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

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Tip jar again

I've switched on the tip jar again, in case anyone wants to contribute to the ongoing running of the site. All contributions gratefully received.


Global warming debate at Oxford

The SPPI blog has a report on a global warming debate from the Oxford Union starring three lords a-leaping - namely Lawson, Leach and Monckton. It sounds like good knockabout stuff...

Lord Monckton, a former science advisor to Margaret Thatcher during her years as Prime Minister of the UK, concluded the case for the proposition. He drew immediate laughter and cheers when he described himself as “Christopher Walter, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, scholar, philanthropist, wit, man about town, and former chairman of the Wines and Spirits Committee of this honourable Society”. At that point his cummerbund came undone. He held it up to the audience and said, “If I asked this House how long this cummerbund is, you might telephone around all the manufacturers and ask them how many cummerbunds they made, and how long each type of cummerbund was, and put the data into a computer model run by a zitty teenager eating too many doughnuts, and the computer would make an expensive guess. Or you could take a tape-measure and” – glaring at the opposition across the despatch-box – “measure it!” [cheers].


DEFRA expenditure

Some time ago I got an analysis of the total expenditure of the Department for Schools Children and Families. Given the recent focus of this site on global warming and greenery, I thought it would be interesting to see what DEFRA (that's the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) had been spending the taxpayer's money on too.

I haven't got time to analyse this right now, but if you'd like to flag up anything interesting in the comments, feel free. The file is attached below.

DEFRA expenditure


It's going to get even hotter

That's the headline in the Times, reporting on the recent spell of hot weather.

But wait, what's this? They actually seem to be talking about tomorrow's weather rather than climate change. In fact the whole article doesn't seem to mention climate at all.

A miracle just happened!


Big smoke again

I'm off to London again later this week - having not been for years, this is now the second time in a month. This time I'm going (British Airways and Icelandic volcanos permitting) to the launch of the next two titles in Stacey International's Independent Minds series, of which The Hockey Stick Illusion forms a part.

Bob Carter's Climate: The Counter Consensus, is a popular account of sceptic positions on climatology and I imagine will get a great deal of attention. Stacey have kindly let me have a peek at the proofs and I think I'm going to enjoy this one.

The other book is by the French sceptic Christian Gerondeau. His book, The Climate Delusion, takes issue with the mitigation strategies being proposed by governments around the world and was a big success in France, where it was published as CO2, Un Mythe Planetaire.


It's very exciting to find myself in such exalted company. Carter and Gerondeau apart, the invitation comes from Stacey and Nigel Lawson, so I expect there to be some big hitters present. And with a bit of luck there should be some media people there for me to chat up too.

Josh is coming along to do some cartoons of the whole thing and of course I'll write a report on the day's events. Then there are more people to see and more stuff to do before flying back north the following day.

I really must try to earn a living some time.




Climate disinterest

The Guardian is reporting a continuing decline in all sorts of indicators of public concern over global warming:

...interest in climate change fell from 80% of respondents in 2006, to 71% last year and now stands at only 62%. Only 80% say they are interested in where electrical power is made, down from 82% the previous year.

Other recent polls have recorded a similar drop in public alarm about the imminence of climate-triggered disaster. The number of climate change agnostics – those unsure whether human activity is warming the planet – has risen from 25% in 2007 to 33% now.

I must say a bit more interest in where electrical power is made is probably warranted, particularly now we have Chris Huhne in charge of energy policy in the UK.


The idea of Oxburgh

Updated on May 19, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

One of the most troubling aspects of the scientific inquiry into the Climatic Research Unit was the appointment of Lord Oxburgh as chairman. Oxburgh's many links to the renewables industry and to green campaigning organisations (disclosed or otherwise) are now common knowledge among followers of the climate debate.

Click to read more ...


American Spectator on McIntyre

The American Spectator has picked up on the Heartland conference's muted reaction to Steve McIntyre's keynote presentation. was an extremely odd audience reaction: McIntyre received a standing ovation upon his introduction, thanks to his dogged research and unrelenting demand for information and accountability, but then his blase' attitude about scientists' behavior -- particularly Mann's -- left most of the audience cold and some even angry. The applause for McIntyre was tepid upon the conclusion of his remarks. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

As Roger Pielke Jnr has explained, the Nature trick doesn't seem to amount to fraud "as it is defined in the academy". I must say, I'm not sure I understand how the academy defines such things, but there are clearly many who would apply real world definitions in these circumstances rather than one used solely in academic circles. The question is, who is right?


More from Heartland

Another Roger Harrabin report from the Heartland Conference, this time looking at the question of whether sceptics are all right-wingers.

Audio stream here. MP3 below.




Harrabin on Heartland 2


Harrabin on Heartland

Roger Harrabin has posted a short report from the Heartland Conference which is actually not too bad. There are a couple of irrelevant asides about tobacco funding, but there is a definite change in tone.

I wonder why?

There's an MP3 attached below.


Harrabin on Heartland


More on fudge and fraud

RP Jnr says I've misrepresented his views in the post before last. If so, then I apologise.

I'm still not sure that I understand Roger's views precisely. I think the confusion may be based in the semantics of the terms "fudge" and "fraud" and I want to explore the subject again here.

Click to read more ...


David Mackay at Oxford

This is another guest post by DR. David Mackay is Professor of Physics at Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Climate Change.

Another talk from Oxford. This is my report of David MacKay’s talk on Sustainable Energy – without the Hot Air in the Department of Engineering Science on 13 May 2010.

Click to read more ...


Everybody does it

RP Jnr links to a review of the Climategate story by Der Speigel and has a fascinating discussion with his readers in the comments thread below.

The point at issue is Mike's Nature Trick and the question of whether it amounts to scientific fraud. Der Spiegel describe the trick as follows:

Click to read more ...


Interacademy Council hearings

The Interacademy Council hearings into the IPCC have commenced and there are some presentations here. I can't say they look desperately interesting. No mention of the problems that the panel is to investigate as far as I can see.

Richard Black has a report here.


Elizaphanian on science and the Hockey Stick

Sam Norton, who by day is a churchman - the Rector of West Mersea in Essex - has written a very interesting post about the Hockey Stick and how layman can assess the competing arguments.

When McIntyre started up his Climate Audit blog, it was the equivalent of the 95 theses. In just the same way as Luther believed himself to remain a faithful Christian, and not be inventing a new religion, (and, in fact, had the church responded with integrity, he would have remained a Catholic) so too do McIntyre's criticisms not raise any questions about the theory of scientific investigation. Instead, the questions raised are about the current practice of that scientific investigation, most especially with regard to paleo-climatology and the weight given to certain alleged results in that field.

Read the whole thing.