Storia di Charles J Morabito

  • Nato nel 1924 (o 1916, o 1919) a Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (zona di Cleveland)
  • Figlio di Sam e Mamie
  • Fratello di Frank, Anthony e Frances
  • Completato il primo anno delle superiori (High School)
  • Qualifica di “Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor” – conducente di automezzi
  • Ultimo indirizzo in America: 9022 Kinsman Rd, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
  • Arruolato al Camp Perry Lacarne a Cuyahoga County, Ohio il 3 marzo 1943, “per il resto della guerra, piu’ 6 mesi” nell’esercito USA con la matricola 35050065
  • Catturato dall’esercito tedesco nel dicembre 1944 durante la “Offensiva delle Andenne”
  • Probabilmente assegnato alla XVIII Divisione di Fanteria, nel Reggimento 106, 109, 110, 111 o 112
  • Passa alcuni mesi in prigionia a Bad Orb, vicino Francoforte, con il numero 35050065.
  • Diventa prigioniero di guerra 25084 al Campo di schiavitu’ e sterminio di Berga dal 18 febbraio 1945
  • Descritto dal compagno di prigionia Joe Mark come “sconsiderato”
  • Tenta la fuga nel Marzo 1945, probabilmente il giorno 15. Viene catturato quando si ferma a mungere una mucca dopo settimane di stenti
  • Muore, probabilmente fucilato sul posto con proiettili di legno
  • I sopravvissuti vengono liberati dopo alterne vicende il 18 aprile 1945
  • La sua tomba a Berga viene fotografata per caso dal NARA. Nel 2006 quella foto verra’ stampata sulle pagine dell’IHT e notata da me
  • Il corpo rientra negli USA intorno al 1948
  • Il funerale con la famiglia e gli amici viene svolto il 14 dicembre 1948
  • Sepolto al Calvary Cemetery di Cuyahoga County

Mancano ancora molti “dettagli”….

BBC – Beyond Parody

They looked everywhere around the world to find a counterpoint to the severe cold gripping the UK, and lo and behold, they found…Chicago!

No mention of Vancouver, of course. Or of the fact that they are making the strongest case for totally decoupling weather from climate, thereby making climate change as pointless as ever.

If these are the standards followed everywhere else at the BBC, there’s lot of “news” that ought to be reconsidered as petty propaganda pieces.


Ciao Charles. Ti Ho Trovato.

After more than four years of research, I have finally found the resting place of Charles J Morabito (1919-1945), killed during an escape attempt from the Berga extermination camp, around one month before (some of) his fellow prisoners were liberated.


This has been quite an emotional event to say the least.

UEA News: Help Rebrand The University Of East Anglian Silly Walks!

London and Norwich, 26 Nov 2010 (MNN) – In an effort to reposition itself after the Climategate debacle, the University of East Anglian Silly Walks (aka UEA) is launching today an international competition aimed at exposing its true nature in a new spirit of transparency.

However, due to budgetary concerns and in order to lower CO2 emissions, the acronym will have to remain the same. This means the additional challenge for all budding brand experts is to come up with a more meaningful long-form for “UEA”.

Among the proposals received so far:

  • University of Eventful Archives
  • University of Expanded Animosity
  • University of Excised Adjustments
  • University of Extreme Airs
  • University of Enough Amusement
  • University of Effectively-measured-data–changing Attempts
  • University of Expert Attacks
  • University of Erased Authority
  • University of Expanded Alterations
  • University of Easy Annoyance

ps Sadly, all FOI requests to UEA for details about the above will never be fulfilled, as there was a North Korean student once at the University and any openness would be contrary to Juche.

Four Steps For A Climate Policy Beyond Scenarios And Fear

Very interesting review by Tim Lewens in the London Review of Books with (explicit) reference to a “new” way to select a rational climate policy, beyond the usual soup of running scenarios designed to deal with worst-case and in general of applying the precautionary principle in order to stifle innovation and institutionalize killjoyfulness. In summary:

  1. We should aim for “concrete recommendations that are thoroughly in accordance with precautionary thinking in remaining humble about our state of knowledge, while taking into account the full range of scientific evidence
  2. However, the precautionary principle on its own is no guidance to policy decisions when facing great complexity and uncertainty, as both action and inaction might lead to disaster
  3. Cost-benefit analysis is not much better, as it simply collapses complexity and provides “a bland expression of uncertainty” that strongly depends on the (lack of) knowledge and understanding of the system at hand
  4. Instead, the first step of a good policy is to “examine how our proposed interventions will fare under a range of different plausible scenarios for the unfolding of a complex system, picking the strategy which has a satisfactory outcome across the largest range of future scenarios
  5. The second step is to “assume that the world may not behave in a manner we expect it to, and therefore make sure that the strategy we choose can be undone or altered with reasonable ease
  6. Another problem for a good policy is to avoid falling victim of “optimism bias” (overestimating the likelihood of outcomes one favours) and “affiliation bias” (the dependency of a researcher’s results on his/her affiliation)
  7. The third step is therefore to “to be attentive to the institutional sources of the data“, in order to understand and perhaps even remove the biases from the policymaking “picture”
  8. The fourth step goes even further for the same aim, and involves “broad public participation

Very shortly: know your science, know its limits, know its biases, involve as many people as possible, pick a policy that looks best across many scenarios and can be easily changed.

Now, it is pretty easy to argue that the IPCC has failed on all fronts: by fixating on worst-case analysis thereby restricting the range of scenarios; by not assuming that the world may not behave as expected, steering quite clear of providing any sign of being humble about anything; by refusing to consider the bias of its own authors and editors, through its flawed review system; and by consistently trying to keep the public at bay, with countless elitist “summits” only good for people on expenses and/or without a day job.

It will be interesting to compare the above with whatever Roger Pielke Jr has written in “The Climate Fix” (also with “Look Inside”), a book I bought a few days ago.


And now for some quotes from Lewens’ review of “Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity and Policy” by Sandra Mitchell, 
ISBN 978 0 226 53262 (available at with the “Look Inside” feature enabled):

[...] on the important matter of what decision-makers can do to handle complexity [...] Mitchell’s book is at its best. Nearly all the systems we care about – the global climate, the human body, the international financial system – exhibit the various forms of complexity she dissects.

[...] A typical reaction, displayed in many policy documents, is that when dealing with scientific uncertainty in relation to important systems, policy-makers should adopt a precautionary approach. [...] Both unintentional vandalism and irresponsible dithering can lead to disaster. Those who oppose precautionary thinking often argue that it becomes incoherent or dangerous when spelled out in detail. The problem is that precautionary thinking is supposed to help in situations of uncertainty; that is, in situations where we lack knowledge, or where our knowledge is imprecise. But since decisions under such conditions tend to have the potential for grave outcomes whichever option we choose, we need guidance on how to err on the side of caution.

High-profile opponents of the precautionary principle, such as Barack Obama’s new regulation tsar, Cass Sunstein, have argued [for] a form of cost-benefit analysis as the best way to ensure that the potential costs and benefits of all courses of regulatory action – including inaction – are placed ‘on screen’.

Mitchell’s critique of cost-benefit analysis is a familiar one. It is suitable for well-understood systems, unfolding over short time periods, where we can assign probabilities with confidence. But the probability of a given outcome – financial profit, the extinction of species, an increase in sea levels, high blood pressure – in whatever system we are analysing will often vary significantly with small changes in the starting conditions, with our assumptions about the causal interactions within the system, and with variation in background conditions as the system evolves over long periods of time. Our estimates of these conditions will often be imprecise, or thoroughly conjectural, in spite of the apparent precision of the cost-benefit methodology. The question is how to turn uncertainty of this sort into trustworthy policy recommendations.

Mitchell’s stance on these matters is not new [...] but her way of justifying it is particularly crisp and compelling. Simple cost-benefit analysis will tend to collapse a rich understanding of the complexity of a system into a single set of all-things-considered probability estimates for its likely end-states. In so doing, Mitchell says, we mask our grasp of complexity, and replace it with a bland expression of uncertainty.

[...] once we do acknowledge complexity, two strategies become available. First, we can examine how our proposed interventions will fare under a range of different plausible scenarios for the unfolding of a complex system, picking the strategy which has a satisfactory outcome across the largest range of future scenarios. Second, we can assume that the world may not behave in a manner we expect it to, and therefore make sure that the strategy we choose can be undone or altered with reasonable ease. The end result should be a set of concrete recommendations that are thoroughly in accordance with precautionary thinking in remaining humble about our state of knowledge, while taking into account the full range of scientific evidence.

[...] The question of how good a particular outcome would be, were it to arise, should be wholly independent of the question of how likely that outcome is. And yet it turns out that we tend to overestimate the likelihood of outcomes we favour, while underestimating the likelihood of outcomes we don’t want. This is known as ‘optimism bias’. And ‘affiliation bias’ results in (for example) the conclusions of studies on the effects of passive smoking varying according to the authors’ affiliation with the tobacco industry. Needless to say, these psychological results suggest that policy-makers need to be attentive to the institutional sources of the data they use. And this, in turn, underlines a long-standing theme of work among social scientists, who have claimed that broad public participation in risk planning may increase the quality of risk analysis. Mitchell’s stance on policy isn’t complete, but perhaps that is to be expected in a complex world.

How AGWers Endangered Humanity

Continuing in the policy of “elevating” otherwise lost comments deep in some blog post’s thread, here some insightful and quite sad thoughts by TAG at Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit. They should provide ample food for thought even to the most panicking AGW catastrophist:

In the 70s, I worked with someone who had worked in Guyana and had married a woman from there. In a coincidence with SMc, he worked for a mineral survey business. He was in charge of their electronic equipment. One day he had to go to a remote work site to repair some equipment. He and another employee flew in on a jet helicopter. The helicopter could not land at the camp but deposited them on a sandbar in the middle of the jungle river. A launch from the camp was to come out to fetch them. They helicopter landed and they unloaded their equipment. The helicopter took off and they watched it disappear into the distance. They then stood there with their equipment as if they were waiting for a bus on a sandbar in a jungle river.

They both then realized that they were not waiting for a bus. They were waiting on a sandbar in a jungle river with caiman (a form of crocodile) swimming around them. My friend’s colleague then noted that they didn’t even have a pointy stick to defend themselves.

The nub of this anecdote is that they came to that river sandbar on top of a pinnacle of technology, They were the rulers of the world with a world wide technological economy supporting them. They had no thought that they were vulnerable in any way.

The AGW issue is of the same sort. It is easy to think us to be not vulnerable when we are surrounded by the power of our technology. Yet as my friend discovered we are only as invulnerable as our technology allows and when that fails we are very vulnerable indeed.

The hockey stick scientists have produced nothing that is of assistance to policy makers. Their results have been debunked and there is little prospect that their will be any change in this. This is not good news. It does not mean that AGW is not an issue. it means that we have been denied what had been hoped to be a useful guide for policy makes so that we as a human society could chose a path to cope with possible dangers.

We might be standing on a sandbar in a jungle river with caiman swimming around us without even a pointy stick to defend ourselves. Since the science has failed, we just do not know.

Urban Dictionary's Who's Who In Global Warming

or…”Wonders of the English language”.

These are all from original entries in the Urban Dictionary. Don’t blame me!! :

Watts : “Someone who is a don and can get girls on the go, whenever wherever. Commonly overlooked due to his quite nature but can make big explosions”

Mann: “large, fearsome, A wicked man who encumpasses all that is evil. An individual not to be crossed dont give him boltcroppers

Schmidt: “A person who goes out of their way to view exceedingly gross and disturbing online content” (actually that’s one of the nicest definitions of “Schmidt”)

Jones: “Desire for something that may be sought irrespective of the consequences..

McIntyre: “To be humiliated in front of many people

Pielke: (isn’t defined yet)

Goddard: “God-like female, perfect in every way. Gorgeous” (???)

Briffa: “A man with excessively large eyes and toungue. Also refered to as ‘lizard man’. Usually found eating gammon on golf courses

Romm: “To completely disprove an opposing argument, and further question personal beliefs, leaving them completely without validity” – but then MoncktonThat body of the literature which Lord Christopher Monckton won’t countenance, i.e it’s content was rejected by a peer

Revkin: (isn’t defined yet)

Delingpole: (isn’t defined yet)

Monbiot: “An unthinking or insane leftist

I have a feeling that the entries “Romm”, “Monckton” and “Monbiot” are not there by chance alone…

Climate Scientists Fight Back (Minus The Climate Scientists)

Funny people, the climate scientists. One would expect, for example, that behind a website sporting a “new rapid response team of climate scientists [that] promises to connect reporters and editors with a team of experts” (in the words of The Guardian), there would be at least the one climate scientist ready to put their face where their internet connection is.

Alas, one would be wrong. For who’s organizing the Climate Rapid Response?

  • Dr. John Abraham, “Associate Professor of Thermal and Fluid Sciences at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering.[1][2] His area of research includes thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow, numerical simulation, and energy“(from Wikipedia)
  • Scott A. Mandia,  “Professor of Earth and Space Sciences and Assistant Chair of the Physical Sciences Department [...] He received his M.S. – Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1990 and his B.S. – Meteorology from University of Lowell in 1987” (from Wikipedia)
  • Dr. Ray J. Weymann, “Staff Member Emeritus and Director Emeritus, Carnegie Observatories” (as far as I can tell, an astronomer)

As far as I can tell, the combined scientific output of the public faces of the Climate Rapid Response Team is zero. Or maybe one, by stretching things a bit.

This is not to criticize anybody, esp. Prof. Mandia, who after a couple of decades of teaching introductory climatology may know a thing or two, so to speak. But in absence of original research by its leaders, we can only expect the  Climate Rapid Response Team to be a campaigning (political) platform, not a scientific one.

Why The UK Will Definitely Fulfill Its Climate Change Act Emissions Reduction Target For 2020

Roger Pielke Jr is skeptical about the absurd task the UK has given itself regarding a “34% target for emissions reductions below a 1990 baseline by 2020“. He’s obviously not knowledgeable enough about the ways of the British governments re:targets. Let me explain.

Many years ago somebody had the bright idea to declare a target for UK train punctuality by a certain date. Scrambling for a solution in the face of certain failure, shortly before the deadline the rail companies agreed on artificially lengthening their schedules, thereby guaranteeing they could reach the target even if in practice they had done nothing of the sort.

Then it was Mr Blair’s government’s turn to declare a target on waiting list at the NHS by a certain date. Scrambling for a solution in the face of certain failure, shortly before the deadline the NHS structures decided to operate a double waiting list system, with the “official” one designed to consistently reach the target, and the “unofficial” one a parking area for patients that were simply not counted by the target system. Everybody had therefore guaranteed they could reach the target even if in practice they had done nothing of the sort.

This practice, i.e. an extension of “creative accounting“, has permeated the whole public system in the country. Even during the Dec 31, 1999 celebrations in London, the expected “river of fire” with 60ft+ tall flames was declared a success despite having been mostly invisible to the crowds, by redefining the meaning of “river of fire“.

And yes!, this may all sound familiar to people that have read about attempts to “redefine what the peer reviewed literature is“. Of course.

Please do not be surprised therefore if, come 2020, we will be talked into believing that the “34% target for emissions reductions below a 1990 baseline by 2020” will have been achieved, regardless of what the true figures will tell.

Job Openings In IT Support At The CRU And Nature Publishing Group

Email management boffins, and more or less anybody that has ever fathomed the extremely-complex (or not) world of how to archive messages using MS Outlook or any other email package, are urgently sought at world-famous UEA’s CRU and at the Nature Publishing Group, following a plea for help by a computer-challenged climate modeler and a critical-thinking-challenged scientific journalist:

Climate researcher Tim Osborn is next door, struggling with a familiar problem. “My inbox is full and I need to delete some e-mails.” Then, with a thin smile: “But I’m not allowed to now, am I?

It’s really heartwarming (without even having to surround one’s internal organs with greenhouse gases!!) to find that people that want to save the world by running complex computational models on supercomputers, are so (un)familiar with using common features of simple apps; and that people assigned by major international scientific publications to keep us informed about a problem that might engulf the planet, are (in)capable of showing much intelligent reasoning and to probe a situation with thoughtful questions and unprecedented insight.

ps On a more serious note, it’s telling that:

Same old, same old?

(h/t Lazarus at Steven Goddard’s Real Science)

Political Views As Of Nov 22, 2010

Well, it looks like I am a mildly-conservative radical libertarian. How does that translate in the world of now?

  • In the UK: I am mildly sympathetic to the positions expressed by the former trotskyites of Spiked, even if I find them excessively meldrewsque at times. BNP aside, I can’t stand the UKIP,  the only political party whose leaflet I have given back to its startled distributors at my local station, as I find its very existence offensive to a tax-paying foreigner such as myself. As for Lab, Lib/Dem and Tories, well, the jury is still out in the quest of understanding what exactly they different one another from, once they are in power.
  • In Italy: I have voted for both centre-left (Prodi) and centre-right (Berlusconi) coalitions. I have been politically active in both coalitions. Funny thing is, I didn’t have to change my political convictions in order to do that. Right now I am politically active in Berlusconi’s “Popolo della Liberta’” political rassemblement, and can’t see any alternative in the sea of interrupted Italian politicians calling themselves “leaders”.
  • As if things weren’t complex enough, I am also a Roman Catholic and I strongly disagree with the Church’s involvement in politics, or its teachings about public attitudes to sex. That’s hardly the opinion of a potential candidate for the Presidency of the European’s People’s Party.

If anybody finds anybody of similar political beliefs as myself please do send me name and address, as it will be the second member of the Party!

Greenfyre Loses The Plot

I’ve just been honored by Greenfyre dedicating his very first blog in a long time to a couple of blog posts in my very successful “1970s Global Cooling Consensus” series. There’s the usual litany of insults, of course, yawn, and that’s fully compatible with the idea that poor Greenfyre and his acolytes have a strong urgency to repeat the same old concepts to themselves, somehow deluding themselves they’ll be stronger concepts.

In the real world, meanwhile, there is a peer-reviewed paper stating “By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972), THE NOTION OF A GLOBAL COOLING TREND WAS WIDELY ACCEPTED, albeit poorly understood“. I wrote that sentence in big bold letters a few days ago, in a post sadly forgotten by all-singing all-dancing shouting, debate-challenged Greenfyre.

Well, if Greenfyre has an argument with that peer-reviewed article, he might want to exchange a couple of words with Connolley himself, thank you.

Oh, the bother.

The Current State Of AGW Science

Whilst blog posts are quite visible for whomever wants to read them, very good comments are more often than not lost unless they appear near the top of the heap. One example is the following extract from note #16 written by commenter Max (“manacker”) at Harmless Sky’s BBC impartiality review post, and IMNSHO one of the best summary of the current state of AGW science:

[...] The scientific method involves four steps geared towards finding truth (with the role of models an important part of steps 2 and 3 below):

  1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
  2. Formulation of a hypothesis to explain the phenomena – usually in the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
  3. Use of the hypothesis to quantitatively predict the results of new observations (or the existence of other related phenomena).
  4. Gathering of empirical evidence and/or performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments, in order to validate the hypothesis, including seeking out data to falsify the hypothesis and scientifically refuting all falsification attempts.

How has this process been followed for AGW?

  1. Warming and other symptoms have been observed. – DONE
  2. CO2 has been hypothesized to explain this warming. – DONE
  3. Models have been created based on the hypothesis and model simulations have estimated strongly positive feedbacks leading to forecasts of major future warming. – DONE
  4. The validation step has not yet been performed; in fact, the empirical data that have been recently observed have demonstrated (1) that the net overall feedbacks are likely to be neutral to negative, and (2) that our planet has not warmed recently despite increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, thereby falsifying the hypothesis that AGW is a major driver of our climate and, thus, represents a serious future threat; furthermore, these falsifications have not yet been refuted scientifically.

Until the validation step is successfully concluded, the “dangerous AGW” premise as promoted by IPCC remains an “uncorroborated hypothesis” in the scientific sense. If the above-mentioned recently observed falsifications cannot be scientifically refuted, it may even become a “falsified hypothesis”.

So the flaw of the “dangerous AGW” hypothesis is not that several scientific organizations have rejected it, it is simply that it has not yet been confirmed by empirical evidence from actual physical observation or experimentation, nor has it successfully withstood falsification attempts, i.e. it has not been validated following the “scientific method” (and has thus not yet become “reliable scientific knowledge”).

And this is a “fatal flaw” (and there certainly is no sound scientific basis for wrecking the global economy with draconian carbon taxes and caps as long as this “fatal flaw” has not been resolved using the scientific method). [...]

Martin Luther, Here I Come!

The “AGW is logically impossible” list (aka Global Warming Miracles) has suddenly jumped to 52 items, doubling in size in a little less than three weeks. As commented at the Italian version of the page, I am now only 43 items away from putting a poster at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Or perhaps I should find out where the bulletin boards are, at the University of East Anglia…

Microblogging of Roger Pielke Jr's London Debate With Benny Peiser

Roger Pielke Jr and Benny Peiser have been guests of London think-tank “Legatum” in the evening of Nov 16. This is my microblogging of the evening (I’ll edit it slightly when I have a few mins):

  1. Starts at Legatum Institute in London with around 40 in attendance
  2. There is a camera, and a lectern :-)
  3. Researcher from Legatum introduces mentioning Roger being victim of politicization of science
  4. Hubris of Kyoto process must be avoided
  5. Bob Ward wouldn’t be happy with Legatum’s approach to AGW
  6. Book available for 15gbp. Finally Roger’s turn. Laments how repetitive book tour is
  7. Book tour next at LSE on Friday night.
  8. Tonight’s talk about innovation policies for the energy sector
  9. Govts deeply involved in innovations. Makes example out of own trip
  10. Toll road =PPP. Airport. 757 Boeing American not British due to military investments. Etc
  11. Even shoes’ rubber tech due to military innovations ie government’s
  12. Govts invest in innovations already – question is how should do it
  13. Attitude to innovations depends on ideology
  14. China not USA recognizes international competition on innovation
  15. Free markets not always best, meddling Govts either
  16. Energy innovation seldom a priority
  17. Average 2. 5% reinvestment but only. 2% in energy
  18. Energy as something that pops out of the ground
  19. Six reasons to innovate in energy
  20. 1. Supply and demand 2. Security
  21. 3. Energy poverty 4. Existing subsidies 5. CO2 emissions 6. Mountaintop removal
  22. Also particulate emissions
  23. Germany: nuclear tax. India: coal tax. China: 700B$ in clean energy due to population
  24. Vast amounts of energy needed not a generic push to consume less
  25. Talks of possible future poverty in USA compared to China and India
  26. Peiser will talk about book. Disappointed that Roger did not.
  27. Govts see no prob with energy. India and China suffer from past mistakes
  28. Peiser again. Carbon tax is proposed as replacement to climate failures
  29. Euro Govts suggesting carbon tax but to raise money not energy r&d
  30. Billions in nuclear energy didn’t make it cheaper, actually dearer
  31. Every academic argues their sector needs more money to help growth but link is a myth
  32. Current green policies too unpopular, Govts under threat because of them
  33. No renewable energy company can stand on its own.
  34. Decarbonisation means switching to more expensive energy hindering growth as in Europe
  35. There is no Tea Party in Roger’s book
  36. Antigreen backlash is undergoing and will get worse
  37. Decarbonisation because of AGW? But it might be beneficial
  38. Perplexed Peiser: decarbonise to get cheaper energy? Makes no sense
  39. Not an easy night for Roger
  40. Climate agenda going down because economics don’t add up.
  41. Peiser makes example of useless r&d like fusion reactor
  42. Track record of Govts failure whilst shale gas is so low it makes no sense to find more
  43. Shale gas an example of private innovation
  44. Legatum researcher says book weakens case for govt involvement in energy r&d
  45. Legatum researcher unconvinced by book
  46. Roger replies. Climate not only point. Other reasons why innovation makes sense
  47. No global food crisis due to govt innovations. Health improvs too
  48. Innovation policy a spectrum not just r&d
  49. Importance of failures to find a success
  50. Roger talks about Germany and India again. Even tiny tax would generate billions
  51. Mentions long term
  52. My questions details later (*)
  53. Peiser: book doesn’t talk of economics. Germany example of middle classes paying the rich
  54. Roger: Germany as failure and success at same time. Peiser: no innovation in Germany
  55. Roger seems concerned about current USA politics
  56. Q: diversification but subsidies = huge overhead costs. How to get companies interested?
  57. Roger: companies won’t look out for national interests
  58. Peiser: companies already diversifying. Problem of protectionism.
  59. Roger: not in favor of protectionism – ends here
  60. Legatum researcher was Dalibor Rohac

Finally I have managed to get a copy of The Climate Fix, autographed by its author.

(*) I have congratulated Roger for disseminating the news about the $82B dodgy insurance deal, but then asked him and Benny why replace the humongous failed climate policy of old with some other humongous policy; why not concentrate efforts on small but significant issues like particulates; and what would prevent Governments from raising a carbon tax and spending money on something that has nothing to do with carbon.

Science Manipulation Hides Reporting And Political Failures Of The New York Times

The more I read the “As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas” article (NYT, Nov 13; and on the IHT on the same day, with a full page dedicated to it, and the pride of place on the first page with a giant photo next to it), the more it looks like something halfway between the first salvo in the “war on science” against the GOP and “many newly elected legislators openly skeptical about climate change“, and a call to rally to the AGW Believer Troops.

(1) Apparently, author Justin Gillis and the NYT Editors don’t mind writing more than six columns about an issue that they readily admit might not be serious at all:

The missing information makes it impossible for scientists to be sure how serious the situation is [...] the researchers lack elementary information.

As the saying goes then…glacier melting is a grave problem, but not serious.

(2) One has also to question Mr Gillis scientific knowledge if there is any (if there isn’t, then it’s hard to take the article seriously at all). We are treated to pearls of wisdom such as:

Hanging out the sides of the craft, two scientists sent a measuring device plunging into the water, between ice floes. Near the bottom, it reported a temperature of 40 degrees (*). It was the latest in a string of troubling measurements showing that the water was warm enough to melt glaciers rapidly from below.

(*) that’s 40F=4.4C. On the IHT the value is reported as “just above 4C or 39F”

Well, it happens that 4C is exactly the temperature where water is at its most dense, so there is no surprise at all that 4C is measure “near the bottom”.

Note that I am not saying that the scientists involved provided manipulated information: all I am saying is that, as reported, the measured temperature is no “troubling measurement” at all. And so if there’s anything “troubling” about it, it’s been Mr Gillis’ fault not to report it properly.

(3) Another point that shows a remarkable level of naivety concerns the consequences of the projected rises in sea levels, presented throughout the article as if the seas would raise of a certain amount the world over

Abroad, some of the world’s great cities — London, Cairo, Bangkok, Venice and Shanghai among them — would be critically endangered by a three-foot rise in the sea

That is worse than absurd: the NOAA map for 1993-2010 has its reds, blues and purples, not exactly uniformity. A worldwide effort to protect coastal cities would therefore result in a giant waste of resources to say the least.

Mr Gillis’ failure to get some more meaningful statements about the risk of sea level increases from his scientists/interviewees is quite glaring, to the non-credulous eye.

(4) The list of baseless statements by Mr Gillis and his interviewees keeps growing with every new reading of the article too. For example we have a “Robin E. Bell, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University” saying

We’re used to the shoreline being fixed, and it’s not

Who’s used to the shoreline being fixed? The people of East Anglia? The guys and gals of the Netherlands? The city of New Orleans? Where are the remains of the ancient port-city of Ephesus (5km inland) and of much of ancient Alexandria in Egypt (underwater)?

Inches below that, it’s Mr Gillis’ turn:

But at all times in the past, when the shoreline migrated, humans either had not evolved yet or consisted of primitive bands of hunter-gatherers who could readily move. By the middle of this century, a projected nine billion people will inhabit the planet, with many millions of them living within a few feet of sea level

So we have primitive hunter-gatherers on the one side, and a worldwide technological civilization on the other…and the h-g’s win? Says who? Wouldn’t it be much more logical to consider our resource-rich global society at minimal risk from any change in sea levels?

How about previous dire predictions?

In the 1920s and ’30s, for instance, a warm spell caused many glaciers to retreat.[...] scientists say that the recent changes in Greenland appear more pervasive than those of the early 20th century, and that they are occurring at the same time that air and ocean temperatures are warming, and ice melt is accelerating, throughout much of the world.

Yeah. Right. How about “Warming Arctic Climate Melting Glaciers Faster, Raising Ocean Level, Scientist Says“. It’s vintage NYT from 1947. And “Glaciers give hints of weather change“. It’s NYT again, 1955 (article reports of five decades of retreating glaciers, no less). And here’s the link to a 1978 NYT article blaming melting glaciers for beach-side troubles in Rhode Island. Looks like there haven’t been many decades without a “Fear the Glaciers!” article on the New York Alarmist Times. And all we get is a “it’s different this time around”. Not serious, indeed…

(5) And finally for the political punch that wasn’t. Mr Gillis laments the lack of funding for glacier research (again, we can’t tell if it’s his thought, or he’s just reporting), and doesn’t shy from placing the blame:

Several federal agencies and two presidential administrations, Democratic and Republican, have made decisions that contributed to the problems.

We are then told that, as if by magic:

Now, the Obama administration is seeking to chart a new course, abandoning the goal of returning to the moon and seeking a substantial increase in financing for earth sciences. It is also promising an overall strategy for improving the country’s environmental observations.

Any thoughts on why it would have taken two years to the Obama administration to understand the situation? Any comment on how this alone would be enough to show what a giant waste of time the Cap&Trade aborted bill was, when I am sure a new “strategy for improving the country’s environmental observations” would have received enough funding quite quickly with a lot less controversy?

I guess we can’t expect as much from Mr Gillis, as that would show the NYT itself greatly at fault in having pushed so hard and for so long for Cap&Trade to pass, blinded by politicking and its desire to yell “the science is settled” whilst polar research has been “slowly going blind in space”, in the words of  “Robert Bindschadler, a polar researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who spent 30 years with NASA studying ice

What Attenborough Won’t Say

New season, new David Attenborough amazing and captivating nature 2-documentary TV production for the BBC: “First life“, about going “back in time to the roots of the tree of life, in search of the very first animals” (for plants and bacteria, that’s a very unpopular definition of “first life”).

Among the vast amount of information that is presented to millions in ways that are pleasing to the eye, however, there is a fundamental detail that has gone missing, and I couldn’t find even in the accompanying book: and that is the true story of how we have come to known about the “first life” that is the focus of the documentaries.

Sure, viewers are made aware that it all pivots around Australia, where “First Life” spends a great deal of time in search of the Ediacarans. As Attenborough himself told an Adelaide newspaper a year ago:

Amongst palaeontologists it’s a very famous site, a very important site. That’s why we’re going… because this is a crucial episode in the history of life.

The Flinders Range of South Australia is in fact called “one of the world capitals of Ediacara“. And “First Life” does mention the importance of a local scientist called Reginald “Reg” Sprigg, as the one that discovered the fossils but had a hard time in convincng anybody else of their importance.

Yet there’s much more to that and it’s not difficult to find. And it’s a true-life story dramatic enough to make one wonder why did Attenborough steer away from it.

By the way…Bill Bryson’s “Short History of Nearly Everything” mentions Sprigg’s tribulations too, at pages 320-321: having found definitive evidence about complex organisms from a period “at least a hundred million years” before what was at the time believed to be their starting point in the Cambrian, n 1946 Sprigg “submitted a paper to Nature, but it was turned down“. He then proceeded to “fail to find a favor” with the head of Australia and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science” and to pretty much everybody at the 1948 London’s International Geological Congress.

In Bryson’s telling, things got rosy for Sprigg’s discovery only from 1957 onwards. That’s right, but once again that’s not the whole story either.

The whole story, in fact, starts in 1868 (I have blogged about it here, with thanks to BBC’s In Our Time for the inspiration). The idea that scientists believed nothing larger than bacteria before the “Cambrian explosion” is still being used to nag poor Darwin, of all people the one more at pains in understanding why nobody could find complex lifeforms before the Cambrian geological strata.

If only Darwin had heard about Aspidelia Terranovica!!

The first Ediacaran fossils discovered were the disc-shaped Aspidella terranovica, in 1868.

At least one scientist understood they were fossils, as early as 1872 (note how others had been blinded by…the established consensus!!):

However, since they lay below the “Primordial Strata”, the Cambrian strata that were then thought to contain the very first signs of life, it took four years for anybody to dare propose they could be fossils.

Alas, consensus won the day, and buried the fossils into the forgetfulness of history:

Elkanah Billings’ proposal (see here) was dismissed by his peers [...] the one-sided debate soon fell into obscurity.

Six decades on, more pre-Cambrian stuff is found. Guess how it all ends:

In 1933, Georg Gürich discovered specimens in Namibia, but the firm belief that life originated in the Cambrian led to them being assigned to the Cambrian Period, and no link to Aspidella was made.

Thirteen more years pass, and it’s finally time to look at a strong-willed Australian paleontologist, called…Reg Sprigg. Consensus still (barely) wins, although against the first signs of a breakdown:

In 1946, Reg Sprigg noticed “jellyfishes” in the Ediacara Hills of Australia’s Flinders Ranges but these rocks were believed to be Early Cambrian, so while the discovery sparked some interest, little serious attention was garnered.

As already said, Nature proceeded to reject Sprigg’s letter, and Sprigg switched to the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. The partner of Sprigg’s son is his biographer and has some interesting comments about that:

If you look at them now I find it very hard [to think] that anybody could doubt them: they are about the size of the palm of your hand and you can quite clearly see they are circular, they look as you’d expect a jellyfish to look if it had dried out, or some kind of worm or something. But back then, yeah, he wrote a paper and submitted it to Nature, which is one of the most prestigious journals in the world, and they rejected it, they didn’t believe either in what he’d found. And it was about another 10 years before some amateur naturalists went back to Reg’s site and found some more specimens, different ones again, and took them again to the museum. And by then the museum was a little bit more interested and they organised their own expedition and brought back two truckloads of material and from then, the momentum grew.

And here’s how the story ends, and the dogma, with the involvement of an already well-respected scientist called Martin Glaessner and yet more evidence:

It was not until the British discovery of the iconic Charnia in 1957 that the pre-Cambrian was seriously considered as containing life. This frond-shaped fossil was found in England’s Charnwood Forest, and due to the detailed geologic mapping of the British Geological Survey there was no doubt that these fossils sat in Precambrian rocks. Palæontologist Martin Glaessner finally made the connection between this and the earlier finds, and with a combination of improved dating of existing specimens and an injection of vigour into the search, many more instances were recognised.

Needless to say, Nature published Glaessner’s letter. So much for “peer review”.

There we are then, with at least 3 scientists either wholly disregarded or actively isolated by the consensus/dogma crowd, a few rejected scientific papers, and a scientific consensus/dogma winning for decades despite being based on a rather odd idea.

The topic of a new history-based BBC drama, with shamed faces at Macmillan Publishers Ltd? Or the inspiration of a new David Attenborough documentary about how consensus-fixated scientists have been ruining science for centuries?

Sadly, I doubt it.

Why The Global Cooling Story Is So Important…In The Anthropogenic Global Warming Debate

On the face of it, the whole debate about “global cooling in the 1970′s” is a matter of despair. If we can’t agree on what has happened less than 40 years ago, and is still remembered by many people, despite the avalanche of available snippets of information, a great deal of them accessible to all via the Internet…then what can we agree on? And what is the meaning of “history” at all??

So the only way to rescue our knowledge of the Renaissance, Ancient Rome or the Pharaos is by establishing that there is something special about the “global cooling the 1970′s debate“, something the unfortunately gets in the way and prevents people from recognizing what has happened within living memory. What is it?


The story so far…Did the scientists believe in the 1970s that there was global cooling? Yes. A paper by Mitchell in 1972 consolidated the idea. The Peterson, Connolley and Fleck article usually paraded around, it says just as much. Here I quote them again, with some added emphasis for those hard of seeing:

By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972),


, albeit poorly understood

In fact, we now know that “the world” was not cooling at the time, but “the Northern Hemisphere” was. Only thing, the scientists in 1972 had no way to know it was just a Northern Hemisphere thing. All of this is actually quite inconsequential wrt the original question (once again: “Did the scientists believe in the 1970s that there was global cooling?“). Anyway: in the published scientific literature, the global cooling idea started in fact evaporating in 1975, and had been replaced by global warming at full speed from 1979 or so (curiously, in sync with the PDO…). The same happened but much more slowly outside the world of research, so most people have been exposed to “global cooling” (actually, to global cooling consensus) well into the 1980s.

I am not saying I have found the last word on this, but the story above makes much more sense than the usual worldwide newsmedia sensationalism conspiracy as suggested by those adamantly opposed to any memory of the global cooling scare. What is it, that they can’t digest, to the point of denying recent history even if it stares at them from the ink of their own writing?


If one believes in contemporary global warming, the most obvious and logical reply to anybody saying “there was a global cooling consensus in the 1970s” should be “Yes, but…” followed by a long explanation on why the consensus is right this time and was wrong at the time. After all some consensuses have been right in the past, and some wrong.

This would cut off all sorts of sterile polemics and actually contribute to an increase in reputation of the average warmist daring to launch into such an argument, facing reality rather than fudging it. But nobody goes in that direction. Why?


As far as I can understand it to date, there are two main reasons for such a peculiar behavior: the AGWers’ unhealthy attachment to catastrophism (that forces them into defending absurdist ocean-boiling claims), and their single-minded determination not to allow the mere possibility of anybody uttering any suggestion that anything about AGW could be wrong, unless “it’s worse than we thought!” (that forces them into trying to rewrite history, personally attack any disbeliever, blowing up schoolchildren in comedy videos, and all sorts of nasty stuff).

In the AGWer world it is worse than blasphemous even to try to remember that, not so many years ago, there was indeed a climate worry, only it was a worry about the world getting cooler, rather than warmer. With so many easy-to-spot mirror claims (eg Pakistan floods because of cooling then, Pakistan floods because of warming now) logic dictates that the wall of evidence needed to convince people to really care about AGW becomes taller by the minute. And the one needed to acquire the political will to work against catastrophic climate change, it becomes impassable.

This explains why the discussion about global cooling in the 1970s often degenerates with people stupidly claiming “there was no consensus in the 1970s about an ice age“. Yes, there wasn’t. But who cares? Even a cooling of a few degrees, not exactly an ice age, was presented as very worrying, and potentially as harbinger of catastrophes.

Hence, the “ice age” mention is pointless.


Like the “AGW is a logical impossibility” page, the discussion about the global cooling consensus in the 1970s on this blog by itself will never be enough to put the antiscientific claims about upcoming catastrophic AGW to rest. At the end of the day, those pages are “just” reminders that we should avoid leaps in the dark, and always be very aware of our hubris.

Anyway…for me at least, these two subjects are evolving into a kind of “litmus test” that will help to tell the honest warmers from the rabid ones. The honest ones, you see, don’t worry about facing reality, including history.

Another "Global Cooling in the 1970s" Avalanche (Laughter, It Will Bury Them)

From Italy to the USA. Thanks to Google. And Google. And Google.

Funniest of the lot: from the Milwaukee Sentinel, Jan 20, 1979. By Dick West of United Press International:

At the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science…the consensus seemed to be that, rather than experience either a warming trend or a cooling trend, we shall have both. Although not at the same time, fortunately.”

Really, try to read that article all without a chuckle or ten.

How To Get A Comprehensive, Serious, Effective Global Treaty About Climate Change

It’s so simple, no rabid environmentalist or holier-than-thou climate scientist will understand it…so I won’t explain it here, and leave it as an exercise to the (rational) reader starting from this quote:

“Now, if for the past 20 years we had been told that there is a probability of some change in the climate due to CO2, and a very small possibility that it is likely to lead to a drastic lurch, then I could join with you and the consensus. Instead of which I have been repeatedly told that trillions must be spent urgently because there are only a few months to save the world and it is the most urgent problem, more urgent than hunger, malaria and indoor air pollution, likely to lead to the collapse of the entire economy and moreover that the science is settled and to question it is to be equivalent to a criminal. So, apologies if I sound a little exercised on this, but as a huge champion of science I feel very, very let down by the science establishment, especially the laughably poor enquiries on the emails published this year. Ask yourself if these emails had been within a drug company about a drug trial, whether the establishment would have been so determined to excuse them”

I shall rephrase it for the IQ challenged:

IF for the past 20 years we had been told that:

  1. there is a probability of some change in the climate due to CO2, and
  2. a very small possibility that it is likely to lead to a drastic lurch,

THEN I could join with you and the consensus.

INSTEAD I have been repeatedly told that:

  1. trillions must be spent urgently because there are only a few months to save the world and
  2. it is the most urgent problem,
  3. more urgent than hunger, malaria and indoor air pollution,
  4. likely to lead to the collapse of the entire economy and moreover
  5. the science is settled and
  6. to question it is to be equivalent to a criminal

So, apologies if I sound a little exercised on this, but as a huge champion of science I feel very, very let down by the science establishment, especially the laughably poor enquiries on the emails published this year

A New Treasure Trove Of 1970s “Global Cooling” Articles

Italian newspaper “La Stampa” has just put online its 1867-today archive (yes, it IS in Italian). What better chance (well, for me at least…) to explore the evolution of “global cooling” thinking in the 1970s beyond the usual English-speaking newsmedia? With the added bonus of plenty of names and other key words to use as…keywords for further research.

Very briefly: in the 15 articles I have found so far:

  • the popularity of scientists predicting an ice age is very clear up to the Feb 1979 meeting of the World Meteorological Organization
  • “upcoming ice age” is the meme du jour up to 1985 at least
  • there is a warmist slant in 1990 but strangely, the arguments of discussion are more or less the same still central to the debate in 2010

This collection strongly indicates that in Italy, like elsewhere, the average reader of newspapers would have had all the reasons to believe in a “global cooling consensus” for much of the 1970′s and even later.


Here’s the article list:

1. June 22, 1976 (n.145, p.14): “Entro cento anni avremo una era glaciale” – “Within a hundred years we’ll get an ice age” by Umberto Oddone

  • Mentions Reid Bryson
  • “not all scientists agree”
  • a Cesare Emiliani from the University of Miami investigates 700,000 years of sea-shells Oxygen isotopes
  • icebreaker “Glacier” gets “stuck in the Atlantic”

2. June 27, 1976 (n.150, p.9): “Tra ghiacci e siccita’” – “Between ice and drought” by Umberto Oddone

  • Earth is “having a fever”
  • Bryson again
  • Cesare Emiliani and sea-shells analysis, again

3. Oct 19, 1976 (n.229, p.21): “Fra pochi anni inverni freddissimi – In Siberia spariranno i cereali?” – “Very cold winters within few years – will grains disappear from Siberia?” by Bruno Ghibaudi

  • 30 years of cooling trend
  • Not a new ice age but hard consequences expected for the USSR
  • Mentions Prok Nikola Volkov, Director, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Leningrad
  • Kara Sea temperature having dropped from -10C to -13C in 30 years
  • Nearby polar seas, decreases of 1 or 2C
  • Sea lanes to Murmansk and Arkangelsk closed by the ice in the early 1900′s, open in 1941-45, now 60% closed again
  • Two teams of French scientists complete research in the Antarctic.
  • Oxygen-isotope analysis indicates climate cycles, with a new cold peak in 3000AD and a warm peak in 9000AD
  • Mentions human influence, possible apocalyptic consequences
  • Recommends an international program to control climate

4. Feb 14, 1977 (n.29, p.3): “E’ giunta l’era glaciale” – “The ice age has come” by Alberto Rapisarda

  • Bryson again. Must have been very popular.

5. Jan 3, 1978 (n.1, p.3): “Si torna all’era glaciale?” – “A return to the ice age?” by Umberto Oddone

  • Mentions a new book “Climatologia” by Prof. Mario Pinna
  • Suggests getting warm clothes ready, for a few decades or for thousands of years

6. Apr 14, 1978 – (n.85, p.15): “Aiuto, arriva l’era glaciale” – “Help, the ice age is coming” (unsigned article)

  • “Many meteorologists” “convinced” about upcoming little ice age
  • Climate for 90% of the time warmer than at present
  • Causes of the cooling: disagreement
  • According to Juri Izrael, Hydrometer Service Director for the USSR: deforestation, landscape changes
  • According to James Hays of Columbia University and Nicholas Shackelton of Cambridge University: orbital changes
  • Hurd Willett of MIT mentioned as expecting lower temps
  • “Many meteorologists” of the opinion that “it’s all due to changes in the Sun”

7. Apr 27, 1978 (n.95, p.9): “Siamo alla soglia dell’era glaciale?” – “Are we on the edge of an ice age?” by Umberto Oddone

  • Mentions “18 known American climatologists” and a series of articles on Die Welt
  • North Polar ice cap increases from 1971 to 1978 by 12%
  • Antarctic ice mass increase from 1966 to 1967 by 10%
  • Global temperature down in 30 years by 0.5C
  • Mentions Bryson expecting a return to the little ice age
  • Mentions other climatologists as far more pessimist (“big” ice age) – work by the Impact Team headed by climatologist William Colby, former head of the CIA – “snowblitz”
  • Mentions Dansgaard
  • Mentions Calder as reporting the opinion of “not few” scientists

8. Jan 4, 1979 (n.3, p.4): “Sta per cominciare un’era glaciale – secondo meteorologi giapponesi” – “An ice age is coming – according to Japanese meteorologists” by press agency Ansa-Reuter

  • Mentions Junkichi Nemoto – University of Saitama – saying a “little ice age” is already underway
  • Mentions WMO conference in Feb 1979 in Geneva

9. Jan 9, 1979 (n.8, p.28): “Ma perche’ parlare di era glaciale?” – “And why all the talk of an ice age?” by Stefano Pavan

  • Mentions climate wars
  • Hubert Lamb, Alastair Woodroffe: snowblitz (snow accumulating by not completely melting by the end of the summer), 50cm/year

10. Feb 19, 1979 (n.48, p.3): “Cambia il nostro clima – Il mondo va verso una nuova era glaciale?” – “Our climate is changing – Is the world going towards an ice age?” by Fabio Galvano

  • Mentions the WMO Conference in Geneva
  • “400 climatologists” meeting to discuss how humanity can adapt to climate changes
  • Conference President – Robert White
  • Mentions some scientists as believing that Earth is moving towards an ice age
  • Mentions most scientists as believing that Earth is getting warmer due to human activities
  • Greenhouse effect from a sulphuric acid/ammonium sulphide “polar fog”
  • Mentions Stephen Schneider as expecting 2C-3C of increase in the temperate zones in 2050, as CO2 concentrations double. Mentions William Kellogg as expecting another doubling by 2100, with +6C
  • Mentions +20C at the Poles
  • Mentions the Amazon turning into a Sahara (Harry Knowles)
  • Geoengineering in the USSR proposed by climatologist Federov

11. Jan 20, 1982 (n.16): “Tranquilli, non e’ un’altra era glaciale” – “Keep cool, there’s no ice age coming” by James Wagner, National Weather Service

  • No ice age
from Piero Bianucci's Apr 21, 1982 article

from Piero Bianucci's Apr 21, 1982 article

12. Apr 21, 1982 (n.25, p. 3): “Questo freddo di aprile farà’ scendere i ghiacciai?” – “This cold in April will expand the glaciers?” by Piero Bianucci

  • Detailed temperature graph for the last 80,000 years
  • Mentions winter 81-82 as colder than 77′s, considered “coldest in the century” by “American climatologist”
  • Walter Orr Roberts and sun/drought link
  • Mentions Stephen Schneider, according to whom the “turnaround year” from a warming trend to a cooling one was 1972, a year with drought in the USSR, floods in Pakistan, and a delayed start of the monsoon season.
  • Mentions Lamb describing a “butterfly effect” on climate

13. Jan 30, 1985 (n.155, p. 2): “Dietro l’angolo c’e’ un’era glaciale?” – “Is there an ice age behind the corner?” by Stefano Pavan

  • Nicholas Shackleton, Cambridge University – shells analysis indicates a descent into an ice age – for 5,000 years, an accumulation of 50cm/year – “snowblitz”
  • Mentions Danish glaciologists as saying that summer insolation in the Northern Hemisphere has come down, and it’s lower than when 90,000 years ago there was a sudden cooling episode
  • Mentions Nigel Calder’s “The Weather Machine” with a long list of countries that would fall against the climate catastrophe

14. Oct 10, 1990 (n.436, p. 21): “Il clima cambia, ecco gli indizi” – “The climate changes, here’s the evidence” by Angelo Tartaglia
15. Oct 10, 1990 (n.436, p. 21): “I dati sono insufficienti” – “There is not enough data” by Stefano Pavan

  • Both articles could have been written yesterday, including skeptics at the MIT and computer models at the UK’s Met Office

Indications Of A Changing Arctic (Across The Centuries)

(h/t FM)

Is there anything peculiar happening in the Arctic in our time? Unfortunately, satellite-based sea-ice measurements only start from 1979, i.e. have just barely crossed the magic 30-year line that we’re told separates “weather” from “climate” (in other words, we have just been able to say that, according to mainstream climatology, the ice in 1995 was on the decrease).

A different way to look at the issue is to source information from relatively old books and newspaper articles. And there are good indications that their analysis will show quite large changes in the Arctic sea-ice extension across the centuries.

As it happens, I was sent yesterday the link to a very interesting  1818 compendium edition of mid-1770′s North-Pole-related thoughts and reports by Danies Barrington FRS of “young Mozart” fame: “The Possibility of Approaching the North Pole Asserted“.

Barrington goes at great length both in collecting as much evidence as possible from seamen claiming to have been further North than would have been expected; and in examining such evidence with a healthy dose of skepticism. His conclusions: several ships have been beyond 82N, and many of them have reported clear water to the North (see page 61). And yes, uncertainties were put in plain sight: finding a way to reach Asia without going around the tip of South America was considered very serious business, and even a strong advocate for Polar exploration like Barrington didn’t try to hide what he might have found uncomfortable. A quarter of a millennium later, we can be fairly certain ships at Barrington’s time were regularly reaching 81N.

Fast forward to 1858 and a “letter” on the New York Times by a Col. Peter Force, actually the text of a lecture at the New-York Historical Society on July 1st of that year. Col. Force appears extremely skeptical of any claim about the very existence of a Northwest Passage, going as far as to use that old saying, “if it were there we would have discovered it by now”. And if you look at the details reported, the 82N of 80 years earlier was then almost an unreachable goal, as there is plenty of mentions of sea ice going as low as 69N.

Arctic sea ice was therefore extending much further to the South in 1858 than in 1775. But were the CO2 emissions in 1775 higher than in 1858? I do not think so.

Dear @Revkin: THIS Is The Science Worth Defending

Andy Revkin of DotEarth fame is not the only one worried about upcoming climate wars at the US Congress. However, compared to some deranged new initiatives (h/t SG), Revkin is at the forefront of public-policy sanity. How about trying then to remind him what kind of science is actually worth defending? Using a few quotes from a recent BBC Horizon episode, “What Happened Before the Big Bang?

(39m45s, by Roger Penrose)
Let me say that a change of mind is not something unpleasant, I find, it’s something exhilarating. Because you get stuck in a rut, that’s what I find, you’re thinking about certain things, and after a while you think you’re stuck into this rut. And a change of mind, you think, (slaps is forehead), “Ah, why didn’t I think of it like that?”, that’s extraordinarily exhilarating.

(56m35s, by Neil Turok)
I’m open to almost any philosophical point of view, as long as it works, and I want a theory that is ultimately tested by data and confirmed that this is the way the world works.

(57m34s, by Andrei Linde)
If you are not brave enough to ask strange questions, if you are not brave enough to believe your own answers even if they are unbelievable, then, well, OK, so you live your life, but then it is not completely fulfilled, If you take courage to answer questions in not necessarily the way which other people expects you, sometimes you
just end up saying stupid things, sometimes you end up saying something maybe wise.

For the slowest of readers, I am NOT putting that broadcast forward as an example of “good cosmology” (it most likely wasn’t). For me what is important is how three people with very different takes on the same topic, independently agree on the importance of the scientific method, that includes being able to change one’s mind, being open to what is confirmed by data, and being brave to stray off the mainstream’s pre-ordained path.

Little of that can be found among policy-obsessed climate scientists. The only consequence, and this should be clear to all by now, is that climate science has become a mediocre endeavor where a quest for “settled science” is preventing science from progressing, and from settling.

When nobody is allowed to say anything stupid, nobody is able to say anything wise.


It is supremely pointless to argue politics with the politicians as it would be to lecture the Pope on theology. Wouldn’t it be much more wise to take advantage of the new situation in Washington, DC to declare publicly and once for all that yes, there is no space any longer in climate science for fudging, bodging, refusing to share data, hiding uncertainties, preventing competitor colleagues from publishing, using journalists as puppets, etc etc etc?

Wouldn’t it, Andy?

Because otherwise, climate scientists and activists will only keep reaping disaster upon disaster. And nothing will get done. And then all “efforts to balance human affairs the planet’s limits” will go extinct even before those limits will be reached.

Cade La Juventus A Pompei – Elkann: “Non siamo stati noi”

Chissa’ quanti pianti e quanto stridore di denti per il crollo ieri mattina della “Schola Armaturarum Juventus Pompeiani“, con Napolitano addirittura imbufalito. Parleranno in tanti, l’Italia diranno va a rotoli, in tanti ne approfitteranno per dire che l’avevano gia’ detto, a pochi interessera’ investigare le vere cause, verranno fustigati questo o quello, poi non si fara’ niente, e alla prossima!

Intanto per uscire dalla noia generale, ecco alcune foto della “Casa dei Gladiatori” com’era prima del crollo.

Casa dei Gladiatori (1)

Casa dei Gladiatori (1)

Casa dei Gladiatori (2)

Casa dei Gladiatori (2)

Come si vede non era proprio un edificio intatto e completamente originale, E infatti cosa si scopre in pochi minuti su Google?

L’edificio, infatti, aveva già subito i danni della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, quando una bomba aveva mandato in frantumi quel tetto che poi, chiusosi il conflitto, era stato riprodotto ed assestato sulle mura superstiti

Io comincerei subito a fare un giro in tutti gli edifici di Pompei che hanno subito riproduzioni ed assestamenti.


Spare A Thought For Kate Sheppard

The world can’t tell if @kate_sheppard is a Twitter bot, or not.



Nevermind the WWF drones…several refreshes of this page consistently brought up Ms Sheppard‘s twitter account as one of the most similar to @AI_AGW. Is that a coincidence?

From (again)

From (again)

It's Official! There Will Not Be Any Climate Apocalypse! (For At Least Five Years)

It’s official! The WWF is wrong. Greenpeace is wrong. Avaaz is wrong. Prince Charles is wrong. The UN climate negotiators are wrong. James Hansen is wrong. Many, many people are wrong, including Bill McKibben, Joe Romm, John Holdren. Countless people and especially children are being duped, day in, day out, into believing that the end of the world is nigh.

Simply, there is officially no hurry about climate change, as stated by the “European Union’s rapporteur on climate change” (the European Union? Or the Council of Europe? Does anybody care, can anybody tell the difference?) about the upcoming Cancun meeting:

Let’s have a voluntary agreement. Let’s stop the clock. Instead of Kyoto having to be done by 2012, stop it for about five years, put in a voluntary agreement and a verification system.

Thus spake on Thursday Lord John (Two Jags) Prescott, having cycled to China (or maybe not). His words were uttered on the august microphones of the BBC’s Today programme, but for some reason failed to materialise in the Today’s “running order” page, or anywhere else at the BBC site apart from the direct link to the interview’s recording. Had it not been for the Telegraph, I would have had to re-type them myself (Carbon News and DeHavilland are hiding their reports behind paywalls).

Anyway…what can they mean? Remember, whatever his past Lord Prescott is now talking for Europe, and European politicans have always liked to be at the forefront of quasi-suicidal climate-change-fighting binding pacts. They are hardly a bunch of Koch-sponsored evil Deniers: and still, at this stage of the negotiations they’re happy to settle for a five-year hiatus in imposing anything to anybody.

In other words, the most pro-AGW politicians on Earth are pretty much convinced we are not facing the last chance to save the world, it’s not 99 months to the apocalypse, the 350ppm threshold in CO2 concentration can be crossed for several years in a row without any cause for panic. Etc etc.

I wonder if all of that will go in the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC AR5?