Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Big Oil forgets to bribe McKitrick | Main | Judith Curry in Discover »

Climate cuttings 37

Global warming campaigners have started what appears to be a concerted media campaign and the media is doing what it always does, failing to question anything they are fed by the PR people inside the climate machine. I've already pointed to Sir John Houghton's article in the Times. We've also had Lord Stern on Radio 4, desperately trying to shift the burden of proof onto those who doubt the word of the activists. US scientists have started a letter writing campaign, led by the usual suspects. The Australians have bashed together a six (!) page report repeating the mantra one more time.

Michael Mann and Judith Curry are interviewed in Discover magazine, as noted in an earlier post. Mann's contribution could probably best be described as "more of the same", while Curry's is fairly breathtaking.

TonyN at Harmless Sky (now up and running again) runs his eye over Peter Stott's recent attribution paper that received quite a lot of media attention this side of the pond.

An Australian academic has accused Steve McIntyre of being behind the UEA "hack". Everyone seems to think that John Quiggin will be lucky to get away without being sued.

Richard Tol continues to tear Working Group III's work to shreds. He finds that the IPCC's claim that emissions can be reduced at zero marginal cost is wrong.

BH reader, Adrian Ashfield, has been engaging in some correspondence with the HockeyStickMeister himself in the pages of his local paper. Original letter here, Mann's response here.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (28)

Bish, you're up early. I agree, it looks like a coordinated fight-back. But Joe Public can recognise BS when he sees or hears it.

Mar 16, 2010 at 7:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

In the long war, we have been steadily losing ground since at least 1990. Climategate and the IPCC breakdown have given us a useful but smallish tactical victory for the first time. That's all.

The war isn't over, and we're still being rolled back on some fronts. The forces against us are great and powerful and determined, with a great prize as their aim. They will not give up at the first setback. They will regroup and advance again.

Stay on guard.

Mar 16, 2010 at 7:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterThon Brocket

The post about Peter Stott's recent paper identifying the 'fingerprint' of AGW (again) is actually not by me but by a guest, 'potentilla', who is in a much better position to comment on it than I am.

Mar 16, 2010 at 8:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterTonyN

The significant thing to note, even in papers as supportive of the cause as the Guardian, is the sheer volume of negative comments that articles by Houghton, Mann et al. attract.

Support for their view is very muted indeed and contrasts sharply with the antics of their supporters a few short months ago whn the label of denier wolud be deployed liberally (no pun intended!).

Mar 16, 2010 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Harrington

The Beeb are stepping up to the mark too:

The Chief Exec of Greenpeace was on (about 25mins in) talking about Deniers and the latest scandals being minor and not affecting the underlying science etc. The Usual Stuff.

This was followed by the opposite view being put....oh, no sorry, it was Ian Mckewan plugging his latest book Solar about a bloke trying to avert environmental disaster as a result of Global Warming.

You've got to laugh haven't you.......haven't you?

Mar 16, 2010 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimonW

Another interesting cutting: Lubos has highlighted this am a new paper from MIT showing that windmills contribute some global warming:

Mar 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Good Sir John, you have to admire him, admits to a "marginal" error then goes on to tell us how thorough the IPCC system is.

Mar 16, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered Commentermrjohn

Come on people, what did you expect? Full and frank confessions and admissions of being deceived?

AGW is a huge industry and it will be defended in various ways, and in any case continue for a time on its own inertia. It's fairly well established and has taken root.

As a small example, look at product marketing. Household appliances, CPU chips, all sorts of things sold as reducing your carbon footprint, eco this and eco that. All those marketing departments have got to change their patter.

Government inertia is huge in this matter. Think of the various non-jobs created and anti-climate change legislation.

It will take some rooting out.

Activists who've made much of AGW can be expected to put up rearguard actions. They're not going to let go of the prize so easily.

That said, I don't see it's sustainable in the face of widespread public disbelief.

Mar 16, 2010 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Reading Michael Mann's response, I was struck by his repeated and deliberate use of the phrase "professional climate-change deniers" (and also by the shrill tone of his writing).

"Professional climate-change deniers" - this really does reveal his paranoid and imbalanced mentality, no? It doesn't sit well with how one imagines a "distinguished scientist" to think and express himself. Of course our idea of the detached, inquiring mind pursuing Truth in his/her ivory tower is no doubt naive. But even so!

Or am I being naive? Are the likes of Bishop Hill really making a tidy living as masters of the wicked arts of spin, blogging mercenaries dissembling for the Dark Forces...

Mar 16, 2010 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard M

We've also had Lord Stern on Radio 4, desperately trying to shift the burden of proof onto those who doubt the word of the activists.

All of these people need to read a book by A. W. Montford called The Hockey Stick Illusion. It does an outstanding job of showing how the "doubters" have already done the due diligence, labored through the burden. Oddly, the real scientists are the "doubters" in this game and the "deniers" are the ones who are denying reality and cooking the books. Pretty sad state of affairs.

Mar 16, 2010 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Richard M

Are the likes of Bishop Hill really making a tidy living as masters of the wicked arts of spin, blogging mercenaries dissembling for the Dark Forces...

It matters not. We are all capable of doing our own research and forming our own conclusions.

Climatologists and everyone else on the AGW gravy train have tried to subvert the notion of being a scientist into something that's exclusive to them, with anyone disagreeing with their views being de facto anti-science or a non-scientist.

This is simply nonsense and we must not let them get away with this simply by repeating it ad nauseum.

Mar 16, 2010 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

James "Gaia" Lovelock had some words of appreciation for climate skepticism again recently.

Mar 16, 2010 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered Commenteranonym

I thought this Time magazine article last Friday was extremely defensive. It starts off on the back foot, and stays there:

One of the many crimes that climate scientists have been accused of lately is that they claim absolute certainty in a field of research fraught with uncertainty. Sure, the planet is warming, say skeptics, but that's happened throughout Earth's history,...

Mar 16, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank Davis

Of course, there's also Lovelock reported in the Express. He comes over as an almost complete sceptic. What's going on?

Mar 16, 2010 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank Davis

I dont see a coordinated fightback by the alarmist it rather looks that during this relative lull between big boondoggle governmental climate meetings or scandals, they are taking the time to chant the same old mantras and flex those media muscles - it's always a blank statement "Climate fingerprint found!" which on further investigation proves to be nothing more than the same old Playstation science as TonyN shows, or the cries of "professional deniers","orchestration" or "big oil", which never have any supporting evidence profered along side.
However the noticable difference today is that unlike before, in the times, say B.C. (before climategate), you would see these media headlines and just suffer the frustration that their inane repetitiveness got such an easy pass and were even applauded by the media. Whereas now, the same trite phrases really do smell of empty desperation. There may indeed be a retrenchment and a plastering over the cracks achieved by the alarmists, but most people will have peeked behind the curtain now, and even if they haven't, the emails and errors will always be there to remind us of the cant that lies beneath the propaganda.

Mar 16, 2010 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve2

the media is doing what it always does, failing to question anything they are fed by the PR people inside the climate machine. I've already pointed to Sir John Houghton's article in the Times

So Jonathan Leake's many distortions and omissions in the same paper aren't enough 'questioning' for you?

And all the handwringing over 'questioning' is rather one sided isn't it?

Why are 'sceptics' "engaging in correspondence" and "running eyes" while anyone else is involved in a "propaganda push"? That is the language of propaganda.

Where is the 'sceptic' questioning of Judith Curry?

Where is the 'sceptic' questioning of Tol? Why aren't those who wax lyrical about climate modelling saying that he is full of it because his economic models cannot predict the stock market tomorrow, or the recent recession, never mind the cost of emission mitigation decades hence? Yet when BH portrays Tol's opinion as objective fact he gets a free pass.

Mar 16, 2010 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Playstation science

What a great idea! A game where "evil" scientists are trying to take over the world with graphical hockey sticks and proclamations of catastrophe...but then a band of bloggers/statisticians/amateurs (robin hood/underdog model) save the world with logic, data mining/interpretive skills as well as good coding skills from the between their ice hockey and street hockey games...

Mar 16, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

@F O'D

You seem to forget that it is the AGW-proponents who need once more to make their case, not the sceptics to 'prove' theirs.

Up until ClimateHagen, the AGW case sort of went by default with such nonsense as 'The Science is Settled' being common currency. But sanity has returned and people are asking much harder and more searching questions. They are also far less likely to be convinced by appeals to the authority of self-appointed climate scientists or the IPCC or Ed Milliband or Greenpeace or WWF - or indeed to the great words of Frank O'Dwyer or Stirling English.

Everything in the AGW portfolio is once more up for scrutiny. To convince an increasingly sceptical population, the case has to be made..and examined... all over again. Just pointing out possible flaws in an individual sceptics argument or position or motivations does nothing to enhance that case....many would see it as weakening it...if you have nothing positive to say about your proposition, just slag off your critics and hope nobody notices that your own case is tottering....It won't wash any more.

Mar 16, 2010 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterStirling English

Michael Mann really needs to acquire just a small dose of both humility and wisdom. Acquire either one of those and he'll have both for as Frank sings "you can't have one without the other."

Does he even realize that his shrill tone is self-defeating and that he is his own worst enemy?

Mar 16, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAverage Joe

OK Frank OD, if you want a criticism of Judith Curry here is one: she is wrong about the increased intensity of hurricanes. Hurricane activity was extraordinarily low from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s and then had a sharp uptick over the last decade or so, returning to the levels of the mid 1920s and 1945-55. There is zilch correlation with temperature change or CO2, as the IPCC was forced to concede.

Mar 16, 2010 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

[Snip - I don't want foodfights here, thanks]

Mar 16, 2010 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered Commentercorvinus

Chris Smith is Chairman of the Environment Agency, not Secretary of State. According to wikipedia he has a first in Engllish from Cambridge and a doctorate in Coleridge and Wordsworth. Prime climate science qualifications, don't you think?

Mar 16, 2010 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAQ42

Here is my response to Chris Smith which I posted to the BBC website. Need I add that it wasn't published?

Once again a leading British politician parrots the same line of alarmist drivel and tries to tell the rest of us "Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain" as if we were all idiots. Talk about denial.

The Climategate emails were not "sloppily addressed" they were highly incriminating of a conspiracy to pervert climate science, bury methodology away from oversight, traduce datasets with unjustifiable "adjustments", poison and censor debate and destroy the independence of scientific journals and the peer review system. The Information Commissioner actually said outright that the failure to deliver requested data was a criminal act and entirely intentional and only a ridiculously short statute of limitations prevented prosecution.

All of this by the people primarily responsible for the key parts of the last IPCC reports that we now know are riddled with anti-science, non-science and advocacy opinions of groups who have made hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, in donations over the last few years.

Instead we are asked to believe not our own lying eyes but the very same people who produced this trash, because there is supposedly a "climate crisis" even though we have known for a very long time that climate always changes, that those changes are closely correlated not with carbon dioxide or methane, but with solar changes and giant multi-decadal oceanic oscillations, and that are as far back as scientists can work out, climate has always changed and will continue to change entirely naturally.

Climate models that cannot predict the next summer miraculously become more and more accurate as the time horizon extends further and further out. Climate models so inaccurate over the short term that rather than embarrass themselves even further after three years of abject failure, the MET Office abandons even issuing them despite a new massive energy-soaking computer system that was supposed to make these predictions more accurate.

Data sets skewed by nearby airconditioning units near weather stations, the growth of towns and cities around those weather stations and mysterious algorithms from unaccountable bureaucracies in the UK and the US all tell us that the warming is greenhouse gas produced without producing any signal of enhanced greenhouse warming in the tropics where this greenhouse signal should be found. Ice core records which show conclusively that for at least the last 750,000 years carbon dioxide rise has always followed temperature rise by centuries and never lead it ever.

We are told that coral atolls are drowning when the long term sealevel has not changed over the last 30 years for most Pacific Islands or even (in the case of the Maldives) dropped in the 1970s and remained static ever since.

We are exhorted to minimize our carbon impacts by switching off appliances that use a few watts of power overnight by the extremely wealthy who jet into Copenhagen in their own private planes to tell us all why everybody else jetting into Copenhagen or anywhere else is sending the climate out of control.

We are the ones who are in denial for not believing what Chris Smith says any more because Chris Smith is talking arrant nonsense.

Here in Australia last year, the CSIRO published a 3 monthly forecast showing only a 40% chance of median rainfall for Queensland for the summer just past. In fact Queensland has had one of the heaviest monsoon rainfalls in a long time and the dams around Brisbane which were at 16% three years ago are now at 93% and about to be sluiced lest they overtop.

There is a climate crisis - a political climate crisis where politicians who have arrogantly jumped on the green bandwagon are now wondering why no-one is following them and there's no progress to be made while all of the wheels have fallen off through fraud, through cooking the books, through outright exaggeration and lies.

Denial isn't a river in Egypt, its where Chris Smith's political credibility is drowning.

Mar 17, 2010 at 2:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Reader

It seems desperate times call for desperate measures- "Scientists turn to Hollywood for help!!"
NAS and the University of Southern California will team up to draw on USC’s expertise in film, TV, websites, and video games. The partnership will be the first between a federal agency and a film school.

The Oscars have already been cast...

Mar 17, 2010 at 3:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrant

In Australia, the CSIRO, which is the peak scientific research organisation and the Bureau of Meterology, have put out a joint paper, "State of Climate".
The government are using it to "re-affirm" the "validity" of AGW.
THe ABC (government owned but not controlled TV network - similar to BBC) and the Sydney Morning Herald have snapped to attention and are well behind it.
It is a very unscientific document.
I am trying to unpick it "facts" about temperature.
Unfortunately I am old and slow, but their 0.7 increase in 50 yerars, plus or minus ).5 looks too high by a factor of 2 at least.

I am also trying to research individual stations which show quite different results.
More on that later I hope.

Mar 17, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

The rich irony here is that Chris Smith is also chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and that ASA have banned TV adverts by Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to promote its carbon reduction initiative because it found that the government had exaggerated claims about the threat posed to the UK by global warming.

On one hand Chris Smith as chairman of the UK's Environment Agency
has himself been clearly exaggerating the threat posed by global warming, on the other he has to support as chairman of ASA their findings that people who hold office like himself should be prevented from stating in public exaggerated claims on global warming.

Chris Smith's position on this is untenable - he cannot be the chairman of the Environmental Agency and be also the chairman of ASA - because he will be labelled as a hypocrite.

Mar 17, 2010 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Judith Curry makes a mistake in thinking that being criticized by some elements of "both" sides (as if the possibilities are simply binary and don't allow for a whole spectrum of positions regarding AGW) means she's somehow right. It means nothing of that sort. It logically implies nothing about the fairness or rightness of her statements. This sort of argument gets put forth by referees in various sports when they make several bad calls against one team and one against the other. Well, both teams were complaining! It's not persuasive or pertinent in sports and certainly not in science.

Her statement that McIntyre and McKitrick simply showed that climate science is "sloppy" is nothing short of bizarrely charitable. One imagines that she would have found Cifford Irving to have simply been a bit "sloppy" in his purported Howard Hughes biography and that she.

Mar 19, 2010 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Oops. I had shortened that post and meant to end it after "biography".

Mar 19, 2010 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames T

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>