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Investigative journalism isn't dead

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Left-wing investigative journalism site Political Scrapbook has been doing some, erm, investigation. This is the kind of stuff that only the sharpest minds can get their heads round. You will be amazed.

Snuffling round records of government expenditure they have come up with an extraordinary finding.

Despite floods, the government is paying 100 times more to chop a tree than plant one

The British government is willing to pay people £144 per tree to chop it down and dispose of it.

Meanwhile, how much do you get paid if you plant one? £1.28 per tree.

So big, dangerous jobs cost much more than small safe ones. Who would have guessed?

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Reader Comments (99)

Phil this is really silly. There is absolutely no way ice cores or any other proxy can be looked at with sufficient accuracy to identify temperature changes at a 15-20 year scale over 800,000 years. Unless of course you use Mike's Nature trickTM.
The rises over the period 1970-2000 are not even unprecedented in the last 200 years, and the recent rises appear to be an artefact of some pretty comprehensive adjustment making older years cooler to reinstate the trend, as they don't appear in the satellite or radiosonde records. The adjustments may be vaild, but if they are they are certainly not well documented.

Feb 19, 2016 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S


Sorry to be a stickler for accurate use of language, but it isn't nuts to ask people to use language accurately and precisely. Failure to use language properly can cause misunderstanding and, in the case of climate alarmism, loose and sloppy language is often seized upon by the likes of the BBC to create inappropriate alarm and to misrepresent the truth. It is not pedantic to ask people to use language which is accurate rather than inaccurate and therefore misleading.

It's interesting to read you saying "In fact, plotted on that scale, the modern day warming would effectively appear vertical." NASA's Earth Observatory page supports you : "As the Earth moved out of ice ages over the past million years, the global temperature rose a total of 4 to 7 degrees Celsius over about 5,000 years. In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming."

But when you look at the graph they show for the last 800,000 years, there are quite a few recoveries from various ice ages where the warming line appears to be nearly vertical, so it does appear that they are playing a little fast and loose with the truth, probably for political reasons.

But in any event, I see we're now only talking about 800,000 years, and no longer the million years you previously quoted. So, even assuming you and NASA are correct, we're now talking about less than 0.02% of the life of the planet. That's not unprecedented. I may have my maths wrong, but that's like saying that if the life of the planet is one day, we've seen nothing like the current rate of warming at any time in the last one and a half seconds. I don't find that very scary, nor do I regard that as a basis for making expensive and serious policy changes. People need to lift their heads from their obsession with humans and human time-scales, and think instead about the time-scales of our planet.

Feb 19, 2016 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

By Phil's "reasoning" the early work on Quantum Physics is irrelevant now.
And note how the true believer conflates "repeating junk methods to yield junk" with "independent verification.
The miasma of the climate kook mind....

Feb 19, 2016 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

By the way, I've just reminded myself of a Channel 4 Time Team programme with (Sir) Tony Robinson (who I think is a believer in AGW). This is the link to Time Team Special 31 (2007) - Britain's Drowned World:

I accept that a Channel 4 Time Team programme is not NASA, nor is it peer-reviewed science. However, I was amused to hear him say that around 11,500 years ago the temperature rose by 7C in 15 years. It's at just over 36 minutes in if you're interested. I observe somewhat wryly that climate alarmism propaganda has moved on quite a lot in the 8 or 9 years since that programme was made. If I were a cynic rather than just a sceptic, I might ask if the statement made being now so removed from what people are allowed to say and believe is the reason why I had to find it on YouTube and could no longer access it on Channel 4's website (even though most of the other old Time Team programmes are freely available there). :-)

Feb 19, 2016 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark Hodgson, 8:12pm: "People need to lift their heads from their obsession with humans and human time-scales, and think instead about the time-scales of our planet."

Well, said: unfortunately, the green blobbies think 'our planet' did not really exist until they came along a decided what was wrong with it and who was to blame.

Feb 19, 2016 at 8:53 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

The point being that civilisation, agriculture and infrastructure were developed in the Holocene, a period of remarkably stable climate. That period is about to end.

Feb 19, 2016 at 11:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil C 11:39 pm: "That period is about to end."

You are sounding more and more like Senna the Soothsayer from 'Up Pompeii'.

Sorry sunshine, but you belong in the play-pit with zed and dork.

Feb 20, 2016 at 12:24 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Phil Clarke, was this 'remarkably stable' climate the nice warm one that followed the last ice age? Why should anyone bother with another degree or so? Civilisation seems to do better in warmer weather.

Archaeologists don't have much to look for in permafrost, apart from evidence of now extinct people, such as the Vikings on Greenland.

Feb 20, 2016 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I was, of course channelling James Hansen and his 2007 masterpiece 'Climate Change and Trace Gases'

Earth’s climate is remarkably sensitive to forcings, i.e. imposed changes of the planet’s energy balance. Both fast and slow feedbacks turn out to be predominately positive. As a result, our climate has the potential for large rapid fluctuations. Indeed, the Earth, and the creatures struggling to exist on the planet, have been repeatedly whipsawed between climate states. No doubt this rough ride has driven progression of life via changing stresses, extinctions and species evolution. But civilization developed, and constructed extensive infrastructure, during a period of unusual climate stability, the Holocene, now almost 12 000 years in duration. That period is about to end

James Hansen et al, 2007. Climate Change and Trace Gases. Philiosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – A. Vol 365, pp 1925-1954. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2007.2052.

Dr Hansen is, amongst other achievements, a recipient of The Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal presented to 'individuals on the basis of outstanding contributions to the understanding of the structure or behavior of the atmosphere.' by the American Meteorological Society.

Andrew Montford is an accountant.

Feb 20, 2016 at 12:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, Hansen is a scaremonger. How high should sea level be now according to Hansen?

Why would anyone trust a Climate Scientist?

If you have a list of errors in the Hockey Stick illusion, written by an accountant, much of it gleaned from Climate Audit, prepared by a Mining Engineer, go ahead. Much of it is in relation to facts, figures, and scientific methodology, things that Hansen, Mann, and the rest of the Hockey Team, plus their supporters, seem to care about or understand.

Is this why Global Warming Alarmists just want to move on from the disastrous Hockey Stick, before the world's media and public realise how much of climate science is based on dishonesty, and the United Nation's IPCC is destroying lives, not saving any at all?

I was taken in by the Hockey Stick once. Why should I trust any climate scientist now? I can not simply forget the Hockey Stick, why should you?

Feb 20, 2016 at 3:14 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

PC has a great deal of historical illiteracy to believe what he claims about the Holocene climate.

Feb 20, 2016 at 7:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter


I have just stumbled on the following quote online, allegedly by James Hansen:

“CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”

I have no idea if he actually did say it, but it sounds like the sort of thing he might say. If he did say it, it demonstrates to my satisfaction that he is far more of a politician than he is a scientist. Why would a disinterested and scrupulous scientist, especially a prize-winning one, say such a thing?

This is no longer about science, it's about politics and money, and has been for a good while now.

Feb 20, 2016 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

If you have a list of errors in the Hockey Stick illusion,

Apparently, the author did not understand that MBH98 was a reconstruction from 1400 onwards.

"Let’s be clear about how incredible an error this is: it is like claiming that a map of France has made England vanish—all the while raising an eyebrow to suggest that you suspect foul play. If he had complained that MBH98 left out the temperature during the Cretaceous, or at the time of the Big Bang, or expressed surprise that Queen Victoria did not have a role in the films of the Marx brothers, it would be no less astonishing."

Ad hominem arguments are never convincing, Hansen's papers stand on their merits.

Feb 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"as for the crooked pseudo-scientists who
invented the hockey stick, supported it, and continue to parade it in
the mendacious documents of the IPCC, no journalist would dare to ask
any of them the questions that would expose their self-seeking
corruption for what it is. These evil pseudo-scientists, through the
falsity of their statistical manipulations, have already killed far
more people through starvation than “global warming” will ever
kill. They should now be indicted and should stand trial alongside
Radovan Karadzic for nothing less than high crimes against humanity:
for, in their callous disregard for the fatal consequences of their
corrupt falsification of science, they are no less guilty of genocide
than he.”

Christopher Monckton (who else?)

Feb 20, 2016 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

PC, the secret to holes is to simply stop digging. Yet here you are, a shoveling blur.

Feb 20, 2016 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Phil Clarke, I think Monckton has it about right. Thanks for that quote, it deserves more publicity!

The UN IPCC in Court, for Climate War Crimes against Humanity, would sent a powerful message. How many more have to die to satisfy the Green Blob?

Feb 20, 2016 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"The point being that civilisation, agriculture and infrastructure were developed in the Holocene, a period of remarkably stable climate. That period is about to end."


So I take it you are building an undergound climate shelter or got a seat on the next rocket to mars to escape the imminent calamities about to befall humanity? Or is it not going to be that bad?


Feb 20, 2016 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

So Phil believes that the fact that a climate scientist named Mann quoted a paper last year that no one in climate science now relies on is insignificant. He is the Norman Wisdom of the alarmist religion.

And as for those error bars, are you now claiming that the proxy reconstructions are only valid plus or minus something like 10 degrees? That is something worth publicising.

Feb 20, 2016 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes


I try hard to follow you, honestly I do, but now you have me confused.

I assume, perhaps wrongly, that your comment which I repeat below is a response to my posting a quote allegedly from James Hansen.:

"Ad hominem arguments are never convincing, Hansen's papers stand on their merits."

But then you put up a similarly political and aggressive quote from Christopher Monckton as though it somehow trumps my quote from James Hansen. You are the one quoting the much (and rightly) derided Hansen in support of your claims. I have never quoted Monckton in support of mine. I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve, especially in view of your statement that ad hominem arguments are never convincing.

I'm inclined to agree with hunter that "the secret to holes is to simply stop digging. Yet here you are, a shoveling blur."

Feb 20, 2016 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

And as for quoting Frank o'Dwyer.. I don't think even Frank believes what he writes. He makes Bob "fingers" Ward seem like a pillar of probity. But it's the way you tell them that makes you seem so funny, Phil. Long may you continue to amuse me with your childish prat falls.

Feb 20, 2016 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

As an aside, I see that someone called Phil Clarke made a comment back in 2012 on Brandon Shollenberger's blog and got so badly reamed in a response by Anto that he probably hasn't been able to sit comfortably since

The comment in question 313, thoroughly amusing, as Phil tends to be.

Feb 20, 2016 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

James Hansen is really delivering what climate science deserves.

Feb 20, 2016 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke, Monckton has a post up at Watts Up With That, if you want to pass comment.

I wonder whether Dana Nuccitelli wrote the Guardian hit piece all on his own, or whether the SKS Hockey Stick Repair Team had to be called in?

Feb 20, 2016 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

And just for good measure, Phil, here is the opening line of the Wikipedia page about Christopher MOnckton:

"Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (born 14 February 1952) is a British public speaker and hereditary peer. He is known for his work as a journalist, Conservative political advisor, UKIP political candidate..."

Wouldn't one expect a politician to make political comments?

These are the opening lines from the Wikipedia page about James Hansen:

"James Edward Hansen (born 29 March 1941) is an American adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is best known for his research in climatology, his 1988 Congressional testimony on climate change that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to avoid dangerous climate change. In recent years he has become a climate activist to mitigate the effects of climate change, on a few occasions leading to his arrest."

As for his political nature, his Wikipedia page also notes: "Hansen said that he had to speak out, since few others could explain the links between politics and the climate models."


Feb 21, 2016 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark Hodgson, confusion seems to be generated by junk climate models, driving junk politics, which in a circular fashion, then drive even more junk climate science.

Climate scientists now claim their junk models have never predicted/projected anything. In hindsight, they have now proved themselves correct. There is a first time for everything in climate science.

Feb 21, 2016 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke, Monckton has a post up at Watts Up With That, if you want to pass comment.

I rarely post at WUWT; my words get delayed or disappeared too often. But note that Monckton is, once again, misrepresenting IPCC Scenario A from the 1990 report as the IPCC projection, even though there were 4 scenarios (A-D) in that report and Scenarios B and C were much closer to how forcings actually developed. Slippery customer.

Climate scientists now claim their junk models have never predicted/projected anything. 

In 1988 congressional testimony Hansen projected future warming under three Scenarios. The values for global temperature anomaly in 2015 were

Scenario A (exponential growth) 1.262C
Scenario B ('most plausible') 1.000C
Scenario C (emissions frozen) 0.647C

According to NASA, the actual anomaly for Jan 2016 was 1.04C and for 2015 as a whole 0.99C. Not too shabby.

Feb 21, 2016 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, when were those numbers last adjusted to match the story foretold by the previously adjusted numbers?

NASA did so much for Rocket Science. Now they struggle to maintain historic temperature records, and as for recording current ones, well, we can only assume they find it more difficult than Rocket Science.

I do believe NASA put men on the Moon. I would not trust them to try it again without ditching most of their current employees.

"According to NASA" is NOT a phrase that carries any form of reassurance or guarantee. Real Climate, and all those associated with it, have destroyed it all.

Feb 21, 2016 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Not bad GC, an unevidenced accusation of fraud and conspiracy in one little post.


Feb 21, 2016 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, do tell us more about the unprecedented loss of Arctic Ice in the 1840s that led to hopes of finding a North West Passage, and the Franklin Expedition sailing to their deaths.

Do you ever get Historical Climate Science deja vu? It seems to have happened before.

In 2010, Unprecedented ice loss in the Arctic enabled a modern search party to find one of the 1850s search party ships. Exactly where it had been stuck in ice in 1855, but on the sea bed. How did HMS Investigator, a SAILING Ship, not a motorised ice breaker get there?

It is all there on Wikipedia. No data manipulation required.

Feb 21, 2016 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Your evidence for an ice-free area of the Arctic is this?

Do I have that correct?

Feb 21, 2016 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

What is entertaining us how PC has acknowledged that there are significant problems with his beliefs in other threads but simply relies on repeating the same flawed issues and failed evidence to hang in there. Sort of an anti-science approach but wrapped up in sciencey sounding arguments.

Feb 21, 2016 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Interesting hypothesis.

Next step:a valid example.

Feb 21, 2016 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke @6:55. That is a nice picture you have found. It is more likely to be a fair record of 1850s ice extent than anything produced today, and modern GPS has proved the accuracy of the plotted location. Try Wikipedia.

Do you dismiss evidence of the Franklin Expedition, what it was for, the disappearance etc? Try Wikipedia. One of the original ships Erebus, was rediscovered in 2014. Try Wikipedia.

HMS Investigator was sent to look for it. It got stuck and was abandoned in 1855. Try Wikipedia

You really haven't a clue about historical facts and evidence, especially when supported by modern evidence. Is this why climate science is so appealing, because you can rewrite history and adjust records to suit?

Next you will be telling us that 1976 was not a drought year in England, because annual rainfall in 1976 was not especially low.

Feb 21, 2016 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

watches Phil paddle....he is so funny

Feb 21, 2016 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

diogenes, 11:12 pm:

I think phil is sinking not paddling.

Feb 22, 2016 at 12:03 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

diogenes, paddling the North West Passage should have occurred by now, according to global warming experts. It hasn't.

Some auxillary engined sailing yachts did get through a few years ago, but after some disasters, I am not sure if anyone tried in 2015.

Cruise Liners were going to be transitting the NWP by now. They haven't. A few icebreakers with cabins for fare paying passengers (mainly journalists) have made it.

The Canadians were hoping to control one of the World's busiest sea routes. Nothing much has happened.

It does seem the false hopes of the British in the 1840s, have been repeated. That's history for you.

It was probably a major sea route during the Medieval Warm Period, and a great place for summer beach holidays for Native Americans, Siberians, Inuit and travelling Vikings.

Their continued existence suggest it was not an extinction event for polar bears, perhaps they even preferred it.

Feb 22, 2016 at 12:38 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Feb 22, 2016 at 8:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

From the comments section of that article;

"Political Scrapbook? This article is so touchingly naive that it must have been written by someone more familiar with colouring books."

That pretty much sums up the catastrophilia that makes up Mann Made Global Warming (tm) climate science.

Hahahahahahahaaaa :)



Feb 22, 2016 at 8:40 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Phil Clarke, some people paid a deposit to go into space and orbit the earth. Do CrystalCruises have a reassuring track record for transitting the NWP?

Feb 22, 2016 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Are you betting man, GC?

Feb 22, 2016 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, no I am not a betting man.

Have you now learned how wrong you have been about the history of the North West Passage, just by using Wikipedia, and reading historical facts that match with modern evidence not subject (yet) to computer adjustment?

Feb 22, 2016 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What did I say about the NWP that was inaccurate?

I think the cruise passengers won't need to worry to much about the ice this year.

Feb 22, 2016 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Erebus at 378 tons (bm) and Terror at 331 tons (bm) were sturdily built and were outfitted with recent inventions.[10] Steam engines were fitted in Erebus and Terror to drive a single screw in each vessel; these engines were former locomotives from the London & Croydon Railway. They enabled the ships to make 7.4 km/h (4 kn) on their own power.[11] Other advanced technology included bows reinforced with heavy beams and plates of iron, an internal steam heating device for the comfort of the crew, screw propellers and iron rudders

Over the next 150 years, other expeditions, explorers, and scientists would piece together what happened next. Franklin's men wintered in 1845–46 on Beechey Island, where three crew members died and were buried. Terror and Erebus became trapped in ice off King William Island in September 1846 and never sailed again

More ships got trapped in ice. Icebreakers no less, at the annual minimum.

So what?

Feb 22, 2016 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, you don't see any similarity between the 1840s-1850s, with expectation of a navigable NWP and now?

Never mind.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

They may have expected an ice free passage surely the point is that when they got there it was impassable?

From a climate history point of view, that is.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, if you are interested.....

It was widely believed/accepted there was a NWP. Folklore? Based on previous trips during the MWP? No one knows for sure.

Franklin knew that a ship had recently got more than half way, from the East, and similarly from the West. Presumably based on accurate plots of Longitude, since Harrisons Chronometer, calculating Longitude had become possible.

The wreck of HMS Investigator was found in 2010 within 15 minutes of the search starting. It was exactly where its position had been plotted stuck in ice ( and painted as you have found out ) so the ability to navigate to a position was not in question. What they lacked was a map/chart of how to get there.

With the aid of Satellites for info, the non icebreakers that have got through recently, have had to take a complicated route.

Whether you want to view Franklins Expedition as glorious failure, or disastrous defeat is up to you, but the driving force would have been money.

Those who looked to cash in on the NWP becoming reliably navigable, even if for ony a month or two, based on climate models/predictions/projections etc, have gone a bit quiet.

The 1840s/1850s cannot represent a one off hot year, but at least 5 maybe more to cause such a retreat in summer ice extent. Where is this in Mann's Holy Hockey Stick graph, if we were coming out of the LIA?

I think you are correct in assuming that Franklin believed the route was there. The auxillary engines could not provide much power, and would have had a limited amount of coal. In the absence of trees, they may have tried to burn peat to stay warm, but they were ice resistant ships, not icebreakers.

If I was a betting man, I would not be gambling money on the NWP being open for commercial traffic. If I had the time and money, I would like to have a go myself, if I thought it was possible.

Climate scientists have been telling us for 10+ years that the Poles are where we will see the first consequences of Global Warming. Nothing has happened that did not occur before, without manmade CO2.

When Climate Science clashes with corroborated history, I will stick with history.

When they went looking for HMS Investigator in 2010, it was because the unprecedented ice loss made it possible. How did HMS Investigator get there? It was found where it got stuck. It did not drift there locked in ice.

It sailed there. The extent of ice loss in 2010 was NOT unprecedented in verifiable history.

Feb 23, 2016 at 12:09 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Shorter version: The Franklin expedition, equipped with reinforced ships and powerful steam engines attempted to navigate the NWP in summer , and got stuck in ice.

HMS Investigator  tried to find the Franklin ships, travelling East from the Western entrance so they really did not get very far in … and got trapped in ice, abandoned and sunk.

This year a standard cruise ship is taking bookings for The opportunity to experience Crystal Cruises’ first expedition-style cruise and our maiden transit of the renowned Northwest Passage, aboard Crystal Serenity.

Where are you going with this? ;-)

Feb 23, 2016 at 8:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, rewriting history again? And marine engineering?

For starters, how did you conclude that they had 'powerful engines'. How many days fuel did they have on board?

This must be why climate scientists ignore the Arctic ice melt of the 1840s-50s, and simply airbrush history AND science.

Feb 23, 2016 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke, are you arguing that loss of ice in the Arctic did not happen in the 1840s-50s? Obviously this conflicts with your belief in CO2 driven climate change, leading to Unprecedented ice loss.

Feb 23, 2016 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

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