Category Archives: Culture

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
and
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

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.

Twitter Bot Proves AGWers' Mindless Attitude, Explains Their Vast Numbers Among The Educated Classes

And somebody is naive enough to find the whole situation “hilarious”.

In truth, if a software developer can write an automated responding machine for Twitter ready to spit out standard AGW Truths, logic indicates that people that repeat those same Truths are just as mindless and devoid of critical thinking as any computer program. As I commented at Technology Review:

My impression of this whole affair is that the joke will ultimately be on the bot’s creator. If you can be replaced by a mindless machine, what does that tell people about your reasoning skills?

If a bot can sustain your argument despite being devoid of critical thinking, what should one conclude about your own critical thinking?

Yes, there is a vast literature in favor of AGW, and one can go around fishing for whatever pro-AGW statement one could ever wish for. There is even a website cataloging everything that is supposed to be linked to AGW, and that means literally everything, and its opposite. What has that _quantity_ got to do with proper science, I will never understand.

Remember Einstein…”wieso hundert Autoren?”…

This squares out nicely with Judith Curry’s statement about having in the past felt “obligated in substituting the IPCC for my own personal judgment“. It also explains perfectly why otherwise brainy people like the Bad Astronomer consistently and unremittingly fall for the shoddiest of climate-change “science” presentations.

Just like on Skeptical Science, it’s a matter of switching off all forms of independent thought, and from the comfort of residing in the mainstream, of repeating the usual mantras with a certitude that goes far beyond the scientific. Replace cerebral activity with quantity of citations, and you’ll be onboard to. Obligated to do so, just like the average chatbot.

ps Had myself a couple of encounters with @AI_AGW. What I remember noticing, was the absolute lack of interest in moving the discussion beyond the usual statements. Just like the average AGWer…are we sure it WAS a chatbot? 😎

UPDATE: as if on cue, Phil Plait joins in, blissfully unaware that the age of the chatbots will pretty much force science writers to ask if you would like fries with that. This is my comment:

Phil is as wrong on this topic as an army of astrologers convinced of replacing vaccines with UFO-inspired homeopathy. The only thing the chatbot demonstrates is that it’s pretty easy to imitate an AGW believer, and that brains or critical thinking are not needed to believe in AGW. Actually, one does rather well without brains or critical thinking, if one wants to believe in AGW.

Suffice it to say that no moon hoax debunker, no astrology debunker, no creationism debunker ever dreamed of building anything like a chatbot…

So the end result is that from today onwards, every time I will discuss with a fervent AGW believer, one of those people that think that it is a scandal to ask any question about AGW, then I will have to wonder if I am talking to a human being or to a chatbot. And it will be very, very hard to tell. 8-)

Boring Revkin

(comment posted in reply to “Your Dot: What’s Really Boring?“, on the subject of climate change being too boring – have added a couple of links to spice it up 😉 )

The challenge for the dangerous aspects of human-forced climate change to become interesting enough to appear in the news is truly daunting. If that’ll ever happen, it will be the very first time that something that is neither “soon, salient or certain” would be appearing on anybody’s Newsmap.

That alone explains the amount of “science-poor climate swill” the media obsesses over.

Suffice it to say that most of the work done by CDC or NCSE does not appear in the news. Perhaps people worried about climate change should embrace boredom, and stop chasing sensational headlines.

"World of Warmcraft" ("Fate of the World") – Why Skeptics Should Rejoice

There we go again with the Guardian trying to launch yet another warmist plaything, this time of course not killing anybody, or in truth, killing even more people than before.

I am talking of course of “Fate of the World“. a game that (according to Adam Vaughan)

puts players at the helm of a future World Trade Organisation-style environmental body with a task of saving the world by cutting carbon emissions or damning it by letting soaring temperatures wreak havoc through floods, droughts and fires

Obviously, with much less splatter to show there is not going to be an outcry like with Franny Armstrong’s disaster, yet there are many reasons to rejoice at this ultimately self-defeating propaganda piece. You see, the video game, renamed “World of Warmcrafton Twitter by the incomparable Ed Yong of Discover Blogs fame, is surely like a dream come true for many a skeptic.

As suggested by Vaughan, and then reported in an accompanying first-hand-experience article by Jack Arnott, gamers aren’t going to be presented pretty choices:

Put an emissions cap on a growing economy, stifling growth, and they’ll get fed up and throw your agency out of the area. Encourage investment and prosperity and there’ll soon be environmental consequences.[…] wars and natural disasters are often triggered inadvertently by your decisions, and you’re informed each time a major species becomes extinct […] If a regime is refusing to bow to demands, why not sponsor an insurgency force to take them out? Better yet, if a country has an unforgivably high population to emissions ratio (I’m looking at you, North America), why not covertly sterilise the population?

(Yes, yes, of course it’s all in the spirit of “dark humor“. Who would have ever thought, “dark humor” includes now playing mass-murders and genocide on a games console…let’s get out those Rwanda jokes and Hiroshima stand-up comedy!!)

What will people learn from Fate of the World, but that, according to mainstream AGW belief, hugely unpopular policies are needed to prevent “environmental consequences“, alongside forcing people to remain (or to become) poor, killing many of them by absolutely unlawful, violent regime-change sponsorships, eliminating the undesirables, etc etc? Even the existence of a “Dr Apocalypse” mode, “in which your goal is to raise temperatures around the world as much as you can without losing the political support of different regions” (in Arnott’s words) can be easily seen as a further manifestation of “AGW believer bloodlust”.

Why, if I will ever need to demonstrate that the average AGWer is a humanity-hating warmonger looking forward to inspire violence and ruin the lives of as many people as possible…I’ll do worse than pointing to a copy of “Fate of the World”.

Report From The Battle Of Ideas: "Can we trust the evidence? The IPCC – A case study"

(guest post by Fay Tuncay – slightly edited by the author)

I attended the Battle of Ideas event yesterday at the Royal College of Art in London, “Can we trust the evidence? The IPCC – a case study“. The answer is unequivocally NO! [BTW Fora TV – The world is not thinking, was there so a video will follow] It was interesting to note that there were about a dozen empty seats – certainly not your usual ‘wall to wall greens’, indicating perhaps that the IPCC and global warming, has gone off the boil and is not such a hot ticket any more.

And, I might add that, in a sense – from the greens perspective – this event was very much an opportunity for the them to publicly re-group, to wash their dirty laundry, to acknowledge and confess the past sins of the IPCC and to say: “Okay the IPCC is guilty of overt cheating and made mistakes, but essentially the science is sound and we just want to put all of that ‘Climategate’ affair behind us and move on.”

In a nutshell, this was the purpose of Fred Pearce (New Scientist), who argued this case, [and is obviously attempting to maintain his credibility and readership], and I must admit I do find him an able journalist, who sadly just hasn’t yet cottoned on to the fact that he has become a cheerleader for high-risk speculative capitalism i.e. carbon trading.

He is still under the delusion that this debate is about the science and the environment, which of course we know it is not – it’s about carbon taxes, sucking the wealth out of Britain; it’s about creating a new carbon/climate change banking system [lots more of our dosh going in to the pockets of the bankers]; essentially this debate is about power, greed, and the conflict, within capitalism between as I mentioned high-risk speculative capitalism v investment capitalism, and if the carbon traders win we will undoubtedly be further robbed of our democratic rights and freedoms, to say nothing of the imposition of devastating regressive carbon taxes on our poorest citizens.

Why AGW Is Logically Impossible

I recently started a list showing the incredible (supernatural?) number of coincidences that have to have happened (or have to be happening) for (catastrophic) AGW to be a concern. Well, the list kept growing. And so it now has its own page.

AGW is logically fallacious as it has providential undertones. In other words, for (catastrophic) AGW to be upon us right now, something akin to a God or gods (or god-like creatures) has/have to be taking care of us

The page is available next to the “About Omniclimate” menu entry in the bar below my picture.

The Best Thing About Joe Romm…

…is his ability to carry people over with him towards the realm of pure silliness.

Of course I still think that Gavin Schmidt should be considered as the best thing that ever happened to climate skeptics. But while Schmidt’s innate ability is to undermine his own arguments to no end (I am sure they guy would lose a debate about UFOs against an astrologer), Romm is becoming an inspiration for a great number of his followers to go along wherever he takes them.

There we have, for example, Tom Friedman’s obsession with praising Dick Cheney (!) and China (who cares about its treatment of journalists, when it’s investing in “clean energy”?). Yes, Friedman believes every word Romm says. Now however the game is reaching new heights, so to speak, with the most incredibly stupid rhetorical attack this side of Philipp II of Macedon threatening Sparta. The attack, that is, against solidly-warmist Scientific American for the one and only reason of having spoken about Judith Curry.

Romm takes a long long road around the problem, of course, but the main trouble (what? An article about Curry?) is never far…suffice it to say that the article’s own author, writing in Climate Central of all places, goes straight to the point, and tries to justify why he “wrote about Judith Curry” and if it is “irresponsible to discuss Curry’s views” (rather than deal with Romm’s empty complaints about online polls and the use of the IPCC AR4 report).

Lemonick keeps hammering on and on about his crystal-clear orthodoxy…of course, Curry’s “valid points” are “often points the climate-science community already agrees with”. And of course, “some of her other points are not very persuasive at all”. So for Lemonick, Judith Curry either talks trivial, or stupid. Tertium non datur. We’re back among miracles.

None of that will ever be enough now that Romm is on the case. And his believers: Salon.com wonders about a “new barbarism” (cue the usual, trite conspiracy theory), whilst the FAIR blog denies there is any (any) “worthy argument” ever made by any climate skeptic (or Judith Curry). So for Jim Naureckas Scientific American did something pretty bad, as “skepticism” is “not a respectable scientific position” because everything the mainstream scientists do is right from day one, and everything the non-mainstream scientists do is wrong by definition. This will go into the miracles list as well.

I tell you, one day Romm or somebody in his coterie will come up with the equivalent of the GIA’s 1996 declaration that the whole of Algerian society (apart from a few people) were to be massacred as some kind of “fake Muslims”. Even Osama bin Laden could not stomach as much, and we only have to wait until even the most rabid AGWers will have their “Zouabri” moment and wake up to the only possible consequence of Romm’s scorched-earth policy: complete and absolute inaction about anything that is climate-related.

And that’s why Romm’s attack against Scientific American is so incredibly stupid.

Postcards From Climate Racism

There are 14 “photomontages imagining how London could be affected by climate change” in the web pages of the Daily Telegraph, at the “Postcards from the Future” website and “on display at the Museum of London“.

Images numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 seriously stink of racism (either in the picture, or in the accompanying text), with the Great Unwashed from the “equatorial belt” ruining a once-beautiful landscape (either themselves, their camels, or their rice).

The most awful picture is surely #3, about the Gherkin having “slid down the social scale” becoming “a potential slum” full of “refugees from equatorial lands“.

I guess “Postcards from the Future” could be a great idea if anybody wanted to get the openly-xenophobic British National Party on board of the AGW train.

AGW's Logical Impossibility: The 'Argument Ad Providentiam'

(slightly expanded version of this)

UPDATED with #9 from Dick K, plus #10, 11 and 12 (this inspired also by a blog by Steven Goddard)

UPDATED with #13. And #14.

UPDATED for the last time As the list keeps growing, it has now become a page on its own.

Only the most careful readers of my quasi-live blogging about President Vaclav Klaus’s GWPF Inaugural Annual Lecture in London on Oct 19 will have noticed a quick remark I wrote, inspired by what Pres. Klaus was saying at the moment: argument ad providentiam.

That’s a concept I have mentioned sometimes in the past in some part of the web, not under that name of course. Very briefly, it goes like this: philosophically speaking, an interpretation of the world is fallacious when it implies the existence of divine, or divine-like intervention.

And so for example, AGW is logically fallacious as it has providential undertones.

Why? Because for (catastrophic) AGW to be happening right now, several amazing coincidences must have recently happened:

  1. Relatively widespread availability of computer power just enough strong to simulate the right climate projections on a multi-decadal scale
  2. Climate science developed just beyond the minimal level needed to understand how to simulate the right climate projections on a decadal scale
  3. Novel statistical approaches devised just in time, and correct from the get-go, for Mann’s Hockey Stick to emerge from the jumble of dendro- and other proxy data
  4. Governmental willingness to co-operate together all over the world (after the end of the Cold War) just in time for a worldwide problem like AGW to happen
  5. AGW recognized as an issue just as heavily-populated places such as India and China start getting their living standards on track to reach the Western world’s
  6. Western Governments discovering that there’s no money to be made out of making poverty history, just when poverty is discovered to be caused by taxable carbon (*)
  7. Invention of satellites capable of photographing the poles, just at the moment they start to melt (*)
  8. Data homogenization adjustments invariably the more negative the older the data
  9. Suddenly, actions previously known to be good are now coincidentally necessary to fight climate change (**)
  10. Climate change materializes as a worldwide emergency to be solved by typically-leftist social order interventions, immediately after the Soviet Union collapses and Communism with it
  11. A great number of scientists of various repute goes ga-ga upon reaching pension age, and speak openly of their skepticism just because they’re too old to understand a thing
  12. AGW mechanisms are such that the vast majority of warming happens in remote, very cold places where there’s a dearth of actual data and people that would notice any change, and where changes are hard to tell anyway as average temps go from hyperfreezing cold to slighly-less-than-hyperfreezing-cold (***)
  13. As the world gets warmer, plenty of Bad Things proliferate whilst plenty of Good Things dwindle in number or occurrence
  14. Just like controlled nuclear fusion, AGW catastrophes are firmly placed decades in the future, often beyond the AGWer’s own lifetime

I am sure one could continue a lot longer.

So in a sense, belief in AGW implies belief in a highly-improbable series of lucky discoveries and developments to happen just at the right time. That is called “Providence” and it is strong evidence for the existence of a Divine Being. But since such “evidence” is a contradiction in terms, then for catastrophic AGW to be happening right now, that’s a logical impossibility.

(h/t Geoff Chambers (*), Dick K (**) for the suggestions, and Steven Goddard for the inspiration to number 12 (***))

Brit Psychiatrists Are Right: Here's A Benefit Of A Low-Carbon Lifestyle

A low-carbon lifestyle could improve the mental health. Yeah? Yeah! A low-carbon lifestyle could improve the mental health…of people that are convinced that a low-carbon lifestyle is needed to save the planet.

Of course!

Professor Dinesh Bhugra, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists which represents 13,000 psychiatrists in the UK, highlighted the indisputable benefits of a low-carbon lifestyle to mental health. “Research shows a low-carbon lifestyle can improve mental health – which is why the RCPsych is proud to be playing its part in the 10:10 campaign,” he said. “People who engage in active, low-carbon activities, such as walking or cycling more often, are not only cutting emissions but keeping their bodies and minds healthy. For mild depression, physical activity can be as good as antidepressants or psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy.”

(my emphasis)

Think now about all those poor souls, AGW believers through-and-through battered by news upon bad news for more than a year now (Climategate, Copenhagen’s abject failure, the IPCC-gates such as Amazongate and Hollandunderwatergate, 10:10 celebrating murder, Pachauri hanging on, Cancun forecasted as yet another failure,  and so on and so forth).

Mild depression? I think not!! OF COURSE the AGWers, they must be a bunch of quite depressed people.

Let them show us all without further ado, how to live a low-carbon lifestyle! For their own sake!!

ps I wonder what Prof Bhugra will do when low-carbon-lifestylers will turn up to be ever more depressed, having found out what kind of un-necessarily harsh living a low-carbon lifestyle is…

(H/T Alex Cull and hro001)

President Vaclav Klaus At The GWPF Inaugural Annual Lecture: Quasi-live Blogging

Since I couldn’t get enough connectivity in the conference hall tonight, here are my quasi-live notes about President Václav Klaus’ Inaugural Annual GWPF Lecture at The Great Room of Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce in London (UK):

(these notes are provided as they are, with very little corrections – I will post my own reflections later)

(UPDATE: see also Reuters)

(UPDATE: full text of the lecture at the GWPF website)

Atrocious weather getting worse…is Al Gore in town, by any chance?

Around 70 people. Klaus’ book free to all attendants.

I meet Rupert Wyndham of BBC’s Complaint Procedure fame

Packing up quickly. Many are diplomats, as I have later learned.

7:07 Lawson and Klaus

Peiser starts. There is a lectern this time and a microphone. Videorecording equipment.

Klaus introduced as political leader but also an intellectual, of the classical liberalism variety: individual liberty, limited government, freedom to dissent.

“couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate speaker”

Copenhagen failure, Climategate, IPCC debacle: change in the political atmosphere.

Pres Klaus has been calling for rational and freedom-loving people to respond to the threat posed by collective environmentalist hysteria.

7:10
Klaus’ accent sounds better than mine

Special thanks to Nigel Lawson. Large range of institutions that support those that doubt current-prevailing dogma. This is not enough. Bias, carefully-organised propaganda needs to be countered with rationality.

Cites Bob Carter. The issue is not the warming, but the “dangerous human-induced warming”. Scientific debate is not about the policy. Public-policy debate has enormous implications. Governments, politicians, lobbyists search to grab more decision power for themselves.

Response to climate change can become the most costly mistake in history after Communism.

Cites McKitrick. Nobody is an expert on global warming. Too many aspects. Every body is an amateur on many if not most topics.

There are many respectable but highly-conflicting scientific takes on the subject. We must resist the attempt to shut down the debate. Real risk is to end up renouncing democracy.

Need to separate environmentalist myths from theories.

Has followed the literature. Carbon dioxide is a minor player, not primary cause of global warming. Cites Nobel-laureate: carbon dioxide across geological scales. Planetary changes don’t ask for permission.

Dangerous public policy consequences: many have concluded the current hypothesis is very weak. Not sufficiently tested. Can’t be used for policy decisions without looking at alternatives, opportunity costs, etc.

That is why he wrote the book about “green shackles”. (humor: since you’ve all got it, no need to continue speaking). Published in 16 different languages including Japanese and Arabic.

A year after publication, “Appeal to Reason” by Nigel Lawson. Klaus wrote the preface.to the Czech edition.

We are not on the winning side yet, but looking back since the launching of the AGW propaganda at the Rio Summit in 1992 and subsequent general pickup of the hypothesis, things have been improving.

Reputation of the scientific integrity of some of the most prominent researchers has been undermined, eg the Hockey Stick that was the basis of the 2001 IPCC report: pseudoscientific mindset, faulty data selection, frenzied propaganda, unscrupulous campaign, dubious statistics, etc etc (it’s a citation)

Copenhagen 2009 showed heterogeneity of views,

Three simple facts GW armies should keep in mind

1- Global mean climate does change, has changed, and will undoubtedly change

Over last 10k years, climate has been much the same and average temperature has not changed. Long-term, slight cooling.
GW armies are presenting a few decades as a threat to the planet to respond to with a wholesale change of our lifestyles.

Why are they so successful? Doctrines usually take much longer. Specifics of our time? Constanlty online? Religions less attractive? Desire to refill the emptiness with a new noble cause, saving the planet?

Environmentalists discovered some “more noble” than our down-to-earth lives. Can’t be accepted by somebody that lived under “noble” communism.

2- Medium-term timescales, 150 years (joke about Keynes), temperatures have shown a warming.

This is since the Northern Hemisphere emerged from the LIA two centuries ago. Trend was repeatedly interrupted.

Warming is modest and everything suggests future warming and consequences are not a cause for concern and something to battle against.

3- CO2 in atmosphere sometimes precedes, sometimes follows temp increases. Not fully understood.

No need to dispute those facts. Dispute is when people claim the coincidence in time is a “proof” of AGW. This is the current doctrine. This has existed for centuries, always with nature as the “starting point” to go back to. People are considered a foreign element. But it makes no sense to speak of a world without people, because there would be nobody to speak to (laughter).

Mentions his studies of econometric modelling. No conclusion can be based on correlation of two or more time sequences. So simple correlations do not exist.

Eg CO2 emissions did not start to grow visibly until 1940s. Temperatures at times moved in the opposite way of CO2.

Statistical analysis doesn’t demonstrate anything. Two Chinese scientists used random walk model for global temp variations. Result shows the model perfectly fits the data. No need to add human effects. No other model has given a btter fit.

There are other aspects of the doctrine, not just the simple relationship between temps and CO2. Another is the idea that increasing temperatures will be detrimental to the planet.

Many environmentalists don’t want to save man, but nature. Economics for them is irrelevant. For example the Stern review and its unreasonably low discount rate (that was what prompted Klaus to join the debate). The choice of discount rate is critical (cites Lawson). High discount rate=little meaning in any intervention.

We should use the market rate, as it is the “opportunity cost” of climate mitigation. Stern and others do not want to do that.

Klaus doesn’t deny increasing temps will see losers and winners. Even if overall is going to be detrimental, with proper discount rates the consequences are too small to worry about.

Why do many people think differently? Many have invested too much in GW alarmism. Fear of losing out on the political and professional side. Biz people hoped to make a fortune and are not ready to write it off. There is a coalition of powerful special interests endangering us. (hence the subtitle of his book.

We need to stand up against all attempts to undermine our democratic society.

We need to be prepared to all kinds of future climate changes but never accept to lose our freedom

ends at 19″43

room is packed. >100

there is a video being taken

Peter Glover: Arctic forum. No engagement at all on the two sides. The “other side” never seems to have thought things through logically.

Klaus: Many scientists are engaged Journalist in The Times keeps receiving articles and books about the dogma. The fact that the other side doesn’t listen is not new to people that lived under Communism.

Q: Roll back the ETS in Europe?

Klaus: Cap-and-trade is one of the policy measures in the hands of the environmentalists. It’s not just the USA staying away from it. But the EU is post-democratic (laughter)

Hartwell (metallurgic engineer): Presentation is political. Royal Society published paper on climate change. Many scientists there are seriously interested. We should manage the risk of future rises in temperatures

Klaus: Not impressed by science established by committee or vote. Remember nobody is an expert in GW. Another quote from Bob Carter: wide range of disciplines among “climate” scientists. Most alarm from scientists from meteor and computer modelling. Geologists see no cause for alarm.

(argument ad providentiam)

Klaus says he has used computer models too. Computer modellers are not climatologists.

Q: Ecological modernisation used by many groups to look for environmental problems to push for technology. Amount of money in the academic community is very strong. WG-III is real push for IPCC.

Klaus: can’t understand sustainable development. Environment should be differentiated from GW.

Physicist: Comment on RS. Previous head didn’t’ give space to “deniers”. current document requires further revision. Draft Copenhagen agreement deals with putting together a world government (57? 58?). Why didn’t you use that?

Klaus: Only retirees dare write against AGW. COP-15 was so confused there was no point to go there. Details impossible to follow and not relevant. Documents have no writers and no readers

Q: Bloggers have changed the nature of the debate

Lawson: Yes. Extremely-expensive decisions should not be taken without a proper debate and there hasn’t been one. The RS has been obliged to move a little bit, not much, but more than nothing. Even the BBC says dissenting voice ought to be heard.

My questions

What would convince Pres Klaus that there is something to worry about? What would he choose, climate disruption or liberty?

Klaus: Empirical evidence is what is needed. Starting point still remains. Quality of measurements for example is important. Models are not convincing, too many mistakes in the methodologies, statistics, I am not convinced

Philosopher: The psychological side. Green lobbyists want to have cars and dirty industries banned. They found the scientific reason in AGW. Political agenda feeds on fear.

Klaus: One reason for scaring us disproved, another one pops up. My interests at the beginning of the 1970a. Could get only economical reviews and scientific publications. Couldn’t understand Club of Rome and Limits to Growth. That’s total nonsense. Same computer modellers of LtG continued with AGW. Same people.

Q: AGWers are organised by somebody?
Piers Corbyn: Prepare for extreme events…ask the UN to do that?

Klaus: Anybody controlling? People that have outlived communism are oversensitive regarding the issue of getting controlled

Q: Oxford Union debate, victory. Other side went for ad-homs. Wind farms are completely useless and evidence is transparent. How do rational politicians live with that knowledge?

Klaus`; Times journo asked if other leading politicians are against AGW? Many have similar views but are afraid to say it openly. Anecdote. Some nonsense is very evident. Solar energy during the night. Wind farm generation by electrical motors.

Lawson concludes. Mentions Klaus’ bravery as he is still in office.

end at 20:29

.

Revisiting The 10/10/10 Global Work Party – An Unmitigated Disaster

Nevermind children getting blown up by their teacher and other similar amusements, nevermind the pre-packaged, obnoxiously boring “press releases” by 350.org, nevermind the minimalistic reporting on solidly-warmist outlets such as The New York Times, nevermind the barebone Wikipedia page….the best evidence that the 10/10/10 Global Work Party has been an unmitigated disaster is how little there is about it, in the Guardian’s 10-10 microsite.

One has also to wonder why the microsite sports two pictures of Eugenie Harvey. Has she got relations at the newspaper, one wonders?

Deep (Climate) Abstrusity

Copygate” must be the most abstruse story that has ever come out of the climate debate (and it’s getting worse). If Wegman is hanged, drawn and quartered, or elevated to sainthood, by George Mason University, nothing at all will change about anybody’s understanding of climate change. No-thing.

Anyway…I am joining late to the party but…didn’t Bradley read the Wegman report, when it came out? Would have been foolish if he didn’t, as he was a subject to the inquiry (p. 64: “What is the current scientific consensus on the conclusions reached by Drs. Mann, Bradley and Hughes“).

On the other hand, if Bradley did read Wegman, how did Bradley manage to fail to spot the plagiarism for so many years?

I surely can spot “my” writing style with no problem. Is Bradley aware of, can he recollect his own writing?

Has Bradley actually written the plagiarized text himself?

The Meaning Of 'Climate Consensus', In A Single Picture

Here’s how one can understand what has been happening to mainstream climate science during the last few decades: far from a reasonable attempt to figure out the whys and whats of the Earth’s climate, it’s mostly been a blind pursuit of the latest data, and especially of the ENSO index.

Three ages of scientific consensus on climate change
What climate scientists have been agreeing upon

You can read more at “Is Climatology A Thing Of The Past?“, now updated to be independent from Tamino’s opinions:

In a world they believed was cooling, climatologists found ways to explain why it was cooling. In a world they believe is warming, climatologists find ways to explain why it is warming. The fact that those beliefs are based on scientific data and theories means nothing more than current and past climate science have been scientifically feeling their ways through a very obscure dark. No sign any of us is any the wiser.

ps H/T to Steven Goddard for the ENSO graph (btw…by looking at it, I had one of my extremely rare expletive-laden moments).

Hammer, Sickle, And Geoengineering

(many thanks to FM for inspiring this)

Good old Karl Marx had a saying in lots of things, and of course it is possible to find some reference about climate change too. Interestingly, it’s not necessarily what one would expect.

This is an extract from a 1868 letter to Engels:

Very interesting is the book by Fraas (1847): Klima und Pflanzenwelt in der Zeit, eine Geschichte beider, namely as proving that climate and flora change in historical times. He is a Darwinist before Darwin, and admits even the species developing in historical times. But he is at the same time agronomist. He claims that with cultivation — depending on its degree — the ‘moisture’ so beloved by the peasants gets lost (hence also the plants migrate from south to north), and finally steppe formation occurs. The first effect of cultivation is useful, but finally devastating through deforestation, etc. This man is both a thoroughly learned philologist (he has written books in Greek) and a chemist, agronomist, etc. The conclusion is that cultivation — when it proceeds in natural growth and is not consciously controlled (as a bourgeois he naturally does not reach this point) — leaves deserts behind it, Persia, Mesopotamia, etc., Greece. So once again an unconscious socialist tendency!

What does it all mean? One could start by guessing that the reported “conclusion” (explicitly defined as beyond Fraas‘ own grasp) is that “cultivation“, like all human activities, must be “consciously controlled“. Otherwise, desertification (or any other form of disaster) will befall us. Cue State-controlled economy moving into Stalinism, or nowadays a multi-trillion-dollar global programme of action to change everybody’s way of living. All manifestations of the double hell on earth that science-led policy can be.

But let’s dig a bit deeper. The letter is mentioned in a review article of 2000, “Marx and the Metabolism between Humanity and Nature” by Peter Dickens, Journal of Critical Realism, Alethia 3.2 2000 pp 40-45:

[…] the key point here again is that Marx was trying to develop Darwin’s way of thinking. He was once more insisting that, as human beings work on nature to produce the things they need, they change themselves culturally as well as physically. […]

[…] Marx’s adoption of both Tremaux and Fraas in his attempt to upgrade Darwin can now be seen as problematic in a number of ways. More positively, however, it can be seen as a precursor to those current versions of Darwinism and evolutionary thought which emphasise not only the organism but its reciprocal interactions with its environment (Lewontin 1982, Dickens 2000). People finish up making themselves in making their environment. Similarly, the environment is indeed actively made and is not, as Malthus argued, an eternally fixed and morality-enhancing quantity. […]

In other words, a population changes its environment changes a population. This is obviously completely opposite to conservation-fixated contemporary environmentalism. Alas, that’s not what surfaced when Engels moved in on the topic:

[…] Main evidence that civilisation is an antagonistic process which in its hitherto existing form exhausts the land, turns forest into desert, makes the earth unfruitful for its original products and worsens the climate. Steppe lands and increased warmth and dryness of the climate are the consequences of culture. In Germany and Italy it is 5-6°C warmer than at the time of the forests […]

Where is this coming from then? Once again, the underlying mantra appears to be the belief that human reason would eventually come up with enough an understanding of the world as to be able to master it one way or another. Engels again:

at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature – but that we, with flesh, blood and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly

Hammer, sickle, and geoengineering indeed.

Dear (Canned) BBC…

From: Maurizio Morabito
Date: Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 12:23 AM
Subject: Re: BBC Complaints – Case number CAS-327440-R2KY4P
To: “complaintresponse@bbc.co.uk” <complaintresponse@bbc.co.uk>

Dear Mark

Thank you for replying.

You have completely misunderstood what my complaint was about. Actually, I do not think you have read a single word of it, and most likely yours is just a canned reply.

In the faint hope you are (still?) a human being, and not some computerised automated answering system, let me simply say that you have said not a peep on how to justify a third of an article about the Royal Society being devoted instead to Bob Ward’s views about the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

And _that_ was what my complaint was and still is about.

saluti/regards
maurizio

On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 3:14 PM, complaintresponse@bbc.co.uk
<complaintresponse@bbc.co.uk> wrote:
> Dear Mr Morabito
>
> Reference CAS-327440
>
> Thanks for contacting the BBC.
>
> I’m sorry to read from your email that you felt there was some bias in an
> article by our science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh on the BBC website. I
> note that you felt the opinions of Bob Ward were irrelevant and that the
> article is biased towards him.
>
> The BBC is committed to impartial and balanced coverage when it comes to
> this issue.
>
> There is broad scientific agreement on the issue of climate change and we
> reflect this accordingly; however, we do aim to ensure that we also offer
> time to the dissenting voices.
>
> Flagship BBC programmes and articles on our website have all included
> contributions from those who challenge the general scientific consensus
> recently and we will continue to offer time to such views on occasion.
>
> We’re guided by the feedback that we receive and to that end I’d like to
> assure you that I’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is
> a daily report of audience feedback that’s circulated to many BBC staff,
> including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel
> controllers and other senior managers.
>
> The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape
> decisions about future programming and content.
>
> Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
>
>
> Kind Regards
>
> Mark XXXXX
> BBC Complaints
> www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

Is This The Face Of Evil At The BBC?

 

He Who Questions Science
He Who Questions Science

 

Mukul Devichand…try to remember this name (well, it helps if you’re Indian, Welsh, or both)…why? Because Mr Devichand’s “The Spirit Level: the theory of everything?” programme on Radio4 tonight has surely been the most shocking BBC documentary since Oct 18, 1922.

You see, Mukul “Scourge of Science” Devichand HAS QUESTIONED A COUPLE OF SCIENTISTS’ THEORY.

The shock! The horror!

Yes, you’ve read it correctly. Rather than recording the usual regurgitated press release in order to reaffirm how any scientist that happens to be near a microphone is always right and always will be, Mr Devichand has done his job, what should be the normal job for every self-respecting journalist at the BBC and elsewhere: he has put forward interesting, probing, challenging questions to the scientists at hand, making sure the listeners understood the limits of the proposed theory, and going as far as to suggest some of the criticisms could be warranted.

Have you ever heard of a more evil person? (yes, I have)

The programme had no qualms in discussing the policy implications of the proposed theory, and didn’t try to paint opponents as anti-Science people. Finally, there was an open admission that (esp. in matters of public policy) things will always be interpreted according to one’s “heart”.

Is this an example of things to come? I HEREBY EXPRESS MY SUPPORT FOR THE PROMOTION OF MR MUKUL DEVICHAND AS BBC CLIMATE NEWS SUPREMO.

If only.

Just think, how many Jos Abbesses are out there, lurking in wait of another chance to metaphorically beat a BBC employee to submission at the first sign of doubt

Revealed: The Global Warmer's Secret Emergency Procedures

Toles and Michael Tobis agonize over the inability of American politics to do anything of substance about global warming. Too bad, isn’t it, that the actual practice of people that profess belief in upcoming climate catastrophes, has been following a madman’s emergency plan, hereby revealed:

  1. Make sure at every step and in every occasion that each and everybody showing any interest in the topic agrees with you completely and down to the last comma and exclamation mark
  2. Transform as many people as possible into enemies. Whenever feasible, throw insults to anybody asking any kind of question
  3. Inoculate vast numbers of people with fear, by talking about the need for a complete revolution of the whole humankind and its society
  4. Expect salvation from unlikely international agreements based on promises of many trillions of dollars, despite decades of experience with simpler agreements costing far less have consistently failed to deliver
  5. Organize practical climate-defence actions that everybody will understand are devoid of any serious effect, just for showing off. Focus on convincing people via impressive dance shows and uplifting public readings
  6. Hide the scientific data from people not belonging to the “right” network, in spite of all laws, regulations and established scientific practice
  7. Concentrate your efforts in fighting absurd worldwide conspiracies involving tens of thousands or perhaps even millions of people, all in the payrolls of Exxon and the Koch brothers, as if Shell and all the European oil and energy companies were angelic at heart.

Against Preventive Justice

The best thing that has come out so far from Splattergate is that (embarrassing self-absorbed conspiracy-obsessed holier-than-thou Italian University professors aside) at least some AGW believers are waking up to the PR and dictatorial horrors lurking within the “environmental” movement. Look at Revkin’s onetwo thrashing of 10:10, for example:

Personally, I’ve got to agree with a critique offered by a YouTube account holder who was one of many who took up the 10:10 invitation to download and repost the video — in this case with the environmental group’s “apology” superimposed on the imagery: If the same kind of video had been made about blowing up atheists, agnostics, christians, jews, muslims, whites, blacks, asians, homosexuals, left-wingers or right-wingers, it would have been met with understandable disgust; this video is a shameful display of DOUBLE STANDARDS.

And now there is also Tom Yulsman of the Center for Environment Journalism’s CE Journal: at first, wondering about “with friends like this, who needs enemies?” and then struggling to deal with a Steve Bloom ready to compare mass murderers and terrorists to climate change skeptics (one suspects, this category includes anybody not fully and precisely agreeing with whatever strain of climate catastrophism Mr Bloom adheres to).

I can’t fault Mr Yulsman really (apparently, his pivotal moment has been the realization that a good friend of his, however skeptical of future climate catastrophes, can’t possibly be an Osama bin Laden in disguise). Actually, I do not believe that it could ever be possible to respond to the likes of Mr Bloom, given the fact that he assumes that people in the present should bear culpability about “future large-scale death of people“.

Those deaths haven’t happened, but I guess it doesn’t matter, does it. It is also a well-known pinnacle of hubris to consider any future as if it had already happened (“forecasting is difficult, especially about the future“), but surely that doesn’t matter either. Preventive justice is a horrible nightmare of untold numbers of perfectly-honest people made to suffer at the mere hint of a risk, but hey, if one thinks about climate policy failures all day long, that’s (alas!) the final solution.

And so…radio has greatly helped in the Rwandan genocide, so let’s find a way to go back in time and put Marconi and Hertz in jail. Likewise for Messrs Benz and Diesel, the Wright Brothers, James Watt, etc etc. Come to think, with the incredible number of wars fought in the name of Christianity, Jesus’ turn on the cross must have been exactly the sort of punishment favored by Mr Bloom’s “descendants’ justice“.

How To Laugh About The 10:10 Children-Killing Movie (plus: About British Humor)

Five ways to laugh about the 10:10 disastrous movie despite its exploding children:

  1. Commenter Alvaro on Italian climate change non-believer website Climatemonitor: “After Mein Kampf, Mein Klima
  2. Andy Revkin at Dot Earth: “Blood spatter aside, ‘No Pressure’ proves, beyond a doubt, that we really are living in the age of stupid.
  3. Marc Roberts’ “Oh Frank. Not YOU too?!
  4. JunkkMale at JoNova‘s: “If the energy from the backpedalling could be harnessed, the world energy crisis would be solved
  5. “The Rage of Stupid” by Josh at WUWT

There are some idiotic comments out there about people not being able to “get the British humor”. That’s just a childish rhetorical ploy that reminds me of what leftist unfunny comedians claimed in Italy in the 1970s about their awful results (“it’s political satire”).

In truth, the Brits do have a curious, at times extremely cruel sense of humor, as anybody that has read “Tadpole’s Promise” can testify (story of tadpole-loves-caterpillar ends with frog-eats-butterfly-while-wondering-where-caterpillar-is). One can find in there all characteristics of good humor, with the ending completely giving a new meaning to everything that has been said in the story before BUT the only way to laugh is to remain completely detached from the frog, and from the butterfly. If either or both of them inspires you pity, there is no “humor”, for the simple reason that the story is final and tragic for both of them: there is no way back.

Compare that to the obviously-even-if-mysteriously-still-alive Mr Creosote, perhaps the movie scene most resembling the 10:10 exploding childen:

Talking about which, it’s exactly because there was always a way back, that Blackadder for example was so humorous. No matter how big the cruelty against Baldrick, no matter how disastrous the situation for Rowan Atkinson’s character, you’d always know they would be back, unchanged, in next episode. In fact, there was nothing funny at all in the very last scene of the main series, with all the long-standing characters leaving the trenches of WWI together, destined to certain death. (And yes, Frank in Mark Roberts’ comic strip is alive after his head explodes. QED)

Going back to the 10:Stupid:10 video, it is particularly difficult to find any humor also because the people that are not exploded, they do show surprise, fear, disgust. Perhaps, just perhaps, it might have looked like a spoof if they had been shown as reacting not at all to the disappearance of their friends and colleagues. We will never know.

Now, if I see anybody campaigning for 10:10, I will quietly ask them to disband and please vanish into thing air. No pressure.

ps I know, I know, it’s scientifically inaccurate in the extreme

Help Save Five Hundred Years Of Weather Observations

Collegio Romano in the 19th Century
Collegio Romano in the 19th Century

The prestigious collection of hundreds of years of weather observations, historical books and meteorological instruments from the Collegio Romano in Rome is at risk of being dispersed for good. Please sign the appeal to prevent such a disaster: http://www.petizionionline.it/petizione/salviamo-losservatorio-meteorologico-di-roma/2200 (in the signature section: “Nome”=First name; “Cognome”=Family name; “richiesto”=Mandatory field)

=========

A few days ago I have received the following letter via e-mail (translated and adapted in English from the original in Italian):

Dear friends,

It is with great sadness that I am forwarding the attached letter – press release by the staff at the Research Unit for Applied Meteorology and Climatology in Agriculture (in Italian: CRA-CMA), the direct descendant of the first Italian National Weather Station inaugurated in 1876 and headquartered at the Collegio Romano from 1879 (in an area previously occupied by the Meteorological Observatory built in 1782 by Abbot Giuseppe Calandrelli (the first to apply gravitational theory to cometary atmospheres)). I hope that those who have taken this decision will go back on it, at least reconsider this meteorological site, by declaring its historical importance for Italian meteorology. That would mean leaving untouched its Library, Historical Archives and the Museum of Ancient Meteorological and Seismographic Instruments, as well as the historic Calandrelli Observatory. The Library is at present unique in Italy, after the closure, in the 1990s, of the Air Force Weather Service Library.

Calandrelli Observatory
Calandrelli Observatory

The accompanying “press release” says the threatened closure is due to forced savings at the CRA, even if those same savings are pretty much doubtful (premises are free of rent, and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has pledged to pay all CRA-CMA costs).

Signatures against the disappearance of the historical collections of CRA-CMA are being collected since Oct 2, but the hoped-for 5,000-signatory target is still far away. There is also a Facebook group (in Italian) where to show one’s support.

More details about CRA-CMA from the “press release”: the library, known as “Central Italian Meteorological Library”, boasts more than 40,000 rare and valuable Italian and foreign texts of meteorology and geophysics, some dating back to the 1500s; the area has played host to famous scientists who have made the history of meteorology (Galileo Galilei, Father Angelo Secchi, Enrico Fermi). There is also a collection of highly-valued rare and prestigious historical seismographic and meteorological instruments.

CRA-CMA still manages a network of weather stations located throughout the country. The historical archive of weather data is of unique importance (with six million data points for each observed weather variable) and is one of the few in the world with multi-centennial meteorological and climate data series. “Such data are key for the undertaking of climate studies aimed at land use, agrometeorology, renewable energy sources and energy saving. “To this day, CRA-CMA’s Rome Meteorological Observatory’s unbroken series of centuries of weather reporting remains of paramount importance for the study of climate changes in the city“.

As it happens, CRA-CMA’s Curator Dr Franca Mangianti is no rabid AGWer (time will tell if that’s got anything to do with the threatened closure):

Q: You take care of more than a century of continuous weather observations, recorded year after year in the “bulletins”. What can you tell us about climate change? Are we really going towards a catastrophe?

A: Actually, regarding the “global warming” issues, our data tell us that the temperature in Rome has increased 0.8C during a hundred years, i.e. less than a degree. That’s very little really. Historically Earth has seen long cold and warm periods (we are talking about years and sometimes centuries). Over the past twenty years, for example, we have experienced a warmer period and it is therefore quite normal that temperatures have slightly increased. This does not mean that temperatures will go up forever. Indeed, it is very likely that in a few years they will start going down again. Unfortunately a kind of excessive alarmism bases itself on the application of mathematical models to meteorological data, without including a proper analysis of the past. About rainfall, however, the last century has certainly seen a decrease. In Rome, it rains now far less than in the past and this better be considered before embarking into exaggerated alarms, for example, about future floods of the river Tiber. With rains like we get nowadays, and the protections built on Garibaldi’s inspiration, you can be sure that the Tiber in Rome will not overflow again.

An interesting article among the scientific literature that has come out of CRA-CMA:

M. Colacino and A. Lavagnini, Evidence of the urban heat island in Rome by climatological analyses, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Volume 31, Numbers 1-2, 87-97, DOI: 10.1007/BF02311344

The analysis of air temperature data covering a period of 12 years (1964-1975) in a meteorological station network situated in the low Tiber Valley, shows clearly the effect of the heat urban island due to the city of Rome. This effect occurs with different intensity according to the seasons and to minimum and maximum temperatures.

And lest anybody thinks Exxon and the Koch brothers have been busy taking over a meteorological station in Rome:

Andrea Toreti and Franco Desiato, Changes in temperature extremes over Italy in the last 44 years, International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 6, pages 733–745, May 2008, DOI: 10.1002/joc.1576

Changes in temperature extremes over Italy from 1961 to 2004 were evaluated on the basis of minimum and maximum temperatures measured by 49 synoptic stations uniformly distributed over the country. A set of extreme temperature indices of the Commission for Climatology/Climate Variability and Predictability (CCl/CLIVAR) Working Group on Climate Change Detection was calculated and statistically analysed in order to detect the presence of trends and quantify the variations of the indices for different time periods. Most of the indices, averaged over all stations, show a cooling trend until the end of the 1970s followed by a more pronounced warming trend in the last 25 years. The net variation of the indices reflects an increase in the extremes of the temperature distribution. Among the most significant results, an average increase of 12.3 summer days and 12.4 tropical nights in the overall 44 years are estimated. No significant differences between northern, central and southern Italy are found for most indices, indicating that the trends originate from large-scale climate features; however, the largest increase of tropical nights is observed at coastal stations. Copyright © 2007 Royal Meteorological Society

Please do sign, and ask people to sign, the online petition to save CRA-CMA.

Part of the Library at Collegio Romano
Part of the Library at Collegio Romano

UPDATE: Here’s the English version of the online petition

The historical meteorological observatory of the Collegio Romano, in operation for 228 years, has been told to vacate its premises occupied from 1879. To this moment, nobody knows where it will be moved to, and worse, nobody knows what will be the future location of its Library, immense historical Archives and collection of old instruments, a priceless heritage cared for during more than two centuries by many great people with lots of passion.

The situation arises from research cuts put in place on September 27 by the CRA (Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture). One has to wonder how they could agree on such a decision, what the real reasons could be and how it is possible that a “Research Institute” could throw away a historical *research* archive built for over two centuries!

The closure of the observatory at the Collegio Romano is a barbaric act, against the history, culture and meteorological tradition of Rome and of Italy. The observatory is a precious piece of history that once pulled apart, will never recover.

There are further questions about the decision since, in the words of staff at the observatory, “the premises are rent-free and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has formally committed itself to support all operating expenses”. The Library, known as the Central Library of the Italian Meteorology, has been claimed as state property in 1998, and it is composed of more than 15,000 Italian and foreign, rare and valuable books of meteorology and geophysics, some dating back to the 1500s. It is also the main historical archvie for the meteorological and geophysics Italian studies in the modern age, and has been visited over the centuries by the likes of Galileo Galilei, Father Angelo Secchi, Enrico Fermi.

Alongside the books, there are many valuable weather and seismic instruments, showing the evolution of measurement systems in Italy. The historic weather archive – one of the few data series in the world covering several centuries – consists of over six million disaggregated data points for each weather variable.

The Bernacca Association, hoping to be joined in its efforts by other weather-related associations, is opposed to this decision. We want to save a priceless heritage that some “enlightened minds” are trying to squander.

SIGN THE PETITION
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Climate Change Catastrophism, As Ridiculous, Sublime And Dangerous As Ever

Talking about “Climate change scepticism is an age-old problem” Brendan Barrett and Sven Åke Bjørke at the UN University manage to be ridiculous, sublime and dangerous at the same time.

“Ridiculous” when they complain of poor communication between (catastrophic climate change) believers and skeptics after using the odious word, “denier”; and when they say that only extreme voices get audience, and at the same time label all skeptics as vaguely paranoid.

“Sublime” when they quote the thoughts of Malthus about advocates “indulging in bitter invectives” instead of being practical and solution-focused (obviously, not even Malthus could get it all wrong).

Finally, “dangerous” when they suggest there is no more time left to debate the causes of climate change. Historically, those who felt there was not enough time to save the world, went on to commit genocide.

The Great Climate Crunch Of 2010

Haven’t posted much of late. For two reason: one, a super-secrete Earth-shattering project (or rather, a smaller version of it), and two, because with the whole catastrophic climate change narrative imploding around me, I do not really find much in pleasure in flogging a comatose horse…

We have the BBC’s Richard Black severely reprimanded by the illiberals at Climate Progress. The UK Government might get rid of its Climate Department and doesn’t want to keep foraging the solar power industry no more. The New Statesman, no less, forces itself into recognising the importance of Stephen McIntyre. There’s Scientific American stating that “the leaked “Climategate” e-mails painted researchers as censorious”, whilst Lord Turnbull is allowed to write in the pages of the Financial Times that “a climate overhaul is needed to win back public trust”

Of course Obama wants no solar panels for the White House, and Revkin gives up on the climate fight. Keith Kloor finds out some people want to censor what they don’t perfectly like.

If another bunch of hidden, dodgy emails shows up now, the “catastrophic climate” discourse will go the way of the Dodo.

UPDATE: Climategate keeps popping up with what a few weeks ago were unlikely comments. For example at the UN University:

“the emotive exchanges surrounding the so-called climategate affair [show] that the climate scientists at the University of East Anglia did not feel completely comfortable sharing all their data with those sceptical of their work, and intrinsically [highlight] how this situation has undermined the credibility of the science involved, to a degree”

Has The US Establishment Got Any Confidence In Climate Science?

Yes, I know it was the day of the stupidest Friedman column ever (favorite quote: “There is really no debate about climate change in China“…yessssir, there is really no debate about anything in China, it’s a dictatorship, thank you very much!).

But then something else popped up in the news, to provide a ray of optimism against the advance of rabid climate change belief. Just like in the UK, the top American cheeses don’t seem willing to walk the global warming walk. Shock, horror, “Obama backs utilities in key climate change lawsuit“.

Yes, the POTUS too, he doesn’t believe climate change as it’s known today, would be able to resist to a proper analysis.

Thank you, Mr President!

Has The UK Establishment Got Any Confidence In Climate Science?

Among the few things I have learned after thirteen years of living in England, there’s an appreciation for understatements and reading between the lines.

Prurient, tight-lipped local society is in fact constantly trying to verbally channel its anger and other frustrations in “acceptable” ways, so the language is hammered day-in day-out by the search of new ways to speak the unspeakable (eg the number of objects whose names can’t be used for sexual innuendos is dwindling if not already zero).

That’s why I am developing a feeling that the botched, inconclusive, confused Climategate inquiries have actually been yelling their underlying message loud and clear.

See? Neither Parliament or Lord Oxburgh or Sir Muir Russell of the “independent” UEA commissions tried to deal with climate science as such: to the point that Oxburgh himself wrote:

“The panel was not concerned with whether the conclusions of the published research were correct”

And what made them all think unwise to touch climate science with a long pole? Why, it’s all easy to understand under the hypothesis that very few people, either in Parliament, or at the UEA, or among the top echelons of British Science, have got the confidence that climate science would survive any serious scrutiny…

Copenhagen Humor

Couple of year-old clippings from the NYT “Green Inc” blog. All humor as unintended as ever.

Nov 29, 2009:

[…] few failed to recognize that the Copenhagen plot line — after years, really, of stalemate, lowered expectations and continued scientific bickering — appeared to be moving forward. “As we head towards Copenhagen, the world’s two largest emitters have stepped up to the plate at the highest political level,” Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute, said in a statement. “This shows that international engagement on climate change can produce real results.”

Dec 8, 2009:

The U.N. Climate Convention meeting needs to be a show‐stopper and a chart‐topper in the annals of international cooperation,” said Achim Steiner, head of the United Nation’s Environment Program, according to the Seal the Deal Web site. “As the negotiations kick off in Copenhagen, Dance for Climate Change can help energize action towards ensuring that nations hit the highest of high notes on the climate change challenge.” […] As show time approached, in fact, so few tickets had been sold that the price dropped to $15. And according to some local reports, tickets were actually handed out for free at the gates when the music began to play. Various reports put attendance at about 2,000. Amanda Orlanda, a spokeswoman for the Water for Life concerts, told the Danish music magazine Gaffa that about 10,000 tickets had been sold, though she conceded that somewhat fewer showed up, noting that many of the foreign delegates in town for the negotiations may have had a hard time figuring out how to find Parken Stadium, a communications breakdown on the organizers’ part, she said. “We could have done better,” she said.

Climate Change Denial Perverts And The Unconscious Obstacles To Caring For The Planet

Anybody with £60 and a weekend to spare should attend the two-day event “Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic Perspectives“, organised by The Institute of Psychoanalysis, Byron House, 112a Shirland Road, London, W9 2EQ for Oct 16-17.

You will be told about psychic consequences of the discovery of personal ecological debt, different structures of feeling in relation to the natural world and about engaging with the natural world and with human nature. You will also be told about unconscious obstacles to caring for the planet, and climate change denial in a perverse culture.

Fear not, however, as it’s specialists in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in attendance. At worst, you’ll risk to be put on a couch under a barrage of questions about your childhood. Think instead of the danger of electroconvulsive therapy, if fully-fledged psychiatrists start opining about your perversions and unconscious obstacles…