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Monday
Sep012014

On the way to the forum

Just in from GWPF:

Five years after its inauguration in 2009, the Global Warming Policy Foundation is pleased to announce that today sees the launch of its new campaigning arm, the Global Warming Policy Forum. 

The new organisation will be able to conduct campaigns and activities which do not fall squarely within the Foundation’s remit as an educational charity.

There is a separate website for the Forum, which can be seen here.

Tally ho!

Monday
Sep012014

Closing submissions

The closing submissions for the planning inquiry into Dart Energy's coalbed methane project at Airth have been published and for sheer entertainment value it's going to be hard to better m'learned friends' summary of the evidence submitted by our old friends Professor David Smythe and Dr Marian Lloyd-Smith

The Professor is retired and has been since 1998. He agreed he has been out of mainstream geology since 1998, because as he put it he had no longer has “slaves” to do “donkey work” for him. When the question was put directly again he answered with a simple “yes” that he has been out of the mainstream for fifteen years. Since his retiral he has lived in the South of France running a little business (in fact a B&B).

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep012014

IPPR does climate and energy

A reader brought to my attention a new report on climate and energy policy by Labour's favourite thinktank, the IPPR.

The report was funded by the European Climate Foundation, with a steering group including represenatatives of green NGOs like Greenpeace and renewable energy investors like BNEF. With a background like that, nobody would expect that the report would make lots of dodgy claims and thinly veiled demands for transfers of money to those involved, would they? Readers can make up their own minds, but here are a few things that I noticed:

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug312014

Arctic ice on the up

David Rose has an article in the Mail on Sunday about the rapid recovery in Arctic sea ice over the last couple of years.

 

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’

Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

 

Saturday
Aug302014

Inspirational Betts - Josh 289

Another Richard Betts cartoon - he's been so helpful this week...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug302014

Poker Betts - Josh 288

Richard Betts quotes Dr Wallace Broecker, "The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with sticks."

As has been observed, it looks like it is not a very big stick and/or the climate is in good humour.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug292014

More site issues

There is a major site issue at the moment - comments are not posting correctly. It's in the hands of Squarespace. That's all I know at the moment.

 

Friday
Aug292014

Climate economics

In the post comes a copy of Richard Tol's new textbook on Climate Change Economics, which looks like good stuff.

This unique textbook offers comprehensive coverage of the economics of climate change and climate policy, and is suitable for advanced undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral students. Topics discussed include the costs and benefits of adaptation and mitigation, discounting, uncertainty, policy instruments, and international agreements. Special features include: in-depth treatment of the economics of climate change careful explanations of concepts and their application to climate policy customizable integrated assessment model that illustrates all issues discussed specific usage guidelines for each level of reader companion website featuring data, extra reading, quizzes, videos and more This book will be an essential text for students of varying levels in economics, climate change and environmental policy, and a resource for researchers and practitioners.

Friday
Aug292014

More on Cook's 97%

Jose Duarte has another post looking at John Cook's 97% 'consensus' paper.

I discovered that the following papers were included as endorsement, as "climate papers", again in just ten minutes of looking. They are classified as either implicit or explicit endorsement, and were evidently included in the 97% figure:

  • Chowdhury, M. S. H., Koike, M., Akther, S., & Miah, D. (2011). Biomass fuel use, burning technique and reasons for the denial of improved cooking stoves by Forest User Groups of Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, Bangladesh. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 18(1), 88–97.
  • Ding, D., Maibach, E. W., Zhao, X., Roser-Renouf, C., & Leiserowitz, A. (2011). Support for climate policy and societal action are linked to perceptions about scientific agreement. Nature Climate Change, 1(9), 462–466.
  • Egmond, C., Jonkers, R., & Kok, G. (2006). A strategy and protocol to increase diffusion of energy related innovations into the mainstream of housing associations. Energy Policy, 34(18), 4042–4049.
  • Gruber, E., & Brand, M. (1991). Promoting energy conservation in small and medium-sized companies. Energy Policy, 19(3), 279–287.
  • Ha-Duong, M. (2008). Hierarchical fusion of expert opinions in the Transferable Belief Model, application to climate sensitivity. International Journal of Approximate Reasoning, 49(3), 555–574.
  • Palmgren, C. R., Morgan, M. G., Bruine de Bruin, W., & Keith, D. W. (2004). Initial public perceptions of deep geological and oceanic disposal of carbon dioxide. Environmental Science & Technology, 38(24), 6441–6450.
  • Reynolds, T. W., Bostrom, A., Read, D., & Morgan, M. G. (2010). Now what do people know about global climate change? Survey studies of educated laypeople. Risk Analysis, 30(10), 1520–1538.
  • Semenza, J. C., Ploubidis, G. B., & George, L. A. (2011). Climate change and climate variability: personal motivation for adaptation and mitigation. Environmental Health, 10(1), 46.

 

Duarte is again openly referring to the paper as fraudulent. Yet this paper was cited approvingly by Ed Davey and Barack Obama. And the Institute of Physics is standing by it. Shameless, every one of them.

Thursday
Aug282014

BBC R4: "Everything we know is wrong"

BBC Radio 4 produced an amazing programme this week on the problems with scientific research. Everything that has been said by sceptics about climate science was here - they even describe a 'decline effect' - how delightfully ironic. Here is the programme blurb:

Every day the newspapers carry stories of new scientific findings. There are 15 million scientists worldwide all trying to get their research published. But a disturbing fact appears if you look closely: as time goes by, many scientific findings seem to become less true than we thought. It's called the "decline effect" - and some findings even dwindle away to zero.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug282014

Finding fraud in scientific papers

Judith Curry tweets a link to a fascinating report of a prototype technique for unearthing fraudulent scientific papers:

"The analysis revealed that Stapel’s fraudulent papers contained linguistic changes in science-related discourse dimensions, including more terms pertaining to methods, investigation, and certainty than his genuine papers. His writing style also matched patterns in other deceptive language, including fewer adjectives in fraudulent publications relative to genuine publications," the authors write.

Stapel tended to fortify his methods section with extra description and employ words like ‘‘profoundly,’’ ‘‘extremely,’’ and ‘‘considerably’’ to make his results sound more convincing and dramatic. At the same time, he also used fewer terms that might downplay significance, such as "less," "somewhat," and "merely."

Someone could have fun with this couldn't they!

Thursday
Aug282014

Hiding the pause

Corrine le Quere of UEA is another of the scientists who were asked to address the All-party Climate Change Group about AR5, her topic being what is the evidence for that man is causing climate change. Audio is here, her slides can be seen here, an example of which is shown below:

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug282014

Moonshine 2

In my post about Keith Shine's contribution to the All-party Climate Change Group briefing on AR5 I said that Prof Shine had failed to discuss the divergence between model and observational estimates of climate sensitivity. In fact the report on which I had based this statement (and which I quoted in the original piece) misrepresented what Shine said. There is an audio file available here (H/T Richard Betts) which shows that a significant chunk of the talk was in fact given over to a consideration of the two main approaches to estimating climate sensitivity. Shine described the pros and cons of the various approaches as follows:

...state-of-the-art climate models, which are our embodiment of the laws of physics as applied to the atmosphere...

...a mixture of observations and simple models. Now you might think using observations were a better way of doing things but the problem is that there are a lot of things going on at the same time in the climate system - the internal variability, the aerosols - and there is also a lot of debate about how you should do your statistics to estimate the climate sensitivity.

I'm not sure I detect any question marks over the reliability of the models. No mentions of fudge either. And the remarks about debates over statistics are grossly misleading. The IPCC has been engaging in PR rather than science: showing a series of studies that all use flat priors in ECS is equivalent to repeated shouting "We already know that climate sensitivity is high". It's propaganda, not science.

So I'm not sure that Prof Shine is giving the politicians a fair assessment here. It looks more like an attempt to pooh-pooh the observational estimates.

Still, if you think this is bad, wait until you see the next post.

Thursday
Aug282014

Of orcs, goblins and climate change think tanks

As afficionados of The Lord of the Rings will no doubt know, the dark lord Sauron created orcs as corrupt mirror images of the elves. He created goblins in similar fashion, with dwarves in mind. This thought came to mind when readers pointed me to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a new think tank on the block here in the UK, which I can't help but see as the goblin version of the GWPF.

Set up by a group of green charitable foundations, the ECIU is to be run by our old friend Richard Black, not quite fresh from his previous role as an 'impartial' journalist at the BBC. The list of advisers is also interesting, featuring a dazzling array of well-known names and not a few vested interests as well.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug272014

Renewables cannot sustain civilisation

The other day we were considering the concept of EROI, the amount of energy you get out of a given technology for the amount you have to put in. Specifically we were looking at the figures for solar PV in Spain.

With splendid timing, the Energy Collective has published a post considering EROI for the full gamut of energy technologies. At first glance the story looks not too bad, with wind and solar PV (so long as it's in a desert) above the minimum level of 7 that the article says is needed to sustain a modern society (breakeven EROI of 1 is not really worth the bother). The problem arises when you have to start storing all energy from renewables, which as their adherents suggest is the key to having them compete with fossil fuels.

Click to read more ...