Why the List of Participants to the BBC CMEP Jan 2006 Seminar is important

updated Nov 13 23:29: those four were not actually “low level”

updated Nov 18 10:20: added direct link to Bruce’s comment

Yesterday night this site has seen the second large journalistic scoop of my life (so far): “Full List of Participants to the BBC CMEP Seminar on 26 January 2006” (here’s the first one: “World Exclusive: CIA 1974 Document Reveals Emptiness of AGW Scares, Closes Debate On Global Cooling Consensus (And More…)“).

Here’s a summary of why such a list if very important, thanks to Bruce Hoult in a Bishop Hill comment I wish I knew how to link to:

  • This is incredible. In Jan 2006 the BBC held a meeting of “the best scientific experts” to decide BBC policy on climate change reporting (t)
  • The BBC has been in court blocking FOI attempts to get the list of the 28 attendees, but it’s just been discovered on the wayback machine (t)
  • It turns out that only 3 were current scientists (all alarmists). The rest were activists or journalists (t)
  • The BBC sent four low level representatives: Peter Rippon, Steve Mitchell, Helen Boaden, George Enwistle. All have since risen to power. (t)
  • Amazingly, those are also the exact four who have thus far resigned this week over the false paedophilia accusations against Lord McAlpine. (t)

For more background read Andrew Montford’s “Conspiracy of Green” and Andrew Orlowski’s recent article “FOlA judges: Secret 28 who made the BBC Green will not be named“.

Full List of Participants to the BBC CMEP Seminar on 26 January 2006

This list has been obtained legally.

This is for Tony, Andrew, Benny, Barry and for all of us Harmless Davids.

January 26th 2006,

BBC Television Centre, London
Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia
BBC attendees:
Jana Bennett, Director of Television
Sacha Baveystock, Executive Producer, Science
Helen Boaden, Director of News
Andrew Lane, Manager, Weather, TV News
Anne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBC
Dominic Vallely, Executive Editor, Entertainment
Eleanor Moran, Development Executive, Drama Commissioning
Elizabeth McKay, Project Executive, Education
Emma Swain, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual
Fergal Keane, (Chair), Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Fran Unsworth, Head of Newsgathering
George Entwistle, Head of TV Current Affairs
Glenwyn Benson, Controller, Factual TV
John Lynch, Creative Director, Specialist Factual
Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy
Jon Williams, TV Editor Newsgathering
Karen O’Connor, Editor, This World, Current Affairs
Catriona McKenzie, Tightrope Pictures catriona@tightropepictures.com

BBC Television Centre, London (cont)
Liz Molyneux, Editorial Executive, Factual Commissioning
Matt Morris, Head of News, Radio Five Live
Neil Nightingale, Head of Natural History Unit
Paul Brannan, Deputy Head of News Interactive
Peter Horrocks, Head of Television News
Peter Rippon, Duty Editor, World at One/PM/The World this Weekend
Phil Harding, Director, English Networks & Nations
Steve Mitchell, Head Of Radio News
Sue Inglish, Head Of Political Programmes
Frances Weil, Editor of News Special Events

A More Appropriate Job For Shashank Tripathi

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy and a lot of malfunctioning neurons, Shashank Tripathi has ended up in the dubious category of stupidest/most evil Twitter user ever for idiocies like these:

  • BREAKING: Confirmed flooding on NYSE. The trading floor is flooded under more than 3 feet of water.
  • BREAKING MT @jhlipton: Con Ed shut down lower Manhattan system due to high tides
  • BREAKING: Con Edison has begun shutting down ALL power in Manhattan

This is a real pity for two reasons. First of all it makes me wish quartering were back. Secondly, Mr Tripathi could have simply chosen a more appropriate career, for example writing the following for eager audiences at Grist, 350.org, SkepticalScience and/or The Guardian:

  • BREAKING: Confirmed threat of future flooding on NYSE. The trading floor might be flooded under more than 3 feet of water by the end of the century
  • BREAKING MT @jhlipton: Con Ed could shut down lower Manhattan system due to high tides in 2080
  • BREAKING: Con Edison will possibly begin shutting down ALL power in Manhattan in the 2100′s

See? Bill McKibben couldn’t have said it better…

The Unknown Skeptic – My Essay at WUWT

Anthony Watts of WUWT has been kind enough to host “The Unknown Skeptic – Journalism, awaiting to be freed“, a rather long essay of mine of the work done by James Painter and others in order to identify what makes climate change skeptical voices audible and readable more or less often in six countries.

The original and twice-as-long essay, divided in seven parts, was published on this site at the beginning of February 2012 (starting point here).

Finally and BTW, let me top this shameless self-promotion and elevate this comment left at WUWT:

John Whitman says:

Maurizio Morabito (aka omnologos ),

Your piece is a feast of ideas that I think will fertilize others to write an avalanche of additional posts on the virtues of hard core scientific skepticism toward the IPCC ‘consensus’ / ‘settled’ alarming climate science.

I really liked your, “Rather differently than Isaac Newton, Dr Painter might have found himself not on the shoulder of giants, but under the boots of minions.”

I really like your sense of style.

Thank you.


Climate Scientists Are Always Right…Yes They Are!

(originally published on Nov 17. 2007. The Italian version is here.)

Read scientist Vincenzo Ferrara, former Climate Change advisor to the Italian Environment, explain how to become a famous Climatologist (from ”Rivista di Meteorologia Aeronautica”, Vol XLII n. 1, Jan-Mar 1982):

(The following is an abridged translation)

If you are a climatologist and you want to survive as a climatologist, perhaps even increasing your reputation, all you have to do is provide the exact diagnosis and prognosis that people expect.

To the question “Is the climate changing?“, by all means, never, ever reply “No, everything’s normal“, or “It’s just fakery pumped up by newspapers and on television“: because people would unanimously conclude that you understand nothing about metereology, and nothing about climate.

It would be the end of your career.

The only sensible answer is: “Of course it is changing! It’s a well-known fact, scientifically confirmed and one that none cannot argue against“. You can then launch yourself in forecasting for the next hundred years a climate identical to the current one, amplifying the latest phenomena to extreme consequences.

If it is cold you’ll therefore predict “ice ages“, if it’s warm a “torrid period“, and if there are signs of strong variability “short-term climatic extremes” and more-or-less the same climate in the long term.

You may be wondering, how can a serious climatologist provide impossible, mutually-excluding forecasts without looking silly? Fear not: science will provide all the support needed.

Because climatology has already thought of everything and will supply the right solution in every circumstance, even in the most hopeless cases.

So if it is cold, here’s what you will have to say: “The climate is changing and we are approaching an Ice Age.

This fact has already been scientifically assessed because since 1940, the average temperature of the northern hemisphere has diminished by approximately 0,4°C, probably because of a decrease in atmospheric transparency due to air pollution.

The cooling of the air causes an increase in the extension of glaciers and of snow fields, furthering lowering temperatures with their highly reflecting (high albedo) surfaces. Glaciers therefore increase even more, in a positive feedback that will bring us to a new Ice Age in a hundred years or even less“.

What if it is warm? Then the discourse becomes: “The climate is changing and we are approaching a Torrid Age.

This fact has already been scientifically assessed because since 1850 the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere has progressively increased and just in the last twenty years has gone from 315 to 334 parts for million. That means that in 2020 the accumulation of carbon dioxide will have more than doubled, taking into account the continuously increasing energy demands and consumption of fossil fuels.

The increase of carbon dioxide reduces the Earth’s long-wave emissions to space (greenhouse effect) so within half a century the average air temperature will increase by approximately 2 or 3°C; the polar ice will dissolve and a sizeable sea level increase will submerge several coastal cities“.

Extending Ben Goldacre’s Appeal To Authority to real life

Bishop Hill has a post quoting Ben Goldacre’s “appeal to authority”:

“you have only two choices: you can either learn to interpret data yourself and come to your own informed conclusions; or you decide who to trust”

That statement misses a crucial point. It should be extended as:

“you have only two choices: you can either learn to interpret data yourself and come to your own informed conclusions; or you decide who to trust” AS LONG AS THEY APPEAR TRUSTWORTHY.

Because the Authority has to regain its authority every single time.

Otherwise it’s just a sell-out of the brain, sheepishly sticking eg to the opinion of the Royal Society no matter how stupid that opinion might become in the future.

“It is very difficult to induce lawmakers to pass laws for the benefit of the unborn who have no votes”

Major Leonard Darwin, speaking at the Second International Eugenics Congress, at the AMNH around September 25, 1921:

“It is very difficult to induce lawmakers to pass laws for the benefit of the unborn who have no votes”

From the same session:

“Dr Davenport said that the study of eugenics must progress until proofs of its contentions are piled high and have impressed the general community, before political action becomes a possibility”


Negative Thinking and Tipping Points

A comment I just wrote at Bishop Hill (Jun 20, 2012 at 12:16 AM), answering a researcher on the topic of tipping points and climate change:

Doug – thanks for the reply. I can feel some major fundamental disagreements on the approach.

(I do hope you appreciate frankness, and rest assured I am not trying to convince you of anything!)

1. You say you don’t know much about positive tipping points. Like with Adam Corner’s psychosocial studies only of skeptics, this doesn’t sound like the wisest way towards understanding tipping points in general and independently from their “policy value”.

2. You say you “would expect a policy maker to take in information from a large number of sources on this”. But you’re aware the policy maker will never hear about positive tipping points, from anybody at all. This removes value to the advice and information you yourself provide, sort of telling a ship’s captain to steer away from the continent port-side whilst the two of you don’t notice the island approaching from starboard.

3. You are of the opinion that “there is a strong argument that an abrupt change in climate would likely affect social and ecological systems negatively”. Not really. I can see the problem from a Development Studies perspective thanks to some University-level studies of mine in that respect. There is an approach there called “Vulnerability Analysis”, where poverty is defined in terms of number and size of one’s vulnerabilities. Abrupt change of any sort of course will affect negatively the most vulnerable, simply because almost everything affects negatively the most vulnerable. Imagine somebody starving for a week, even eating food will become a risky activity for them.

This tells us nothing about the negativity of the change. OTOH the effect of the change on the less-vulnerable will depend on what kinds of vulnerability they suffer from. A priori, it is impossible to tell if change and even abrupt change will be overall negative or positive.

For example the invention of the internal combustion engine has been an abrupt, enormous effect on societies everywhere, but who would say it has been negative in general? And like there is no such a thing as a “system” of people that is mostly tuned to a particular environment (travel from Iceland to Senegal to see how flexible human societies are), just as well what happened at Krakatoa means “systems” of the wild can recover in amazing fashions.

Therefore, there cannot be any “strong argument” of the kind you describe. Perhaps there is a diffuse opinion that change=bad and abrupt change=awful, but it is an opinion, not a scientific finding.

4. Your final statement is perfectly logical but conveys a curious, illogical message. You say, “if there was a really large change in some aspect of the climate over, say, the next decade (anthropogenic or not), and climate science hadn’t at least warned about it, you would rightfully be angry”. Perhaps me, but surely whoever is paying for climate change research.

This is some form of recursive logic.

(a) Somebody finances climate change research with the aim of understanding if there is change in the pipeline and of what kind. This makes sense.

(b) Researchers whose job is to work about climate change with the aim of etc etc, in the face of obvious, enormous difficulties in providing what’s been requested think about how best to fulfil their duty. This makes sense.

(c) As the duty is to be able to warn in advance of changes, those researchers arrive at the conclusion that, if anything happens and they didn’t warn about it, they will be seen as a failure at their job/profession. This makes sense.

(d) Therefore, those researchers make sure they describe all the possibile negativities, so that nobody will be able to say, “you didn’t warn us about this”. This makes sense.

However, the end result is that the researchers don’t focus any longer on understanding if there is change in the pipeline and of what kind, but mostly on figuring out all the bad things that might happen, and assigning each a probability.

This makes no sense. The information finally provided risks reading like plain-language Nostradamus prophecies with informed risk estimates attached to them. If we did the same exercise about health risks in the home, there would be a law against entering bathrooms and kitchens.

Live Microblogging of GWPF 2012 Annual Lecture with Prof Fritz Varenholt

The following are the ordered notes published live on Twitter at @mmorabito67 during the GWPF 2012 Annual Lecture with Prof Fritz Varenholt, at the Royal Society building in London on June 13, 2012:

  • Benny Peiser starts right on time. Around 200 or more in attendance. Full house.
  • Peiser describes the environmental credentials of Varenholt. Reaction to Seveso, early Green.
  • Lecture starts with reference to upcoming #Euro2012 Germany match tonight.
  • Varenholt says he passed from green hero to doubtful scientist. Ironic but expected.
  • Varenholt mentions feeling of suppressed knowledge upon seeing LIA disappeared
  • Lots of dry humor
  • Varenholt talks of own experience with wind power company. Wind index in Germany shown highly correlating with NAO
  • Wind in Spain anticorrelated to NAO. Doubt on IPCC starting there. Then flattened temps since 1998
  • Standard Answer climate is 30y not 14y but then why the stoppage? Shows longer term graphs with temp increases
  • Varenholt mentions increase in CO2 and solar activity. Then #IPCC diagram of sensitivity. Says CO2 influences climate change
  • Varenholt says “solely the degree of influence is disputed”. IPCC had to introduce an “amplifier” for CO2 effect.
  • CO2 and temps shown correlating only between 1977 and 1998. Why not other periods?
  • Hockey Stick used with Gore’s movie in 000’s DVDs free to Germans to show people AGW real.
  • Mentions #Gergis trying to revive a ghost even Mann has renounced to
  • Now for natural cycles on the centennial scale and longer. Steinhilber 2009, Ljunquist 2010 with #MWP and #LIA –
  • Synchronicity between solar activity and temps in North Atlantic in Bond (2001) but Rahmstorf high priest against it
  • Shows 18 papers all over the world all finding what Bond 2001 found eg Kemp 2012
  • Example Liu et al 2011 Tibet with mwp and lia and forecast of no warming to 2200.
  • Chinese papers can also show what the government approves so even more interesting
  • Solar activity correlates with historical events too since 1600. Eg French revolution and scarce food
  • Solar cycle 24 current weak like cycle 5 of french revolution
  • People dismiss solar activity by considering #TSI which changes very little
  • However UV solar activity changes by 70% – no physical explanation how Sun influences climate change though
  • Varenholt explains possible mechanism with solar magnetic field shielding cosmic rays
  • Shows decrease in cosmic rays reaching earth during 20th century then slightly increasing after 2000
  • Mash Svensmark 2003 showing correlation between low-hanging clouds and solar activity
  • 60y cycle in Pacific #PDO warm phase between 1977 and 2006. Says AGW trend is underlining natural cycles
  • Critique of flawed temp graph with shortening timespans
  • Varenholt forecasts 0.5C by 2100 prolonging AGW trend minus natural oscillations
  • Kyoto efforts only 15% of emitters EU + ANZ. All for compensating 8 weeks of Chinese development
  • Speed of transformation in Germany “exaggerated” ie uselessly overambitious
  • Effort on photovoltaic energy maximum now that it’s the most expensive
  • €8B collected from all and given to wealthier people so transfer from poor to rich
  • Wind and solar not on-demand so lower reliability and more need for storage.
  • Germany forced to pay Netherlands to provide electricity to the Dutch. €100M per year.
  • Ethics Commission of bishops and sociologists suggested converting energy into H2 then methane. V. expensive
  • In 2050 Germany needs 230 times more storage capacity – compares to Constance Lake brought up in mountains
  • Problem of additional grid needed. Lots of it.
  • Summary: good news. Sun gives time to change energy system. Catastrophism has been used to justify madness.
  • Sacrificing forests for wind turbines is a very bad thing for nature.
  • Speaks of a climate of fear. Conventional always part of good energy mix alongside renewables
  • Current efforts not SUSTAINABLE. (Key sentence for the night?)
  • Final phrase of “it’s the sun stupid”
  • I asked how to communicate with greenies. Also other q on how to increase number of people “on road to.Damascus”
  • Varenholt mentions building trust. Communication via newspapers where everybody should be involved in discussions.
  • Politicians react to emotions in people.
  • Engineers need be more involved in discussions also political
  • Czech ambassador asks about abandonment of nuclear in Germany. Another q on carbon cost of renewables
  • Nuclear abandoned even if tsunami danger minimal. Political will.
  • Steel carbon recovered in 6 months. Solar 5 times more.
  • Solar not sustainable apart from in a new DDR
  • Don Keeler asks why greens against shale gas. Varenholt says it’s the game changer. Poland will definitely exploit it.
  • 400y of gas between Wales and Bielorussia. Environmentalists pushed moratorium but Varenholt says we’ll need shale gas later.
  • Huge amounts in China too. Gas will level volatility. But too cheap for wind and solar.
  • Carbon tax would kill photovoltaic if all subsidies removed unless very very high.
  • Ends with Lord #Lawson reminding what GWPF is about.
  • Says Varenholt pointed out how.uncertainty means correct policy difficult to identify.
  • Praises Varenholt for being able to.change mind according to.evidence
  • Hopes book will be translated. Says models obviously wrong.

Had they listened to DNA…

…the whole Climate Change brouhaha would have been (a) very different and (b) more scientific and (c) less of a bandwagon.

From “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

I’m a scientist and I know what constitutes proof. But the reason I call myself by my childhood name [Wonko the Sane] is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that. I’ll show you something to demonstrate that later. So, the other reason I call myself Wonko the Sane is so that people will think I am a fool. That allows me to say what I see when I see it. You can’t possibly be a scientist if you mind people thinking that you’re a fool.

History (at NASA) shows what’s wrong with “Scientific Consensus”

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun. (NIV)

Quotes from NASA’s Earth Observatory pages about Alfred Wegener:

  • the international geological community’s reaction to Wegener’s theory was militantly hostile.
  • Wegener’s […] cogent and comprehensive work […] was impossible to ignore and ignited a firestorm of rage and rancor
  • most of the blistering attacks were aimed at Wegener himself, an outsider who seemed to be attacking the very foundations of geology.
  • Even though Wegener assembled many interlocking pieces of evidence to support his ideas, they were so radical that he was often ridiculed.
  • Because of this abuse,Wegener could not get a professorship at any German university.
  • In 1926 Wegener was invited to an international symposium in New York called to discuss his theory. Though he found some supporters, many speakers were sarcastic to the point of insult.
  • the merit of much […] of his supporting evidence was not widely recognized at the time.
  • As a result, most geologists eventually dismissed his theory as a fairy tale or “mere geopoetry.”

Past performance suggests any date between 2018 and 2091 as the year CO2-based CAGW (or CO2-CAGW) went the way of the dodo.

A History Of Scientific Uncertainties (on their way to policymaking oblivion)

I know this story well about climate science. I am pretty sure it happens all the time in every scientific field that has social implications.

  1. The scientific paper details the uncertainties
  2. The IPCC chapter mentions the uncertainties
  3. The IPCC SPM (summary for policymakers) contains some indication of the uncertainties inside one item in the bibliography
  4. The Press Release doesn’t have space for the uncertainties apart from a side remark in the middle of the text
  5. The interviewed scientist is not asked about the uncertainties
  6. The journalistic article isn’t interested in the uncertainties
  7. The policymaker either doesn’t know the uncertainties exist, or pivots all his/her career about some of the uncertainties as reported to him/her third- or fourth-hand.

Broken telephones all around…

Unbelievable #FAIL at “Forecast the Facts”

Another proud moment for the Organization with the Stupidest Name

See if you can spot it, before I explain it (and before they edit the original page):

Obama bin Laden

Yes Ladies and Gentlemen…it’s “OBAMA BIN LADEN”!! Brad “My Breivik article has been temporarily disappeared by Joe Romm” Johnson going for the proverbial Freudian Slip

Plus of course it’s a Press Release so who knows how many newspapers and websites will simply reprint it as-is propagating a rather nasty and completely unfounded rumor about the President of the United States!!

How To Become A Connect-the-Dots Campaigner

  1. Take the IPCC SREX report
  2. Find any mention of unusual weather
  3. Remove all words, adjectives, adverbs that indicate uncertainty
  4. Change all verbs from future to present (or near-past) tense
  5. Claim that the resulting mangled mess is “science” and that it is on your side
  6. Scour the planet in the hope somebody, somewhere has had their life ruined by an atmospheric event – collect dramatic pictures about it
  7. Go out on 5/5/12 and shout antiscientific fakehoods to save the planet

The Immoral Judgement behind Climate Activism

Judith Curry has a very concise summary of the latest Nature Climate Change shot-in-the-dark, called “Climate change and moral judgement” (by Ezra M. Markowitz and Azim F. Shariff, NCC, vol.2, April 2012).

The study is based on the usual wholesale vapidity of bombastic statements made meaningless by the absence of any quantification

The climate science community has arrived at a consensus regarding both the reality of rapid, anthropogenic climate change and the necessity of urgent and sustained action to avoid its worst environmental, economic and social consequences

Having switched off their brains to accept the ‘consensus’, the authors forgot to turn them back on before writing gems like

Unlike financial fraud or terrorist attacks, climate change does not register, emotionally, as a wrong that demands to be righted. As a result, many individuals, even those who believe that climate change is a problem, may feel complacent in delaying immediate — and costly — ameliorative action, such as investing in alternative-energy technologies or reducing one’s own energy use

Markowitz and Shariff clearly don’t understand that “climate change” belongs to the future, whilst financial fraud and terrorist attacks belong also to the past and present. They don’t even understand that “ameliorative action” has nothing to do with “reducing one’s own energy use” (a wishy-washy commitment for anybody bothering to do the maths), and that “investing in alternative-energy technologies” is pointless unless the cost is linked to some benefit, with the benefit being larger than the cost that is.

Another classic:

the more space there is for uncertainty the more wishful thinking we have

As if. Markowitz and Shariff are dangerously toying there with the idea of becoming totally anti-scientific. As per another of Curry’s posts, “Uncertainty is a necessary ingredient in the recipe for discovery. Certainty gets in the way of discovery because we are not inclined to investigate further the things we think we know for certain“. From this POV, “certainty” is the realm of the uninterested ignorant, the last type of people that is who could possibly do anything meaningful about climate change.

There are more signs of science having taken a leave of absence from Nature Climate Change in this case. The authors list “six psychological challenges posed by climate change to the human moral judgement system” (table 1) and “six psychological strategies that communicators can use to bolster the recognition of climate change as a moral imperative” (table 2). Perish the thought that having six items on both tables suggest there is not science behind, rather the style of self-help manuals (aware perhaps of the problem, the blog minimolecule recommended by Judith forgets to mention the 5th item of table 2, “Expand group identity“).

Anyway, the biggest flaw of the study lies elsewhere. It appears deeply contradictory. If the

in depth cognitive processing required to negotiate our way through these problems leads to poor activation of moral reasoning

the authors should have demonstrated first if and how their own moral reasoning hadn’t been properly “activated”. The same applies to all other points in table 1. Psychomagically, the authors believe themselves immune from something they claim is affecting a large part of humanity.

This sounds clearly and deeply immoral, just like the continuous underlying suggestion that people who don’t believe it’s time for unspecified “costly ameliorative action” are somehow anti-environment (this is a common anti-ethical thinking trait of climate activists, as demonstrated by its ugly head rearing again in the description of the upcoming Policy Exchange event “A Greener Shade of Blue” in London).

And as for the topic of the paper: IMNSHO the biggest obstacle in moving forward on climate change is that activist-communicators keep trying to reduce an issue that is “complex, abstract and cognitively challenging” to “It didn’t snow last January” or “March was weird”. And those are clear evidences of “poor activation of moral reasoning” on the part of those communicators.

(Blurred) Visions of a Sustainable UN

Following up on a side note on WUWT…this is what the UN means by “sustainability”. To be kept in mind as Rio+20 approaches.


If you fancy yourself as a photographer and believe in the power of images to change the way we think and feel, then why not try your hand at capturing an image which describes a sustainable UN? […] All entries must speak to the theme, Visions of a Sustainable UN.


SUN, 05/06/11

A team from Cyprus have been announced as the winners of 2011 Greening the Blue Photo Competition which has been run in collaboration with the UN Photographic Society to celebrate World Environment Day 2011.

Here’s the winner: “The judges felt the winning entry managed to capture several important elements of how the UN can become a more sustainable organisation” such as recycling itself and the fears it keeps spreading presumably

Recycling the UN


Runner-up: “…on a technology that is truly sustainable“, i.e. somebody is dreaming we all get on our bikes really, no matter if it’s the middle of the winter and there’s no baobab trees around

Biking around your baobab

Runner-up: “…bringing your own mug…” right before not flushing the toilet I suspect

Sustainable mugging

Runner-up: “sustainability is a part of UN’s key mandates in many ways: food, youth, and the environment in the developing world” starting from making sure it remains developING forever.

Make sure she never sees a book

In summary, if we all felt like rubbish and pedalled with our own mug to work by tilling the soil somewhere, the UN will have reached its goal by making our lives unsustainable.

Is anybody reading Real Climate any longer?

An interesting side-story about HadCRUT4. Look at RealClimate, March 20, 2012 “Updating the CRU and HadCRUT temperature data” by gavin:

the difference between 1998 and 2010 is in the hundredths of a degree, and most of the attribution work on recent climate changes is looking at longer term trends, not year to year variability. However, there is now consistency across the data sets that 2005 and 2010 likely topped 1998 as the warmest years in the instrumental record

Compare that now to Skeptical Science, April 18, 2012 “First Look at HadCRUT4” by dana1981:

In HadCRUT4, the hottest years on record are 2010 and 2005, with 1998 right behind in a statistical tie.

From the quotes above, it is difficult to ascertain if Gavin Schmidt has any understanding of the meaning of a difference “in the hundredths of a degree” (hint: for all scientific intents and purposes, it’s a difference of zero). The point that “there is now consistency across the data sets” seems to indicate an obsession with numbers and a forgetfulness of the underlying physical aspects of climate.

Even Dana Nuccitelli, amid the usually flurry of anti-skeptic rants and dubious interpretations passed as Truth, appears to have a better grasp on science itself.

Note that among the scarce number of comments (83), a couple of people try to make this simple point, only to be told by the likes of tamino that it doesn’t matter because of evil skeptics of course. As if surgeons would regularly use subpar anaesthesia justifying themselves by saying there are evil doctors out there doing far worse.

Dr Robert Wilson is not listening

(a comment of mine published at Bishop Hill)

Dr Wilson is not listening. All, please do save yourselves the trouble of trying to explain to him anything…he will still not listen.

The fact that this obviously leaves him a total ignoramus of anything that is discussed on this website, is apparently not a concern for him. Why? Because he is not listening.

He won’t even notice what kind of sorry figure he’s cut of himself now, despite having started from the enviable position of having actually sat through a presentation by the Bish.

Anyway, I am not feeling sorry for him, as I actually envy the people who don’t understand…they’ll always be the ones beaming about, happy and content.

Inability to listen is of course a trait of Climate Change Believers. What a coincidence.

Earth Day! Our Day! A day to celebrate

This Sunday marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. Once again, we can expect an all-out assault covering all communication channels, a barrage of all the most stale ideas concocted by the most backward-looking eco-obsession. The future is going to be painted bleak picture by a never-ending swarm of whiners, and the only hope offered some kind of “green repentance”, including the return to a pre-Neandertalian lifestyle.

And that is a shame. Because this Earth of ours is a truly beautiful planet, full of wonders, rich grasslands and forests, amazing canyons and sunsets, fantastic oceans and mountainous landscapes and creatures of all shapes and sizes.

We should all celebrate. We should celebrate the much progress achieved since 1970AD, the improving of quality of our air and water, the return from the edge of extinction of a large number of species. Indeed, these are the days of resurgence for the short-tailed Albatross in the islands of Hawai’i. And the days when we find out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, often a source of endless alarms, has told he world that it currently impossible to determine if the climate has really become more extreme.

Instead, we will be bombarded by ads and news and ads masquerading as news, all nourishing a nihilistic environmentalism always ready to torments us, interested not so much in the enjoyment of the beauty of nature and its wondered, rather in fighting humanity, its prosperity and its abundance.

And yet those are exactly the basis of the nature of humanity, and of its ability to adapt, thrive and innovate, to be able to improve its life and the rest of nature’s, to get rid of the ravages of centuries past.

Enough with the environmentalism that tortures science and common sense to manufacture fear. Enough with the old, depression-inducing alarmism.

Remember, we are also the Earth and the Earth is also us too. There is no “choice” to be made between us and the Earth. This planet rhetorically describes as “fragile” is instead home to tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and strong winds and ocean currents. It is also home to us, Humanity, children of the same Earth as every other form of life. Therefore we are Forces of Nature too, incrediably adaptable to, and able to cope with and surviving, the rest of the planet.

April 22 is Earth Day. It is also Our Day. A day to celebrate.

Waleed Abdalati…Who he?

I’m the kind of space nerd who can make a podcast about where to build a Moon base, write to National Geographic when one of their reporters makes up the astronomical part of her story and complain to a show‘s organizers when a picture of the Orion Nebula is hanged upside down. I’ve been a member of the Planetary Society since 1991, and of the British Interplanetary Society since 1985.

Still, I had never heard until yesterday of NASA Chief Scientist, Waleed Abdalati.

Little wonder though, as I’m more of a deep-space buff who doesn’t get excited about Earth-observing satellites, for example those measuring ice stuff, Dr Abdalati’s specialty.

So who’s the guy who replied to a letter asking NASA to stay away from “unbridled advocacy” on climate change, by stating “NASA sponsors research into many areas of cutting-edge scientific inquiry” (a response “not all that relevant” to the original request, as noted by Judith Curry)? And more importantly, what are or have been his views on climate change?

In conclusion, seldom in the past or maybe never has Dr Abdalati (whose contribution to the founding of advocacy center CIRES isn’t immediately clear) been far from alarmist positions, even if he is not known as a major voice of doom and gloom. And that Slide 17 above might provide some hope (as long as the guy wakes up about GISS, that is).

If NASA has no official position on climate change, what is this?

If NASA has no official position on climate change, as claimed to Andy Revkin by as-usual clueless Gavin Schmidt, what is this? “NASA Policy Statement – Adapting to a Changing Climate” (May 2011)

There are two points about it:

(1) I won’t hold my breath waiting for some of the involved folks to wake up to the idea that if they write something as “NASA Head of this” or “NASA Head of that”, then ipso facto their statements will be taken as “Official NASA Position” on this or that.

In the private sector, anything one writes in the course of business is of course considered what his/her company thinks about that course of business. How can it be any different?

(2) NASA doesn’t live in a vacuum. It can’t play the Ivory Tower Scientist today, and the Federal Agency tomorrow. If the Government pursues one particular line of thought (eg for worry of dangerous climate change), then NASA of course is pursuing that same line of thought.

Therefore…NASA has a very big OFFICIAL POSITION on climate change indeed.

Official IPCC Words: We Do Not Know If The Climate Is Becoming More Extreme

Some Hintze Details The Guardian Didn’t Want You To See

For some reason, Onlineafghan.com has a page “Redacted letter to Michael Hintze” that contains information missing from the Guardian’s “Redacted email to Michael Hintze“, such as the amounts requested to Mr Hintze.

Onlineafghan.com has it “Posted on 27 Mar 2012 at 11:02am” whilst on the Guardian the timestamps are “This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 11.54 BST on Tuesday 27 March 2012. It was last modified at 12.42 BST on Tuesday 27 March 2012.

Below, the bits in bold are absent from the Guardian’s version.


Michael Hintze


CQS Management Limited
33 Chester Street
London SW1X 7BL

21 September 2011

Dear Michael

We assume that our previous letter to you, attached, somehow slipped your attention as we realise that you are really busy and may have been away. We do assure you that we will not be writing to you repeatedly.

However, because of the urgent need for action on climate change and health, illustrated by events in the last few months, we are taking the liberty of contacting you again to request support for the XXX. The carbon price legislation before the Australian parliament still faces much political and public opposition even though Australia is one of the heaviest carbon emitters in the world. Meanwhile, the capricious climate and extreme weather events in Australia this year, including severe flooding, especially Queensland, and ferocious bushfires in WA, make it clear we cannot afford to delay preventive action further. Drought and famine in Sub-Saharan Africa and floods again in Pakistan illustrate the disadvantage of developing countries and the imperative of more help from the developed world.

XXX focus is climate change and health but as you will agree, this requires as strong mitigation and adaptation as we, as a society, can muster.

XXX biggest problem is lack of funding. To date members have worked with “pro bono” and “in kind”. Funding needs are modest but necessary to undertake a series of planned projects. It is seeking to raise $150,000 from private sources to deliver on its policy, research and advocacy priorities and enable it to remain independent.

Breakdown of this funding need is:

Website = $30K

Policy/position papers = $50K

Health effects of fossil fuels report = $40K

Scoping paper on voluntary accreditation for health care organisations = $10K

Administrative and operational costs, including office and phone = $20K

In addition, we would like to fund priority research, to be agreed by the executive, for funding Masters and PhD students up to $50K and to also fund conference development and attendance up to $50K.

We do believe that the work of XXX would link well with that of your Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and with your agreement, would like to establish contact.

We would be happy to provide you with any other information you require, set up a conference call with you, or meet face-to-face. XXX is will be attending the Durban conference on Climate Change and Health in December and XXX will be in the UK again in February 2012.

It would be wonderful and extremely helpful if you could provide some funding for this developing group and, of course, we would acknowledge any support you could provide.

We look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely


Article source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/27/redacted-email-michael-hintze

The Unbearable Nakedness of CLIMATE CHANGE

What The HadCRUT4 Update Means

Building up on Paul Penrose’s comment at JS:

How is this news if the results are not statistically significant? Or do people not know what that means? Once you take that into account what they are saying is: News flash – global temperature has not increased since 1998!

Actually, the news flash should be that, since 1998:

  1. Global temperature has not increased in any meaningful manner
  2. Northern Hemisphere temperature has not increased at all (some bits of the Arctic aside)
  3. At most we could talk of an Arctic, not Global Warming
  4.  All of the above, despite all the continuous fudging and cooling of the past

Once again…Whatever Arctic warming there’s been, it’s also been inconsequential. And if HadCRUT4 doesn’t kill Global Warming, it certainly helps putting it in the right place..

A Sea-Surface Miracle!

Overlong “On the adjustments to the HadSST3 data set” blog post just out (after a few technical glitches) at Judith Curry’s comes to a conclusion that aounds like yet another climate-related miracle

HadSST3 selectively removes the majority of the long term variations from the pre-1960 part of the record. ie. it removes the majority of the climate variation…

…that cannot be attributed to anthropogenic global warming!

How unexpected!

Two Matters Of Logic (And Timewasting Avoidance)

A couple of timewasting avoidance schemes when dealing with anti-skeptic Defenders of the Faith in Science:

(1) The Congealed Minds

Some people pop up in skeptic blogs commenting in a way similar to swashbuckling (or marauding), making statements such as “I believe the scientists doing the research are a much better judge of that than you are“.

That’s a very good sign that we’re dealing with people who:

  • Worship mainstream scientific literature
  • Are willing mouthpieces of somebody else
  • Routinely misrepresent science as an organically growing process where past interpretations are cast in stone
  • Act like those philosophers who would reply to Galileo continuously quoting Aristotle and the Aristotelians, rather than accept to reason by themselves

The only question to ask them is: Is there anything anybody could ever say, show, write, demonstrate, ask or explain in a blog or comment to a blog, that will make you change your mind?

The answer will of course be “No”. Therefore there is no point debating with them.

(2) The Deferrers

Another common anti-skeptic tactic is to invoke some Higher Authority, eg: “I won’t presume to substitute my non-professional judgment for that of someone who’s dedicated his career to a pursuit of unbiased scientific knowledge, just as I wouldn’t substitute my judgment for that of an oncologist or a neurologist treating myself or someone close to me“.

That’s a completely meaningless statement, because it is supremely illogical. If a person defers judgment to somebody else, obviously what that person writes has no value at all: we should always be looking for the opinion of “somebody else”. Anybody arguing “don’t listen to me, listen to somebody else” is a prisoner of twisted logic, as the first part of that sentence negates the second one. Therefore there is no point debating with them.

Here's Why Mann Is So Bothered About His "Enemies"

Much of the contents of [Mann’s] book is old news“, according to Peter Gleick. In fact, an entire day spent at a website owned by somebody who interviewed the Man, has turned out nothing more than statements accompanied by “that’s nothing new” and “for those buried in the intellectual wastes of the Murdoch media – it will be brand new territory“.

IOW the general consensus appears to be that there is nothing in Mann’s book that has not already been mentioned, described or referred to somewhere on the web (and, I suspect, in the Climategate emails). Somebody tried to make the point that, according to agiographers, Mann’s book contains enough “to spark a dozen Master’s theses“. But that is not the point.

The point is, what would one find in Mann’s book that is nowhere else? Who knows…an insight, a revealing detail, whatever, anything as long as it is new. There has to be a reason to buy and then read the book, right?

According to Mann’s own supporters, the answers to those questions are still “nothing” and “none”. Well, no wonder Mann is ever so bothered about his enemies…with friends like Mann’s, no one needs enemies!

Threatener In Chief

Terrible Ski World Cup Images Confirm Dangers Of Global Warming