled.”
    I am sorry that several personal attacks on you have appeared on the blogs – such ‘ad hominem’ criticisms have no place in scientific debate.
    I also feel it was regrettable that opposition to GM food was coupled with opposition to the current global warming theory. As a global warming sceptic, I find myself on the opposite side to environmental activists who both object to GM but have also co-opted AGW for their own ends.
    I apologise in advance for the length of this letter, but you have asked the question and I want you to know why this scientifically educated (M.A. Ph.D (Cantab) and Hon D.Eng (Sheffield)) member of the public is a global warming sceptic. Below are a few of the many reasons which have pushed me from a neutral to a strongly held sceptic position.

    1. Informed observers agree that there may be a degree or two of global warming going on. By comparison with the annual fluctuations at any place on earth, it is small and arguably may be beneficial.
    2. Your programme elegantly explained the difference between correlation and causation. Nowhere have I been able to find convincing proof that increasing CO2 levels cause global warming.
    3. You harped on the argument of ‘consensus’ but having worked in the medical industry, I well remember the consensus on the causes of gastric and duodenal ulcers and the major surgery patients were obliged to endure until a small voice from an Australian doctor piped up to some derision that “it’s all down to a bacterium Helicobacter pylori” And so it proved.
    4. I do not believe that there is a conspiracy but the sheer weight of money thrown at research to prove AGW has caused groupthink and made it very difficult for doubters to advance their career in the face of it.
    5. Even a cursory examination of the global temperature records will give any reputable scientist food for thought. Climate scientists indulge in ‘homogenisation’ so that the record the public is allowed to see has been substantially altered from the raw data. Worse, as Phil Jones confirms, the audit trail is often lost so that the adjustments cannot repeated. Another cause for concern is the tinkering with the historical records and the frequency with which the recent data tends to be adjusted upwards and older data downwards to exaggerate the warming trend.
    6. A recent example is from New Zealand. The official record has now been disowned after skilful criticism from sceptics and it is now accepted that no warming has occurred (in New Zealand at least)
    7. An American schoolboy and his father demonstrated that in their area of the USA, a comparison of the temperature record in rural areas compared with urban areas showed warming in the latter but not in the former. Phil Jones says that the urban heat effect on the record is only very small and is allowed for in ‘homogenisation’. Common experience suggests this is highly unlikely.
    8. Anthony Watts at the blog WUWT has shown just how questionable is the land temperature record. A large proportion of the recording stations making up the global record were first put in place for aviation purposes and can be affected by aircraft jet exhausts and the heat retaining properties of airport runways and aprons. Aviation activity has grown vastly in the last century and will have undoubtedly affected the global temperature record.
    9. You went to NASA and saw some pretty video of the world’s cloud movements compared with such movements modelled on a computer. Didn’t that just prove that we are now pretty good at forecasting the short term weather? But extrapolating to the end of the century? Really?
    10. It was noticeable that you did not choose to interview NASA’s most (in)famous climate scientist James Hansen. How can we be expected to trust him and his science when he spends so much time in AGW advocacy, such as his recent participation in the demonstrations at Kingsnorth power station?
    11. You appeal to us to have faith in the peer reviewed science. However, in your look at Climategate you only questioned Jones on ‘hide the decline’. What about his attempt to control the peer review system as it applies to climate science. Serious scientists who do not subscribe to AGW have difficulty penetrating the journals within groupthink and have to resort to publishing in journals from peripheral fields.
    12. The UEA claimed that the Russell and Oxburgh enquiries confirmed the AGW science. On their own admission they did no such thing. NOBODY has held an enquiry in to the SCIENCE behind AGW. Today’s report by the House of Commons is pretty uncomplimentary about the quality of those enquiries.
    13. Phil Jones has admitted on the record that there has been no significant global warming for 15 years in spite of rising CO2 levels. With so much uncertainty, can we risk spending vast resources on an attempt to influence the climate?
    I could go on about the vast carbon trading commercial interests that have grown on the back of AGW and who do not wish it to end, but that’s politics not science.
    The biggest contribution you could make on your watch at the august Royal Society would be to take your own advice (i.e.trust no-one) and undertake a very careful independent review of the science underpinning AGW including evidence from not only the climate science community but the several highly qualified sceptics who are household names in the blogosphere . Such an enquiry could do much to salvage the reputation of the Society on this subject, which was so damaged by your predecessors as to call forth protest from 43 of its members.
    Finally, and on a lighter note, here is a link to ‘a complete list of things caused by global warming’. I hope it will amuse you as well as illustrating the groupthink to which I have referred.
    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

    Yours sincerely,

    Anthony Hanwell

  34. John Marshall says:

    This is typical of BBC science. They get an expert who does not know the subject under discussion, in this case an expert geneticist who has to discuss climatology, and browbeat the viewer. I do not know why I pay the licence fee for this rubbish.
    Well done Mr Booker.

  35. Archonix says:

    Stacey says:
    January 30, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Nobel Prize winner so what.
    Some of them went on to be active nazis and if Al Gore can get it. Well?

    Gore got the “peace prize”, which is handed out by a separate institution for political reasons. It’s not easy to get a nobel prize for physics, for instance, as you have to actually do something worthwhile.

  36. Pete Hayes says:

    Nurse really should be ashamed of himself for getting involved in such a base BBC program, taking into account his position within the RS. I would only hope the decent members rise up and ask for his resignation.

    A once famous and respected institution joining in with other institutions that have been taken over by politics and money!

  37. Rowland Pantling (UK) says:

    The BBC is actually screening a documentary on the opposite view – not on the mainstream channels but on BBC4. This is on Monday 31 Jan at 10pm. “Storyville – Meet the Climate Sceptics” apparently is to include interviews with the likes of Viscount Christopher Monckton. It will be very interesting to see how they are treated. Hopefully, it should be pretty even handed since the journalist, Rupert Murray, recently covered the the EU approved environmental crime of fish discards.

  38. Slabadang says:

    This will defenitely not be maentioned by BBC or “The Office”!

    Its a killer!!
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JPO4410.1?journalCode=phoc

    The warming of the Atlantic until 98 is wiped out!! Its cooling faster than it was warming.

  39. EternalOptimist says:

    Surely the reason why the common man is becoming disillusioned by the scientific process is because it is being politicised by failed politicians, hijacked by zealots , milked by unscrupulous reasearchers , used as a doomsday authority to sell papers and shoddy journals and blamed for everything when someone breaks a nail.

    To bring it all down to the agw debate was itself shoddy, and didnt do the perception of science any favours at all

  40. frederik wisse says:

    The problem with Mr Jones cs is mainly a psychological one . Once you start to manipulate the truth , science is included herein , and you are organising your mind in such a way that the manipulations are becoming settled , is this settled science ? ,
    in your own mind , you are going to loose the ability to seperate facts from fiction .
    To put it bluntly : You are going to believe in your own lies . And if then you wish to sacrifice human life for your ideas , you are doing what many did before you , acting like a criminal . Instead we should love each other , but does a global warming alarmist show real warmth ?

  41. P Wilson says:

    I watched that presentation by the president of the Royal Society, and he came across, disingenuously or not (Its hard to tell) as someone who didn’t have much clue about science generally, and thus seemed like the sort of 2nd rate journalism that is normal for newspapers like the Evening Standard or the student’s union paper.

    i hope he was being disingenuous. (pretending to be naive but really promoting an agenda), since it would be unfortunate for a president of a scientific organisation to be little more than a social butterfly within his organisation.

  42. rbateman says:

    Piltdown Climate Man is once again paraded about as the new King Tut of Science.
    The cheap gold leaf and costume jewelery of the Mask is coming apart, it’s painfully obvious and it really looks bad.
    Didn’t anyone tell them that streaking is now relegated to nostalgia commercials?

  43. pesadia says:

    I find it to be very discouraging that the new head of the royal society, (in his debut) has revealed to the world that his head appears to be well and trully deep in the sand. The horizon production will be seen as a classic demonstration of how to turn a personal triumph into a propaganda disaster. Not a very good start for Paul Nurse.

  44. P Wilson says:

    addendum to
    P Wilson says:

    January 30, 2011 at 4:54 am

    of course, he’s an expert in genetics (obviously a man of science in his field) . An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less in these days of specialist knowledge.

  45. Wucash says:

    Horizon has been used a lot this season to drive the AGW agenda forward. Brian Cox seems to mention it everytime he’s on one of their shows, although thankfully he’s careful about talking about human influences. So was the ’1 degree’ Horizon episode with the comedian and past phycisist Ben Miller. He also hasn’t mentioned anything about human influence, but showed he has disdain for those who are sceptical of the ‘mainstream consensus’. And he had a lovely time bigging up the Met Office, which seemed more like a product placement than a reasoned opinion. (He put up a weather station he got from the Met and bragged how accurate the thermometer is, discarding the fact he put that weather station up on his black roof, which at least to me, is silly because of all the heat emissions coming out of his house).

    I haven’t seen this episode yet, but the title says it all and I don’t think I even want to. They can’t seem to grasp the fact that science itself isn’t under attack, but bad, ‘voodoo’ science, which gives real science a bad name. Besides, since when is being sceptical an attack on science?

  46. A Lovell says:

    I wonder if Nurse would dare to put his consensus analogy to Prince Charles?

  47. Kate says:

    Les Francis says: The UN Sec gen Ban Ki Moon has laid it out : Capitilism is evil we need a revolution

    …I’m glad you mentioned Ban Ki Moon. He has just made a significant change in his approach to this subject (or rather, the language used when addressing this subject) which the UN as a whole and the IPCC in particular must follow. He has also sacked most of the AGW team that have been following him around for years and advising him on policy.

    The UN has dumped the phrase “global warming” from its statements (I am tempted to call them “emissions”). The phrase “climate change” is on probation and will eventually be retired, having done its job. The word “green” is being played down because of its unpleasant associations with taxes and bureaucracy.

    From now on, there will be “clean energy” (who would support “dirty” energy anyway?), and “sustainable development” (anyone out there want “unsustainable” development?) and there’s also something called a “clean development mechanism” which amounts to billions in taxes being transferred to African countries for so-called “low-carbon” projects.

  48. Alexander K says:

    As a British Commonwealth citizen who has ‘right to remain’ status in the UK thanks to my Yorkshire-born Grandfather who emigrated to avoid starvation in the 19th century with many from his community to our former colony of New Zealand, I am hesitant to criticise the venerable institutions of the UK, but my reading of history tells me the Royal Society has ‘form’ and has usually opted for questionable ‘concensus’ formed by a few wealthy and aristocratic ‘scientific’ dilletantes rather than examining new discoveries with the proper rigor and scepticism that science demands. The Society and its leardership has frequently not behaved according to it’s own elegant motto and has often been to a willing tool of the establishment of any era, so history repeats itself.
    But the BBC, which I was bought up to believe to be a model of fairness, elegantly phrased truth and honesty, is fair game for my criticisms of it, as I am forced to pay a considerable sum each year to support it. Every day, without exception, the great and egregious fraud of Man-made global warming (or whatever guise du joir it is presented in) is rolled out in the most reasonable tones, without even the feeblest attempt to achieve the oft-quoted ‘fairness’ and ‘balance’ the BBC trumpets.
    The Met Office too is significant beneficiary of the Revenue and appears to see its obligations to the public as being of no moment or importance whatsoever; the fact that some of its more public employees have been lying to the public and attempting to obscure that organisation’s incredibly poor performance should be the subject of a fraud action brought by some representative of the usoverburdened taxpayers.
    I once had faith in Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Enquiries, but to find that all of the enquiries into ‘Climategate’ have not examined the science and produced only one honest, intelligent and forthright politician whose dissenting opinion was written out of the Parliamentary report by craven colleagues, the admirable Graham Stringer, is disappointing to say the least.

  49. P Wilson says:

    Of course, if a climate scientist were pontificating on genetics, or medicine – or bioengineering, or even of a cosmologist were presenting the case for latest techniques in medicines, then we’d be suspicious and would deem it inappropriate, which is telling of the fact that there is little room for propaganda in such crucial branches of science as these, where life depends on empirical evidence an findings. This leads one to believe that anyone can promote the consensus on climate change, so so little depends on its factual presentation.

    IE, there is nothing at stake (catastrophe etc) from climate change, that isn’t already established from pre alarmist days

  50. kcom says:

    “Nurse asked Delingpole how he would react if a consultant told him that he had cancer and that the consultant and his colleagues agreed that a particular treatment was best for him. Would he not go along with that consensus. It was a difficult for Delingpole to argue against this as the question was put and of course the viewer was left to make the parallel with “consesus” in climate science.

    Chris Wright had a good answer (and it has the advantage of brevity): “Yes, I would probably accept the doctor’s concensus because I have no reason to believe they have been cooking the books.

    But there’s also this. There’s actually a track record in treating cancer. Thousands and thousands of cases have been treated over the years with various approaches and protocols so the general parameters of the outcome are known. From diagnosis all the way to death or long-term survival we have examples of “what happens you do this” versus “what happens when you do that”, i.e. complete case histories. Even then, though, no individual case is predictable. A certain cancer might have a 40% five year survival rate, but when you get diagnosed you have no idea (and no one else does either) if you’ll be in that 40% or not.

    Now compare that with climate science. We don’t have a single complete case history. We have one patient with a tentative diagnosis. We don’t know what happens when you do this versus what happens when you do that for this patient. We don’t have thousands of examples over the years. We can’t run multiple experiments with real world conditions and see what happens. In this case, consensus isn’t about data, it’s about opinion. They have a purported consensus of opinion about unknowable events in the future, versus a consensus of data about specific outcomes in the past (i.e. in the cancer case). Comparing those two examples is disingenuous and wrong and it highlights the weakness of their case.

    As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Their god-awful certainty is not a sign of the strength of their case, rather it’s a sign of their overweening hubris.

  51. Vince Causey says:

    I didn’t watch this latest Horizon propaganda piece, and I have no intention of doing so. Horizon, once one of the best – do-not-miss – science documentaries, has become, for this viewer, avoid-at-all-costs. I would no more watch Horizon for an objective look at science than I would read RealClimate.

    However, I did watch one appalling Horizon program a few years back called Global Dimming. Inevitably this turned the dimming by aerosol hypothesis into a tool to leverage co2 sensitivity to absurd levels. A scientist was brought on – Chris Cox (not to be confused with Brian Cox) – as a climate expert who calculated that co2 sensitivity was actually twice as high as the highest IPCC estimate.

    This was based on the so-called (il)logic that goes ‘if aerosols were previously masking the warming of co2, then co2 warming must be twice as high as previously thought.’ A nice CGI film was shown of London burning in a desert-like dust storm, while the narator warned in dark tones ‘this WILL happen – unless we take action now.’ If I wasn’t so tight, I would have kicked the tv screen in. Ever since then, I have avoided Horizon. Maybe there has been some good stuff on, but I’ll never know.

  52. Philip Shehan says:

    Mr Booker claims that “The Climategate emails scandal confirmed that scientists at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had distorted key data.”
    Which data were distorted? Independent reviews have cleared the CRU of any such conduct.

    Out of the hundreds of hacked emails, the closest they could come to a smoking gun was reference to a “trick” published in Nature to “hide the decline.” If you are wanting to hide some sort of subterfuge, the last thing you do is publish details of it in Nature.
    Anyone who took the trouble to read the Nature paper is aware that the “trick” was described fully as part of a discussion of the use of proxy measurements to infer temperatures in the past and in places where no direct temperature records are available. The reference was to a problem which has arisen since the 1960′s where tree ring data, one of the proxy measurements used, ceased to mach direct temperature measurements and other proxy measurements. This has been much dicussed in the brader literature. It was nothing to do with any manipulation of directly measured temperatures. Various possible causes for anomaly have been openly discussed and debated in the literature.

    The nature paper had a discussion of how this discrepancy may be explained, and actually showed graphs with and without tree ring data showing that reconstructions of the past were little affected by inclusion or exclusion of tree ring data.

    Again, the “trick” was fully discussed in the paper.

    And anyone who read the hacked emails in context knows that the remarks were part of a debate between authors as to whether or not they should include tree ring data among other proxies for recent decades when they were aware it was unreliable. Some favoured using the “trick” to attempt to account for the decline in tree ring growth which was not matched by direct temperature measurements showing temperature increases. Other authors favoured leaving the tree ring data out altogether as it was unreliable.

    Again, the “trick” was fully described and anyone who read and understood the Nature paper knew what it was about, so how can it be said the authors were trying to hoodwink anyone? There was no hiding declines in measured temperatures because there was no such decline. It was all about the reliability of tree rings as a proxy measurement.

    Climate skeptics like Booker are still engaging in wilful ignorance or dliberate dishonesty by claiming that key data was distorted.

  53. Slabadang says:

    Anthony!

    Ki Moon has to be from North korea! Its hard to belive that he is saying what hes really is saying.Teapartymovement must quddruple its memebers sthe coming week.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/28/ban-ki-moon-economic-model-environment

  54. jack morrow says:

    Jimbo says !:34 am
    You are absolutely correct about consensus in the case of stomach ulcers. My dad had a severe case and all the consensus treatment was to drink milk and eat soda crackers. I showed my dad the information about the helicobacter and he asked his doctor about it and all he got from the doctor was a brush-off about the info. So, my dad suffered many years with this problem which was fairly easily cured. He did get the right treatment later. Scientists today seem to avoid going against the consenus like they always have for fear of ridicule and loss of face and compensation.

  55. Bloke down the pub says:

    A number of contributors have mentioned the BBC’s Climate wars programme. It was presented by Dr Iain Stewart, a geologist who has recently presented another BBC series, about the work of geology’s founding fathers. I was much amused by the episode where he told how a theory, proposed by the then head of UK geology, had become the consensus. When this consensus was challenged by a self taught amateur the establishment pulled out all the stops to rubbish him and his ideas. Fortunately, the scientists sent to debunk him followed the scientific method and the consensus was changed. Ahhh, the good old days!

  56. Vince Causey says:

    Chris Wright,

    “Nurse’s analogy about the doctors was bad, but if I had been Delingpole I would be kicking myself. I would have said something like: “Yes, I would probably accept the doctor’s concensus because I have no reason to believe they have been cooking the books”. Simple.”

    Yes, but the BBC would just have edited that, so the reply would come out as: ‘Yes, I would probably accept the doctor’s consensus.’

    The analogy, of course, is a false one. Medicine goes through field trials, and people either get better or they don’t. Each type of cancer has a huge pool of statistical data for morbidity and recovery. For the climate science body of knowledge to be comparable to medicine, you would have to have 100,000 Earth’s each with various combinations of greenhouse gases, and their climates monitored for thousands of years.

    A much better medical analogy to climate science, if one were needed, would be as follows. A research group notices that some people who live near mobile phone masts occasionally get a temperature. There is a hypothesis that the low-frequency radio waves have a specific effect on certain centres of the brain. Yet it is difficult to separate the effects of the radio waves from normal random incidents of temperatures. Often people recover, but some people go on to get pneumonia and die. Despite the fact that people have been getting temperatures since the beginning of recorded history, this time there is a consensus that the current outbreak is mostly due to the radio masts. Furthermore, models show that as the number of radio masts increases, there will be a tipping point where nearly everyone will suffer catastrophic fevers and most will not recover. For some reason this is pushed by governments, media, green activists and the UN. Huge funding is made available, and the Royal Society and other august bodies are all agreed that radio masts are a threat to human health and must be removed before it is too late. Although this is the consensus, there are some scientists who say that the correlation between radio waves and fevers are too uncertain, and there is nothing special about the distribution of fevers compared to the past. Who do you believe?

  57. polistra says:

    In this case I can’t really sympathize with Delingpole. He knew in advance that he was dealing with tyrants. He should have required a written contract to the effect of “Use my words exactly and properly, with my post-edit approval, or don’t mention me at all.” Instead, he went ahead and let BBC do what it wants, with perfectly predictable results.

  58. Olen says:

    This is very interesting, rigging the science to support a political agenda is fraud and a title is not proof of a claim yet that is what is happening with the help of the profession, including the BBC, dedicated to exposing abuse such as fraud and elitism. Interesting but not acceptable.

  59. Robert Stevenson says:

    Christopher Booker is right, Sir Paul Nurse may be geneticist or cell biologist but he clearly does not have any knowledge of physics. I recommend that he study the electromagnetic spectrum particularly the ‘ultra violet catastrophe’ at the end of the 19th century prior to Max Planck’s solution at the beginning of the 20th century. Then atomic absorption spectra and Einstein’s Nobel prize winning work.

  60. Mycroft says:

    Anthony Hanwell

    Brilliant, Lord M would be proud.
    Do inform us of his reply should he have the balls to.

  61. roger says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/20/global-warming-policy-foundation-donors
    £503,000 rather pales into insignificance when one compares it against the the billions of pounds of compulsory funding wielded by the BBC across it’s entire output in the furtherance of the AGW chimera.
    Add to that the billions confiscated from us through the Renewable Obligations and disemminated by politicians to landowners, energy and associated companies, Green groups and criminals manipulating the EU Carbon Exchanges, and it is a wonder that any dissention is published on any media platform.
    Food price rises, exacerbated by the legislation for ethanol percentages in fuel consumption, are playing a major part in the escalating popular uprisings in North Africa.
    Here in the West it will be Carbon Taxes in their various manifestations that will precipitate serious demonstations against governments that already may have pushed prices beyond the limit of affordability for an increasing proportion of the poor in our society.
    Never mind demonstrations against University fees and the elimination of the deficit, which are containable, further escalations in the name of saving the planet will bring a cross section of society onto the streets to strike fear into the out of touch political classes.
    Perhaps cognisant of this, they are having second thoughts about the fuel duty escalator that was pencilled in for April.

  62. evanmjones says:

    Typical “cold is the new warm” bananas that would have been different had there been less snow rather than more snow.

    As for the longer term:

    CO2 was up 40% during the 20th century, 4% last decade, and I would expect this trend to continue.

    We add c. ~7 BMTC/year to a ~750 BMTC atmospheric sink. A bit over half that is absorbed by soil and ocean sinks. The rest accumulates. So, yes, I think humans are responsible for the increase in CO2.

    (Yes, it is only 3% of output, but the rest of the output is also input — via the CO2 cycle. It doesn’t accumulate.)

    But raw CO2 forcing is only +1C per doubling. And positive feedbacks are simply not in evidence, and they should have been obvious over the last 3 centuries if they were a serious factor.

    So I would expect warming this century to be similar to last century: Around a fifth to a third of what the mainstream IPCC scenario projects.

    I.e., Warming, yes. But no emergency, whatever.

    That’s the “surprise-free” scenario. (No solar Grand Minimum, no hitherto unseen “tipping points”, etc.)

  63. Kitefreak says:

    Vince Causey says about “appalling Horizon”:
    January 30, 2011 at 6:12 am
    If I wasn’t so tight, I would have kicked the tv screen in. Ever since then, I have avoided Horizon.
    —————————–
    Glad it’s not just me then. I don’t even watch television anymore, for these reasons. I still watch documentaries online, but I avoid these establishment hit pieces, prefering, instead, to learn about them from comments in the blogosphere.

  64. Robert Stevenson says:

    Bloke down the pub says:
    January 30, 2011 at 6:34 am
    A number of contributors have mentioned the BBC’s Climate wars programme. It was presented by Dr Iain Stewart, a geologist who has recently presented another BBC series, about the work of geology’s founding fathers. I was much amused…..

    Similarly a Yorkshire carpenter turned clockmaker, John Harrison was rubbished by the establishment in 18th century denying him the prize, for a long time, of £40 000 defined in the Longitude Act of 1714.

    By 1765 he had created what many thought impossible – a ‘chronometer’ so reliable that it lost or gained less than a minute in a six week voyage. This gave the longitude well within the acceptable error. Envious manoeuvrings among the the members of the ‘Board of Longitude’ scandalously denied him his reward for years, but with the intervention of the king, ‘Longitude Harrison’ finally got the money and his place in history.

  65. Jordan says:

    Another thought on that devious Horizon programme.

    The “Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation” is being held this week. The organisers and attendees seem to have come to recognise that the acrimonious and polarised climate debate is going nowhere.

    The pro-catastrophe side have probably come to realise that their combative stance and appeals to authority have failed to win-over general public opinion. The sceptical side can gain from a better meeting of minds as it offers new opportunities to have their concerns more formally examined.

    What does the BBC do? I have seen no report on the conference. Searching the BBC website with the text “lisbon conference reconciliation” produces no results (when I tried just now).

    Instead, the BBC puts out this brash polemic, with a one-sided narrative, using the word “denier” and what looks like an attempt to discredit at least one individual.

    Is the BBC so hopelessly out of touch? Did the BBC fail to notice the Lisbon meeting this week and ended up shaming itself with the Horizon programme? Or was this a deliberate attempt by the BBC to undermine the Lisbon Workshop?

    Enquiring minds would like to know.

  66. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    EFS_Junior says:
    January 30, 2011 at 2:34 am

    [snip- stop using the D word to label individuals - keep it up and you'll be banned - Anthony]

    Thank you for doing that Anthony. Debate needs a higher grade of civility. I don’t see any problem with wanting that on your blog. So good on ya mate!

    p.s. congratulations again to you and your son! :-)

  67. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    Rowland Pantling (UK) says:
    January 30, 2011 at 4:24 am

    BBC4…… This is on Monday 31 Jan at 10pm. “Storyville – Meet the Climate Sceptics”

    Too bad I can’t see it here. Here’s a link to the show

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00y5j3v

  68. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    Philip Shehan says:
    January 30, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Climategate……the hundreds of hacked emails

    Every once in a while I see someone say those emails were hacked. But the truth is no one knows, yet, how they got out into the public. You say they were hacked, so, would you tell me where you found that is how it happened?

  69. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    Philip Shehan says:
    January 30, 2011 at 6:12 am

    a smoking gun was reference to a “trick” published in Nature to “hide the decline.” If you are wanting to hide some sort of subterfuge, the last thing you do is publish details of it in Nature.

    The details were not published in the work. They did not tell Nature that they had spliced two different graphs together to make one graph. They acted like the graph was from one source.

  70. “Only for 2010 was the data revised upwards, by the largest adjustment of all, allowing the Met Office to claim that 2010 was the hottest year of the decade……”

    Yes, yes but the Met Office put it’s foot in it once again Part of their claim was: “With a mean temperature of 14.50 °C, 2010 becomes the second warmest year on record, after 1998.”

    That means, if I am not mistaking; – There has been no warming, manmade or otherwise, since 1998. –

    Skeptics have known this all along but this is the first time The UK Met Office has officially admitted it and I do very much doubt they realize the meaning of their little admittance.

    They also said; – “The record is maintained by the Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit at UEA.” Which means The Uni. of East Anglia and therefore also The IPCC knows

    OHD

  71. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    Philip Shehan,

    Three times in your comment you say that that “Mike’s Nature trick” was fully disclosed in the paper. But you did not provide quotes from the paper to prove what you say. Would you comment again about that and provide all germane quotes from the paper this time?

  72. Smokey says:

    Evan Jones is right, as was noted in the Telegraph article:

    The most telling moment, however, came in an interview between Nurse and a computer-modelling scientist from Nasa, presented as a general climate expert although he is only a specialist in ice studies. Asked to quantify the relative contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere by human and natural causes, his seemingly devastating reply was that 7 gigatons (billion tons) are emitted each year by human activity while only 1 gigaton comes from natural sources such as the oceans. This was so much the message they wanted that Nurse invited him to confirm that human emissions are seven times greater than those from all natural sources.
    This was mind-boggling. It is generally agreed that the 7 billion tonnes of CO2 due to human activity represent just over 3 per cent of the total emitted. That given off by natural sources, such as the oceans, is vastly greater than this, more than 96 per cent of the total.

    Nurse is either ignorant of the facts, or he lied outright. Unless someone can point out a third possibility?

    I am beginning to see that contrary to the general impression in America, the British aristocracy and the heads of organizations such as the BBC and the Royal Society are populated by knaves, who use the cover of their position for self-enrichment.

    It reminded me of the story of the commoner who invented an accurate ship’s clock. There had been a significant financial reward offered by Parliament for anyone who could devise a clock accurate enough to determine latitude. After working on his clock for thirty years, and having it proved accurate and reliable, the reward was denied. The King had to step in and force the payment, IIRC, which was still less than originally offered. Here’s a link I found.

    [BTW, where is Gneiss? I still want an answer to my question: whose views have been censored at WUWT?]

  73. Malaga View says:

    Jordan says: January 30, 2011 at 8:09 am
    Is the BBC so hopelessly out of touch? Did the BBC fail to notice the Lisbon meeting this week and ended up shaming itself with the Horizon programme? Or was this a deliberate attempt by the BBC to undermine the Lisbon Workshop?

    Seems like the BBC has it’s own part to play in this charm offensive

    The Scene
    An impressive room in Britain’s Royal Society off The Mall. Roger Harrabin, BBC’s chief environment correspondent in the chair surrounded by representatives of “All the Royals”, as he put it, either on the presentation line up or ‘at hand’ – the Royal
    Meteorological Society, The Royal Statistical Society and the Royal Astronomical Society; along with experts (statistics) from Leeds University, Philip Eden of BBC5 weather, Tim Palmer of European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (& RMS), the Met Office (seasonal forecasting division) and a range of other BBC professionals, weather people and public and Michael Fish! – numbering 50 or so in all.

    The Purpose: to discuss the BBC’s ‘Weather (Test) Project.
    - http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9029000/9029232.stm

    The discussion led by Roget Harrabin proceeded as if the
    purpose was to compare short-range forecasts of Met office
    and competitors and raised many ‘difficulties’.

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews10No34.pdf

  74. Dave says:

    Quite the worst aspect of the Horizon programme was that there was scarcely a mention of the geological record of climate change on timescales ranging from decadal to millennial to orbital variability.

  75. kcrucible says:

    Nurse asked Delingpole how he would react if a consultant told him that he had cancer and that the consultant and his colleagues agreed that a particular treatment was best for him. Would he not go along with that consensus. It was a difficult for Delingpole to argue against this as the question was put and of course the viewer was left to make the parallel with “consesus” in climate science.

    It’s more than that. The question itself proclaimed the non-consensus answer as crackpot. Who can choose the crackpot?

    Change it around though… your wife is dying of a disease and you live in a tribal village someplace remote. All of the village elders have a consensus that performing some crazy ritual is just the thing to cure her cancer. It’s the outlying american doctor that tells them that she needs other treatment.

    Just because there’s a consensus doesn’t make it right.

  76. David says:

    Couple of thoughts:
    Firstly, Delingpole was thrown to the wolves – he is a wordsmith, and should have known better against someone skilled in public presentations.
    The BBC was up top its old tricks the other day when our (thankfully..!) one-and-only Green Party MP – Caroline Lucas, was given free reign on BBC Breakfast to expound her views on ‘wartime-style’ rationing – mentioning ‘climate change’ of course several times. Not a word from the news anchors.
    Finally – what has happened to Chris Booker..?? His latest mugshots alongside his name in his blogs seem to have aged him about twenty years since the previous version – with a full head of dark hair – has battling the climate ‘warmists’ taken its toll..??

  77. An Engineer says:

    I saw this programme. The only thing it changed was my opinion of the Royal Society and the Nobel Prize committee.

  78. eadler says:

    Jordan says:
    January 30, 2011 at 8:09 am
    “Is the BBC so hopelessly out of touch? Did the BBC fail to notice the Lisbon meeting this week and ended up shaming itself with the Horizon programme? Or was this a deliberate attempt by the BBC to undermine the Lisbon Workshop?

    Enquiring minds would like to know.”
    The only person that I can find, who says anything about the Lisbon Conference is Judith Curry. I can’t find anything significant that is going to change anything coming from this conference. If only one person is saying something about this conference, it doesn’t seem that it is going to have any effect at all.

    Regarding the BBC Horizon program, I can’t really judge anything, because no one in the US gets to see it. From what I have read, Climate Science isn’t the only scientific controversy that it deals with.

  79. Collin Maessen says:

    [snip. Insulting and mischarachterising WUWT on your blog is your business. But don't expect to get free advertising here. ~dbs, mod.]

  80. Theo Goodwin says:

    Now that the BBC, the Royal Society, and Sir Paul have prostituted themselves all over the international airwaves, I hope that we have reached the bottom of the barrel. Let’s review. The BBC planned the broadcast, invited the guests that Sir Paul interviewed, and edited the tape for broadcast. They strove for a Gotcha moment against Delingpole but produced only his remark that Sir Paul’s ridiculous analogy was a ridiculous analogy. They had Sir Paul second an interviewee who claimed that humans contribute 7/8 of all CO2 going into the atmosphere. The Royal Society is dragged along because Sir Paul is the head of it. What will their next act be? I can imagine the Royal Society and all the staff of the BBC doing the “Camelot” number from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Short of that, they can rest on their laurels for quite some time.

  81. Collin Maessen says:

    You could have just removed the link and paragraph from my comment if you considered it not suited for you blog.

    Now my argument was that you posted an excerpt from a column where one of the arguments is “Even the weather has turned against them, showing that all the computer models based on the assumption that rising CO2 means rising temperatures have got it wrong.”. Which can be paraphrased as it’s snowing outside so global warming is not happening… Cold spells can happen, even when the planet is warming up. I’ve made a video on the details:
    [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aiI8_mSDpc ]

    Now the point I make in that video is that the current weather we’ve seen is caused by a NAO. Which might or might not be linked to global warming as a trigger, they are still investigating how much a contribution that has. However more snowfall is consistent with global warming as warm air can hold more moisture. And when it hits cold air it then dumps that moisture as snow.

    Also Booker who wrote the column is again someone who also says that second hand smoking and asbestos don’t cause cancer. And even has been critical on the theory of evolution saying “rest their case on nothing more than blind faith and unexamined a priori assumptions”.

    Suffice to say this is not someone that helps your argument.

  82. Douglas says:

    vigilantfish says: January 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm
    Is this comment actually being published in the paper (as opposed to one of the Telegraph’s blogs)? I certainly hope so.
    ———————————————————————
    Yes is was (29th January 2011) – Earth section, with a lively discussion – 930 responses mostly scathing of BBC and Paul Nurse. BTW I notice that Nurse has commented on this blog – telling Anthony not to cherry-pick!

    Ho Ho – a bit rich doncha think?

    Douglas

  83. Vince Causey says:

    Collin Maessen,

    “However more snowfall is consistent with global warming as warm air can hold more moisture. And when it hits cold air it then dumps that moisture as snow.”

    Well, Collin, is there anything that ISN’T consistent with global warming?

  84. Yes Collin Maessen the problem with your video is that it is now OFFICIAL that there has been NO GLOBAL WARMING for the past 12 years. So you cannot blame cold weather, ice and snow on global warming now, can you?

    OHD

  85. I said it is consistent with global warming, as we do see the phenomenon that we get more snow in winter in warm years (some even predicted it before the winter of 2009/2010).
    This doesn’t mean that the current amount of snow wouldn’t be possible without global warming. But it does provide evidence either that the planet isn’t warming. In the video I posted you can find all the details (I could post the link to my script on my website, but I have the suspicion they won’t appreciate it here).

    Now to answer your question “is there anything that ISN’T consistent with global warming”:
    One of this would be that the arctic wouldn’t be experiencing the current melting. And if it wasn’t anthropogenic we wouldn’t be seeing the changes in the infrared absorption patterns in the atmosphere we are currently seeing.

    And these are just two examples.

  86. JohnH says:

    Collin Maessen says:
    January 30, 2011 at 10:49 am

    However more snowfall is consistent with global warming as warm air can hold more moisture. And when it hits cold air it then dumps that moisture as snow.

    Another we have have it all ways post.

    The record cold Dec in the UK was cold and the snow actually resulted in a drier than average Dec according to the MET, several water companies are warning of water shortages in the summer if this level of dry winter continues.

    Please describe the conditions that would disprove the AGW theory or does everything point to AGW.

  87. Roger Longstaff says:

    Complaint just sent to the BBC:

    “Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, when asked to quantify the relative contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere by human and natural causes, stated that 7 gigatons (billion tons) are emitted each year by human activity while only 1 gigaton comes from natural sources such as the oceans. This absurd and incredible statement can, in my opinion, only have been made to enable widespred fraud by the Royal Society, whose members have financial investments in “green technology” (windmills, carbon capture, etc.) and the BBC (pension fund investments in the same areas). I demand that the BBC rectify this outrageous state of affairs, and apologise to the public, who pay for this rubbish.”

    If I ever get a reply I will post it (but don’t hold your breath!)

  88. Robert Stevenson says:

    It hasn’t snowed in the UK or at least south of the border in January – is this due to global warming?

  89. Smokey says:

    Collin Maessen says that more snow means global warming.

    Maessen is a tool of the CAGW industry. He needs to read what Stephen Schneider wrote 35 years ago:

    “I have cited many examples of recent climatic variability and repeated the warnings of several well-known climatologists that a cooling trend has set in – perhaps one akin to the Little Ice Age – and that climatic variability, which is the bane of reliable food production, can be expected to increase along with the cooling.” Stephen Schneider, The Genesis Strategy, (New York: Plenum Press, 1976), p. 90

    Schneider was flat wrong, as any temperature graph from the ’70′s shows.

    It’s always the same bogus chattering coming from self-serving riders on the climate scam gravy train. Any one of them could simply change “cooling” to “warming” in Schneider’s statement and claim to be right.

    The fact that Maessen has bought into their scam tells us all we need to know about Maessen’s credulity. The Elmer Gantrys of the world always find plenty of credulous followers. The Soviets called them “useful idiots.”

  90. Chris Wright says:

    Smokey says:
    January 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

    “Nurse is either ignorant of the facts, or he lied outright. Unless someone can point out a third possibility?”

    Actually it was the NASA scientist who lied.
    I watched part of the program but missed the significance of those statements about the carbon cycle. Fortunately, I recorded it and I’ve taken another look.
    I’m utterly astounded. Here we have a NASA scientist lying on an almost biblical scale. I think serious complaints should be lodged with NASA and the BBC. I’ve made a transcript:
    Scientist: “We know how much fossil fuel we take out of the ground.We know how much we sell. We know how much we burn, and that is a huge amount of carbon dioxide, about 7 gigatons per year right now.
    Natural causes can only produce through volcanoes popping off and things like that and coming out of the ocean, only about 1 gigaton per year, so there’s just no question that human activities is producing a massively large proportion of carbon dioxide”.
    Nurse: “So 7 times more?”
    Scientist: “That’s right”.
    Nurse: ” I mean why do some say that isn’t the case?”
    Scientist: “I, I dont know….”
    So, the scientist is clearly stating that mankind emits 7 times more CO2 than nature. A quick check on Wickipedia gives these figures:
    Mankind 5.5 Gt
    Oceans 90 Gt
    Soils 60 Gt
    Vegetation 60.
    So, on these figures nature emits nearly 40 times more than mankind. The scientist was exaggerating the proportion of human emissions by a factor of 280.
    It is supremely ironic that Nurse says: ” I mean why do some say that isn’t the case?”
    Apart from anything else, Nurse was clearly ignorant of the Carbon Cycle. He’s not a climate scientist, but what excuse does the NASA scientist have?
    I would suggest to WUWT that you make an official complaint to NASA. I think a complaint to the BBC would also be in order.
    Chris

  91. Collin Maessen says:

    Smokey, I said it’s consistent, not caused by. It’s hard to relate a single weather event to global warming.

    To use an excerpt from a comment that hasn’t been approved yet:
    This doesn’t mean that the current amount of snow wouldn’t be possible without global warming. But it [doesn't]* provide evidence either that the planet isn’t warming. In the video I posted you can find all the details.

    *Said “does” when I meant “doesn’t”.

  92. Darkinbad the Brightdayler says:

    I agree, the program devalued both its own credentials and that of the Royal Society.
    Its not Science that’s under attack, it never was. It’s Grand Theory and Epistemology in general that Science is being prostituted to shore up.

  93. Smokey says:

    Collin Maessen says:

    “It’s hard to relate a single weather event to global warming.”

    No, it’s easy. What you’re saying is no different than what these folks are saying.

    I am not disputing either global warming or global cooling. I am disputing the claims that they are anything other than natural variability in action.

  94. Smokey says:

    Chris Wright,

    Apologies for not making my post clearer. Nurse deliberately used a NASA incompetent. So Nurse is responsible. Even if he had used the IPCC’s own numbers, he would have been on the right track: click

  95. Robert Stevenson says:

    The crippling amount of expenditure that the UK government demands of its taxpayers to reduce CO2 emissions unnecessarily is eye watering (anyway it makes me weep). The BBC which receives its funding and income without much effort (just bung up the licence fee each year – a direct tax or charge to every viewer) in a similar way has no problem with its uncritical embrace of the bogus concept of global warming; after ball its only (somebody elses) money.

  96. David Ball says:

    Collin Maessen says:
    January 30, 2011 at 11:41 am
    A single weather event. You mean like the entire northern hemisphere being covered with snow is a single weather event. You typed does when you wanted to say doesn’t. Your Fruedian slip is showing.

  97. David Ball says:

    It is interesting that the warmists are moving the discussion immediately to evolution vs. creation. Must have contracted out the moving of the goal posts, as the game is favoring the skeptics. Weak.

  98. David Ball says:

    Evanjones, you know I have a great deal of respect for you. Co2 follows temperature change. Water vapor is being ignored completely as the predominate “greenhouse” (a misleading term) gas. Co2′s effect, if any, is completely overwhelmed by factors like water vapor. There is much talk of troposphere warming, stratosphere cooling, but no one is looking at what effects the amount (or form taken) of water vapor is in these zones and what effect this may be having. The funding and focus has only been on Co2 !! My prediction is that Co2 will eventually be found to do nothing. It is a follower of variation and not a cause of it. Water and it’s various forms and effects, in varying concentrations are what needs to be understood, especially how it operates in the upper and midrange (even surface level) of the atmosphere. I look forward to your perspective on this.

  99. Vince Causey says:

    Collin Maesen,

    “And if it wasn’t anthropogenic we wouldn’t be seeing the changes in the infrared absorption patterns in the atmosphere we are currently seeing.”

    Please elaborate on these changes in infrared absorption patterns we are currently seeing. (I presume you are not referring to the tropical mid troposphere hotspot.)

  100. UK John says:

    I watched the programme, and was waiting in vain for something I didn’t know to appear. It appears lots of statements containing scientific errors were broadcast by the Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, a great man.

    Perhaps there was something obscuring his view of his standpoint on AGW, if he could see past his ego, he would see his feet are made of clay!

    However, I did keep in mind that history is littered with the wreckage of scientific consensus, and it is quite historically usual for a president of the Royal Society to talk absolute rubbish.

  101. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Chris Wright @ 11.37:
    The excuse of the NASA scientist would be that he is a glaciologist, but that makes him a ‘Climate Scientist’ whose expertise should never be questioned as long as he is on message.

    Incidentally, I’m rather amused by the attribution of the howler on the carbon cycle to Booker. Geoff Chambers and I pointed this out in an exchange at 2100hrs GMT on Climate Resistance, cross-posted at Bishop Hill, fully 22 hours before Booker posted his piece to appear next day in the Sunday Telegraph, in which he said he had ‘noticed’ the mistake. I know journalists like to protect their sources, but a little attribution would be nice! Actually, Booker might have not been reading any blogs on this, but I was surprised that Delingpole attributes the point to Booker, because I immediately drew Delingpole’s attention to the mistake on Friday evening, using the ‘Contact’ section on his website.

  102. roger says:

    Collin Maessen says:
    January 30, 2011 at 10:49 am
    “Also Booker who wrote the column is again someone who also says that second hand smoking and asbestos don’t cause cancer.”

    You obviously suffer from poor reading and comprehension skills. Christopher Booker has never said that asbestos is not a cause of cancer. He does however differentiate between blue asbestos which he identifies as a carcinogen, and white asbestos which is not.
    His asbestos crusade is against the psuedo scientists and government bodies that apply the rightly strict laws on the handling and use of redundant, highly dangerous, blue asbestos, to the innocuous white asbestos, causing thousands of pounds of unnecessary cleanup expenses to those unfortunate enough to discover white asbestos on their property.
    If this story of official stupidity appears familiar and chimes with the official stance on global warming, perhaps you should reanalyse your AGW credo in case your impediment has again led you astray.

  103. homo sapiens says:

    Collin Maessen says: “Also Booker who wrote the column is again someone who also says that second hand smoking and asbestos don’t cause cancer. And even has been critical on the theory of evolution saying “rest their case on nothing more than blind faith and unexamined a priori assumptions”.

    Something of a misrepresentation.
    Booker says “WHITE asbestos is not a particularly hazardous chemical”. It isn’t.
    Booker says “The dangers of secondhand smoking have been ridiculously overhyped”. They have, and there is now evidence to demonstrate this.
    Booker does not argue against evolution but against those who claim it explains absolutely everything about all life on Earth and who try and silence any counter debate (just like the high priests of AGW).

  104. Billy Liar says:

    Folks, you may be wondering why you seem to be getting more attention from obsessive envronmentalists parroting their religion. There is a campaign; see below:

    http://www.campaigncc.org/node/384

    Sceptic alerts

    Are you fed up with sceptics and pseudo-scientists dominating blogs and news articles with their denialist propaganda? Well, fight back! We are trying to create an online army of online volunteers to try and tip the balance back in the favour of scientific fact, not scientific fiction.

    To sign up, enter your e-mail address in the box below:

    You will receive one e-mail alert per day containing links to various climate change news articles. We need you to politely explain in the comments section why global warming is actually happening and why it’s not a big conspiracy. You can contribute to as little or as many articles as you like, just dive in.

  105. Robert Stevenson says:

    An Engineer says:
    January 30, 2011 at 9:54 am
    I saw this programme. The only thing it changed was my opinion of the Royal Society and the Nobel Prize committee

    Also you should remember, the Nobel Prize committee awarded the Peace Prize to Al Gore A few years ago (7 maybe) and they fast tracked it they are proud to say. Normally it takes about 20 years.

  106. Malaga View says:

    homo sapiens says: January 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm
    Booker says “WHITE asbestos is not a particularly hazardous chemical”. It isn’t.
    Booker says “The dangers of secondhand smoking have been ridiculously overhyped”.

    Totally correct…. they got away with the Ozone Hole pseudo-science nonsense… thus emboldened they stepped up the noise level for the current cycle of CAGW propaganda and pseudo-science…. just another brick in the wall.

  107. Robert Stevenson says:

    David Ball says:
    January 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Evanjones, you know I have a great deal of respect for you. Co2 follows temperature change. Water vapor is being ignored completely as the predominate “greenhouse” (a misleading term) gas. Co2′s effect, if any, is completely ….

    Understood or not I can’t see even this parliament or government introducing legislation to control H2O emissions. Are you suggesting they might repeal the Climate Change Act concerning CO2 emissions?

  108. Malaga View says:

    Kitefreak says: January 30, 2011 at 7:40 am
    I don’t even watch television anymore, for these reasons.

    Best plan… the newspapers went first… then the television.

  109. Roger Knights says:

    Well, this absurdity will call for and justify a “counterpoint” program on another channel. That may be it’s most lasting legacy.

  110. eadler says:

    Chris Wright says:
    January 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Smokey says:
    January 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

    “Nurse is either ignorant of the facts, or he lied outright. Unless someone can point out a third possibility?”

    Actually it was the NASA scientist who lied.
    I watched part of the program but missed the significance of those statements about the carbon cycle. Fortunately, I recorded it and I’ve taken another look.
    I’m utterly astounded. Here we have a NASA scientist lying on an almost biblical scale. I think serious complaints should be lodged with NASA and the BBC. I’ve made a transcript:
    Scientist: “We know how much fossil fuel we take out of the ground.We know how much we sell. We know how much we burn, and that is a huge amount of carbon dioxide, about 7 gigatons per year right now.
    Natural causes can only produce through volcanoes popping off and things like that and coming out of the ocean, only about 1 gigaton per year, so there’s just no question that human activities is producing a massively large proportion of carbon dioxide”.

    The problem is that the scientist interviewed was a little confused. At first, he was referring to volcanoes popping off, which do produce about 1GTon per year. The rest of his phrase was awkward and inaccurate, “and things like that and coming out of the ocean” seems to me an unfortunate slip of the tongue. It opens up the interpretation that oceans emit only 1 GT of CO2 per year which is certainly incorrect. I would have edited this out of the program.

    Who was this scientist? Was the scientist answering a specific question posed by Paul Nurse, or was he making a statement in response to an open ended invitation to comment? If it was a specific question, can you tell us what it was?

    It is true that human emissions are smaller than the total of natural emissions, but larger than volcanic emissions. If I were editing the video, I would not have included that statement because it was ambiguous and prone to misinterpretation.

  111. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Good science needs good scientists. It does not need appeals to authority which impede progress at present.

    The unedifying rubber stamping of a particular view of science, by august bodies and their Presidents, is very poor science. One can dissect the public statements of these self-important people and find many specific errors, with the main general error being the acceptance of scientific summaries without participation in the benchwork that arrived at the results.

    Fame is not a substitute for verification of science.

    The essence of the problem above is given in ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand 1975, at several places. Here is one, a statement issued by the State Science Institute after failing to control the succes of the new alloy, Rearden Metal, and its owner -

    “It may be possible that after a period of heavy usage, a sudden fissure may appear, though the length of this period cannot be predicted …. The possibility of a molecular reaction , at present unknown, cannot be entirely discounted … Although there is no evidence to support the contention that the use of the metal should be prohibited, a further study of its properties would be valuable.”

    In the book, Reardon did not call for a Lisbon conference to settle differences. When asked if he understood that “The State Science Institute is a government organization … Business men are particularly vulnerable these days, I am sure you understand me.”

    Reardon replied “No, Doctor Potter. I didn’t understand. If I did, I’d have to kill you.”

    Many economists regard the whole book as essential reading for a rounded education. It has very pertinent messages for the current global warming topic. Read it – then don’t claim thereafter that all this is new to you.

    (I also posted this on Judith Curry’s blog today because there are somewhat different readerships).

  112. Bart says:

    Readers should have something like this site handy when reading Collin Maessen. It might even be a fun drinking game. See how many logical fallacies you can spot. For example:

    “However more snowfall is consistent with global warming as warm air can hold more moisture.”

    Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc (conclusion based on consistency) and Affirming the Consequent (If P, then Q. Q. Therefore P.)

    “Also Booker who wrote the column is again someone who also says that second hand smoking and asbestos don’t cause cancer.”

    Ad hominem.

    “One of this would be that the arctic wouldn’t be experiencing the current melting. And if it wasn’t anthropogenic we wouldn’t be seeing the changes in the infrared absorption patterns in the atmosphere we are currently seeing.”

    Denying the antecedent (If P, then Q. Not P. Therefore not Q.).

  113. Bart says:

    This site.

    The ad hominem was also a red herring.

  114. Philip Shehan says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites: Not sure I see the importance of whether or not the emails were hacked but my understanding is that the evidence points to a source in Russia.

    With regard to the claim that the Nature paper spliced two sets of data, I think you are confusing the Nature paper with a cover illustration for a World Meteorological Organisation report. The following quotes are from

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climategate-hide-the-decline.html

    “Regarding the “hide the decline” email, Jones has explained that when he used the word “trick”, he simply meant “a mathematical approach brought to bear to solve a problem”. The [Muir Russel] inquiry made the following criticism of the resulting graph (its emphasis):

    [T]he figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain — ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text. [1.3.2]

    But this was one isolated instance that occurred more than a decade ago. The Review did not find anything wrong with the overall picture painted about divergence (or uncertainties generally) in the literature and in IPCC reports. The Review notes that the WMO report in question “does not have the status or importance of the IPCC reports”, and concludes that divergence “is not hidden” and “the subject is openly and extensively discussed in the literature, including CRU papers.” [1.3.2]…

    In summary, while the inquiry did criticize an individual graph, it found no evidence of CRU intentionally manipulating tree ring data or downplaying the associated uncertainties to mislead the public.”

    With regard to discusion of the trick in the nature paper, this is in the form of highly specialised mathematical analysis, but a plain English sttement of conclusions is given as:

    “But certain sub-components of the proxy dataset (for example, the
    dendroclimatic indicators) appear to be especially important in
    resolving the large-scale temperature patterns, with notable
    decreases in the scores reported for the proxy data set if all
    dendroclimatic indicators are withheld from the multiproxy network.
    On the other hand, the long-term trend in N[orthern]H[emisphere] is relatively
    robust to the inclusion of dendroclimatic indicators in the network,
    suggesting that potential tree growth trend biases are not influential
    in the multiproxy climate reconstructions.”

  115. Raredog says:

    Philip Shehan (January 30, 2011 at 6:12 am) says: “Climate skeptics like Booker are still engaging in wilful ignorance or dliberate dishonesty by claiming that key data was distorted.”

    Philip, read the Harry readme file then perhaps reconsider your statement.

  116. Aynsley Kellow says:

    eadler,
    The point is that a NASA glaciologist, speaking outside his expertise, committed a howler that anyone with a basic understanding of the science of climate change recognises as a howler. Nurse, in trying to defend ‘Science’ stepped outside his area of expertise and swallowed the howler, even discussing its meaning, without recognising it. That it didn’t end up on the cutting room floor demonstrates that neither he nor the production team had the slightest idea they had committed a howler, and it trying to demonstrate why we should all accept the word of the Gods of Science, demonstrated the exact opposite: that we should adhere to the motto ‘Nullius in Verba’, even if the President of the Royal Society apparently does not.

    As Gen Y would put it: Epic Fail! Or, as those of us who follow the real, round ball football would put it, an own goal.

  117. David Ball says:

    Robert Stevenson says:
    January 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm
    I am saying that Co2 effect is so minuscule as to be inconsequential. If repealing useless government programs such as the one you mentioned is a result, so be it.

  118. JRR Canada says:

    Defending the indefensible is an ethical minefield, BBC and CBC are going extinct. They are suiciding and it is fun to watch, any tax dollar spent on such organisations really demonstrates the contempt govt has for the working stiff. The overwhelming support for AWG and the IPCC, by our govts will help effect large cuts in govt as well, as the watchdogs of govt are stupid or crooks. Try to find out who in your govt signed off on the IPCC reports before their acceptance by govt.Or ask your govt to produce the science upon which policy is based in AWG matters, all I get is hand waving toward the IPCC. Bring on the Congressional hearing in the USA, then watch the CYA festival begin in the hall of govt.

  119. vigilantfish says:

    Thanks, all, for the information about Booker’s column. And thanks for the link to the site about logical fallacies, Bart. A useful tool indeed.

  120. Galvanize says:

    @ Aynsley Kellow Jan 30 1:33 PM

    “Incidentally, I’m rather amused by the attribution of the howler on the carbon cycle to Booker. Geoff Chambers and I pointed this out in an exchange at 2100hrs GMT on Climate Resistance, cross-posted at Bishop Hill, fully 22 hours before Booker posted his piece to appear next day in the Sunday Telegraph….”

    I mentioned it on the Grauniad initially at 7:32 PM on Jan 26th, then at 3:37 PM on 27th Jan.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/jan/24/james-delingpole-tv-interview?showallcomments=true#comment-fold

    A very active thread went quiet very quickly after the second comment.

  121. James Delingpole says:

    I just wanted to say thank you to Jordan for making this point:
    “And to the the folks of WUWT – please show your support to James Delingpole. In one respect, James has arrived through this programme (that’s why I think the smear tactic has backfired). But James will be the UK whipping boy for the climate extremists and that’s not going to be easy.”

    It’s true. As I shall be explaining in this week’s Spectator ( http://www.spectator.co.uk ) in my You Know It Makes Sense column (up on Thursday) , the BBC stitched me up like a kipper. It wasn’t so much a science documentary as a “Get Delingpole!” hatchet job. And I ain’t being paranoid here. It’s not about me, of course, but about what I have come to represent. For better or worse I have become of one the most prominent sceptics in Britain and the warmists don’t like it.

    So heed my recent mauling and consider: “There but for the grace of God go all of us.” (Oh, and don’t kid yourself you would have been any better: when the opposition have three whole hours of interview footage to edit at will and the purpose of the programme is to portray sceptics as enemies of science (hence the title: Science Under Attack) you ain’t going to come out smelling of violets however you try). Your support would be much appreciated.

  122. tonyb says:

    Billy liar

    Followed your interesting link. This is what is behind the capaign to flood sites such as this with ‘rational’ protestors.

    http://www.campaigncc.org/whoweare

    Our friend George Monbiot is honorary President. Got to be worth an article on this group Anthony?

    Tonyb

  123. tonyb says:

    James Delingpole

    If you are still reading this can you contct me by clicking on my name and following the contact me information?

    I write historical items on climate change.

    tonyb

  124. Bart says:

    Philip Shehan says:
    January 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    “Regarding the “hide the decline” email, Jones has explained that when he used the word “trick”, he simply meant “a mathematical approach brought to bear to solve a problem”.

    Hooey. The decline was hidden so as not to reveal that the proxy record, upon which dire conclusions were based, was very questionable. Problem solved, indeed.

  125. GeeJam says:

    Probably too late with this now.
    Posted last week (25/1/11), here it is again – albeit modified slightly.

    Should the BBC wish to continue their totally biased views, here’s some new TV programmes they might like to make:

    Drown, Crash & Burn Tuesday BBC1 9.00pm
    A controversial documentary about reducing warming and the risk of human extinction by removing all the world’s deliberately man-made CO2 from self-inflatable life jackets, car air bags and as used as a propellant for every fire extinguisher. “It might hurt a bit more if you crash – but just think of the planet”

    Unifizzy Challenge BBC2 Mondays @ 8.00pm
    Boffins from PepsiCo, Schweppes & Coke compete to see who produces the most man-made CO2 from their combined global sales of carbonated drinks. “Just by unscrewing the lemonade tops” says one contestant “we caused more global warming than starting up our cars.”

    The Emissions Factor Part 3 – The Bakery
    If you were fascinated by the first two episodes (Part 1 – The Winery, Part 2 – The Brewery), you’ll enjoy this. From baker’s yeast to bicarbonate of soda, we lift the lid on the startling amount of CO2 which rises annually from the entire world’s bread production, cake manufacture and the snack foods industry. The statistics are food for thought – especially when one Australian snack-food factory manager boasts that “90 megatonnes of CO2 is produced annually to make ‘Twisties’ so light & crunchy.” Don’t miss next week’s instalment; Part 4 – Descaling Kettles – a closer look at the ‘fizzy’ reaction of mild hydrochloric acid on limescale.

    Pardon Me
    A fast-paced elimination quiz where contestants get to eat as many deliberately cultivated brussel sprouts and baked beans as possible. Amazingly, 25% Carbon Dioxide, 55% Nitrogen & 20% of flammable oxygen/methane/hydrogen ensues. Armageddon. And it’s all man-made.

  126. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Galvanize,
    I’ll pay that one as an earlier spot. I don’t look at the Grauniad, and it choked my browser now when I went to look. The important point is that the howler was so obvious, yet missed. It was like shooting fish in a barrel, yet Sir Paul swooped on the through ball and and slotted it past the keeper – if I can mangle a metaphor or two.

    I do agree Delingpole merits support. The zombies from CACC have been given their orders and are on the march. (Actually, I quite like the metaphor I used in my book of white blood cells, despatched to deal with any infectious ideas).

  127. Jim Turner says:

    Re: Collin Maessen says:
    January 30, 2011 at 10:49 am
    “Also Booker who wrote the column is again someone who also says that second hand smoking and asbestos don’t cause cancer…….Suffice to say this is not someone that helps your argument”

    This is a straightforward misrepresentation of what Booker has said regarding asbestos – his arguments have been with UK legislation that categorises all minerals called ‘asbestos’ as being equally hazardous, he has stated that the ‘blue’ and ‘brown’ are known to be highly hazardous, but that ‘white’ asbestos is not.
    As a regular reader of his column, I have never seen him argue that asbestos does not cause cancer, quite the opposite, his argument is that expensive government-licensed contactors have to be hired to remove all forms of asbestos, regardless of the actual hazard.

  128. Chris Wright says:

    @ eadler
    January 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm
    It is possible that he was referring to volcanic emissions only with that figure of 1 Gt. In fact, after Nurse questiond it, he said “I” twice, almost as if he realised his error. But he decided to go ahead and confirm the grossly misleading statement he had just made. If not an outright lie, it’s very close.
    He is Dr Bob Bindschadler, described as ‘Senior Research Earth Scientist NASA’.
    A good point about the original question, as it does put it in context. I went back to the recording and added that to the transcript. Here’s the full version:

    Nurse: “The scientific concensus is of course that the changes we are seeing are caused by emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But, given the complexity of the climate system, how can we be sure that humans are to blame for this?”
    Bindschadler: “We know how much fossil fuel we take out of the ground.We know how much we sell. We know how much we burn, and that is a huge amount of carbon dioxide, about 7 gigatons per year right now.
    Natural causes can only produce through volcanoes popping off and things like that and coming out of the ocean, only about 1 gigaton per year, so there’s just no question that human activities is producing a massively large proportion of carbon dioxide”.
    Nurse: “So 7 times more?”
    Bindschadler: “That’s right”.
    Nurse: ” I mean why do some say that isn’t the case?”
    Bindschadler: “I, I dont know….”

    The original question makes the context very clear. Bindschadler’s ‘proof’ depends on a comparison between human and natural emissions. The last item he mentioned was the oceans, so one would reasonably assume that he was either referring to all items mentioned or just to the oceans. He also says “…. so there’s just no question that human activities is producing a massively large proportion of carbon dioxide”.

    Yes, it might have been an honest mistake – but who would decide to show that clip, as the whole point of the program was to defend climate scientists? At the very best, this scientist comes over as incompetent. Possibly Nurse and the BBC team didn’t realise there had been a blunder. But Bindschadler must have known. The very fact that he said “I” twice when questioned might suggest that he understood what he had said. If he had a shred of honesty he would have made sure that the blunder was corrected, otherwise it would be a gift to the sceptics – which it certainly is!

    If I were a cynic – which thankfully I’m not – I might think this ‘blunder’ had been carefully designed. It would work in most cases, as the vast proportion of the audience would take it as gospel – as Nurse obviously did. Of course, if challenged he could always claim that his figure referred only to volcanoes. And they probably assume that nobody listens to sceptics, anyway.

    Of course, Bindschadler played another trick on the gullible Nurse. He showed animations of the weather system, comparing real data with a climate model. Nurse was suitably impressed, obviously forgetting his advice given elsewhere that scientists should question everything. If you look carefully, they don’t match perfectly. Also, I suspect that these weather systems tend to occur in similar locations in a given season. If he had changed one of the animations to one taken at another time period, I suspect they would still look pretty similar.
    But there’s something else. The period shown is probably for a few days. In other words, what he was showing was weather. It wasn’t climate. In no way could this demonstrate the ability of computer models to predict climate. But that didn’t seem to occur to Nurse. And, of course, with our Met Office experience, we know that the models are incapable of predicting the weather just a few weeks ahead.

    I think this appalling Horizon program does demonstrate quite well why science, and climate science in particular, has fallen in the estimates of the general public. But not in the way Nurse expected. These two clips are a perfect example of why many climate scientists are not to be trusted.
    Sadly, I don’t think Nurse is part of the solution. I think he’s part of the problem.
    Chris

    Actually it was the NASA scientist who lied.
    I watched part of the program but missed the significance of those statements about the carbon cycle. Fortunately, I recorded it and I’ve taken another look.
    I’m utterly astounded. Here we have a NASA scientist lying on an almost biblical scale. I think serious complaints should be lodged with NASA and the BBC. I’ve made a transcript:
    Scientist: “We know how much fossil fuel we take out of the ground.We know how much we sell. We know how much we burn, and that is a huge amount of carbon dioxide, about 7 gigatons per year right now.
    Natural causes can only produce through volcanoes popping off and things like that and coming out of the ocean, only about 1 gigaton per year, so there’s just no question that human activities is producing a massively large proportion of carbon dioxide”.

    The problem is that the scientist interviewed was a little confused. At first, he was referring to volcanoes popping off, which do produce about 1GTon per year. The rest of his phrase was awkward and inaccurate, “and things like that and coming out of the ocean” seems to me an unfortunate slip of the tongue. It opens up the interpretation that oceans emit only 1 GT of CO2 per year which is certainly incorrect. I would have edited this out of the program.

    Who was this scientist? Was the scientist answering a specific question posed by Paul Nurse, or was he making a statement in response to an open ended invitation to comment? If it was a specific question, can you tell us what it was?

    It is true that human emissions are smaller than the total of natural emissions, but larger than volcanic emissions. If I were editing the video, I would not have included that statement because it was ambiguous and prone to misinterpretation.

  129. Brian says:

    Bart appears (ironically) to go 0 for 3 in his attempt to identify logical fallacies in Collin’s posts.

    1) Collin says:
    “However more snowfall is consistent with global warming as warm air can hold more moisture.”

    Bart’s assessment: Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc (conclusion based on consistency) and Affirming the Consequent (If P, then Q. Q. Therefore P.)

    This is clearly not an instance of “conclusion based on consistency.” Collin offered his claim as a response to the claim that heavy snowfall shows “that all the computer models based on the assumption that rising CO2 means rising temperatures have got it wrong.”

    The form of argument to which he’s replying is:
    If P then Q [if heavy snowafll, then global warming theory is false]
    P, therefore Q

    Collins’ reply has the form:
    Possibly, P & Not-Q [heavy snowfall is consistent with global warming theory]

    That reply, if its premises are true, would refute the argument, since the first premise would be false. It would not establish not-Q, of course; but, given the context, it was very clearly not intended to (he says this several times). So, there’s no fallacy there. (I’m also not sure where you see Affirming the Consequent happening, so I can’t comment on that.)

    2) Collin says:
    “Also Booker who wrote the column is again someone who also says that second hand smoking and asbestos don’t cause cancer.”

    Bart’s assessment: “ad hominem”

    There are fallacious and non-fallacious instances of arguing ad hominem. If Collin’s claims are true (and that’s not obvious – some have clarified what Booker meant), then that seems like relevant evidence concerning Booker’s competence and/or agenda, which of course are relevant to an overall assessment of their claims. If we found out that some prominent AGW theorist also defended conspiracy theories about the moon landing not having occurred, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness monster, that shouldcolor how we assess their views about AGW. By contrast, if we found out that someone was an adulterer, that ought to have no bearing on how we assess their views about AGW. The latter (but not the former) is fallaciously ad hominem. Collin’s claim is more like the former. (You may be right that his comment was a red herring, however.)

    3) Collin says:
    “One of this would be that the arctic wouldn’t be experiencing the current melting. And if it wasn’t anthropogenic we wouldn’t be seeing the changes in the infrared absorption patterns in the atmosphere we are currently seeing.”

    Bart’s assessment: Denying the antecedent (If P, then Q. Not P. Therefore not Q.)

    Wrong again.

    Collin was responding to the question of what, if true, would falsify global warming theory. His answer: If we didn’t see current melting and changes in infrared absorption, then global warming theory would be called into question. He did not draw the conclusion, from this, that global warming theory is therefore true. Instead, the obvious implied conclusion is that global warming theory is falsifiable. But that conclusion does validly follow from what he said.

    That’s not to say that everything Collin said is true, of course, but, as I’m sure you’re aware, that has little bearing on whether what he said was logically fallacious.

  130. Malaga View says:

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/01/fun-and-games.html

    The BBC, we are told, has fought off a High Court challenge from Monckton, who has been trying to prevent the broadcast of the “Meet The Climate Sceptics” documentary tonight.

  131. Keith Wallis says:

    Six minutes in, and Meet The Climate Sceptics is already looking like yet another stitch-up job…

  132. Keith Wallis says:

    And now Greg Craven gets a completely uncritical presentation of his little “risk chart”. Never mind the caricatures of petrolheads and gun enthusiasts, the free pass to Trenberth, the five seconds of Lintzen. Oh, and now we’re suggesting energy rationing and the justification of setting aside democracy from Hillman. Deary me.

    Next, a rerun of the 10:10 video and Abraham’s attempt to deconstruct Monckton. Abraham puts across his denials of some of Monckton’s points (no rebuttals there), while Monckton is shown in response to be suggesting that “we” will follow him where he goes on holiday to see if he’s got a secret stash of cash (no mention of the rebuttal paper by Monckton).

    So, in summary, the whole show was picking out cranks, ignoring the scientific and statistical arguments against AGW or wilfully failing to understand them. It finished with the presenter saying Monckton had made him a sceptic – sceptical of Monckton’s arguments – and picking him up on semantics, rather than arguing the science itself.

    “Until someone can come up with a silver bullet, I’m willing to accept a curtailing of my freedom, says the presenter”. “Queensland had the worst floods in its entire history” (well, for a few decades, anyway…)

    Far from taking a more even-handed approach to the climate debate, the BBC is now going full-tilt at pushing CAGW and restrictions on personal liberty for all they are worth. Disgusting.

  133. Robuk says:

    Keith Wallis says:
    January 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Six minutes in, and Meet The Climate Sceptics is already looking like yet another stitch-up job…

    Six minutes from the end and it`s still a stich-up job, keep well away from the BBC, let the sun the climate and the economy do the talking.

  134. eadler says:

    Chris Wright says:
    January 31, 2011 at 4:48 am

    “@ eadler
    January 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm
    It is possible that he was referring to volcanic emissions only with that figure of 1 Gt. In fact, after Nurse questiond it, he said “I” twice, almost as if he realised his error. But he decided to go ahead and confirm the grossly misleading statement he had just made. If not an outright lie, it’s very close.
    He is Dr Bob Bindschadler, described as ‘Senior Research Earth Scientist NASA’.
    A good point about the original question, as it does put it in context. I went back to the recording and added that to the transcript. Here’s the full version:

    ……
    Thanks for your post. This was an appalling example of incompetence on the part of the BBC. Paul Nurse appeared skeptical, but did not do his homework . They should be ashamed.

  135. Bart says:

    Brian says:
    January 31, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Really, Brian, that’s just pathetic.

  136. Smokey says:

    “Man-made global warming is the new butt of jokes in Washington.”

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/browner-resignation-obama-omission-could

  137. Chris Wright says:

    @eadler,
    I just emailed this to horizon@bbc.co.uk

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I’m sorry to inform you that last week’s program, ‘Science Under
    Attack’, contained an appalling lie committed by a NASA scientist, Dr
    Bob Bindschadler.
    Human CO2 emissions, although large, are dwarfed by natural emissions
    (known as the carbon cycle). According to IPCC data, natural emissions
    are roughly 30 times larger than human emissions. Wikipedia has a useful
    diagram that shows a similar ratio. This is not a sceptical claim. It’s
    simple, concensus science based on observations. Here’s the Wikipedia
    entry:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle
    In the program Bindschadler very clearly says that human emissions are
    7 times larger than natural ones. I’ve included the transcript below.
    Nurse says: “So 7 times larger?” and he says “That’s right”.
    Ironically, Nurse then says ”I mean why do some say that isn’t
    the case?”
    The answer is simple. It is a lie.
    Bindschadler says “I” twice, almost as if hesitating, almost as if he
    realised the blunder he was making. But he doesn’t make the honest
    choice. The figure he mentioned might have referred to volcanic
    emissions, which might be about right, but the context makes it very,
    very clear that he was comparing overall human emissions with natural
    emissions. That, after all, was the whole point of his ‘proof’.
    Including oceans, his figure is 1 Gt. In fact it is 90 Gt, according
    to Wikipedia. Overall, Bindschadler exaggerated the relative amount of
    human emissions by around 300.
    Your team must have known this was a lie, assuming they had any
    knowledge at all of climate science (clearly Nurse didn’t). If so then
    they wilfully took place in propagating this lie.
    I suggest that you lodge a complaint with NASA, and possibly with
    Bindschadler, because they have brought the BBC, and, sadly, Horizon
    into disrepute. I would also be grateful if you could explain how this
    disgraceful lapse occurred, and what you intend to do to put the record
    straight. I am also considering lodging a complaint with Ofcom.
    Do you wonder why many people do not trust climate scientists?
    Regards,
    Chris Wright

    Transcript included….
    ************ end of email ************
    I probably won’t get a reply, but who knows…..
    Chris

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