Seen elsewhere

Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Jones live blog

No more questions

2nd Monckton - asking about 60yr perioddicity and PDO. Can we detect AGW. PJ says yes.

1st question Tony Kelly of GWPF. Sea temps fundamentally different to land. Should measure marine air temp. Says sst doesn't agree to land. PJ says SST correlated to marine air temp

Questions next

And that's it

Satellites - same results as surface

SST - bucket adjustment is the most important. Also shift to buoys

Discussion of CRU subsampling studies - still get same result

BEST 2% series shown. We are getting the message that all the series show roughly the same thing.

homgeneity/urbanisation  adjusts have small effect

CRUTEM4 will include a full release of station data

adjustments to stations makes little difference at large scales

"Population growth is not a great metric for urbanisation trends"

Urbanisation. Little difference in urban/rural

Biases in order of importance form Jones and Wigley. 1 SST bucket 2. Thermometer ecposure, 3. Urbanisation

Some discussion of Menne et al 2009 - bimodal distribution of adjusts

PJ discussing homogenity issues

We've been told we will be evicted if we mention climategate

Lovely Georgian theatre here.


Sense about Science lecture

Times Higher Ed has a report about last night's Sense About Science lecture by Cambridge historian Richard Evans. From the sounds of it, this was pretty interesting, with Prof Evans noting that calls for the public to trust scientists are  "inadequate" given the propensity of scientists to get things wrong - he cites the BSE and miasmatism as examples. That said, Prof Evans, like so many others finds it difficult to cope with dissenting voices, and you sense that underneath he longs for consensus and certainty and a nice-neat top-down world. But I wonder if there is some significance in the fact that climate change sceptics were no mentioned alongside the anti-vaccinators (is that a word?,) who he gives as examples of the fringe groups who have taken advantage of the public distrust of scientist.

If someone can lay their hands on the video, do please post a link.


CRU book group

Members of the CRU book group couldn't wait to see what Phil Jones was going to suggest as the title for next month...

H/T Anoneumouse


Conference proceedings

I'm now safely esconced in Cambridge, which is all very nice. Thanks to the generosity of BH readers I have invested in a 3G wireless dongle, so I should be able to report regardless of the facilities available, although battery power and my ability to type on a netbook will potentially be issues.

The conference is organised by a small charity called the Howard Trust, who appear to have no prior involvement in climate matters. The programme is pretty packed. Proceedings kick off at 9:30am and Jones is first on, speaking about the measurement of global temperature.


AGW hype dying

Scottish Sceptic notices a dramatic change in MSM coverage of the global warming issue. It  appears that the cold weather last winter just killed off the majority of any remaining interest in the subject. Remarkable stuff.

Read the whole thing.


Upcoming events

Next week, I'm off down south for a couple of days. The purpose of the visit is to attend a conference to which I've been invited. This promises to be fun, with a positively stellar list of speakers:

  • Phil Jones
  • Andrew Watson (of "Morano is an asshole" fame)
  • Mike Lockwood (of "Svensmark is all wrong" fame)
  • Henrik Svensmark (of "no I'm not" fame)
  • Nils Axel Morner
  • Ian Plimer
  • John Mitchell (of "no IPCC working papers" fame)
  • Nigel Lawson
  • Vaclav Klaus

The balance of speakers is not quite right, with nobody there to put the Stern review side of the economic arguments, but it's hard to argue with the calibre of speaker the organisers have recruited. The suggestion in the invitation was that the organisers see the event as forming an opportunity for compromise between the two sides of the global warming debate.

I will try to liveblog at least some of the proceedings on Tuesday, wifi availability and battery life permitting. Josh will be on hand to do the visuals.

If anyone wants to help defray the cost of the trip, your contributions to the tip box will be gratefully received.

[The conference is invitation-only, but Phil Jones is doing a repeat of his talk at the University of Lancaster on Friday (h/t Aztek) for those who are interested.]



Oz chief scientist: I'm a lobbyist

If anyone was under any illusions about the true role of government chief scientists, this interview with the new occupant of that role in the Australian civil service should dispel them.

Science advocate

Chubb says that he will be a proactive lobbyist for science, helping the government and the public to appreciate the role of science in coping with the major challenges facing society. Doing this, he says, should help to insulate science from budget cuts. "If we can get science and its value to the community sufficiently high up the priority list," he says, "the job should be half-made each year before you go into bat for specifics."

Commendable honesty, but why on earth should scientists have their own lobbyists on the inside of government? This reminds me of the recent scandals here in the UK, where healthcare trusts were revealed to be paying for union reps out of the public purse. Paying for union reps and paying for lobbyists does not seem materially different to me. Either way, these recipients of all this public largesse are not working for the benefit of the people but for themselves and their pals.

I wonder if Sir John Beddington also sees himself as a union rep for the scientific community who just happens to be paid out of public coffers?


Interview with Johnny Flynn

I chanced upon this interview with Johnny Flynn, who played the role of Ben Shotter in The Heretic - the global warming play I reported on a few months back. It's from the education pack prepared for the show, which can be seen here. Other members of the show's team are interviewed as well, but I thought Flynn was very thoughtful. 


What did you find most exciting when you read the play?

Initially it challenged my preconceptions about something I thought I knew. Because you go along with the orthodox perception of these issues and it basically made me really challenge what I was doing about these things, and in some ways compounded what I really felt about the issues of climate change. In my particular case it made me feel like making a more of a concerted effort to make sure my personal efforts were conscious and mindful. So it’s interesting as each different character has a different standing on the issues. My character is an eco warrior to start with and has quite a woolly approach to what he thinks he’s got to do, and then he’s challenged by this brilliant teacher who sits slightly on the other side of the fence. But instead of necessarily bringing him to her camp she just tries to sharpen up his foundations, and what it is he’s acting on. And that’s what it did for me. It makes you sift through whether bandwagons are easier to be attached to, and just know why you’re doing it; peer pressure or common consensus and political persuasions and things like that.

Click to read more ...


Please tell me this isn't true

From here:

Students in a Society and History (SAH) class on “the Impact of Climate Change” at a Tasmanian high school, must donate to a Canadian environmental organisation in order to be awarded points in a “scavenger hunt” and to gain marks.


Brian Cox and arguments from authority

From the Observer's survey of public intellectuals, Prof Brian Cox on arguments from authority (emphasis added):  

Richard Feynman said a "physicist commenting on anything but physics is as dumb as the next guy" and there is something to be said for that. Often, scientists feel they should remain within their area of expertise. But then many people from other disciplines are perfectly happy to offer their opinions on everything. It is incumbent on scientists to step up and be as vocal.

Scientists are trained to take great care over drawing conclusions from evidence and it is worthwhile offering that as a perspective in itself. If you don't put forward the evidence-based case, then how is the debate to proceed? You're left only with opinion. The Royal Society's motto is: "On the word of no one". The dilemma for the public intellectual is to remember at all times that the point of the project is to remove arguments from authority. You shouldn't stand there and say: "I am a scientist, therefore you should think this." That is the antithesis of science.

People who know things clearly make a valuable contribution to public debate, but I'm wary of iconic people behaving almost like cult leaders. It would be unfortunate if public policy were influenced by people with the biggest following.

Being a public intellectual might not be to your taste, but you have to have these debates because if you don't, somebody will. For example, Nigel Lawson will go on Newsnight and make pronouncements about climate change. The scientist can't say: "I don't want to get involved in something so vulgar" because then you get an ex-chancellor talking about climate predictions, which is ridiculous. I suppose I'm arguing for public discourse to be tempered by some kind of knowledge… a radical suggestion!

I think the bit I've emphasised is very welcome. I'm sure pretty much everyone agrees with Prof Cox's sentiments on this subject. That being the case, I wonder if Prof Cox would ask Dr Singh about his evidence that recent warming has been significant. Doug Keenan says he pointed out to Singh that this claim was not supportable a couple of weeks back.

Prof Cox and Dr Singh are appearing on stage together in Cardiff tonight, so there should be ample opportunity.


Preposterous musings - Josh 97

More from the Muppet Meister (and a small tribute to Anthony for getting his paper accepted for publication)


Cartoons by Josh here



Toyland - Josh 96

More Cartoons by Josh here


Acceptable surface stations

Congratulations to Anthony W, whose paper on the surfacestations project has been accepted for publication.

Anthony is seeking support for the publication costs, so if you are still feeling flush after the BH tip drive, do head over there.


Simon Singh's fairy tale

Simon Singh has issued the next installment in his blog series about Fraser Nelson's position on climate change. I am somewhat in awe of this latest display, which is based around the idea that we should make policy decisions assuming a warming of 4°C/century.

Now, as readers here know, the IPCC's last forecasts of a 2°C/century warming are on the cusp of falsification (or even over it, depending how you calculate things), just over ten years since they were issued. Yet here is Dr Singh saying that we should base public policy decisions on the presumption of a warming twice as large!

One doesn't like to be rude, but who on earth bases public policy decisions on hypotheses that are already falsified? 

Who bases life and death decisions on a fairy story?


The Sunlight on Huhne

Via Guido, Bishop Hill readers' favourite politician, Chris Huhne has been receiving some attention from the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, who are insinuating some dubious practices in Huhne's election expenses.

If this sticks then we may get a new man at DECC regardless of whether Huhne chooses to go.