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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.

Tuesday
Sep092014

Shale gas getting cheaper

People like BNEF talk about UK shale gas being expensive and hard to extract, although they have not, to the best of my knowledge, ever published the report that they claim justifies their position. In the meantime evidence continues to surface that the technology of shale gas extraction is developing apace.

Just a year or so ago we were talking about breakeven points of $6 for most shale plays in the USA, but as Natural Gas Intelligence reports, US producers seem quite able to get product to the surface at prices below $5:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep092014

Diary dates, Hardaker edition

The Institute of Physics' London Branch is to have a lecture from the Institute's new head, Professor Paul Hardaker.

Challenges in Predicting the Weather and Climate Wednesday, 19 November 2014, 18:00 – 20:00

Meteorology is still a relatively young science with lots of interesting challenges remaining for physicists in improving predictions of our weather and climate. The talk will outline the some of these science challenges, including the contributions made from developments in modelling and observations and how we handle uncertainty in predictions. The talk will also touch on the challenges of communicating the science to the public and policymakers.

Details here.

Tuesday
Sep092014

More retwardian discourse

Back in August, Bob Ward took a pop at Matt Ridley, berating him among other things for an alleged misrepresentation of the global record on drought. Matt's argument was, he claimed "grossly misleading". Much amusement was had when I flagged up the evidence that Matt had cited and Bob mumbled and shuffled before suggesting that the decline wasn't statistically significant. We determined that "grossly misleading" means "correct" in retwardian.

Today Bob is on the case again, spending his tax-funded time to berate...Matt Ridley. This time he is arguing about Matt's case that transient climate response - the amount of warming we will get in the short-term - might be as low as 1.35°C per doubling of carbon dioxide. This figure is sourced from the Lewis and Crok report on climate sensitivity.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep082014

Your taxes at work

This appeared in Hansard recently:

Kerry McCarthy (Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs); Bristol East, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in (a) his Department in the UK and (b) British embassies and high commissions overseas work on climate change-related diplomacy; and what projections he has made of the future staffing requirements for such work.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep082014

Diary date, millenarian edition

6:30 pm — 8:00 pm on Tuesday 28 October 2014 at The Royal Society, London

Join Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society and Lord Stern, President of the British Academy, as they discuss the new opportunities – and need – for collaboration between the traditional academic disciplines to respond to the big issues of our time, highlighting why the UK’s research base is such an important national asset.

Sir Paul Nurse has been President of the Royal Society since 2010. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001 and is also Chief Executive of The Francis Crick Institute.

Lord Nicholas Stern of Brentford became the 29th President of the British Academy in July 2013. He is IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, and also Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Details here.

Monday
Sep082014

The BBC Board and its climate alarmists

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.

Not a surprise.

Monday
Sep082014

Clouting the consensus

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.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep082014

What every politician should know about climate models

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.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep072014

Manndacity, integrity and Amazon reviews

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]

Saturday
Sep062014

A saching 

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:

Click to read more ...

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