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« Obama's climate diversion | Main | Shale and water »
Tuesday
Jun252013

Questions, questions

This is a guest post by Doug Keenan.

The recent Bishop Hill post “Met Office admits claims of significant temperature rise untenable” was the topic of a post at Watts Up With That, “Uh oh, the Met Office has set the cat amongst the pigeons”.  In the latter post, Lord Donoughue left a comment, saying in particular that if anyone would like to suggest further Parliamentary Questions for him to table, he would welcome such.  Afterwards, Martin A set up a Bishop Hill Discussion entitled “Questions to suggest to Lord Donoughue”.

There have been many really good suggestions, for which Lord Donoughue is highly grateful.  Thus far, eight of the suggested Parliamentary Questions have been tabled.  The eight Questions are listed below.  A couple issues should be noted.  First, there were more than eight good suggestions for Questions; there are limits, though, on how many Questions can be tabled.  Second, there are strict rules on the wording of Parliamentary Questions; the wordings below were obtained after discussions between Lord Donoughue and the officials at the Lords Table.

  • Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Newby on 22 April (WA 358) which stated that "it is the role of the scientific community to assess and decide between various methods when studying various time series", what mechanisms exist within the Government to ensure (1) appropriate oversight of scientific advice, and (2) that scientists advising them are accountable to (a) Ministers, and (b) Parliament.  HL966
  • Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Verma on 22 April (WA 358), whether, on the basis of a driftless third-order autoregressive integrated model, they consider the recorded increase in global temperatures of 0.8 degrees celsius to be statistically significant.   HL967
  • Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have carried out any risk analysis to assess any actual or potential losses to the United Kingdom attributable to any failures in the accuracy of climate forecasts.   HL968
  • Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Verma on 21 May (WA 44–5) and the briefing paper by the Chief Scientist of the Met Office, "Statistical Models and the Global Temperature Records", issued on 31 May, which stated that a linear trend model was "less likely to emulate the global temperature time series than the third-order autoregressive integrated model", why the Met Office favours a linear trend model.   HL969
  • Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Met Office has set a date by which, in the event of no further increase in global temperatures, it would reassess the validity of its general circulation models.   HL1080
  • Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there has been an independent audit of the accuracy of the Met Office’s recent forecasts of (1) wetter winters, (2) dryer summers, and (3) higher global temperatures.   HL1081
  • Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have co-ordinated a cost-benefit analysis of their policies to introduce wind farms, on- and off-shore, as part of the United Kingdom’s national energy generation; whether any such analysis took account of any specified forecast reductions in global temperatures; and, if so, what reductions.   HL1082
  • Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the comparative carbon footprints resulting from converting Drax power station from coal to biomass, including the estimated total costs, in money and carbon, of mining, logging, processing and transporting, and the relative energy outputs and efficiency.   HL1083

Lord Donoughue intends to table more of the suggested Questions.  He would also be grateful for additional recommendations.  One topic for which recommendations would be particularly appreciated is the recent claim about “97% of scientists”: that claim has been influential with the government, and it would be helpful to table Questions that would bring out the truth about it.

 

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Reader Comments (54)

Can I suggest the "Bolt question" attributed to Andrew Bolt. By, if we meet our CO2 reduction targets by 2100 in the UK , how much will the global temperature be reduced and supplementary how much will have cost the UK tax payers.

Jun 25, 2013 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

HL1080 sort of covers it, but I'd like to see the warmists confidently nailing their colours to the masts. We know they are terrified of predictions (especially ones about the future).

As Thomas Sowell says, intellectuals consistently fail because they are unaccountable for their theories. It's about time we made warmists bet the farm on their belief – after all, it's what they're asking us to do!

Jun 25, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

I have thought 100%, not just 97%, of climate scientists know that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and therefore contributes some fraction towards global warming. The range of scientific opinion about whether or not that warming will be an unsolvable problem is quite a different question.

Jun 25, 2013 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

Drax & BioMass

When burning BioMass at Drax, do the emissions fully comply with the 1993 Clean Air Act?

BTW - BioMass energy output and efficiency will be significantly dependent upon fuel moisture content at the time of combustion.

This is likely to be worse than the 'buying' or 'on-site storage' specification.

Jun 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Baroness Verma, had a letter published in the Times [24th], written in reply to an article penned by Matt Ridley where he eviscerated the 'logic' of biomass converter generators.

It went like this:

Sir, Matt Ridley ("It's a bio-mess Burning wood is a disaster" June 20) gives a misleading impression of biomass by saying that it is expensive, bad for the environment and only involves burning wood pellets. Biomass includes landfill gas, sewage, wood, energy crops, agricultural residues and waste.
Coal power plant conversions to biomass offer a cost-effective way to support our energy security emission reductions and renewables goals. They also provide investment and employment opportunities both at the power plant and in the wider supply chain. According to the Energy Technology Institute excluding biomass from the energy mix could increase the costs of decarbonisation by £44 billion in 2050. We estimate that sustainably sourced biomass could deliver up to 11 per cent of our energy generation by 2020.
We are proposing to introduce the most robust biomass sustainability standards in the EU. This includes achieving a minimum greenhouse gas saving against fossil fuel of at least 60 percent and sustainable forest management criteria.

Jun 25, 2013 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Excellent!

Since climate science now commands an important role in public health, wealth and safety are there any plans to introduce similar regulations and enforcement bodies (to ensure quality control, record keeping and accountability) which we consider essential in other fields that could have significant impact on the public eg HSE and COSHH for the chemical industry; MHRA for pharmaceuticals, ISO9000 for quality management?

Jun 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Ross Lea

Can I suggest the "Bolt question" attributed to Andrew Bolt. By, if we meet our CO2 reduction targets by 2100 in the UK , how much will the global temperature be reduced

I have already asked this under FOI. I was told the question had not been asked and DECC had received no advice.

Jun 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

'Whoops bit quick there - what I meant to add - notwithstanding the idiocy of the above reply - what is the point of asking, tabling a question to Baroness Verma or, any of her ilk?

All you will get back is - regurgitated very inane climate change guff.

Jun 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

I had tried something similar last year, with my own little private battle about the UK water infrastructure.

One of the questions I asked was whether there was a 'minimum level of service' defined by the regulator, in terms of a minimum level of stored water available per head in a cachement area. Because the SE of the UK was always running out of water, and the regulator seemed to be doing nothing about it.

I just got the answer - 'No'.

Jun 25, 2013 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

The 97% ...

An interesting post over at the Blackboard was made by Brandon Shollenberger in May. http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/ It said that of the 12,000 sampled papers that 78 rejected AGW. However, by using the "system’s search feature" you could ascertain that only 68 papers supported the view that over 50% of the warming was anthropogenic - no other category mentioned a percentage.

So, torturing the figures another way, you could claim that the survey said that of those either explicitly supporting or rejecting the view that man was mainly to blame then 46% supported AGW and 54% rejected it.

While in data torturing mode, 65 papers claimed that most warming was man made so 11,035 did not. Therefore 99.4% do not support that most of the warming is man made.

(Please note: My figures are entirely based on the Shollenberger post. I have done no other independent checking.)

Jun 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

On the "Met Office replies to Doug Keegan" thread, Steve McIntyre posted

"If the Met Office is to be confronted, I would much prefer that they be confronted on more substantive issues.
Jun 1, 2013 at 2:23 AM Steve McIntyre"

I emailed Steve M asking for his suggestions of two or three issues on which the Met Office should be confronted but got no reply.

Doug Keenan - would it be worthwhile your asking Steve McIntyre what sort of issues he had in mind?

Jun 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

No one apparently wants to talk about the 97% because they are so irked by its inanity. What to do?

Jun 25, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Registered Commentershub

I would like to see this question asked

What investments and actions have the UK government taken to combat the clear and present danger to the wellbeing of the UK populace from cooling temperatures simply in terms of agricultural productivity, fuel poverty and food shortages and how do those expenditures compare to the investments and subsidies made over the past 20 years by the government to combat "Anthropogenic Global Warming”, which may or may not occur at some undefined time in the future ??

Jun 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered Commenteredmh

What about asking about the "carbon footprint" of all government ministers and senior bureaucrats?

Jun 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterA

What are the maximum wind speeds encountered on -shore and offshore the UK and what calculations, laboratory tests and pilot studies have been undertaken to ensure all wind turbines are safe? Icing of planes can cause problems. Do the engineering studies include ice forming on the blades ?
What is the maximum distance a piece of wreckage from a wind turbine can travel and do the owners accept all liabilities ?

What engineering studies have been undertaken to show all offshore wind turbines are safe from damage due wind, waves, scour, ringing and impact from floating objects. Vessels can lose power and anchors fail during a storm and therefore drift in an uncontrolled manner. What size and velocity of a floating vessel would cause a wind turbine to topple?

If a wind turbine is damaged, how can it be repaired or demolished without causing risks to those undertaking the work?If a wind turbine is damaged one needs to inspect it but how can approach it safely if there is risk of catastrophic collapse and or fire?Wind can change direction and unseen structural failures may mean a wind turbine could collapse in a different direction to that expected. The problem is similar to that of storm damaged trees which have been known to collapse during strong winds in direction to that expected.

What equipment is available to enable damaged offshore wind turbines to be examined and repaired safely?

What if a new technology makes wind power redundant ?

What are the procedures for safely demolishing all wind turbines, restoring the ground to the previous natural conditions( including removing roads and foundations) and the associated costs and who will pay them.

Jun 25, 2013 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

"What if a new technology makes wind power redundant ?"

I think existing technologies do that.

Jun 25, 2013 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Got a question how much has the UK reduced its CO2 footprint by cutting its Armed Forces and Defense budget.

Has fighting Climate Change left this country vulnerable to attack from its Enemies.

Jun 25, 2013 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Could the government explain the origin of the "97% of scientists" comment and does the government believe that polling data should supplant the scientific method, based on the success perhaps of the geocentrist theory of the solar system, which enjoyed (and in some quarters still enjoys) considerable political and religious support?

Jun 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

"...converting Drax power station from coal to biomass, including the estimated total costs,in money and carbon, of mining, logging, processing and transporting,and the relative energy outputs and efficiency..."

This last question should include a sub-question on the relative figures, of CO2 emitted from all causes per MW of electricity, from the former coal fired Drax and the new biomass fired Drax. This will show the true effect of conversion. Otherwise the fact that only one third of the generators are still in action at Drax might easily show much lower total emissions for the smaller biomass Drax.

Jun 25, 2013 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Whalley

Re the Bolt question. I suggest you ask how long the rise in temperature will be delayed rather than how much the temperature rise will be reduced. People can understand the inanity of spending billions to delay the catastrophe by 6 months much better.

Jun 25, 2013 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered Commenter40 shades

There are several "papers" coming to the 97% conclusion (how odd!), so I'm not sure which one of these the govt seems most taken by. The original Doran survey or the most recent Cook nonsense?
Personally, I'd like to know how many self-proclaimed climate scientists there really are.
But that aside, Doran apparently sent a questionnaire to some10,250 earth scientists, but chose to only use a subgroup of 77 replies of which 75 answers produced the 97% number.
So how do you produce a short parliamentary question to the govt out of this nonsense?? That they would so readily accept this tortured statistical result is rather incredulous. It just displays the shallowness of their reasoning - or willful blindness.

Jun 25, 2013 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered Commentermikegeo

Coal power plant conversions to biomass offer a cost-effective way to support our energy security emission reductions and renewables goals.

"energy security emission reductions" is muddle speak mixing two mutually exclusive terms. "energy security" favours keeping cheap available coal, while (CO2) emission reduction favours abandoning coal for something else.

According to the Energy Technology Institute excluding biomass from the energy mix could increase the costs of decarbonisation by £44 billion in 2050."

If just the "increase" is £44 billion and biomass is 5% of the mix - does this mean that the full cost of "decarbonization" is £1 trillion ?

Jun 25, 2013 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

I admire Lord Donoughue for his tenacity. Did anyone see 'The Secret Life of the Sun' on BBC2 on Sunday 23rd June? There was serious talk of the failure of Solar Cycle 24, and of a possible Grand Minimum with a picture of the Thames frozen solid. As if the programme had been written by David Archibald himself. I could hardly believe mine ears.

Perhaps Parliament should be asked what plans have been put in place to provide adequate food and heating should this big surprise overtake us.

Jun 25, 2013 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermariwarcwm

I should like him to ask the current annual cost of complying with the Climate Change Act which has now been proved as responding to false assumptions about rising global temperatures

Jun 25, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterferdinand

Given the belief that 97% of scientist agree that global warming is real and man-made, and give the Met Office's statement there has been no global warming for 17 years, when exactly will the warming, continue? Can the Met Office forecast its resumption and if not why not?

Jun 25, 2013 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commentertckev

"
"What if a new technology makes wind power redundant ?"

I think existing technologies do that.

Jun 25, 2013 at 4:33 PM | not banned yet"

Brilliant: +10

Jun 25, 2013 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

Cross posted on the previous Lord Donoughue thread; with minor corrections or additions posted again.

Existing climate models are assumption based; long term weather predictions are influenced by these assumptions.
There are curiosities in methods and especially assumptions that are jumped over and then ignored when modelers issue further model summations. Let alone that those further summations are enmeshed with vague caveats often misleadingly termed as based on statistical significant.

Your previous, happily persistent, question to the Met Office questioned statistical significance.

Further questions could pursue the vague caveats attempting to protect the prognosticators yet incite recipients; only I believe questions attempting to corral and restrain caveats are frequently misdirected or caught in reactionary circular rational.

Loose logic
Instead, I suggest looking at some of the foundation assumptions. A key assumption for all CAGW influenced announcements are based in an absolute belief in anthropogenic CO2 negative climate impacts. We do not deny CO2 is a GHG of well known empirical molecular function. Instead we question uncertainties regarding man's direct absolute contributions to global and regional atmospheric CO2 content. Yes, there are some studies that purport to estimate anthropogenic contributions, I have yet to personally see a study vetted against a global biosphere with falsifiable or repeatable results.

Question framework
Taking a global biosphere approach; is England's CO2 weather/climate impacts affected by atmospheric masses moving over a cold ocean (CO2 reduction), warmer ocean (CO2 increases), historically stable ocean (historical ocean impacts which I believe are unknown)? Net question; given that Met Office has such a wonderful climate/weather computer and modeling system:
The Met Office will, for all future forecasts, definitively ascribe individual atmospheric impacts including those specific to CO2 air mass levels?
N.B.; any or all obfuscation, retreat, defensive caveats means the answer is no.

Remember, the working and quite reliable weather models utilize air mass movements and pressure changes. Resulting reasonably accurate falsifiable prognostications are currently made by educated experienced meteorologists; generally after reviewing many model runs with individual runs scrutinized for the whys and wherefores.

Logic
What this question pertains to are those wonderful statistically valid (cough, cough) pronouncements the Met Office makes on anything atmospheric. Basically without an explicit true working knowledge of the beginning components, how can one construct a working model? Backing into a model from assumptions means guessing; when an assumption (guess) is incorrect, adjusting the assumption really means adjustments to the guess, not corrections to a model. Complicating this thought is that models are adjusted until they comply with assumptions; meaning that not one model truly models climate.

A prime model component central to the Met Office regime of hotter predictions is CO2. Therefore, let them define exact knowledge of atmospheric CO2 inputs and impacts; hourly and daily per region across Great(er) Britain.

Question simplification
Perhaps an easier way to frame this question is a comparison of any prognostication is; request that:
"All Met Office forecasts will include results based on CO2 impacts contrasted to results without CO2 impacts or CO2 dependent or resulting forcings.

Add in a follow-up question to determine prediction 'successes'. Of course, it would greatly add to public perception if
Met Office predictions are submitted concurrent with, ahem, polls on customer faith concerning said predictions. This approach involves the populace providing a constant reminder for all regarding constituent Met Office approval and satisfaction ratings.

Should I mention at this point that Met Office bonuses or salary cuts could depend on this satisfaction level?

Some very rough background:
-cold water absorbs CO2
-warm water releases CO2
-forests absorb CO2
-algae blooms absorb CO2, though dying algae blooms may release CO2
-large industrial centers emit CO2; though this may be mitigated by holidays and Sundays.
-are transportation CO2 impacts variable by day, by time of day
-major volcanic or ongoing volcanic CO2 emissions.
-Since CO2 effects and forcings are considered such an enormous impact on climate and weather, these impacts must be defined by repeatable research and atmospheric tests. Models are not sufficient as proof.
-When weather is considered, are air mass sources considered for CO2 impacts, (arctic, North America, Southern Atlantic)?

Jun 25, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

Well the wording is crucial, otherwise this sort of thing happens

Philip Davies MP : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the change in the number of people who will be classified as fuel poor as a result of increase in energy prices arising from the Renewables Obligation in each of the next five years.

Gregory Barker: There have been no recent estimates made as to the effect on the increase in the level of energy generated from renewable sources will have on the number of people in fuel poverty (Hansard 10th February 2011 col. 438W).

Jun 25, 2013 at 8:04 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

1. Lord Donoughue to ask her majesty's government if it is aware of, and able to refute, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley's conclusion in respect of the Cook et al paper "Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature" (2013) that:

'The non-disclosure in Cook et al. of the number of abstracts supporting each specified level of endorsement had the effect of not making available the fact that only 41 papers – 0.3% of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.8% of the 4014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1% – had been found to endorse the quantitative hypothesis, stated in the introduction to Cook et al. and akin to similar definitions in the literature), that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW)”.'

(see: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/24/quantifying-the-consensus-on-global-warming-in-the-literature-a-comment/#more-88649)

2. Lord Donoughue to ask her majesty's government if it is aware that the previously widely circulated figure of 97% consensus (from a paper by Doran and Zimmerman, 2009*) was based on a careful selection of only 79 responses from a total of 3146 (representing 30% of those polled).

*See http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

3. Lord Donoughue to ask her majesty's government whether consensus, even if accurately reported, has any bearing on the truth of a scientific hypothesis.

Jun 25, 2013 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Larkin

Evidence: What empirical evidence, gained through the scientific method, does the government have to demonstrate explicitly that the man-made component of CO2 in the atmosphere is causing a deleterious effect on the earth’s climate regions to the extent that it is damaging to mankind and must to be stopped at all costs?
Models: Where may the general public view the documentation and data trail that demonstrates, unequivocally, that the Global Circulation Models whose use has implied future deleterious effects on the planet have been verified and validated such that their future projections are so trusted as to be fit for use in setting government policy?
Responsibility: Models written to support engineering projects are subjected to stringent verification and validation processes for which, in the event of failure, the engineering/scientific teams may be held legally responsible. Climate scientists seem not to be held to such demanding standards yet their work is used to set government policy; please explain.

Jun 25, 2013 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDusty

I rather liked this one

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will bring forward proposals to abolish his Department. [39709]

Gregory Barker: No.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110210/text/110210w0003.htm

Jun 25, 2013 at 8:37 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they accept that
1 The Earth is subject to natural climatic change
2 The Quaternary Era is characterised by centi-millenial cycles of glacial advance and deci-millenial interludes of glacial retreat (interglacials)
3 That interglacials themselves are subject to naturally occurring centennial scale warmer (Maximums or Optimums) and colder ( Minimums or Little Ice Ages) interludes
4 The primary source of energy is the Sun and to a limited extent it can be characterised as a variable star
5 That there are indications that solar activity may be entering a period of abnormal quiescence.

If the above is accepted, does HMG have an impacts assessment and contingency plans for a worse case scenario where overwhelming of the expected trajectory of emissions-related warming occurs, resulting in an extended period of cooling equivalent to the Little Ice Age, and if not will it urgently rectify matters in the national interest by so doing.

Jun 25, 2013 at 9:55 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

In response to the suggestion that the government be asked about the effectiveness of CO2 emissions reductions on reducing global temperatures Paul Homewood responded above - "I have already asked this under FOI. I was told the question had not been asked and DECC had received no advice."

Surely this topic deserves more attention and could be rephrased something like this:

"Her majesty's government is committed to spending XXXX billions of pounds in the current budget on CO2 emissions reduction programs and projects. By how much, in degrees C, will global warming be reduced as a result of these expenditures?"

Alternatively, the government could be asked to calculate the equivalent to Lomborg's statement about Germany - "Germany spends $110 Billion to delay global warming by 37 hours"

Jun 25, 2013 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPav Penna

1. Lord Donoughue to ask her majesty's government, "We hear much about how the behaviour of the jet stream is very influential in setting the climate in Europe and Britain. Many were expecting a Mediterranean climate now for Britain with snow a thing of the past. If we continued with business as usual how would the jetstream be behaving around 2060 and 2100 and would that be good or bad for Europe compared to its behaviour recently? If different from today, what changes to the climate in Europe does climate science predict the jetstream will cause around 2060 and 2100 under business as usual?"

2. Lord Donoughue to ask her majesty's government, "Are patterns of behaviour of the jetstream chaotic? If yes does that mean that the patterns of behaviour of the jetstream around 2060 and 2100 under any business regime would not be computable from now?"

3. Lord Donoughue to ask her majesty's government, "What real benefit does her majesty's government or industry receive from financing computer modelling to predict long term climate change for the UK?"

Jun 25, 2013 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

Nominated for the BH "Hall of Fame" for comments:


"What if a new technology makes wind power redundant ?"

I think existing technologies do that.

Jun 25, 2013 at 4:33 PM | not banned yet

Jun 25, 2013 at 11:01 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

"One topic for which recommendations would be particularly appreciated is the recent claim about “97% of scientists”: that claim has been influential with the government."
--------------------------------------------------------

If that claim really has been influential with the government, then the situation is truly worse than I thought. I shall not even try to suggest a question for at least the next 24 hours, to allow myself time to calm down.

Jun 25, 2013 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I would like to ask one question.

After spending trillions of £'s worldwide, is there any empirical evidence of AGW?

Jun 25, 2013 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkunky

One line of questioning that might be worth pursuing is along the lines of compliance with regulatory requirements that apply to other power sources and indeed, industries for renewables. I am not aware of the relevant standards in the UK, but presumably there are rules about killing birds and bats which apply to other industries; rules about particulates and other emissions (I'm thinking of biofuels in various applications); and of course planning rules, from which windmills seem to be exempt.

Drawing out the details of, and rationale for, systematic violations and exemptions could be a worthwhile exercise.

Jun 25, 2013 at 11:22 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Lord Donoughue you are a true champion of truth for the people and I admire you greatly.

PLEASE RETIRE ASAP - come to Australia and do the same for Australians.

There seams to be no one in our parliment who has the brains or the "ticker" to ask these sorts of questions. Gulia Dillard and Greg Comebet are blackmailed by the greeny cult and zombied by their paid priests Tim Flim Flam, Will Stifthem, Stephan Lewanlowsy and John Cookumx% etc etc. When you look at some of the BoM temperature records (Darwin is interesting) and the BS comming from CSIRO we really do need all the help we can get!

Jun 25, 2013 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterCoastal Col

Hi Doug Keenan: It's pretty obvious to me that the 97% consensus is basically a matter of funding. As the IPCC notes on their webpage here...
http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization_history.shtml#.UcpBjHfD9LM
...the IPCC's role is "...to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation."

Thus the funding is not geared toward understanding natural variability, only toward "human-induced climate change." In simpler terms, the IPCC and the subscribing governments bought the consensus.

Jun 26, 2013 at 2:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob Tisdale

What about Lord Donohue to ask:
How it is that a person elected to be President of the United States (and therefore the most powerful guy on the planet) can get the wrong end of the stick so badly on an issue like global warming and the 97% fairy tale

Jun 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

On the subject of the asking of questions:

When asked, 97% of scientists agree that monkeys resemble human beings.

Later, at a meeting of the Society of Monkey Lovers, the keynote speaker was heard to say,
"97% of scientist believe that chimps have intellectual capacities very nearly equal to human beings!"

Jun 26, 2013 at 8:16 AM | Unregistered Commenteraaron edwards

One hundred per cent of scientists who think like that have thoughts of that sort: Q.E.Regurgitatum.

Jun 26, 2013 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson

Can I suggest the "Bolt question" attributed to Andrew Bolt. By, if we meet our CO2 reduction targets by 2100 in the UK , how much will the global temperature be reduced and supplementary how much will have cost the UK tax payers.

Yes, this is a good one, the answer of course being that the global temperature would not be reduced by any measurable amount even if the UK were totally to cease emitting CO2!

Jun 26, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered Commentermichel

Keith

"How it is that a person elected to be President of the United States .. can get the wrong end of the stick so badly"

Because he has aides...

Jun 26, 2013 at 9:48 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

In terms of the 97% question, there has to be a baseline question about what source(s) the government is relying on. Until we get that answer, the rest is speculation.

Posters should note also that you can't ask multiple questions under one heading. You can ask supplementary questions on the same thing (e.g. if ... then) but only on one topic, and within limits.

Rhetorical questions, questions outside a portfolio, opinions, and arguments about competing theories of physics are not going to make the cut.

Jun 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

To ask of the Met office....

"Given the large divergence of 73 GCMs with recorded temperatures in the last 15 years, what physical experiments have been performed to verify the modelled assumption that CO2 is the major forcing in global temperature increase?"

Jun 26, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterNial

Sorry for posting this on the "questions to ask" list too, but I'm not sure which is the live one.

I would ask:

Does the government consider the warming of the world between about 1910 and 1940 to have been primarily the result of human influence on the climate, or was it primarily the result of natural variations?

The world warmed by just over 0.4 degrees (a rough eye-balling of one chart) in that thirty-year period, but when people say "the world has warmed by 0.9 degrees in the past hundred years" (or whatever number they choose) they always include that first part of the 20th century, a period in which, by general though perhaps not universal agreement, man's CO2 emissions were too small to have had any major impact.

Getting an acknowledgement that the first part of the 20th century was mostly (all?) natural has obvious implications for the second half, given that the apparent warming was so similar in each.

Jun 26, 2013 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterHK

Lord Donoughue to ask Her Majesty’s Government, whether, anthropogenic forcings polynomially cointegrate with global temperature and solar irradiance during the period 1880–2007 and thus support the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming during this period.
,
Reference: Beenstock, Reingewertz, and Paldor Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 3, 561–596, 2012. URL: http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/esdd-3-561-2012.html.

An Israeli group carried out an analysis of the inputs (GHG, temperature and solar irradiance data) and concluded, "We have shown that anthropogenic forcings do not polynomially cointegrate with global temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, data for 1880–2007 do not support the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming during this period."

Jun 26, 2013 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred Colbourne

Has Lord Donoughue done a Gish Gallop in the House of Lords?

Jun 27, 2013 at 12:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

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