David Keighley has in interesting article up at the Conservative Woman, which looks at the membership of the new BBC Executive Board. Several of its members seem to be keen on climate alarmism.
I have a briefing note out at the GWPF, updating my earlier report on the Cook 97% consensus study with all the interesting new details that have emerged in recent months. Here's the press release.
London, 8 September: A new briefing note published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation examines claims made by a great many commentators across the world, including President Obama and Ed Davey, of an overwhelming consensus on climate change. These depend on research that has been subject to public and entirely unrebutted allegations that it is fraudulent.
Last week Richard Betts of the Met Office got a bit grumpy with me over my comments about Keith Shine FRS. In discussing remarks Shine had made to parliamentarians about climate models I had said that I felt it was grossly misleading of him to restrict his remarks about their reliability to a reference to "...state-of-the-art climate models, which are our embodiment of the laws of physics as applied to the atmosphere..." Richard felt this was unfair, noting Shine's high integrity.
Shine has certainly never come to my attention before as one of the "bad guys" so I am happy to accept Richard's assurances on this point. Nevertheless, I stand by my comments. What Shine told his audience about GCMs gave a thoroughly misleading impression of how reliable GCMs are. This is perhaps understandable as Shine speaking as part of a panel of prominent scientific peers, all of whom were keen to get the message across to the parliamentarians, all of whom were keen to hear a message of alarm (this was the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group, after all). In such an atmosphere it's easy to overstep the mark.
Via Tom Nelson we learn that Michael Mann is misbehaving again. This time he's soliciting favourable Amazon reviews of his execrable book and he's also soliciting unfavourable ones of The Hockey Stick Illusion.
He doesn't seem to have got much of a response so far, which I suppose is fair enough given that it will take people a while to read the book. In fact, only one Mann fan appears to have been disreputable enough to write a review without actually reading the book (leaving aside Guardian columnist Dana Nuccitelli, who did so a few years ago, but without any prompting from the Hockeystickmeister).
The author of the new comment, one Alexandre Araújo Costa, turns out to be a Brazilian climatologist. Let me say to my friends working in the area: you really do need to deal with the rot in your profession.
[Postscript: I notice an earlier review by one Dave Kiehl from California, who says that the Hockey Stick Illusion "gave too much credit to such well-known (and documented) climate deniers and liars, James Inhofe and Joe Barton". This is, shall we say, a little odd since the book doesn't give Barton any credit for anything, simply recording his actions at the time. Inhofe is not mentioned at all. Another reviewer who was able to do his stuff without actually bothering with the book itself]
From time time to time I have noted the tendency among upholders of the climate consensus to hurl strongly worded accusations of wrongdoing or abusive epithets at their opponents, apparently without considering it necessary to provide any evidence in support of their allegations. I'm thinking here of Nigel Lawson or Owen Paterson being described as "deniers" by just about every left-wing journalist in the country, without apparently needing to justify the accusation in any way and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
There was yet another example of the same thing today, with economist and left-wing talking head Jeffrey Sachs aiming brickbats at Matt Ridley on account of his recent article about the lack of any surface temperature rise:
I had a request from Richard Betts to do a cartoon on this paper in Nature about soil CO2 emissions. The abstract says soil emits "60 petagrams of carbon per year to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide”.
If we are to have any hope of tackling spiralling energy bills, improving our country’s energy security and stopping dangerous climate change, we must vote to decarbonise the power sector by 2030.
Caroline Flint, shadow Energy & Climate Change Secretary, June 2013.
The future of Thoresby and Kellingley coal mines has now been in limbo for more than five months, which raises concerns about energy security. Both the Business Secretary and the previous Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, said that they were not open to supporting or providing state aid, but the new Minister of State has indicated in meetings that he may be open to state aid, so will the Secretary of State clear up once and for all whether the Government will consider providing it?
Caroline Flint, shadow Energy & Climate Change Secretary, September 2014.
There should be a big coming of age party for the pause in the next month or so. On one measure it's now 17 years, 11 months old, so depending what temperatures do in the near future the pause should be heading for the local boozer for its first pint.
In fact on other measures the pause is already well into adulthood, as Matt Ridley reports in the Wall Street Journal.
Well, the pause has now lasted for 16, 19 or 26 years—depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere. That’s according to a new statistical calculation by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada.
It has been roughly two decades since there was a trend in temperature significantly different from zero. The burst of warming that preceded the millennium lasted about 20 years and was preceded by 30 years of slight cooling after 1940.
This has taken me by surprise. I was among those who thought the pause was a blip. As a “lukewarmer,” I’ve long thought that man-made carbon-dioxide emissions will raise global temperatures, but that this effect will not be amplified much by feedbacks from extra water vapor and clouds, so the world will probably be only a bit more than one degree Celsius warmer in 2100 than today. By contrast, the assumption built into the average climate model is that water-vapor feedback will treble the effect of carbon dioxide.
But now I worry that I am exaggerating, rather than underplaying, the likely warming.
Updated on Sep 5, 2014 by Bishop Hill
After Paul Nurse's outburst yesterday, my thoughts turned to the end of his term as president. The Royal Society elects its leaders for a period of five years so Nurse will step down at the end of 2015.
Who, we wonder, will replace him?
One assumes that I am not the only one who has wondered about the succession; the backroom boys at the Royal are no doubt taking soundings already. The Society likes the man at the helm (thus far it's always a man) to have a Nobel prize in the display cabinet, which does rather restrict the field. I'm not aware of a list of living British laureates, but perhaps readers can suggest likely candidates. One name that occurred to me was John Sulston, the medical scientist who shares some of the millenarian views of many recent holders of the post.
The Telegraph is reporting that the nuclear plants in Lancashire that EDF closed a few weeks ago will not now reopen until December at the earliest.
On Thursday [EDF] announced that the reactors, which produce enough power to meet more than 4pc of winter demand, would only be returned to service gradually between the end of October and late December.
“Dates for returning the stations to service depend on the findings and completion of the inspections,” EDF Energy said.
The delay leaves Britain facing the first months of winter with significantly less power capacity than had been expected to help keep the lights on.
This report of Julia Slingo's recent lecture at the Institute of Physics was originally posted in the discussion forum by a reader. I thought it worthy of elevation to the main blog. My thanks to "Colonel Shotover" for his efforts.
Frances Saunders, president of the Institute of Physics, introduced the lecture, telling us she was particularly delighted to welcome JS, first because her work on climate models showed the importance of physics to everyday life, and second because she was a woman, and so critical in supporting the objective of getting more women into physics. A cynic might suggest that these represented the twin pillars of government science: obtaining funding by demonstrating ‘relevance’ and supporting government policy objectives in return.
A retweet into my Twitter feed points me to an article in the Guardian. Paul Nurse it says, is wants people to "call out serial offenders who are using misinformation on science issues". The article is here.
Nurse is calling for malefactors to be "crushed and buried", which sounds as though he has been reading too much of the Marxist literature he apparently favoured at one time, or perhaps indicating too many hours spent in front of Game of Thrones. Amusingly though he doesn't seem to want to call out and crush any such bad people himself, nor even it seems to give them a gentle squeeze:
We have to be aware of, and beware, organisations that masquerade as lobbying groups, which we see a lot in climate change. We have to be aware of politicians that cherry pick scientific views, even ministers who listen to scientists when it's about GM crops and then ignore them when it's about climate change,
We know who he means of course, because he has made such allegations against Nigel Lawson in the past. On that occasion, Nurse got himself into a bit of a pickle, unable to defend himself from Lawson's accusation that he was lying. Eighteen months later, he is reduced to repeating the general allegation, still without any specific details of the offence, but this time minus the name as well.
You have to laugh.
The Mail's coverage includes this from Benny Peiser:
Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, accused Sir Paul of using 'the language of extremism'.
'If he can't live with critics and sceptics that is too bad. But there is no need to use this kind of violent and aggressive vocabulary.
'Scepticism used to be a sign of science itself. When scientists cannot cope with that, and instead use this language of extremism, it is a sign of desperation, a sign they are losing the plot.'
You’re allowed to say, well I think we should do nothing. That’s a policy choice. But what you’re not allowed to do is to claim there’s a better estimate of the way that the climate will change, other than the one that comes out of the computer models. It’s nonsensical to say ‘we know better’, you can’t know better.
Professor Brian Cox appears averse to the idea that data trumps hypothesis.