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« Observations are the darnedest things | Main | Quote of the day, renewables edition »

More science with Guardian characteristics

From today's business pages:

This week, as we near the end of a year expected to have been the warmest on record, more than 130 governments and 25,000 officials will meet in Paris to discuss how the rise in temperature can be limited to 2% above pre-industrial levels.

As Stern said, the risks of pushing past 2% to a roasting 4% or 5% are now that much greater and more needs to be done in the coming decades than he expected.

Coming so soon after last week's centrigrade/farenheit debacle, this seems to be turning into something of a specialism for Guardian hacks.

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Reader Comments (47)

It's just another day at the Grauniad. They never did have any quality procedures in place to spot even the biggest errors.

Nov 30, 2015 at 3:32 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

97 deg C of climate scientists think the Guardian is total codswallop ...

Nov 30, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered Commenteralan bates

The Guardian is at risk of overheating and going into complete credibility meltdown.

The climate remains fine though.

Nov 30, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

97 deg C of climate scientists think the Garundia is total codswallop ...

Nov 30, 2015 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered Commenteralan bates

It really depends what temperature scale the Grauniad uses when it uses the percentages. Who knows, it could be K, C or F? I mean the Grauniad knows all about these things.

Nov 30, 2015 at 3:51 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

It does not matter to the readership as long as the word "roasting" is used.

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

In defence of the Guardian, they have a noble tradition of typos and spelling mistakes.
Clearly this was a copy and replace error.
They can't be that stupid.

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:30 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

"As Stern said, the risks of pushing past 2% to a roasting 4% or 5% are now that much greater and more needs to be done in the coming decades than he expected."

So pre-industrial is about 288 K.
2% increase is 5.8 K or C increase.
5% increase is 14.4 C increase.

It seems clear that Stern has upped the stakes by up to 14.4 C warming by, well, 'soon.'
I see a compromise building between Hansen's 85 C already-dead-certain temperature increase, the 2 C temperature increase for 8xCO2 of Rasool and Schneider in 1971 (with support from Hansen!), and Stern.

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

So did Climate Change cause the Russian Revoloution and wipe out Price Charles great great Uncles and Aunties

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Given the competence of Grauniad journalists, maybe they should choose 'Rankine' as their temperature unit of preference :-)

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Philip Bratby:

Who knows, it could be K, C or F?
Who knew? According to the Guardian it's all down to Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:30 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The closing statement of your post is pure hypothesising and unless you present some evidence to support your claim then the Guardian must still be considered to be bloody stupid. ^.^

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:47 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

You beat me to it hehe.

Nov 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Harry Passfield, I think you are correct with KFC. The Grauniad is doing Bargain Bucket science. Buy into 2 Grauniad disastrous science articles, and get 2 Litres of carbonated drink free!

Nov 30, 2015 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Last week when the Guardian's award winning environmental journalist proved unable to convert between centigrade and fahrenheit I said, somewhat tongue in cheek, "imagine her trying to explain the concept of absolute zero and why an increase in temperature of one degree celsius would be exactly the same as an increase of one degree kelvin but zero degrees celsius is -273.15 kelvin."

The Guardian's use of percentages in connection with the plans to limit future temperature increases makes one wonder if anybody on the Guardian understands more about temperature than how to read a thermometer.

Nov 30, 2015 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Roy, there is someone at the Grauniad who can read a thermometer??? Wow!

Nov 30, 2015 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

If it's centigrade, 2% must be the same as 2 degrees - innit? Wozzat Bishop 'ill on abaat...

Nov 30, 2015 at 5:36 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

GC: Knowing the slavish adherence to the meme, I reckon it would be 2 litres of de-carbonated drink. Think of the children why don't you! For shame.

Nov 30, 2015 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

The editors have degrees - probably liberal arts degrees. They don't like any competing degrees. I remember that beer strength used to be measured in degrees. I even knew what degrees - 90 degrees is a right angle, no kidding (they measured a sugar contents of the malt by a rotation of polarized light). Then they switched to percentages. The Guardian is simply following the same path.

Nov 30, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurious George

On radio 2 tonight, 4pm news, I am sure the reader said exactly this, restricting rise to 2%. Odd that the BBC and Grauniad make the same slip?

Nov 30, 2015 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterRockySpears

Curious George - "probably liberal arts degrees"?
Then may I post again my argument that such degrees are redundant due to technology from the Closing Minds thread last week.

A) Most University Arts Courses were created or re-created in the 1950s to 1960s.
B) These courses taught how to handle complex concepts systematically and with a broad depth of supporting knowledge on their subject matter (and dialectical materialism).
C) The method used to teach was the essay which required wide reading, refinement of ideas and repeated re-writes (at least two) to hone the understanding.
D) In the 1990s word processors made re-writes easier. Instead of re-evaluating concepts and arguments on a re-write the ideas could be ‘cut and pasted’. Concepts and arguments became one-time Lego bricks. Thus handling complex information was taught less effectively.
E) In the 2000s the need for reading widely was reduced by Googling the subject and following the links form the Wikipedia page. The broad depth of knowledge was lost to the courses.
F) In the 2010s eBooks meant that keyword searches could automate finding the relevant passages and so a balanced reading was avoided.
G) The essays are pertinent and well-presented. They are better than the essays of 50 years ago. But the learning that created them is far worse. And nobody ever reads them; the essays exist for the writing only.
H) Thus Arts Courses now teach nothing of value. And employers know that their outside activities are the skills the students are selling. Leaving University Arts tutors as redundant. But required to provide funding for the expensive courses. Arts Professors are like the Corinthian Columns on the University Library – pretty but purely ornamental.
I) With no intellectual heirs or wider influence outside their institution, the Arts establishments within Universities need to be defensive. They only have their own fields in which to excel and in which to gain status and funding.
J) That means closing down debate and holding the barbarians out.

Remember the current Arts establishment graduated 25 years ago using Word processors.

Nov 30, 2015 at 6:43 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The world's leaders have gathered in Paris to discuss climate change. And we're giggling over Guardian typos? Blimey. I think it's fair to say that we've failed to make an impact.

Nov 30, 2015 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

If we assume that the Grauniad is stoopid by default, then the actual issue has to be:

"how the rise in temperature can be limited to 2C above pre-industrial levels"

And it occured to me that - in all this time - I don't remember ever having heard a 'proper' answer to that which wasn't simple hubris.

So ... how? And is that guaranteed? And at what cost?

Nov 30, 2015 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

What weighs more 1 % of roasting or 1 % of consensus? (secret Guardian/BBC science correspondent interview question)

Nov 30, 2015 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

James Evans

Too right.
I suspect many kid themselves that winning the 'science' means winning the war against greenie piffle.

But BigGreen is far and away too big to fail.

I'm sorry. Whilst I dream of court action or impeachment for the most egregious scam artists and frauds, it isn't going to happen in my lifetime.

The ONLY thing that might change that is people shivering in the dark. And that's a quite dreadful prospect.

Nov 30, 2015 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby


I heard that too. I think it was Moria Stewart (For whom I have a very great respect incidentally). This proves that the BBC get all there news from the Guardian !

Nov 30, 2015 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

This week is a triumph for the BBC and other climate activists. The great and the good from 195 countries gather together to discuss how they will save the planet. The BBC is in overdrive, covering every global warming threat from the demise of bumble bees to the threatened disappearance of pacific islands, the threat from flatulent cattle to the acidification of the oceans, the cause of the Syrian refugee crises to the melting of the ice caps.

Almost every biological, medical and ecological problem known to man and a great many others will suffer catastrophic consequences if we breach the magical two degree increase. The clock is ticking and we have only decades, perhaps months or even the next week in which to save the planet.

Yawn. How can all these people be so wrong? They have abandoned normal science.

The models show a massive hot spot in the atmosphere, very dramatic warming and no hint of a temperature pause. They also predict a large increase in extreme weather, increased atmospheric humidity and rapidly rising sea levels.

Observation shows no hot spot, gradual warming since the Little Ice Age over three hundred years ago and a pause in global warming for 18 years. Add to that, a significant decline in the frequency of extreme weather, a decline in atmospheric humidity and no significant change in sea level rise.

The climate models are wrong. The science is quite clear, the models are definitely wrong.

So why do the great and the good of the scientific establishments insist that the science is sound?

Good question. One day they will have to answer that question. It probably has something to do with corruption, broken peer review, political priorities and how to keep the government funding rolling in. Let’s be honest, there is a huge amount of unjustifiable propaganda too.

In the meantime, the leaders of 195 countries continue to be wrong. Global warming may be real and negligible. It is not even a moderate threat. Put your faith in the science, not the politics.

Nov 30, 2015 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Whoops that should be their of course not there.

Nov 30, 2015 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

"So did Climate Change cause the Russian Revoloution and wipe out Price Charles great great Uncles and Aunties
?" --Jamspid

Nyet! As is situation today, real problem was Marxists, not temperature!

"Roy, there is someone at the Grauniad who can read a thermometer??? Wow!" --golf charlie

Oh, yes. And furthermore, the pretend journalistas at the Garundia can easily read their own temperatures in situ.
The usual reading is 99.6°F (37.56°C).

Nov 30, 2015 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

... last week's centrigrade/farenheit debacle

Er, what was that?

Nov 30, 2015 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

97 deg C of climate scientists think the Guardian is total codswallop ...

I think it should be 97 deg F. Climate scientists' degrees don't seem to be as big as other degrees.

Nov 30, 2015 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Schrodinger's Cat - purrfect summary.

Nov 30, 2015 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

Another telephone number 02074304601 .Channel Four.Newsdesk

Just been watching Jon Snow live from Paris Usual expected sickly Eco fascist drivel.

Anyway just phoned in not to the complaint line but their Newsdesk.Some poor girl manning the phones got an ear bashing.
So Tom Clark Channel Science editor claimed the last fifteen years were the hottest on record . So I phone in with a question so when did the the records begin. What year precisely ?

Girl at the other end "well people just assume " her exact words.

So she got an ear bashing off me " your,re supposed to be a Proffessional news outfit you just can't assume people assume ,you can't just make stuff up".

So anyway just to get rid of me she passed me off to Channel Four Automated Complaints line .

Then John interviewed some French government minister and

But the Jon Snow report did have a classic . They have a peace and meditation room for all Paris Climate delegates and Jon a Snow opened the door for the camera to peek in and basically it was a room with a couple of couches and couple of people sleeping on them .Jon Snow says "so as you can see these delegates are exhausted from a hard day of Climate negotiations

Yes John they were exhausted from a hard day negotiating in the bars and restaurants and putting it on the expense account..They can pop a Viagra later go to a brothel and couple of lines of Charlie and hit the Parisian Clubs keep an eye on the exit in case ISIS decide on a return visit

PS can any Bishophill Billies pull the rain full data for The Congo and West Africa some French development minister was doing another Syria set up and trying to pin Boko Haram on another drought .

Nov 30, 2015 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

United Kingdom might be roasted in 90 degrees. That's a straight angle. Weather the degrees are F, C, K, or possibly UEA degrees, Hu noes.

Nov 30, 2015 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterwert

Clipe - thank you. Yes ha ha " much as 5C (41F) above pre-industrial levels...". How ignorant can you get (and display it for all to see)?

Nov 30, 2015 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Having just heard some of today's waffle, I feel that I have to apologise to the world for The Man Who Would Be KIng.

He is woefully badly informed and monumentally immature, and as such is a horrible embarrassment to us all when pontificating on grown up issues such as the climate.

Nov 30, 2015 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

So the BBC in full 'climate change' overdrive, all over the radio news and website. Doesn't seem to be having much impact on the public though. Currently, the BBC web news section is showing this list of the top 10 most popular stories:

1 Turkey 'shot down plane for IS oil'

2 'Fat shaming' cards handed out on Tube

3 Six hurt 'as car hits crowd of people'

4 Five million affected by Vtech hack

5 Syria vote on Wednesday, says PM

6 BBC Newsnight's Stratton joins ITV

7 Met Office warning of snow and ice

Junior doctors' strike called off

9 Wind proves too much for windmill

10 Major river search for missing woman.

So the website readers are looking at anything but...

Nov 30, 2015 at 11:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan Blanchard


Nov 30, 2015 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Can't count, don't count.

Dyscalculia is a simple failure to make sense of numbers - an inability to distinguish and process numbers. The difference between figures and numbers is indistinguishable to those who have dyscalculia.

Dec 1, 2015 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

97% - Wow, that's nearly boiling, isn't it ?

Dec 1, 2015 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Constable

Agree with @Schrodinger's Cat It's OK logging Guardian Climate errors
but we already know the Guardian are incompetent and clueless on climate...Setting google to show only 24 hours show The Guardian have posted 160+ items on climate I guess they put ones filled with childish errors down to collateral damage.

48hrs and Guardian @BusinessDesk have tweeted 30 times since they tweeted this story, yet they still have not found time to correct it since it was published on 29th Nov

Dec 1, 2015 at 9:26 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Expecting the Guardian to accurately and fairly cover this subject , especially in light of them making it happy home for Cook, Lew paper and co to spout any old rubbish , is like expecting a fish to find a use for a piano. Mildly amusing but in reality a total waste of time.

And although it is well known for its ‘honest mistakes ‘ , on this subject it has made it very clear for years that it more than happy to have ‘dishonest’ mistakes on its books if they are seen as ‘effective’

Dec 1, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Since Guardian putting out 160+ items/day on climate, they are too busy writing the next crap, rather than bother to fix the old one ..and as @knr they follow the Haarabin trick of leaving dishonest mistakes to stand

"The Guardian you fail at math as badly as you fail at journalism " ...says Nota Chance on Twitter

Dec 1, 2015 at 10:13 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Surely what the Grauniad is saying is that one % is one hundredth part of a right angle, so 1% = 0.9 deg, and since 1 deg Celsius = 1 deg Kelvin, that means 5% = 4.5 deg K, which means we will definitely bake (though perhaps not roast) one eightieth of two pies, and the Graudadi is right again!

Dec 1, 2015 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

'25000 delegates from 195 countries'..??

Blimey - what's the carbon footprint of THAT lot..!

(Sorryy - forgot - they all arrived by bicycle - and of course the conference halls aren't heatedor air conditioned, are they..?)

Dec 1, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

"'25000 delegates from 195 countries'..??

Blimey - what's the carbon footprint of THAT lot..!

(Sorryy - forgot - they all arrived by bicycle - and of course the conference halls aren't heatedor air conditioned, are they..?)
Dec 1, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1 "

No no, you've nailed it the first time Sherlock1.

I doubt that any of that lot arrived by any conveyance that didn't offer free drinks.

Don't forget, that is just the 'official' representatives. The greenpis groups have a contingent nearly as large and they live pampered lives that easily equal or better than the officials. May they get to sample the hospitality of the Parisian police and terrorist officials while they're in Paris.

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

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