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Discussion > New Daily 9.45m Radio4 Alarmist PR series

Imagine a daily show where Ronald McDonald and co were given 15 mins each day to paint a romantic picture of their world.
And that no countering voices were allowed, either in the show or indeed at ANY time on the network. if talk of hamburgers was fine and talk of obesity was banned.
That's the situation on the BBC as regards Climate Change Alarmism
It is nurtured and scepticism is banned.

May 21, 2018 at 10:27 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Show intro Five scientists, working in different parts of the world, bear witness to some of the dramatic changes to our planet that have occurred in their lifetimes, as the global climate warms.

1. Marine biologist and underwater diver, Professor Callum Roberts of the University of York, has seen coral reefs that were once multi-coloured and teeming with life reduced to grey, lifeless underwater landscapes with devastating consequences for marine bio-diversity ....
(...em that sounds like drama queening, cos after the El Nino years the coral tends to recover
There is no talk of world coral coverage being down 30% or something)

Just 0.1% of the ocean life is coral reefs but they support more than a quarter of all the species that live in the sea.
(hmm more dramatic claims )

May 21, 2018 at 10:31 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Flippin heck episode 1 is a a hailstorm of rapid words.

'Zooxanthellae is the magic ingredient in coral that photo-synthesises allowing more rapid growth.'
(For first 5 mins he doesn't mention climate change, just El Nino)

'Coral bleaching comes during El Nino when warming causes the Zooxanthellae to become toxic and it must be expelled'
..(note he doesn't mention other causes of bleaching like disease, stresses etc.
.. There seemed to be something to do with short term local sea level changes in Australia last El Nino , if coral tops normally protected by water, were then exposed to direct sunlight much more and got zapped)

6:13s "by the end of 1998 a quarter of the world corals were dead"
(He didn't make a connection between El Nino and GW except with these words ..)
At Rio Earth Summit in 1992 tackling Climate Change was identified as a priority for the planet
but this mass coral death put the world on notice
The death of coral reefs gave Climate Change greater prominence & a new sense of urgency
and it galvanised the global network of researchers that formed to track new coral mass mortality events and monitor recovery.
My ..
As time passed bleaching afflicted more reefs and recovery was patchy
... many predicted future worlds with little coral
I HAD TO SOMETHING ! the world need to know what we knew..Politicians had to act !
(.....dramatic sea sounds ...

May 21, 2018 at 10:48 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Climate and Me .. (He continues)
In 2009 I was invited to a meeting on the future of coral reefs at the RS (management entryism by climate alarmists)
... This was year of the Copenhagen Climate Conference
and we wanted to send a clear message to negotiators as to what the world stood to lose from inaction.
There is always 10 years left to save the planet or so it seems
.. environmental organisations know that optimism is more motivating than despair, & tailor their messages accordingly
(***** ping ping ping on the BS detector
.. Actually environmental organisations know that despair is ABSOLUTELY more motivating than optimism
.. they scream wolf at any opportunity)
(I do wonder if masters of dark PR like Bob hasn't spent days honing these scientist speeches)

May 21, 2018 at 11:03 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

(he continues this is still min 8 of 15..and I started at 6min)

but at that RS meeting in 2009 I saw the first time that we had run out of road.
The geological record was unflinching.
"Coral reefs flourish best at 350 parts per million or less of atmospheric carbon dioxide"
(..hmm AFAIK that is an extraordinary claim, without any extraordinary evidence
Corals have been around for millions of years, during which time the earth's gases have been all over the place
and at the same time we don't know precisely what they were in any given decade to start talking about such a precise sweet-spot sounds ridiculous
Just look at how prior to 1960 CO2 was at 314ppm, is he seriously saying that they know coral had lower growth that time , compared to 350 in 1988 ? )

We broke thu that level in 1988
(It is wrong to assert that have never happened before
even if you think in the 2 million year history of man it's always been below 350)
By 2009 it was 387ppm and CLIMBING FAST !
(Remember the measure he is talking about are not the daily measurement which varies greatly from Winter to Summer, but the annual average)
No wonder reefs were in trouble , we'd already overshot !
To secure a healthy future for coral we'd have to somehow catch that CO2 and put it underground

.. (whoa ...we seem to have gone into a game of Chinese whispers
His argument is that
#1 peak El Nino's lead to coral bleaching ..that's PARTIALLY true
#2 That the global temp is rising ..that's true in general, but NOT new
#3 That CO2 is the proxy for increasing temp .. 'a hand on the thermostat'
Except no one says that rising temps are 100% due to CO2
Most say that temperature rise has 2 components : the general rise as we come-out of an ice age and a possible component from GREEHOUSE gases effect..remember CO2 is only 1 GHG with water vapour being the main one,
And there is discussion about the proportion contributed by those 2 components.

#3 That rising temps will kill coral and it will not recover
But there are two things there are many types of coral living at many different temperatures
So when you say Coral X won't like a 2C temperature rise, people will say that Coral Y a few hundred miles nearer the equator already lives at a temp 2C warmer than coral X

#4 ..Now he has leapt to a new assertion that even if we stop producing CO2 we have to catch existing CO2 to drive it back down to 350ppm
but we know that CO2 is NOT the only driver of temp
That coral at location-1 will have been living at a lower temperature 100,000 years ago
and will probably without man be living at a different temp 100,000 years in the future with possible drift into new location
Most people would say he has jumped a few steps there
First you have a growing trend-in-CO2 emissions , so an aim would be to stabilise that
that would mean ppm would still increase but at a stabilised rate
then you'd look to stabilise actual emissions so that the growth in ppm-trend would start to fall
then you look to cut emissions below today's levels, but ppm would still increase
However if you got some new magic energy source, say fusion then you stop all CO emission and ppm would become static
Then you could use that new energy to such CO2 out of the atmosphere
..However even if you get ppm back to 350 then the temp in location1 will still be rising but just due to natural factors.
Of course if nature throws up some super volcanoes in that time, then the dust from them would reduce the planets temperature.

May 21, 2018 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterstewgreen

Then you could use that new energy to SUCK CO2 out of the atmosphere

May 21, 2018 at 12:33 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

blah blah
2015 Paris, "by late 2015 it had killed only a few Pacific coral reefs"
(Does he mean that ? or rather mean that parts of the reef were dead and not yet occupied by new growth ?)

But it was enough to convince the leaders of some small island states to call for emissions cuts
Their efforts prevailed ..agreement to limit temp to 1.5C
(note he means by 2100.. the temp will rise naturally above that whatever man does )

Early in 2016 El Nino event engulfed the GBR killing 30% of its coral
(is that actually true ? AFAIK the GBR is not 30% smaller today )
then it spread into the Indian Ocean
(..dramatic sea sound effects again ..)

May 21, 2018 at 12:38 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Every year I take a class to the Maldives

(he mentions that the reef had recovered almost 100% the last time)

This time in 2017 I went back to utter devastation 99% of the coral was dead

For years I clung on not wanting to believe
probably irreversible
11:24s Especially when you add into the mix the problem of Ocean Acidification (pseudo-science ?)
...blah blah risking the complete collapse of reef building

..the narrative has shifted to "what can we save ?" .... it turns out that fish are crucial to coral recovery ..parrotfish
where fishing is intensive seaweed take over reefs, wherever parrotfish thrived seaweeds cropped short , coral boomed back fast

... On a visit to Maldives earlier this year, 2 years after bleaching, I found the coral sprouting back fast ..

... In another decade ... unless ..the reefs might regrow in the cascades of coral
There is cause to hope ...

BUT further set backs are inevitable , given predictions of more frequent and extreme ocean heatwaves in the decades to come.
When the hits come faster than reefs can recover from them further decline is certain
The heyday of coral is likely at an end ...

I am coming to terms with that bleak prohesy
but I will do anything in my power to soften the blow ..end

May 21, 2018 at 1:01 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

( Interesting that he tells us about Maldives utter devastation then 2 minutes later talks of returning to normal
There to me is confusion when you say "30% coral DEAD"..cos that implies the reef is also dead
but our town doesn't die cos we die is just part of the natural phenomenon.

See how he had previously used dramaqueening words )
"utter devastation 99% of the coral was dead
For years I clung on not wanting to believe
probably irreversible "
(Then after 2 years he comes back, tells us of great recovery and
"In another decade ... unless ..the reefs might regrow into the cascades of coral "

May 21, 2018 at 1:04 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

A PR trick is to drown you in a storm of words.
... so that you only have chance to pick up on SENTIMENT and walk away with that
It took me 2 hours to listen to that 15 minute piece properly.

May 21, 2018 at 1:17 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Series has 5 scientists so I guess Callum has another episode

Ah Bolt has video of the Peter Ridd sacking

May 21, 2018 at 2:14 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

May 21, 2018 at 10:48 AM | stewgreen

1. Coral bleaching is the result of coral dying, and does not have to be due to temperature change.

2. Coral has always died. Dead coral is an ideal home for new coral to grow.

3. It is time for the coral experts to identify the survivable temperature range of corals.

4. Then they can list the other reasons why coral bleaching events are not unprecedented:

"EPISODES of coral bleaching resulting from dissociation of endosymbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) from host coral tissues have occurred with increasing frequency over the past decade on reefs throughout the tropics1,2. These episodes have usually been attributed to increases in sea water temperatures3–10, but the mass bleaching events that occurred throughout the Caribbean during 1987 and 1990 were not readily explained by temperature alone11,12. An additional factor that may have contributed to these bleaching episodes is ultraviolet radiation in the 280–400-nm band. At many localities where bleaching occurred in 1987 and 1990, sea conditions were described as extremely calm with exceptionally clear water13. In the absence of suspended organic and inorganic matter in the water column, higher than average intensities of ultraviolet radiation probably reached all depths within the photic zone for several consecutive months. Evidence for a possible link between ultraviolet radiation and coral bleaching has not been forthcoming2. Here we report results of a field experiment showing that, irrespective of high water temperatures, short-term (three weeks) increases in ultraviolet radiation of a magnitude possible under calm, clear water column conditions can readily induce bleaching in reef-building corals."

May 21, 2018 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

August 17, 1999, Sydney University Professor Ove Hoege-Guldberg:
”Reefs around the West Indies in the Caribbean look as though they will be gone by 2020 while the Great Barrier Reef will probably last for just another three decades," he warned. BBC news webpage

> 10 Best Scuba Diving Sites in the Caribbean ...

May 21, 2018 at 3:27 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Yeah, cos a Travel and Tourism website is always gonna tell it like it is, right?

Very severe coral bleaching affected all these islands in 2005, when abnormally warm water temperatures exceeding 29°C and up to 31°C sat over the coral reefs from mid May to mid November. Many island states reported that more than half of their corals bleached with a large proportion of these subsequently killed;
zx In 2006 many corals were still bleached or were infected with coral disease, such that coral losses continued, with many countries reporting losses of about 50% of their previous coral cover;

Status of coral reefs of the Lesser Antilles: The French West Indies, The Netherlands Antilles, Anguilla, Antigua, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago


Excellent program, I thought. Looking forward to tomorrow.

May 21, 2018 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

I was struck by the fact that there was - from a so-called scientist - a singular lack of scientific evidence, and a hyperbole of sentiment. Pathetic, I thought.

May 22, 2018 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaddy

Well, it was billed as a personal response by a scientist, not a scientific response by a person, the science is clearcut and well-supported and he referenced it more than enough: 19% of reefs lost globally and 60% under threat. Warm water reefs at the top of their thermal tolerance, bleaching events becoming more frequent, and likely to be annual before long. Pretty grim, for the science, you could do worse than start here:

Despite their importance, coral reefs are facing significant challenges from human activities including pollution, over-harvesting, physical destruction, and climate change. In the latter case, even lower greenhouse gas emission scenarios (such as Representative Concentration Pathway RCP 4.5) are likely to drive the elimination of most warm-water coral reefs by 2040–2050. Cold-water corals are also threatened by warming temperatures and ocean acidification although evidence of the direct effect of climate change is less clear. Evidence that coral reefs can adapt at rates which are sufficient for them to keep up with rapid ocean warming and acidification is minimal, especially given that corals are long-lived and hence have slow rates of evolution. Conclusions that coral reefs will migrate to higher latitudes as they warm are equally unfounded, with the observations of tropical species appearing at high latitudes “necessary but not sufficient” evidence that entire coral reef ecosystems are shifting. On the contrary, coral reefs are likely to degrade rapidly over the next 20 years, presenting fundamental challenges for the 500 million people who derive food, income, coastal protection, and a range of other services from coral reefs. Unless rapid advances to the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement occur over the next decade, hundreds of millions of people are likely to face increasing amounts of poverty and social disruption, and, in some cases, regional insecurity.

May 22, 2018 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil's lot are professional wolf criers
As soon as one scare prediction failes to materise they move on the cherry pick another one
eg Peter Wadhams ongoing predictions "Arctic will be ice free next year, oh I meant next year" etc.

Caribbean reefs are like all reefs affected by clumsy reef tourists walking on them, and relic hunters and by last years hurricanes
... but they will very very likely still be there in 2020
Through history there is a reoccurring pattern of bleach and recover
..and in the very long term there are evolution effects like different species thriving.

May 22, 2018 at 1:13 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

…there are evolution effects like different species thriving.
Unless, of course, that, like climate change, evolution has now stopped, so any changes that there might be must be a Bad Thing – nay, A Very Bad Thing! – and are all the fault of humans.

May 22, 2018 at 2:08 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Which part of '50% loss' is giving you the problem Stew? Meanwhile, we lost 30% of some of the most important corals on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 …

Global warming is rapidly emerging as a universal threat to ecological integrity and function, highlighting the urgent need for a better understanding of the impact of heat exposure on the resilience of ecosystems and the people who depend on them. Here we show that in the aftermath of the record-breaking marine heatwave on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016, corals began to die immediately on reefs where the accumulated heat exposure exceeded a critical threshold of degree heating weeks, which was 3–4 °C-weeks. After eight months, an exposure of 6 °C-weeks or more drove an unprecedented, regional-scale shift in the composition of coral assemblages, reflecting markedly divergent responses to heat stress by different taxa. Fast-growing staghorn and tabular corals suffered a catastrophic die-off, transforming the three-dimensionality and ecological functioning of 29% of the 3,863 reefs comprising the world’s largest coral reef system. Our study bridges the gap between the theory and practice of assessing the risk of ecosystem collapse, under the emerging framework for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Ecosystems, by rigorously defining both the initial and collapsed states, identifying the major driver of change, and establishing quantitative collapse thresholds. The increasing prevalence of post-bleaching mass mortality of corals represents a radical shift in the disturbance regimes of tropical reefs, both adding to and far exceeding the influence of recurrent cyclones and other local pulse events, presenting a fundamental challenge to the long-term future of these iconic ecosystems.

“When corals bleach from a heatwave, they can either survive and regain their colour slowly as the temperature drops, or they can die,” Hughes said. “Averaged across the whole Great Barrier Reef, we lost 30% of the corals in the nine-month period between March and November 2016.”

From <>

Alarming, not alarmist.

May 22, 2018 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

So, RR, the corals are going to evolve themselves out of trouble?


May 22, 2018 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

PC @5:10pm

So Terry Hughes is like erm... a prominent JCU person and AGW promoting media person then?

I note that Hughes' work contrasts starkly in terms of exposing his methodology with cited papers like the bleaching database

I cannot escape the feeling that Terry is one of Peter Ridd's leading tormentors.

I see the UQ crew at your linked piece say warm water coral reefs are scheduled to go extinct about the time diesel cars are banned (and they have retired) and use a slew of wobbly "statistics" to contrive that purported outcome.

As usual you present tertiary skewed interpretations of work from avowed catastrophists.

Next up - El Niño is worse 'coz of climate change.... Sea temperature history on the GBR must have seen similar excursions in the past (the dry land certainly has) - not much info out there on that topic is there?

May 23, 2018 at 6:47 AM | Registered Commentertomo

As usual you present tertiary skewed interpretations of work from avowed catastrophists.

Au contraire, you present ad hominem arguments against a prominent and distinguished academic recognized by Nature in 2016 as one of the “10 people who mattered this year” while I gave direct and relevant quotes from several peer-reviewed journals. Primary sources. It is abundantly clear that nearly a third of the GBR died off in 2016, the warming trend is unlikely to decelerate, bleaching events will become more common and warm water corals are in dire trouble.

The bleaching database you admire is curated by Simon Donner, who clearly has no issue with Hughes' methodology:

I wish I could say that this widespread death of corals comes as a surprise. It doesn’t. Scientific research, including my own, has been warning for almost two decades that the fate of the world’s coral reefs depends on actions to slow global warming. A look back at some old work on the subject shows just how critical a time this is for the climate, for coral reefs, and for scientists.

And here is Donner's 'elevator pitch' on AGW

Do you a new smear for him? Not alarmist, just alarming.

May 23, 2018 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Mr Clarke (May 22, 2018 at 5:12 PM): and what “trouble” might that be? And, please… do not quote Nature at us – that publication jumped the shark a lo-o-ong time ago. I wonder how corals cope with the changing sea-water levels, salinity, causticity and temperatures that they experience four times a day. Just a little research shows that they have managed quite nicely for a few million years, so what they are experiencing, now, in what small change there has been in the last 200 years, I am sure they are well able to cope with.

You do understand the basics of evolution, do you? When an environment becomes less suitable for one species, that species will either adapt or move away to places they prefer, and another species will move in to replace them. While individual species may not evolve, the reef, itself, can do so, quite easily.

Tomo: your first link is too full of faults to even bother trying to disassemble the entire screed. Let’s try a few, though:

…have raised concerns about the future of coral reefs on a warming planet.
Is the planet warming? The past 2 years have seen an “unprecedented” (to use the vernacular of the alarmists) global fall of 0.56C; what if this is to continue, at that rate? By 2020, the global temperatures will be back to where they were at the end of the Little Ice Age. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I find that prospect more alarming than it being a little warmer.
Prolonged ocean temperatures of only 1–2°C above the range of usual coral experience…
Now, what exactly does that mean? Has the ocean temperatures risen by that much? A little research shows that the oceanic rise is just a few hundredths of a degree C – i.e. unmeasurable, and well within any envelop of variability.
…during a period of rapid climate change…
I wonder if any specific examples of climate change can be given…? Oh… No, there will not be – whereas a change in temperature can be identified (and easily ridiculed), “climate” is such an amorphous concept that no change can possibly be identified, but the alarm about it changing can be maintained without anyone being able to challenge it.

May 23, 2018 at 12:04 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Phil you really are a clueless prat with little / no appreciation of the scientific method.

Perhaps that's why you work for an eco-NGO and spend your time doing paid trolling / campaigning / preaching ?

@RR - I know ...

But at least they show a modicum of transparency and one doesn't have to dig far to find their data - Hughes is an unashamed and deliberate catastrophe merchant front and centre - all the time. One doesn't have to look very far / dig deep to find academic eco-activism CAGW driving the over-egging of observations.

May 23, 2018 at 8:06 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Tomo: I managed to miss a wonderful chance for a pun – I should have disassembled the dissemblers!

I wonder why they are so fixated on alarmism? Could it be that they are rather worried about getting the same treatment as Peter Ridd, should they apply actual Science. (As an aside, odd how the rather evocative term, “bleaching” is used, when no actual bleach is involved. I wonder why they have not tried using a more accurate term…)

May 23, 2018 at 9:10 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent