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« Really Useful Reporting - Josh 103 | Main | HSI review at Zone 5 »
Thursday
Jun162011

Plus Lynas 

Mark Lynas's willingness to criticise the IPCC seems to have created a great deal of interest. The comments on his blog post are pretty interesting, with Bob Ward on hand to apply the thumbscrews to the waverer and Lynas indicating an interest in reading the Hockey Stick Illusion.

Meanwhile the story has been picked up many others, including the Independent here (H/T Matthu), and also by Judith Curry, who warns Lynas about what he is getting himself into.

I’ve been engaging with skeptics since 2006 (before starting Climate Etc., I engaged mainly at ClimateAudit).  People were suspicious and wondered what I was up to, but the vilification didn’t start until I recommended that people read The Hockey Stick Illusion.  The book itself, plus more significantly my vilification simply for recommending that people read the book, has pushed me over the ledge and into a mode of aggressively challenging the IPCC consensus.  That you are willing at this point to read the book speaks volumes to me.  It is my sad conclusion that opening your mind on this subject sends you down the slippery slope of challenging many aspects of the IPCC consensus.

Shortly after I started Climate Etc., I received this email message from a colleague:

A few years ago, I started interacting with a skeptic who somehow passed through my “ignore skeptics” filter.  He has an engineering degree and is quite knowledgable.  My rationale that “all skeptics are troglodytes” has been tattered, and my view of the climate debate has  irreversibly changed.

Opening your mind on this subject is a slippery slope into listening to what skeptics have to say.  Sure there are alot of crazies out there, but there is some very serious skepticism at ClimateAudit and other technical skeptic and lukewarmer blogs.  I look forward to a growing climate heretics club, where people that generally support the IPCC consensus (either currently or in the past) dare to question aspects of it.

I predict that your actually reading the Hockey Stick Illusion and mentioning it on your blog will get you removed from RealClimate’s blogroll.

The reactions have also started, with Andy Revkin having response from the head of IPCC WG3 and Greenpeace.

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Reader Comments (95)

Interesting to see how the, errr "Pure of mind" bunch are warning this potential heretic of the fires of damnation that await him!

Jun 16, 2011 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

This issue might just turn out to be "Tippingate" or "Strawgate"
The IPCC and their ilk have yet to realise the power of the internet. Great work by Steve M and all the blogs who are disseminating the information. The HSI appears to be finding a wider audience and that is great news. My copy is being passed around in spain.

Jun 16, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

"..removed from RealClimate’s blogroll."

That's a badge of honour! It's strange, isn't it, that supporters of something apparently so clear-cut and evidential are so sensitive to criticism? It almost reminds me of the Spanish Inquisition...

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power." - Jacob Bronowski

"I’ve been engaging with skeptics since 2006", Judith Curry.

I have lots of trouble with that sentence. It is a bit like 19th century doctors engaging with lepers.

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

The horse is now out of the barn, but here's a shameless May 9 press release from the "energyblueprint" site (owned by Greenpeace and EREC) which touts the IPCC report and Sven Teske's involvement in it.

http://www.energyblueprint.info/1327.0.html

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterGarry

I am irresistibly reminded of how many ex-Christians, when asked why they left that religion, begin their deconversion stories with: "Well, you see, I actually READ the Bible..."

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon Jermey

There's a very nice ew hockey stick here: just scroll down.
http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2011/06/what-westminster-needs-to-know-about-greece-2.html

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Mark Lynas will have a chance to discuss his new-found insights here on the 6th July at a British Pugwash event at UCL (hope he's read HSI by then):
http://planetaryboundaries.eventbrite.com/
http://www.britishpugwash.org/upcoming%20events%2029%2009.htm

Planetary Boundaries: Challenging Environmental Orthodoxies

A Discussion Meeting featuring:

Professor Johan Rockström, Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
Mark Lynas, author of Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet, winner of the Royal Society popular science writing prize

Followed by an open Panel Discussion

J. Z. Young Anatomy Theatre, University College London. Wednesday, 6 July 2011, 14.30-17.45

The keynote talks will present a new approach to global sustainability, based on the concept of planetary boundaries within which human activity can safely continue. Keeping inside these limits calls for a radical rethinking of our environmental strategies.


Tickets are free. The panel discussion is chaired by Oliver Morton of The Economist and features (among others) Fred Pearce.

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterDR

Jon, on Saturday night at the big Pentecost event at the O2 Arena that brought the white anc black churches in London together in maelstrom of 'fusion worship' I heard of a man who had become a Christian through READing the Bible - one of the top six most dangerous prisoners in the UK aged 25, now about 30, released, married with three kids and devoted to spending the rest of his life spreading the gospel. I'm sure that some would say that's off topic on Bishop Hill. But then, your analogy seemed to invite a response. Shall we leave it that in a free society, unlike say a Muslim one, there will always be flow both ways and that's exactly the way it should be?

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I was amused at this second paragraph down in The Independent:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the UN in 1988 to advise governments on the science behind global warming, issued a report last month suggesting renewable sources could provide 77 per cent of the world's energy supply by 2050.

I freely admit that I've not read the original material released by IPCC WG3 this week but all the press releases I've seen from last month mentioned the figure 80%. But it turns out it really wasn't that extreme, folks. At look at the two digit precision. I'm sure we all believe in the significance of both those sevens.

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Having watched Professor Curry's journey via the medium of the blogosphere, I admire her greatly for being secure in her own persona and able to see the extremes of pseudo-religious zeal on both sides of the debate for what they are. I don't always agree with her and sometimes I struggle to understand the science she discusses, but my own intellectual shortcomings are for me to attempt to overcome and don't diminish my admiration for her by one iota.

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Here's Andy Revkin in the comments under pressure from Bob Ward and co:

I agree with open declaration of interests rather than banishment -- which is why putting out summaries without the context and detail is a mistake.

Though banishment for Pachauri would I think be a pretty mild step by now. The only thing to add to all the backtracking today are some examples of the how the report was being used before the 'context and detail' were added. Steve Mc went to Andy's own rag twelve days before for a typical example:
Last month, experts advising the United Nations said renewable sources could deliver nearly 80 percent of world’s total energy demand by the middle of the century. That report, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the most authoritative body of experts, scientists and engineers specialized in climate change — was a welcome signal for an industry that has faltered in previous decades after government subsidies dried up and lower-cost fossil fuels made their technologies uncompetitive.

That's from the New York Times in a report from Brussels (of course) on 3 Jun 11. With every such example the credibility of such organs of the MSM takes a further hammer blow. Well done to Revkin for at least seeing some of the writing on the wall.

Jun 16, 2011 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

"Shall we leave it that in a free society, unlike say a Muslim one"

O/T but it's impossible to leave that bigoted rubbish unchallenged. Just like all religions in the World, some societies follow a hardline and literal interpretation of their sacred texts, some have a much more relaxed approach. In Christian Uganda, homosexuality is pretty well a capital offence, there are examples now and throught history of extreme tolerance displayed by predominantly Islam societies.

And once again I see it's down to me to challenge lunatic statements like this when they're printed up here - seriously, what's wrong with you all that you let things like this slide?

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

And once again I see it's down to me to challenge lunatic statements like this when they're printed up here - seriously, what's wrong with you all that you let things like this slide?

But what's your opinion on the true subject of the thread?

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Minton

"But what's your opinion on the true subject of the thread?"
Jun 16, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Buffy Minton

That's answering a question with a question. It's generally what people do when they want to try and avoid answering the original question.

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Nothing I said was inconsistent with your view of Uganda. I was merely claiming that this country has freedom of religion and that Muslim societies generally don't.

On my way to the Paul Collier event at the Legatum Institute yesterday I went past the demo of Bahrainis outside the Saudi embassy, complaining about the invasion of their country by their neighbour - a reminder that:

1. such demos are seldom allowed in most Muslim countries

2. not all Muslim countries are as unfree politically as the worst.

If you disagree with what I wrote, pointing to Uganda isn't going to help. You need to give an example of a Muslim society where it is fine to be baptised as a Christian if you were born a Muslim. That's absolutely basic as human freedom goes. If you can give me one such example I can give you twenty where it clearly isn't the case. Yet in the UK a Christian can freely become Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, atheist, anything they choose. We surely both agree that this is the right way.

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

OK let's stop discussion of religion.

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:39 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

[snip]

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Andrew - apologies - your message not up when posted.

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

ZDB says;

That's answering a question with a question. It's generally what people do when they want to try and avoid answering the original question

But Buffy M wasn't even attempting answering any question, a question that anyhow wasn't even even posed. Instead, it was Buffy who asked the question that wasn't answerd:

But what's your opinion on the true subject of the thread?

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Jonas N - that thing that looks like s scythe with a dot underneath is called a question mark. It generally follows a........

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

From Richard Drake 10:44

.....................That report, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the most authoritative body of experts, scientists and engineers specialized in climate change —

.......... Engineers on the IPCC????????? I don't believe it. If they had engineers on the IPCC they wouldn't be in the mess they are in.

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterdusty

Without further taking the bait, it's good to discover another subject on which ZDB feels passionately. Your defence of IPCC WG3 on renewables seems a bit thin, on the other hand, my friend.

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Yes, and you were asked a question pertaining to the topic her. Twice now. Did you recognize them?

I have another one for you: Why do you think that you are not taken seriously here (and at many other places)?

Psst .. Go back to your own 'question', you might find a clue there.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

What Sven Teske wrote in the Greenpeace report cited in AR4 (Greenpeace, 2006: Solar generation. K. McDonald (ed.), Greenpeace International, Amsterdam) is just plain daft:

“Solar power is a prime choice in developing an affordable and feasible global power source that can substitute fossil fuels in all the world’s climate zones…PV solar electricity can provide decentralised energy supply at the very place it is consumed.”

Bear in mind that this was a report jointly written by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association to promote their members’ interests. But it is plain wrong. There are many climate zones for which PV is neither affordable nor feasible, and which it is no proper substitute for electricity generation. Even the report itself has a coloured figure, fig 4.4, showing the electricity generation cost of PV in northern Europe to be in the range 30 cents/kWh, with some parts of Europe being around 40 cents/kWh. And that’s just generation cost: add in amortization of investment, distribution and profit and we’re talking 7 -10 times the cost of electricity from nuclear and fossil fuel plants.

Well, there are some hundreds of millions of people living in northern Europe, and don’t they live in one of ‘all the world’s climate zones’ ? And, there are tens of millions of people in Europe that don’t see the sun for weeks on end in winter, or at best for a few only a few hours a day, and then weakly. So PV isn’t going to be able to provide ‘decentralised energy supply at the very place it is consumed’ in northern Europe. Perhaps Greenpeace think we should close down all industry in northern Europe, and exterminate ourselves so that we don’t need lighting, heating or transportation.

If Teske had written “Solar power is a power source that can operate in all the world’s climate zones”, we would say, yes, technically, but by no means practically or economically. But to write that “Solar power is a prime choice in developing an affordable and feasible global power source that can substitute fossil fuels in all the world’s climate zones” is nothing but an atrocious lie. This shows that the document cited in AR4, which is self-serving for an industry body and an ‘environmentalist’ group, and for Teske as board member of a ‘renewables’ power generation company turning over tens of millions of dollars, is nothing but crude advocacy, ‘spin’ and propaganda. It is shameful that the IPCC are quoting such a biased report, and that Teske, the Greenpeace activist and employee, was appointed an IPCC Lead Author.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

"(and at many other places)?"
Jun 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Jonas N

You are funny. I post here, and one other place, and that's it.

You really shouldn't make assumptions about 'many other places', you only end up making yourself look foolish when you get them wrong.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Zed

Isn't it interesting how the energy fantasists have distorted the contents of this report and spun out the (ludicrous, misleading) claim that 80% of the global energy mix could be renewables by 2050?

Interesting because it is, of course, a lie.

The report's real conclusion suggests a hugely optimistic, but at least technically feasible figure of 30% by 2050.

Now why would anyone take 30% and turn it into 80% if they were being honest?

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"renewable sources could provide 77 per cent of the world's energy supply"

What happens at night when there's no wind, then - or will it be piped in super-cooled cables from Australia..?

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

BBD

You lost my interest when opened your position with the words 'energy fantasists'.

Nice.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Zed

Couldn't care less. Answer the question or lose 100% credibility right here, right now.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

No zed, you are not the only one to 'call out' or criticize, and I fully agree with your post above (though I don't understand its vehemence). I believe Richard only just framed it wrongly and no more.

This blog post is interesting as well. More conflicts of interest:

Don't sacrifice the planet's arteries to save her lungs


Why has the IPCC downplayed the ecological impacts of large dams, including their contribution to climate change, and included large hydropower among the technologies that deserve public support? The sad truth is that in addition to several independent scientists, the IPCC selected a number of authors who have a vested interest in the outcome of the hydropower chapter. The nine lead authors of this chapter include representatives of two of the world’s largest hydropower developers, a hydropower consultancy, and three agencies promoting hydropower at the national level.

I highly value the IPCC’s difficult work, and have no sympathy for the climate change deniers who will probably attack the new report for their own motives. I do not question the personal integrity of the report’s authors, and personally respect the one industry representative among them whom I know. Yet it is not appropriate for IPCC to commission individuals with a business or institutional interest to prepare a report that is supposed to be unbiased and independent.

The authors’ conflict of interest is reflected throughout the hydropower section of the report, which at times reads like a marketing brochure of the dam industry. The report ignores or downplays the evidence regarding the social and environmental impacts of dams that has been produced by the independent World Commission on Dams, and naively assumes that these impacts can essentially be mitigated. It further highlights the global changes of precipitation under climate change, but neglects the uncertainties regarding future rainfalls on the local level, which are much more relevant for hydropower projects.

(emphasis mine)

Consider the import of what this author just said: The 'deniers' have no legitimacy in his eyes because 'they attack IPCC for their own reasons'.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Come on Zed, haven't got all day.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Zed

Isn't it interesting how the energy fantasists have distorted the contents of this report and spun out the (ludicrous, misleading) claim that 80% of the global energy mix could be renewables by 2050?

Interesting because it is, of course, a lie.

The report's real conclusion suggests a hugely optimistic, but at least technically feasible figure of 30% by 2050.

Now why would anyone take 30% and turn it into 80% if they were being honest?

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I can't help thinking of the HSI as the forbidden book in The Name of The Rose - those who are not absolutely unquestioning in their belief fall one by one as they succumb to the temptation.

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterpax

Was Mark Lynas the environmentalist that threw the cream pie in the face pf Bjorn Lomborg?

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

Did you miss the questions again? You know the ones ending with a questionmark?

There were some more, meanwhile. And more deflection. What was the phrase again, you used above? Something like:

"It's generally what people do when they want to try and avoid answering the original question"

Another one was: "you only end up making yourself look foolish"

Yup!

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

I complained about - Halls of Shame.....

Mark agreed: At Climate Etc)


http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/15/an-opening-mind/#comment-76091Mark Lynas | June 16, 2011 at 5:30 am |

".....Barry, you are right that the ‘Sceptics Hall of Shame’ is itself shameful – I wonder if I can appear on it now whilst still being a board member of the Campaign Against Climate Change (in all honesty I’d forgotten that I was on the board – I never have anything to do with them!). "

My reply....:

Many Thanks for that statement Mark….

But your mere inactive presence give them credibility, and supports the Hall of Shame.

I have also written (months ago) to the Green Party about Jean Lamberts’s (Green Party MEP) and Caroline Lucas’s (Green MP and Green Party Leader) involvment (VP and on the board) linking to a group that has Halls of Shame and Sceptic Alerts (activists astroturfing, imagine the complaints if the roles were reversed)

Halls of Shame go against ALL Green Party ethics and policies ( a relative is a press officer for the Greens and former editor of Greenworld and a parliamentary candidate, a very nice person that is truly green, this refelct on all the grass root activists)

Even if they are not active, like yourself) their silence and mere presence endorses it.,
Just think of of it this way. elected MP’s and MEP’s associated with Halls of Shame….

I have asked them first to use their influence to change that policy, at the very least because it was VERY counterproductive for them. I suggested thatthey should step away if they cannot, as it fails green ethics. I did this privately, they are fully aware. they have not done so.

Have the GREENS learnt nothing, also George Monbiot (Honourary President) how am I supposed to feel about his involvement when he has the MSM at his disposal to call people deniers, and I do not the same means to defend myself

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Jack

The same

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:47 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Zed

Hello?

Jun 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Cream pie meets humble pie?

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Why can't Lynas buy his own copy of the HSI ? Is he cheap or something ?

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred Bloggs

talking of Bob Ward, he does make a good point about the curious tension between the Daily Mail headlines quoted a couple of days ago (on Green taxes) and the attempts by its owners to reduce its carbon footprint:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/16/daily-mail-climate-change

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul haynes

I think the look at the relationship between the IPCC and the NGO's such as Greenpeace only looks at half of the issue. Many comments here point to the relationships between the NGO's and commercial interests. These organizations have build reputations standing up for environmental causes but their real core competencies is fund raising and public relations. This essentially turns them into marketing shills with large legal staffs that can bring enormous pressure on potential clients. Have they become legal protection rackets with cute furry animal logos?

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean

This may seem OT but I think it is very relevant to this discussion. I have just had a careful, but not exhaustive, look at the Guardian's site and there is not a word about the scientific news from the AAS re the probable coming of global cooling and the onset of a possible mini Ice-age due to the quiet sun, nor is there a solitary word about the conflict of interest gerfuffle that has exercised Lynas and Hitchens to the point they have felt impelled to speak out in condemnation of the IPCC over this. Perhaps I missed something.
The Daily Mail and the Telegraph sites both cover the AAS story quite calmy and rationally, but no mention of the IPCC's CoI scandal.
The BBC website and Richard Black are eerily silent on both topics.
Judith Curry's blog is well worth reading on this topic and the comments have some examples of such incredible anti-sceptic ignorance and nastiness that are truly epic in their stupidity and bile,

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Have they become legal protection rackets with cute furry animal logos?


According to the Trailer on CH4 we may find out more on Enivironmetal charities on Despatches Next Monday 8pm.

I will tune in for the first 5 mins first to see if it has teeth or gums.

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I live in northern Japan (Tohoku), about 38 degrees north. Same as Madrid and Washington. In winter it starts snowing in late December and stops snowing (normally) in early March. Average fresh snowfall per winter is 11 metres. I would really really like an inexpensive and cost effective way to heat my home with cheap renewables. Solar panels buried in snow don't work.

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterHector Pascal

Pretty sure I heard Richard Black in R4 news, taking the line that the solar minimum would only provide a temporary respite from the projected furnace.

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

“The BBC website and Richard Black are eerily silent on both topics”

Indeed, although it did rate a mention on Today this morning, when the egregious Harrabin was obliged to report it. Naturally, this didn’t stop him from insisting
that greenhouse gases (CO2) were still a hazard and that the fight against it/them must go on.

Some disconnect there, though - if they work as he thinks, then they will help offset the cooling, but if they don’t, then it’s about time he admitted it!

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Re: Guardian's silence - under their geo-engineering story yesterday several commenters tried to link to the sun hibernation news but all were moderated out of existence.

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan Woolley

Qualification (s) of Sven Teske, from his CV

1994: graduated as Diploma Engineer in Wilhelmshaven/Germany.

That's it! Really.

Again, just to be clear, a man's 'CV' does not determine his merit. His ideas, and his body of work count

With that in mind, turn to his publications:

Almost of them are opinion pieces and puff pieces of solar installations. Teske does not list a single paper in a peer-reviewed journal. Look at some examples:


1997 - “Employment in Solar Energy in 2010 - New Jobs through New Sources of Energy"
1998 - "Clean electricity supply - with low climate impact and no nuclear power - Greenpeace concept for an ecological energy provider of the future“
...
2002 - “Windforce 12” – report with EWEA, Renewable Energy Act, a Greenpeace Proposal for a feed-in law in Germany
...
2007 - "Global Energy Scenario “Energy [R]evolution. The energy [r]evolution is an independently produced report that provides a practical blueprint for how to half global CO2 emissions, while allowing for an increase in energy consumption by 2050."

Immediately after he finished his diploma Teske joined Greenpeace:

7/1995:- 10-2004: Renewable Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Germany: Responsible for the development of renewable energy campaigns.

Since 11/2004: Director Renewable Energy Campaign, Greenpeace International

Jun 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

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