PIG's Complexity And The Misspelled Swede

What do glaciers indicate? Much more than the local (or maybe even global!) temperature trends. In fact, read what The Register reports about the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in Antarctica:

[…] The PIG has flowed more and more rapidly into the Amundsen Sea since scientists have begun monitoring it, adding fresh water to the world’s oceans. […] Many scientists have theorised that the PIG’s accelerating flow is due to global warming. However, recent research [indicates] that the PIG’s ice flow formerly ground its way out to sea across the top of a previously unknown rocky underwater ridge, which tended to hold it back. Many years ago, however, before the area was surveyed in much detail, the glacier’s floating outflow sheet separated from the ridge top which it had been grinding away at for millennia and so picked up speed. This also allowed relatively warm sea water to get up under the sheet and so increase melting and ease of movement. […]

As luck has it, around three years ago I did myself some research about the Upsala glacier in Patagonia, used by The New York Review of Books to illustrate an article by Bill McKibben. The juxtaposition of photographs of Upsale taken respectively in 1928 and 2004 was captioned along the lines of “most of the glacier [has] melted“.

As usual, it didn’t take much to find out how wrong the caption was – most of the Upsala glacier has not melted at all (a correction was published by the NYRB a few weeks later).

More interestingly though, what I did find were scholarly references attributing the glacier’s retreat to mechanical rather than climatic stresses, just as now for Pine Island’s. In other words, an understanding of glaciers like of everything else can’t be confined to quick glances at photographic “evidence”. Without a proper field study, and without a complete analysis of the situation, “global warming” has becoming the ultimate refuge for the climate (scientific) scoundrels.

Let’s hope the one thing that will come out of all these years of blacklists, tricks, and less-than-sincere “peer” review is a meme about the true complexity of the planet, to be studied with care and maybe even awe instead than in order to support one’s pet political project.

Indeed: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Why "Denier!"-Obsessed AGW Believers Are At Risk Of Ruining Science

I have always been amazed at how easy it is to find AGW believers ready to casually toss the accusation of “denier!” to everbody and anybody not following their “party line” of impending human-cause planetary doom to be avoided via some unprecedented social and economic revolution (“denier” meaning of course all sorts of nasty insults).

The more the term is spread around, the less meaningful it becomes. Still, what are the effects of such a silly behavior?

The most obvious consequence is that they are killing any hope of a serious climate debate, and therefore any hope of seeing it seriously tackled. It makes one wonder what would push people worried about something to act in a way that makes inaction a certainty (one of many) , and the worry increase even more.

An even bigger risk we are running concerns the possibility that science itself will get damaged by professions of AGW belief. In fact, what exactly is a “denier”? According to many AGW activists, “denier” is somebody that “attacks” science, by refusing to acknowledge as Truth whatever the AGW consensus says at the moment. And of course, science must be defended from those “attacking” it…

In the real world instead, one could naively think a “denier” is somebody that “denies” something, but that’s definitely not the case in matters of climate. In my still-fresh Facebook quiz, I have reported the long, curious and illogical list of questions somebody has asked Roger Pielke, Jr. in order to establish the latter’s “denialism” or otherwise.

With the image firmly in mind of Cultural Revolution-style re-education labor camps for those providing the “wrong” answers, it is actually easy to spot the underlying misunderstanding: “denier!”-obsessed AGWers are completely missing the point of science.

Science is a process, not a collection of facts. There are innumerable web sites of different repute repeating that simple concept (many are .edu). One finds it in the US-National Science Education Standards of 1996. Even the US Supreme Court has accepted it:

‘Science is not an encyclopedic body of knowledge about the universe. Instead, it represents a process for proposing and refining theoretical explanations about the world that are subject to further testing and refinement’

(To be precise, science is also a collection of facts. But those “facts” can and will be easily changed with new “facts” as soon the process of science will show it as necessary. What remains truly unchanged, and what one should always refer to, is the process of science)

If the above were not enough, there are even more indications that what is important in science is the process, not the product. In his $1M Paranormal Challenge, James Randi goes at great lengths in order to focus the tests around a specific process, rather than simply dismissing everybody believing they can “provide objective proof of the paranormal“. And what about a video explanation by the Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait himself (especially from 2m36s onwards)?

And finally: imagine having two people, one reaching the “consensus” conclusions through luck or guessing, the other one reaching conclusions different from the  “consensus” but by using the process of science. Which of the two is the scientist, and which the naive, or denier?

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A “denier” of science has therefore to be somebody that goes against, or wrongly manipulates, or misuses the process of science: and not just anybody that considers as most plausible a different collection of facts than the current consensus.

Otherwise, if a “denier” were somebody that doesn’t agree with the “scientific consensus”, here’s a glaring “denier” then: Albert Einstein refusing the consensus on quantum physics (and more). Here’s two more: Dr. Barry Marshall and Dr. Robin Warren, refusing the consensus on the absence of bacteria in the human stomach on their way towards winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Another “denier”? Martin Glaessner of Ediacaran fauna fame, refusing the consensus about pre-Cambrian complex lifeforms (or lack thereof).

This is so incredibly absurd…Einstein, Marshall, Warren, Glaessner and countless others have simply tried to push science forward using the process of science. Sometimes, they have been shown right: in other occasions (notably, Einstein’s) they haven’t. Still, nobody becomes a “denier” simply by getting the “incorrect” or “anti-consensus” answer. <sarcasm>Why, does anybody want to read about the “Dark Matter deniers“??</sarcasm>

And yet, most if not all calling against “climate deniers!” I have ever read, they focus on the “facts” of climate rather than analyze how do people reach their sometimes conflicting conclusions. They go down onto incredible minutiae, such as accusing of “denial” when one finds the IPCC predictions a little exaggerated, or admits being “slightly less” worried about methane in the permafrost than them.

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Do “climate deniers” exist, in the definition of “denier” just provided? Of course they do (here’s an interesting even if a little over-the-top attempt at dealing with the details about climate skepticism and denialism, by what I would define a not-so-closet climate skeptic fed up with American global warming politics). The number of “deniers” is extremely small especially among the scientifically educated. They have as much a chance at damaging the process of science as a Kansas school board has to convince to Norwegian education minister to introduce the teaching creationism.

The real danger to science comes from the believer side instead, as it spreads around a completely incorrect idea of what science is about. The last thing we’d need at the moment, is an army of young researchers trained with the asinine idea that, in climate science and/or in any other science, the only way to be good scientists rather than “deniers” is to follow the consensus.

Nullius in verba, indeed. Let’s defend science from the Defenders of science

The Grandchildren Fallacy

It’s becoming fashionable to talk about “global warming” and “climate change” in terms of “do it for the grandchildren”, in the sense of getting things in order now (i.e. long before anything bad has happened to the Earth’s climate) so that the grandchildren will be safe from whatever bad things “global warming” will bring (floods, droughts, hot, cold, rain, hail, the works).

(Why has this become fashionable? Here’s why)

The concept creeps in into a recent speech by Norwegian author Jostein Gaardner, talking about global warming at a literary festival as reported by Andy Revkin:

An important basis for all ethics has been The Golden Rule or the Principle of Reciprocity: you shall do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But the golden rule can no longer just have a horizontal dimension – in other words a “we” and “the others.” We must realize that the Principle of Reciprocity also has a vertical dimension: you shall do to the next generation what you wished the previous generation had done to you.

The risk of falling into hubris by following the above, is almost a certainty.

The proposition “you shall do to the next generation what you wished the previous generation had done to you” is simply not supported by historical evidence. Does anybody believe that the society of 1890 was similar to the society of 1865 (35 years earlier, “one generation”)? Were the needs is 1950 similar in any way to those in 1915?

I can add a personal dimension to this. As luck has it, I am 35 years older than my son; my father is 35 years older than me; my paternal grandfather was 36 years older than my father (who knows, the pattern might have gone back further, but I do not think many birth records survived the 1908 Messina quake).

Of this I can be quite sure: whatever was in the minds of my father in 1975, it would have been hardly of any help to us in 2010. In fact, they had to face an energy crisis, with economies in ruins and high unemployment. But inflation was high too, and after another Oil Shock in 1979 somehow they all forgot to develop “clean” energy sources.

Did my father have any clue, could he have imagined our society as it is and with what level of confidence in order to do something useful for me and us all? Had he done something of relevance for 1975, say, bring the inflation down, or achieve energy independence, was that related at all to what he wished my grandfather had done in 1940, and would it have been of relevance for 2010? Say, would my grandfather or my father ever have guessed the troubles with lithium, and the importance a new discovery would have had this week?

Apart from the usual stuff that is, a world free of nuclear weapons, with no povery, the end of malnutrition and child and maternal deaths, etc etc (that’s the equivalent of motherhood and apple pie)…

Consider the world of 2045 now: can I expect it to be similar to mine? To what extent? What exactly am I presumed to be doing that would be relevant to my son when he will be in his forties, and how could I know? Worse: what can I ever think of the world of 2080, when my grandchildren (if I will ever have any) will be in their 40s?

Overall, in face of absolute ignorance, it does sound like the most sensible thing to do is to solve today’s problems, not the children’s or the grandchildren’s. After all…what is the “reciprocity” in something done across time, as there is nothing next generation can do for us now? The bare minimum we can do for them, if we really want to do something for them, is to stay alive enough until they’re not depending on us any longer. Everything else is as good a guess as any, and as bad.

La Strada Per l’Inferno E’ Lastricata Di…Articoli Contro Il “Burqa”

La strada per l’inferno, come si sa, e’ lastricata di…articoli contro il “burqa“.

A parte che un che l’obbligo di presentare la faccia al mondo in qualsiasi momento e in ogni occasione non mi sembra un’idea molto libertaria, e che ci vuol poco per ovviare al problema del riconoscimento quando proprio necessario (per esempio, con un luogo appartato in banca dove un’impiegata possa vedere il volto della cliente), invito a leggere gli articoli scritti in Italia cento anni fa, per esempio su La Stampa del dicembre 1908 dove si tessevano le lodi dell’abbigliamento femminile “maomettano”, che rendeva la donna molto piu’ misteriosa ed attraente.

Questo per dire che a far finta di essere per forza nel vero, si rischia solo di creare inutili conflitti e confusione…

Twenty Steps Of Climate Denial

Twenty Steps Of Climate Denial” is the title of my first-ever Facebook quiz. Ever wondered if you are a climate change denialist? Wonder no more! You’ll know it all in less than 21 questions!

And now for a bit of background: 99.9% of the questions and answers are inspired by the curious adventures of Roger Pielke, Jr., replying to a barrage of question by a “gonzo journalist” that is either quite disturbed or very good at appearing so (I prefer the latter).

For those that can’t stand Facebook, here’s the list of “questions”:

  1. Your mountaintop removal coal operation is filthier than a Tiger Woods text message
  2. You have considered at least once the possibility that global warming might be “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind”
  3. You are a “junk science expert”
  4. After publishing an article of yours, the editor and half of Climate Research’s editorial board resign
  5. Your mission is to use arcane statistical analyses to break the “hockey stick”
  6. You are George Will, Roy Spencer, Marc Morano and/or admired by Glenn Beck
  7. You think global warming is basically a “political” issue
  8. You reluctantly admit that the earth is getting hotter, but insist that we’ll like the warmer weather
  9. You have called a gathering of activists in Copenhagen “Hitler Youth”
  10. Joe Romm dubbed you as the Most Debunked Science Writer in the Blogosphere
  11. You agree with this statement: “Post-normal science refers to situations in which knowledge is uncertain, values are contested and stakes are high.”
  12. You accept the scientific consensus on AGW, yet are often critical of climate scientists, for what you call “scientism” or “stealth advocacy”
  13. You have an article in Cato Institute’s “Regulation” magazine, or in “Energy and Environment”. Alternatively, you have worked for the George C. Marshall Institute or are a member of the House of Lords
  14. You are paid by the fossil fuel industry to lie
  15. You refuse to cap, trade, regulate or sufficiently tax carbon emissions
  16. Do greenhouse gases cause global warming?
  17. Does a hotter atmosphere mean more extreme weather?
  18. If not kept in check, will AGW be a source of increased costs of damage associated with hurricanes, floods, and extreme weather phenomena in the future?
  19. By dwelling on uncertainty, and implying that the science of climate change in some way is not “settled”, you have provided in the past a perfect excuse to do nothing
  20. You don’t renounce people like Anthony Watts

Top Ten Consequences If AGW Activists Were In Charge Of The FIFA World Cup…

What would happen if the management of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa were handed over to our beloved climate-change activists? Just imagine:

  1. Civil unrest spreads during Opening Ceremony as South Africa, the Host Nation, is immediately disqualified since it is going to build a giant coal-fired power plant
  2. Opening-day (morning) sees the publication, by renowned experts, of match goal models with prediction of between 1 and 6 goals per match
  3. Report is leaked to “The Independent” urging nets to be made smaller, otherwise 100 goals will be scored per match in the 2098 Cup
  4. Opening-day (afternoon) sees the self-congratulation by same renowned experts and their admirers at the remarkable success rate of match goal models’ predictions
  5. Started with the aim of giving Tuvalu an equal chance in winning the Cup, global soccer negotiations quickly get stuck on discussions about the shape of the ball
  6. Middle point of the competition sees the self-congratulation by aforementioned renowned experts and admirers at the remarkable success rate of match goal models even in predicting that one team will win the Cup, eventually
  7. On the eve of the biggest match in their career, the England team is told in no uncertain terms by both Government and Parliament to unilaterally cut the “emissions” of footballs into opponents’ goal nets by 85% by the same evening. Heskey replaces Rooney while worries about the consequences of scoring almost no longer are summarily dismissed.
  8. During whirlwind world tour in-between the matches, (it’s them again!) the usual renowned experts fly to Bali to develop a consensus: Brazil will “very likely” (=90%) reach the quarterfinals
  9. Civil unrest spreads during World Cup Final as spectators are kept away from the “Soccer City” stadium. This is due to football trend analyses showing the specific event as “unimportant”  (“weather”, not “climate”)
  10. And finally…

  11. Nil-nil results are blamed on BP-funded soccer denialists

Evidence About The 1970s Global Cooling Consensus Keeps Piling Up

Not just Damon and Kunen’s (already mentioned here)…by chance, I have found yet another Science paper (this time Broecker from August 1975) making it clear that, for a few years up to then, the general consensus among scientists had been that the world was cooling:

[…] the present cooling trend […] the natural climatic cooling which, since 1940, has more than compensated for the carbon dioxide effect[…]

Time to repeat myself:  we have a ‘widely accepted [by the scientific community]…global cooling trend’, at least judging from Mitchell’s work in 1972; doubts about that growing in the same scientific community from 1975/1976, as per Damon and Kunen’s paper; but not early enough to prevent Newsweek from publishing its 1975 article, one that even mentions a certain Dr Murray Mitchell. That means that pieces of the global cooling puzzle do suggest that cooling was a widely-held view in the 1970s. Admittedly, such an agreed view did not last the whole decade: rather, it concerned the 1972 to 1975 period.

etc etc

Thank You Mr De Boer For A Final Note Of Climate Realism

Like all good diplomats, Yvo de Boer has decided to leave the UNFCCC on a high note, and with some frank remarks finally providing a glimpse about where the world actually is, in terms of dealing with climate change. Here’s them very briefly:

“A good debate on rules and compliance can help bring us closer to an ambitious and credible regime”
In other words, there’s been too much emphasis on grandiose statements about legally-binding agreements, with no attention to the details of them.
“We are on a long journey to address climate change”
In other words, silly statements such as Prince Charles’ “99 months to prevent disaster” are just unjustified noise.
“Often the focus is on the interpretation of stated positions, rather than debate to understand the nature of underlying interests”
So once again, the point is that too many AGW activists  have agonized about people’s and politicians’ thoughts and beliefs rather than the practicalities of finding a workable solution.

“At home, we would never seek to reform agricultural policy without involving the Ministry of Agriculture. We would, however, give that Ministry clear terms of reference and ask it to report back to Cabinet.”

In other words, it’s not the right time for being all cuddly and asininely inclusive.

“Sarah Palin recently referred to the work of the IPCC as “snake oil science”. This remark was symptomatic of a growing distrust with regard to the science that underpins climate policy. This is not something we can afford. I am very happy that a review of the IPCC’s working methods is taking place. If we undertake a broad review of the Convention in 2015, we will need a strong, credible and robust Fifth Assessment Report on which to base that review.”

In other words, people fixated on blaming the “growing distrust” on evil Exxon-funded denialist machines, are talking rubbish. The IPCC is in need of getting its house in order before 5AR comes out.

“There are, I believe, huge opportunities to ask the private sector what policy design is needed to achieve the greatest possible green growth, while safeguarding economic growth and poverty eradication”

In other words, by focusing on climate and “green” alone, many have risked ruining economic growth and poverty eradication programmes.

“The national slogan of my country is: “unity in diversity”. I am confident that you can find that unity in diversity”

And that’s a message for all climate talebans to get lost. Because “diversity” is as important as “unity”, and the latter must be found in the former.

The Unextricable Incompleteness Of Nature

Unless and until the “Nature” editors will find the courage the publish correspondence such as the below, outside of the usual echo-chambers of close-minded, mantra-repeating, conformist half-thinkers, the most we can expect from the somewhat prestigious journal is incomplete columns: because in order to complete them, they need to involve the world they don’t want to listen to…

Dear Sir or Madam

I was somewhat surprised at the abrupt ending of Colin Macilwain’s latest Nature column (“World view: Disaster, unmitigated”, published online 19 May 2010 | Nature 465, 287 (2010) | doi:10.1038/465287a).

As a way for the environmental movement to re-engage the public, Mr. Macilwain suggests “those researchers who do feel comfortable with advocacy need to spend more time on the ground, talking to real people about why their work matters”. Scientists doubling up as street preachers? Unlikely. And yet, there could be a hint of a way out of the “disaster”.

How to talk “to real people”? Scientists that build for themselves a name as scientists, often misunderstand it as a free pass to provide the world with the “Given Truth”. But very few manage to be an Einstein or a Feynman: with no reputation in a social and/or political context, the most solid scientific ideas become only somebody’s opinion in an ocean of opinions. With a long history of misguided scientific claims in the media (as recently highlighted in The Guardian), emission trading and the plight of Mexican lizards achieve the same status of dieting fads and miracle cancer cures, just a notch above Nostradamus.

The result is the wholescale political hijacking of the climate debate (mainly in the USA), very little progress, noise all over the place: the “disaster” mentioned by Mr. Macilwain.

The obvious first step out of such a situation involves building social and political reputation, by reducing the cacophony: acquiring allies instead of enemies; making do without grandstanding claims about impending dooms; relying less on a change in human nature and the reinvention of civilisation; opening up to the society-wide consequences of each particular solution. And telling “climate change” like it is, a matter of risk management instead of hubris, projections not predictions, stewardship not dictatorship.

There are many out there like me, politically active, environmentally conscious, scientifically trained, ferociously on the side of Reason in the tradition of Carl Sagan and James Randi and on this basis aware of the potential dangers of climate change, unconvinced about the reality of upcoming catastrophes and worried about the future of society and of civil liberties. But as long as the prevailing attitude among climate scientists and especially activists-researchers will involve lèse majesté and ad-hominems against “deniers”, really, there will be nobody, least of all “real people”, for them to talk to.

Dodgy NASA Pages Undermines Scientific Education

The educational troubles at NOAA are well known. Now I have stumbled by accident into one set of misleading NASA-hosted pages allegedly set up in order to help teachers and students understand the greenhouse effect.

The starting page of the set “Measuring the Temperature of the Sky and Clouds” by a Forrest M. Mims III and part of teacher-focused “My NASA Data” website, claims to describe a project where “you will learn about the greenhouse effect by measuring the temperature of the sky and clouds far overhead with an infrared thermometer“.

The project is described across four pages and it might be easily misinterpreted as showing that clouds are warmer than the cloudless atmosphere because of the greenhouse properties of water vapor (one needs to read the text very carefully). But that’s not the real problem.

The real problem is that it is claimed that:

The temperature in outer space approaches absolute zero, which is -273 degrees Celsius. But you will measure a much warmer temperature if you point an infrared thermometer at the sky directly overhead (the zenith).  Depending on the season and your location, the temperature will likely be near or below zero degrees Celsius. While this is very chilly, it’s far from being as cold as absolute zero. The difference is caused mainly by water vapor in the sky that has become warm by absorbing infrared radiation emitted by the Earth below. The warmed water vapor returns some of the infrared back to the Earth, and this helps keep the Earth warmer than space.

The statement above is wrong. Says who? Says mainstream scientific consensus on the behavior of atmospheres. Here’s an excerpt from a University of Texas page explaining it all:

Of course, we know that the atmosphere is not isothermal. In fact, air temperature falls quite noticeably with increasing altitude. In ski resorts, you are told to expect the temperature to drop by about 1 degree per 100 meters you go upwards. Many people cannot understand why the atmosphere gets colder the higher up you go. They reason that as higher altitudes are closer to the Sun they ought to be hotter. In fact, the explanation is quite simple. It depends on three important properties of air. The first important property is that air is transparent to most, but by no means all, of the electromagnetic spectrum. In particular, most infrared radiation, which carries heat energy, passes straight through the lower atmosphere and heats the ground. In other words, the lower atmosphere is heated from below, not from above. The second important property of air is that it is constantly in motion. In fact, the lower 20 kilometers of the atmosphere (the so called troposphere) are fairly thoroughly mixed. You might think that this would imply that the atmosphere is isothermal. However, this is not the case because of the final important properly of air: i.e., it is a very poor conductor of heat.

Note that there is not a single mention of any greenhouse property of anything. Later on the UTexas text contains a reference to water vapor but for different reasons than the greenhouse effect:

As air rises, expands, and cools, water vapour condenses out releasing latent heat which prevents the temperature from falling as rapidly with height as the adiabatic lapse rate would indicate

So if the ground is at whatsoever temperature and you point a thermometer to the sky, you’ll read “the temperature through a cone-shaped column of the troposphere“, as determined by the properties of air and water vapor. The value you will read will be far above absolute zero independently from the greenhouse effect.

It is rather worrying to see such a poorly-designed experiment getting NASA approval (well, that might explain a few things…) and who knows how many pupils have now got it all wrong. Hopefully, there’s two or twenty science teachers out there capable to use critical reasoning.

Defending Science At the BA Blog (Of All Places!)

Life in various aspects means I can’t post as much as I wish, even if there’s quite a few loose threads that will surface here soon.

Anyway, in the meanwhile there are some signs of hope and despair in the comments section at this Bad Astronomer’s blog, where I am making a couple of points: (a) does Phil Plait believe people like astronaut / moonwalker / geologist / climate skeptic Harrison Schmitt is a “denier” and if so why doesn’t Phil tell the world about it and (b) how unscientific it is to call people “deniers” only because they don’t reach your exact conclusions (given the fact that science is a process, not a quiz show).

I have been said things and called names as usual, but that’s alright. As Gerry Spence would say, those unfortunate souls’ opinions would only matter if I cared. And I don’t 😎

Does Harrison "Jack" Schmitt Exist?

A few hours have passed since my first comment in Plait’s n-th tired “you’re all deniers!” blog, and not a single word on how would Phil or any AGW believer handle any debate with Harrison Schmitt, geologist, Astronaut, Moonwalker, and a skeptic of AGW.

Harrison "Jack" Schmitt
Harrison "Jack" Schmitt

I think we can safely assume that Schmitt, like Phil, has examined the claims, the science, and the techniques. However, Schmitt has come to the conclusion that

(see Wikipedia)

“[t]he CO2 scare is a red herring”, the “global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision-making,” and scientists who might otherwise challenge prevailing views on climate change dare not do so for fear of losing funding.

I find the very existence of somebody like Schmitt incompatible with Phil’s simplistic climate change view where everybody that disagrees on anything, is a rabid anti-science ignorant denier or worse.

Te Lo Do’ Io Il PR…

C’e’ un po’ di discussione riguardo un blog abbastanza ingenuo di Ugo Bardi (fa parte della mai troppo vituperabile serie dove divide il mondo in Buoni e Cattivi), blog dove si vuole passare per buona l’idea che dietro lo scetticismo climatico ci sia la mano cattivona di Big Oil. In particolare vi si puo’ leggere un allegro scambio di idee riguardo la traduzione in italiano dell’About del noto blog cambioclimatista RealClimate.

Pubblico (anche) qui un paio di precisazioni.

Ho scritto “RealClimate e’ stato messo in piedi da una ditta di public relations“. Infatti su RC, in tutta onesta’ ma facendo pieno uso delle sfumature e degli eufemismi tipici del mondo anglosassone ma che evidentemente sfuggono a chi non ci e’ abituato, parlano dello “INITIAL planning” (“pianificazione INIZIALE“, l’enfasi e’ mia).

Se poi qualcuno vuole credere su RC siano ospitati dallo “Science Communications Network” (“dedicated to encouraging environmental public health scientists and medical practitioners to contribute to public discussions about their work through the media“) senza che per mettere su il sito quell'”encouraging” abbia avuto alcuna importanza, e senza che abbiano fatto uso del fior fiore dei professionisti del PR ambientalista, insomma, a questa persona ho un Colosseo da vendere…

Senza SCN/EMS, e senza Fenton, RealClimate sarebbe un’altra cosa (un blog dei tanti che non fanno uso di professionisti del PR, come i miei). E quindi, come ho detto nel mio commento iniziale a Bardi, lamentarsi che nel discorso climatico siano coinvolte organizzazioni di PR, presentando poi il tutto come se il PR fosse solo quello di Big Oil, non mi sembra una cosa molto saggia.

Faccio anche notare come sia in corso la un po’ imbarazzante conferenza Heartland (da cui, come ripeto da anni, mi tengo ben lontano). Qualcuno sa dove sono questi maghi del PR, o quali risultati abbiano ottenuto? Ci sono star del cinema o della TV, o personaggi famosi per qualcos’altro che la loro viscontita’? (domanda)

Infine…sondaggio di questi giorni…il 41% dei britannici e’ scettico “integrale” (non pensano che il riscaldamento sia di origine antropica in nessun modo). Qualcuno conosce quali iniziative di PR di Big Oil o Big Coal abbiano ottenuto cotanto risultato? Anche perche’ io, che in UK ci vivo, non me ne sono accorto.

Code Purple

This is compatible with global warming!
This is compatible with global warming!

(the original is here)

(the explanation for “Code Purple” is here)

How Many NAS Members Does It Take…

…to chip away at the integrity of climate science?

It’s either 255, or they ran out of memory on the Z80.

Never mind that a Google search on Peter Gleick, the main signatory of the (May 6) open letter from 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences in defence of climate research, reveals the guy as author of a book published (as luck would have it) on May 3 (sales will surely plunge due to his name becoming ever better known).

Just compare the following statement from the letter

When errors are pointed out, they are corrected

to Mr Gleick’s reaction (him again, publicity-shy as usual!!) on the Huffington Post and SFGate when people pointed out that the original caption of the accompanying picture on Science magazine readsThis images [sic] is a photoshop design” (in case you wonder, the text was already there on May 3)

…a fantastic peek into the way the climate denial “machine” works…small but vocal part of the infosphere dominated by the climate deniers…try to paint the entire climate science community as fake…attempt by climate deniers to divert public attention once again from the facts of climate change…

As it is apparent, when errors are pointed out, they are not corrected before a paranoid rant gets published. And what about “fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong“? I don’t think so: in the case of climate science, that’s abuse and organized bullying what awaits them.

Venus Awakening

Steve Goddard in WUWT, May 7, 2010? Luboš Motl in the reference frame, same date?

Sure, but what about Omniclimate’s 4-part series starting Feb 27, 2008? (Here parts 2, 3 and 4)

Or Omnologos’ now ancient Aug 17, 2007 post?

Alas, there was some mention of it in a July 2007 Elsevier book. But who cares? What is important is that the stale orthodoxy about Venus’ “runaway greenhouse effect” is starting to dissipate.

As forecasted in “Venus Forecast” 35 months ago: “In a few years, the old ideas of Fred Singer will come back into fashion.

Venus’ retrograde rotation, incredibly massive atmosphere and relatively young (<500 million years) surface will be elegantly explained by the crash of a massive satellite half a billion years ago (with subsequent melting of much if not the whole crust, and humongous outgassing).

Current lead-melting surface temperatures will be just as beautifully explained by simple adiabatic processes.

The role of CO2 in the heating of the atmosphere via some “greenhouse effect” will be seriously reconsidered and almost completely dismissed.

UPDATE May 10: WUWT has a new post on Venus. Among the comments, a link to another blog making a similar point (Oct 7, 2009) and to a brief communication by Carl Sagan in the pages of the Astrophysical Journal (1967) estimating the surface temperature without a single mention of the “runaway greenhouse effect”.

Don't Miss Out On This Great Post About MWP And Hockey Sticks

As I keep saying, if on the AGW side everybody were level-headed (as Rob Honeycutt evidently is), there would be no debate about CO2 emissions, rather effective cutting measures would already be in place as a matter of course.

Unfortunately, we usually have to deal with people mutated by AGW into shouting extremists. Oh well.

Fear And Timidity No Friends Of Science

(comment posted to Jonathan Wolff’s “The journals are full of great studies, but can we believe the statistics?“, The Guardian, May 4 2010)

There are two big issues with Mr Wolff’s article.

(1) The “fear of looking foolish” seems a particularly childish approach to Science.

Insofar as one is able to argue the reasons for a particular choice in an “unsettled” scientific field, there is of course no foolishness to speak of.

In fact, looking at this the other way around, the fact that one was “very right” once, means nothing about being right in the future. Otherwise, all we would have to do would be to listen to former Nobel Prize winners.

Sadly, after the trip to Stockholm very few of them are capable of achieving anything remotely important as their acclaimed feat.

(2) There is little hope for Science really, if the goal is to hold on until an orthodoxy develops, and then sheepishly hang on to that.

We can’t simply evolve into separate tribes showing no critical thinking of what happens in other fields. And orthodoxies are meant to crumble, otherwise it is not “Science”. By the time they become widespread enough for the likes of Wolff to take them as “Truth”, they will likely be ripe for destruction by the next generation of scientists.

Come to think, a certain guy called Galileo would have failed on the Wolff strategy left, right and centre. Luckily he wasn’t afraid, and didn’t look the other way.

Fear And Timidity No Friends Of Science

(comment posted to Jonathan Wolff’s “The journals are full of great studies, but can we believe the statistics?“, The Guardian, May 4 2010)

There are two big issues with Mr Wolff’s article.

(1) The “fear of looking foolish” seems a particularly childish approach to Science.

Insofar as one is able to argue the reasons for a particular choice in an “unsettled” scientific field, there is of course no foolishness to speak of.

In fact, looking at this the other way around, the fact that one was “very right” once, means nothing about being right in the future. Otherwise, all we would have to do would be to listen to former Nobel Prize winners.

Sadly, after the trip to Stockholm very few of them are capable of achieving anything remotely important as their acclaimed feat.

(2) There is little hope for Science really, if the goal is to hold on until an orthodoxy develops, and then sheepishly hang on to that.

We can’t simply evolve into separate tribes showing no critical thinking of what happens in other fields. And orthodoxies are meant to crumble, otherwise it is not “Science”. By the time they become widespread enough for the likes of Wolff to take them as “Truth”, they will likely be ripe for destruction by the next generation of scientists.

Come to think, a certain guy called Galileo would have failed on the Wolff strategy left, right and centre. Luckily he wasn’t afraid, and didn’t look the other way.

Top 17 Signs Your Belief In Catastrophical AGW Is Going The Way Of The Dodos

Fellow AGWer! Are you worried you’re losing the climate debate? Worry no more. It’s a certainty in 17 easy-to-spot signs!!

  1. Main conversational topic among fellow believers are revolving around complaining the rest of the worls is made up of “deniers”
  2. Highlight of the month: a conference about climate change and the arts, closed by a truly inspiring dance act
  3. You’ve given credibility to fatuous claims about ill-behaving humans inducing global warming and ultimately causing bad things such as earthquakes, volcanoes
  4. Worse: an Iranian cleric has made moral remarks perfectly equivalent to yours: about ill-behaving humans (well, women…) ultimately causing bad things such as earthquakes
  5. Having waited for major legislation to materialize, you have seen it evaporating at the very last minute
  6. Worse: you’ve been spending time shoring support for major legislation that you agree would be wholly ineffectual even if it passed as dreamed
  7. Worst: the only reason to support such ineffectual bill proposal has been the remote chance it might show “leadership” (showing the world how to pass ineffectual legislation, one suspects)
  8. Worse than worst: well after the very last minute, you have openly withdrawn your support, thereby making sure nothing will ever happen
  9. You have celebrated the results of an “independent” committee setup by the British Government, even if the final report couldn’t help criticizing the IPCC in order to “pass the blame” to somebody
  10. Suddenly, the political and intellectual German classes has started to look the other way
  11. The BBC Science and Environment page is ever more struggling to find any news to report, about “global warming” and “climate change”, as all the potential physical manifestations have been quickly dismissed as “it’s weather not climate”
  12. Your preferred blogs have been chugging along tediously of late,  with naive, self-debasing and embarrassing remarks on the psychology of people that disagree with AGW catastrophism
  13. Miraculously, scientific papers have surfaced claiming the latest data support catastrophical global warming, despite the same latest data going the opposite way of previous data the same people claimed as supporting catastrophical AGW
  14. Worse: you have not noticed those are exactly the kind of claims that erode the public’s respect in AGW proponents, especially of the catastrophical variety
  15. The best answer you have had for months for your critics still concerns the well-being of people that haven’t even been born yet, and will do so in a future world we know about as much as Napoleon would have known of World War I and the trenches
  16. A great deal of people supporting your side have forever kept turning up dressed funny in front of cameras for the n-th repetition of ridiculous stunts that interest nobody any longer
  17. For months, nothing has appeared to make you happy and your blog and comments have been full only of depictions of future catastrophes. Yet when a volcano has threatened the lives and livestock of Iceland, and has stranded hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, you couldn’t contain yourself and started radiating your newly-found happiness, oblivious of the apparent nastiness and anti-human stance of yours it has shown to all

Cue ever-dwindling public and political support for your reality-challenged belief…

If It Looks Like UHI, Heats Like UHI, And Graphs Like UHI, Then It Probably Is UHI

by Guido Guidi and Maurizio Morabito

Our friend Teo has just expressed his personal and perfectly reasonable opinions about new, old publishing venture called “Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change (WIRCC)“.

In fact, we find it hard to disagree with him.

The subject of Urban Heat Islands (UHI) is topical, and it is somewhat ironic that such a self-evident effect is so happily dismissed away by AGW proponents. One suspects UHI is extremely inconvenient and uncomfortable to consider to those strictly supporting only the greenhouse-gas-emission side of AGW theory.

Who them? By sheer coincidence, only the greenhouse-gas-emission side of AGW theory can be used to dictate deep societal changes. But that’s another story.

Let’s just add some considerations based on a Willis Eschenbach post on WUWT. It’s a simple but eloquent analysis of a dataset of temperatures, with measures coming from about seventy stations over Northern Europe. Interestingly, an analysis of the monthly data across the decades for the duration of the dataset, shows a warming trend to be occurring primarily in winter months.

NORDKLIM Decadal monthly temperatures, 1900-1999
NORDKLIM Decadal monthly temperatures, 1900-1999

And what kind of forcing is especially important in the coldest period of the year? No prize for guessing that one right. This is precisely what is expected from the UHI effect, and it is due to changes over time to the environment surrounding the measurement equipments. Roads, buildings, infrastructure are built, woods are fallen and so on. That’s “Anthropogenic” as well, of course, and it has all the potential for local and global consequences.

Data so heavily biased are simply not compatible with the currently fashionable “globalization of forcing“, the mistaken belief that temperatures overwhelmingly taken on land and in heavily urbanized areas, are representative of the thermal state of the entire Blue Planet.

Think of it for a minute. We are talking about temperature anomalies with a positive trend coming from winter months. We are talking of continental regions at high latitudes. We are talking about winters with little insolation, in areas with a high albedo (reflecting visible light!) due to large amounts of snow cover.

  • Temperature sensors, under those specific conditions, show a gradual Winter warming

In the summer, with a much lower visible-light albedo in the absence of snow, the incoming solar radiation is absorbed and then re-emitted as longer waves: exactly those “captured” by greenhouse gases.

  • Temperature sensors, despite the abundance of infrared radiation, show no Summer warming

How could the positive anomalies be ascribed to a greenhouse effect, that remains a mystery to us. It definitely looks like this is enough to ring more than a few alarm bells, no matter what has been said in the past and by whom.

And the problem of telling between the greenhouse gas contribution to warming, and all other anthropogenic and natural effects, does not just apply to urban setting. It remains to be seen about who’s going to care about it, bringing forward a better understanding of the climate, rather than continuing to run like headless chicken always after the next CO2 molecule, as if it were volcanic ash…

A Brief History Of Dashed UHI Hopes

by Teodoro Georgiadis – slightly romanced English version by Maurizio Morabito

And there I am, at the beginning of March 2010: me and the brand-new, Volume 1, Number 1 , January / February 2010 issue of “Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change (WIRCC)” . Editor in Chief: Mike Hulme.

Wow, a fresh journal on Global Climate Change!

Even better: according to itself, the journal is meant as

a unique platform for exploring current and emerging knowledge from the many disciplines that contribute to our understanding of this phenomenon – environmental history, the humanities, physical and life sciences, social sciences, engineering and economics

Wouldn’t that be a welcome novelty, in a world post-climategate, post-submerged Holland, post-quickly disappearing Himalayan glaciers, post-Amazongate…in short, in a world that has seen an intense and compact series of scientific downpours on concepts perhaps too quickly assumed as established truth.

Downstream of Copenhagen, a new journal following WIRCC’s statement of intent would surely sport a truly different outlook: new style, new peer-reviewers, new structure all with the goal of providing science with the required level of objectivity, sadly and mostly missing in contemporary climate discourse.

I proceed therefore with all enthusiasm to select an article of surefire interest to me:

David E. Parker, “Urban heat island effects on estimates of observed climate change” p 123-133, Published Online: Dec 22 2009 12:42PM DOI: 10.1002/wcc.21

That’s it then! Finally we can leave the “gates du jour” behind and improve our knowledge of climate change.

Or maybe not.

First reference: IPCC. Second reference: Jones et al. (with Wang).

Wait a sec…what’s going on?

OK let’s move forward…alas, only to find something truly amazing:

the influence of urban heat islands on estimates of global warming is limited by the fact that about 70% of the Earth’s surface is ocean and is absolutely unaffected by urban warming

Say what? Oh yes, the Blue Planet, ever the envy of nasty aliens such as those in HG Wells’ “War of the Worlds”. But hang on…most of the network of temperature measuring stations is literally on solid ground…if you place them on a map they’ll be a bunch of dots almost exactly superimposed to cities. As for the ocean temperatures, we know very well how they are derived.

This isn’t looking good.

Anything better?

Exclusion of urban sites, or selective use of rural sites, requires information (‘metadata’) about the site and its surroundings

Yes, yes…ah, that refers to a 2005 J Clim paper by Peterson and Owen…isn’t that the same Peterson unceremoniously criticized for example by McIntyre on Climate Audit, regarding the peculiar classifications of urban and rural stations? There is a truly remarkable definition of “Parking Lot Effect” on that site.

How strange though, of all the past and present discussions and questions on the topic, Parker manages to mention exactly nothing. Well, at least that might explain the article’s conclusions:

The urban heat island has had only a minor impact on estimates of global trends”… The impact is small because assiduous efforts have been made by the compilers of global surface air temperature records to avoid or compensate for urban warming

Assiduous effort“? Amen to that.

Current and EMERGING knowledge?” Not by a long shot.

My conclusions: “Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change (WIRCC)“? New journal, same old story.

The Best Way To Make People Worry About Climate Change…

…is to provide them with a university education, adequate living quarters in urban settings, and $100,000 in “investable asset”:

Climate change topped the list of concerns by some two-thirds of Hong Kong residents polled as well as majorities of residents of London, Paris, Sao Paolo, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney, according to the poll of 2,044 urban residents around the world…The survey was conducted online from February 17 to March 1 among respondents who had university or post-graduate educations, were ages 25 to 64 and had at least $100,000 of investable asset…

(well, obviously under those conditions it should make it easier to have a little fewer of other concerns such as paying the mortgage, getting dinner organized, staying ahead of the bills)

Can’t wait to see thousands of self-styled environmentalists worldwide lobby their democratic representatives to defend the planet from climate change through a “Global Get Well Schooled, Urbanite And Rich Initiative“!

Now, that’s a Climate Campaign I would like to see started…just let me know where I can cash my $100,000, please?

UK Authorities To Impose A Ban On Lounges, Kitchens, Stairs And Ladders At Home

I will never apologise for putting safety first“, said Andrew Haines, chief executive of the British Government-controlled “Civil Aviation Authority” and formerly of “Great Western Trains” until last year.

Shall we bring Mr Haines’ logic to its natural conclusion? Why, 15,000 accidents occurred in the UK in “Lounge/study/living/dining/play areas” in 2002 alone (see HASS Table 4). A little less of 13,000 of those, in kitchens. If you sum them up, they total for around a fifth of all home accidents.

Now look at the HASS Table 2 at the same URL. A staggering 46% of all accidents concern one or another kind of falls.

Urgent initiatives are in order. A blanket ban on lounges, kitches, stairs and ladders shouldn’t be too far away. And it doesn’t have to stop there…don’t you know, “children under the age of 12 [are] the most likely of all those aged 16 and under to have reported being raped by someone they knew well” (explained as “typically refer[ring] to a friend or family member“).

Let’s outlaw families and friendship too.

An Illegal Volcano

From Daryl Cagle’s “Daily Updating Political Cartoons

illegal volcano
illegal volcano

EUFAR's Measurement Flights Of Volcanic Ashes

Alas, the “major measurement news” are coming out slower than expected. Anyway: all those interested can head off to the European Facility for Airborne Research  (EUFAR), where a mailing list has been set up to share information (not sure if that’s open to the public yet).

Here’s EUFAR’s relevant page as of now:

Measurement flights of volcanic ashes

This page will be updated regularly with new information.

Next EUFAR teleconference tomorrow Wednesday 21st at 2:00 P.M. (CET)

  • to report what has been measured so far
  • to share experiences.

2 teleconferences took place to discuss the “Status about the volcanic ashes measurement flights”:
– on the 19/04/2010 – meeting 01
– on the 20/04/2010 – meeting 02.

A mailing list to exchange information about the ash measurements is already operational. Please contact bureau@eufar.net to subscribe or un-subscribe.
A webpage has also been created. It is available from the “What’s new?” section of the EUFAR website homepage www.eufar.net or directly at:http://www.eufar.net/wiki/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/EufarCMS/VolcanicAshes?skin=view.
A repository to share all the data collected within the aircraft operators and the scientific community will be set up by Wendy Garland from BADC. You will be informed when this is completed (in the next few days).

Volcanic Debacle, Failed Models, And Mean "Greens"

Sounds like anthropogenic global warming, doesn’t it? The danger exists, but it is being senselessly exaggerated.

What if behind the decision to stop flights on a continental scale were the failure of a whole way of thinking public policy in Europe, with an asinine fixation on using computer models?

What if the aftermath of weeks of anthropogenic fear about millions dying of swine flu or maybe not, and the aftermath of weeks of anthropogenic fear about volcanic cloud making airplanes drop from the sky like flies or maybe not…what if people finally opened their eyes about the extreme limitations of computer modeling?

Who knows. Meanwhile, let me state clearly that I am fully aware of the potential risks for an airplane flying in the wrong conditions and at the wrong time through a cloud of volcanic origin. But there are enough indications to doubt the necessity of a reaction even remotely like the irrational panic that is causing the closure of European air spaces.

For example, the famous BA9 flight that almost crashed in 1982, was not the only flight to pass through that area. Wikipedia reports that the airspace around the Galunggung volcano was temporarily closed after the accident, reopened days later and permanently shut only after a similar incident to a Singapore Airlines flight around 19 days later, on July 13, 1982.

Indeed, there are indications that the first “encounter” with the ashes from Galunggung had occurred on April 5. That is, in three months and with little precaution taken, only twice the conditions were bad enough for flights to experience severe problems. And even if we consider the famous eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, despite the resulting cloud being able to travel 8,000 kilometers to the East Coast of Africa, the total tally was of 20 “damaged” planes, none of them as badly as BA9.

Think about it…billions and billions of flight hours since the Wright brothers, thousands and thousands of flight accidents of all sort and a grand total of 22 issues with volcanic ash, none of it deadly.

Sounds like anthropogenic global warming, doesn’t it? The danger exists, but it is being senselessly exaggerated. Even a recent NASA study, stating that virtually invisible and imperceptible volcanic clouds can still cause serious damage to an aircraft, can’t dispel the doubts since, were that to be true, the effect of ash would have been long noticed in the maintenance of thousands of airplanes.

Anyway…where reason fails, money can still rule the day, hence the airlines’ discontent about the decision to keep everybody grounded. Lufthansa and Air Berlin protested first to the newspapers, and even Niki Lauda moved swiftly from caution to crying foul after finding out that the cloud of Eyjafjallajökull is not everywhere and anywhere in Europe.

Besides, once the Met Office has been found out as the main reason for the air space closure, and one of its computer models, memories of recent colossal gaffes and prediction errors just make it humanly impossible to avoid a good deal of skepticism…

There is also a clear problem with procedures. What has happened in 2010 that is so fundamentalle different from 2004 for example, when the Icelandic volcano Grímsvötn caused disruption of flights but in a limited area, and only resulted in precaution about flying some parts of the North Sea?

On Sunday, trade associations of European airports and airlines have issued a statement asking why a definitely not uncommon event (Iceland is full of volcanoes and eruptions follow one another) provoked different reactions in Europe than anywhere else in the world.

How difficult could it be to close part of the Icelandic and Atlantic airspace, fly some planes and launch some balloons to measure the situation, double-check aircrafts after they land in surrounding areas? And in fact that is what is probably going to happen anyway, and measurements have already started in earnest on Monday 19 (details in German: here, here and here).

Meanwhile, reknown experts are starting to speak up against the madness. Here’s an interview (in Italian) with Prof Guido Visconti of the University of L’Aquila, Italy. Prof Visconti teaches Atmospheric Physics, is Director of the local Extreme Phenomena Center, and has worked in the past with NASA and Harvard University. His opinion? “Much precaution about nothing…we have started taking measurements today in Italy and what we see is small and unimportant“.

======

Concluding with a note of regret, one has to report (but not necessarily link) various sites who take actual pleasure in what has happened, because for a few days you there is a little less emissions of CO2, and also humanity gets to suffer instead of being happy and flying. Too bad for the people of Kenya, right?

Ash Cloud – Expect Major Measurement News On Tuesday

Can’t reveal much now but well-respected international air measurement organizations have been busy measuring up the volcanic material above the European skies, on Monday (finally). This means that we can expect for early Tuesday major news about where there are actual problems for flying.

This may or may not have anything to do with the newly-found courage by UE Transport Ministers, finally seeing the light in managing the volcanic ash risk, instead of cowering in panic.

Met Office Atmospheric Models Cause International Chaos – Why Am I Not Surprised?

The old computational forecasting wizards at the Met Office are behind the decision of closing so much of Europe’s airspace.

Of course they are.

(yes, it’s “well-proven” models, no direct measurement, the works!)

From the Herald Sun:

German airlines Lufthansa and Air Berlin said the decision to close much of Europe’s airspace was not based on proper testing. They said that their aircraft showed no signs of damage after flying without passengers.

The decision to close the airspace was made exclusively as a result of data from a computer simulation at the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London,” Air Berlin chief executive Joachim Hunold said.

The “Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London”? Here it is, at the Met Office:

When a volcano in its area of responsibility erupts, the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), based at the Met Office, runs the NAME atmospheric dispersion model. This, and similar models, are well proven and we can use them to predict the spread of pollutants following a chemical or nuclear leak or even the spread of airborne diseases. In this case we use the dispersion model to forecast the spread of volcanic ash plumes.

The London VAAC forecaster provides the location, start time, release height and the top and bottom of the plume (if known) and the model is run. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Output from this model is in a map-based graphical format, and can detail expected ash concentrations over a large region. The forecaster uses this detail to prepare the volcanic ash advisory message with the expected positions of the ash plume for up to 24 hours ahead.

The Advisory message is then used by aviation authorities to decide whether airspace needs to be closed to prevent aircraft encountering volcanic ash.

Note how the Met Office washes its hands from any decision, and yet in all those years with NAME, it has apparently decided not to complement the model results with in-situ measurements. A “revolutionary” idea brought forward at present by Lufthansa itself…

Not one single weather balloon has been sent up to measure how much volcanic ash is in the air.” Lufthansa spokesman Klaus Walter added. “The flight ban, made on the basis just of computer calculations, is resulting in billion-high losses for the economy […] In future we demand that reliable measurements are presented before a flying ban is imposed.”

Professional Environmentalist Tom Burke: Climate Change "Not An Issue Of The Day"

Funny isn’t it how the AGW debate has recently seen a series of incredibly self-defeating remarks. Latest in the series, a couple of sentences uttered during BBC Radio4′ “Today” programme by Tom Burke, “Professional Environmentalist” and visiting Professor of environmental science and technology at Imperial College (Apr 14, around 05m26s):

(Climate Change) is not an issue of the day. There is no way that this is ever going to be an issue of the day at least until it’s too late to do something about it.

That’s very nice to know…whenever people (scientists or otherwise) will turn up claiming Climate Change has done this or that already, it will be fairly straightforward to reply to them “It is not an issue of the day!

Where no topic is left unturned