JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Climate money: Monopoly science

The scientific process has become distorted. One side of a theory receives billions, but the other side is so poorly funded that auditing of that research is left as a community service project for people with expert skills, a thick skin and a passionate interest. A kind of “Adopt an Error” approach.

Can science survive the vice-like grip of politics and finance?

Despite the billions of dollars in funding, outrageous mistakes have been made. One howler in particular, rewrote history and then persisted for years before one dedicated fact checker, working for free, exposed the fraud about the Hockey Stick Graph. Meanwhile agencies like the Goddard Institute of Space Studies, can’t afford to install temperature sensors to meet its own guidelines, because the workers are poorly trained and equipped to dig trenches only with garden trowels and shovels. NOAA “adjust” the data after the fact—apparently to compensate for sensors which are too close to air conditioners or car parks, yet it begs the question: If the climate is the biggest problem we face; if billions of dollars are needed, why can’t we install thermometers properly?

How serious are they about getting the data right? Or are they only serious about getting the “right” data?

How serious are they about getting the data right? Or are they only serious about getting the “right” data?

The real total of vested interests in climate-change science is far larger than just scientists doing pure research. The $30 billion in funding to the CCSP (graphed above) does not include work on green technologies like improving solar cells, or storing a harmless gas underground. Funding for climate technologies literally doubles the amount of money involved, and provides a much larger pool of respectable-looking people with impressive scientific cachet to issue more press releases—most of which have little to do with basic atmospheric physics, but almost all of which repeat the assumption that the climate will warm due to human emissions. In other words: a 30-billion-dollar cheer squad.

Lots of one-sided honest research does not make for fair debate

The scientists funded by governments don’t need to be dishonest for science to become distorted. They just need to do their jobs. If we ask 100 people to look for lizards in the jungle, would anyone be surprised if no one sees the elephant on the plain? Few people are paid or rewarded for auditing the IPCC and associated organizations. Where is the Department of Solar Influence or the Institute of Natural Climate Change?

Thousands of scientists have been funded to find a connection between human carbon emissions and the climate. Hardly any have been funded to find the opposite. Throw 30 billion dollars at one question and how could bright, dedicated people not find 800 pages worth of connections, links, predictions, projections and scenarios? (What’s amazing is what they haven’t found: empirical evidence.)

And scientists are human, they have mortgages and kids. If Exxon money has any pulling power, government money must also “pull”.

I can’t say it better than Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

– Upton Sinclair, 1935

Ironically it was Al Gore himself who helped ensure there was copious funding for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) from 1993-2000. We’ve poured billions into focusing bright brains on one angle, one topic, one cause. That’s a lot of salaries.

The monopolistic funding “ratchet”

There doesn’t necessarily need to be a conspiracy. It doesn’t require any centrally coordinated deceit or covert instructions to operate. Instead it’s the lack of funding for the alternatives that leaves a vacuum and creates a systemic failure. The force of monopolistic funding works like a ratchet mechanism on science. Results can move in both directions, but the funding means that only results from one side of the equation get “traction.”
Ideas that question the role of carbon in the climate are attacked with a fine-tooth comb by large teams of paid researchers. If real flaws are found they are announced loudly and repeatedly, and if there are imagined or irrelevant flaws, these too are announced and sometimes with even more fanfare. But ideas that support the role of carbon in the climate are subject to a very different analysis. Those on Team-AGW check to see if they have underestimated the impact of carbon, or made an error so obvious it would embarrass “the Team.” Since there are few paid supporters of natural causes, or people who benefit from defending non-carbon impacts, there is no one with an a priori motive to dig deep for non-obvious mistakes. So the pro-AGW ideas may only be scrutinized briefly, and by unpaid retirees, bloggers running on donations, or government scientists working in other fields—like geologists, who have reason to be skeptical, but who are not necessarily trained in, say, atmospheric physics.

There doesn’t necessarily need to be a conspiracy. It doesn’t require any centrally coordinated deceit or covert instructions to operate. Instead it’s the lack of funding for the alternatives that leaves a vacuum and creates a systemic failure.

Normally this might not be such a problem, because the lure of fame and fortune by categorically “busting” a well-accepted idea would attract some people. In most scientific fields, if someone debunks a big Nature or Science paper, they are suddenly cited more often; are the next in line for a promotion and find it easier to get grants. They attract better PhD students to help, are invited to speak at more conferences, and placed higher in the program. Instead in climate science, the reward is the notoriety of a personal attack page on Desmog1, ExxonSecrets2 or Sourcewatch3, dedicated to listing every mistake on any topic you may have made, any connection you may have had with the fossil fuel industry, no matter how long ago or how tenuous. The attack-dog sites will also attack your religious beliefs if you have any. Roy Spencer, for example, has been repeatedly attacked for being Christian (though no one has yet come up with any reason why that could affect his satellite data).

Ironically, the “activist” websites use paid bloggers. DeSmog is a funded wing of a professional PR group Hoggan4 and Associates (who are paid to promote clients5 like David Suzuki Foundation, ethical funds, and companies that sell alternative energy sources like hydro power, hydrogen and fuel cells.) ExxonSecrets is funded by Greenpeace6 (who live off donations to “save” the planet, and presumably do better when the planet appears to need saving).

Most scientific fields are looking for answers, not looking to prove only one side of a hypothesis. There are a few researchers who are paid to disprove the hypothesis of Global Warming, and most of them are investigated and pilloried as if they were a politician running for office. This is not how science works, by ad hominem attack. The intimidation, disrespect and ostracism leveled at people who ask awkward questions acts like a form of censorship. Not many fields of science have dedicated smear sites for scientists. Money talks.

Respected MIT climatologist Richard Lindzen7 has spoken out against the pressure to conform and laments the loss of good researchers:

Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.

The combination of no financial reward, plus guaranteed hostile scrutiny, and threats of losing employment would be enough to discourage many from entering the contentious side of the field or speaking their mind if they question the “faith.”

Finally, volunteers and isolated researchers lack infrastructure. Even though the mainstream theory is exposed to some verification, most scientists who find flaws don’t have paid teams of public relations experts to issue multiple press releases or funding to put in the hours and months required to submit papers. So when a mistake is found, few people may hear about it outside the industry.

The monopolistic funding ratchet ensures that even insignificant or flawed analysis of factors that drive the climate can be supported longer than they should be, while real problems are belittled, ignored, and delayed. In a field as new as climate science, many things can change over ten years. Progress in understanding the planetary climate has slowed to a crawl.

Where is the motivation to prove AGW is wrong?

How many experts would go out of their way to make their own expertise and training less relevant? With funding hinged on proving that carbon controls the climate and therefore that climate science itself is critically important, it’s a self-sanctioning circle of vested interests. Yes, smart climate scientists are employable in other fields. But if voters suddenly realized carbon emissions had a minor role and humans have little influence, thousands of people would have to change something about their employment, and change is painful. In any industry, it’s impossible to argue that the specialists would prefer to have half the funding and half the status. Most of them either won’t get the next pay-rise, could lose their employment, or at least some spending power. They don’t get the upgrade of equipment they want, or they just lose status, because, well, climatology is “important”, but if we can’t change the weather, we are not inviting said experts onto our committees and to as many conferences.

We can assume most scientists are honest and hardworking, but even so, who’s kidding that they would all spend as much time and effort looking to disprove AGW as they do to prove it?

We can assume most scientists are honest and hardworking, but even so, who’s kidding that they would all spend as much time and effort looking to disprove AGW as they do to prove it? If your reputation and funding are on the line, you sweat, struggle and stay up late at night to figure out why you’re right and they’re wrong. Competition brings out the best in both sides.

Some claim that they trust the scientific process itself, and the right answers will prevail in the long run—which is probably true. But as John Maynard Keynes famously said: “In the long run we are all dead.” There are better ways than waiting for the post-mortem. Science delayed is science denied.

Science slowed is propaganda perpetuated.

References

1 Lindzen wipes hands clean of oil and gas. http://www.desmogblog.com/lindzen-wipes-hands-clean-of-oil-and-gas.

2 http://www.exxonsecrets.org.

3 http://www.sourcewatch.org.

4 http://www.hoggan.com/sustainability/desmogblog/.

5 http://www.hoggan.com/what_we_do/clients/.

6 http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/exxon-secrets.

7 Wall St Journal “Climate Of Fear”, April 12, 2006. http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008220.


Climate Money: PARTS 1- 4.

1. Climate Money Massive Funding Exposed.

2. How auditing of the Climate Industry is mostly left to volunteers.

3. How the monopolistic funding ratchet slows scientific progress. (You are on this page).

4. Why blaming Exxon is a smoke screen to disguise the real vested interests.

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82 comments to Climate money: Monopoly science

  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    In the year 2002, the then VP of the United States, Dick Cheney, talked openly about a war to remove Saddam in Iraq.

    The putative reason?

    “Saddam has weapons of mass destruction.”

    The UN Iraq Survey Group, set up in 1991 in Iraq to ensure compliance with UN sanctions against Saddam, was charged with eliminating Saddam’s capabability to make poison weapons, nuclear weapons, etc.

    Survey group eliminated that capability in Iraq six levels deep by 1993. Saddam had no poison weapons of any kind, not even the ability to think about it, after that.

    Survey Group told this to the Bush adminstration.

    Cheney: “I don’t care what Survey Group says. Saddam’s lying.”

    US CIA to Cheney: “Our evidence shows that Survey group is correct. Saddam doesn’t have poison weapons or the capability to make them.”

    Cheney: “CIA is incompentent. I know Saddam has poison weapons, you don’t know how to look.”

    March 2003: Bush, after building coalition to eliminate Saddam regime: “We are going to war against Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.”

    Outcome: No weapons of mass destruction, but I won’t say that getting rid of that not-so-good fellow Saddam was a bad thing either.

    THIS SAME SCENARIO was repeated by the IPCC in 1997, after the IPCC group was hi-jacked by Pachauri and Santer.

    Prior to that, since the IPCC inception in 1988 IPCC conclusion was: “No evidence of HUMAN influence on the global climate.”

    Pachauri and Santer: “IPCC is incompentent. I know humans have influenced the global climate, you don’t know how to look.”

    Outcome: Coalition-built war against Global Warming, BUT – as opposed to war against Saddam, there is NO end result that is any benefit to anyone

    Smart people learn from their own mistakes, wise people learn from other’s mistakes. – SENECA


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    Lionell Griffith

    This is more like it. Reason, reality, and logic (ie science) has nothing to do with it. Follow the money, power, and control trail and you will find the cause and effect. Once found, you have the point of attack. We need to work out out how to stop the flow that sustains them.

    Yes, the bad science must be answered but it needs be answered only once. Repetition will not make a true argument an more true than it will make a false argument true. Since the discussion is not really about science, it doesn’t make much difference beyond the first time if even then.


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    Mack

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Dr. Spencer specifically criticized for having creationist beliefs? If so, I don’t think it is accurate to say he was attacked for being Christian since not all Christians are creationists. Regardless, it is still a worthless ad hom towards someone with a distinguished career.


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  • #
    Denny

    Another great posting Joanne! Have you heard about this story over here in the U.S.? Check it out at GWH.com See the following at the latest Forum Posts!

    Rudy Baum’s C&EN Editorial, June 22, 2009

    and

    World’s Largest Science Group ‘Startled’ by Outpouring of Scientists by Marc Marano

    Some people weren’t very happy! Start with the Editorial.

    Cheers,
    Denny


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  • #
    Denny

    Oooops, sorry about the stories, noticed you have found out in the other thread! Sorry!


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    Ray Hibbard

    Denny: post 4 and 5

    Take a look at the following link. Mr. Baum reacts to the outpouring of indignation.
    http://cenblog.org/2009/07/27/climate-change-dissent/#more-1545
    Somewhere sometime someone said when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.


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    Brian G Valentine

    I am also STRUCK by the contempt of many of the letter writers for the thousands of scientists who work for government agencies such as EPA, NASA, NOAA, and DOE. Their harshest vitriol is aimed at the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Many of the letters dismiss out of hand any report from IPCC or any U.S. government agency that supports the idea of human-induced global warming, calling such reports irredeemably “politicized.” I am STARTLED that they so blithely impugn the integrity of so many of their colleagues.

    … umm, do you think his surprise might be a bit feigned?


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  • #
    Ray Hibbard

    Brian post 7:

    Especially when it is he that is so blithely impugning the integrity of anyone that does not see things his way. I guess if you don’t see it his way you’re not a colleague. I’m strangely comfortable with that.


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Ray, you make me laugh!


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  • #
    allen mcmahon

    I was especially impressed by
    “some of the letters I received are not fit for print”
    Brian I hope one of them was yours, if so post a copy
    In my opinion
    some editorials are not fit for print
    I shall send Rudy a jar of Vegemite and some off oysters.


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    Tel

    This is a good article about science and money (not AGW, it’s about the medical industry and the UN/WHO). Many of the lessons apply to AGW.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,637119,00.html

    Jefferson: It’s true that influenza viruses are unpredictable, so it does call for a certain degree of caution. But one of the extraordinary features of this influenza — and the whole influenza saga — is that there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill us all? Nothing. But that doesn’t stop these people from always making their predictions. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is a whole industry almost waiting for a pandemic to occur.

    SPIEGEL: Who do you mean? The World Health Organization (WHO)?

    Jefferson: The WHO and public health officials, virologists and the pharmaceutical companies. They’ve built this machine around the impending pandemic. And there’s a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding.


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  • #

    Hi Tel, there are parallels with the medical industry, mostly in how they wine and dine the docs and spin their drug results which is similar to the way the climate science industry throws giant junkets, grants and conferences at scientists all under the brand name “climate change”.

    But there is no comparison between Swine Flu and AGW – there is no evidence AGW has killed anyone, and plenty to suggest extra CO2 has fed millions of people. In contrast, each year ordinary flu kills 36,000 US citizens and something like 250,000 people or more world wide. The deaths in 18-25 year olds in 1918 were staggering. More people died of the flu than died in WWI. Some 600,000 in the US in just 6 months.

    I’m wary of government control over many things, but this is one instance where the government may well have saved lives. If they hadn’t acted so forcefully over SARS or bird-flu, who knows? With world population so high, and animals in such intensive husbandry everywhere it’s just a matter of time before THE really nasty one comes. We are long overdue.

    Don’t think modern medicine has a chance of containing a deadly infectious rearrangement of influenza once it takes off. At the end of the day only our immune systems can really defeat this ancient scourge. Here in peak flu season Down Under, where swine flu has got our suburb and some of my relatives, I am feeling very grateful that this H1N1 doesn’t appear to be any more nasty than the normal flu. We got lucky. It may well be a blessing in disguise, as all of us under 50 have no protection against H1N1.

    That said, I don’t want to have to use the first batch of a new vaccine either, especially if it’s loaded with new adjuvants (things that boost your immune response). But I’m sure glad someone is working on those vaccines, and if there was a vaccine on offer this particular week, I’d probably take it.


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    Brian G Valentine

    In the case of the “swine flu” situation, I think in terms of probablilities.

    What are the probabilities that (random) mutations will result in a viral protein coat that will make the virus both virulent and communicable among humans?

    I think the proabilities are comparable to the probabilites that similar things will occur with tobacco mosaic virus, and I am not too concerned.


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    Denny

    Ray,post 6, thank you for the article! Appreciate the follow up! I agree, his “Hole” has gone deeper! LOL!

    Brian,post 7, it’s about time these Scientist’s have finally spoken. If only they would get together and go to Washington and confront these “idots” that are trying to destroy this Country’s Economy. These people are definitely are the “Silent Majority”.


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    Brian G Valentine

    These politicians aren’t grasping the idea that “Middle America” doesn’t live inside the mind of Obama/Pelosi/Ried/Boxer.

    Middle America doesn’t WANT ObamaCare (which is just HillaryCare, with Attitude).

    Middle America doesn’t WANT Pelosi ClimateCare.

    “Elect me, and I’ll do your thinking for you. I know what it is you need.”

    Wrong, pal.


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  • #

    What ever happened to the childhood reading of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, “Chicken Little”, “The Little Red Hen”, and the like? They taught common sense lessons our current crop of politicians and political commentators could well take to heart.

    Apparently they were raised on “Jane, see Spot Run.” and stopped learning when the words got really hard (ie. work, earn, mine, yours, prepare, responsibility, and the like). Most of them would have to take remedial training to become as good as the sparrow in my recreated fable: http://arationalhuman.blogspot.com/2008/11/fable-long-remembered.html


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    Brian G Valentine

    Those worn-out fables have been replaced by really useful children’s stories.


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  • #

    The important difference:

    The old “worn-out” fables pretended to be just fables but taught things that are very true. The new stories pretend to be true but are nothing but fables teaching things that are false.


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    Brian G Valentine

    People need an “enemy.”

    Otherwise they don’t know what to do with themselves, evidently, and with “Communists” gone the way of the dinosaur and “terrorists” being rather remote, the most convenient enemy around seems to be Mister Carbon

    - who is better known as “human life form”


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  • #
    BobC

    Lionell Griffith said:
    August 1st, 2009 at 5:26 am

    What ever happened to the childhood reading of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, “Chicken Little”, “The Little Red Hen”, and the like? They taught common sense lessons our current crop of politicians and political commentators could well take to heart.

    (And don’t forget “The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs”.)

    How strange that a Greek slave from the 5th century BC (Aseop) knew more about economics, ethics and morals than our Ivy-League educated elite! Makes you wonder if there has been any real progress in education.


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    Ray Hibbard

    Brian post 19: People need an “enemy.”

    From “V for Vendetta” The dictator Adam Sutler “We need to remind them why the need us”


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  • #
    Ray Hibbard

    “We need to remind them why they need us”


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  • #
    Ray Hibbard

    Found the complete quote.

    The dictator Adam Sutler “What we need right now is a clear message to the people of this country. This message must be read in every newspaper, heard on every radio, seen on every television. This message must resound throughout the entire Interlink! I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want every man, woman and child to understand how close we are to chaos. I want everyone to remember why they need us!”


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  • #
    Mike Davis

    Brian:
    We have an enemy. It is ignorance. It is time to teach people how to think not what to think.


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  • #
    Tel

    But there is no comparison between Swine Flu and AGW – there is no evidence AGW has killed anyone, and plenty to suggest extra CO2 has fed millions of people. In contrast, each year ordinary flu kills 36,000 US citizens and something like 250,000 people or more world wide. The deaths in 18-25 year olds in 1918 were staggering. More people died of the flu than died in WWI. Some 600,000 in the US in just 6 months.

    Point is that people die from climate-related incidents all the time — lightning, floods, storms, heatwaves, fires, etc. Just go look how many people die of cold every single winter, and that’s in first world nations. The real question to ask about AGW is whether more people are dying due to this particular event than due to the large cloud of other unrelated events.

    That’s the same deal with Swine Flu… people die of all sorts of disease. As the article that I linked to points out, “died of the flu” can involve upwards of 200 different virus types all with flu-like symptoms. Are people dying at a higher rate now with Swine Flu than they would have otherwise from the many other flu-like symptoms they might get from other diseases? No, there is no evidence that Swine Flu is anything exceptional in this regard. If anything it is safer than a lot of other stuff you could catch.

    The other point that the article makes is that some science gets vastly more interest than other science, with no particular basis other than what you can make a profit on, and where the fashion of the day happens to be going. The result is that doing the detailed pathology to figure out exactly which virus killed someone is not considered valuable — unless it happens to be the big Swine Flu, then they make a big deal over it. This methodology does not produce meaningful statistics.

    Without meaningful information you will not be able to either save lives, nor even know whether you have saved any lives.

    Jefferson also points out that the WHO making a big deal over Swine Flu, also have no real idea where SARS came from or why it died out so quick (or whether it did die out, or maybe turning dormant is part of it’s programmed life cycle). They have just got to the basic stage of being able to take some measurements and do basic DNA matching, and suddenly they are expert enough to make sweeping predictions and start dictating public policy — working from about 95% ignorance and 5% found something.


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  • #
    kuhnkat

    Brian G. Valentine,

    unfortunately for your neat little propaganda presentation on Iraq’s lack of WMD’s, our allies actually found over 50 chemical artillery shells. Saddam’s supply of enriched uranium was confiscated and moved to the US. Numerous records of the projects designed to find the quickest ways to produce chemical and biological weapons with the maximum of dual use technology were also documented.

    On the edge of many of Saddam’s ammunition dumps, hundreds of 50 gallon drums of what US “experts” characterised as Insect spray were also found. Why ammunition dumps in the middle of deserts would need so much insecticide, with the same type of chemical structure as VX and other populart nerve gasses, was never explained.

    So, are you saying that no one actually found a live nuclear weapon??

    You really should be careful about showing your lack of research into important subjects.


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  • #
    kuhnkat

    Brian G Valentine,

    “Otherwise they don’t know what to do with themselves, evidently, and with “Communists” gone the way of the dinosaur…”

    So tell me, how would you characterise Russia, Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia’s ousted pres…

    By the way, you DO watch the news don’t you?? You DO know that our security types continue to pick up terrorists in the US?? You DO know that terrorists are active in over 40 countries on this little planet??

    Please try to research and THINK about what you are posting!!

    By the way, would you explain to us the differences between Fascism and Communism and why it was, and is, important?? Tie in with generic socialism for us while you are at it.


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    Brian G Valentine

    I was detailed to US Embasssy Iraq, IRMO, 2004-2006, as sr consultant to oil ministry.

    Briefing by Diplomatic securtity revealed a little to me, and there remained questions about what there actually was, but there was nothing live or usable in Iraq, and there was absolutely no way any of it could be engineered.

    When the US seized the airport Republican guard did not care any more, and they would have used anything they had to stop it or delay it for twenty minutes if they could.

    Initially Republican palace was unsecured mostly and if anyone could have attacted US at that time with something meaningful, it would have been done.

    Elimination of Osiraq reactor took away any fuel Iraq had, and the only way Iraq could have enriched Pu-239 was from spent waste of fuel rods. Iraq Survey Group broke that down in 2002.

    Rogue nations poise a threat to National security, they always will, independently of their politics, no Nation, which seeks to remain a Nation, would attempt a Government-planned attack against the US because that Nation would be US-owned within six months.

    The worst threat to National security happens to lie within US borders, it is the systematic deconstruction of manufacturing infrastructure via regulations imposed on them to prevent them from operating as free enterprises, greenhouse gas regulations are the worst of these, and once manufacturing is gone from the US, National security is gone for good.

    And ASK me what I know before you open your yap and tell me what I DON’t know, damnit all


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    Brian G Valentine

    Nerve gases, by the way, are alkyl esters of phosphorous acid, and so are a number of insecticides; O,O dimethyldithio phosphate (a precursor to no nerve gas) is the starting material of all the organophosphate insecticides, such as the dicarboxylate ester of diethyl malate (Malathion).

    Malathion is used extensively in the US for mosquito control, and in Iraq, it is about the only thing that controls sand fleas.


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    Brian G Valentine

    And if you’re gonna open your mouth real wide to spout off what you know, Khun Kat, why don’t you start right off and say your name?

    Don’t you like your name? Your parents gave it to you, you ought to like your name at least as much as you like to shoot off your mouth


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    MrCannuckistan

    Brian Valentine wrote:

    Outcome: Coalition-built war against Global Warming, BUT – as opposed to war against Saddam, there is NO end result that is any benefit to anyone.

    I beg to differ on this last point. I have heard it many times by many people who say, “If we can just get off dirty fossil fuels and on to cleaner renewable and sustainable energies then, to me, the ends justifies the means.” To a lesser degree distributed generation of electricity is promoted over centralized solar or wind farms: anything to wrestle power away from a monopolistic source.

    I read one article recently that tried to say that research showed that 20th century global warming was caused 75% by the heat created when burning fossil fuels and only 25% from the remaining CO2 emissions. This new theory would now encompass nuclear as a cause of global warming due to the fact that nuclear reactors created far greater amounts of heat for each unit of electricity created. This new theory silenced the proponents of nuclear power as a means to solve the energy problem as it related to global warming and CO2 emissions.

    MrC


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    Brian G Valentine

    In the National grid, the US has a (non-monopolistic owned) asset worth well over one hundred trillions of dollars, you mean it’s a good idea to tear that down, and replace it with a bunch of distributed entities that rely on chaotic weather patterns?

    That comes with a cost at least three times (and climbing) to deliver the product to consumers?

    Why would anyone want to do that?

    [Chloroform me before you give me an answer, please. That is the only way to prevent me from howling no matter what answer you give me, no matter how sensible the answer seems to you at the time.]

    When heat is generated by burning anything, that heat is gone to outer space.

    Light too.

    Gone gone.

    Gone for good gone.

    It better be – we would have all burned to a crisp aeons ago.

    Nuclear power is at least 45% efficient in the conversion of heat -> electric power, high pressure gas from nuclear heat can get the efficiency up to around 50%.

    Coal power can get up there too, with fuel cells that use the gas from gasifying the coal.

    A solar central receiver might get to 30% overall efficiency including the storage, distributed solar maxes at about 25% with storage, and PV electricity with storage starts out at a whopping 15% efficiency, and degrades about a half-percent per year over the lifetime.

    At a cost that is five times what it takes to do it from coal.

    Now there’s a bargain, don’cha think????

    C’vediamo!


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    Brian,

    There you go again, bringing in mere fact. Don’t you know the important thing is the feel good pretense of talking about doing something that sounds good? That it won’t work in practice is simply a minor detail easily ignored. After all, we can always tax the rich and regulate the productive to make up the difference.

    The grand theory is based upon the notion that wishing and needing will make the Three Laws of Thermodynamics go away. Maybe we simply need to wish harder or punish those uncooperative engineers when they don’t make our wishes come true.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, reality is an uncooperative bitch. We demand that she go along with our whims to get along with us. But nooooo…she insists on having her way every time all the time and that we must go along with her way of doing things or suffer the consequences. I ask you, is that fair?


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    Brian G Valentine

    Inhaling marijuana or ozone cr cocaine, drinking alcohol, or participating in “green-ness” can remove the sting of reality for a short while, I suppose, but for some reason reality seems to bite all the more painfully when the veneer to shield it away has gone.

    Regrettably too, reality is the force that removes that veneer.

    Inexhorably, inevitably


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    Denny

    Brian,post 32, Hi Brian, and don’t forget we will be paying for Wind and Solar “twice” since it is subsidized! Solar Cells have to kept clean or they loose efficiency also. Wow, being in the Country that would mean every week or two going up there and washing them; all year long! Who will do that!!


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    Brian G Valentine

    Al Gore.

    That dolt needs to back up his rhetoric with some labour.

    Talk’s cheap.

    Work’s work.


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    Tel

    kuhnkat: The Iraq war was about oil; one group of people taking valuable resources away from another group of people. In a historical context this is nothing unusual. Americans seem to feel the need to justify why stealing is a crime when one person does it but heroic when a nation does it, but you know that the rest of the world sees right through such childish games.


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    Brian G Valentine

    I am a US citizen who went to the war in Iraq.

    Now tell me Telly dear what the US “stole” from Iraq, anything Telly, tell me, what the US stole.

    The whole US operation bought its petrol supply for the war from Kuwait and it was transported to the planes, helicopters, lorries etc.

    The US buys a lot of oil from Kuwait even when they are not at war in the Middle East – lo and behold!

    Tell us Tel – TELL us and tell US WHAT IT WAS THE UNITED STATES STOLE FROM IRAQ

    and I will take 100% and total responsibility for it honey bunny right here and NOW


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    Tel

    To a lesser degree distributed generation of electricity is promoted over centralized solar or wind farms: anything to wrestle power away from a monopolistic source.

    I do agree that it would be nice to decentralise electrical power generation, because of the resulting decentralisation of political power that would result. However, although PV on your roof sounds like a great idea, they cost a lot, and they don’t give you much power — even in sunny places like Australia. For very remote areas, PV is a good idea, only because every other option is worse. Most remote communities in Australia run on diesel, PV is used for places too remote to even drive a diesel tanker.

    Let’s suppose that a new type of PV comes along that is cheaper and more efficient than what we have now (nothing in physics says that is impossible). You won’t be able to make them in your back shed, so you will still be dependent on a small number of centrally controlled factories. The only improvement over the current monopoly will be your ability to buy PV from competing suppliers — a bit like you can buy oil from competing suppliers now.

    If cheap, high efficiency PV does get created then it will be a great boon to development in isolated areas, especially good for communications and education in those areas. We now have ultra-cheap laptops with good efficiency. My netbook with intel “atom” chip and a moderately decent screen runs at approx 15W (equal to a small flouro light bulb).

    At today’s PV prices, you pay AUD 10 per 1W power (round figures, retail price). Let’s suppose the builtin netbook battery is fully adequate for energy storage, but I still need a bit of surplus power capacity for charging, to cover the times when the sun is gone. A reasonable estimate would be 40W peak input power to the netbook. That would cost AUD 400 — about the price of the netbook itself.

    On grid, at the highest tariff, AUD 400 would run the netbook continuously for 20 years (not including the “availability” charge for grid electricity).

    All we can do is hope that the research keep going and the PV efficiency gets better. No value in moaning about it.

    This new theory would now encompass nuclear as a cause of global warming due to the fact that nuclear reactors created far greater amounts of heat for each unit of electricity created. This new theory silenced the proponents of nuclear power as a means to solve the energy problem as it related to global warming and CO2 emissions.

    Why would a new theory silence people? Anyone can come up with a new theory, so what? My new theory is that we will solve Global Warming if everyone wears a pink hat.


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    Ray Hibbard

    MrCannuckistan post 31
    “I beg to differ on this last point. I have heard it many times by many people who say, “If we can just get off dirty fossil fuels and on to cleaner renewable and sustainable energies then, to me, the ends justifies the means.””

    If fossil fuels where gone tomorrow life would be hard beyond your imagining. In almost any scenario you can come up with PV, wind, bio fuels, whatever there are significant differences in energy return on investment and that which is provided by fossil fuels. Agriculture alone has huge energy inputs; transportation, cultivation, fertilizer and storage. We can talk about hybrid this and that but a tractor with the kinds of horsepower used on a 1000 acre farm is going to be one big ticket item. If in the course of time agriculture has less and less fossil fuels it will be directly apparent in lower production.

    I once saw an estimate that today’s availability of fossil fuels is like having 400 slaves working for you. When you consider the amount of energy in one gallon of gas this estimate is easy to believe. If you take it to its illogical extreme lets assume no fossil fuels used in production on a farm. Right off the get go you are back to farming with muscle power. I just don’t believe you will come up with an electric tractor that I can afford that will do the work I need to do. Horses would be better for me but it would suck for a consumer here’s why.

    At least a third my land will be used to produce all the food all my animals need. Remember I need to produce all the food they need for the entire summer and winter. I also need their fertilizer because I can no longer buy it. Now, no commercial fertilizer, no pesticides, no fossil fuels for cultivation, harvesting, drying, storage or transportation, and a third of the land devoted to producing food for your animals. What do you think will happen to production? The Amish farm this way now and they do OK. But they are not the farmers that are feeding the world. They feed themselves and have some excess they sell off locally to take care of other costs. The last time that the majority of farms were worked this way was somewhere around 1920’s. And that would be close to the same population it could support. That’s a far cry from where the population is today.

    Life without cheap fossil fuels will be an exercise in survival every day. Most people I know won’t know where to start. I have only addressed agriculture here but it by no means ends with agriculture. No use of fossil fuels would be a life changing event (not a fun one) for anyone.

    On word of caution, if you have ever studied history outside of school whenever you hear the phrase “the ends justifies the means” a chill should run up your spine. I would bet that there is no other phrase in the human lexicon that can be associated with as many unmitigated acts of evil as this phrase is.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Mr Cannuckistan, I recommend you download and read Joanne’s “Skeptic’s Handbook” available on this site (it’s free). She deals with your point on p.15:

    ““Shouldn’t we be looking for greener alternatives to
    fossil fuels anyway?”

    Yes, we could adopt a national taxation system based on a false assumption, employ more accountants and lawyers, and if we don’t cripple the economy too badly, there might be enough money left to research
    greener alternatives (except we’re not sure what “green” means anymore, since carbon dioxide feeds plants).

    It’s true, it could work.

    Here’s the campaign slogan for that kind of government: “Vote for us, we confuse cause and effect, mix up issues, and solve problems by tackling something else instead!”

    Good policies need good science. Everything else is random government.”


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    See: http://www.weatheraction.com/

    They put their own money where their mouth is and are winning. Its quite telling that people and organizations are voluntarily paying for their forecasts and profiting from them. Contrast this with the plans to use governmental force to impress draconian policies on the peoples of the world to fight AGW (aka Climate Change). Policies tha,t if implemented, will directly and indirectly cause the deaths of the majority of the peoples of the earth.

    They substantiate my assessment of AGW almost two decades ago. First: the sun is the overwhelming primary source of heat for earth and hence is the primary cause of the earth’s temperature. Without the sun, the earth would be a frozen ball of ice at roughly the temperature of Pluto if not lower. Second: the sun is a variable star. Taken together, these facts suggest we must look to the sun as the primary cause of our weather/climate and not to the consequences of the acts of man. The details and exact mechanism to be determined. By the accuracy of their predictions, it appears as if they have discovered a good deal about the details and mechanism behind the sun’s impact upon the earth.


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    Girma

    With trillion dollars at stake, “one can readily suspect that there might be a sense of urgency provoked by the possibility that warming may have ceased and that the case for such warming as was seen being due in significant measure to man, disintegrating. For those committed to the more venal agendas, the need to act soon, before the public appreciates the situation, is real indeed. However, for more serious leaders, the need to courageously resist hysteria is clear. Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever present climate change is no substitute for prudence. Nor is the assumption that the earth’s climate reached a point of perfection in the middle of the twentieth century a sign of intelligence.”

    Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Resisting Climate Hysteria


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    It amazes me that alarmists attack scientists with an association with oil, but can’t see (or don’t want to see) that people like Al Gore are not even scientists and cap-n-trade whores to boot.

    Well written and researched article, by the way.


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    co2isnotevil

    The core question is how does such a weakly supported and widely disputed hypothesis justify the expense of a climate modification experiment costing trillions of dollars. To put this in perspective, we need to contrast it to another expensive scientific experiment. Nothing really comes close to the expense, but relative to it’s significance, the CERN supercollider is about as close as we can get.

    The CERN supercollider is a massive and expensive scientific experiment that will end up costing only a few billion (a small fraction of 1% of the cost of a CO2 driven climate control experiment). The supercollider has but one purpose, which is to find the Higgs boson, or the God particle. Even though many scientists claim the Higgs Boson will not be found, the experiment is justified because it will prove, one way or another, whether or not it exists, and either way, science will learn something. Moreover, while we can never be absolutely sure, the general consensus is that CERN is big enough to answer this question.

    As this article points out, we’ve already spent far more on climate research than has been spent on the supercollider, but the basic question is still unanswered i.e. what is the quantified role of CO2 relative to climate. It’s like what would happen when the supercollider doesn’t find the Higg’s boson. Having spend billions to find this out, is it worth a few trillion more to build a bigger collider just to be absolutely sure?

    Another little piece of info is that the probability of the supercollider destroying the Universe (or at least the part of it we live in) is higher than the probability of man’s CO2 emissions destroying the planet. As for the supercollider, risk management (after significant debate) decided that the risk of creating a black hole that swallows up the Earth was sufficiently small to be of little concern. The only risk assessments being done related to climate research are for political risk.

    George


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    Tony

    What continues to annoy me – perhaps that is too strong a word – concern me, is the persistent unwillingness of the AGW believers to debate the subject in public with their fellow scientists. Their minds are closed, their statements are final, their beliefs are frozen. “Open-mindedness is an essential ingredient to discovering the truth.”


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    Denny

    Tony,post 48. You have to know the so called “Left”. They depend on their “emotions”, not common sense and logic to deduct from fact and fantasy! Emotions cloud these attributes and stop them speaking in terms to communicate in the subject they are so involved in. That’s why I think they are like a bunch of Sheep heading for the Cliff. Once one jumps, the others follow. They get flustered when they cannot get around the emotions they so dearly employ. In turn, they are short tempered and don’t Think with “Common Sense”.


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    Jo,
    You may also have seen the announcement by the Australian Government yesterday of more green funding for universities:

    The Australian Government has just announced a call for bids in its $550 million investment in universities. The catch is that almost half of this funding is for “The Sustainability Round funding, [which] will provide $250 million specifically for green university, vocational education and research infrastructure projects.”

    “The $250 million Sustainability Round will place an emphasis on advancing teaching and research in the areas of climate change through projects that also showcase environmentally sustainable design and allow for large scale demonstrations of new and emerging green technologies.”

    This is yet another example of how climate alarmism is funded, to the total exclusion of all other research that might have a contrary view. We are constantly told by the warmists that the sceptical viewpoint on global warming is funded by “big oil” and other industry interests, but little is said about the tens of billions of dollars that has been spent on climate alarmism worldwide by most Western governments.

    Not only are billions being spent on research, but every Western country has some sort of “Ministry for Climate Change”. If that isn’t a vested interest I don’t know what is. It’s hard to imagine every climate change Minister coming out tomorrow and forfeiting their job by admitting that climate change is a hoax. It’s not going to happen. The same goes for the IPCC, who’s sole reason for existence is to promote the global warming scare.

    http://statingthebobvious.blogspot.com/


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    Sorting Fact from Fiction on Climate Change

    Free event MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA, open to the public.

    Economist and Futurist Dr. Jay Lehr will speak about climate change this Friday in Melbourne.

    Dr Lehr will present in an entertaining way the scientific facts which challenge the popularly accepted view on climate change.

    He holds a degree in Geological Engineering from Princeton and has written 19 books and over 900 journal articles in his fields of expertise. On 36 occasions, Dr Lehr has testified before the US Congress to explain the realities of environmental issues as they relate to pending legislation.

    Dr Lehr has spoken to hundreds of groups in his ongoing efforts to tackle today’s hot topics and to dispel the inaccurate and often alarmist claims made by some environmental advocacy groups.

    Dr Lehr is also well-known for his athletic accomplishments, including competing in his 10th Ironman Triathlon (whilst being in his 70s) and holding the world skydiving record for having parachuted from an airplane every month since August 1978 up to today.

    We encourage you to come along – all welcome!

    Dr Lehr will speak twice on Friday 7th August:

    Morning event:
    8.30 – 9.30am at Monash Conference Center,
    Level 7, 30 Collins St, Melbourne 3000

    Evening event:
    7.30pm – 8.30pm at Quality Hotel Manor,
    669 Maroondah Highway, Mitcham 3132

    Attendance is free. To register, please email: besceptical@gmail.com
    Please forward this information to anyone who might be interested. Hope to see you there.


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    kuhnkat

    Brian G. Valentine,

    my name is pointless as I have no credentials to look up.

    I notice though, that many spouters, who have little real information, always attack the person and their credentials, or lack there of, rather than the information.

    I think you may remember the pair of trucks that were found during the war. Funny that they matched, rather closely, the information about mobile bio-cookers spread before the war.

    The US “experts” who investigated these rigs decided they MUST have been used to make HYDROGEN FOR BALLOONS!!! Wanna tell me how much it would have cost them to build these custom rigs and operate them instead of buying, or producing hydrogen, from more conventional sources or equipment??? You may also ask exactly WHY they thought the trucks were used for Hydrogen??? No particular similarity to other Hydrogen plants.

    The US “experts” worst hit against these rigs was that they had no on-board steam source to sterilise the equipment. They claimed that this would require a second rig for the clean up. Of course, they also claimed they could not definitely decide what the trucks were actually used for because they had been “completely scrubbed down with some caustic substance!!!!!”

    So, why did they need the steam source again??

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Another cute story from the war was when the US troops first took Baghdad airport. After all the disclaimers by the French about selling weapons to Iraq, our soldiers found a nice FRENCH missile on a truck launcher fueled and ready to launch. The warhead contained a clear liquid. Our “experts” claimed it was, well, actually, I never saw a report on what the clear liquid was. My conclusion, based on your and other “experts” is that it was a shipment of Perrier ready to be delivered to Saddam in his Rathole!!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Another strange find during the assault of Baghdad was filmed by another crew. Next to a school, mobile Russian missiles and a control unit were found. The control wagon just happened to have a section with a concealed door in one end. Behind the door was a sealed area with mechanised bottles and containers. Again, no OFFICIAL report on what the equipment was for.

    One more little item I am sure you missed. Regarding those 10′s of chemical artillery shells found by our allies, we were informed that the shells WERE NOT MARKED AS CHEMICAL PAYLOADS!!!!!
    So, please tell me, how could we be so sure that the millions of artillery shells in the munition dumps were ALL CLEAN WITHOUT TESTING EVERY ONE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    By the way, those insecticide dumps were found because about 12 US soldiers came down with nerve gas symptoms and were hospitalised. Their buddies donned NBC suits and found the first dump. Wanna tell me why even an insecticide dump would be so poorly built that people walking in the area could be killed??? I am really interested in your rationalisation!!!

    I wonder if you have even heard of the Iraqi Air Force General who was debriefed by our Intelligence?? He claimed that an airlift to Syria, in the months before the war, obstensibly to provide humanitarian assistance for a flood from a burst dam, also covered shipments of WMD materiel.

    Since you are taking the position of expert, maybe you can explain the payloads of all the truck caravans that headed into Syria in the months before the war. Were Saddam and others shipping their Household Goods to Syria to save them from the bombing??? Too bad the satellite photos couldn’t tell us what was under the tarps. Also too bad the intelligence community hasn’t bothered to tell us point of origin and destination of all those trucks!!!!!

    I wonder if you bothered to look for information on the destruction of the tons of Mustard Gas that was KNOWN to be in Iraq. Any one worth their salt will know that destroying that much of any chemical will leave traces that are virtually impossible to cover up (paperwork and/or physical traces, YAHOO for information on the US bio/chem burner). In fact, WHY WOULD YOU COVER UP THE DESTRUCTION OF WMD TO MEET UN SANCTIONS?!?!?!?!?!

    Oh yeah, SADDAM told us that he wanted his enemies to THINK he had the weapons.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Let’s evaluate this statement.

    1) Saddam destroyed the weapons so he would be a good world citizen and everyone would love him.

    2) Saddam did not tell, or more importantly PROVE, that he had destroyed his WMD’s because he was afraid his neighbors would attack him if they thought he did not have the WMD’s.

    ??????????????????????????????????

    See the illogic in these two statements??

    Since he did not prove the destruction of the weapons he got his second wish that everyone THOUGHT he had them. Therefore, what good was the destruction to alledged intent 1) of getting off the UN S&*T list???

    You might want to tell me that Saddam would NOT send his weapons to another country as they would be used against him. I would respond that during Desert Storm Saddam DID send many of his Air Force units to IRAN!!!!! (FACT over ASSUMPTION)

    Another issue you should look into was WHO the leader of the trade mission that a certain retired US Ambassador found did NOT buy Yellowcake in Nigeria. I’ll give you a hint. He was the head of the disbanded Iraqi Nuclear Programs!!!! I am sure he was the appropriate person to buy agriculture products that Nigeria has so little of!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA

    You really need to upgrade your thought processes and BullS&*T detectors.

    You are ignorant of the subject. Your slight acquaintance with the realities on the ground of Iraq were obviously filtered through the biases and goals of the US State Department and other Leftist groups.


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    Tel

    my name is pointless as I have no credentials to look up.

    You left no references to look up either. I’m sure that George Bush was desperate enough to leave some sort of credible legacy behind, some iota that he did one good thing for his country, he would have all of your information carefully documented and available to the public — if there was any credence in it whatsoever.

    … who have little real information, always attack the person and their credentials, or lack there of, rather than the information.

    I’m not about to believe a bunch of random claims unless there is some way for me to double-check the validity of those events.

    So, do you make this stuff up for fun, or is there a source for this information ?


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    allen mcmahon

    There is a post on Anthony Watts that is appropriate to this thread.
    Nicola Scafetta responds to a paper by Benestad & Schmidt “Solar Trends and Global Warming” which trashes Scafetta and others on temperature data showing a significant solar signature.
    Scafetta : I found B&S’s claims to be extremely misleading and full of gratuitous cricitism due to poor reading and understanding of data analysis.
    Scafetta concludes :I just wonder why the referees of that paper did not check B&S’s misleading statements and errors. It would be sad if the reason is because somebody is mistaking a scientific theory (AGW} …..for an ideology that must be defended at all costs.


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    allen mcmahon

    Had the good fortune to attend the climate change debate between Barry Brook and Ian Plimer in Adelaide.The debate was based around an opening address by both parties and then a Q&A session.
    Brook spent all his time explaining how the IPCC process encompassed a wide range of scientific disciplines, represented by thousands of eminent scientists,consensus science settled etc etc.
    Plimer concentrated on the inconsistencies in AGW theory when viewed over a long geological time frame, lack of evidence despite massive funding, planet cooling etc.
    Q&A was interesting I along with a fair part of the audience could not understand most of Brook’s replies which seemed to follow the line of your asking the wrong question what you should have asked is and then a bit of science babble or its not that simple babble bable.
    The highlight of the evening when a “John Smith” while posing a question to Plimer called him a ‘denier’ and as Plimer shredded him Brook jumped to Smith’s defense.
    All told it was a fascinating evening.
    Brook has been strangely reticent on his Brave New Climate blog. He refers people to the comments of two people that attended the debate one of whom has the unusual name of “John Smith”.
    When asked for the audio of the debate said oops equipment failure. With regard to “John Smith” he said I came to his defense (as you would with any of your PHD students. I made this up but it could be true.) when he was savaged by Plimer over a poorly worded question on water vapor. Plimer refused to answer the question and had the moderator intervene you can place your own interpretation on that. The fact that there are very few comments crowing about the victory of Brook over Plimer speaks volumes.
    The really spooky thing is that the aforementioned Smith bears an uncanny resemblance to George Monbiot. I immediately knew he wasn’t as he was able to stand and speak at the same time.


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    Kendra

    I forwarded the link to this article by Joanne to a number of people, am a little shaken by this response:

    Is the author of this rant a native English speaker? Convoluted nonsense.


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    Tony

    Kendra – I don’t understand your comment. About whom are you asking the question ?


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    Kendra @ 55,

    Not to worry. Its a smoke screen to hide the fact they know their position is bogus from themselves and their fellow travelers.

    In explanation I offer starts with the five fold way of the true believer.

    1. If you have a case, you argue the case
    2. If you don’t have a case, you obfuscate the facts
    3. If you can’t get away with obfuscating the facts, you attack your opponent
    4. If you find your opponent doesn’t care about being attacked, you scatter random unsubstantiated charges having little to no connection with anything said
    5. As a last resort, you use ad hominem, non sequitor, argument by authority, argument from ignorance, and countless other logical fallacies which, by the way, you have been doing all along only you do it louder and use more of them

    Do not expect rational responses from true believers. Reason is not what they use to come to their positions. Whatever they believe is because its easier than actual thought and taking responsibility for the content of their minds. Hence they are mere reflections of other true believers who themselves are mere reflections of still other true believers who … [infinite regression to a zero]. This regression includes the intellectual and moral thugs who like to pretend they lead by getting out in front of who they feel is their crowd [See Al Gore as a case in point].

    The best approach I have found is to expose them for what they are and then terminate your end of the discussion. The one thing they fear the most is that their second handed reflections will not be reflected. If that happens they cease to exist because a reflection is all they are. They are echos of echos of echos of ultimately nothing.

    This does not keep them from being dangerous if they get their hands on any degree of power. They can do a lot of damage doing what comes naturally to them. See Congress as a case in point.


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    “They are echos of echos of echos of ultimately nothing.”

    LOL! That about sums them up. I think the “nothing” is the assumption that a warming trend is necessarily a bad thing overall, so therefore it must be stopped at all costs.

    It is also their failure to look at world history. When there was 20 times more CO2 in the atmosphere, our planet did not turn into Venus, so increasing the concentration of CO2 to .06% should have an insignificant impact on the climate.


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    Denny

    Hi Lionell,post 57. Interesting comment on the five ways! It sounds like a Thought process called Tautology! Tautology is a process of Circular Reasoning!

    I love this one from Statistician William M. Briggs, which states:

    Just because a Theory explains past data well, it does not mean that it will explain FUTURE data well. This is because it is always possible to create a Theory that explains past data perfectly or as close to perfect as WE want to be.


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    Denny @ 58,

    There is this one that I really like:

    “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” Attributed to von Neumann by Enrico Fermi, as quoted by Freeman Dyson in “A meeting with Enrico Fermi” in Nature 427 (22 January 2004) p. 297

    See: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann

    About all the AWG models can really do is wiggle the trunks of pink elephants. They can’t even do that very well because the pink elephants are uncooperative.

    The truth is, you can fit any set of data with an n-1 order polynomial where n is the number of data points. What such a fit can’t do is accurately predict a data point between data points let alone a point outside the data set.


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    Denny

    Lionell, good one’s I must say!

    William Pinn, yes so the Researchers say but you will never convince the Alarmists of that because they are only concerned to the future, not only in Temp’s but in MONIES to spend!


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    Max

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.”

    Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961 Farewell Address to the Nation


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    BobC

    Tel said:

    I’m not about to believe a bunch of random claims unless there is some way for me to double-check the validity of those events.

    I remember reading the news stories on some of Kuhnkat’s claims at the time (3-6 years ago).

    I just Googled (Jordan poison gas attack) and got a couple hundred thousand hits. The first one was this story from the April 29, 2004 Wall Street Journal, http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005016
    which described an attempted attack (foiled by Jordanian Intelligence) by Al Quaeda members using some thousands of pounds of chemical agents. If you scroll down the list of hits, you can find that the agents included chlorine, mustard gas, and nerve gas. Some estimates of the potential death toll were as high as 80,000. The terrorists came thru Syria and brought the chemicals with them. It isn’t much of a stretch to hypothesize that these chemicals were some of what was in the mysterious truck convoys into Syria just before the Gulf war.

    Here’s a hit from the Google search (chemical shells Iraq):
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2006/06/22/report-hundreds-wmds-iraq/

    Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: “Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.

    This is at least interesting. I have won bets with people who think that no WMD was found in Iraq by betting that the evidence that they had could be found in the New York Times. (A Lexis-Nexis search produces over a dozen articles of same — it’s hard to constrain a Google search enough to filter out the thousands of op-eds that claim the opposite, perhaps showing that editors and columnists don’t read their own paper.)


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    Rockyfromcali

    Brian G Valentine…
    You initial post is way off on much of the narrative of the run-up to the war…and contradicted by quite a few sources that that can be charitably called “opponents” of GWB and Dick Cheney.

    UNSCOM conducted the searches of Iraq after the 1991 war…they caught the Iraqi government repeatedly violating the terms of the UN agreement to end the war. At first, the UN supported UNSCOM’s efforts, sometimes at the point of U.S. weapons, and then the support dried up. Saddaam would throw out UNSCOM teams, let them back in, and then throw them out again. Support for both further investigation/searches and sanctions started drying up…and then Hussein Kamel defected, and exposed Iraqi “Cheat and Retreat” tactics, and then it all started over again. (PBS’ ‘The Long Road to War”…great video, not especially pro-Bush, but revealing of the real story of Iraq)

    In ’98 inspectors were once again kicked out of Iraq, and really until ’02 there were not real inspections in Iraq. In ’02 there were sources who said Iraq had killed their WMD programs…but not Saddaam. He continued to publicly claim his programs were shut down while privately telling other countries and his own people that they were alive and well, and progressing. He was, as we found out later, lying when he told them this. (One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fic-great book by a Marine officer who confirms Saddaam’s military believed that WMD’s existed, and would soon be deployed on the battlefield.)

    in ’02 the CIA also completed the NIE that was requested by several Democrats in Congress before they would pass the authorization for the use of force in Iraq. That NIE, with the exception of some DOE objections to the real meaning of the aluminum tubes…but supporting the general consensus, (that word again) concluded that Saddaam still possessed some WMD’s, and was in fact either pursuing or planning to pursue nuclear capability to go along with the chemical and biological weapons in his inventory. They were of course, and we only really knew it afterward, wrong. (The WMD Mirage by NYTimes columnist CRAIG R. WHITNEY)

    The choice to go to war can now be criticized because the WMD’s did not turn out to be there…but we know that because the invasion was successful and inspections were allowed to be fully conducted without restraint. The intel was bad…and people then took that bad intel and built their case. Were there people who pushed an agenda…yeah, unquestionably. In the end, I think Saddaam, and not Cheney or Bush, or even the CIA is to blame. If someone tells people that he has a gun and willing to use it, then flinches as if he is going for his weapon…I don’t blame a cop if he shots them, I blame the person who thinks it is a good idea to bluff in that situation.

    I agree with your comment about smart people…and it does apply to the AGW argument…I think the IPCC is operating on faulty intel…and I think eventually, it will become obvious whether they are right or wrong….but by the time we know that, it may be too late to rescue us from the damage they might inflict on economies (especially ours) around the globe.


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    Alan Sutherland

    Hi Joanne

    I don’t know where to submit, but will try here for starters. If it gains any traction it will multiply. I also believe that if it does gain traction, Joanne should get some kudus for all her patient and intelligent work. I am absolutely gobsmacked at the patience you have shown some of the people who make comments on your site.

    AGW theory is of course based on a correlation between CO2 and temperature, and based on that correlation the assumption that CO2 is the cause of temperature increases. Then of course large feedbacks have to magnify the small effect that CO2 has. I have been reading about components of AGW theory and discussion about:-

    Temperatures are cooling, not warming while CO2 is rising.

    There is no correlation for some periods of the 20th century when temperatures have gone up and down while CO2 has not.

    The measurement of temperature is a big question mark (see WUWT) for UHI effects. Recent increases appear to be because of “adjustments” made to the raw data.

    There is no “hot spot”.

    All of these things are explained by scientists who make up new theories as the go along – the heat is hiding etc.
    Science per se should be open so that the end objective is facts and truth, yet so many studies are secretive with withheld data and code – propoganda not science. In addition, some of the so called “science” is based on complex mathematics that the average lay person cannot understand and therefore dispute – Antarctica is warming even though it is cooling? How can a lay person challenge this? The hockey stick was so brilliantly refuted by some of my heroes but this was only the temperature side of the hockey stick – the other was CO2. This, too, has been manipulated to fit the AGW theory. Some quotes from Jaworoski. CO2 from the Siple samples was arbitralily adjusted to be 83 years younger than the ice in which it was trapped because otherwise it would have tended to refute the AGW theory i.e. the increase in CO2 began before 1940 and had already reached 328ppmv by 1890. All chemical measurements of CO2 were ignored by IPCC even though they are accurate to within 3%. The reason they were ignored is because they do not support statements that CO2 has never been higher in the last 650,000 years. Some of the measurements show much higher levels of CO2 in the period 1812 to 1961 for example 1940 (440ppmv), 1820 (440ppmv) and 1855 (390ppmv). From this data one would be able to construct a scenario where CO2 has actually gone down!

    In New Zealand, most of us are familiar with the phrase “orchestrated litany of lies” in reference to the Erebus disaster. This is what we are facing here also.

    refer to http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles%202007/20_1-2_CO2_Scandal.pd

    As background, I live in NZ, am an orchardist and am told I am polluting the atmosphere (tractors, fertiliser and cool storage of my fruit). Although I do not have livestock, I am also on the side of farmers who do – livestock recycles carbon from the atmosphere – the grass grows using sun and CO2, the cows eat the grass and give an occasional fart which releases a tiny amount of the carbon they have eaten back into the atmosphere. How can they be penalised for this?

    How can “science” degenerate to this level?

    Alan Sutherland


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    Kendra

    Tony,

    I was just so flabbergasted – the person is normally open-minded and not on the PC bandwagon. I expected either no answer (actually, I posted the link on FB so it was available to a number of people) or anything other than such a sweeping statement.

    Lionel,

    I hadn’t realized I was waving a red flag (I’ve posted other links, e.g. to Anthony Watts). This one I especially wanted to post, as I thought it was a very calm and collected exposition of a problem in academia (which also holds true for other scientific issues).

    I’m just ignoring it, it was just a gratuitous attack (on me, I’m afraid, otherwise why not put the comment here?)

    Here’s what I commented back:

    Australian, so make of that what you will. It’s a very simple and easy to understand point, whether you agree with it or not or find her English good or not. I’ve run across this in a number of areas, e.g. Anti-Tobacco funding.

    No further comment was made, so I certainly won’t follow it up. I was just simply amazed at the hostility and I guess I posted it here just to vent!

    Thanks. I think I’ve recovered.


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    Kendra,

    Any attack on you that you perceived in my response to you was put there by you. I had inferred that it was YOU who thought the post was “convoluted nonsense” and was confused as to why it was so. I offered my explanation.

    Apparently you do, in fact, think the convoluted nonsense was not convoluted nonsense and were commenting on someone else’s comment about it. The AWG “theory” is nothing if not that. I shall continue to attack the AWG “theory” as convoluted nonsense even if you are offended and feel attacked. How you feel about it is totally and absolutely irrelevant to the facts of the matter or to me.


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    JWC

    #26, Tel:

    The glaring difference between swine flu and CO2: flu *did* kill a whole lot of people in recent history. Assuming that X which killed a lot of people could kill a lot of people again is reasonable. Being on the defense against X is also reasonable.


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    VG

    Joanne are you aware of this? I would immediately put up a post
    VG (15:12:09) : Your comment is awaiting moderation

    This is VIP The PM of Australia has put up a climate blog please use it especially Australians
    http://www.pm.gov.au/PM_Connect/PMs_Blog/Climate_Change_Blog

    THis will influence them over time
    Is this worth a huge post here?


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    Tel

    The glaring difference between swine flu and CO2: flu *did* kill a whole lot of people in recent history. Assuming that X which killed a lot of people could kill a lot of people again is reasonable. Being on the defense against X is also reasonable.

    So if the X in question is “climate”, then we know that climate related events do kill many people every year. By your logic we should be supporting CO2 alarmists in order to protect us against climate related deaths.


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    Kendra

    I guess this is a test. I worked very hard last night on a comment to explain to Lionel what I meant. It hasn’t shown up, so if this does, then I’ll know I have to do it again, altho I’m not sure I want to be seriously depleted and emotionally exhausted two days in a row. At least I will say now, Lionel, what you thought I attributed to you is not at all the case.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    VG, as far as I can see the PM’s climate blog is now closed for comments. Perhaps there were too many realists posting! ;-)


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    JWC

    @Tel: You’re extending the analogy too far. Climate does kill people and we do spend money on preventing that. Climate is a pretty big umbrella though. Heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes and so on.

    The difference is that things like heat waves are proven to kill people because they have done so already. AGW is totally different, we’re putting billions into a preventing a thing which hasn’t harmed anyone and hasn’t been proven satisfactorily that it ever will.


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    VG

    Anne: Maybe he was testing the waters to gauge sentiment over the issue


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    ThinkingBeing

    You say that Antonio Speranza “disappeared from the debate” in 1991. Here’s a link [ http://www.adgb.df.unibo.it/Members/vlucarini/publications ] to 11 papers he has co-authored since 2004 alone, the most recent in 2007). A little bit of googling finds many more. How does that constitute “disappeared?”

    A search of http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=index-html finds two papers (on that particular online journal… there are many others) published in 2007 and 2009 by Alfonso Sutera.

    Clearly these two have remained very active in climate science.

    Is all of the information on this site this egregiously flat out wrong?


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    BigMIke…

    I am So Lucky That I found your blog and great articles. I will come to your blog often for finding new great articles from your blog.I am adding your rss feed in my reader Thank you…


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    [...] To read her full look at this along with the numbers and where she got them, go to her article at this link. [...]


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    [...] that can leave their academic reputation in ruins. Debunkers get branded as deniers. And as this Australian blogger points out, they get investigated by Desmog, Exxon Secrets, or Sourcewatch, [...]


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    John McDougall

    Joanne,
    From one in the mining industry (retired and currently back working in NW QLD)I am appalled at the BS currently passing as science. These people have not succeeded in establishing any proofs for their hypothesis and yet our government (barge-ass and all) is currently telling the electorate that this is fact, and we have to do something about it. As an engineer and manager in the mining industry I could never make such rubbish stick in a real world business. Why are government people being taken in–unless it is an opportunity to get more money out of the populace.
    John McDougall


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    Ray Hibbard

    You’ve answered your own question John, It’s all about the money, control and power. These things are like red meat is to a starving dog for a politician.


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    Reblogged on Climatism

    Climate money: Monopoly science « JoNova | CACA

    http://climatism.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/climate-money-monopoly-science-jonova/

    Super important post this one Jo, so thought wise to disseminate it some more.

    Thank you Jo ;)

    Jamie


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