Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

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

Powered by Squarespace
« Josh 72 redux | Main | Jones in Lincs »

Bob's strawman at CoJo

Bob Ward is commenting on the thread below Fiona Fox's piece on the Horizon programme. So far, two gross misrepresentations of sceptic views. First this:

To claim that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas is to promote a demonstrable falsehood, not just a point of view.

Has anyone claimed that it isn't? Not to my knowledge. And then this:

Both James Delingpole and Christopher Booker have claimed that the Horizon programme was wrong to suggest that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are more important than emissions from natural sources such as volcanoes. In fact, human activities emit at least 100 times more carbon dioxide each year than volcanoes, as the United States Geological Survey points out here:

Do you see the lovely, seamless elision from "natural sources such as volcanoes" to "volcanoes".


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (65)

Richard Black got this third on the Beeb's homepage

Feb 3, 2011 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnyColourYouLike

Old Hengist really doesn't like our host, although as well as lots of ranting he has a nice little gizmo on his site showing the CO2 pollution level going ever skywards; perhaps he could put a global temperature anomaly next to it so we can all laugh for the rest of the year as it plummets. I might even go back there for another dose of bile if he does. Not GISS though, please.

Feb 3, 2011 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Bob is spot on target.
He understands.
Winning matters,
Truth is gelatinous and
you make it what you will.
He holds no guilt
And why should he,
Nice one Bob and one day
Wink matey

Feb 4, 2011 at 3:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Good ole Bob [snip -rude]

What a luminescent intellect he isn't.

Grantham, must have more money than sense to give 'salaried'...payment? To this veritable fount of expertise!?

Dear God in heaven, he is doing our work for us, Ta! [snip-rude].

You know what you get Grantham, when you pay peanuts........


Feb 4, 2011 at 7:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

1. GW - yes the planet has warmed over the last 150 years.

2. AGW - CO2 is a greenhouse gas but currently there is no evidence to support the AGW hypothesis.

3. CAGW - the geological record shows this to be utter nonsense.

Feb 4, 2011 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I'd like to no how the paleopiezometry thesis is going, Bob.

Nearly finished??

No pressure......

Feb 4, 2011 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby


Talking of Amazon drought this looked interesting

But OT here so I will put on the unthreaded and allow myself to be snipped here.


Feb 4, 2011 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Feb 3, 2011 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnyColourYouLike

Notice that there is no possibility of commenting on Blacks Post?

"Research leader Simon Lewis, from the University of Leeds, is the scientist who gained an apology from the Sunday Times newspaper last year"

I will have to look back but I seem to remember the Times moved a little to quickly! Dam my senility!

Feb 4, 2011 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Kevin: "wouldn't colder weather lead to more CO2 emissions from heating and warmer winters/warmer weather lead to less CO2 emissions?"

Sounds plausible for areas that have cold winters. But in the case of (rich) areas that have hot summers, hotter weather pushes air-conditioning use up. It would be interesting to see an economist gather some data and do some arithmetic on this.

Feb 4, 2011 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

On the Cojo site Bob Ward comments at 3:08 pm

"There is a natural exchange between the land, oceans and atmosphere of billions of tons of carbon dioxide each year, known as the carbon cycle."

Bob omits to mention that uncertainties in the flux of carbon in this natural exchange are many times larger than the contribution attributed to humans. The flux is around 200 Gigatons of carbon annually and the amount attributed to human activity is about 1/27 of this.

Bob then says:

"This exchange was largely in equilibrium before the onset of industrialisation and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were more or less constant at about 280 parts per million over a period of at least 650,000 years."

This claim is not correct on almost all points:

(a) The idea of a pre-industrial equilibrium is assumed, it is not known or measurable. The total annual flux is about 200 Gigatons of carbon but the uncertainties are at least 20% (IPCC AR4). Yet miraculously the IPCC gives the net of all the natural fluxes as being pretty close to zero. This conclusion is not supported by the data cited.

(b) Bob is conflating two CO2 ppm averages. The first is that the assumed pre-industrial average is 280 ppm. The Mauna Loa CO2 measurements began in 1961. Prior to this from 1812 until 1961 some 90,000 CO2 measurements of the atmosphere were made using the Pettenkofer chemical method. This has an accuracy of 1 - 3%. The lowest of these measurements is around 280 ppm but many of the measures show consistently higher and considerably variable CO2 concentration, as high as 400 ppm in some periods. The IPCC uses the lowest value obtained and ignores all the other measurements.

(c) The second conflation by Bob is to suggest that the average of 280 ppm CO2 was more or less constant for 650,000 years. This is an absurd claim and a quick glance at any ice core results shows CO2 varying on large ranges commensurate with ice ages. The same ice core data shows another inconvenient truth for Bob's argument: the CO2 lags temperature by about 800 years, showing cause and effect are reversed compared to AGW theory. Another point to make is that ice core data is often cited as showing historical CO2 never exceeding about 300 ppm. This argument ignores the problem of averaging and mixing of gases in ice core data. Higher extremes of CO2 are entirely possible in the real world but would not necessarily be recorded in the ice core gas. There is direct evidence for higher CO2 in the atmosphere in the modern age since 1812 (see Pettenkofer above).

Apologies to those at Bishophill who read some similar comments from me yesterday, but I thought the points would bear being made again here. Comments seemed not to be open at CoJo so I didn't post there.

Feb 4, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Thanks for the link Josh. Interesting article. I wonder if Richard Black has read it, seems doubtful.

Feb 4, 2011 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnyColourYouLike

BobW has weighed in again on the BBC thread, and is continuing his evasive line of questioning without ever answering a question himself.

His attempt to change the topic to "only volcanoes" laying in tatters, he has changed topics from natural vs. man made emissions to the total percentage in the atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, he then ascribes views to sceptics that they almost certainly do not hold. Hmm, I wonder where I've seen that tactic before?

Seems BobW is unwilling to address the actual claim made in the programme, and wants to throw a continuous stream of straw men up in the hope that no-one will notice.

Feb 4, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence

Jane Coles

Thanks for the response. I was thinking about that and wondering how much air conditioning use may be powered by a water dam vs. fossil fuel heating, but I guess the same could be said for electrical heating. And I guess my intrigue is around the amount of use during unusually cold weather or hot weather. I would love to see more research done on this. With all things being equal...driving, recreation, seems that unusually colder temps and maybe unusually hotter temps would or could put more CO2 in the atmosphere faster than anything else. It may be worth a look.

Feb 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin


If you poke around WUWT (possibly with the aid of Google), you'll find several posts by Willis Eschenbach on a thermostat model of world climate. He isn't concerned with your observation but it seems to me that your observation invites a (different) thermostat analysis:

The world gets colder (over a period of years). Humans burn more stuff in order to keep warm. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere increases as a result. The CO2 makes the world get warmer. Humans are no longer so cold so they burn less stuff. CO2 levels gradually decline.

Now I don't find that analysis remotely plausible since I don't think anthropogenic CO2 has a large enough effect. But an alarmist (someone who believes anthropogenic CO2 effects are large) ought to find it plausible.

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

Jane Coles

Thanks I'll check out WUWT. Correct, I don't subscribe to AGW or at least, I think we can't know man's influence. I was thinking of this in the vein if AGW were true. Ultimately, I think the earth can regulate itself just fine. As well, I think there are too many variables to consider about AGW. At this point I think it is impossible to know man's contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere. But if AGW were true, then unusually cold weather may cause more CO2 output than normal and warmer weather would cause less. So global warming would correct Not sure why the AGW folks aren't writing about this.

Again my case study is that in the five Winters that I have lived in my current house, I am burning through more fuel oil this Winter, because of the colder (-9 below) weather we have been experiencing, than any other Winter so far.

As a side note, my furnace was working overtime and an electrical switch broke. The furnace repair guy came and $280 later, my furnace is back. The furnace guy said that everyone's furnace was working overtime and they were flooded with maintenance calls last week. So I guess my point is that I am not alone. I wasn't the only one burning through fuel oil more quickly.

Yes, you get my point and restate it nicely. Thanks. It's an idea that I think is worth exploring.

Feb 6, 2011 at 12:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

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>