`Stop Press' Stories
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The latest stories from October 2003, see below
|`Independent Review' - Canada Style (21 Dec 2003)
Lomborg Vindicated (18 Dec 03)
The Big Emitters - Climate Scientists! (15 Dec 03)
Cool Music (14 Dec 03)
Extreme Weather! (13 Dec 03)
Station of the Week - Laverton Aero and East Sale, Victoria, Australia (13 Dec 03)
The Eden That Never Was ... (6 Dec 03)
Hotter Sun = Warmer Earth (5 Dec 03)
Dear President Putin... (3 Dec 03)
Late News ....Very Late (28 Nov 03)
The Ice of Kilimanjaro (28 Nov 03)
The Case of the Disappearing Files (15 Nov 03)
COP-Who? (2 Dec 2003)
Station of the Week - Vytegra and Reboly, Russia (5 Dec 03)
Station of the Week - Casey Station, Antarctica (Australian) (28 Nov 03)
`Blowing in the Wind...' (22 Nov 03)
The Hunt for `Red October' (16 Nov 03)
Still Waiting for
IPCC's `Dangerous Incompetence' (12 Nov 03)
Broken Hockey Stick! (29 Oct 03)
ABC Attack on Free Speech (1 Nov 03)
US Senate Sinks Climate Bill (1 Nov 03)
Losers (1 Nov 03)
`Evidence for an Unusually Active Sun' (22 Oct 03)
September 2003 (18 Oct 03)
Station of the Week: Arctic Stations (25 Oct 03)
Kyoto Breakthrough by Prof S. Fred Singer From The Washington Times (Oct. 8, 2003)
Early Bloomers by Willis Eschenbach (10 Oct 03)
This year, the Canadian Government conducted an `independent review' of its Kyoto policy. Lorne Gunter writing in the Edmonton Journal reveals just how thoroughly bogus this sham review was - most of the members of the review panel were all hand-picked from within the government itself with no independent skeptic voice to disturb the smug charade. The outcome of the review was pre-determined and designed to give a bogus legitimacy to the policy.
One of the most shameful episodes in years perpetrated by environmental politics - the demonisation of Bjorn Lomborg and his book The Skeptical Environmentalist culminating in a `Star Chamber' denunciation of Lomborg by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DSCD) - has finally been corrected after nearly a year.
The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (which is responsible for the DSCD) has just repudiated the DSCD `findings' that Bjørn Lomborg’s book was "objectively dishonest", "clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice" etc. etc. The Ministry gave a critical assessment of the Committee’s January 6 ruling, finding that the DCSD judgment was not backed up by documentation, and was "completely void of argumentation" for the claims of dishonesty and lack of good scientific practice. According to the Ministry statement, the DCSD’s treatment of the case was "unsatisfactory", "deserving of criticism" and "emotional" and pointed out a number of significant errors of judgement and procedure. The DSCD's verdict has therefore been repudiated and declared void.
But is that simple? Is thus just an isolated case of one incompetent committee over-reacting to complaints by a few environmental activists and jumping to a biased judgement with no natural justice extended to the victim?
It goes much, much deeper, right to the roots of the way the environmental sciences conduct themselves. In a nutshell, we are dealing with a level of political corruption in these sciences which have abandoned the principles of open debate within science - indeed abandoned scientific method itself - and become more like a medieval religion, treating all critics as heretics to be censored and vilified. The disgraceful treatment of dissenting views, not just those of Lomborg, points to a serious disease of intolerance - paranoia even - of legitimate criticism, even to the extent of using the peer review system (which works passably well in other sciences) as an instrument of outright censorship against any critics. It is an intolerable situation in which the journals themselves are partly to blame.
There have been numerous examples of this practice this year, some well known, others not. The shrill cries of indignation over the Soon & Baliunas paper on paleo-climate and the similar hysterical reaction towards the MacIntyre & MacKitrick paper on the IPCC's `Hockey Stick', all attest to this new trend toward intolerance. By all means criticise these papers and criticise Lomborg's work - that's what free speech is all about. But to demonise them - to demand they be censored for no valid scientific reason - is a clear sign that the environmental sciences have degenerated into ideology and totalitarianism. What use is peer review in these sciences when the peers themselves are either incompetent, or politically corrupt, or both?
A new report in Nature confirms what many have claimed anecdotally. Climate scientists are among the worst offenders when it comes to emitting greenhouse gases.
At a recent AGU conference in San Francisco, many of the 10,000 attendees were climate scientists, each of whom on average travelled an 8,000 kilometre round trip to the conference, resulting in an emission
rate of almost 1.3 tonnes of CO2 per scientist.
This is roughly equivalent to the emissions made by an average American or
Australian in over 3 weeks of normal living (or over 7 weeks for the average Briton or
Japanese). That's just for that one conference. Many scientists attend several such conferences each year, making climate conferences one of the most wasteful exercises for both the taxpayer and
Why should the average suburban-dweller with a family, house, car, and ordinary job,
pay any attention to the self-righteous pronouncements of over-indulged
climate scientists who are clearly demonstrating that they have no intention of sharing in the energy
sacrifices that they demand with such pompous authority from everyone else?
Violins made by Antonio
Stradivari (1644-1737), of Cremona, Italy,
are unmatched for sound by any violins made before or since. But
what gave Stradivari violins that special sound so sought after by
It seems the Little Ice Age gave the wood a narrower ring pattern than normal, giving it that special musical resonance once it was moulded into a Stradivari violin.
Just one problem - the researchers forgot that the Little Ice Age has been written out of the IPCC script. According to the IPCC's `Hockey Stick' theory, it never happened.
Strange how scientists not connected with the greenhouse industry have no trouble dealing with the existence of the Little Ice Age of Stradivari's time.
Oklahoma (my favourite U.S.
state) is no stranger to extreme weather (See
`Storm Chasing in Tornado Alley'). Oklahoma IS Tornado Alley, and you would expect the public there to be sensitive to any suggestion that `extreme weather' might get worse under the impact of `global warming'.
In fact, there has been a general decline in tornado frequency and intensity during the last hundred years in spite of a few spectacular exceptions like 3rd May 1998.
Here in Australia, the `extreme events' line is also being promoted by the `Australian Greenhouse Office' in an effort to induce people to link current weather events to longer-term climate change.
Extreme events like droughts, floods and bushfires are nothing new, contrary to what the AGO and the IPCC would have the public believe. The worst drought since European settlement in Australia occurred around 100 years ago, the so-called Federation Drought, which was more extreme and longer-lasting than either of the two recent droughts of 1982-83 and 2002-03 (both induced by El Niño). That was long before `global warming'.
As for bushfires, there is also nothing unprecedented
about recent fires, dramatic though they were. Memories can easily
forget the massive fires of `Ash Wednesday' in 1983 when 72 people were
killed in Melbourne and Adelaide, or the Hobart Tasmania fires of 1967
when 62 people were killed. The greatest fire of
all, `Black Friday' 13th of January 1939, saw a firestorm sweep across Victoria.
Millions of hectares
were burned and 71 people killed.
`Eco-Imperialism' is the term coined by a recent comment in Fox News (story here) in which western environmentalism is held responsible for the deaths and impoverishment of millions of people in the Third World. This has been done through a combination of political pressure on western governments and denial of key funds for infrastructure projects resulting from environmental influence on global institutions like the UN and the World Bank.
But what is the social origin of ideological environmentalism? How has it managed to acquire such a vice-like grip on the thinking processes of decision makers and society's opinion leaders? Does its roots go deeper than mere opinion?
The answer, according to author Michael Crichton, is that environmentalism has become part and parcel of that one fundamental structure present in all human societies in all times - religion. Environmentalism satisfies the deep religous impulses of mostly urban people who would otherwise regard themselves as atheists. According to Crichton
"Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism.
Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion?
Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect
21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
This is but a small part of a very compelling speech Crichton made recently to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Another of Michael Crichton's speeches (the Caltech Michelin Lecture January 17, 2003) has attracted widespread attention in which he warns of the politicisation of science and the bogus use of the notion of `consensus'. Here's a little extract -
"I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."
(Michael Crichton is the author of The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, and the newly released sequel to Jurassic Park, The Lost World.)
While this website presents monthly sunspot updates, satellites measure the radiation of the sun directly, and newly published data shows the sun has been getting hotter in recent years. The impact of the sun on global climate is an issue that is scarcely addressed by the IPCC who basically don't want to know as to do so would result in recent climatic trends being attributed to the sun, not to greenhouse gases. The belief by the greenhouse industry that the sun has no significant effect on climate is just too absurd and is a measure of its collective incompetence.
Here is the chart of solar radiation reaching Earth as measured by satellites.
According to Space.com, "the recent trend of a .05 percent per decade increase in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) ... was measured between successive solar minima that occur approximately every 11 years." As the chart shows, the solar minimum of the mid-1990s was hotter than the previous minimum of the mid-1980s. Solar minima provide the opportunity for the Earth to `cool off' after the enhanced radiation of a solar maximum; however, the strong radiation of the 1990s minimum has kept earth's climate `on the boil' so to speak.
How much warmth are we talking about here? An increase of 0.05% per decade in input energy to the earth-atmosphere system means an overall increase over the 25-year period of 0.05 x 2.5 = 0.125%. The average energy shown in the chart above of 1,366 wm2 results in a global average of 387 wm2 energy flux at the surface of the Earth (after adjustment for reflected radiation and inclusion of other radiation processes like the greenhouse effect). 0.125% of 387 wm2 is about 0.5 wm2. The Stefan-Boltzmann Law which relates radiant energy to temperature results in a temperature increase from this energy flux increase, without feedbacks, of around 0.1°C.
That doesn't sound like much, but the same time period is covered by the satellite temperature record of the lower troposphere. This record shows a global warming over the same period of 0.076°C per decade. Since the record spans 25 years, this gives a total global warming over a full quarter-century, as measured by the satellites, of 0.076 x 2.5 = 0.19°C.
That means that more than half the warming measured by satellites over the last 25 years is explainable exclusively by the sun (assuming no feedbacks), leaving only 0.09°C unexplained. If some positive feedbacks are assumed (as claimed by the IPCC), then the entire warming over the last quarter century is explainable by the sun alone.
If no feedbacks are assumed, then the small residual warming might or might not be attributable to greenhouse gases, but its magnitude suggests that even after 100 years, greenhouse warming will amount to little more than a few tenths of a degree, not the whole degrees claimed by the IPCC and the incompetent science it leads. With such trivial warmings on offer, there is absolutely no reason for countries to impoverish themselves with draconian energy rationing or desecrate whole landscapes and seascapes with ugly, inefficient windmills in a vain attempt to head off a big warming that simply won't happen.
We might also ask - what will happen to global climate when the sun inevitably goes into a cooler phase as it did 350 years ago during the Little Ice Age? Greenhouse gases will be but a feeble buffer to the resulting cooling.
Envirotruth.org is sponsoring a collective email appeal to President Putin of Russia and leaders of other countries represented at the Milan COP-9 climate conference. The appeal is basically to ask President Putin to not ratify the Kyoto Protocol because of the numerous flaws in both the science of climate change and the adverse economic impact it would have both on Russia and other countries.
Russian officials have announced to the Milan COP-9 `climate change' conference that Russia will not ratify the Kyoto Protocol `in its present form' (BBC Story here). Since the original 1997 protocol was severely watered down at COP-7, a further dilution to accommodate Russia's aspirations for economic growth can only render it irrelevant. And this to a protocol which is fast running out of time as it would expire anyway during the 2008-12 period.
Earlier this week, the Australian Greenhouse Office (A.G.O. - a government agency which openly promotes global warming) released a report timed to coincide with the second week of the COP-9 climate conference in Milan. It might as well have been written by GreenPeace as it contained nothing but a litany of gloom and doom about Australia's future climate prospects. More droughts, more floods, more bushfires, more of everything nasty and nothing good.
They state on Page 1 - "It (the AGO report) is largely based on, and consistent with, the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published in 2001". That means they buy into all the absurdities of that IPCC report such as the infamous `Hockey Stick', and that the AGO has nothing new to tell us but to recycle the same message from 2001. But they put an Australian spin on it for local consumption. For Australia they claim that - "Based on the SRES scenarios used by the IPCC, and regional changes in climate simulated by nine climate models, average temperatures in Australia are projected to increase by 0.4 to 2.0°C by 2030, and 1.0 to 6.0°C by 2070, relative to 1990."
To support their claims, they state - "Australian average temperatures have risen by 0.7°C over the last century, and the warming trend appears to have emerged from the background of natural climate variability in the second half of the 20th century." This of course is a testable claim as it only requires an examination of rural station records to see if it is supportable or not (Urban records are patently unsuitable due to heat island effects creating artificial temperature trends in big cities like Melbourne and even smaller ones like Canberra). The warming predicted for Australia matches almost exactly the global warming predicted by the IPCC, and even the reference to 1990 just happens to also match the 1990 reference year cited in the almost-defunct Kyoto Protocol.
Presented this week are two stations in Victoria, Australia, the most southerly state on the Australian mainland and cited by the AGO as being the most greenhouse-sensitive region for future climate change. The stations are Laverton Aero (37.9S 144.7E, about 15 miles southwest of Melbourne) and East Sale (38.1S 147.1E, about 112 miles east of Melbourne).
There are clearly two or three separate trends indicated in the above records, so that citing a single trend is both misleading and statistically suspect. There is clearly nothing significant going on at either station, a slight warming up to 1981, followed by a slight cooling. In particular, the period after 1990 when the AGO report warns of rapidly rising temperatures, we see a slight cooling at both stations. At this rate their predicted warming of `0.4 to 2.0°C by 2030 relative to 1990' is way off track.
On extreme events like droughts, floods and bushfires, they are nothing new, contrary to what the AGO and the IPCC would have the public believe. The worst drought since European settlement in Australia occurred around 100 years ago, the so-called Federation Drought, which was more extreme and longer-lasting than either of the two recent droughts of 1982-83 and 2002-03 (both induced by El Niño). That was long before `global warming'.
As for bushfires, there is also nothing unprecedented
about recent fires, dramatic though they were. Memories can easily
forget the massive fires of `Ash Wednesday' in 1983 when 72 people were
killed in Melbourne and Adelaide, or the Hobart Tasmania fires of 1967
when 62 people were killed. The greatest fire of
all, `Black Friday' 13th of January 1939, saw a firestorm sweep across Victoria. Millions of hectares
were burned and 71 people killed.
If many of their claims about the past and present are seen to be unsupportable and false, their predictions about future trends, virtually copied in toto from the IPCC, are even more suspect, and based on computer models.
Using the above graphs for Laverton and East Sale as a guide, it means that in the next 27 years, both graphs will need to reach the ceiling of the graph (16°C) to fulfil the upper AGO prediction of a 2°C warming by 2030. Before it does so, they have to regain the temperature lost between 1990 and the present.
Laverton and East Sale are 120 miles apart but have similar trends, so they represent a regional picture of temperature in Victoria. To check out to what extent other Australian stations show overall warming, or warming since 1990, the following stations are also available on this website -
More Australian Stations ....
Laverton, Victoria, Australia. An
airfield 15 miles southwest of Melbourne. Annual & seasonal data
Australia's CSIRO must be getting behind on their news because they announced this week to a breathless media something which has been known about in climate circles for over three years now.
Methane, a greenhouse gas, has stopped growing in the atmosphere. Good news no doubt. So good that the industry has delayed saying so publicly until now.
It was stated here on this website in an item titled "1% Compound Interest" as far back as 27th May 2000.
In fact, methane's growth stalled as early as 1992, but it took several years for it to be seen as a genuine levelling off and not merely a passing hiccup. By 2000, it was clear as crystal that growth had stopped, but it has still taken the industry another three years after that to say so publicly - perhaps in a desperate bid to keep the Kyoto pot boiling.
Not to be confused with the `snows' of Kilimanjaro
(which still come and go with the weather), the ice is actually an ice cap on top of the
5,900 metre mountain in northern Tanzania close to the Equator. That ice cap has been steadily melting away all through the 20th century and is expected to be fully melted away within the next 20 years.
Since the publication of
the recent study by McIntyre & McKitrick (M & M) (Energy & Environment, 14,751-771,2003 ), in which they found extensive statistical processing errors in
Michael Mann's `Hockey Stick' theory, there have been some strange happenings.
(Earlier `Broken Hockey
Stick' story here).
However, M & M have stated
in various forums that they asked for FTP data, not for a separate Excel
spreadsheet and, in fact, Mann’s web page listed in his original paper of
1998 (MBH98) does not link to the FTP data at the
University of Virginia. After Mann disclosed the Virginia FTP location,
M&M found the identical file at Mann’s FTP site as was sent to them,
plus the same data in a `MATLAB' version, both files dated August 2002.
More file deletions were to
follow. Some data used in the M & M study was originally located at
Mann's old FTP site at the University of Massachusetts. Mann’s webpage on MBH98
links to this FTP site. Shortly after M & M made an initial reply to
Mann's claims on an internet `blog' site, on November 13, 2003 (a reply which said that they had new results to report about
the Virginia FTP site), the entire Massachusetts FTP folder on MBH98
was also deleted before M&M were able to copy it.
On Tuesday 18th Nov, I emailed the webmaster of University of Massachussetts regarding the deleted directory. They replied that the deletions were done to conserve server space and that the timing was co-incidental.
As of today, the deleted files have re-appeared on the Massachussetts FTP server. However, `pcproxy.mat' and `pcproxy.txt' have not reappeared on the University of Virginia server even though it is now pointless hiding them.
The `Ninth Conference of the Parties'
(COP-9) of signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) is now taking place at Milan, Italy. It opened on 1st December and concludes on 12th December.
This coming week is `High Noon' for Russia and its intentions vis-a-vis the Kyoto Protocol in view of the convening of the COP-9 climate conference in Milan. This week two rural Russian stations are presented - hopefully to help Russia see the futility of involving itself with the Kyoto Protocol, a product of flawed science, and Toytown economics.
Rural weather stations with long-term and consistent records are like gold dust climatically, as they come the nearest to measuring the true climate, uncontaminated by the artificial heat swirling about within big cities. Satellites are the best way of course, but there is something more tangible with ground measurement however flawed. This is why it is important to focus on rural weather stations where possible. And we have two such stations in European Russia.
Vytegra (61N 36.5E) lies 220 miles east of St. Petersburg, while Reboly (63.8N 30.8E) is just inside the border with Finland, some 265 miles north of St. Petersburg. Their seasonal and annual temperatures are shown in two separate graphs below -
Looking at the graphs, recent years are not in any way different to previous years, certainly not the warmest. The big interannual swings in winter temperature are quite normal for these latitudes. The dominant feature of all the graphs presented is the lack of overall warming.
The Russian government and its leader President Putin need only look at these graphs to see what their answer to Kyoto should be - NYET!
A recent paper in Science (v.302, p.1203, Nov 03) claims that sea ice in the vicinity of Law Dome, Antarctica has shrunk over the last 50 years, based on a proxy trace chemical (methanesulphonic acid or `MSA') inside a land-based ice core at Law Dome. Casey Station (66.3S 110.5E) is nearby and its temperature record from 1957 is presented below incorporating the winter, summer and annual mean temperatures.
As the graph shows, the warmest period at Casey (if `warm' is the appropriate word at these temperatures) was in the late 1970s. The two coldest summers were 1995 and 1996 respectively. But sea ice is a predominantly winter phenomenon, particularly as Law Dome is one of the most northerly parts of Antarctica. In fact, both Casey itself and Law Dome are outside the Antarctic Circle and therefore more influenced by the Southern Ocean.
The winter temperature at Casey does show a slight warming between 1957 and 1972 and this may well have had some impact on winter sea ice extent at that time. By the early 1970s, satellites began measuring Antarctic sea ice with sea ice actually increasing since then (See "Satellites Show Overall Increases in Antarctic Sea Ice Cover" Science Daily, also see Science v.278, p.1104, Nov 1997), consistent with the winter temperature profile at Casey. The annual mean at Casey shows no significant change in temperature at all.
So are we to get overly anxious about a possible sea ice shrinkage that might have happened over 50 years ago, but is not happening now? The media treatment of this story from Law Dome concealed the fact that sea ice in the last several decades has been stable ever since satellites were there to observe it properly. Apparently it all happened when no-one was looking, but stopped when we did start to look. Funny that.
The senior senator from Massachussetts, Edward Kennedy now finds himself in something of a political dilemma. Read his `Cape Cod Online' article here
At stake is a proposal to build a massive wind turbine farm - right in the middle of historic Nantucket Sound near Cape Cod, the so-called `Cape Wind' project. As usual, such a project will bring ruination to the landscape and the seascape but this is the logical outcome arising from the pro-Kyoto policies that Kennedy himself has promoted. So first, Kennedy the environmentalist speaks -
"I strongly support renewable energy, including wind energy as a means of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and protecting the environment."
All very motherhood.
Then a bit of family history and a eulogy about his responsibilities to the
`treasures' of Cape Cod and Nantucket Sound -
But what if these lofty aims are in conflict? At that point, Kennedy
quickly remembers where his votes come from
It's a bit late for Kennedy to now suddenly find virtue, now that one of his pet policies is going to be built right in his own back yard. He is partly to blame for the political climate which brought the Cape Wind project into existence to begin with, something which his political rivals may well remind the voters about.
The industry is back to its `warmest on record' tactic again to stir public alarm.
According to NASA-GISS in a press release titled `Red October' , October 2003 was the warmest October since instrumental records began. Whenever the industry is stuck for a story - or to divert attention from other events like the recent discrediting of the Hockey Stick, there's always the `warmest something on record' to trot out.
Of course the instrumental record NASA_GISS refer to are artificial temperatures measured in artificial environments like cities and international airports. They are climatically irrelevant due to urban heating from concrete jungles. The only uncontaminated record of atmospheric temperature comes from the satellites, operating since 1979. Here is `Red October' according to the satellite record from the lower troposphere.
Globally (red), October 2003 is the second warmest in the 25-year satellite record, certainly not the warmest in 120 years as GISS claim. The Northern Hemisphere (green) was mainly responsible for getting October 2003 into second place, but the Southern Hemisphere (blue) saw October 2003 as only the 5th warmest.
But look also at the temperature scale at the vertical axis. We are not talking whole degrees here, but merely tenths of a degree. Even the warmest October - 1998 - saw temperature only half a degree above the long-term average. `Red October' for its part was just over one quarter of one degree warmer than average - phew!
And while talking of `Red October', recall the massive solar flares which went on during that month, widely reported in the world's media. According to Britain's New Scientist (2 Nov 03) - "Sun More Active than for a Millennium". It's hardly surprising therefore that October should be warmer than average, albeit not by much. (See preceding story)
Some of these `records' the industry loves
to trot out involve such tiny numbers that they hardly deserve noting - but
then the industry does want some diversions at this time of difficulty for
`The Big Chill' and `The Day After Tomorrow' are about as equally believable - `Science' and Hollywood as one.
Science and the greenhouse industry parted company years ago because real scientists do not exploit the public in the way this industry does. The scares for which this industry are responsible flowed seamlessly from one to another - the `imminent ice age' of the 1970s, the `nuclear winter' of the 1980s, `global warming' of the 1990s, and now back to ice age again. The one common denominator of each was the promotion of public fear, and even hysteria, for the cynical purpose of bureaucratic growth.
The staid British weekly, The Economist, which has some justifiable claim to know something about economics, has just released a scathing attack on the statistical methods of the IPCC. In an article titled "Hot Potato Revisited: A Lack-of-Progress Report on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" (Economist, Nov. 6th 03), the magazine reported that the IPCC economic forecasting for various countries and regions of the world was hopelessly out of whack with reality. These forecasts underpinned the IPCC's predictions about CO2 emissions growth since they involved changes in economic activity, population change, and economic growth. The forecasts were then used to determine what they viewed would be the likely climatic changes resulting from that activity.
The Economist cited a major report by Ian Castles (former head of Australia's Bureau of Statistics) and David Henderson (former chief economist of the OECD and visiting professor at Westminster Business School), which was critical of the IPCC's economic statistical methods. The Economist's conclusion was that -
"Disaggregated projections published by the IPCC say that - even in the lowest-emission scenarios - growth in poor countries will be so fast that by the end of the century Americans will be poorer on average than South Africans, Algerians, Argentines, Libyans, Turks, and North Koreans. Mr Castles and Mr Henderson can hardly be alone in finding that odd."
The IPCC mobilised 15
authors to supply a response to the Castles-Henderson critique, which The
Economist noted was a case of "strength in
numbers, lacking though it may be in strength at numbers".
They pointed out that despite a horde of `authorities' backing the IPCC
claims, they are drawn from a very narrow professional base, economic and
statistical expertise being notably lacking. They further noted that the
system of `peer review' employed by the IPCC achieved the very reverse of what
it is normally meant to achieve, allowing "a kind
of intellectual restrictive practice, which allows flawed or downright shoddy
work to acquire a standing it does not deserve."
Who else but the IPCC, and the monolithic industry it leads, makes such a public spectacle of its `authority' by constantly harping about `peer review'? Judging from the mess they have made of their economic forecasts, we have to question not only the economic competence of the peer reviewers (whoever they are - they are comfortably anonymous) but also the scientific competence of both the IPCC and the greenhouse industry.
The Economist's closing assessment was to warn of "the dangerous incompetence of the IPCC."
In a stunning scientific paper just published
in Energy and Environment [14,751-771,2003]
the infamous `Hockey Stick' as developed by
Mann, Bradley and Hughes in 1998 has been comprehensively discredited - using
the same data sources and even methodology used by the Hockey Stick's original
According to McIntyre and
" The data set of proxies of past climate used in Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998,
“MBH98” hereafter) for the estimation of temperatures from 1400 to 1980 contains
collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data,
geographical location errors, incorrect calculation of principal components and other
quality control defects. We detail these errors and defects. We then apply MBH98
methodology to the construction of a Northern Hemisphere average temperature index
for the 1400-1980 period, using corrected and updated source data. The major finding
is that the values in the early 15th century exceed any values in the 20th century. The
particular “hockey stick” shape derived in the MBH98 proxy construction – a
temperature index that decreases slightly between the early 15th century and early 20th
century and then increases dramatically up to 1980 — is primarily an artefact of poor
data handling, obsolete data and incorrect calculation of principal components."
On this website, the Hockey Stick's
conclusions about past climates were challenged (see
`The Hockey Stick: A New Low in Climate Science') on the basis of direct comparison with numerous other
scientific studies which found that late 20th century climate was in no way
remarkable when compared with previous `pre-greenhouse' centuries, especially
the warmer Medieval period.
However, McIntyre and McKitrick have
challenged the `Hockey Stick' on its own turf by subjecting it to an
`audit’, using the same data and assumptions, and developing a temperature
reconstruction from similar principles. It
was a classic replication exercise, so necessary in science. The result is shown below -
The McIntyre-McKitrick reconstruction (blue)
shows earlier climates to be warmer than the late 20th century, a
conclusion supported by numerous other scientific studies, whereas the `Hockey
Stick’ denies this reality. It
seems that through a combination of tabulation errors, truncating data series
for no valid reason, and `bridging gaps’ in data with little more than
guesses, the `Hockey Stick' authors created a thoroughly false picture of past
climates, which was instantly embraced as policy by the UN-IPCC and the
greenhouse industry it leads. It
became influential in convincing pro-Green policy-makers like former US
vice-president Al Gore, that late 20th century climatic warmth was
without precedent in human history.
Not only did the `Hockey Stick' fly in the
face of a mountain of evidence from other sciences which contradicts its
conclusions, but thanks to McIntyre and McKitrick, we now know that the Hockey
Stick is internally flawed as well, since its own data sources,
properly read, do not support its conclusions either.
This raises the question of the scientific
bona fides of climate science itself.
McIntyre and McKitrick have exposed fundamental scientific flaws in an
influential scientific paper which was fully peer reviewed by `experts' from
the greenhouse industry and published in a top journal. Their audit of the databases and statistical
processes which lay behind the `Hockey Stick’ called for first-order
statistical skills above all else, and it is here that they have exposed the
incompetence which lay behind the original `Hockey Stick' concept. There
have been many other instances of deeply flawed science
Energy and Environment
is one journal that has stood up
for free debate on this and other issues of public importance, and is to be
commended for publishing this long-awaited and damning critique of the `Hockey
Stick'. To facilitate public
debate, the journal has taken the unusual step of making the full McIntyre-McKitrick
paper freely available online.
See USA Today Editorial - "Researchers Question Key Global-Warming Study" - 28 Oct 03
See Professor McKitrick's Website with further details on this groundbreaking study
See Australian Financial Review - "Global Warming May Just Turn out to be Hot Air" (pay per item)
The Irish government. like good Europeans, ratified the Kyoto Protocol and proceeded to do what all the other Europeans were doing - building wind turbines. Ireland is an excellent place for them, especially in the wet and windy west coast of Ireland - places like Co. Galway for instance.
So, the authorities there commissioned Hibernian Wind Energy to build a 71-turbine wind farm at Derrybrien in Co. Galway. The trouble was, much of Ireland is so wet that large areas of land are covered in peat bogs, not the kind of thing you want to build a wind tower on. So Hibernian Wind Energy had to cut through the bog to get to bedrock below so that their 71 turbines could have a secure foundation.
Extensive periods of rain (technical note here - it rains bucket-loads in Ireland, especially in the west), left the bog unstable in the area where the wind farm was being developed and some 70 acres of bogland began to move downhill, moving about 4 kilometres in 2 weeks. It damaged bridges, brought down stands of trees and polluted watercourses. Four `check dams' were quickly built in an attempt to stop the `bogalanche' that has carried nearly half a million cubic metres of peat sludge through a river channel.
`Friends of the Irish Environment', a Green lobby group, reported on the landslide (reporting it in their `global warming' section sic.),apparently confused by such extensive damage being caused to the environment in pursuit of their Kyoto holy grail. Hibernian Wind Energy immediately went into damage control mode, promising a `thorough investigation' and suspending all work on the wind farm.
Slowly, the message is spreading through the European public - wind farms are bad, very bad. They are noisy, a blight on the visual landscape, kill and maim wild birds, provide little net energy, and now the Irish `bogalanche'. What next?
Last week one of only two Green senators in the Australian parliament interrupted and heckled President George W. Bush during his invited speech to the Australian parliament, a disgraceful attempt at suppression of free speech directed at an invited international guest. The senator was rightfully ejected from the floor of parliament and prevented from being present next day when the president of China made a similar invited speech.
This contempt for free speech by the Green movement has now been repeated in a TV report titled `Climate Change Costs Loom in Litigation Cases' by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), a publicly funded radio and TV broadcast channel. The report was broadcast on national TV on Friday 31st October 2003.
The basic message of the ABC report is that companies and organisations who are identified as CO2 emitters could find themselves being sued in courts for `damages' by litigants with real or imagined claims of loss through climate change. The notion is legally absurd anyway, even though the ABC report was co-authored by a lawyer. In real damages cases, it is normal for the court to determine the proportion of damage which can be attributed to the defendant. Since greenhouse gases are the accumulation of over a hundred years of industrialisation and global economic activity, the total number of defendants is over 6 billion - the whole population of the planet.
The idea of one plaintiff, or a class action of them, suing 6 billion people - plus the billions more already dead but who contributed to the total greenhouse gas quantity - is a legal absurdity, but is one which is being promoted by the Greens anyway as a political correctness bludgeon to silence criticism of their agenda.
But a sinister new twist has been promoted by the ABC, a way to be more selective about who to blame - and therefore who to sue - for `climate change'. According to Martijn Wilder, a lawyer for the law firm Baker and McKenzie who floated this idea in Australia,
"The reality is that those who are probably going to be most exposed are the companies who have publicly taken an anti-climate change line."
What is that but a direct threat against free speech itself? Express your opinion and you will be the target of legal action - and this from the public broadcaster of Australia! Using, or even threatening to use, the courts to suppress the free expression of opinion is a flagrant abuse of the legal process and an unprincipled attack on democracy itself.
Heckling an invited head of state in our parliament was but the tip of a very sinister iceberg.
This week, the US Senate voted down by a margin of 55 to 43 a bill proposed by presidential hopeful John McCain (Republican) and Senator Lieberman (Democrat). The bill had already been severely watered down to attract more votes, but it was still defeated.
47 Republicans were joined by 8 Democrats in voting against, while 38 Democrats, 4 Republicans, and 1 independent voted for.
The bill provided for the establishment of a CO2 permit trading system to be applied to companies and envisaged targets much weaker than those in the Kyoto Protocol.
This follows a similar rejection back in 1997.
Among the distinguished Russian scientists at the recent Moscow Climate Conference was Kirill Kondratiev, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
He said that the weight of scientific evidence was clearly against global warming alarmism.
"The only people who
would be hurt by abandoning the Kyoto Protocol would be several thousand
people who make a living attending conferences on global
Now there's an idea. If climate scientists are serious about reducing CO2 emissions, they can lead by example and abandon these interminable conferences they seem to be having every week - usually in some exotic tourist resort.
Who needs conferences when we now have the internet?
According to James Hansen of
"The Sun does flicker and the `little ice age' may have been caused, at least in part, by reduced solar output. Best estimates are that the Sun contributed about one quarter of global warming between 1850 and 2000."
[Ref]. Note his acknowledgement that the LIA of the 17th century
did actually happen, contrary to what the UN-IPCC and the industry it leads
claims in their `Hockey Stick' scenario.
The latest piece of mis-information from the Greenhouse Industry comes via AP, with a story titled `Warmest September on Record, Worldwide' dated 17th Oct 2003. Their source was cited as the National Climate Data Center, who cited temperature data back to 1880. They further claimed that `the second and third warmest Septembers on record (again since 1880) occurred in 1997 and 1998'.
That's clear enough. Naturally it must be global warming. Russia please note.
Mis-information? That putting it mildly. In reality, September 2003 was the 6th warmest in only 25 years. 1980, 1988, 1995, 1998, and 2002 were all warmer.
The National Climate Data Center bases their
claim on city-based thermometers where artificial warmings are created
from concrete jungles. The satellite-based temperature record, from
which the above chart is derived, has no such artificial distortions to their
data and is clearly the more credible.
The industry spin-meisters are at it again. This time, a story from NASA claiming that there has been `recent warming in the Arctic' particularly during the 1990s compared with the 1980s. They concluded this from satellite surveys. They must have been selective in the areas they measured because ground stations in the Arctic, particularly on the Scandinavian and Russian portions show no such warming.
Here are the annual mean temperatures for Murmansk (Arctic coast of Russia), Bjornoya (an island half-way between the northern cape of Norway and Spitzbergen), and the northernmost point of Siberia.
Where is the warming there? Clearly, the `study' in question must have been highly selective in the areas they chose to focus on. The study also claimed sea ice was at `record low levels' in 2002 and persisted into 2003. For such record low levels, it was strange then that the famous Northwest and Northeast Passages were both closed during those years. These passages open up in some years to allow ships passage around the north of Canada and the north of Siberia, and have been doing so on and off for over a century. But not in the `record' years of 2002 and 2003.
If the Arctic Ocean had been warming to the extent claimed by the NASA study, there would also have been a sea level rise in the Arctic region. However, the tide gauge at Spitsbergen (NY-Alesund below) shows no such rise, quite the opposite in fact, suggesting again that the Arctic `warming' is the product of yet more wishful thinking and use of selective data by industry scientists. The only part of the Arctic showing a slight warming is the one-third portion represented by northern Canada and northern Alaska. The other two-thirds in the Scandinavian and Russian sectors show an overall cooling.
It is little wonder that the Russian government has expressed concern at the deplorable state of greenhouse science.
Momentous happenings at the World Climate Conference in Moscow last week.
World-shaking, one might say. After haggling about the minutiae of the Kyoto Protocol for the past six years, just how to control emissions of carbon dioxide
from energy generation, it may all go down the drain in one big swoosh.
A 2001 study by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History entitled
"Earlier Plant Flowering as a Response to Global Warming in the Washington, DC, Area" indicated that flowers were
now blooming earlier in the Washington DC area. The study compared
conditions in 1970 with those in the present. Of 100 flower species studied, 89 of them were blooming earlier in the spring today than they were in 1970. Of course, as the title
of the study states, this was directly attributed to `global warming'.
Owens Ferry temperatures have dropped about half a degree since 1920, and Lincoln has cooled almost a full degree. Washington DC, on the other hand, has warmed by almost a degree since 1920.
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