In my absence, readers will no doubt have been aware of the attempt by several noble peers of the realm to silence dissenting voices on climate change. Headed by Lord Krebs, they wrote to a letter to the Times with the normal mealy-mouthed line of "we are in favour of free speech but you shouldn't publish people who disagree with us".
Today, the Times publishes another letter from Lord Krebs:
Sir, Matt Ridley (”Climate change lobby wants to kill free speech”, Opinion, Apr 25) misses the point of the personal letter to the Editor of The Times that we signed with 11 other peers. The letter was not an attack on free speech and we clearly stated that a free press is essential for a healthy democracy.Our point is that misleading stories on the science of climate change undermine the credibility of The Times. We expressed particular concern that the views of the Global Warming Policy Foundation appear to be unduly influential. That it was an adviser to GWPF who criticised us in your pages adds to our concern.The letter was discussed with several people, including the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, but it was from the 13 peers and not from anyone else.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE
Art exhibition poses questions on the issue of fracking
Photo opportunity: 5:15pm Thursday April 21st. Centrespace Gallery, Dundee Contemporary Arts.
University of Dundee’s Centrespace Gallery will be home to a new contemporary art exhibition, honing in on the contested operation of fracking.
‘When The Future Was About Fracking’ opens tomorrow and is an immersive installation by Paris-based artists’ group HeHe. It depicts a doomed landscape after extensive hydraulic fracking. They will use the space to display leaky hissing ghostly wellheads. This will also mark HeHe’s first ever exhibition in Scotland.
The exhibition has been curated by internationally renowned Rob La Frenais, in collaboration with Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone, College of Art and Design andthe University of St Andrews research fellow Mette High.
Organiser Mette High said, “I am an anthropologist who does oil field research. I wanted to bring some of the concerns from the US oil fields right here, to Dundee and to Scotland. Art is an amazing medium for getting people to reflect and I was inspired by that potential.
“I really hope lots of people will pop by the Centrespace Gallery. It is an ambitious, provocative installation that does not seek to tell people what they should think. It has been crucial for both the artists and myself that this installation lets people make up their own minds. It isn’t our job to tell people what they should think, but it is our job to create environments in which such reflection can happen.”
The exhibition runs until May 18th and is open Monday to Saturday 12-4pm.
There will also be a preview evening will be held on Thursday, 21th April from 5.30-7.30pm when curator Rob La Frenais will give a tour at 6pm.
The installation has been funded by Creative Scotland and the British Academy.
More information here.
There's been a lot of Twittering over an article in Nature Climate Change about the greening of the planet. It might not exactly be ground breaking science, it is after all something sceptics have been pointing out for some time, but it is great to see the story in Nature all the same.
But to get alarmists to admit this is good news will, I suspect, be like pulling hen's teeth.
I'm back - after a fashion. I may get back to blogging more regularly in coming days if I can find something to say. Today though, I have a new paper out for GWPF. This is a companion piece to my earlier briefing on precipitation and floods. This one is on drought, heatwaves and conflict. Here's the headline message.
Droughts are not getting worse and they are not causing wars
Claims that droughts are getting worse are not supported in the scientific literature. This is true for both on a global level and for the UK, where historical records indicate much longer and more severe droughts occurred long before human carbon dioxide emissions became significant.
Moreover, claims that “climate change” was behind the conflicts in Darfur and Syria are shown to be based on highly partisan scientific studies that ignore a host of conflicting evidence.
Of course readers here know that papers like the "Drought caused the Syria crisis" one are bunk - I could have written lots more if I'd included all the stuff that has been debunked on the blogs. But there's enough in the peer reviewed literature to kill off this set of disinformation from our green friends.
The briefing is here.
When Steve MicIntyre writes "In the past few weeks, I’ve been re-examining the long-standing dispute over the discrepancy between models and observations in the tropical troposphere." you might think you were in for a bit of a technical post - which, of course, it is - but it is also also very funny and well worth reading. It also inspired the cartoon below.
Click image to enlarge
H/t commenter 'See owe to Rich' for the 'hide the gap' phrase.
At Wind Energy's Absurd, they write:
We have repeatedly challenged the wisdom and morality of allowing multinational companies into the classroom to put their side of a story that is designed to cultivate acceptance of their industry into future generations.
You will remember Tommy the Turbine - a tale told to children in Ireland about the wonders of wind power.
Well now Tommy has a rival - and our money is on Subsidy Sam getting the message out there.
It is time the indoctrination of our children was stopped.
We have been requested to post this story and are delighted to oblige.
Please share it as many times as you want and send it wherever you want.
Here is a delightful story:
After Internet users overwhelmingly voted to christen Britain’s new $300 million research ship “Boaty McBoatface” in an online naming poll, a government official suggested the name wouldn’t be used.
“There is a process now for us to review all of the public’s choices,” Science Minister Jo Johnson told the BBC Monday, per Newsweek. “Many of them were imaginative, some were more suitable than others.”
BBC host Nicky Campbell exclaimed that the government would “ride roughshod over democracy” if it did not go through with naming the ship “Boaty McBoatface,” which garnered 120,000 votes — four times that of the next closest choice.
Cartoons by Josh and thanks to my friend Sue who came up with the Jo's new title.
Lots of news about renewables, especially wind and solar, feeling the sharp stab of economic reality and the burn of bankrupcy - see SunEdison, German renewables, more SunEdison, Dutch wind and British green blundering - all via The GWPF.
This would be cheery news if governments hadn't wasted so much taxpayers cash on such pointless policies in the first place.
As you may know, Microsoft recently launched a Chat-bot called 'Tay' as an experiment in "conversational understanding." "The more you chat with Tay", said Microsoft, "the smarter it gets, learning to engage people through "casual and playful conversation." "
But as the Verge noted.
Unfortunately, the conversations didn't stay playful for long. Pretty soon after Tay launched, people starting tweeting the bot with all sorts of misogynistic, racist, and Donald Trumpist remarks. And Tay — being essentially a robot parrot with an internet connection — started repeating these sentiments back to users, proving correct that old programming adage: flaming garbage pile in, flaming garbage pile out.
Sounds familiar? Well, we learned the other day that Bob Ward's Twitter account may be manned by something very similar.
The news that a vast, shiny, new state of the art recycling centre in Lancashire is to be mothballed after incurring "catastrophic losses" will not come as much of a surprise to anyone who keeps an eye on the green scene. A moment's thought by anyone with more than a couple of braincells to rub together leads to the inevitable conclusion that expending vast resources - energy, labour, capital, chemicals and the like - to turn low value items into even lower value items is not much of an economic proposition. With councils increasingly cash-strapped, it is becoming ever harder to sustain the illusion that recycling is anything other than virtue-signalling from middle-class poseurs.
Perhaps landfill needs to have its brand detoxified. Rather than wasting all those precious resources on collecting refuse to turn it into heaven knows what, let's use the power of Mother Nature to break down and recycle what can be broken down, leaving what is inert to cause no trouble to anyone. Yes, it will be slower than what passes for recycling now, but aren't greens in favour of using slower, more natural approaches whenever they can?
"Landfill: the slow, green way to recycle".
At the end of last year, Bob Ward had this to say about a new paper on climate sensitivity:
In fact, far from being ignored by the sceptic community, the paper in question, by Marvel et al., turned out to be something of a car-crash and was the source of steady stream of more-or-less amused blog posts in the months that followed.
This morning I couldn't help but wonder if someone has replaced Bob with a bot, preprogrammed to issue identical tweets in the response to any new paper on climate sensitivity:
The paper, by Tan et al., looks as though it's a GCM-with-observational-constraints effort.
Global climate model (GCM) estimates of the equilibrium global mean surface temperature response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2, measured by the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), range from 2.0° to 4.6°C. Clouds are among the leading causes of this uncertainty. Here we show that the ECS can be up to 1.3°C higher in simulations where mixed-phase clouds consisting of ice crystals and supercooled liquid droplets are constrained by global satellite observations. The higher ECS estimates are directly linked to a weakened cloud-phase feedback arising from a decreased cloud glaciation rate in a warmer climate. We point out the need for realistic representations of the supercooled liquid fraction in mixed-phase clouds in GCMs, given the sensitivity of the ECS to the cloud-phase feedback.
I can't imagine quite how large the gap between a 5.7°C-ECS climate simulation and the historical temperature record is going to be. I wonder what fairy story will be conjured up to explain that away.
Two of the headlines on Greenpeace's daily news review stuck out at me this morning.
Coal: Nearly $1 trillion could be wasted on unneeded plants
Renewables: SunEdison on brink of bankruptcy, Abengoa files
The companies named in the second headline are two of the largest players in the renewables field, so it's pretty big news that they are on the brink of exctinction, despite all the millions in taxpayers' money that has been poured into them by wise and noble politicians.
Who knows, perhaps there might be room in the marketplace for coal-fired power stations after all.