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« The Utopia Experiment | Main | Official report of the Scotland fracking conference »

A weapons-grade fruitcake

A couple of days ago, there was one of those science communication thingies where a bunch of greens and their fellow travellers in the media get together to chew the fat on how better to keep the climate gravy train on the rails. The panel was chaired by Jon Snow and featured Tom Clarke, the Channel Four science chap, Zoe Williams from the Guardian, someone from Greenpeace and Tom Chivers, now of Buzzfeed. As far as anyone could tell the audience was made up entirely of fellow travellers, including Bob Ward.

I can't say it was terribly interesting, and it was marred by technical glitches, but there was one very amusing weapons-grade-fruitcake moment when Williams explained that inequality made people more vulnerable to climate change disasters. The insistence of several speakers that the science of global warming is settled was similarly daft, particularly in view of Gavin Schmidt's comments on the matter.

The phrase “the science is settled” is associated almost 100% with contrarian comments on climate and is usually a paraphrase of what ‘some scientists’ are supposed to have said. The reality is that it depends very much on what you are talking about and I have never heard any scientist say this in any general context – at a recent meeting I was at, someone claimed that this had been said by the participants and he was roundly shouted down by the assembled experts.

I watch the echo chamber events so you don't have to.

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Reader Comments (43)

Sorry, no time to watch the video, there's a wall that's recently been painted & I am so keen to watch it dry! ;-)

Feb 13, 2015 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Well Bish, it's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it...

Feb 13, 2015 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAJ

No time to watch the video - but inequality causing poverty causing susceptibility to any disasters doesn't sound unreasonable to me. If Bangladesh had more of the world's resources they could Netherlands their water management system.

Having said that "the Science is Settled" is used all the time as a justification for not giving sceptics equal airtime or voice in debates. If it isn't as "Settled" as astrology and homeopathy then why not let the counter view be given?

"The Science is Settled" is a common attitude regardless of the deceptive, linguistic shenanigans wrapped around it.

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Aren't we all just jolly friendly happy smiley types so terribly oppressed by the unbelievers. I almost feel sorry for them but I still only managed to listen for two minutes before throwing up over the cat. And the cat is a Siamese.

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

Imagine it is a damp Tuesday night in the 1970s. In a grotty room above a smoky boozer in Clerkenwell a small group of lunatics meet. The Tooting Popular Front are there, along with the Muswell Hill Artists Collective, the Brighton Anti-Modernity League and the Woman Against Underwear Organisation. Over half pints of stale beer these sad clowns plot the end of Capitalism.

Fast forward...

The above film is what happens when you tax hard-working people and give the money to those self-same lunatics.

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

In order to avoid any further confusion, is there any record of Gavin Schmidt defining, what, if anything, is settled about climate science?

It must be very unsettling for Lewandowski, Nuccittelli, SKS and Al (Gore?) , to have earned so much tax-payers money, fabricating a 97% consensus, to have one of Mann's apostles casting doubt on their faith, when they thought they had agreed, to agree it was all settled.

The US President quoted the 97% consensus after all, and with someone from NASA/GODDARD now implying something different, he might conclude that some people on the US payroll, should not be on the US payroll.

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Notice how extreme weather events have morphed into "climate change disasters" as if they never used to happen, the most scary thing being that many will actually believe that.

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Gavin shared and lost the 'intelligence squared' debate with Richard Somerville who has blog post here, using those exact words :

"The essential findings of mainstream climate change science are firm. This is solid settled science."

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Why is the above article coming out as 'strange'? Only the title is in English. Is it just me?
What I am getting is:

B dpvqmf pg ebzt-uifsf xbt pof pg uiptf tdjfodf dpnnvojdbujpo etc.

It copies in English OK, though. Weird!

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMargaret Smith

Mikky There are almost no videos of extreme weather events, before the arrival of home video equipment. Similarly, very few clips of extreme weather events on YouTube, predate the creation of YouTube.

From this it is possible to conclude that extreme weather events have been caused by affordable video equipment and YouTube.

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Well if the science is settled clearly there is no further need for research so all those climate and environmental studies departments at various universities can be shut and the professor Joneses of this world can all be 'let go', can't they? We the taxpayer could perhaps have a reduction in our taxes too?

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

"B dpvqmf pg ebzt-uifsf xbt pof pg uiptf tdjfodf dpnnvojdbujpo"

How'd you manage that? Each character seems to have been incremented to the next character code.

Feb 13, 2015 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

“the science is settled"?

OK, how about this simple bit of obvious science. When solids warm they expand. When they cool they contract. We can work out how much this is from the coefficient of thermal expansion.

Is anyone failing to follow this? ... I doubt it, because it's very simple science.

So, when the earth warms by 8C between the ice-age and inter-glacial, we know the crust will expand and we can calculate that at the surface this is equivalent to a couple of km at the surface.

So, this extra couple of km will necessarily have to find somewhere to go and the only place which doesn't involve buckling the surface and forming mountains is that this massive amount of rock gets subducted down into the earth where it is heated and decomposes to form various constituents such as water vapour, CO2, SO2, etc.

And we've got evidence from the pattern of mid-oceanic ridge showing a correlation between oceanic formation and ice-ages which shows that as the earth cools, we see a contraction of the surface leading to mid-oceanic crust formation during the cooling phase.

Almost all of this is just the application of simple science or well known evidence: CO2 rises when we enter an ice-age and mid-oceanic crust formation correlates with the ice-age cycle.

So, why do I seem to be the first to suggest what is just the simple application of basic science aka "settled science": Toward a new theory of ice-ages III (Global Warming and Earthquakes) & Toward a new theory of ice-ages IV (Thermal crust expansion, decomposition and the Carbon cycle)?

Is it that no science is really "settled" or is it that sometimes things are so obvious that none of the experts will ever admit they didn't think of it first?

Feb 13, 2015 at 12:09 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

And the cat is a Siamese.


Your a racist !! Should have been a tabby.

Feb 13, 2015 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

"B dpvqmf pg ebzt-uifsf xbt pof pg uiptf tdjfodf dpnnvojdbujpo"
How'd you manage that? Each character seems to have been incremented to the next character code.

I have no idea but it has corrected now. Looks like gobbledygook to me. I took a screen shot of it prove I wasn't making it up.

About the article, until the MSM come to their senses I don't see how we can make really fast headway against the scam.

Feb 13, 2015 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMargaret Smith

MikeHaseler, please don't confuse believers in climatology with simple science. Many of them read the Grauniad, and are now considered endangered species. Attempts to decrease their density, by expanding their horizons, may implode their overinflated myths of selfrighteousnessnessness.

Feb 13, 2015 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Golf Charlie, yes the believers are a fast dying & discredited breed - which is why I think it's safe to publish this now.

However - it could be a double bluff! By publishing it, I will ensure that no alarmist academic ever proposes that CO2 is evolved from warming of the crust. Because whereas we might look at something and assess it on its merits against whether it makes scientific sense, they see the world in black and white. Where you are either part of the consensus and so everything you say is true, or you are not part of their consensus, and therefore the theory cannot possibly be right.

... or perhaps It's a triple bluff ... I'm really a covert alarmist who by publishing something that could be construed as supporting alarmists, is about to demonstrate that sceptics will not consider anything that even mildly implies warming even by members of their own community.

Feb 13, 2015 at 12:49 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

'Settled science' - as in having made a hash of it.

Feb 13, 2015 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Sydney

I always contrast the way CERN, after careful checking, came out publicly and said they had results that suggested the speed of light had been exceeded. They were open honest and eventually the matter was resolved in a very scientific way.

In contrast, the alarmists talk absolute non-sense about waffly theories that can't be tested, don't mean anything in practice, have often been disproven by their own results and then call them "settled science" trying to suggest they are something more immutable than the speed of light.

This "settled science" is the anti-thesis of real science and only in religion is there any concept similar.

Feb 13, 2015 at 1:46 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Is it me - or is there currently a rash of alarmist/warmist/greenist meetings/conferences/videos - and does this not indicate that they are desperate to shove the 'message' up our collective noses..?

I also note (from the BBC News website, where else) that a smug meeting of the UN/UNFCCC has just concluded in Geneva (more air miles) and agreed an 86-page agenda for the 'final' climate meeting in Paris in December...

Can't wait...

Feb 13, 2015 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

MikeHaseler, in order to avoid extinction, mankind has intervened with captive breeding programs for endangered species.

Grauniad readers have self imposed programs, such that they only breed with each other. This may be self attraction, or an inbuilt aversion instinct, prevalent in non Grauniad readers.

Such selective breeding, is known to have dire consequences, from breathing difficulties in bulldogs, to hip problems in labradors. The Grauniad has identified the consequence of inbreeding, and launched an appeal for £500 from each reader, for the preservation of the species, without actually identifying or addressing the cause.

Any similarities with belief in global warming are entirely intentional.

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

I notice that the BBC has produced some more AGW propaganda (after a year of just repeating the older material), cue the deeply concerned expressions and the horrifying statistics), due to be shown on BBC4 soon. Methinks there is a concerted effort by the politburo to prepare us for whatever tributes we must pay to appease the climate Gods, due to be unveiled in Paris, or maybe just to get us to vote for watermelons in May.

watermelons: a small amount of goodness but most has to be spat out.

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Golf Charlie ... don't most Grauniad readers stop reading it when (if) they eventually grow up?

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:08 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Children of the Great CO2 Scare, egged-on by old man Snow. Weep at the waste!

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:12 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Guido : Guardian Hack is a Fare Dodger - In May 2011 Williams admitted to fare dodging when in her 30s while travelling on London buses. She wrote "I actually had a lot of affection for bendy buses, mainly because evading your fare was so easy that to pay was almost missing the point. We used to call it freebussing."
Don't pay tax, don't pay fares .. don't tell the truth abot climate is that the Guardian's trend ?

...meanwhile a ship is trapped in Antarctic ice when it still summer
Antarctic Chieftain news ..teegraph

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:16 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

BTW comments are open on that Greenpeace video, but none are visible .. does that mean they are beong policed?

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:20 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

MikeHaseler, I am not sure whether Grauniad readers do ever grow up. They are locked into a never-never land of angry adolescent rebellion. Not unlike Milibands economic policy.

I am sure Ed Miliband did declare at a press conference, that the science of global warming was settled. It would be such a shame if this moment of clarity was forgotten by the electorate.

It would also be a great opportunity for all the political leaders to declare how relaxed they are, about making statements, about the state's stated beliefs, on the settled status quo of climate science. None of them would want a climate science homogenised skeleton rattling in a cupboard. Particularly as such skeletons can rewrite history, at the click of a mouse.

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Tom Clarke good eh!

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterxbe

Just read another post at SteveGoddard: "Spectacular Data Tampering At Deniliquin, NSW" This time it's 2.5C upjustment which is just incredible. I'm just sick to death of hearing these excuses about fiddling the data. There's got to be a police investigation or something similar soon.

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Golf Charlie "homogenised skeleton" ... that's how they will be counting election votes soon (if they aren't already).

Upjusting the data to ensure the same corrupt parties get in time and time and time again.

Feb 13, 2015 at 2:38 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

@GolfCharlie No I didn't find a direct 'science is settled' quote from Miliband
But David Rose asserts \\in a joint interview with Ed Miliband in 2009, when the Labour leader was energy secretary, Lord Lawson said there had been ‘no further warming’ since the late 20th Century and dissent should be tolerated.
- Miliband said Lord Lawson was ‘spreading doubt’ despite a scientific consensus.//

Feb 13, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

MikeHaseler In years to come, children at school will learn how Nelson's victory at Trafalgar was made possible by climate science, led by socialists.

Children at school now, are not told that the best weather forecast ever made, was by a British meteorologist called Stagg, in June 1944. He persuaded a future US President to postpone D-Day by 24 hours, and allowed Allied troops to land in relatively calm condition, between 2 unusual bad summer storms.

No one alive today is permitted to know that unusual summer storms happened before global warming, so Mr Stagg's correct belief in meteorology, which halted the launch of more than a thousand ships, must be forgotten.

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

stewgreen, the news clip of Miliband may date back to 2008, with him dismissing concerns with wording similar to "settled science" "consensus".

If it was BBC footage, it may have been accidently filed in a locked cupboard, with a sign on the door labelled "Beware of the Tiger", along with footage of David Bellamy and Johnny Ball.

Feb 13, 2015 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie


Feb 13, 2015 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

John Martin Stagg, worth googling. Brilliant meteorologist, who must be forgotten by climate scientists

Feb 13, 2015 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

James Martin Stagg sorry!

Feb 13, 2015 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Rather ironic, that a British Meteorologist gave a future US President advice, which heralded the defeat of the Axis powers.

Now climate scientists are listened to, by world politicians, including the current US President, as they seek to defeat 150 years of scientific achievement, whilst people still die from lack of food, water and medical aid.

Green Luvvies, don't you just know how much they love themselves.

Feb 13, 2015 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Well it's taken me all day to watch it but it's worth examining if you want to watch group think and ego mania at its finest. I'm surprised one of them didn't burst into tears, stamp their feet and wail 'why is nobody listening to us?' I'd have used the old chestnut spouted about tobacco dirty tricks as an example had the losers been brave enough to invite a single desenting voice. Given that they all seemed to have a drink on hand I suspect they even find each other tedious and need alcohol to stop their brains from imploding.

Feb 13, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2, it is possible that brain implosions have already occurred.

And nobody has noticed any significant difference. A bit like the climate really.

Feb 13, 2015 at 9:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

No time to listen to the echo chamber-
I'm too busy repairing the ear trumphet of the elephant in the room.

Feb 13, 2015 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Russell, perhaps you should repair your spell checker first?

Feb 13, 2015 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Russell are you so lonely on your blog you need something other than the echo of your own rambings?

Feb 13, 2015 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

That comment from Gavin was from back in 2009.
And in broad terms he does say the science is settled - ie high confidence that warming of last 50 years is man-made.

Feb 14, 2015 at 8:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterTuppence

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