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“Moral duty” poll: 57% don’t think UN Scientists can speak with authority on climate

New study says going on about “moral duty” will convince the skeptics (Sure, load on the guilt trip)

Last weekend a Reuters IPSOS survey found that if you ask the right questions, a majority of Americans see climate change as a moral obligation. The brains trust  inferred from this that the climate propaganda groups ought to load up on discussing values to convince conservatives as if that might be the magic key.

“The moral imperative is the way to reach out to conservatives,” said Rev. Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelic Environmental Network, a large evangelical organization that advocates for action on climate change. ”Talking in terms of values is the only way forward if we are to bring our fellow Republicans along.”

UPDATE: Results of the online poll 2,412

Thanks to Pat for finding the survey. How the full results change the picture. Half the population are skeptics. And most people distrust experts, politicians, and even UN scientists.

 Q6. Which of the following people, if any, do you think can speak with authority

about global warming?

  UN scientists 43%
  Bill Nye (the Science Guy) 31%
  Al Gore 18%
  President Obama 18%
  Neil deGrasse Tyson 13%
  Pope Francis 10%
  Democratic leaders in Congress 10%
  Republican leaders in Congress  9%
  Senator James Inhofe  4%
  None of these 31%

The public don’t trust anyone much. When asked “Which of the following people do you think can speak with authority about global warming?” Politicians from both sides rated very low: Democrat leaders,  10%; Republican leaders , 9%. But look out: Pope Francis scored the same, 10%. The public trust the Pope as much as the average politician.

But wait, here’s the real shocker: UN Scientists 43%. How devastating! 57% of people don’t think UN scientists speak with authority on climate change. Wow.

More than half the population are skeptical. Reuters didn’t report that 52% — of all respondents think climate change is mostly natural or are unsure. 47% think that human activity is mostly to blame.

Nor did they say that 46% didn’t think the Pope should even talk about climate change, and 49% think he should stay out of politics.

If these results are accurate (it’s only an online survey) it shows those pushing man-made global warming have pushed too hard. They have burnt through a lot of the credibility of the UN and “scientists”. Pushing the meme through the Pope isn’t going to help.

Sure I say, let’s talk about “values”– bring it on.

Warming kills less people than cooling. How about our moral obligation to help people dying of cold, or the 1.3 billion people without electricity? In Niger, Africa, 17 million people use less electricity than Dubbo, NSW, a town of 40,000. Children in poverty are suffering from lung damage now. The Greens priority is to spend billions to stop them dying in 2100 from seas rising at 1mm a year. How many people does expensive electricity kill? (How many birds does it fry?) Biofuels led to nearly 200,000 estimated deaths in 2010. Let’s talk about feeding corn to cars instead of starving children?

There are lots of ways the climate religion hurts us. Bad climate predictions kill people when authorities plan for “no snow” and run out of salt, or when they hold back floodwater in dams thinking that the rains won’t come. Researching pointless things means some people die who could have been saved. Fake markets feeds corruption, farmers die, rivers run dry and some are left homeless.

As I’ve said before the opportunity cost is the killer:

The real price is often invisible. It’s all the things we won’t do that we could have: $3.4 billion dollars spent on carbon sequestration is not just “money”, it’s 46 million people who didn’t get cured of blindness and another 100 million who won’t get clean water — some of whom will die from cholera or dysentery.

The highest moral imperative is to speak the truth about what drives our climate, to have free debate, open science, and honest disclosure of the uncertainties.

Does anyone think world leaders have no moral obligations? Anyone?

The Rev. Mitch Hescox appears to think the “moral”  message (ie. guilt trip) would be something to try. Where has he been for the last 3 decades?

The results were clear that approaching the issue of climate change from a moral standpoint could be more effective in swaying opinion, and this approach could even help unlock the endless debate in the United States.  Those invested in fossil fuels have been resistant to those that seek to reduce carbon emissions in the United States, much to the disappointment and alarm of climate scientists in both the United States and around the world.

The extended guilt trip won’t make any difference to skeptics. We’ve heard it all before. What we want is honest debate and real evidence.

As far as the survey went, who knows what the questions were, as Reuters don’t link to the questions or results. But 2,827 2,412 Americans were asked some things in February about the climate (See the update above). We know people are quite good at guessing what the surveyors want them to say and two thirds earned a jelly-bean that day.

Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said that world leaders are morally obligated to take action to reduce CO2 emissions. And 72 percent said they were “personally morally obligated” to do what they can in their daily lives to reduce emissions.

The Daily Science Journal repeats the results, but doesn’t have a link to the questions either. Not so “scientific” then?

Does anyone think world leaders have no moral obligations? Anyone?

So 30% of people think world leaders are morally free to pour out as much CO2 as they want? That’s a fairly assertive skeptical statement.

POST NOTE: How bad are these questions?

Question 10 asked Has the Pope’s views on climate change impacted you in any of the following ways? Paradoxically, 47% said “No”  that the Pope’s views have “not had an impact on my own views.” (It’s a double negative which may explain the paradox). When further prompted “I am now less skeptical of the scientific arguments about the existence of climate change”, fully 70% said “No”. So if half changed their minds, but 70% are not “less skeptical”, then the Pope made some people more skeptical. We’re at the overdone point and when even The Pope tells us to worry about the climate -- the punters know it’s junk-science.

The survey has the usual ambiguous loaded questions about “climate change” and “global warming”. Does that mean man-made climate change? Yes, if you are a UN employee; No, if you read a dictionary. Technically, I believe climate change is real (does anyone deny ice ages?) Any question with meaningless terms is not worth asking (unless you want a PR headline of the “right” kind).

The Last Word: Why didn’t Reuters give us the interesting bits in the press release?

Is Reuters a news service or a political advocacy group? These results were run through the half-truth sieve and only the parts that fitted the “story” were written up.

Here a result, below, that bundles people who “strongly agree” with people who “somewhat agree” and on a question that has a “most” in it. Is a somewhat-most, more than half, or less? The vagueness is then piled into a loaded sentence which includes a statement that was never in the question about mythical generic scientists saying it drives climate change.

Sixty-four percent of those polled agreed with the pope that human activities are largely responsible for the rising CO2 levels that scientists say drive climate change.

Readers of Reuters would not come away knowing half the population are skeptics, that 90% don’t think the Pope has any authority to speak on climate change, or that most of the public don’t even believe UN scientists do either.

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It’s Proof, Proof I tell you! Australia is getting hotter and the future is… back in 1922

Panic! “The proof Australia is getting hotter”

The headlines are as inane as ever — stating the obvious, proving only that the modern media is mostly bread and circuses.  Pretty much everyone agrees the world is slowly trending warmer, but it’s rolled out in the media as if someone somewhere is denying it, and as if mere proof of warming is “proof” it will keep warming. Watch the causal chain explode into climate astrology:

THERE is no point in denying it: Australia is getting hotter, and it’s not going to stop. And we have the figures to prove it.

If this proves anything about the future climate its that journalists are getting more gullible. They have figures too?!

Caroline Zielinski, of The Telegraph, dutifully repeats the PR line, that “2014 was the hottest ever on Earth”. She must have missed the press release that also said that NASA were only 38% sure of that. That makes them 62% sure they were wrong –  just another global warming factoid, eh?

Zielinski tells us that Boulia had 25 days of 40-plus temperatures – “the longest heatwave ever”. So Ken Stewart promptly checked the BOM records and found it was not. There were 31 days above 40C in 1973.

Zielinski tells us Western Australia had “several days of near-50-degree heat this summer.” Oh Yessity, Yes indeed. At Marble Bar a full century of global warming means it was almost as hot in 2015 as it was in 1905 and 1922. Back to the future we go.

To investigate the story, Zeilinski confirmed the big-government WMO press release by phoning the big-government BOM, as if either of these groups would contradict each other. Dr Karl Braganza at the BOM backed up the WMO, apparently not pointing out the awkward fact of the 62% wrong NASA press release, and not mentioning the data on Boulia either. Instead he went out on a limb with a brave theory that there was no climate change in Australia until 1950.

“Australia has warmed up most notably since the mid-20s century,” says Dr Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology.

“Prior to that, temperatures were reasonably flat — we didn’t have much of a trend.

“There was no clear trend prior to World War II — it’s from 1950 onwards that we’ve had a significant warming trend across Australia.”

There is a decided lack of convincing good temperature proxies for Australia, but proxies from pretty much everywhere else in the world show that the warming trend started two to three hundred years ago, long before man-made CO2 rose. That trend hasn’t changed much. In the last 16 years, the more CO2 we pumped out, the less difference it made.

Yes, it’s warming (a bit). The world has been warming for 300 years. So?

Everywhere we look there are signs the warming started around 1700 – 1800AD. In the Northern Hemisphere, 120 proxies show things started warming 200-300 years ago. Some 6,000 boreholes drilled on all continents (including Australia), show the same thing. Sea levels have been also rising for around 200 years. The water flowing  past Indonesia started warming around 300 years ago. (The Makassar and Lombok Straits are the main throughflow from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean.)

But maybe Australia didn’t warm or cool? The seas just rose and fell, the oceans changed, and the other continents got warmer and cooler.

…Read

Read more on the Indonesian sediments study .

Boreholes can only show the general trends, but the trends are pretty clear. What caused the medieval warm period? The models don’t know. What caused that cool dip around 1700AD? The models don’t know. What caused the recent warming — the models don’t know. They got the last 16 years wrong, and everything else. They’re broken.

Sea levels have been rising for 200 years, though they were generally falling for the 7,000 years before that.

….

Yes, we skeptics agree, Australia has warmed a little bit since the middle of last century – we aren’t convinced it warmed by as much as the B0M adjusted homogenized datasets claim. Listen to Jennifer Marohasy talk about homogenisation on 2GB.

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Historic documents show half of Australia’s warming trend is due to “adjustments”

Adjustments that cool historic temperatures have almost doubled Australia’s rate of warming.

CSIR published “Meteorological Data” 1855 – 1931

 There was a time back in 1933 when the CSIRO was called CSIR and meteorologists figured that with 74 years of weather data on Australia, they really ought to publish a serious document collating all the monthly averages at hundreds of weather stations around Australia. Little did they know that years later, despite their best efforts, much of the same data would be forgotten and unused or would be adjusted, decades after the fact, and sometimes by as much as one or two degrees. Twenty years later The Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics would publish an Official Year Book of Australia which included the mean temperature readings from 1911 to 1940 at 44 locations.

Chris Gillham has spent months poring over both these historic datasets, as well as the BoM’s Climate Data Online (CDO) which has the recent temperatures at these old stations. He also compares these old records to the new versions in the BOM’s all new, all marvelous, best quality ACORN dataset. He has published all the results and tables comparing CDO, CSIR and Year Book versions.

He analyzes them in many ways – sometimes by looking at small subsets or large groups of the 226 CSIR stations. But it doesn’t much matter which way the data is grouped, the results always show that the historic records had warmer average temperatures before they were adjusted and put into the modern ACORN dataset. The adjustments cool historic averages by around 0.4 degrees, which sounds small, but the entire extent of a century of warming is only 0.9 degrees C. So the adjustments themselves are the source of almost half of the warming trend.

The big question then is whether the adjustments are necessary. If the old measurements were accurate as is, Australia has only warmed by half a degree. In the 44 stations listed in the Year Book from 1911-1940, the maxima at the same sites is now about half a degree warmer in the new millenia. The minima are about the same.

Remember that these sites from 1911-1940 were all recorded with modern Stevenson Screen equipment.  Furthermore, since that era the biggest change in those sites has been from the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect as the towns and cities grew up around the sites. In some places this effect may already have been warming those thermometers in the first half of the last century, but in others UHI can make 5 to 7 degrees difference.

If Australian thermometers are recording half a degree higher than they were 70 – 100 years ago, we have to ask how much of that warming is the UHI effect? Common sense would suggest that if these older stations need any correction, it should be upward rather than downward to compensate for the modern increase in concrete, buildings and roads. Alternatively, to compare old readings in unpopulated areas with modern ones, we would think the modern temperatures should be adjusted down, rather than the older ones.

The Official Year Book 1953

Chris Gillham discusses the potential size of the UHI changes:

“In 2012 and 2013 it was anticipated that UHI warming in south-eastern Australia will continue to intensify by approximately 1C per decade over and above that caused by global warming (Voogt 2002), with tests in 1992 showing a UHI influence up to 7.2C between the Melbourne CBD and rural areas. [PDF]

Smaller but significant UHI influences were found in regional towns, with a 1994 test observing a UHI intensity up to 5.4C between the centre of a Victorian town and its rural outskirts.”  [PDF]

 

The historic CSIR data:  226 stations from 1855 – 1931

The situation with adjustments stays roughly the same if we go back even further. Gillham compared 226 stations during the period from 1855 -1931 and the average is about half a degree less than what it is now — from 2000-2014.

The first station in the CSIR record, Melbourne, starts in 1855. Each year, new stations came online. By 1865 there are ten stations and by 1880 there are nearly 30.

Ideally we could compare 50 stations which didn’t move or start and stop over the same period, but even the ACORN dataset in the 1900s doesn’t do that, introducing new stations up to the 1970s.

It is hard to draw conclusions from the CSIR record as is. But neither can it be ignored. Roughly two thirds of the temperatures were recorded on Stevenson screens, but much of the data in the 1800s was recorded on screens, sheds and shades until Stevenson screens were introduced across Australia over the 20 year period from 1887 – 1907. And scientists in the 1930s were very much aware of the effect of slight changes in screens as one long running comparison of different screens side by side had already been going for over 30 years in Adelaide. (I’ll write more on that soon).

It’s rough but, as rough guides go, it’s the only data we have. Other peer reviewed papers have estimated Australia’s average temperature change to 0.09C  in 1000AD based on two groves of trees in Tasmania and New Zealand. Wouldn’t thermometers be kinda useful?

One small piece of good news is that at least the early CDO records maintained by the BoM online appear to match the averages within the Year Book and CSIR tables. At least the copies of the original data put online are accurate as far as these rough tests go.

The Bottom line

There is a treasure trove of information in these historic documents for people interested in long-term climate.

The difference between the original records and the adjusted ACORN dataset suggests that the adjustments cooled original temperatures by 0.4C between 1910 and 1940, which means that around 45% of the modern “warming” trend is due to these homogenisations and adjustments which have not been independently justified and oddly appear to go in the opposite direction to what common sense would suggest might be necessary. In the older and larger CSIR tables, there is an overall cooling adjustments of 0.5C.

Thanks to Chris Gillham for the massive amount of data crunching and tracking it takes to provide meaningful numbers.

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Weekend Unthreaded

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The leadership “challenge” in Australia

I’m calling for readers to send messages to their MPs. It does matter. The Coalition needs to hear from voters. It worked before, and it can work again. For foreign readers, yes, there are rumours of another leadership spill or challenge all over the Australian press.  See my comment #10.2 for background.

Malcolm Turnbull could’ve stayed leader in 2009 — all he had to do was agree to delay the emissions trading scheme until the rest of the world acted. But he fell on his sword for a pointless scheme which benefits few outside bankers, brokers and the renewables industry. And he has never said he would do anything differently.

We can’t get rid of a carbon market. Why risk it?

Malcolm Turnbull is the leader that the ABC wants for the party that most in the ABC won’t vote for. If you follow the ABC and Fairfax and feel despondent about our national debate, don’t give in to apathy. That’s exactly what the “consensus” crowd wants — your submissive acquiescence. The same people who tell us a carbon trading scheme is inevitable are the now ones calling the government dysfunctional, even though it achieved its three largest goals in the first twelve months. Tell the government and the media what you think.

The problems of the Abbott government are real (which government was perfect?) but they are not on the scale of the debacle of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years — when a major economy-wide transformation was denied before the 2010 election yet was delivered after the election, and when surpluses were promised each year but were never delivered. Abbott solved problems in six months that dogged the Labor government for six years. Our national discussion is consumed with inane red herrings. Should we debate the massive Labor debt created during a mining boom, or agonize over knighthoods instead? (Hint: NZ and Canada survived the princely honors issue without calling out a lynch mob.) Should we discuss the all pervasive entitlement culture, or whether Triggs was offered another job?

Some Liberal party supporters (and perhaps some MP’s) risk being fooled by the ABC and Fairfax. The ABC ignored some of them for years but suddenly shone the prime time glow all over them when their message was anti-Abbott. Do they suspect they are being used?

As I said a few weeks ago – there is only one choice for a real skeptic

Malcolm Turnbull lost his leadership in 2009 because he wanted an emissions trading scheme. But that extraordinary wave may get reversed. Australia may still end up with an emissions trading scheme which will send billions in broker’s fees to bankers, won’t change the climate, and will be almost impossible to unwind. It’s not about free markets, it’s about fake ones. What’s worse than a carbon tax? A carbon market.

If you worry about the endless, inevitable rush to bigger government, more freeloaders and less individual freedom, do something — express yourself.

Australia needs a real conservative-libertarian party.

The state of the debate: Steve Kates says “I would never vote for a Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull“. Sinclair Davidson, says I would never (again) vote for a Coalition led by Tony Abbott. I confess to being unmoved by Davidson’s reasoning- – there is nothing pro-Turnbull there, and although Abbott should’ve repealed 18C (it’s pure freedom of speach) there is no sign that Turnbull will repeal it either.

If Turnbull becomes PM, much of the passionate support base for the Liberal party will switch to other conservative or libertarian parties. Abbott has let down his base by pandering to the bullies and greens, but he can change that. Does anyone think Turnbull will take them on?

See also: Andrew Bolt regarding Greg Sheridan: Abbott’s great strengths, and their danger.

Abbott is decisive, loyal, focused on outcomes, writes his own speeches, engages intensely with people; he is principled, pragmatic, stubborn, in love with the military, romantic, a sportsman, courageous, has immense willpower, and is conservative and religious…

[But] each one of his positive characteristics, which could make him a fine prime minister, is also potentially a negative characteristic and limits his effectiveness.

Bolt: Turnbull myth exposed: he has no deal with Bishop or Morrison

In the end, a Turnbull led Coalition may lead to the rise of alternate parties or a new Australian version of UKIP which might be a boon in the long run, but the price may be a permanent emissions trading scheme which feeds financial sharks. Do we really want to risk it?

Please keep your messages to politicians and news editors polite.

Thanks to Michael for this list below.

Australian Members of Parliament (Coalition) 2015

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Australian BOM under fire – questions about “adjusted” temperatures exploding around the world

A hard hitting article today from Graham Lloyd in The Australian. Finally the scientific debacle of climate records is being hung out like dirty laundry. For people who don’t read skeptic blogs it will be news that there are claims of scandal and corruption about temperature data adjustments around the world, against institutions that are (or were) respected household names.

Lloyd starts with a brilliant analogy from David Stockwell, who asks Would it be OK if we adjusted Don Bradmans batting average down?  It won’t affect the global batting average…. (The Don is the legend of international cricket — those stats are sacred.)

Lloyd goes on to tell the tale of how temperature adjustments that make historic records cooler are commonplace, and suddenly under the spotlight around the world. To his credit, Lloyd realizes this has been coming for a long time — he explains the Australian and UK Met offices were caught discussing ways to make it hard for skeptics. He talks about Christopher Booker’s article on adjustments in Paraguay getting 30,000 comments, and the issue “exploding” internationally with questions about the misleading public declarations about 2014 being the hottest year on record, as well as the issue of Arctic temperatures. There is now a review into the Australian BOM, and even the prospect of a US Senate inquiry.

CRICKET legend Donald Bradman is a useful metaphor for the escalating global row over claims the world’s leading climate agencies have been messing with the weather.

Imagine, for instance, if some bureau of sport were to revise the Don’s batting average in Test cricket down from 99.94 to 75 after adjusting for anomalies and deleting innings of 200 runs or more.

What if the bureau then claimed another batsman had exceeded the Don’s revamped record to become the greatest ever?

Critics could be told the adjustments “don’t matter” because they had not affected overall global batting averages. Just as many batsmen had been adjusted up as down. And complaints could easily be dismissed as the “cherrypicking” of a few, isolated batsmen.

David Stockwell, Australian Research Council grant recipient and adjunct researcher at Central Queensland University, raised the Bradman analogy in his submission to a newly formed independent panel that will oversee the operation of the Bureau of Meteorology’s national temperature dataset.

Stockwell was highlighting public concerns at the BoM’s use of homogenisation techniques to adjust historical temperature records to remove anomalies and produce a national dataset called ACORN-SAT (Australian Climate Observations Reference Network — Surface Air Temperature). The panel, or technical advisory forum, which will hold its first discussions with BoM staff on Monday, was formed in December after a series of questions were raised publicly about the treatment of historic temperature records that has resulted in temperature trends at some Australian sites being changed from long-term cooling to warming.

Climategate emails show how long the climate scientists have been unscientifically hiding their work:

Even better, noted East Anglia University’s Phil Jones, was to give troublemakers a big package of data with key information missing, making it impossible to decipher.

Much of the background work and hard questions come from Jennifer Marohasy and the independent audit team who assembled around this website back in 2010, and who write guests posts here. Together we’ve written 41 articles on the BOM here.

But critics of BoM are already lining up to have their questions answered.

Research academic Jennifer Marohasy has accused BoM of using “creative accounting practices” in both the homogenisation of data to remodel individual series as well as the choice of stations and time periods when the individual series are combined to calculate a national average for each year.

Marohasy says BoM’s methodologies have turned a cycle of warming and cooling over the past century into one of continuous warming.

 Ken Stewart has been tireless at independently checking BOM figures:

Self-declared “citizen scientist” Ken Stewart has been more pointed. “The apparent lack of quality assurance means ACORN-SAT is not fit for the purpose of serious climate analysis including the calculation of annual temperature trends, identifying hottest or coldest days on record, analysing the intensity, duration and frequency of heatwaves, matching rainfall with temperature, calculating monthly means or medians, and calculating diurnal temperature range,” he says.

“In conclusion, ACORN-SAT is not reliable and should be scrapped.

In a separate article this weekend, also by Graham Lloyd,  the headline points out that a lot of warming in Australia is created by adding warmer and dropping cooler stations from long term averaged records:

BoM’s new stations ‘explain warming’ in Australia

ALMOST half of the 20th-century warming for Australia’s nation­al average surface temperatures could be due to changes in the weather stations chosen for analysis, rather than changes in the climate, according to a submission to an independent review of the Bureau of Meteorology’s national records.

Merrick Thomson, a retired certified practising accountant, has asked the independent panel to investigate how and why stations were selected for inclusion to make up the national trend.

The panel of experts, headed by Ron Sandland from the CSIRO, will begin its review of BoM’s national temperature data next week, amid growing controv­ersy about the homogenisation of climate records worldwide.

In his submission to the review panel, Mr Thompson said when the BoM transitioned to the new ACORN-SAT system it had remove­d 57 stations from its calculations, replacing them with 36 on-average hotter stations.

“I calculate this has had the effect­ of increasing the recorded Australian average temperature by 0.42 degrees Celsius, independently of any actual real change in temperature,” Mr Thomson said.

“Of the 57 stations removed from the calculation of the nationa­l average temperature, only three of these have actually closed as weather stations,” he added.

Mr Thomson asked that the review panel investigate why the mix of stations changed with the transition to ACORN-SAT, and why this was not explained and declared, particularly given that it has resulted in a large increase in the 2013 annual temperature for Australia.

Read more in The Australian

The BOM were invited to write for The Australian, but declined.

This is a very long feature, with interviews of Judith Curry and Richard Tol. Don’t just run down and buy a copy of  The Australian –  subscribe to it. You certainly won’t get this information from Fairfax or The ABC. Graham Lloyd has done a great job, bravely following the hard questions — as has Jennifer Marohasy, in relentless pursuing this for so long, and so many of the other unpaid, and independent minds who expect the answer provided by the BOM to make more sense. My thanks to everyone who has put in long hours. I have a lot more material to share from them — it’s hard to do it all justice.

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Global warming must mean frozen seas

It’s so cold in the Northern Hemisphere the ocean has frozen in Nantucket. The Great Lakes are 85% frozen over. Cold weather is breaking records in the USSnow in the southern states of the US has meant 200,000 homes in North Carolina have no electricity. More seriously, 124 people died in Avalaches in Afghanistan. It’s winter.

Nearly frozen waves | Credit JDN Photographer

These waves are giant rolling ice slushies, not solid stationary curls. But apparently things went solid and froze over flat the next day:

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Not a 100% believer? Even borderline climate apostates like Pielke must be punished in the witchhunt

The witchhunt over tenuous connections to fossil fuel funding wants to do a lot more than just silence a few people. The aim is to maintain the global chill over all of academia. That’s why it’s so important we support the individuals under fire, and don’t give in.

Congratulations to Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Judith Curry, Steven Hayward, Roger Pielke, David Legates, and Robert Balling. All of them have been named to be investigated and lined up for character assassination like Willie Soon. Obviously they are effective and convincing speakers, and a threat to the climate-industry.

Stephen Hayward is flattered, and mocks the critics: “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Climate Skeptic?”

“Let’s start by axing a simple question: If I say “two plus two equals four,” does the truth of that proposition depend on whether I’ve received a grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation? Apparently it does for Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. He has sent letters to seven universities targeting seven academics who, according to the Democratic spokesman for the committee, were chosen because they seem “to have the most impact on policy in the scientific community.”

Even a tiny step beyond the approved line will be punished

Consider how hard-line the inquisition is. Roger Pielke Jr. accepts most of the consensus IPCC positions, even calling for a carbon tax, and supporting Obama’s proposed EPA regulations, but he’s under fire as much as those who question everything.  The aim here is much larger than just stopping Pielke — the real audience are the thousands of silent borderline skeptical academics watching on. Imagine if they spoke their minds?  The message to them is “don’t even think it”. All academics must be 100% believers, and even the smallest deviation from the permitted line will receive the same treatment.

The harassment and pressure work on whistleblowers. We are all human. Sadly even Pielke admits, despite having tenure, that the harrassment means he has changed the way he writes and researches:

The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject.

As Mark Steyn would say the process is the punishment.

Judith Curry writes: This whole issue has now become personal.

As Paul Homewood says: McCarthyism is not dead.

The real conflicts of interest in climate science matter for people waving unreplicable models

Judith Curry discusses the conflict of interests and points out that it not as relevant in climate science as in other areas where things are not so easily replicable:

The issue is this.  The intense politicization of climate science makes bias more likely to be coming from political and ideological perspectives than from funding sources.  Unlike research related to food and drug safety and environmental contaminants,  most climate science is easily replicable using publicly available data sets and models.  So all this IMO is frankly a red herring in the field of climate science research.

I would argue that many of the results used in climate science are not replicable in practice. They come from mysterious black box models or detailed homogenization methods, which even if the full code were available, would take individuals months of work to replicate. In the total absence of funding and grants, no one independent is going to replicate them.

In other words, the people who have conflicts of interest that really need exposing are not skeptics reporting on public datasets which can be replicated, but climate modelers and temperature adjusters who make public announcements with billions of dollars and lives resting on them, but which have not been independently replicated. And when I say “independently” replicated, I don’t mean by another group with the same conflict of interest.

If the evidence was so solid, and the models so reliable, climate scientists would be demanding and welcoming funding to outright skeptics to settle the issue. Instead, fans of the complex unskilled and failing models know that their assumptions are dubious and unsupported, and if a truly skeptical scientist were given equivalent resources to replicate it, they would probably tear it to shreds, exposing how fickle the projections were and how dependent it all was on a few key, baseless, guesses.

The antidote to pressure and intimidation is the support of the crowd

Send Pielke, and all the others your messages of thanks and support, through emails or on their blogs and here below. It does matter. No one should stand alone against the big-government grinding machine. Let those who bravely speak their honest minds know how much you appreciate it.

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Banks *really* want to save the world. Citigroup commits $100 billion to “climate change”. Media loves it.

The wall of money is enormous, and the media oblivious to the real flow from taxpayers to corporate welfare freeloaders.

The wall of money, part 23

Citigroup promised to spend, invest and loan $50 billion in 2007 and found it so easy, it managed to do it by 2013, three years ahead of schedule. This month it promised to send another $100 billion more towards “sustainability”.

How much of this is about being a green corporate citizen? Not much apparently. Citigroup are making the Citigroup buildings energy efficient, but what they didn’t say was whether they would stop investing in or taking money and profits from their fossil fuel customers. As it happens Citigroup might Big-Green, but they are also Big-Ungreen too, they were one of  “the top providers of funding for the most damaging practices of the U.S. coal industry last year. “  Not that any journalist mentioned that when they repeated the press release.

The banks can sniff out a good subsidy — it’s money for jam, and they are happy to feed the machine that feeds them.

Easy money for “sustainability” will also generate thousands of scary press releases from each and every sub-project as they start up and report. Not only do banks thus get a slice of the $70 odd billion in annual subsidies, but every new renewable project instantly becomes another “vested interest” in the climate scare, and another lobbyist for big-government subsidies. The cycle feeds on itself. The constant media promotion counts as free advertising for corporate welfare. In addition, Citibank will profit handsomely if a global trading scheme takes off. The brokers in those markets make money on every trade, no matter the price.

So Citigroup use this as a way to paint themselves as green corporate citizens while they are actually sweeping in the profits of taxpayer funded subsidies which forcibly shift resources from the middle class to the elites. Don’t expect these banks to ever take the side of the taxpayer and protest about uncompetitive corporate welfare. Don’t expect most news outlets to do that either.

The press release:

New York – Citi announced today a landmark commitment to lend, invest and facilitate a total of $100 billion within the next 10 years to finance activities that reduce the impacts of climate change and create environmental solutions that benefit people and communities. Citi’s previous $50 billion goal was announced in 2007 and was met three years early in 2013.

Newspapers as advertorials pretending to be news

Who would question the intentions of major finance houses promoting themselves as “green” community players? Not most journalists, who repeated the Citigroup press release without a single skeptical question.

The media is the problem. How many subscribers of these media-houses realize they are paying to be fed advertising disguised as “news”, and how many realize that the advertising is selling them pointless schemes that they have to pay for with taxes? If the media told subscribers how many hundreds or thousands of dollars a year they personally pay on fantasy programs to change the weather, the subsidy gig would be up in a few weeks.

Here’s more of the original press release green-spin.

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Dear NY Times Re Willie Soon: Character assassination is not science.

This is about much more than just Willie Soon. The fans of man-global warming know they can’t win a polite science debate. They know the biggest threat to the green gravy train is for competitive research, free debate, and independent funding for scientific research.  The anti-science brigade want to stamp out and starve independent research. Where once companies would be lauded for their philanthropy, now they are forced to hide it knowing they’ll be targeted, and no matter how good the research work and publications are the results won’t even be discussed if smear-fans can talk about “funding” instead.

Welcome to the dark world of manufactured petty smear campaigns against scientists.

What we need is a science debate, but if “science writers” want to talk money, I say Yes Please. Lets talk about the wall of money distorting science from monopolistic government funding. This one vested interest is running at almost 100% purity in climate science. How many grants are there for skeptical scientists to audit, check, and critique one intergovernmental committee report issued from Geneva? None. But there was $30 billion (plus) from the US government to find a crisis.

Other monster conflicts distort the public science debate: Big Bankers had a carbon scheme worth nearly $200 billion a year until it went out of fashion and shriveled.  Financial houses hanker for the broking profits of the 2 trillion dollar global carbon market.  Bank of America even promised to spend $50 billion to save the world — but it’s all selfless philanthropy, right? No questions asked.  The numbers get exponentially silly. In 2012 Big-Renewables were getting nearly a billion dollars a day in investments, much of which depended on government subsidies, and the EU improbably promised 20% of it’s whole budget to control the weather.

But Justin Gillis and John Schwartz of the New York Times, and Susanne Goldberg of The Guardian don’t worry about these influences and conflicts, instead they are “shocked” when an independent thinker indirectly receives 0.003% of the money dished out by the biggest vested interest in the game.

Thank goodness some corporate giants want to fund independent science

We need more independent funding, not less. Praise those companies!

Real fans of science would applaud more independently funded science.

 

Spot the Big-government vested interest

If the sun controls our climate, big-government can’t tax us to stop it or slap levies on the Sun itself. But if humans control the climate the bureaucrats “have” to have a global bureaucracy, more money, more junkets,  more rules and more power. What’s not to like? Would bureaucrats want control of an even larger section of the free economy, while paying themselves whatever they think they are worth?

What government minister wants to fund research that shows their portfolio is pointless? What government-funded-scientist wants to announce that 97% of their whole field made an error, and that their models are useless, and that grants should be funneled instead to other scientists in different specialties (like astronomers working on solar activity)?

Any fan of real science would welcome corporate donors and philanthropy

More money means more research. To stop this being abused, all we need is open public debate. Even if the donors are funding research they hope will produce results that contribute to their profits, the work stands or falls by its data and reasoning. If Willie Soon has done biased, incomplete or erroneous work, let the critics speak up. The fact they attack funding and dubious ethical claims shows they have nothing.

What they are really afraid of, terrified of, is that coal power might grow some balls and actually throw serious money at real independent scientists. How would it look if the coal industry not only produced the energy that allows us to live a rich modern life, but it also advanced scientific knowledge?

In a normal world, electricity providers like Southern Company would be bragging about being good corporate citizens funding real research. If they funded weak scientists who couldn’t produce the goods, those scientists would be embarrassed in the public science debate, and Southern Company would not get much value, and take its funding and offer it elsewhere. But there is no free market in scientific research — and the activists want to keep things that way.

Here’s the ethical announcement all government funded climate science researchers should be making

Government-funded science is often used to increase government revenue. That conflict of interest is almost never disclosed.

The Conversation used to promote deceptive disclosure statements like this one below:

Disclosure Statement

Stephan Lewandowsky does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.”

I explained how ridiculous that was. Coincidentally (or not) the next month the disclosure statement from Lewandowsky dropped the false claim, and was more carefully worded fog.

Here’s what government-dependent scientists should be declaring:

This research is funded by grants from a government that has a fixed public position that man-made global warming is “a serious threat”. Both the government, and my academic institution will benefit financially from results which help to sell government policies and promote demands for increased revenues from taxpayers.

Or …

This research is funded by an organisation which has jobs, reputations and billions of dollars staked on the scientific hypothesis.  The odds of this research confirming that is 10 raised to the power of a global carbon market.

The bottom line – character assasination is not science

Real scientists want open debate, a free market in the funding and to talk about the evidence. When skeptical scientists criticize other scientists, it starts with their science, and only then discusses the money.

People who want to “milk science” for money and power start and end with character assassination (because they can’t do logic and reason). If Willie Soons work is flawed, disproven, and riddled with errors, then the conflict of interest matters. If he’s done good work, by definition, potential conflicts are irrelevant. Good work is good work.

It’s easy to launch ad homs when intellectually weak media outlets like The Guardian and the  New York Times are happy to promote namecalling one-sided attack pieces by “science writers” who don’t seem to know what science is. The real intellectual debate has moved to blogs and a few old media publications like The Daily Mail, The Australian, The Financial Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Matt Briggs asked the New York Times author, Justin Gillis to state whether he has ever received funding from Greenpeace or other environmental groups. Gillis’ answer was to block him. Who cares about conflicts of interest?

 We need more scientists like Willie Soon

Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute sums it up:

“The Heartland Institute stands four-square behind Willie Soon. He’s a brilliant and courageous scientist devoted entirely to pursuing scientific knowledge. His critics are all ethically challenged and mental midgets by comparison. We plan to continue to work with Willie on future editions of Climate Change Reconsidered and feature him at future International Conferences on Climate Change, including the next one, the tenth, scheduled to take place in June in Washington, DC.”

MORE:  Bob Carter and Christopher Monckton defend Willie Soon at Breitbart

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