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Posts Tagged Watts

Don Easterbrook is a zombie Gareth Renowden Mar 18

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Don Easterbrook is back, and his misunderstanding of Greenland’s climate history rides again in two remarkable posts at µWatts — attempted demolitions of the new paper every denier worth his (or her) salt is frothing at the mouth to claim has been rubbished, the 11,300 year global paleoclimate reconstruction of Marcott et al1. Unfortunately Easterbrook is as far off the mark in his two essays at µWatts (one, two) as he has ever been, which makes not only him look stupid, but everyone who relies on his “work”2.

The easiest thing for me to do to debunk Don would have been to republish this post from January 2011, because all of the points I make there remain true, and are sufficient to discredit Easterbrook’s interpretation of Greenland temperatures and their relevance to Marcott et al, but this time round Don has actually added a couple of extra mistakes — I presume just to keep people like me on their toes. So, for the record, here are Don’s new errors:

  • In a graph in his first “paper”, Easterbrook adds 0.7ºC to the last temperature point on the GISP2 Greenland temperature record to represent warming over the last 100 years. As I pointed out two years ago, you can’t use Greenland as a proxy for global temperature changes, because temperatures there are much more variable the global average — approximately twice as variable, as I quantified here. Warming in that part of Greenland has been more like 1.4ºC over the last century.
  • In his second “paper”, Easterbrook refers to the “top” of the GISP2 core as being 19503. Unfortunately, he’s wrong (again). The temperature series is dated in years before present (BP), where present is defined as 1950. That makes the last temperature point on the GISP2 reconstruction 95 years before 1950 — in other words, 1855. All the fiddling with local temperature records that he does to try and demonstrate that current Greenland temperatures are not much different to 1950 are not only juvenile4, but wrong headed because he still remains confused about the data he’s fiddling with.
  • In one respect he remains entirely consistent: he still can’t spell Kurt Cuffey’s name.

And finally, just to explain why Don and Tony and James and Steve and everyone else have got their knickers in a twist, here’s the big picture: temperatures through the last ice age stitched on to Marcott et al’s Holocene reconstruction, with what we expect to happen over the next century pasted on to the end. If that looks like a brick wall we’re about to run into, then you’re probably right.

Shakun marcott hadcrut4 a1b

[Graph courtesy of Jos Hagelaars and Bart Verheggen]

  1. A. Marcott, J. D. Shakun, P. U. Clark, A. C. Mix. A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years. Science, 2013; 339 (6124): 1198 DOI: 10.1126/science.1228026
  2. That means the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor, who relies on Easterbrook’s efforts in his latest Forbes article, and looks like a chump because of it. Well, he already looks like a chump in many respects, but this is a doozy, as chump-making status goes.
  3. “The Medieval Warm Period was 1.1° C warmer than the top of the core (1950)” and “The top of the GISP2 ice core is 1950 AD, so we need to look at more recent temperatures in Greenland in order to get to the ‘present temperature’ ” — a small advance on his earlier belief that the top of the core was 2000AD.
  4. In one graph he draws a red line between two single years, cherry picking an old reconstruction and single years to get his desired result.

Don Easterbrook is a zombie Gareth Renowden Mar 18

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Don Easterbrook is back, and his misunderstanding of Greenland’s climate history rides again in two remarkable posts at µWatts — attempted demolitions of the new paper every denier worth his (or her) salt is frothing at the mouth to claim has been rubbished, the 11,300 year global paleoclimate reconstruction of Marcott et al1. Unfortunately Easterbrook is as far off the mark in his two essays at µWatts (one, two) as he has ever been, which makes not only him look stupid, but everyone who relies on his “work”2.

The easiest thing for me to do to debunk Don would have been to republish this post from January 2011, because all of the points I make there remain true, and are sufficient to discredit Easterbrook’s interpretation of Greenland temperatures and their relevance to Marcott et al, but this time round Don has actually added a couple of extra mistakes — I presume just to keep people like me on their toes. So, for the record, here are Don’s new errors:

  • In a graph in his first “paper”, Easterbrook adds 0.7ºC to the last temperature point on the GISP2 Greenland temperature record to represent warming over the last 100 years. As I pointed out two years ago, you can’t use Greenland as a proxy for global temperature changes, because temperatures there are much more variable the global average — approximately twice as variable, as I quantified here. Warming in that part of Greenland has been more like 1.4ºC over the last century.
  • In his second “paper”, Easterbrook refers to the “top” of the GISP2 core as being 19503. Unfortunately, he’s wrong (again). The temperature series is dated in years before present (BP), where present is defined as 1950. That makes the last temperature point on the GISP2 reconstruction 95 years before 1950 — in other words, 1855. All the fiddling with local temperature records that he does to try and demonstrate that current Greenland temperatures are not much different to 1950 are not only juvenile4, but wrong headed because he still remains confused about the data he’s fiddling with.
  • In one respect he remains entirely consistent: he still can’t spell Kurt Cuffey’s name.

And finally, just to explain why Don and Tony and James and Steve and everyone else have got their knickers in a twist, here’s the big picture: temperatures through the last ice age stitched on to Marcott et al’s Holocene reconstruction, with what we expect to happen over the next century pasted on to the end. If that looks like a brick wall we’re about to run into, then you’re probably right.

Shakun marcott hadcrut4 a1b

[Graph courtesy of Jos Hagelaars and Bart Verheggen]

  1. A. Marcott, J. D. Shakun, P. U. Clark, A. C. Mix. A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years. Science, 2013; 339 (6124): 1198 DOI: 10.1126/science.1228026
  2. That means the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor, who relies on Easterbrook’s efforts in his latest Forbes article, and looks like a chump because of it. Well, he already looks like a chump in many respects, but this is a doozy, as chump-making status goes.
  3. “The Medieval Warm Period was 1.1° C warmer than the top of the core (1950)” and “The top of the GISP2 ice core is 1950 AD, so we need to look at more recent temperatures in Greenland in order to get to the ‘present temperature’ ” — a small advance on his earlier belief that the top of the core was 2000AD.
  4. In one graph he draws a red line between two single years, cherry picking an old reconstruction and single years to get his desired result.

Arctic sea ice forecast: it’s going to be tough to stay cool Gareth Renowden Aug 12

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Bad news from the Arctic is piling up as we head into the last few weeks of the melting season. The various measures of sea ice area, volume and extent are plummeting towards a new record minimum. I have therefore reviewed the history of Arctic sea ice melting seasons since 2007, and compiled my own forecast of how the rest of the year is going to pan out. Remember, you read it here first…

When Arctic sea ice area sets a new record low in the next couple of weeks, the usual suspects1 will say: “You can’t trust area, sea ice extent is the only valid metric“.

When Arctic sea ice extent sets a new record low in September, the following arguments will be run in parallel:

  • There will be a frantic search for a definition of extent in which a new record was not set
  • There will be a complaint that the satellite record has been blighted by the failure of a sensor and the calibrations needed to get a new sensor in operation have corrupted the record2
  • It will be claimed that it was all caused by the major Arctic storm that hit in August, and thus can’t be attributed to global warming3
  • It’s cyclical — it’s all happened before, in the 1930s4, and is therefore nothing unusual
  • That it’s irrelevant, because it’s not global and not happening where anyone lives so can’t possibly matter.

When the sea ice extent and area anomalies blow out to record levels in early October because of the delayed freeze-up, there will be silence.

When the re-freeze starts, and the Arctic basin is covered in ice once more (early December), Anthony Watts will report on the record rate of ice formation, calling it a “stunning recovery“.

When a cold spell hits the Eastern US and/or Western Europe in December/January, caused by a major Arctic Oscillation excursion and the resulting big slow-moving loops in the polar jetstream5, the usual suspects will cackle loudly that global warming has suffered another mortal blow from which it will never recover.

Long range forecast for the next five years, until the Arctic Ocean is ice free in summer? Rinse and repeat.

  1. Being Watts, Goddard, Bastardi, Jo Nova, Delingpole, the GWPF, Morano and their NZ poodle, Richard Treadgold.
  2. With added bonus insinuations of fixing and fraud by “warmist” scientists.
  3. In 2007, the record low was all down to winds, remember?
  4. Or pick a date (any date), based on an old press clipping reporting anecdotal evidence of ice loss.
  5. A result of massive heat loss from the Arctic Ocean during the refreeze, see the work of Jennifer Francis, reported earlier.

Hypocrisy rules: Monckton ducks debate Gareth Renowden Mar 28

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Peter Hadfield, aka video blogger potholer54, notes with some interest that while the noble Lord, Christopher, the discount Viscount Monckton of Brenchley has plenty of time on his current US trip to indulge in fantasies about the President’s birth, long Skype chats with classrooms of students, and addresses to California politicians, he has been unable to find the time to respond to the very public debate with Hadfield that he had committed to on Anthony Watts µWatts blog. The uncharitable might suggest this was because he was getting a drubbing. There’s a big difference between winning a debate through oratory, one of the potty peer’s genuine accomplishments, and living by the undeniable facts. Full text of Hadfield’s open letter here, together with a list of his debunking videos. Good value.

See also: Climate Crocks, Barry Bickmore, and Eli’s burrow.

[Lemon Jelly]

The real Climategate: Heartland’s hypocrisy on display Gareth Renowden Feb 17

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It’s been a bad week for the Heartland Institute — the US lobby group recently shown to have funded New Zealand climate denialists. Documents leaked this week expose Heartland’s fund-raising and climate strategies to the cold light of day, and a major new piece of research by John Mashey demonstrates that Heartland has been acting outside of the rules governing the tax-exempt status it claims for itself.

Documents relating to a Heartland board meeting held in January were sent to a number of bloggers earlier this week, and have been made available by DeSmogBlog. The papers give a very full account of Heartland’s budget and plans for 2012, right down to individual staff salaries, and provide details of funding streams from players big and small. The largest — described as the “anonymous donor” — provided Heartland with $8.6 million over 2007-11 for its climate campaigns (see pps 20 and 21 of this document).

Key points from the documents:

  • Heartland plans to create a “Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools” that “isn’t alarmist or overtly political”, and plans to pay Dr David Wojick $25,000 a quarter to develop the materials.
  • Heartland is planning to fund Fred Singer’s Not the IPCC project to the tune of $1.5 million over 2010-13, and is budgeting monthly payments of $11,600 to Craig Idso, $5,000 to Singer and $1,667 to Bob Carter during 2012.
  • Anthony Watts (of µWatts fame) is being funded to the tune of $88,000 to develop a web site featuring US temperature data.
  • Current funders include tobacco companies, fossil fuel interests, and even Microsoft.

Heartland claims the documents were stolen, and that one — relating to their strategy on climate denial — was faked, even though the main points in that “confidential memo” are corroborated by the other documents. The Heartland response includes threats of legal action against web sites and media carrying stories based on the documents, and says:

…honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened.

Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.

Back in 2009, when the emails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia first hit the web, Heartland president Joseph Bast wrote:

The release of these documents creates an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians, and others who relied on the IPCC to form their opinions about global warming to stop and reconsider their position. The experts they trusted and quoted in the past have been caught red-handed plotting to conceal data, hide temperature trends that contradict their predictions, and keep critics from appearing in peer-reviewed journals. This is new and real evidence that they should examine and then comment on publicly.

The hypocrisy burns…

Meanwhile, the news that Bob Carter is retained by Heartland to undermine the work of mainstream science through the NIPCC is making waves in Australia (Graham Readfearn, SMH), but hasn’t yet been picked up in New Zealand. Carter’s role as a “science advisor” to the Heartland funded NZ Climate Science Coalition and its ICSC spin-off, as well as to Nigel Lawson’s secretive Global Warming Policy Foundation raises serious questions about just how lucrative denial can be, as well as illuminating the international web of climate denial.

See also:

Richard Black at the BBC

New York Times

LA Times

And [List updated17/2 - courtesy of Adam Seigel]…

The unfettered rage of dismal denial Bryan Walker Feb 10

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I knew that climate scientists were on the receiving end of some nasty emails, but it was still a shock to read James Hansen’s recent communication, in the course of which he gives a sample of the emails that he’d had in just the one week. They’re a dismal example of the unfettered rage which marks at least some sectors of the denialist world. Imagine receiving this sort of thing in your mail not just on the odd occasion but regularly:

  • You rework your temperature data sets every time Mother nature proves you wrong, in an effort to force Her to agree with your ill conceived ideas about energy and nature. You, in fact, are the one committing crimes against humanity by lying, conniving, and concealing the truth about climate change on our world.
  • What a pile of nonsense, Hansen. You take money and junkets hand over fist from people who pay you to mouth off trash like that. You aren’t exactly ’forthcoming’ about the ’sources and amounts’ of your graft — I mean, ’gifts.’ You ought to be ashamed of yourself,
  • You sir are a walking crime against humanity and you know exactly why. You lie constantly about man-made global warming.
  • You are not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination. You are a global warming shill and a con-artist.
  •  Are you some kind of lunatic??

And those are just my extracts from his selection from a week’s haul.

Hansen is not asking for sympathy, though I must say he has mine.  His sharing of the email sample is offered as an indication of the lengths to which the denial of climate science is being carried. He also reports that in the past year he has been bombarded by numerous Freedom of Information Act demands for his emails and other correspondences and suits have been filed against NASA for his personal information.  ’Information obtained in these ways seems to be fed to people or organizations that broadcast a distorted picture of reality and question my ethics.’ He references a post in Watts Up With That? last November which claimed on the basis of records obtained from NASA that Hansen had not been reporting some income as required by law.

A friend advised him not to respond to the attacks, but Hansen sees them as part of a professional effort to discredit climate science and is concerned that if he does not respond ’their whoppers are ratcheted up, bigger and bigger,’ and public confidence in the science is affected. He has therefore made a point-by-point reply to the specific allegations. I won’t detail them here, but needless to say they show the accusations to be groundless, as well as malicious.

Hansen is a notable scientist, but he’s not a lone scientist. He’s one representative of a now substantial body of climate science. Denialists frequently try to isolate him and a few others as if they were a small cabal working to undermine the economic fabric of society. Against the implacable fury of their attacks Hansen, in this communication as always, repeats the basic scientific reality from which his concern arises. Earth is warming, with most of the warming caused by human-made greenhouse gases, overwhelming natural variability. There is substantial global warming still ’in the pipeline’. Extreme climate anomalies have increased in frequency to such a degree that they can be ascribed to global warming with a high degree of confidence. Paleoclimate data show that additional global warming of even another degree Celsius would cause irreparable harm to humanity  and other species.

’The upshot is that we cannot burn and emit to the atmosphere most of the remaining fossil fuels.’

There’s the rub. That’s the reason for the vicious and determined campaign to deny the science and prevent governments from acting rationally to protect the human future.  Hansen writes trenchantly:

’…fossil fuel kingpins manipulate public opinion and the government into supporting policies that are great for fossil fuel billionaires and awful for the public.’

He aims to help people recognize manipulation of public opinion that corrupts government energy policies to favour special interests of the few over the general good. There’s a great deal more at stake here than in the political argument which normally accompanies democratic dialogue. In fact Hansen describes himself politically as a moderate conservative, not the flaming radical that some like to accuse him of being. It’s the enormity of the issue which elevates it to unprecedented importance. In this document he repeats yet again what those who lobby for business as usual are steering towards:

’Burning all fossil fuels would create a very different planet than the one that humanity knows. The paleoclimate record and ongoing climate change make it clear that the climate system would be pushed beyond tipping points, setting in motion irreversible changes, including ice sheet disintegration with a continually adjusting shoreline, extermination of a substantial fraction of species on the planet, and increasingly devastating regional climate extremes.’

It’s a fearful prospect. Yet it’s still one that many vested interests are prepared to deny, furiously if need be, rather than turn their backs on the profitable industry of mining and burning fossil fuels.

Hansen and the many other scientists equally concerned — and equally abused — can do little more than keep on telling us what the science reveals. We must keep hoping that the message will finally break through to wide and rational acceptance, but for the time being it struggles to make itself heard against the power wielded by the heedless wealthy and against the inertia of politicians and a media which generally does not communicate adequately what the science is saying. And for the time being respected scientists continue to endure contumely from the acolytes of denial.

Prat Watch #2: the 2011 Climate BS Awards Gareth Renowden Jan 06

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The 2011 Climate BS Awards (where BS stands for Bad Science) have just been announced by Peter Gleick and the Pacific Institute [Huff Post, Forbes]. Nominated and voted for by a crack team of climate scientists and communicators, the awards go to “particularly egregious, notorious, or well-publicized examples of bad climate science that were produced over the past 12 months and used to try to influence or confuse the public and policymakers”. Runaway winners? The Republican candidates for President of the USA. Here’s the award citation in full:

Being anti-science in general, and anti-climate science in particular, seems a requirement for nomination to lead the Republican Party. Not a single one of the Republican candidates for President has a position on climate change that is consistent with the actual science accepted by 97-98% of all climate scientists and every national academy of sciences on the planet. The choice among the current Republican candidates on the issue of climate change is scientific ignorance, distain for science, blatant misrepresentation of facts, or naked political expediency, any one of which would make the individual candidates strong contenders for the 2011 Climate B.S. Award. Combined? The group wins the 2011 Award hands down. [my emphasis]

Worthy winners, and deeply depressing for the future of the planet. Here’s the rest of the award pantheon:

  • #2: Disinformation from Fox News and Murdoch’s News Corporation
  • #3: Spencer, Braswell, and Christy
  • #4: The Koch Brothers for funding the promotion of bad climate science
  • #5: Anthony Watts for his BEST hypocrisy

Read the full awards citations (including “honourable mentions”) at Peter Gleick’s blogs or at the Pacific Institute. Readers might care to nominate worthy Australian and New Zealand contenders for a southern hemisphere award. There are plenty of prime contenders…

Put it there pal: the real story of Chris de Freitas and Climate Research Gareth Renowden Nov 30

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The release of another batch of emails from the stash stolen a couple of years ago from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia may not have gained much attention in global media, but there has been a great deal of huffing and puffing at sceptic blogs such as µWatts and Climate Audit. Watts trumpets this news, for example:

BOMBSHELL An absolutely disgusting string of communications that shows the tribal attempt at getting an editor of a journal fired on made up issues — all because he allowed a publication that didn’t agree with ’the Team’. This is ugly, disturbing, and wrong on every level.

Introducing a post copied from a New Zealand sceptic blog, given the headline The tribalistic corruption of peer review — the Chris de Freitas incident — Watts adds:

This is outright malicious interference with the scientific process, and it’s damned ugly. I can’t imagine anyone involved in professional science who could stand idly by and not condemn this.

Unfortunately for Watts and the anonymous (and low profile) NZ blogger who wrote the article, a new analysis by John Mashey of 700+ papers published at Climate Research reveals that the tribalism on display came from a cabal of sceptical scientists, with Auckland University academic Chris de Freitas safely shepherding their papers — however poor the science they contained — through peer pal review.

Mashey’s report, published a few hours ago at DeSmogBlog, reveals that:

  • From 1990 to 1996, Climate Research published no papers by any of the following sceptic “pals”:

    Sallie Baliunas, Robert Balling, John Christy, Robert Davis, David Douglass, Vincent Gray, Sherwood Idso, PJ Knappenberger, Ross McKitrick, Pat Michaels, Eric Posmentier, Arthur Robinson, Willie Soon, and Gerd-Rainer Weber1.

  • de Freitas became an editor at CR in 1997 and then accepted 14 papers in the period up to 2003 from authors with whom he had close ties.
  • Papers from the “pals” accounted for half of his editorial workload.
  • de Freitas acted as editor on seven papers by Patrick Michaels, half of Michaels’ publication record over the period. Mashey describes Michaels as “king of the pals”.
  • After de Freitas resigned his editorial role in 2003, publications from the pals stopped appearing in Climate Research.

The cosy relationship between the pals and their tame editor finally came to an end with the publication of a paper by Soon and Baliunias, Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years2 (pdf), which purported to find that 20th century temperatures were not unusually high. The paper was published in 2003 and immediately hyped by opponents of action on climate change3. It attracted a rapid and robust rebuttal4. Stephan Lewandowsky at The Conversation gives an excellent account of the fall-out in Climate change denial and the abuse of peer review:

…three editors of Climate Research resigned in protest over its publication, including the incoming editor-in-chief who charged that ’…some editors were not as rigorous in the review process as is otherwise common.’

This highly unusual mass resignation was followed by an even more unusual public statement from the publisher that acknowledged flaws in the journal’s editorial process.

Three editorial resignations and a publisher’s acknowledgement of editorial flaws are not standard scientific practice and call for further examination of the authors and the accepting editor.

So who was guilty of “malicious interference with the scientific process”, as Watts so nicely puts it? The climate scientists complaining amongst themselves that yet another crap paper had been shepherded through peer review by a complaisant editor, or that editor himself — a man with a six year record of allowing papers of dubious quality written by his sceptic tribe to appear in a reputable journal? The real scandal was the abuse of peer review by the pals to further their political objectives.

There’s an obvious lesson, and it’s one I pointed out at the time of the original email release. When reading edited highlights of someone else’s emails, context is king5. If you ignore history, and take a carefully selected bunch of emails as your only source, you will end up in blind alleys. As the saying goes, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. To achieve prominence in the climate sceptic echo chamber one eye seems to be all you need.

[Richard Thompson, or Bob & Bing?]

  1. Mashey demonstrates that all these pals — many of them high profile “sceptics” — have worked for or with right wing think tanks in the US and elsewhere, notably the George Marshall Institute and the Heartland Institute. See table on p5.
  2. Climate Research, Vol. 23: 89—110, 2003
  3. It was read into the US Congressional record, for example.
  4. On Past Temperatures and Anomalous Late-20th Century Warmth, Mann et al, Eos, Vol. 84, No. 27, 8 July 2003
  5. As Canadian blogger Deep Climate nicely demonstrates in this excellent take down of email abuse by Ross McKitrick, one of CdF’s pals.

The Climate Show #21: carbon, coal and Cook on BEST Gareth Renowden Nov 10

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Bad news on carbon emissions balanced by good news on solar photovoltaics, a Medicane bringing dramatic flash flooding to Italy and France, a scientist who thinks the Arctic could be effectively ice free in late summer in only four years, and the inside story on what the New Zealand election might mean for climate policy down under. John Cook joins us to talk about the new BEST temperature record (great gifs, Dana!), and in the solutions section Gareth and Glenn talk about solar powered airships, China’s plans to ban incandescent light bulbs, and a continent spanning €400bn solar thermal power plan for North Africa, Europe and the Middle East. All this and more as The Climate Show comes of age with its 21st show…

Watch The Climate Show on our Youtube channel, subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, listen to us via Stitcher on your smartphone or listen direct/download from the link below the fold…

Follow The Climate Show at The Climate Show web site, and on Facebook and Twitter.

The Climate Show

News & commentary: [0:04:50]

Record carbon emissions

Levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago: The Guardian.

Chinese economic miracle fuels surge in carbon emissions – greenhouse gas output hits record high as China overtakes US to become world’s biggest polluter: The Independent.

Global carbon intensity on the rise for first time in a decade, and PwC Report here.

The Triumph of King Coal: Hardening Our Coal Addiction by Fred Pearce.

Still raining…

More on floods in Italy and France (not forgetting Thailand and Cambodia).

Six killed in Genoa: 356 mm of rain in 12 hours — Daily Telegraph, and photos from the Telegraph and the BBC.

Rare storm with tropical features forms in Mediterranean: Jeff Masters

Bering Sea storm, aka the snowicane: Jeff Masters and the Alaska Daily News.

Arctic forecast: Peter Wadhams thinks there’s a good chance the Arctic will be ice-free in summer by 2015:

“It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that’s when it will happen.”

[0:24:00]It’s election time in New Zealand:

Three years of “very serious” climate policy failure.

NATIONAL: From The Listener‘s excellent election blog:

The National party’s climate change policy, which is being released today in Nelson by the prime minister, has appeared. The important bit is this, from Key’s statement: ’We intend to slow the phasing in of the emissions trading scheme from 2013 to 2015, at which point we will look to align our scheme with that adopted by Australia. Any change to our emissions trading scheme will be fiscally neutral.’ Fiscally neutral, maybe, but not environmentally neutral. The door to a teal deal creaks closer to shutting.

Policy PDF.

LABOUR TV 3 News: The Labour Party will not allow Solid Energy to mine for liquid fuels in Southland because of the increase to greenhouse gas emissions, it has been announced today.
Full Labour climate policy here.

GREEN PARTY climate policy here.

Debunking the skeptic, John Cook from skepticalscience.com [0:38:40]

The BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) of times…

“I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong’
Anthony Watts, March 2011

DENIAL STAGE 1: ’IT’S NOT HAPPENING’

’I consider the paper fatally flawed as it now stands, and thus I recommend it be removed from publication consideration by JGR until such time that it can be reworked….it appears they have circumvented the scientific process in favor of PR.’
Anthony Watts, October 2011

DENIAL STAGE 2: ’IT’S HAPPENING BUT IT’S NOT US’

“All sceptics believe in “global warming” (depending on what time scale you use); what they doubt to various degrees is the “man made” element.”
James Delingpole

DENIAL STAGE 3: BACK TO ’IT’S NOT HAPPENING’

Daily Mail showed cooling from BEST data (animated GIF):

Animated GIF of cooling trends throughout warming period:

http://sks.to/best

Australia joins the grown-ups.

Solutions [00:58:30]

China phasing out incandescent light bulbs

Paul Krugman in the NY Times: Here comes the sun. See also Bryan Walker’s post at Hot Topic: Let The Sun Shine In.

Desertec: how green energy could power Europe, north Africa and the Middle East – The Guardian, and Ecogeek.

Solar Ship Is Half Airship and Half Flying Wing.

Cloud computing can cut corporate carbon emissions.

Thanks to our media partners: Idealog Sustain, SciblogsScoop and KiwiFM.

Theme music: A Drop In The Ocean by The Bads.

Riddle-me-ree/open thread Gareth Renowden Nov 04

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We haven’t had an open thread for a while, and as there seems to be some desire to discuss Matt Ridley‘s recent lecture at the RSA in Edinburgh (see Bishop Hill for the first appearance thereof), here’s your chance. There’s a lot of other interesting stuff around — feel free to roam. But first, I’d like to offer some observations on Ridley, his lecture and the response from the usual suspects.

  • Ridley is a good writer, and knows how to put together an interesting talk. His RSA lecture is well done, in a technical sense, and unexceptional until he starts talking about climate science.
  • His take on climate science is based on well-known sceptic tropes, and counter factual, to be polite about it. The “science” content is the least interesting aspect of the lecture1.
  • He starts his polemic — and explains his conversion to the cause — by accepting without question the McIntyre take on the hockey stick, as revealed by Mountford’s book.
  • He writes about confirmation bias, apparently unaware that he is exhibiting it himself (although he admits “heretics” may be guilty of it too).
  • The gushing promotion of his talk by Mountford and Watts is hardly surprising, given that he praises them:

    “It is left to the blogosphere to keep the flame of heresy alive and do the investigative reporting the media has forgotten how to do.”

  • The most interesting aspect of Ridley’s talk is that it is a great demonstration of how someone with a predisposition2 to do nothing about climate change can delude themselves by buying into an alternate reality where hockey sticks have been debunked, current temperatures are unexceptional, and future warming must be small.
  • Ridley claims:

    “The remarkable thing about the heretics I have mentioned is that every single one is doing this in his or her spare time. They work for themselves, they earn a pittance from this work. There is no great fossil-fuel slush fund for sceptics.”

    Perhaps not: but there is a well-documented and well-funded PR campaign being run from the US, which has benefitted all the brave heretic bloggers he lauds. The alternate reality they help to sustain is a carefully-crafted product of that campaign.

Anyway, enough Ridley. I have a vineyard to spray, a book to finish, and lunch to eat. Have at it…

  1. Ridley’s take on climate science has been extensively debunked by Skeptical Science, in a three part series that deals with Ridley’s books, climate scepticism, and his role in the collapse of the UK’s Northern Rock bank a few years ago.
  2. Perhaps political, perhaps financial, or perhaps just because of a reluctance to change.

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