Posts Tagged 'Alarmism'



More climate change hysteria from Norfolk

It seems there is a correlation between the climate change obsession of the media and local authorities in Norfolk and their proximity to the University of East Anglia.  Perhaps we could come up with a causal link that we could report as incontrovertible.

No matter what happens in Norfolk, they see the hot hand of anthropogenic global warming behind it.  So it is that the Norwich Evening News reports today that Norfolk’s Fire and Rescue Service is spending £3.2 million on new 4×4 vehicles:

because climate change is causing more floods and heath blazes in Norfolk.

No matter what weather condition is experienced, be it warmer, cooler, wetter or drier, the climate change moster is behind it all.  But given we keep hearing that the effects of climate change are yet to be experienced and it could be decades or more before nature wreaks her bitter revenge on mankind for burning fossil fuels, these new vehicles must be expected to last a long time.

It was fascinating to see that Norfolk fire chiefs are now experts in climate and are qualified to ascribe the sometimes challenging conditions they work in to changes in the climate.  At least it was until we see our old friends at the Met Office have lined their pockets with more taxpayers’ cash by drawing up a climate change impact assessment.  Norfolk Fire and Rescue now feel bold enough to state:

And we know from work that the Met Office has done that for every one degree summer temperature hike you get up to 23% more fires.

Presumably it has nothing to do with an increase in population and more people using the local heathland.  Perhaps an increase in arson cases is down to people driven mad by the changing climate and feeling the need to set light to things.  Norfolk’s fire overlords go on to explain that the new appliances are required because:

In somewhere like Norfolk we have got Thetford forest and the peat at Methwold, which are susceptible to fires and we need to be able to get to them.

One wonders if the fires in Thetford and Methwold only became a problem after a group of scientists decided we were causing the planet to heat out of control.

Well, I suppose it’s one way to get extra money for fancy new kit.  One wonders how long it will be before the Ministry of Defence and the militray top brass start justifying the procurement of new toys on the basis that climate change will make it harder to conduct operations with existing equipment…

Catastrophe Denied

With a hat tip to Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That? here is a short video critique of catastrophic man-made global warming theory, based on presentation slides used in a series of public presentations and debates in late 2009 and early 2010.  The author is Warren Meyer, author of the web site climate-skeptic.com.

As Watts makes clear:

While the world has almost certainly warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age in the early 19th century, and while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible for some of this warming, climate alarmists are grossly overestimating the sensitivity of climate to CO2, and thus overestimating future man-made warming.

While the theory of greenhouse gas warming is fairly well understood, most of the warming, and all of the catastrophe, in future forecasts actually comes from a second theory that the Earth’s climate system is dominated by strong positive feedbacks. This second theory is not at all settled and is at the heart of why climate models are greatly over-estimating future warming.

While it dates back over a year we have not linked to this before.  It’s well worth a watch, especially as it will make sense to laymen.

Arctic Sea Ice – How Telegraph furthers eco spin against substance

Richard North, writing on his EU Referendum blog, has a stonking post that demonstrates the power of substance over spin – while underlining how far the media’s standards have fallen as it publishes assertions in letters columns that are demonstrably false; written by people posing as ordinary members of the public but who are in fact part of environmental organisations.

The letter (below, scroll down on this page), sent in by one ‘Roger Plenty’ from Gloucestershire, takes issue with Christopher Booker’s column last week:

North is having none of it, and rightly so, as the historical evidence-backed facts about the use of the North East Passage roundly pull to pieces Roger Plenty’s fanciful fiction.  North’s post is a triumph of substance over eco spin.

But perhaps there is more to this story.  It seems Plenty’s flight of fancy on the Telegraph’s letters page can be attributed to misleading ‘news’ reporting by the Telegraph itself.  Booker’s inconvenient truths have got under Roger Plenty’s skin before because this isn’t the first time Plenty has been motivated to send a letter to the Telegraph in response to Booker on the subject of Arctic Ice.  In September 2007, Plenty contributed this letter (below, scroll down on this page) citing a source for his inaccurate claim:

So it is not just sloppy fact checking by the letters editor, the Telegraph’s news editor let misleading information through into publication.  Small wonder the eco activist Roger Plenty felt on safe ground to make his assertion four years on.  Granted he is referring to the North West Passage back then and the North East Passage today, but there is a reason they are both known as ‘passages’ – namely that shipping could transit through them, which is a matter of record.

What this shows is that the media has a lot to answer for, publishing information without context, or omitting key facts, that falls apart under scrutiny of the evidence.  To his credit, North was making this point in respect of the Telegraph back in 2008.  But it is time we found out whether it is mere sloppiness or if the Failygraph is deliberately complicit in furthering the spread of misinformation?

Regardless, Roger Plenty and his ludicrous claims have been completely discredited, which is an important part of ensuring more people get the facts and are reminded not to believe everything they read in the press.

A new twist in the Wolfgang Wagner resignation saga

Following on from the previous post about the Spencer and Braswell paper… In an ideal world journalists like Richard Black at the BBC and Leo Hickman at the Guardian would try to find out if there was something more to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, which they reported in their traditionally biased fashion.

But given the BBC and Guardian acolytes, among others in the media, have an agenda  favourable to those who assert the world is warming and humans are to blame, what else can we expect? From to chairing conferences to delivering speeches and filing copy derived unquestioningly from press releases that enjoin people to accept at face value what they say, the BBC and Guardian.

Anything that raises questions about the actions of their friends in the alarmist ‘consensus’ is ignored or quietly shoved out of sight under the nearest convenient floor covering. Anything that goes beyond regurgitating the

This is why the blogosphere, so often derided by the oh-so-grand churnalists, is so important today.  This latest example of defacto censorship by the Guardian and outrageous bias exhibited by the UK’s taxpayer funded public service broadcaster, the BBC, can again be partially countered by bloggers who put the journos to shame and act in the public interest by searching for information and sharing the salient facts and background the media has deliberately omitted or tried to leave buried.

The lastest example of this can be found at the end of this post on Watts Up With That? which reveals information about a previously unmentioned relationship between Wolfgang Wagner and arch-alarmist who has been most affronted by the Spencer and Braswell paper – to the extent that Wagner issued an apology to him for publishing the paper – Kevin Trenberth.

What has been uncovered has the capacity to shed a somewhat different light on the motivation for Wagner’s resignation as editor in chief of Remote Sensing.  Yet the collective eyes, ears and mouths of the BBC and Guardian alarmists such as Richard Black and Leo Hickman will no doubt remain utterly immobile as they decide the information to be irrelevant and inconvenient to their agenda.

Dr Roy Spencer, adding to his previous thoughts on this incredible story and the reaction to the paper he co-authored, makes this comment (hat tip: Bishop Hill):

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

And as our focus on the media’s behaviour shows, it is an even more difficult proposition when those supposedly noble men and women of the news media – tasked with uncovering and reporting all the facts – are complicit in that group think and relay a distorted story to the general public.

How reaction to Spencer & Braswell underlines the corruption and politicisation of science

I want to tell you a story.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin…

Once upon a time there was a big, shiny, expensive computer system upon which programmes were run.  The programmes were written by very clever scientists to create projections of what things might be like in the future.  They called these projections ‘models’.

Some places had got very dry over the years so the very clever people wrote a programme to see what the models said was going to happen.  After the very clever scientists entered all the information and parameters they thought were important, they ran the models.  When the models came back they suggested that unlike in the past, the rain would no longer make anything outside wet.

Now, because the models were developed by a small group of some clever very scientists in very big universities who had been given a lot of public money to carry out research, they were accepted as actual fact by politicians who said there was a big problem that only they could solve.  Being part of the establishment, the media wrote lots of stories about this endorsing what the politicians said and telling people things would have to change.

Because of what the computer models had suggested, the government decided that everyone must install complex and expensive systems to use water from a brand new source to irrigate grass, trees, flowers, crops and bushes because lots of places were drier and the rain won’t make anything wet in future.  So with other governments around the world they made lots of new laws and created big plans and spent billions and billions of pounds, dollars, euros, roubles and yen to convince people of the need for this expensive change to watering things.

They also gave lots of peoples’ money to a lot of new campaign groups and businesses to go into schools and companies to tell them to had to change the way everything is watered.  It also gives lots more money to other scientists to start from what the small group of very clever scientists has already decided and find more reasons to agree with them and arrive at the same conclusion.

But all this seemed strange to a lot of people who thought there was still lots of rain and it was still making everything outside wet.  A lot of people were not convinced and they were called sceptics and they started to point out problems with the claims from the very clever scientists.  The governments were very angry because they were making lots of deals to spend money on big corporations they were friends with to develop solutions that everyone would have to use, making owners and shareholders very rich while ordinary people were left with less money. The media wrote lots of nasty things about the sceptical people and because the media was so clever and always right about everything they called those people ‘deniers’.

Not all very clever scientists agreed with each other.  Some of them became sceptical and started to examines in detail the real world observation of what happens when it rains.  Amazingly, when they looked outside and examined lots of data records, they found that not everything was drying up after all and the rain was still making things outside very wet and therefore the basis for everyone installing the government mandated water systems was flawed.

The sceptical scientists wrote a paper about this, and it was examined and tested by other very clever scientists in their discipline in a process called peer-review, before being accepted and published by a journal called ‘Remote Sensing’.  Those people who were not convinced by the need for watering change pointed at the paper as evidence that not everything was as the government and their very clever scientists made it seem.  They argued that the small group of clever scientists supported by the government might be getting things wrong and government should wait for more evidence before taking such sweeping, expensive and draconian action.

The media largely said nothing about the paper because after spending so long saying rain wasn’t making things outside wet anymore they don’t want to be proved wrong.  And besides, some of their pension plans depended on money made from investments in the new watering processes being made by the government’s corporate friends.

A little while later, the editor of the paper-publishing journal ‘Remote Sensing’ said he didn’t agree with the paper because of all those very clever scientists who believed rain wasn’t make things wet anymore because their computer models had been saying so for a long time now. So the editor resigned in protest and the media attempted to discredit the sceptical scientists, citing that one of them once had to alter a previous paper many years previously, and that he is in some way odd because he is a committed Christian.

The media agreed with another very clever scientist who said that the paper must by defintion be flawed until it satisfied all of the observations, agrees with physical theory, and fit the computer models.  He said this even though computer models are only as good as the data put into them by humans who are nowhere close to understanding all the complex relationships that causes nature to do what it does.  Although common sense and science in years gone by would have it that real world observation is the only reliable measure of any changes in nature and has the capacity to invalidate computer models, this very clever scientist and his friends had turned science on its head by claiming computer models have the capacity to invalidate observed reality.

It would have all been very confusing if one of the very clever scientists had not been caught out saying that even if they had to redefine what scientific peer-review is, they would somehow close down any views from sceptical scientists, even though doing so would utterly corrupt science and the correct way of furthering it.  But after putting complete faith in computer models and using them as the basis for lots of incredible projections that have never become reality, he had to put his own interests before his duty to science.

And for the ordinary people, nothing changed.  The governments continued to press ahead with their financially ruinous plans.  The media continued to exaggerate every story that fitted their narrative while refusing to cover any story that contradicted them.  The computer models continued to churn out projections that did not reflect observed reality.

——————————–

The real story is carried in the words of the sceptical scientist, Dr Roy Spencer on the excellent Watts Up With That? blog.  The media hatchet job is most prevalent in the Guardian and on its broadcast arm, the BBC.  Dr Spencer goes on to explain the findings in layman’s terms on his own website.   In response to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, Dr Roger Pielke Snr puts the politicisation of science into context.  And the ludicrous position on observations having to fit in with computer models as advanced by Dr Pete Gleick, and Dr Phil Jones’ comment about keeping sceptical papers out of the public domain, are both covered by Indur Goklany on WUWT.

What we are seeing is anti-science.  We are experiencing pseudo science that aims not to question or challenge, but to reinforce the validity of a body of opinion that is yet to make the jump from theory to fact.  It is being done to fit a political agenda.  It is a corruption of science and the latest example of why people should be sceptical of the claims made about climate change and its causes and effects

In closing, one comment left on Watts Up With That? sums up the situation superbly and deserves to be repeated widely to help others understand what really is going on:

This is all part of the same pattern that has characterized the warmists’ approach to climate “science” since the last century. They come up with models and use these to produce predictions which are then baptized as sovereign truth. In real science, they would have been required to demonstrate the predictive validity of their models before their predictions would be granted any confidence – and when observations contradicted predictions, they would have been expected to revise their models instead of beating the data until it fit the model outputs. Instead, thanks to Algore, Hansen, left-wing politicians looking for regulatory and legislative mechanisms to control the polity and extract more tax dollars, and a compliant left-leaning media hungry for “imminent disaster” headlines, the burden of proof has been shifted to those who challenge the modellers instead of being left where it belongs: with the modellers who still have not demonstrated the validity of their models. I simply cannot believe we are still discussing a theory that, 20 years after it went mainstream, has yet to produce a single scrap of confirmatory empirical evidence.

The extent to which the AGW true believers have warped the scientific method to serve their pecuniary and political ends is simply breathtaking. Climate science represents the greatest perversion of the scientific method since the Enlightenment. It is phlogiston, phrenology and Lysenkoism all rolled up into one big, fat, corrupt boil desperately in need of lancing.

Why we must check everything the media reports

A short tale from Bishop Hil about a 2008 Daily Telegraph article by Rosa Prince, in which she reported:

The UK is to be hit by regular malaria outbreaks, fatal heatwaves and contaminated drinking water within five years because of global warming, the Government has warned the NHS.

Following a major consultation with climate change scientists, the Government is issuing official advice to hospitals, care homes and institutions for dealing with rising temperatures, increased flooding, gales and other major weather events.

The reality, as Bishop Hill reveals, is rather different.  The message is clear, do not take what you hear in the news media at face value until you have personally uncovered and checked the facts.

Cost of My2050 tool becomes clear

Regular readers may remember this post back in March about Chris ‘Luhne’ Huhne’s launch of  the 2050 Pathways Debate.  To recap, this is what Huhne announced to Parliament about the latest strand of climate change propaganda directed at indoctrinating youngsters:

The 2050 Pathways Debate: having an energy-literate conversation about the UK’s options to 2050.’ Leading climate and energy experts will use the 2050 pathways calculator to present their personal view of how the UK can reduce its emissions by at least 80% by 2050, ahead of the online debate being opened to the wider public.

This blog submitted a couple of FOI requests to try and scratch the surface of the labyrinth of public money channels to understand how much has been spent on the My2050 website and where that money has come from.  Having had a quick look through some of the information on available websites it became clear two government departments and other organisations that provide ‘co-funding’ had a hand in the production of the My2050 site, so the following two requests were made:

Dear Department of Energy and Climate Change,

Please will you supply me with full details of:

1. The total cost of building, producing, maintaining and hosting
the My2050 website and tool

2. The sum total paid by DECC to Sciencewise-ERC and Delib in
relation to the production of the My2050 website and tool

3. The sum total of funding given to DECC from Sciencewise-ERC
through the co-funding arrangement

and…

Dear Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,

Please will you supply me with full details of:

1. The sum total of funding provided by BIS to Sciencewise-ERC in
2009 and 2010

2. Details of all BIS staff seconded to Sciencewise-ERC (non
steering group) for any duration during 2009 and 2010 and the
nature of the work they did

3. The sum total of funding given to other Government departments
from Sciencewise-ERC through the co-funding arrangement

4. The sum total charged to the Department for Energy and Climate
Change for work on the My2050 website and tool

While AM has been in hibernation, the responses have arrived.  We will look at the response from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) first.

So, in short the cost of the My2050 propaganda site to the taxpayer is £53,000 (excl VAT).  However, as question 3 shows, the cost of producing the ‘engagement’ activity surrounding My2050 is much higher, with £144,961 more (incl VAT) being pumped into DECC from Sciencewise-ERC.

Some people may think that is not so bad, after all that extra money has come from elsewhere rather than the public money allocated to DECC.  That is until you understand that Sciencewise-ERC is funded entirely by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). So what we have is a way of increasing the amount of money spent on climate change propaganda without it having been handed directly to DECC in the normal departmental funding arrangement.  A lot more money is spent on climate change than gets paid directly to the department responsible for pretending it can do a damn thing about it.

So that is why this blog submitted a separate FOI request to BIS.  The response from BIS is interesting for more than the sum it reveals is forked over to Sciencewise-ERC…

Question 4’s response is the most curious.  If you look above at the DECC response you see Sciencewise-ERC apparently devoted £13,000 of taxpayers’ money into the My2050 website and tool.  However BIS, while confirming the total grant funding of £144,961 that DECC mentions, seem to be at odds over the amount devoted to the website and tool.  The £13,000 DECC says it received specifically for the website and tool does not match the £17,625 BIS says was handed over for it.  But then, when it’s someone else’s money little things like accounting for its use don’t matter.

Is it any wonder the public pays so much to maintain the wheels of government when so much effort goes into adminstering this interdepartmental financial merry-go-round?  The waste, not only in terms of propaganda, but in terms of financing it through a complicated network of transactions that resemble something like money laundering, is staggering. And we foot the bill for politicians and their friends serving their own interests.

UK supports sustainable trade in ‘endangered’ Polar Bear parts

No, really.

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), believes that the Polar Bear is ‘vulnerable’ therefore at a high risk of extinction in the wild. Apparently it’s climate change and big oil to blame in case you were wondering. Although populations are reported to be growing or stable in many areas various agencies are convinced climate change could impact their numbers in the future.

Despite this we learn that DEFRA works through the UK’s membership of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to ensure that the international trade in polar bears or their parts is sustainable and does not further threaten the species’ survival in the wild. This inexplicable contradiction was revealed in a written answer to a question in Parliament shown below.

(click to enlarge)

So this is how animals we are told are at a high risk of extinction are protected?  Is it only the idiots in government circles who fail to see the irony of their contradictions and flatulent opinions?

Climate change propaganda and use of public money

Readers familiar with Heather Brooke’s book ‘The Silent State’ may find this one resonates with them.  Among the messages in the Mind Towers inbox this morning was an email from a frustrated reader who shares our annoyance at taxpayer funded climate change propaganda.

The reader has very kindly scanned a page from Darlington Council’s taxpayer funded rag, the ‘Town Crier’, which as you can see here is promoting ‘Climate Week’ and asking for people to come forward as ‘climate champions’ and after taxpayer funded training, tell other people to do more to tackle climate change.  The article is about a climate change adaptation initiative that has been run at the 160-year-old Gurney Pease Primary School, the oldest School in Darlington.  Gurney Pease is a ‘Climate Change Lead School’.  What is that, you ask? Apparently these Lead Schools are:

an organic and pioneering network of schools who build climate change understanding and positive action from the ground-up. Visionary schools and teachers are at the core of this approach, though the focus of the Project is on young people – helping them to achieve a better understanding of everything from the nuts and bolts of climate change science, to exploring how to positively adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.

The same link on Science Learning Centres reveals that:

The Climate Change Schools Project is a collaboration between Science Learning Centre North East (operated through Durham University), the Environment Agency (via the Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee), ClimateNE (the regional climate change partnership), the North East Strategic Partnership for Sustainable Schools, One World Network North East and the Association of North East Councils.

So many organisations.  That is a lot of public money sloshing around and a lot of taxpayer funded meetings and action plans being hatched.  No wonder our council tax keeps rising and service delivery continues to decline.

It transpires that schools taking part in the Climate Change Schools Project ‘Adaptation Challenge’, including Gurney Pease, each received funding of £3,000 through the Local Levy raised by the Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee (via the Environment Agency) and ClimateNE (via Defra). This is strange as you would think the Flood Defence Committee would focus its resources on, you know, flood defence.  We’ll come back to the flood risk to Gurney Pease shortly.

The idea was to initiate individual projects that demonstrate how schools can become hubs of [climate change] adaptation action by working with their local communities and businesses to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.

The message being preached to our children by teachers and organisations such as those at Gurney Pease and those throwing council tax payer Local Levy money around, is that climate change is going to flood the area and drive up air temperature.  No wonder the kids want to do something when they are spun such a line.  Ironically there is nothing in the adaptation work that deals with Gurney Pease being closed as a result of severe winter weather, which it was in November.

So the adaptation work to counter the supposed impact of climate change included: moving the boiler from the basement to ground level, raising all the plug sockets in the school, reflective film added to ‘new windows’ to keep classrooms cooler in summer, planting trees to increase shade in the playground, adding thermostats to ‘new radiators’ in each classroom for improved temperature control, and developing an outdoor classroom to provide a cool place to work.

Some thoughts… In an old school the risk of pipes bursting through age or freezing conditions like those during November and December obviously pose a risk to the boiler room, so it makes sense to move it from the basement. Raising plug sockets is something demanded by authorities with a mind to adapating buildings for disabled people who can’t reach sockets lower down. New windows can help stabilise temperature, but one wonders if the aim here was to stop the kids freezing during the winter. Likewise with new radiators, they don’t tend to be used when the sun is frying us. It would be interesting to find out if the tree planting counts towards any carbon offsetting observed by the Council. And with nearly 200 children on the roll, one outdoor classroom is not going to help many children at any one time.  It is worth asking if additional trees around the play ground will do more harm than good given the greasy and leaf strewn surface they will create in the autumn and winter.

Back to the flood resilience work that presumably played a key role in the £3,000 of Local Levy money being allocated from the Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee which speaks in these minutes of the need for value for money while spending £21,000 on the seven Climate Change Lead Schools for this project. Despite calls to Darlington Council we have yet to get a response to tell us how many times Gurney Pease has been flooded by the more frequent ‘high intensity’ rainfall that is predicted. There are no news items online that we can find.

We can also be sure that local rivers are not a factor because a look at the location of the school shows that even in the event of extreme flooding of the River Skerne, the school is not at flood risk, as the Environment Agency map which can be found here shows:

So what is really going on here – apart from a propaganda effort to ‘climatewash’ necessary maintenance work at the school, a concerted effort to terrify the kids into believing climate change is putting their school at imminent risk of deluge and suggest to them they are at risk of sunstroke?

Is this not just an example of work being done to improve the efficiency and energy consumption of a heating system and school building being hijacked by the AGW lobby to push their own agenda?

Is it appropriate to use public money levied for flood defence from local rivers – a real threat to a number of properties and businesses in the area as Morpeth demonstrated – to undertake such works at a school that is not under flood risk?  This is supposedly frontline spending that being used to perpetuate the PR of a mere theory lacking any hard evidence.

When people like Bob Ward whine about the funding of AGW sceptics, perhaps he should note all these organisations in receipt of public and big business (vested interest) funding to preach propaganda to kids about an unproven hypothesis.

Overheating Britain revisited

It was nearly three years ago that the global warming hype was running riot in the Independent. The Environment Editor, Michael McCarthy published a piece in April 2007 that began:

The possibility is growing that Britain in 2007 may experience a summer of unheard-of high temperatures, with the thermometer even reaching 40C, or 104F,a level never recorded in history.

Adding to the hype, inevitably, was the Met Office and Climategate central – the University of East Anglia’s CRU.  McCarthy reminded readers at the time:

The Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, in a joint forecast with the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has already suggested that 2007 will be the hottest year ever recorded globally.

A year after McCarthy’s breathless article and with poorer weather evident a now sleeping blog, The Daily Brute, wondered what had become of McCarthy’s speculation.  It seems rarely does a year go by when the Met Office and the propagandists at CRU are not declaring that we could experience the warmest year on record.  Indeed, they have already declared that 2010 (12th coldest year in the UK in the last 100 years) was a statistical tie with 2005 as the warmest year globally even though a substantial percentage of the globe does not have surface temperature stations.

The obvious thing to conclude here is that while Britain’s lower temperature must have played some part in dragging global temperatures down in 2010, freak conditions such as the intense heatwave in Russia must have had the effect of dragging them up. So it’s a misnomer to conclude that ‘global’ temperatures have risen.  The UK is part of the globe and the temperature here has fallen.  Indeed in many places temperatures were lower and in others warmer.  But the impression given by the climate hysterics is a uniform increase the world over, which is nonsense.

Despite this we can expect more McCarthyesque idiocy in the media fuelled by the money grubbers at CRU and the Met Office as their fixation with CO2 blinds them to the more powerful drivers such as oceanic behaviour and solar influence.

Climate idiocy and money grubbing continues

The EurActiv website leads with a story that ‘Flood studies bring climate change lawsuits a step closer’:

A leading climate professor says that new evidence which further reinforces the connection between global warming and extreme rainfalls is “extremely important” in setting out a methodology which could one day be used to sue fossil fuel companies for climate damage.

So we have this latest piece of alarmism about the floods in the UK in 2000, despite climate scientists who believe in AGW admitting after the floods in 2007 that there is no established link at all – and they said so in the British house journal of climate propaganda.

This is nothing more than a continuation of ‘computer model’ games.  If the model doesn’t give you the result you want, then you simply change the parameters and make adjustments until it does. Hey presto you then declare that the model ‘proves’ the finding you set out to achieve.  Then as your bandwagon trundles along people like Professor Carlo Jaeger of the Potsdam University for Climate Impact Research, whose funding depends on the existence of a problem to tackle, leaps aboard and provides media with scare story momentum. There’s nothing quite like vested interest, is there?

If as Nature magazine, home of the false claim that 40% of the Amazon was at risk of climate change in the Amazongate saga, contends:

There is no doubt that humans are altering the climate

perhaps they will be kind enough to provide the irrefutable evidence that no climate scientist possesses, that converts the man made global warming theory into a concrete certainty.  Maybe they should fairly reflect their propagandist behaviour by renaming themselves Climate Pravda.

Not education, propaganda

Since Mind Jr arrived home from school this afternoon I have been stewing with barely concealed anger.  For within minutes of getting in, a very earnest Junior sat down Mrs Mind and myself and solemnly announced that we would no longer eat red meat in our household.

The inevitable question ‘why?’ resulted in a detailed explanation concerning today’s Geography lesson.  It was there Junior was informed that red meat should not be eaten any more than once per week, we were told, because any frequency beyond that will kill us all with strokes or heart attacks – and in any case it contributes to global warming.

Conscious of the need to help develop Junior’s critical thinking capability, I asked her why she thought this message had been shared in the lesson.  She opined that the class had been taught this because it is good for us.  And right there was the heart of the matter.  No discussion about it in class, no contrary view presented, no balance to the message, just a binary condition of good v bad and that we must listen to what the ‘experts’ say.  So what we have is a curriculum item check box, duly ticked, relying on an appeal to authority with theory presented as fact and a class of 13-14-yr-olds duly brainwashed with the partial and biased opinions of the political class that formed the syllabus.

In Geography this week and in Science last week, the class had been fed the party line on global warming and health.  I probed further to see just how much they had been taught.

  • Which greenhouse gas is present in the atmosphere in highest concentration?  Methane.  Wrong, I explained. Had she been told about water vapour?  There had been no mention of it.
  • How much CO2 is there in the atmosphere?  That wasn’t covered either, so I explained it was 385 parts per million.  She was stunned.
  • How much atmospheric CO2 is produced by humans and how much by nature?  Most of it from humans she said.  No, only around 5% with the rest coming from nature.  Now she was bewildered.  Her next comment summed everything up when she said, cutting out red meat won’t make much difference then.

As for the dietry aspects, had there been any discussion of the effects of sugary carbohydrates, the benefits of the complex carbs and the relatively benign influence of proteins such as meat?  Clearly that was too much to hope for, nothing of the sort had been covered.

It is simply unacceptable that our children are being plied with propaganda in this way.  This is not an education, it is an indoctrination constructed by special interest groups.  Rarely have the lyrics of Pink Floyd been more appropriate, leave them kids alone.

Is Met Office trying to hide inconvenient temperature records?

On the excellent Watts Up With That blog, reader Steve Rosser writes:

…the UK Met Office website, it’s undergoing a refresh at the moment and the CET link seems to have been mysteriously cut.  It used to be readily accessible via the UK Climate summaries page, see below, however this link now redirects you to a global temperature page instead.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2010/

Thinking it may be a genuine mistake I e-mailed an enquiry and received a very polite response redirecting me to find it via the obscure link below.  It’s hard to argue that this location provides a sufficiently high profile for such an august dataset..

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/david-parker

It may be that the original link will reinstated over the next few days in which case this is a non story.  However, it looks suspicously like they are taking the focus away from the CET as after 2010 it’s showing an embarrasing disinclination to follow the AGW orthodoxy (+0.4 deg C since 1780).  To do so would be a betrayal of their lack of impartiality which I’d personally find very disappointing.  It would also send a message that rather than face-up and make the case for 2010 being a rogue year for UK temperatures they’d rather brush the whole thing under the carpet. I hope I’m wrong.

Purely by coincidence (if you believe in that sort of thing) as Anthony Watts points out, this ‘presentation of the data’ as the Met Office would put it follows the Central England Temperature Record getting a lot of attention of late. Watts relays what Joe D’Aleo at ICECAP pointed out recently (emphasis his):

The Central England Temperature record is one of the longest continuous temperature record in the world extending back to the Little Ice age in 1659. December 2010 was the coldest December in 120 years with an average of -0.7C just short of the record of -0.8C recorded in December 1890 and the Second Coldest December Temperature in the entire record (352 years).

Given such actions, some people might conclude that the Met Office is deliberately pushing records that fit with a pre-determined agenda, rather than long standing records that put recorded temperature into its much wider context.  Decide for youself. Meanwhile we will watch to see if the link is restored to its original, less obscure place.

Bastardi: A trace atmospheric gas can not push nature around

On his Sunday 6pm entry on his Accuweather blog, Joe Bastardi explains that the sudden collapse of the warmth in the equatorial Pacific has a lag effect on global temperatures.

Bastardi goes on to say that when one considers the amount of heat in energy in the oceans, and how it is stacked into the tropical oceans, one sees why the co2 argument about global warming is so far fetched. The section below puts his argument into context:

But the fact is this. YOU ARE THE DENIER if you dont think the oceans play an enormous role! And if you think that trace amounts of co2 in the atmosphere will push around the entire ocean-atmospheric system.. you are delusional. Seriously. I mean I am bending over backwards to say, okay lets watch this global temp the next 20-30 years, but if you dont see in the end the oceans are the main control ( if one does not start with the true source, the sun) then you really, that is almost incomprehensible.

Now the counter argument is that the oceans are warming because of the air above. Well then let me ask you this. How is the warming you think is occurring CANT EVEN FORCE THE COOLING OF THE STRATOSPHERE WHICH IS THE REAL SMOKING GUN?! A true positive feedback and tropospheric warming should be forcing a contraction of the stratosphere and major cooling. Nothing, nada, zilch. And the density considerations of the stratosphere are next to nothing compared to the oceans. So let me get this straight… you want to warm the oceans via the warmer troposphere above it, in other words have something with less energy push something around with much more, yet you cant even get the response first in what it should obviously be able to do?

But no matter how many scientists and meteorologists point this out the politicians and corporations press ahead with their lucrative plans for a low carbon world.  They have too many vested interests at stake to let the very serious question marks over the science of climate change knock them off course.

If you are on Twitter you can follow Joe via @BigJoeBastardi (and you can follow @Autonomous_Mind on Twitter too).

HRH The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales has again delved into the realm of spin and distortion as he took another opportunity to criticise AGW sceptics.  This time it was in a speech at one of his favourite institutions, the European Parliament (Hat tip: EU Referendum).

After offering some very reasonable observations about the destruction of rainforests, Charles enjoined environmentalists to stop honestly describing the things they want people to stop doing and pointing out that living environmentally-friendly lives means giving up all that makes life worthwhile.

Instead His Royal Highness wants the environmentalists to sell their view of an eco utopia by engaging in spin in the manner of his new initiative called Start, which aims to promote the benefits of supposedly sustainable living.  He is quite open about using PR and marketing techniques to hide the unpalatable truth and focusing on an illusory and contrived vision, as he made clear saying:

“As one advertising executive put it to me, we are ‘making it cool to use less stuff’.

Achieving the environmentalists’ outcome still requires people to give up things that make life enjoyable and worthwhile.  But of course, it is much easier for fabulously wealthy people like Charles, who will still enjoy the trappings of a fantastically privileged and taxpayer funded life of patronage and comfort.  A man whose call for such a vision would have a dramatic negative impact on ordinary people for whom day to day living involves accounting for every last penny and making daily choices such as paying a bill or having something more nutritious than value beans and chips for dinner.  But what else can we expect from a man whose only ambition in life, apart from becoming King, was to be Camilla’s tampon and whose world includes taking a white leather toilet seat with him wherever he travels.

Then it was on to delivering this swipe at AGW sceptics in typically idiotic and cack handed fashion:

I have to say, this process has not exactly been helped by the corrosive effect on public opinion of those climate change sceptics who deny the vast body of scientific evidence that shows beyond any reasonable doubt that global warming has been exacerbated by human industrialised activity. […]

[…] I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they failed their future.

I wonder, will such people be held accountable at the end of the day for the absolute refusal to countenance a precautionary approach? For this plays a most reckless game of roulette with the future inheritance of those who come after us.

Question. If as Charles claims the evidence shows ‘beyond any reasonable doubt’ that mankind is stoking global warming, why on earth is he criticising people for refusing to countenance a ‘precautionary approach’? With all due respect, how can we take seriously someone who makes such contradictory comments within moments of each other?

Actually, stuff the respect.  Respect is something that should be earned and the only thing Charles is earning is my enduring contempt.  Small wonder so many people want the Monarchy to skip a generation because the prospect of this doddery old fool being King is just so disturbing.  No qualification other than an accident of birth has provided him with a platform and all he does is spout ideological nonsense from a strange world that is divorced from the real one.

Rats in a sack

In an analysis of the Met Office and BBC’s role in the winter forecast fiasco, John O’Sullivan offers an interesting take on possible events behind the scenes:

A report by a top BBC environment journalist, Roger Harrabin, implied that the UK’s Coalition government might have blocked the so-called ‘secret cold winter’ forecast.  But is there more to this story than meets the eye and have dark forces in high places conspired to frame the veteran journalist?

The risk here is that heading off at a tangent into possible conspiracies and character assassination most foul diverts necessary focus from the taxpayer funded Met Office’s failure to issue a public forecast for the coldest early winter for more than 100 years.

For the millions of our tax pounds that are lavished on the Met Office we are entitled to something much better.  The fact is the Met Office claimed it warned of the extreme weather but the evidence now obtained shows it did not. Further it shows the quality and detail of the forecast is little better than what could be produced by examining chicken entrails.

Explaining the previous post

Excellent responses to the previous post guys.

I put up that post for a reason, and  just because I was bored.  It was to demonstrate how anyone can pick out some data and present it in a way that makes the point they wish.  But you already know this, so apart from being mischievous what am I really going on about?  Some of you smelled a rat as the emails that landed testify.

The point of the post was to be a lead in to a criticism of  Dr Kevin Trenberth, who is the most visible example of a scientist who guilty of making data look like something it probably isn’t.  Consider this assessment by Luboš Motl of the way Trenberth is using data in a document circulated to the American Meteorological Society (AMS):

So Hansen’s prediction for the 12-year interval is wrong by 0.60 °C. Now, Trenberth tries to downplay this error as a consequence of “short-term natural variability” that should be ignored and that has earned the label “travesty” just because of a typo. The error is obviously too tiny, he says in between the lines – and sometimes explicitly.

But note that this 0.60 °C discrepancy per the 12-year period is as high as the whole 20th century “global warming” that remains the main empirical argument in favor of the “climate disruption”. How is it possible that the change by 0.60 °C per century is a “sign of a looming catastrophe” while the same unexpected change by 0.60 °C – but now per 12 years (a much faster change) – is a tiny error or an effect that may be ignored?

It is on the strength of such selective use of data by Trenberth to to arrive at predictions – that are often used as a baseline by other scientists for their research – that hundreds of billions of pounds are being spent to ‘tackle’ something that is unlikely to be caused by humans, but equally might not be the problem it is framed to be.

If the temperature stalls or declines by a certain figure, it’s short term natural variability.  If it rises by the same amount, it is climate disruption.  Trenberth can’t have it both ways.  It is logical fallacy such as Trenberth’s that call into question the whole AGW narrative.

You couldn’t make it up

After Greenpeace blamed global warming for (edit) one of Israel’s worst ever fires, an investigation has revealed the fire was started accidentally by an environmentalist at an eco camp. HauntingTheLibrary has the story.

Can Guardian journalists get any more hypocritical?

There are publications with journalists that are ‘selective’ with the facts, then there is The Guardian. Uniquely among newspaper journalists, those earnest propagandists who inhabit The Guardian possess a sense of moral superiority and engage in double standards that would shame many other reporters.

The latest example comes from Damian Carrington writing on his Environment Blog, who takes the Arizona shooting murders and subsequent discussion about violent rhetoric, and attempts to superimpose it over the climate change arena to attack those who disagree with the alarmists.

On Planet Carrington (which is no doubt heating uncontrollably and where snow and ice is a thing of the past) the violent rhetoric seems to be a one way street, from evil climate change deniers / criminals / sceptics to those noble, selfless and unimpeachable climate scientists tainted by Climategate or their simple association with the man made global warming alarmist creed.  What else could we have expected? If nasty ‘right wingers’ are fair game then it follows the Guardian’s special loathing for anyone opposed to the AGW groupthink makes them fair game for this treatment too.

Abuse, threats, intimidation and genuine violent rhetoric are reprehensible and intolerable, no matter where they originate or where they are directed.  But for once it would have been welcome to see some balance from a Guardian journalist like Carrington. That is obviously too much to ask. Which is why it falls to blogs like this to shine a light on the other side of the coin… there is enough out there and here’s a few examples:

In a post titled: ‘There will be blood‘ Carrington showed up his rank hypocrisy as he himself described the ‘No Pressure’ 10:10 video (embedded within his post) of children being blown up for ignoring their carbon footprints thus:

It’s most definitely striking and if you haven’t watched it yet – taking into account the warning that it contains scenes some people may find disturbing – do so now, before I give too much away.

Even after 10:10 took down their video, Carrington scurried off to YouTube and found another copy to link to so it could stay on his blog. He then asked his readers:

Had a look? Well, I’m certain you’ll agree that detonating school kids, footballers and movie stars into gory pulp for ignoring their carbon footprints is attention-grabbing. It’s also got a decent sprinkling of stardust – Peter Crouch, Gillian Anderson, Radiohead and others.

So it seems violent rhetoric and imagery was perfectly acceptable to Carrington as it furthered his agenda and was ‘edgy’ and sprinked with stardust.  Nice to have him out of the intolerance closet.  Here’s a few others:

Why climate change deniers should be blown to bits…

Finnish environmentalist recommends that climate change deniers be “re-educated” in eco-gulags and that the vast majority of humans be killed with the rest enslaved and controlled by a green police state…

(link)

Met Office: smokescreen, confusion or conspiracy?

This whole story is becoming a tangled mess.  But it is important to stick with it because that could be exactly what the protagonists want, in the hope that people give up, turn off and let them quietly move on without any consequences for their actions…

John O’Sullivan, writing in the Canada Free Press, reports that the BBC has served a Freedom of Information request on the government concerning the Met Office’s private forecast to the Cabinet Office.  Plenty of other people have already served similar requests so this news initially resulted in a mere shrug of the shoulders.

Until that is, reading on into paragraph three forced me to do a double take.  For it is there we see what, if I am correct, is a completely new and unreported allegation connected to the story:

Last week the weather service caused a sensation by making the startling claim that it was gagged by government ministers from issuing a cold winter forecast. Instead, a milder than average prediction was made that has been resoundingly ridiculed in one of the worst winters in a century.

The emphasis in the quote is mine. I stand to be corrected, and I invite readers to share with me any reports that bear out this claim, but this is the first time I have seen any suggestion that the Met Office was gagged by the government from issuing a forecast projecting a cold winter. Until this article the Met Office has said on more than one occasion that it gives seasonal forecasts to the government that it no longer makes public because people supposedly told the Met Office they did not find seasonal forecasts useful.  But I can find nothing that suggests the government ordered the Met Office to withhold the forecast from the public.This represents a complete departure from the narrative to something altogether more serious.

The consequences of the gagging allegation would be extremely serious.  Either John O’Sullivan has accidentally misreported the facts in his article, in which case he can retract and correct it – or he has been briefed with a previously unreported version of events.  If it the result of a briefing, then the only possible explanation for it is a concerted effort to put up a smokescreen, sow confusion or shift scrutiny from the Met Office on to the government for the conflicting forecasts, that were put in the public domain and given to the government respectively. If that is the case it would mean there is a conspiracy afoot.

What sparks particular interest about this story is the continued intimate involvement of the BBC’s Roger Harrabin.  Far from reporting the story impartially, there is more than a suggestion that Harrabin is actively engaged in formulating it in conjunction with the Met Office.  It was Harrabin who in the Radio Times (subsequently reported by the Telegraph and Daily Mail) broke the story that a cold winter forecast had been submitted to the Cabinet Office – but interesting there was no story on the BBC’s own website about it at the time.  Harrabin effectively became a spokesman for the Met Office with that piece and notably, as highlighted on this blog, his use of language was clearly an attempt to influence the story and portray the Met Office as an unfairly maligned party.

Returning to the Canada Free Press piece, John O’Sullivan explains he contacted Harrabin to:

ascertain if the Beeb had a better handle on the story

Because of the Harrabin connection to the original story and this new piece, what needs to be clarified is whether O’Sullivan believed that the government had gagged the Met Office from his own understanding, or if this element of the story was shared with him by Harrabin as background.  O’Sullivan shares Harrabin’s reply to his question about the BBC having a better handle on the story thus:

Harrabin advised me, “I phoned the Met Office about this statement and the Met Office press office told me they’d given information to the Cabinet Office that we were facing an early cold winter.”

Mention of the ‘secret’ cold winter forecast appears in the Quarmby Report (Section 2.4) which states, “The Met Office gave ‘early indications of the onset of a cold spell from late November’ at the end of October.”

Giving a strong hint that a major rift appears to have opened up between Met Office chief executive, John Hirst and Climate Minister, Huhne, Harrabin further revealed, “The Beeb now has an FoI [freedom of information request] to Cabinet Office requesting verbatim info from [the] Met Office.”

We need to understand which statement Harrabin is referring to, the original or this previously unheralded accusation of being gagged by government ministers.  What we do know is that the Met Office version of events reported in both the Telegraph and the Daily Mail articles which originated from Harrabin, made no mention at all of any government gag of the department in respect of the winter forecast. Indeed, they suggest the Met Office chose to withhold them fearing ridicule of the forecast was wrong.

So we are no clearer about just where has this story of the government gagging the Met Office has come from.  If O’Sullivan learned about this new episode he reports as a result of communication with someone then he needs to say where it came from.

There are some other less pressing but nonetheless unanswered questions that need to be examined.

The first one concerns the Freedom of Information request the BBC has submitted.  As the Met Office had told Harrabin their story of an early winter forecast delivered to the Cabinet Office, why do they not simply cut to the chase and give Harrabin a copy of the communication they sent?  Is it likely such information – a weather forecast – would be restricted?  Is there a deliberate attempt here to play the ‘no smoke without fire’ game and cause confusion while focusing attention on the government?

There also remains the unanswered question about why the Met Office publishes its temperature probability maps, but then renders them of absolutely no tangible use whatsoever because they all carry a disclaimer that they are not forecasts. What is the purpose of these maps and why are they not forecasts?  No adequate answer has been provided.

Returning finally to the O’Sullivan piece, readers are told that:

In what may well be an orchestrated manoeuvre between the Met Office and Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC the freedom of information demand will heap huge embarrassment on David Cameron’s gaffe-prone coalition government.

At this time the only orchestrated manoeuvre seems to be is between the Met Office and certain journalists who are bought in to the climate change alarmism promoted by the Met Office, namely Roger Harrabin and Steve Connor of the Independent. The rationale for this is that the Met Office is wholly compromised.  Just yesterday, as made clear in the update on this post, their blog was used to maintain their stance on global warming while contradicting statements from their own climate scientist Peter Stott.

** It seems incredible that all of this stems from an organisation’s desire to stick doggedly to their belief in the concept of man made climate change and refusal to deviate from their predictions of subsequent warmer, wetter winters. With those not materialising they are twisting themselves into unbelievable contortions and now seemingly enlisting the support of prominent journalists to help them save face and their substantial funding. With that still not having the desired effect we see the stakes being raised with the possible briefing of allegations of gagging by Ministers and dark hints of malfeasance in public office.  This is not environmental concern, it is politics.


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