Crackpots, Quacks, Baloney and Quotes on Skepticism

With the understandable, almost militant enthusiasm around AGW, I would like to remind everybody (skeptical or not of AGW) of three insightful lists of signs of a “scientific” theory being something “baloney” made up by “crackpots” or “quacks.

Plus some quotes by Carl Sagan on skepticism.

(1) “Trademarks of Crackpot Theories

(2) “Are you a quack?

(3) Sagan’s “Baloney’s Detection Kit

I am not saying anybody pro- or against AGW is espousing deranged hypotheses with no basis on reality. Still, it would be so much simpler if everybody (and I mean, everybody) compared their pet and/or collective thinking to the lists above.

No need to reinvent the wheel.

For example it would be nice to read that so-and-so theory is “baloney according to Sagan” because of this or that claim or behavior.

Or that persons supporting a particular theory are usually guilty of quack-signs number m, n and p.

And now with the quotes:

You can get into a habit of thought in which you enjoy making fun of all those other people who don’t see things as clearly as you do. We have to guard carefully against it.” – Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP meeting

People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward their beliefs.” – Carl Sagan

The chief deficiency I see in the skeptical movement is its polarization: Us vs. Them — the sense that we have a monopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you’re sensible, you’ll listen to us; and if not, to hell with you. This is nonconstructive. It does not get our message across. It condemns us to permanent minority status.” – Carl Sagan

The Toad vs. The Climate

This was my summary posted at the NERC debate, last year, before it was closed off:

Thursday, 25 Jan 2007 – 02:52:10 GMT (post 364)

Proponents of AGW have to rely also on models as evidence, depend in part on “attribution-by-exclusion“, show little tolerance of scepticism and let political representatives mingle in their field of work.

Not really signs that AGW is a “strong” scientific theory

And now for the details:

1- Scepticism

Colin Prentice (CP) in #355: “There isn’t any contradiction. Of course, ‘sceptics’ can say what they like

Leaving aside attacks to individuals and institutions, NERC imply scepticism of AGW is not valid and anti-scientific, as per text (A) “...there are STILL sceptics who dispute the data… If you don’t BELIEVE the science…” (my emphasis).

But CP writes in #351 “Without sceptisism, there would be no science! I would defend your right to be sceptical!

If that is true, considering also that “the best evidence comes from a combination of models and observations” (CP, #265), shouldn’t we _expect_ plenty of valid scepticism of AGW?

Therefore, (A) should change to “…there are OF COURSE sceptics who dispute the data…

2- Attribution-by-exclusion

CP in #355: “The GHG explanation for climate change is not attributed ‘by exclusion’

Steve Schulin #362 answers that.

But my point is that a scientific discipline should abhor attribution-by-exclusion as a matter of principle: unless anybody here wants to support Intelligent Design as “science“.

3- Science and Government

AGW is unique as it mysteriously has to go through an “Inter_GOVERNMENTAL_ Panel“.

In the words of Associated Press (Jan 23), the upcoming IPCC report is written and reviewed by 1,200 scientists and then “edited by bureaucrats from 154 countries“.

Note that the IPCC report is not just a policy document: it collates and presents the science of AGW.

If I were a climate scientist I’d find the whole setup upsetting and humiliating. I wonder what “bureaucrats” had to say about evolution or particle physics.

Does this mean the people at NERC are victims of their own prejudices?

I wouldn’t be that harsh.

Climatology is a science, only it’s too young to be immune from the work of well-meaning people currently busy (1) paving the proverbial way to hell (without realising it), and (2) trying to find out how to convince us to use that road.

Sort of like anthropology in the XIX and early XX century, when the misguided aim of a just-founded science was to classify and rank human races: that too, honestly done to improve humanity and the world.

I always point to what happened when extremely well-meaning and knowledgeable people decided to introduce the Cane Toad (Bufo Marinus) to Australia to combat beetle infestations. ..with worst-than-disastrous results…

Penn Jillette: Al Gore, the Weather Opportunist

Another short video by Penn on his Crackle “Penn Says” channel: “I want to see an article by Al Gore that says ‘if we have 8 hurricanes next year…or we have zero hurricanes or we have something that means that I was wrong about global warming’. Because if you don’t have something that can disprove what you believe than you are believing in anything…”

Excerpted transcript below is mine:

…article in the New York Times about weather opportunists (1)…everything is caused by Global Warming…whether it is hurricanes, whether it is warmer, whether it is colder, more storms or fewer storms…

The important thing in the article is that there are these “weather opportunists” that are making anything…ice-cap melting, polar bears, they all look like they are caused by the same thing.

But I remember an article…several years ago…on the New York Times, an op-ed thing by Al Gore where Al Gore talked about how hot it was in New York…and how that showed there was global warming…and that’s insane. Even if you believe in global warming (I still scratch my head but it seems everybody does) it wouldn’t be enough that you could notice it in New York City that there would be a hot summmer because you wouldn’t notice that walking down the street.

And it struck me that the New York Times article just wasnt’ enough. because the real question is what weather could come along that would show us we were wrong about global warming. I want to see an article by Al Gore that says “if we have 8 hurricanes next year…or we have zero hurricanes or we have something that means that I was wrong about global warming”

Because if you don’t have something that can disprove what you believe than you are believing in anything…it must be falsifiable, you know, if something causes everything than it causes nothing.

I am not coming out, I am not crazy enough to come out against global warming or even man-made global warming (I just don’t know enough) but man! I wish they would try to convince me, stop exaggerating in order to clarify because all it does is give me less trust, and I also wish they would stop saying that everything is because of global warming because if everything is because of global warming then nothing is

(1) I cannot find any relevant article on “weather opportunists” on the New York Times archive. Perhaps he is referring to the Tierney Labs blog “Are There Any Good Weather Omens?“. Or perhaps the NYT article used a synonym.

Penn Jillette: Bill Gates Cares About Children, Not Global Warming

Penn of Penn&Teller fame wonders on his Crackle channel “Penn Says” why hasn’t Al Gore been able to convince Bill Gates to speak out against global warming. “Bill Gates still thinks that the most important thing to worry about in the world is children starving, AIDS spreading, dissenteria, suffering, of children in developing countries

Excerpted transcript below is mine:

[…] Al Gore didn’t get science classes in college and Bill Gates even if he didn’t finish college took science classes. And Bill Gates knows about numbers, knows about the world. and yet he hasn’t talked about global warming.

Al Gore had his guys go in for a 7-h meeting with Bill Gates with snacks and everything and gave him don’t just the slide show AIT, gave him everything he could.

You know that must have happened (doesn’t Al Gore want to convince Bill Gates) and yet Bill Gates still thinks that the most important thing to worry about in the world is children starving, AIDS spreading, dissenteria, suffering, of children in developing countries. Bill Gates didn’t say anything about Global Warming…[…]

Landscheidt, Astrology…and Totalitarianism

Theodore Landscheidt was a well-known, controversial figure in climatology circles (he died in 2004). The controversy arose from his conviction that the Earth’s climate is driven…by the Sun (the shock! the horror!): not much popularity there, among proponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

One particularly nasty “accusation” has been that Landscheidt was an astrologer. He even published a book on planetary harmonies.

But is that sufficient to throw all his work to the dustbin of science? Of course not.

The fact that Landscheidt believed or didn’t in one type of astrology or another is in fact immaterial to his climate-related work, as long as that work is based on purely physical computations.

And he did!

Otherwise we should dismiss the notion that DNA is a double-helix only because James Watson has said something very silly. Not to mention throwing away electronics as we know it (radios, PCs and all) given the passion for eugenics by Nobel Physics Prize Laureate William Shockley.

The practice of poo-pooing somebody’s work based on one or the other traits of his personality is a sign of a losing argument, or of a totalitarian one.

Scientific Literature on Patagonian Glaciers

And so once more Global Warming has meant the publication of misleading pictures, with a wrong caption…why oh why does the mere mention of AGW force so many otherwise thoughtful and wise people to switch their brains off?

Here a “Letter to the Editors” just sent to the New York Review Of Books:

Dear Editors

Clarifications and at least one correction are required about the pictures of the Upsala Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, “from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006)”, on the first page of Bill McKibben’s “Warning on Warming” (NYRB, March 15, 2007).

At the top, the 1928 photograph of a vast flat glacier; at the bottom, the 2004 ice-free landscape as captured from a similar vantage point as the one 76 years earlier (at least two peaks are clearly distinguishable).

I was surprised indeed to see the New York Review of Books reproduce without much commentary and with a wrong caption a couple of photographs that may turn out to be exceedingly misleading.


First of all: the caption is wrong. Contrarily to the published text, it is _not true_ that by 2004, “most of the glacier had melted“.

Upsala Glacier still occupies well in excess of 850 sq km (330+ sq mi), an area vastly larger than the one covered by the photographs.

You can see pictures of Upsala taken from the Space Shuttle in January 2004 at the NASA website.

A discussion of the situation 2001-2004 is available on the same site.



If one could rely on photographs alone, those of Upsala could be the definitive, final, closing, incontrovertible evidence that something has warmed up during the XX century, at least at the location of the Upsala Glacier.

Pictures, however, are not everything, as any modern consumer must have learnt one way or another by now.

Do some little research about Upsala, in fact, and more than one doubt arises about the glacier’s changes having not been mostly caused by warming, global or local or otherwise.

They may be the result instead of the behavior of a large glacier when subjected to particular mechanical stresses.

See for example “Historic Fluctuations of Outlet Glaciers from the Patagonian Ice Fields” at the USGS web site.

That web site reports a picture from “Thinning and retreating of Glaciar Upsala, and an estimate of annual ablation changes in southern Patagonia“, by R. Naruse, P. Skvarca and Y. Takeuchi (Annals of Glaciology, Vol. 24, 1997).

In that paper, it is suggested that “considerable retreat due to calving may have resulted in reduction of longitudinal compressive stress exerted from bedrock rises and islands near the glacier front, causing a considerable decrease in the emergence flow.”

R. Naruse repeated similar considerations at the 2nd International Symposium on Arctic and Antarctic Issues, at Punta Arenas, Chile, in November 1998 (“Dynamic features of glaciers in Patagonia“).

More recently, in “Recent behavior of Glaciar Upsala, a fast-flowing calving glacier in Lago Argentino, southern Patagonia” (Annals of Glaciology, 36, 2003), P. Skvarca, B. Raup and H. De Angelis proposed again that “drastic glacier retreat in the last two decades” may be explained “partly due to the release of back stress when the glacier retreated beyond the islands in Brazo Upsala […] which acted as pinning points.”

You can also read an earlier paper by Mr Skvarca: “Significant Ice Retreat in the Region Patagonia – Antarctic Peninsula Observed by ERS SAR” (ESA ERS 1997 Workshop, 1997) by H. Rott, W. Rack, M. Stuefer and P. Skvarca:

It cannot yet be assessed if the ice retreat in Patagonia […] indicates just regional changes of the atmospheric circulation patterns or can be assigned to global climatic change.”

Last but not least, Upsala is not the only glacier in Patagonia.

Surely if the dramatic retreat of Upsala were related to global warming, all the other glaciers would be retreating too? And yet that is clearly not the case.

Read “Recent Fluctuations and Damming of Glacier Perito Moreno, Patagonia” by H. Rott, M. Stuefer, T. Nagler and C. Riedl (ESA Envisat and ERS 2004 Symposium):

The satellite data, in synergy with field measurements, confirm the stability of the [Perito Moreno] glacier, showing only minor front fluctuations and indicating an approximately balanced mass budget since many years.”

Furthermore, they report the Pio XI glacier as having experienced a “net advance of about 10 km […] from 1945 to 1995“.


Some revealing considerations should be made about Perito Moreno glacier indeed, the advancing glacier whose pictures have been used by Frank Capra in 1958 and by Al Gore in 2006 to demonstrate the retreat of glaciers due to global warming: but those will have to wait for a future article or letter.

For the time being, I am confident the above makes the main points clear:

(1) Most of the Upsala glacier has not melted.

(2) The Upsala glacier 1928-2004 pictures can only be seriously understood with an in-depth commentary of what is being shown, including “what lies beneath”.

And there are all the indications that the local characteristics of the terrain, rather than “Global Warming”, have had a major role in what has been happening.


Given the reputation of the New York Review of Books then, I will be expecting a prompt publication of this letter and of all the necessary explanations.

Keep up the good work


Maurizio Morabito

UPDATE: The NYRB went only as far as admitting the caption was wrong (read it here)…

Solar Oddities from Ulysses

Science@NASA (Jan 14, 2008): “Posner explains: “Eleven years ago, during a similar ‘sea change’ between solar cycles, the polar wind spilled down almost all the way to the sun’s equator. But this time it is not. The polar wind is bottled up, confined to latitudes above 45 degrees

Science@NASA (Feb 20, 2007): “One pole of the sun is cooler than the other. That’s the surprising conclusion announced by scientists who have been analyzing data from the ESA-NASA Ulysses spacecraft.

Cooling Kills More Than Warming

Something to keep firmly in mind…

W R Keatinge et al, “Heat related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: observational study” BMJ 2000;321:670-673 (16 September)

All regions showed more annual cold related mortality than heat related mortality.

Some of those who died in the heat may not have lived long if a heat wave had not occurred. Mortality often falls below baseline for several days after the end of a heat wave, and this has been interpreted as indicating that some of the people dying during the heat wave were already close to death.

Some of the excess deaths in the cold may have resulted from non-thermal seasonal factors such as winter diet, but deaths due to such factors are likely to be few.

Falls in temperature in winter are closely followed by increased mortality, with characteristic time courses for different causes of death.

The increases are of sufficient size to account for the overall increase in mortality in winter, suggesting that most excess winter deaths are due to relatively direct effects of cold on the population.

In other words: Heat kills the already-dying. Cold kills.

As per the following diagrams: the slopes to the left (cooling) of the “black squares” (minimum mortality temperature bands) are steeper than to the right (warming).

Snow in Baghdad

The BBC and other news outlets report that “Snow has fallen in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, for the first time in living memory […] Mohammed Abdul-Hussein, 63 and retired, told the Associated Press he had heard from his father when he was young that snow fell in the early 1940s on the outskirts of northern Baghdad.

I have looked at the archives of The New York Times and there is a indeed at least one reference to that snow storm.

MANY TURKS, GREEKS PERISH IN BLIZZARD; Snow Halts Istanbul Traffic, Cripples Rail Services
Special Broadcast to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
January 12, 1942, Monday
Page 2, 249 words

No matter…this is going to be used as “evidence for climate change” in any case…

Practical Consequences of Climate Worries

(comment to the IHT’s “Welcome to the new nuclear era”)

Let me understand…so far, the only practical consequences of all the climate change brouhaha have been:

(1) The transfer of billions of euros from European taxpayers to Big Oil/Big Energy firms, under the emission trading scheme

(2) The ballooning of agriculture subsidies to farmers to push them into cultivating corn (despite everybody well knowing the environmental impact from corn fuel will be worse)

(3) A substantial increase in food prices especially for very poor people in many parts of the world

(4) The return of a nuclear industry that will prosper on State guarantees and produce large amounts of radioactive garbage nobody has found as yet a good way to dispose of


If that’s what a cleaner, greener world looks like, I’d rather have it brown and dirty, thank you!

Tehran Joins Axis of Evil Places Refusing to Warm

NOAA sees dangers, only dangers

A cheerful welcome at NOAA for the possible first sign of Solar Cycle 24: “Sunspot is Harbinger of New Solar Cycle, INCREASING RISK FOR ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS” (my emphasis).

Is there any particular reason why they feel themselves forced into emphasizing risks in everything they write?

One wonders what the contents are in the NOAA employees’ newsletter? “Salaries are going to increase, and with them the danger of overindulging in one’s life’s pleasures” and/or “New, powerful instruments delivered, increasing risk of malfunction due to operator’s inexperience” ?


Yikes! I Have Received Money From Exxon!!!

I have a confession to make.

I got paid for my TCS article whose title I cannot quote for fear of being marked as spam.

Now, as TCS got (gets?) funds from Exxon, that obviously means I have received money from Exxon myself!

The article was of my initiative (not commissioned in advance) but surely that is too feeble an excuse. Also, the amount we are talking about is enough to provide me a few months of access to the internet from home, but that is not an excuse either.

All of the above means anything and everything I have and will ever say about Climate Change is forever tainted and can just be disregarded in advance.

(chorus) Amen!

p.s. If somebody knows how many trees I should plant to redeem my soul, please let me know ASAP.

Climate Change, or The Medicalization of Our Society

Yesterday’s absurdist post linking anthropogenic global warming (AGW) to supernovae in the cosmos was in fact more than the usual criticism about correlation not showing evidence of causation.

The other, even more important point underlying my text concerned the all-too-apparent link between AGW/Climate Change and the ever-increasing efforts by all sorts of “experts” to convince our worrying global society that its future can be divined in this or that indicator.

There is a name for this: we are being “medicalized”.

Just like with the hapless villagers in Jules Romains’ 1923 play “Knock” (aka “Dr. Knock or The Triumph of Medicine“), all the “experts” have to do is stock up our fears, and abuse our credulity.

Just keep on measuring, and keep on suggesting, and an illness will be found. Next!

In the case of AGW, the indicator is the amount of human-induced greenhouse-gases emissions. But as the supernovae blog shows, it is all too easy to find an indicator for everything, linking whatever to anything else. Divination does not depend on the particular item used to predict the future: it is much more solid than that.

Knock’s story has in fact a distinctly sinister undertone. In the words of Iain Bamforth writing in the BMJ’s “Medical Humanities” (“Knock: a study in medical cynicism“, MH 2002;28:14-18):

Isn’t it that people ask to be deceived? All right, [Knock] will deceive them. Order requires domination, and domination requires a lie or two. So he gives their lives a medical meaning. That is: he extends the bounds of the biological, of whose oracles he is the interpreter, so as to make illness not just a bodily phenomenon but an organising principle for the effective administration of society itself. His argument is life, for that is what a doctor defends. His tools are ideals, seduction, fright, and, if necessary, the threat of violence. His power is his command of language […] Knock is […] a storyteller, raconteur, bluffer, salesman […] Knock gives everyone the fever. He inoculates his patients with the one idea: self preservation, at all costs.

 In other words: from 85 years ago, echoes of what is being sold to us as “a universal threat, a generational challenge“. And preservation of the world’s climate, at all cost.

And so it was Jules Romains the one really capable to describe what the future would look like. As noted by French actor Louis Jouvet in 1949, but still we could be written today:

a penetrating act of inspiration, Knock revealed the direction a new mentality was going to take… . This mentality was Information and its strategies, astounding advances and violent dramatisings; abrupt and terrifying revelations; the invention of new needs, new ways of breakdown; the exalting of fresh anxieties that humankind would feed upon. Jules Romains announced, though we didn’t yet know it, the mad-cap mechanisms that were going to rule the world, suggestion and self-suggestion. In Knock, like a prophet at the gates, Jules Romains suddenly shone a light on power, the upsurge of parodigms (idées-forces) and collective theories. Humankind is a machine to make gods and every leader of men a creator of myths. Jules Romains, philosopher, moralist and dramatist, provided an admirable advance warning of the modern and all-encompassing mechanism of cohesion and conviction […]

Is this what “progress” and “modernity” were meant to be, in the case of Medicine, Climatology or anything else?

Is your SUV Destroying the Universe?

Supernovae data from the 1950’s to 2007 show trends very worrying for the fate of the whole universe.

The Magnitude (brightness) of observed explosions, after hovering for several decades around the 20 mark, has recently dropped to 15 (i.e. towards brighter supernovae).

Furthermore, the number of observed supernovae has been increasing at an exponential rate, again after many decades below 50 per year, to 95 in 1996 and a little less than 600 in 2007.

The fact that this is happening exactly as anthropogenic greenhouse-gases emissions are on the increase, cannot be just a coincidence. If this will not convince Governments about the importance of stopping CO2 emissions, nothing will!

UPDATE: In case you missed it…the rings of planet Uranus are changing too. Help! Help!

Any Way It Goes, It's Still "Global Warming"

The British Met Office forecast a cooler year but no matter…even that, is not enough to contradict global warming caused by anthropogenic emissions…

There HAS to be a point where all this shameful rhetoric will HAVE to STOP.

Does anybody know of any testable condition that would refute AGW? Unless there is a 10C drop in world temperature in a year, that is.

IHT Ends 2007 On High Climate-Related Notes

In the Dec 28, 2007 edition, Prof. Daniel B. Botkin makes a point I have been stating for at least three years about idiotic, over-the-top forecasts of climate doom: “Thirty years from now, we will probably not be interested in today’s specific computer forecasts, but we may have lost our faith in science, a deeper and, to me, a more important problem”.

In the same paper, Letters section, reader Richard Nimo deals shortly and effectively with the IHT’s own article on a tropical illness purportedly spreading over the world due to climate change: “Regarding the article “A tropical epidemic – in northern Italy” (Dec. 22): The tiger mosquito has spread to Europe and the United States – but not because of global warming. This mosquito can live in either warm or cold climates. It has spread because it can be transported easily and can breed in very small containers of stagnant water such as trash, tree holes or old tires.

There needs to be more funding and international cooperation to develop vaccines for mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and Chikungunya. Dengue infects hundreds of thousands of people annually, and it kills tens of thousands. – Richard Nimo, Bangkok“.

There is of course a huge number of acritical, often baseless reports on global warming on the IHT too, but it is good to see there is still space for pieces like the two above.

HadCRUT Data Reveal the World is (Mostly) Cooling

Contrarily to what hastily announced at Bali and acritically repeated in news reports including on the BBC web site, the published HadCRUT data strongly support the notion that warming has stopped, globally.

The month of November 2007 has been:

In terms of global sea-surface temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 1994, and the coldest month since January 1997.

In terms of southern hemispheric sea-surface temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 1988, and the coldest month since January 1997.

Regarding northern hemispheric sea-surface temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 1996, and the 2nd coldest month since March 2001.

In terms of global land temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 2000, and the coldest month since January 2001.

In terms of southern hemispheric land temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 1989, and the 2nd coldest month since January 1993.

Regarding northern hemispheric land temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 2000. and the 11th coldest month since January 2001.

Records broken and almost-broken in most sets, but on the cooling side…is that perhaps why there has been no indication of the above in news releases?

An Exact Model Would Still Be Just a Model

Proponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming often defend their case by stating that models can match observations only “when anthropogenic forcing is included“.

That is a very fallacious argument.

A model, any model is a representation of the world, and as such its internal behaviour demonstrate nothing about its validity as a faithful representation of the world.

Astronomy was able to function for 1400 years between Ptolemy and Copernicus depicting planetary movements with epicycles and deferents. That model works pretty well (have a go at this website), still would anybody use that to argue that the Earth is at the center of the Universe?

Global Warming May Be Just European

(originally published as “Global Warming May Be Just European” on Dec 11, 2007)

Readers of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report – Working Group 2 (AR4-WG2) may be forgiven to think a colossal misreading of available data may be at the foundation of contemporary Climate Change/Global Warming scares.

That report contains a map of “significant changes” (SC) already observed around the world. It is repeated throughout, and you can see it in the Summary for Policymakers, page 10, Figure SPM.1.

A total of 29,459 SCs are reported. An impressive number, at first glance.

Only, 96% of those changes regard just Europe.

The IPCC itself could not list more than 1,225 SCs not related to Europe.


This enormous geographical bias does not get better when we count how many of those SCs are actually “consistent with a warming world”.

Planet-wise, there are 26,285. Of those, 96% are in Europe. Actually, 25,022 are European SCs related to “biological systems”.

That’s 95% of the total.

That means that outside of Europe, the IPCC could not find more than 1,150 SCs “consistent with warming”.

Compare that to the number of European SCs NOT-“consistent with warming”: 3,100

We have twice as many changes that are INCONSISTENT with warming in Europe, than CONSISTENT with warming in the rest of the world.


Note also the distribution of the other “observed changes”. Only 7 for the whole of Africa, 114 for Asia, and 144 for the Polar Regions.

But what is most notable is that in the whole of North America (where, one would expect, a lot of researchers reside), only 810 SCs have been reported. Of those, 752 are consistent with warming.

That’s 3% of the total.

So for a summary: 96% from Europe. 3% with North America. Almost nothing for everywhere else.

How global can that be?

Spiked Online's Christmas All-Out Attack on AGW

(a) “Al Gore: enviro-tyrant” by Brendan O’Neill (Dec 18)
After Bali: In aspiring to ‘control the destiny of all generations to come’, Gore has unwittingly unveiled his anti-democratic streak

As he flies around the world to tell people that they should fly less, or organises rock-star extravaganzas to tell the masses they should live more meekly, some sceptics have asked: ‘Who the hell does Al Gore think he is?

(b) “Eco-imperialism at the Bali summit?” by James Heartfield (Dec 18) 
After Bali: Are Western powers offsetting their industrial growth by blackmailing poorer countries to foreswear development? One writer thinks so

More than most scientific questions, the state of the environment has been deeply mixed up with international rivalries. In fact, some nations seem to have politicised environmental claims as a weapon in their economic competition. CO2 emissions mirror industrial output. The agreement in Bali to limit CO2 emissions looks to me like an attempt by the Great Powers to regulate industrial competition.

(c) “Hairshirt posturing vs everyday reality” by Robert Lyons (Dec 18)
After Bali: It ended in stalemate because while everyone poses as an opponent of CO2-emitting technologies, the fact is humanity needs them.

‘It was exactly what we wanted, we are indeed very pleased. We will have now two tremendously demanding years, starting right in January.’ So said the European Union’s chief negotiator Humberto Rosa following the outline agreement forged at the UN climate change talks in Bali last weekend. But it seems quite clear that, on the substantive issues under negotiation, everyone simply agreed to disagree.

(d) “Return of the Skeptical Environmentalist” by Tony Gilland (Review, Dec 2007)
In his new book Cool It, Bjørn Lomborg shows how ‘the science’ on global warming – covering everything from polar bear extinction to the disappearance of Greenland – has been distorted and politicised

(e) “Who’s afraid of…Greenland melting?” by Rob Lyons (Dec 13) 
Rob Lyons says we should keep cool about the ongoing scare story of Greenland’s melting ice.

Cooling Event? Meteorologist Joe Bastardi's Latest Forecast

Joe Bastardi, one of’s most expert senior meteorologists, has written a very opinionated piece about the possibility that a very strong, almost unseasonable La Nina (i.e. cooling) event will be “a kick in the teeth of people pushing man-made global warming. Why? Because this is exactly what should be happening in the natural cycle that develops when the AMO is in its warm state“.

We will see if that will happen. It is just a matter of waiting for March/April 2008.

In any case, Mr Bastardi’s courage to put himself right in the middle of potential unfriendly fire is commendable.

Pity the meteorologist. If he’s wrong, he/she’ll be without a job soon. And Accuweather out of business. And this goes on and on for the whole of his or her career.

It’s the complete opposite of the cushioned world of climatologists that can forecast everything and nothing, ready for just-so stories to justify whatever is going to happen.

Atmospheric CO2 and Human Emissions

A look at some of the numbers behind human activities and CO2 reveals that World Primary Energy Production has a .98948 correlation with yearly Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 content averages.

In the period 1980-2005 though, the former has increased 60% while the latter only 12%.

If we limit ourselves to Petroleum, Gas and Coal, the correlation goes down slightly (to .98201). PGC Energy Production has increased 53% between 1980 and 2005.

Assuming the Mauna Loa data truly reflect an increasing CO2 trend, there are strong indications that atmospheric CO2 go up indeed with human energy production, but the planet is more than capable to cushion any effect.

Probably, there is not enough oil in the ground to cause any doubling of CO2, and even if we burned all the coal we’d be hard pressed to increase our CO2-generation energy production to a value 320% higher than 1980’s, that would cause an expected net effect of seeing a 50% increase in atmospheric CO2 compared to 1980, to around 500ppmv.


CO2 (1980-2005) (Jan-Dec average) :
338.6825, 339.9266667, 341.1266667, 342.775, 344.42, 345.8983333, 347.1483333, 348.9266667, 351.4816667, 352.9025, 354.1816667, 355.5875, 356.37, 357.0333333, 358.8791667, 360.8725, 362.6375, 363.7591667, 366.6225, 368.3058333, 369.4716667, 371.0116667, 373.0925, 375.6366667, 377.3808333, 379.66

Primary energy production:
287.594, 282.653, 281.182, 283.819, 299.787, 307.259, 316.977, 324.427, 337.041, 343.975, 349.833, 347.044, 347.575, 349.360, 355.578, 363.933, 373.240, 381.485, 385.035, 385.994, 396.263, 403.192, 406.941, 422.692, 444.452, 460.139

Petroleum/Gas/Coal Primary Energy Production:
259.179, 252.764, 249.670, 249.820, 262.870, 267.712, 276.010, 282.035, 292.315, 298.313, 303.140, 298.944, 299.229, 299.031, 304.451, 310.613, 318.467, 326.550, 329.688, 329.184, 338.182, 345.235, 348.298, 363.533, 382.939, 396.854

In the European Union, Living Is Now Officially A Sin

Introducing mobGAS©, “a free software program that you can download to your mobile phone to help measure your personal energy efficiency“. Estimated emissions can then be stored on the web and checked online, either for 7 days or permanently.

mobGAS© has been “developed by the KAM group at the JRC from European Commission, Italy and implemented by MobiComp©, Portugal“.

In an interview for the IHT, developer Tiago Pedrosa said “The important thing is that people learn that with small changes, they can have a real impact on their emissions“.

Translation: “Big Brother the European Commission is watching over you and your emissions!

Why They Hate Lomborg

Younger Dryas