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« The human rights of Professor Wadhams | Main | Sceptics on Radio 4 »

All together now - Josh 299

Another day and another metaphor, this time from Roger Harrabin on BBC Radio 4 about climate debaters now 'all singing from the same hymnbook' - see yesterday's post below.

It sounded like Roger thought sceptics were now changing their tune but clearly, with lower sensitivity, The Pause and no hope of any global policy harmony on the horizon, the strains that are coming from the alarmist camp now have much more of a sceptic air.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (29)

Ha, very good maestro.

Nov 2, 2014 at 6:04 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Thank god for sanity here, but what about the innocent youth and vulnerable pensioners who are suffering this wall of propaganda thrown at them by the relentless "climate carol singing" of the BBC and Green media today knocking on their doors all day
..and it's those vulnerable who are expected to give up their cash, & liberty to pay for "magic" solutions.

@RD's right that is a hell of a sharp comeback from Bish & Josh (a team with the X-Factor)

Nov 2, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

To recast my point from the previous thread, if we're all singing from the same hymnsheet then the alarmists have admitted that there's more than 'basic physics' in the GCMs. Very glad to hear that. Now let's hear the implications.

Nov 2, 2014 at 6:32 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake


'vulnerable pensioners who are suffering this wall of propaganda thrown at them'

Yes we are out here, we are not vulnerable, we are angry. That's why I've joined UKIP today - this nonsense has got to stop.

Nov 2, 2014 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJazznick

RD - "To recast my point from the previous thread, if we're all singing from the same hymnsheet then the alarmists have admitted that there's more than 'basic physics' in the GCMs. Very glad to hear that. Now let's hear the implications."

Please can you provide a verbatim quote from the interview to support your assertion

"...the alarmists have admitted that there's more than 'basic physics' in the GCMs..."

I haven't heard it and I have listened three times.

Nov 2, 2014 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

nby: It's something Nic said - something of great importance, as I've made clear. I'm not going to listen to the clip again this evening. But for me it's the most important, unarguable fact (is a computational grid system part of basis physics? - of course not) that gives the lie to naive trust in models. Julia Slingo made this point totally clear at the IoP recently. Again and again - the most recent for me was Ed Hawkins in the tea queue at the Guy Callender event at Imperial - these guys go on about basic physics. But the models aren't just basic physics and the models are diverging from reality. And all of what Ban Ki-moon and John Kerry were going on about today was predicated on the models being reliable. It's the most fundamental deception in play once one gets beyond the fatuous "do you believe in global warming" question. If we're all going to sing from the same hymnsheet this nettle has to be grasped. Well done Nic for getting it in.

Nov 2, 2014 at 7:30 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Ah - so no, you don't have a quote and you don't want to look for one because it doesn't exist.

Because in fact it was a point Nic made and one that was actually countered by Harrabin, not one offered or admitted by alarmists as you claimed. But it is clearly a point that you would like to hear the alarmists camp concede.

With such careful and accurate representational skills, I can see why you are so full of admiration for Roger.

Nov 2, 2014 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Brilliant cartoon, Josh.

Can anybody remind me of the old toast...and confusion to the enemy?
Must have dated from around the time of

Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Nov 2, 2014 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

nby: I was only kidding, just as Josh was, about everyone, Ki-moon and Kerry included, singing from the same hymnsheet. I wasn't seeking to praise Harrabin, except insofar as he and the Today editor allowed Nic to make this crucial point, on which I'm sure you and I agree. I don't see the problem.

Nov 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

RD - "I don't see the problem."

I realise that and I rest my case. Good night.

Nov 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

nby: So you agree with me (and Nic) on the substantive point that the GCMs don't just consist of basic physics? That's what matters here. I assume you also agree that it was great Nic was able to make this point yesterday morning. If so, what unites us is far greater than whatever it is that divides us.

Nov 2, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Josh, you are an optimist. There is a fair chance there won't be lit streetlights in the UK this winter to carole under when the wind isn't blowing. Too little reserve baseload left.
Or was that a candle streetlight?

Nov 2, 2014 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

Rud: On BBC Question Time on Thursday former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson (whose expertise I tend to trust in the area) said that we shouldn't have a problem this winter. It's later that he sees the lights going out, unless we unwind the Climate Change Act and all that goes with it. I know you were partly speaking in jest to Josh but I think it's important as sceptics we don't prophesy doom on the wrong timescales :)

Nov 2, 2014 at 9:41 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Climate profiteers would be well advised to stay away from lamp posts this winter.

Nov 2, 2014 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

Biased BBC on Harrabin's spin.

Nov 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

What's the difference between a sceptic and an alarmist:

Alarmists worry if they aren't singing from the same hymn sheet,
whereas sceptics worry when we are singing from the same hymn sheet.

It's not that sceptics want disagreement, we just want to know that someone somewhere has taken the time and effort to find something wrong with what we say because (unlike alarmists) we don't believe we are perfect and everything we say can be improved by good critique.

Nov 2, 2014 at 10:21 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Richard, general point well taken. But the normal grid peak reserve is 8-10%; because of mishaps UK is now at or under 4. Way too skinny in multiple scenarios, especially with equivalent reserve issues in Belgium and (for,different reasons having to do with transmission) Germany!mtheminterconnectors might not help out. Perhaps unmothballing a few stations and placing them into spinning reserve status will set things right short term.I am quite certain on engineering grounds that marshalling islanded diesel backup is mostly infeasible in this winters time frame (syncing issues). That leaves load shedding. Shuttered factories (voluntary), rolling blackouts (involuntary). Hence my point to Josh.

Nov 2, 2014 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

Meanwhile, Greg Barker has a post on ConservativeHome congratulating himself about the Green Investment Bank. But my oh my just read the comment stream beneath it !

Nov 2, 2014 at 10:52 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Mike Haseler:

It's not that sceptics want disagreement, we just want to know that someone somewhere has taken the time and effort to find something wrong with what we say because (unlike alarmists) we don't believe we are perfect and everything we say can be improved by good critique.

Very well said.

Rud Istvan: The impact on industry could quickly become disastrous for our prospects, as I'm sure almost all BHers agree. Yet (forgive the O/T) tonight the big climate propaganda from Kerry et al has been knocked from top item to low on the BBC home page by the news that Merkel is getting ready for the UK to leave the EU. That's the way things seem to be heading and it's vital context for a deep rethink on climate policy. Not saying anything's in the bag but I prefer to travel hopefully. :)

Nov 3, 2014 at 12:08 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Could we have a key to who each character is? I recognise some but not all!

[Yes, of course. Singers: Anthony Watts, Nic Lewis and Andrew Montford. To the left of them: Mann/Schmidt and anyone else you like (!). To the right of them: Roger Harrabin and Rajendra Pachauri.

Nov 3, 2014 at 8:03 AM | Registered CommenterRuth Dixon

Harrabin's latest version of the "sceptics now agree" story on radio 4 last night was truly shocking. Here is a summary:

"First THEY (sceptics) said temperatures were not rising, then THEY said it was not due to man, but now THEY agree with the IPCC".

Demonised and misrepresented at the same time, ON THE PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTER.

Nov 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Mikky: The false history is infuriating. But something tells me we can quickly turn it to our advantage.

Nov 3, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake


Barker says, "Other countries want to know how we are managing to continue to drive down our CO2 pollution"

Of course they do, Greg. Now just put this jacket on and we'll tighten the straps for you...

Nov 3, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

How about some lyrics for this Alarmist Lament :
"In the bleak mid-Pause"

Nov 3, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterTuppence

I am now keeping Dr Tim Ball's elegantly simple comment about climate models pinned to the wall behind my pooter:

Computer climate models cannot work, because they create the results they are designed to produce..'

Works for me...

Nov 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Tuppence: Very good. Pause doesn't scan so well though. Why not

In the bleak mid-standstill
Frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron
Water like a stone

In the bleak hiatus would also I suppose work.

Nov 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I knew this was coming. This is the reason for all the attempts to "find common ground" with sceptics.

Push the fudge factors and error bars so that the lower bounds of alarmism come within shouting distance of the upper bounds of scepticism, get agreement from some sceptics that this is in fact the case then loudly claim agreement with the full gamut of worst case scenarios, tipping points and the associated ideological polices.

The IPCC message is all over the headlines this week. And it's not "Stop climate change", it's "Stop using fossil fuels".
This is not a scientific organisation, it is a front for a political movement.

Nov 3, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Re: "computational grid system part of basic physics", Prof Tim Ball summed it up well. (1) model 'parametrization' is basically just guesses, & (2) where is the extra input data coming from when you increase grid resolution, when there is no extra observational data? Answer: It isn't data, but either more guesses or outputs of other models.

Nov 3, 2014 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterIlma

Ilma: Thanks. Tim Ball paid tribute to the earlier work of Essex and McKitrick, quite rightly, in that WUWT piece. I was recommending the same work, Taken By Storm, to then UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband on the Newsnight blog in 2008. These things sure take a while but as I said on the weekend it's time the BBC gave significant exposure to informed maths and software modelling guys like Essex and Robert Brown on the GCMs. Policy makers desperately need to understand these fundamental limitations and their implications.

Nov 4, 2014 at 12:46 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

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