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Thursday
Sep182014

Antarctic confusion

With the sea ice in Antarctica breaking extent records again this week, New Scientist seems to have taken it upon itself to engage in a bit of damage limitation on behalf of the global warming movement. Its article today declares that the growth in sea ice is in fact caused by global warming (who would have thought it?!). 

There doesn’t actually seem to be any research to back this up – there is no link to a new paper or anything like that. We just have a couple of talking heads with a rather impenetrable explanation of their case:

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep172014

AskDrMann

Michael Mann is having a Twitter Q&A under the #askdrmann hashtag. Do take a look at it. Some of them are really quite amusing.

Wednesday
Sep172014

The OAS and replicability

The news that there is a new learned society for atmospheric scientists is very exciting and I'm sure that everyone at BH wishes those behind the move every success.

The focus is inevitably going to be on the Open Atmospheric Society "throwing down the gauntlet to the AMS and AGU" angle, but I'm also struck by the "throwing down the gauntlet to scholarly publishers" angle, summed up in this important position statement by the OAS regarding its journal:

[There is a] unique and important requirement placed up-front for any paper submitted; it must be replicable, with all data, software, formulas, and methods submitted with the paper. Without those elements, the paper will be rejected.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep162014

The Texas textbook massacre

Leo Hickman points us to an article by the Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg:

Texas proposes rewriting school text books to deny manmade climate change.

Sounds pretty interesting. Here's the article. In it we learn that:

Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank.

The proposed text books – which come up for public hearing at the Texas state board of education on Tuesday – were already attracting criticism when it emerged that the science section had been altered to reflect the doctrine of the Heartland Institute, which has been funded by the Koch oil billionaires.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep162014

Prosecute scientific misconduct

Richard Smith, the former editor of the British Medical Journal and an expert on peer review, has called for scientific misconduct to be criminalised:

After 30 years of observing how science deals with the problem, I have sadly come to the conclusion that it should be a crime, for three main reasons. First, in a lot of cases, people have been given substantial grants to do honest research, so it really is no different from financial fraud or theft. Second, we have a whole criminal justice system that is in the business of gathering and weighing evidence – which universities and other employers of researchers are not very good at. And finally, science itself has failed to deal adequately with research misconduct.

The point about fraud and research grants is an interesting one. Would it be possible to prosecute people under existing common and statute law? My guess is that it wouldn't be. And if we need new laws, how exactly would you frame them? Perhaps readers with legal qualifications can provide some clarity.

Tuesday
Sep162014

Our neutral civil service

I awake this morning to find my timeline awash with spam from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, furiously retweeting the launch of a report by the New Climate Economy group, a group of green-minded economists headed by Lord Stern and including such eco-figureheads as Ottmar Edenhofer.

 

 

In fact there were so many retweets about the report that I could only repost a few here.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep152014

Dixon of crock green

BH favourite Richard Dixon points us to this article in a dicky-looking journal called Environmental Health Perspectives. Sound the alarm, cries the great man:

New US study shows living near gas wells, including sites, is bad for your health.

The study is here. A few interesting features:

  • The authors suggest the study is "hypothesis generating" not conclusive.
  • The study was funded by green billionaires.
  • The underlying survey was performed with the assistance of an anti-fracking group.

Sheesh.

Monday
Sep152014

It's just about the...kerching, kerching

Deep pocketed billionaires are being urged to splash the cash on global warming campaigns rather than any other of the causes so dear to green activists.

The call to hike climate change spending is unprecedented in its scale, with the signatories – all winners of major environmental awards – taking out a full-page advert in today’s International New York Times.

They include former Green Party chairman Jonathon Porritt, Bianca Jagger and Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project of exotic ecosystem-domes in Cornwall and which hopes to prompt a “tipping point” in climate action.

I hear rumours that there is significant measure of climate fatigue among US philanthropists, so this may well represent a distress signal from our environmentalist friends, who have long enjoyed fabulous wealth.

Look out for attempts to make up the shortfall from taxpayers.

Friday
Sep122014

Artificially flavoured, naturally variable - Josh 293

Flavours being added all the time.

Cartoons by Josh

Friday
Sep122014

Diary date, communication edition

There is to be a Westminster Hall debate on October 23rd to consider the Science and Technology Committee's report on Communicating Climate Science. No details of time yet.

Friday
Sep122014

Scientists decline the poison chalice

When it was announced that David Mackay would be stepping down from his role as chief scientific adviser at DECC, I speculated that it might be a tricky vacancy to fill, what with rumours of blackouts impending.

Here we are nearly six months later. Mackay has gone and no scientist seems to have stepped forward to take up the poison chalice.

I would say they chose...wisely.

 

Friday
Sep122014

The inescapable urge to indoctrinate

The latest edition of School Science Review, a journal of the Association for Science Education, is a climate change special, featuring a review of mainstream positions on global warming by Eric Wolff and a host of other articles covering everything from how better to get children on board the global warming bandwagon to a look at biofuels.

Most of it is paywalled, but you can see the covering editorial here, although to tell the truth it's not particularly exciting. I was struck only by this sentence:

Some teachers may not agree that it is our duty to campaign but we surely have a duty to inform our students where the science is clear, and it is important to teach them about what is complex and uncertain and not known.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep112014

Manns rea?

Things seem to be hotting up on the Michael Mann front, not least because Steve McIntyre seems to have returned to blogging with a vengeance, assisted as always by his trusty band of followers. Today, the climate auditors have turned up another rather embarrassing problem with Michael Mann's legal submission. This document claims that Mann had nothing to do with the infamous cover graphic for the WMO report of 1999, of hide the decline notoriety. Unfortunately, the claim is directly contradicted by Mann's own CV.

I found myself thinking about another of Mann's claims this morning. This was prompted by a comment on David Friedman's blog about Mann's claim in MBH98 that he had used "conventional" principal components analysis. The author of the comment wondered if this could in fact be true. But readers of the Hockey Stick Illusion will recall that the claim of "conventional" was actually only made about Mann's processing of temperature data. Regarding the tree ring data we were only led to understand that PCA had been used.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep112014

A marvel and a mystery

Updated on Sep 11, 2014 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

A warm welcome to the climate blogosphere for Kate Marvel, a theoretical-turned-climate physicist at the Lawrence Livermore laboratory.

Dr Marvel's new blog can be seen here, and the first couple of posts make fascinating reading. Today's effort is right up my street, considering the empirical evidence for global warming.

[I]ncreased carbon dioxide warms the lower atmosphere (closer to Earth), but cools the upper atmosphere (closer to space).  I will probably write more about this later but for right now you'll have to take my word for it (or go here).

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep102014

Nuclear brouhaha

It looks as though there's a bit of a kerfuffle developing over Friends of the Earth and their stance on nuclear power. It seems that the Today programme (via Roger Harrabin, I think) has reported that FoE is in the process of reversing its stance of complete opposition. FoE staff are furiously tweeting that it is not true.

I haven't heard the Today segment, so I can't comment either way. I'll update if I hear anything.