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« The London trip | Main | Canadian poll closes »

Light blogging

I'm off to the big smoke tomorrow. I'm giving a talk at the Institute of Energy and attending Vaclav Klaus's lecture on Tuesday.

Be good while I'm away.

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Reader Comments (136)

Enjoy the trip and sock it to them.

Aren't we always good?

Oct 17, 2010 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

See you there (hopefully)

Oct 17, 2010 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiggerjock

Completelt OT. I just watched Countryfile and the new BBC impartiality was on full display. Tom Heap, an arch eco-nut of the BBC and George Monbigot of the Grauniad were discussing CCS. George intoroduced a new term (unless I've not been paying attention) - "future climate breakdown".

Anybody heard of this phenomenon; is it the Britsish version of "climate disruption"?

Oct 17, 2010 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I'm trying to understand how far "climate science" has got and whether they know enough to test their theories by making predictions. Here's an idea

Climate Model Competition

Like the prize for man-powered flight.

A big cash prize to any climate modeller that can make a good enough prediction to assess if their model really can predict anything at all.

The rules would be that the model has to predict 3 specified things maybe 12 months into the future:

1) Average September temperatures in England in 2011
2) Average September rainfall in England in 2011
3) Average September sunshine hours in 2011

Within some kind of tolerance. Maybe the winner would only win if he/she predicted all 3 closer than any other entrant.

Oct 17, 2010 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Break a leg

Oct 17, 2010 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Last time you "went away" you asked us to be good Bish.

We were................'nuff said.


Ps, Phillip, complain to the British Buggeringlystupid Corporation about the above. I do and I live in Dublin outside their licence fee area. I still get a reply and the more complaints, hopefully the more atention they will in hope. PW

Oct 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

2 Ts in attention.

Pae atension Peter

Oct 17, 2010 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

Until I can find the video of that lecture. I hope there will be one. Vaclav Klaus is so unassailable when he speaks of climate change scams and economic matters. Nobody knows better than he does, what it is like to run an economy based on "five & ten year plans" in a totalitarian, tyrannical state.

Oct 17, 2010 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterI Will Be Drooling

I spotted the Countryfile piece too: a complaint has been lodged with the Beeb, but I expect little beyond the usual platitudes in response. Afraid that the new impartiality looks a whole lot like the old impartiality.

Oct 17, 2010 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterOxonpool

RETEPHSLAW: "2 Ts in attention."

By my count, there are three. :)
Don't want to miss T, do we?

Oct 18, 2010 at 6:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Looking forward to the Czech President's talk with as much anticipation as the Monbiot 'debate'. Certainly worth a trip to the 'smoke'.

Oct 18, 2010 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Phillip Bratby,

Too right! The BBC is still displaying its normal 'impartiality'. Countryfile is just the weekly program of greenie rant . Any conceivable (or inconceivable) adverse human interaction with nature is highlighted in the typical arm-waving manner with the traditional 'authority' figure trying to give it credence.. The program is no longer for the country audience but merely a mouthpiece for "the agenda" targeted mainly at the townies.

Oct 18, 2010 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Drake

Harold W.

You and I know what I meanttt!


Oct 18, 2010 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

Be good while I'm away.

Spoil sport! Enjoy yourself anyway.

Oct 18, 2010 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Bates


I like the climate model competition. I've been thinking of something myself for a while now. I'd really like to place a bet with one of the large betting agencies; an anti-warming bet if you like.

My bet would be, for instance: “What odds will you give me that the average September temperature in England in 2012 will be lower (by percentage to be agreed) than any published prediction made (as of today) by UK Met office"

I would be quite happy to put a few hundred quid on this. If the warming agencies modelling is so good the betting agencies will be very happy to use it as the basis for their odds. But, as I understand it, when you make a bespoke bet with a large betting agency they investigate the issue at hand and work out the odds. As they stand to lose money if they are wrong, they are working on a completely different intellectual and business model to climate modellers.

With a bit of PR we could get a few thousand, or tens of thousands of people to do the same thing around the world. Once the betting agencies stand to lose large amounts of money if they are wrong it would be interesting to see how their modelling differs.

Just a thought.

Oct 18, 2010 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Andrew's talk is announced here:

Oct 18, 2010 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I wrote to complain about the BBC countryfile programme but i am not holding my breath for a sensible reply!
Has anyone else noticed how hard it is to find the link to complain about anything on that site?

Oct 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave38

Dave 38,

Hi, I have complained twice about AGW issues and really had little trouble finding the complaints information area. I will root around for it and get back to you.


Oct 18, 2010 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

"climate model competition"

I'd back Piers Corbyn, although he might have difficulty contributing - I gather that William Hill blacklisted him after he kept winning long-range forecasts against the Met Office, who oscillate between hopeless attempts to do it and pronouncements that it isn't possible anyway.

Oct 18, 2010 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

I've only watched countryfile once by accident, i turned over soon after they started compareing the relative carbon footprints of dirrerent vegatables!!!

Oct 18, 2010 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered Commentersunderland steve

re the climate model competition, and betting against CAGW - I wonder if a more lucrative way of doing that would be to find an insurer who specialises in climate-related risk, and invest in them. It's a fair bet that their premiums are higher than is justified by the real risks they are covering, and that their profits will in due course reflect this. Nice little earner, as Arthur Daley would have it.

Oct 18, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTomFP

TomFP - Swiss Re. Don't ask me how I know :o)

Oct 18, 2010 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterH


I am trying to remember where I read that the best predictive tool for climate this year is last year. that is, each year's climate is more like that of the previous year than any model projection.

Should we have an "Oxymoron Corner" somewhere? I keep noticing new ones: climate science, Carbon Trust,climate disruption...

Oct 18, 2010 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Phillip B
I didn't see the programme so don't know the context but perhaps 'future climate breakdown' may be a reference to the IPCC Cancun meeting next month?

Oct 18, 2010 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Phillip Bratby, translated:

"...George intoroduced a new term (unless I've not been paying attention) - 'future climate breakdown'...."

"Intoroduced" -- undoubtedly from 'toro,' the Spanish for bull, so 'George bull-something a new term.' Yes, bull-something sounds a lot like George.

"Future climate breakdown" obviously refers to the impending further severe mental deterioration of warmists when the climate does the exact opposite of what they claim.

Oct 18, 2010 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

On the climate models - simply being able to demonstrably predict past climate would be nice. If they had a model which could account for the climate changes of the MWP or the little ice age, I think people would have more time for the models. Currently the models seem to be tuned to predict catastrophe and cannot even account for present conditions, i.e. steadily increasing CO2 and flat temperatures (cf. Trenberth's famous outburst in the climategate emails).

I've asked about models on various blogs and been roundly attacked for not understanding science by the climatology aficionados. Their line is that there are two types of model, those useful for understanding measured data (and not making predictions), and models for making predictions. But the latter are just producing possible 'scenarios' of reality, not real predictions, and therefore are above criticism.

But, yes, some kind of 'Netflix prize' for a climatology model which is capable of doing something useful is a very good idea and might provide a firmer foundation for this forlorn field.

Oct 18, 2010 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

I am in the US, not the UK, but this seems like big news - and I hope it spreads -

Scrap Tide, Build Nukes

Oct 18, 2010 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn A

Regarding climate models (ZT), Judith Curry has an interesting post on "Overconfidence in IPCC’s detection and attribution" at

There are some very interesting comments on the worth (or lack thereof) of climate models.

Oct 18, 2010 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

John A:

The Severn Barrage was never a goer. The latest cost estimate was about £30b, not £15b as in the article. It was going to produce electricity for about 4 hours, twice a day, so would need operating in conjunction with another power source operating for 8 hours, twice a day. The environmental problems were going to be enormous (masses of concrete, plus silt problems, plus unique environments destroyed). As usual the environmentalists couldn't make up their tiny minds whether overall it would be good or bad for the environment; all their religious beliefs told them was that the environmental damage over several hundred square miles was less than that of a couple of nukes occupying a fraction of a square mile, at a fraction of the cost.

Oct 18, 2010 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Oh dear, it seems I've been a naughty boy over at Moonbot on the Graun. I got a comment in which was well recommended, more so than the Moonbigot response. Ithen got in a few more well-recommended comments. After several hours my comments have been moderated but the Moonbot's response has disappeared as if it was never there. Can't have the grauniadistas seeing someone getting more recommendations than the Moony. The Moonboy has to reign supreme and unchallenged at the Graun.

Oct 18, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Phillip Bratby
I’ve heard of Climate Breakdown. Moonboy invented it when his previous neologism - Climate Chaos - made him nervous. I’ve never heard of Countryfile though. I imagine it means refiling the Moonbat, ie putting him back in his folder after use.
More details on your experience at the Graun please. I’ve just posted at Harmless Sky on an experience suggesting that Monbiodegradable doesn’t always get his way with the moderators there. But all’s up for refutation in climate science.

Oct 18, 2010 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

It is tough times for AGW enthusiasts. Should we not use this interlude to offer them some help?

The EU has infinite funding (us), and would doubtless be only too willing to support the following initiative- a World Class postdoctoral course for suitable candidates in <Investigative Widgery?> <your suggestion> ... . Graduates of the school will have automatic priority in defending crisis policy emergencies across the entire spectrum of EU strategic initiatives, in particular those increasingly anticipated in the climate change/renewable energy sector, and can look forward to a challenging but richly rewarding career in international politics.

Suggestions and nominations are cordially invited for:

Course school
Course topics

Oct 18, 2010 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Phillip Bratby
A close friend of mine has just spent a pleasant five minutes pressing her big red button on the Moonbat thread on all comments commenting on deleted comments on the grounds that they are now off-topic. The thread may get increasingly threadbare.

Oct 18, 2010 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

You're international. Which 'Big Smoke'? :-)

According to Wikipedia (not my favourite) The Big Smoke is a nickname applied to various cities, including:





London, labeled as such since the late 19th century, and applied in particular to the Great Smog of 1952

Manchester, during the industrial revolution.

Melbourne, labeled as such in the late 19th century during the industrial boom following the Victorian gold rush, often by provincial Victorians and by people from other parts of Australia.

Sudbury, Ontario, labeled for Vale INCO smelter's large smoke stack.



Vancouver, British Columbia

Oct 18, 2010 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterIanB

Thanks for the link attribution and detection link, Phillip - nice to see a sane climatology discussion on models!

Oct 18, 2010 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

IanB --
In this case, "Big Smoke" must be London. For that's where Vaclav Klaus will be lecturing, at the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Found the Bishop's engagement here. Ah, what a wondrous Web we weave!

Oct 19, 2010 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

While browsing around, found what I think is a good enlargeable diagram for the temperature record in the Dome C Antarctic ice core. With further links.

Oct 19, 2010 at 12:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Buttons? If you want stress-relieving or minion scaring buttons, I recommend these-

Armed and Dangerous

* USB hub that doubles as a doomsday device
* Flip two switches, turn the key and then...
* Armed, dangerous, and full of doom

Exploding children and co-workers not included, please contact 10:10 if you wish to purchase those.

Oct 19, 2010 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

I remember Country File used to be quite a reasonable country focused TV programme - sounds like the carbon nutters have got their teeth into and turned it into something a shadow of its previous form... Real shame.

Oct 19, 2010 at 2:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

You know, I find these "self-directed" threads much more interesting. Maybe the bishop will take a two week vacation in the south of France.

Oct 19, 2010 at 3:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


"Melbourne, labeled as such in the late 19th century during the industrial boom following the Victorian gold rush, often by provincial Victorians and by people from other parts of Australia."

We tend to use another pet name for Melbourne these days.


Oct 19, 2010 at 5:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterStu

geoffchambers: all my comments at have now either been "removed by a moderator" (the early ones) or have disappeared completely. Replies by others have also disappeared, so the big red button does work.

Oct 19, 2010 at 6:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Nature have a new paper out about wind speed slowing.

Wasn’t the CO2 signature hot spot supposed to have been converted to wind in a conservation of energy thingy. Does this mean that if ground level wind has declined it has been converted into heat? Woohoo, I’ve discovered the cause of global warming, where’s my Nobel prize? Uh, oh no, I've just remembered, that sort of thing only applies when they're in favour of AGW.

Oct 19, 2010 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


According to the BWEA (now RenewableUK), the recent reduced wind and thus reduced output from all those windfarms which we are heavily subsidising is a 1 in 200 event and therefore must just be a natural event, nothing to do with CO2. The BWEA never tells lies, they do not have any vested interests, they fully understand climate change and are doing their best to stop it! ☺

Oct 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Anybody interested in a seminar on data mining.

Part of the intro, "Interactive and visual data mining enables business users, engineers and scientists to more easily find previously hidden relationships in data for themselves."

More information here.

The seminar speaker is Richard D. De Veaux, who interestingly co-authored a paper with David Hand, an Oxburgh panel member, titled, "How to Lie with Bad Data"

Should be interesting. I wonder if anyone from CRU will attend?

Oct 19, 2010 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

“the recent reduced wind”

If they suck the energy out of it with lots of big propellors, what do they expect..?

Oct 19, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"I find these "self-directed" threads much more interesting."

But only until the trolls arrive...

Oct 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Nature has also announced it will be launching a new journal next spring, and doesn't bother to hide its assumption that the 'science is already settled.'

"The seventh of Nature's physical sciences journals, Nature Climate Change will dedicate its coverage to one of the greatest challenges for science and society.

By and large, society now accepts that climate change is happening. But the science of global climate change is far from settled — large uncertainties remain regarding the rate of change and the scale and distribution of impacts.

Not a good start. Only Warmist papers need apply....

Oct 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

"climate change is happening"

I think it would be pretty newsworthy if it wasn't! How much is due to us and our CO2 remains debatable, though...

Oct 19, 2010 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Lawson on The Daily Politics with Prof. Bob Watson. Lawson got the last word. Watson came across as usual as uninformed and more of a politician than a scientist with lots of big old platitudes.

Oct 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDominic

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