Yale scientist’s big new advance is to find the 2,600 billion trees humankind had not known about. Before now, 82% of the Earth’s trees were not counted, unknown, missing. This increases the tally of known trees by 7.5-fold. Phew. They reckon there are now 3.04 trillion trees, or roughly 422 trees per person.
They also estimate that humans have deforested exactly 46% of the trees on the planet in the last 12,000 years. (How fortunate that tree density estimates and satellite records are still available from 10,000 BC.) Presumably, the human deforestation factor is around 46% plus or minus 100%. Pick a number. Spin the wheel.
The idea was dumb enough to be produced by Yale and published in Nature.
Seeing the forest and the trees, all three trillion of them
A new Yale-led study estimates that there are more than 3 trillion trees on Earth, about seven and a half times more than some previous estimates. But the total number of trees has plummeted by roughly 46 percent since the start of human civilization, the study estimates.
Using a combination of satellite imagery, forest inventories, and supercomputer technologies, the international team of researchers was able to map tree populations worldwide at the square-kilometer level.
Their results, published in the journal Nature, provide the most comprehensive assessment of tree populations ever produced and offer new insights into a class of organism that helps shape most terrestrial biomes.
Next thing you know they’ll tell us to set up a global market in the carbon embedded in trees…
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It’s a science debate, and Suzuki pops up again, as he does periodically, with innuendo, namecalling and feets of logic. (He’s reasoning with both feet.) He’s not even offering well researched ad hom attacks. They’re not only irrelevant and unscientific, they’re wrong too.
On June 18, Suzuki told us that irrational attacks diminished the debate. On Sept 1, Suzuki is firing fallacies, no data, no research, no reasoning.
He laments that political leaders are not gullibly swept away (as he is) by baseless rumours, ad hominem attacks and articles in The Guardian. I can’t think why myself, but Suzuki explains, with his science guru hat on, that there is an”enormous” amount of fossil fuel funding, which is also secretive and unrevealed. I guess he’s putting his psychic powers to the test. Who needs evidence or sources anymore?
Suzuki really unleashes his full fantasy ad hom. Fossil fuels are funding practically every player in the US, UK and Canada: Heartland, GWPF, ICSC. Even the unfunded, volunteer run, Watts Up is an “industry funded website” – I bet Anthony Watts can’t wait for those cheques to start arriving. (Neither can I). For the record, Climate Depot gets 80% of it’s support from citizens. It has thousands of supporters.
Deniers are all over the map; climate realists all over the world, David Suzuki, National Observer
“Part of the problem is that fossil fuel interests spend enormous amounts of money to sow doubt and confusion, often by funding or setting up organizations like the Heartland Institute in the U.S., the Global Warming Policy Foundation in the U.K., Ethical Oil and Friends of Science in Canada and the International Climate Science Coalition, based in this country but affiliated with similar organizations in Australia and New Zealand and with close ties to Heartland. A number of industry-funded websites also promote fossil fuels at the expense of human life, including Climate Depot and Watts Up With That?”
This line of attack is so old, it’s like Suzuki got trapped in 2007, but the world moved on. When Suzuki finds out that Royal Dutch Shell has been lobbying against coal, funding “progressive” think tanks, and promoting carbon capture, he’s in for a headache. When he finds out Exxon paid four times more to the Stanford Global Climate and Energy project, than they every gave to “deniers” he’ll have to become a skeptic.
Someone needs to tell Suzuki that “fossil fuels” are not just one industry, with one union and one big chumpy PR office, but industries called coal, oil, gas, and shale, and they all compete with each other. Big-Oil and Big-Gas like the anti-CO2 message because it hurts Big-Coal, their main competitor. Big-Gas like wind farms, because they are useless erratic things, and any country afflicted with them needs gas powered turbines. But the world is such a complicated place.
All skeptics are wrong because they don’t all say the same thing?
Apparently skeptics have been falsified because thousands of independent unfunded people cannot agree on one single theory. They should only have one permitted opinion, (like believers do, right, because that’s how science advances, one dogma at a time?):
In a Guardian article, co-author Dana Nuccitelli said their study found “no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming.” Instead, “Some blame global warming on the sun, others on orbital cycles of other planets, others on ocean cycles, and so on.”
A consensus is profoundly unscientific, and Suzuki ferments that fallacy. Argument from authority, here we come:
Nuccitelli and fellow researchers Rasmus Benestad, Stephan Lewandowsky, Katharine Hayhoe, Hans Olav Hygen, Rob van Dorland and John Cook note that about 97 per cent of experts worldwide agree on a cohesive, science-based theory of global warming, but those who don’t “are all over the map, even contradicting each other. The one thing they seem to have in common is methodological flaws like cherry picking, curve fitting, ignoring inconvenient data, and disregarding known physics.”
Cook found 64 papers out of 12,000 that support the consensus. In Cook-calculations, 64 is 97% of 12,000 (when will Environ Res Letters retract it?). Believers not only cherry pick, ignore thousands of observations, but they are also bad at maths. There is no inconvenient data that skeptics “ignore”, there is only adjustimongered data that no one can recognise, and inconvenient data that believers won’t give to skeptics.
As David Suzuki said on June 18th 2015:
Canadians must continue to speak out for our water, land, air and wildlife, for justice for Indigenous Peoples, and for a clean energy future — without fear of harassment, intimidation and hatred.
Exactly. So when will David Suzuki stop calling dedicated scientists “deniers” and inventing fantasy claims about their motives and funding? If skeptics have got the science wrong, just explain it Dr Suzuki. There is not one single word of scientific truth in that article.
Suzuki explains how hard it is to be an activist:
…environmental advocacy has never been easy. As Heiltsuk community organizer and First Nations leader Jess Housty says, “Activism is hard. It pits you against forces that have a lot at stake, and who fight dirty and bite back hard.
I’ve spoken to thousands of environmental and community activists during many years of meeting with Canadians across this country. I’ve heard too many stories of people being harassed, ostracized, sued for standing up to large corporations and even fired from jobs because of their environmental advocacy.”
It’s true, it’s hard being a science advocate. We keep having to explain what logical fallacies are and whatthe scientific method is to people with PhD’s in environmental religions.
For the record, Climate Depot, Marc Morano and CFACT are mostly funded by concerned citizens. I asked Marc, and he replied:
“In its most recent 2014 annual report, CFACT reported that it had received 80% of its annual budget from citizen supporters, 16% from foundations, and 4% from corporations. It is not CFACT’s policy to identify particular sources of funding.
However, we can also report that the Climate Hustle film project has been funded 100% by the support of nearly 1,500 private individuals.”
The reason they, like Heartland, no longer discuss particular sources of funding is because of harassment by environmental activists who think views should be shouted down with innuendo and attacks rather than debated politely.
Once upon a time, when I was training in science communication, we went and saw David Suzuki “live” because he was held up as a prime example of what we should be when we grew up, so to speak. That tells you all you need to know about how immature the field is.
Give us our junkets, and forgive us our flights. We’re here to save the world.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon just announced plans to invite 40 world leaders to a “closed shop” climate meeting in just four weeks time. How often does that happen?
UN summons leaders to closed-door climate change meeting
Frustrated by slow progress in global climate talks, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to invite around 40 world leaders including President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to a closed- door meeting next month.
The meeting will take place in New York on September 27, a day ahead of the UN general assembly, said three people with knowledge of the matter. Ban also plans to invite French President Francois Hollande, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, as well as Chinese leaders, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorised to speak to the media.
The bonanza of money and power on offer in Paris is so large that nothing will be left to chance. The industry is worth $1.5 trillion a year already. Laws about energy use cut across every part of the free economy. It’s a bureaucrat’s wet-dream — allowing them to feed dependent corporate friends and sympathetic NGOs at the same time as handing out free passes to pollute to supporters and waving the same passes as leverage over enemies.
The UNFCCC in Copenhagen in 2009,was a debacle, and they are not going to make that mistake twice. The fact that countries have already publicly locked in emissions cuts is part of the massive preparation for Paris. This new “closed door” meeting is presumably to strengthen the networks of those who are on the climate-gravy-train, and to tighten the thumbscrews on those who are not. The last minute meeting may be a sign things are not going well for Big-Bureaucracy, but then again, perhaps this meeting was on their agenda all along. Who knows? Is there anyone that could be FOI’d in the UN? No, just send in your money, no accountability required, no public witnesses wanted, no transparency on offer. Does the UN have a well-deserved reputation for corruption? Give us our junkets, and forgive us our flights. We’re here to save the world.
India is not going to cut back on coal:
Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said coal-based thermal power will remain the staple power source for India and denounced Western concerns over climate and environmental hazards.
Nor is China, which will not do any serious reductions until 2030 when its rapidly growing population stabilizes. Five of the G7 nations have increased their coal use.
Skeptics must work together
If independent, free states were even remotely organized they would be holding their own networking sessions right now. There is no sign they are. Make sure your ministers and representatives know what’s coming. Big carrots and sticks will be offered to cajole nations to join in the parasitic, pointless money grab. If there is an international “targeted” punishment system in place (as Warwick University researchers recommended), I doubt it will be announced publicly but done with plausible deniability behind “closed doors”. The only defense is preparation. Skeptical free nations must stand together. Divided they will fall one by one to the self-feeding system of collectivist big-government pressure.
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Was that a half-truth or a lie by omission? Trick question…
Malcolm Kendrick reports on a new study that he says should “shake the foundations of medical research” but laments that it almost certainly won’t.
In the year 2000, the US National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) insisted that all researchers register their “primary aim” and then later their “primary outcome” with clinicaltrials.gov. This one small change in the way medical studies were reported transformed the “success” rates in peer reviewed papers. Before 2000, fully 57% of studies found the success they said they were testing for, but after that, their success rate fell to to a dismal 8%. When people didn’t have to declare what their aim was, they could fish through their results to find some positive, perhaps tangential association, and report that as if they had been investigating that effect all along. The negative results became invisible. If a diet, drug or treatment showed no benefit at all, or turned up bad results, nobody had to know.
The world of peer reviewed climate research: like a universe of dark matter
It’s not like climate science suffers from unpublished “negative results” — no, it’s more like it’s built on them: like all the model runs that ran off the ranch and disappeared, and the hot spot that never went missing, but keeps being “found”. The infamous Pause in the Climate barely existed until a forest of explanations for it appeared. Then there are the strange missing proxies — like the tree rings from the last 30 years. Did no one look, have all the trees gone, or were those awkward results dropped down the memory hole? Or is it because when someone did, the proxy turns out to be useless like the Sheep Mountain hockey-stick tree rings did?
Without a hypothesis, research isn’t science, just a glorified PR machine.
A group of researchers recently looked at 55 large clinical studies funded by the NHLBI between 1970 and 2012 to see if the transparency rules had made any difference. What they found should shake the foundations of medical research…but it almost certainly won’t:
- 57% of studies (17/30) published before 2000 showed a significant benefit in the primary outcome
- 8% (2/25 trials published after 2000 showed a significant benefit in the primary outcome
As the researchers said ‘The requirement of prospective registration in ClinicalTrials.gov is most strongly associated with the trend towards null clinical trials. The prospective declaration of the primary outcome variable required when registering trials may eliminate the possibility of researchers choosing to report on other measures included in a study. Almost half of the trials [published after 2000] might have been able to report a positive result if they had not declared a primary outcome in advance.1’
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Renewable power is always as “cheap as coal” except when subsidies are slashed, then it’s “the end”, “terrible”, and “fragile”.
If only renewable power could actually compete with coal.
Greenclick tells us the UK solar industry is “reeling” in “shock and anger” as the UK conservative government cuts the renewables feed-in tariff there by as much as 86%. Even for the hydro industry (about the only renewable industry that can survive on its own), the news could spell the “end”.
Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, which represents more than 300 green energy businesses, said: “The proposals in the Comprehensive Feed-in Tariff Review are, quite simply, terrible news for homeowners, businesses, communities and those local authorities which have plans in place to develop renewable energy schemes.
“The levels of reduction in support announced today will severely curtail development of small-scale onshore wind and solar projects and endanger jobs and investments across the country.
“The cuts could also spell the end for much of the hydro industry, which has enjoyed a recent renaissance but relies more heavily on Government support because of the length of time taken to develop projects and the sector’s high capital costs.”
“If the consultation is enacted, we can expect to see a wholesale collapse in solar take up by homeowners and businesses – just at a point in time when most other countries are escalating their solar deployment having seen the dramatic impact the technology can make in tackling climate change.
The fountain of endless cheap energy is always almost, nearly, just-around-the-corner:
“The timing couldn’t be worse as the young and potentially booming solar industry is on track to go subsidy free but if these cuts happen, it will be too sudden, too soon and too dramatic. It is highly likely to irrevocably damage the domestic solar industry.
Hear all the many benefits of renewables…
Strangely, they don’t mention how the solar panels will cool the world. I thought that was the point?
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More news of how the faked fixed unfree market in carbon credits feeds the people who are inclined to cheat, and may have actually increased emissions by 600 million tonnes as well (not that that matters). Around $2 billion dollars may have been wasted, but it’s worse than wasted; the money does not just evaporate. Rewarding cheating takes money from honest players of society and feeds the corrupt sector. Free markets are a powerful tool, but good tools can be used in stupid ways. And so it is with a market trying to sell units of an atmospheric-absence-of-a-gas that no one really wants or has a use for.
The only people calling for a free market in carbon are the people who don’t know what a free market is. Sometimes a free market is just a dumb idea — like when trying to run a global market in a ubiquitous gas molecule that is intrinsic to life on Earth and oceanic chemistry. Worse, we think we might do it in countries with weak law and order, and high rates of corruption. Even sillier than that, we’re trying to sell units that depend on intentions — was that a sincere new attempt at carbon reduction or were you going to make less anyway? This is such a big-government leftie idea. If someone discovers a diamond deliberately, does that make it worth less on the market? Adam Smith would be rolling in his grave. A reduction is a reduction, and all CO2 molecules are the same. But therein lies the rub. The biggest market player is Summer.
From the Stockholm Environment Institute we find that things would be more honest and productive if the money did not cross borders:
The analysis indicates that about three-quarters of JI (Joint Initiative, meaning multi-country) offsets are unlikely to represent additional emissions reductions. This suggests that the use of JI offsets may have enabled global GHG emissions to be about 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent higher than they would have been if countries had met their emissions domestically.
They did a random sample of 60 projects and found barely 14% of the Emissions Reductions Units (ERUs) issued were “credible”. Fully 73% were not credible, and 12% were questionable.
According to the BBC News Germany and Poland largely did the right thing, but Russia and Ukraine rorted the system (and what was going to stop them?). Apparently most of the projects to reduce emissions in Russia and Ukraine would have happened anyway. They were not “additional”. The carbon credit money was money for nothing. A lot of the other credits were paid to people who were probably artificially ramping up a gas called HFC-23 so they could “cut back” on this super-arch-villain of greenhouse gases and claim credits for producing less pollution. HFC-23 is the godfather of greenhouse gases: it’s 11,700 times as powerful at warming as CO2 is.
The Russians and Ukrainians were just copying the Chinese and Indians who were rorting the exact same carbon-credit game five years ago. We have learned nothing.
BBC News : Carbon credits undercut climate change actions says report
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Busy slaying strawmen instead of real debate?
What a facade. The ABC says its skeptics versus “the scientists” except there are no skeptics present. In typical Newspeak the ABC says “#TalkAboutIt”, but it’s a conversation with themselves. They invent “DorothyDixer” strawman questions for their own team to bravely kill.
If the ABC really wanted their listeners to discuss skeptical views, they would invite skeptics to make them — but interviews are a thing of the past (back in the days when the ABC was an institution of repute). The fake debate is the only kind that professors like Matthew England can win.
This is why the ABC fails so dismally to dint skeptical numbers in Australia. If they want to convince skeptics of their point of view then they have to deal with actual skeptical arguments, but they are too afraid to air them. Consequently they sideline themselves out of the national debate, relegated to the propaganda wars.
Correcting the ABC:
Skeptical Scientists versus The Unskeptical
The ABC offers arguments allegedly made by climate skeptics, all of them minor and of little consequence (short version first, more depth below):
Claim 1: Global warming is not happening because it is cold
Pure hypocrisy. Mirror the message: Global warming is happening because it’s hot. Haven’t we heard that before? The day that Matthew England or the ABC publicly complain about alarmist scientists who attribute single storms, floods, hot days, and reckless fish to carbon dioxide, we’ll start to take him seriously. Leading skeptics do not use this argument, but you won’t find what skeptics do say on their ABC.
Claim 2: Climate has changed throughout the Earth’s history
The banal truth. There is no state of “Climate Sameness”.
Kurt Lambeck bravely decrees that sea levels were the same for 6,000 years despite the evidence. Seas have been falling around Australia for longer, and rising and falling by one metre in the Maldives for example. A thousand tide gauge measurements show sea levels are only rising at about 1mm a year. The raw satellite data agreed, until it was “corrected” and a 3mm rise was created by adjustments.
Last time Lambeck made this flat-for-6000-year claim it was based on “modeled” estimates of sea levels back to 4000BC. (If we can model those seas so well, why do we bother with measurements and gauges at all?) But Lambeck’s sea level data has error bars ten meters wide. Seriously. (See the graphs).
Claim 3: Human emissions are tiny compared to natural CO2
Again, the banal, undeniable truth — human emissions are 4% of natural ones. Prof England does not even try to suggest that this is incorrect (nor does the ABC mention, shh, the 4% fact). What can they say?
First up, we get served the usual eye-candy-photo, the classic agitprop shot of steam-pretending-to-be-CO2. Look Mum! It’s “pollution”. Second up, check the caption: “Photo: The energy sector reportedly makes up about 76 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions“.
In the context of a debate about natural versus man-made emissions, how many ABC readers will come away misinformed? The caption implies human emissions are larger than natural ones. In the context of man-v-nature, why highlight the irrelevant sub-parts of man-made emissions at all? Corrected it would read: “the energy sector makes
76 per cent 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions”. It’s only inflated 2500%.
To raise the inanity score even further, technically, if we are talking about all greenhouse gases (that’s what they said), then water vapor rules — and emissions from the world’s oceans blast those percentage points into decimal oblivion.
Claim 4: Scientists are creating panic in order to get funding
Prof England says it’s absurd, because scientists are angels (or something like that), since they seek the truth, and are only after Nobel Prizes. I’m thinking we don’t need to pay them then, if the money is irrelevant?
But if money did have any influence, billions of dollars have been paid to find and assess a man-made crisis. There is also a 1.5 trillion dollar climate industry dependent on it, but almost no specific funding for skeptical scientists. There is no government funding to audit reports from the foreign committee called the IPCC (and, by strange coincidence, no government funded scientists have done it voluntarily).
As usual, the ABC represents the vested interests, governments and corporations, and works against the volunteers and taxpayers. Why do conservatives put up with it?
England says the person who finds a flaw will get a Nobel. Nice fantasy (should we put it to the test?). Look at Bjorn Lomborg. Forget any prize — in Australia Lomborg can’t even get an office. He believes the IPCC science and comes with $4m in funding, yet can’t work in Australia because university students have been trained to howl in “disgust” and protest until weak Vice Chancellors cave in.
Skeptics don’t get prizes from officialdom. Instead they get exiled, stranded at airports, sacked, harassed from committees, their children’s work may be targeted, they lose their professorships, and even their email accounts. (One time the ABC came to our house to interview us, but they left out the data we presented, and edited in sentences that were never said — and we can prove it, because we filmed it.) If somehow skeptics get any government funding at all, they may be subject to intrusive witchhunts from Congressional Committees, and onerous FOI’s, which universities handle in a biased one-sided manner. England lives in his fantasy land where sensible well trained scientists would work hard to prove the theory wrong then loudly announce their skepticism — but in the real world their only reward is to be called “deniers” and have their careers wrecked.
Claim 5: Antarctic sea ice is growing
Antarctic Sea Ice IS growing. See the Cryosphere satellite data. Doesn’t really fit the narrative, does it? Clara Tran and staff find a few post hoc excuses for the growth in sea ice that went entirely against the models, without admitting the models were utterly wrong (Previdi and Polvani 2014). Some things can never be said.
Dr Jan Lieser from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre said sea ice growth was a symptom of global warming.
Growing sea-ice wasn’t a “symptom” of global warming until after the sea-ice grew. But that’s always how witch-doctoring works. Whatever happens, it’s now a symptom. Except science is meant to predict things.
Matthew England goes on to imply only a small sector of Antarctic sea ice is expanding, when the record ice growth applies to the ice around a lot of the continent, not just the Ross sea. Then he drags in the Arctic and Greenland as if they have something to do with Antarctic Sea Ice and finishes up with a mindless tobacco analogy. He sees skeptics as dying smokers, which says a lot about him and his ability to reason.
A climate debate on TV,
As appearing on ABC,
Is a biased affair,
With the skeptics not there,
To allow them to disagree.
How many ways can one article be wrong — there’s more
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