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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What’s an alarmist to do? Extreme weather images lead to denial (like everything else does)

I sense much gnashing of teeth. There seems to be nothing a reasonable social-science communicator can do. If they write like conservative scientists, the public don’t worry enough, if they load on the fear and guilt, people turn off. They can hammer the anti-science notion of consensus, which seems to work a treat in inept five minute surveys, but “the consensus” has been all over the press, in school, and in documentaries, yet (wail and weep) the polls of public alarm are still sliding! The media is even less interested. (See Figure 1 below).

There plots the rise and fall of climate in the media. (Figure 1 in this paper).

For the last few years the media have tried showing a lot more high-gloss posters of floods, cyclones and cracked earth, and that is not working either. It doesn’t seem to matter if we show disasters-away with stoic Sudanese or disasters-at-home with suffering suburban mortgagees, the public disengage.

Here Nerlich and Jaspal use “visual thematic analysis” (a technical word for looking at pictures and saying things about them) and publish a paper in a journal with the unlikely title “Science As Culture“.

It appears the social science communicators have studied every angle, every image, and every style of communication. What they haven’t done is study their own assumptions. Because, speaking with my science communication hat on, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel of confusion. What if global warming isn’t due to humans much? Then it doesn’t matter how the story is told, the public won’t ever “get” the message because the message is wrong and the public are not that stupid. They just don’t want to be browbeaten.

What if 53% of the public (like in Australia) or 62% of the public (that would be the UK) just don’t buy the idea because it isn’t true? What if half (and growing) of the public recognize that name-calling “denier” is not a scientific term? Could it be the people remember that the same mob who said “children won’t know what snow is”  are now saying “global warming brings more snow”? Ditto for droughts; “here comes a flood”.  And it goes double for the warming trend we didn’t get. (Where did that missing heat go?) It takes years of university education to learn to ignore these contradictions.

This situation is just the boy who cried wolf. It doesn’t matter how he cries, what matters is whether there is a wolf.

Message to the Brits – you did pay for these visual thematic insights into IPCC propaganda through the ERSC. It’s possibly the most light-weight paper I’ve ever seen — academic air-ware. Instead of spending money researching better ways to hammer a false idea into the public consciousness, why don’t we try to hammer logic and reason into schools and  universities?

h/t  GWPF and Science Daily.

REFERENCE

Brigitte Nerlich, Rusi Jaspal. Images of Extreme Weather: Symbolising Human Responses to Climate Change. Science as Culture, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2013.846311 [Full PDF available]

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What's an alarmist to do? Extreme weather images lead to denial (like everything else does), 9.4 out of 10 based on 90 ratings

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102 comments to What’s an alarmist to do? Extreme weather images lead to denial (like everything else does)

  • #

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but all of the people all of the time …

    Pointman


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      Another Ian

      Pointman,

      I think it was Airey Neave who made the point about Hitler and Co that there is a fourth to this (and Lincoln actually had it later in his speech).

      That is that, if caught at any of the previous three, anything you say from then on is viewed in that light.


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      Konrad

      And the big problem for the Professional Left is that they can no longer silence those they can’t fool. For the big lie to succeed in the age of the Internet, it is not enough to silence most who speak the truth, but all. They had control of the lame stream media, but in new media they can no longer control the “narrative”. Blogs in new media are acid dip to leftist “narrative”, it cannot survive uncensored discussion, which forces the Professional Left to retreat to censored echo chambers and the festering group-think of Twitface and SpaceChook.

      Sceptics formed the first major genuine grass roots movement of the Internet age. The Professional Left tried their Soros Astroturf on the web and got thoroughly mowed. The thing about Astroturf in the age of the Internet is once mowed, it don’t grow back. You need to pay for an all new “lawn”, and Soros no longer seems interested in forking out. So sad.


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      Roy Hogue

      Pointman,

      Unfortunately it appears possible to fool a large enough group of the population to be a problem and keep fooling them nearly forever.

      I used to think that almost anyone could be reached with the message that there’s another opinion — sometimes many other opinions — about something and that they ought to look at those other opinions. But my experience at following the global warming fraud has made me change my mind. It sometimes takes an atom bomb going off in their lap to get their attention. In other words, only when people start to hurt badly enough do they question what they’ve believed for so long. And by then it may be too late.

      And then there’s the problem of getting people who start to suspect they were wrong to start taking action. That seems to be an even more difficult thing to accomplish.


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  • #
    graphicconception

    “It’s possibly the most light-weight paper I’ve ever seen …”

    You mean that the milliLewandowsky is a useful unit after all!!


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      Kevin Lohse

      Isn’t it mathematically impossible to have a fraction of a zero quantity?


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        Bones

        Not on paper,Kevin.On paper you can have as many fractions as you like.When you get a small army of X spirts,with reams of info which amounts to 4/5ths of bugger all,you have the basics of a scam.The main thing wrong with a baseless scam is it has a limited life.The longer it goes on and the more it costs[cost is probably more important than time]the more we all push against the scam,thankfully the IPCC had too much faux science with too many percentages of zero.Now if we can just get the gangreens to be less than zero,we could move on quietly with the rest of our lives and watch our grandchildren prosper.


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        Ursus Augustus

        Not necessarily Kevin, especially when it comes to the parallel universe of Stephan Loonydonksy. We know about “imaginary” numbers associated with “i” (the square root of -1) and I speculate there are “fantasy” numbers in the dimensions of eco-psychological mobius like space-time whereby anything can be interrelated, forever and with absolute precision and maximum vagueness simultaneously. I speculate there exists and “absolute certainty principle” in this para-universe. I suspect Stephan holds the copyright because such imaginings are clearly works of art.

        I hope that is therapeutic if not actually helpful.


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        Roy Hogue

        Imagination will permit many things. But you still have nothing in reality.

        These people are doing the equivalent of debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin without knowing and with no way of knowing how big an angel is. I’m beginning to like the term pinhead to describe them.

        It’s a monumental waste of time.


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    Manfred

    Alarmists struggle but nature knows best.

    When it comes to knowing which side one’s bread is buttered on…..and it’s not the scything blades of the subsidised bird and bat killers…..nature has no trouble deciding either.

    This year, Shackelford estimates that 180 eagles are living at the plant, which is also home to deer, ducks and a number of other kinds of birds, including red-tailed hawks, seagulls and heron.

    The iconic raptors are drawn to the plant’s warm water discharge, which gives them easy access to the baitfish as well as a vast wooded area where the people-shy birds can roost in seclusion. DTE Energy has set aside the land in the back of the plant for wildlife habitat preservation and is happy to host the eagles when temperatures drop.

    – See more at: http://www.newstalk990.com/news/articles/eagles-make-michigan-power-plant-warm-winter-home#sthash.rOJjiXlh.dpuf


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    john

    Following the money is key and I am grateful to those in the financial community to recognize this.

    Here is the latest:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2014-02-19/silly-stuff

    December was a very busy month for the hard working folks at the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) Link. 117 new loans were made, while 612 old ones were rolled over. If you have 60 seconds (and want to see some weirdness) scroll through the list – it’s endless. I did take pics of the report, they are at the bottom.

    Follows is a highlight of one section of the report. These are the soft loans made in December to solar projects out west. The FFB is in deep on this type of lending – a total of $8.1B.


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      john

      Here are some of the responses to the above story: the first comment accused the author (not me), of being a shill… this a cut and paste of the exchange.

      LawsofPhysics
      LawsofPhysics’s picture
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      What’s wrong shill? No longer in “the club.”

      Sorry to that “captain obvious”.

      reply
      Wed, 02/19/2014 – 13:48 | 4453503Lumberjack
      Lumberjack’s picture
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      Ever been a one legged man in an ass kicking contest? Thought so. I have and I’m back with a vengeance. I won last time too, but the winner pickers decided to go the same route again (enron). Tune in…Same guys different place.

      reply
      Wed, 02/19/2014 – 14:12 | 4453623LawsofPhysics
      LawsofPhysics’s picture
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      Who gives a fuck? What did you win?

      enron indeed!

      good thing I already hedged accordingly and have been winning for a quite some time (FYI- Bruce is whining, not winning)

      reply
      Wed, 02/19/2014 – 14:44 | 4453839Lumberjack
      Lumberjack’s picture
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      How’s that sub atomic bigfoot hunt going?

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      Wed, 02/19/2014 – 14:56 | 4453891Lumberjack
      Lumberjack’s picture
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      Furthermore: how do real scientists, who make < 70k year (or less) feel about how their work is being degraded by asshole, kiss ass, facist corporatists, who are armed with useless PR firms and MSM feel? I bet you they are not too happy right now.

      reply
      Wed, 02/19/2014 – 15:13 | 4453909Lumberjack
      Lumberjack's picture
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      They should be comforted that all the research money they could have had has now been pissed away. Enron indeed did find the philosophers stone (give em an emmy or nobel). The problem with that, is that it turned out to be a very black hole.

      reply
      Wed, 02/19/2014 – 15:16 | 4453991Lumberjack
      Lumberjack's picture
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      And about black holes…

      Theory has it that what goes in must come out. With a little forensics (dogs sniff butts for a reason), you can analyze what comes out and determine what was consumed.


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        john

        Psychiatrists Discover Brain Receptor Responsible for Butt Sniffing in Dogs: Results Promising

        http://psych-times.com/psychiatrists-discover-brain-receptor-responsible

        Not trying to spam but… here is another comment and I am guilt as charged.

        NEW YORK, NY – Researchers at Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry, have discovered the brain receptor responsible for butt sniffing in dogs.

        The study, heavily funded by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, has identified that the butt sniffing receptor (BS3) in dogs plays a vital role in controlling the mechanism responsible for habitual butt sniffing.

        This finding, due to be published in Psychiatry Today, could lead to expensive new drugs that target the receptor, helping dogs overcome obsessive butt sniffing (OBS) and other mental illnesses…

        …Snifter and colleagues used powerful drugs to target and activate the BS2 and BS3 receptors in the brains of butt-sniffing dogs. When BS3 was activated, the dogs showed a marked reduction in butt sniffing – an effect not seen when BS2 was activated. The drugs were also found to reduce the number of times the dogs licked their balls during the experimentation period.

        Then again, Pfizer got huge tax breaks.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/how-can-viagra-maker-pfizer-pay-no-uk-tax-8301414.html

        =====

        The media reported today (here in the US) that they have allowed the drug companies to discontinue reporting the side effects of all drugs.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fda-studies-limiting-tv-ads-drug-risk-lists-article-1.1617940


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        • #
          PeterK

          Now if we could genetically modify the alarmists with this dog gene, they would stand out in the crowd and we would always know who the idiots are!!!


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          Roy Hogue

          Is butt sniffing a mental disorder now? Dogs live in a world of odors and use them to identify each other, including the unique odor of the, well you know what.

          Another solution looking for a problem to solve.


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  • #
    Mark D.

    The average human has a remarkable olfactory sense and a bulls gut produces shit has a strong aroma. Evolution caused that synergy and because of it we step into BS much less.

    Someone tell the reporters to stop slinging it.


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      Vic G Gallus

      No we don’t, Mark. We have evolved need to be gullible as a society. We can not go around second guessing everything and doubting everyone. Its not because we are stupid but because we are intelligent enough to know that its not a good idea.

      There will always be someone who thinks that its clever to cry wolf. For society to function well, we have to be gullible the first time and even a couple of more times, then we need to realise the little prick doesn’t want to be part of society.

      Science is different. Every idea is not automatically bad but checking needs to border on OCD.


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      • #

        Just as wild animals are smarter than their domestic equivalent. I would say we are in the process of domesticating ourselves.

        Those with canny wild sense now compete with those who bow-the-best-to-the-Nanny-God.

        What was survival of the smartest, is becoming survival of the no-brain-networker.


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          Greg Cavanagh

          I’ve never considered the possibility, but it does fit with what I see around me. Thanks for the paradigm shift Joe.


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          Steve

          Good point Jo.

          I find anyone who has half a brain and can point out the regular stupidity of the “follow the herd” crowd , gets pounded into the ground by the domesticated humans.

          Ironically – people who hunt ( decried as “savages” ) and use old skills ( including using grey matter to think laterally ) – is frowned upon. I suspect people are already domestiocated like sheep – ready to be “skun”.

          In times of a crisis, I suspect the human domesticated “cattle” will be the biggest danger, not the crisis itself.

          Sad but true.


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          Vic G Gallus

          I would say that the wild animals are the CAGW crowd. Desperate to look smart, for themselves to progress at the expense of society and scared of being proven wrong. The sceptics are the ones kowtowing to the expected behaviours of civilised society and checking to see if the evidence refutes the assertions. Bacon would spitting chips in his grave if he saw what science has regressed to.


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          Rod Stuart

          Of course you are correct. In nature, survival of the fittest ensures that successive versions of the same life form improve gradually over time.
          In the case of modern Homo Sapiens however, the least fit are molly coddled and supported and encouraged to reproduce by the dozen. It isn’t so much genetic as it a perspective and a way of life passed down repeatedly and reinforced from generation to generation. A very difficult vicious circle to break.


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        Mark D.

        Vic, I think you’ve mixed up trust with gullibility. Trust and trustworthiness are earned traits necessary for society to function. They are also universally respected. I don’t think evolution would ever favor gullibility. Gullibility may be the effect of false trust or assumed trust but I don’t think humans are particularly gullible. In fact, they very quickly learn after the first few times being taken.

        Tribes weed out members that can’t be trusted this includes weeding out those that take unfair advantage of others.


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          Roy Hogue

          Tribes weed out members that can’t be trusted this includes weeding out those that take unfair advantage of others.

          Mark,

          Our august King, The Majestic, Omniscient, Omnipotent Obama is both untrustworthy and taking unfair advantage of us. With what tool do you suggest we weed him out?

          Just thought I’d ask…

          Excellent point, by the way.


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            Mark D.

            Roy, that omni-jack-ass is a member of a different and unique tribe called Chicagoian. In that tribe, everyone is untrustworthy so they don’t do weeding in the normal way.

            He is making the Clinton presidency (and jack-ass) look pretty good though. Something I’m longing to get back to…….


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          Vic G Gallus

          I was referring to the boy-who cried wolf fairy tale. The villagers were not stupid and the boy hadn’t earned their trust. He treated them like gullible fools more than once, again, not because they were stupid but people of the village are automatically trusted until they lose it.

          That’s civilised society. Everyone gets a certain amount of respect and admiration (you do tell a child that they brilliant when they tie their own shoelace?) and lose it if they are not responsible, or gain more if they excel.

          I always had doubt about the GHE but became sceptical only since climategate when I delved into the science. They lost my respect within a morning.


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  • #
    Betapug

    Alarmists keep shape shifting, their PR legions keep “re-framing”. The new Newspeak term is “Climate Shock” but the battery in the cattle prod seems to be running down.

    It is not really about the climate at all but deflection and control. Obama blockades Canada’s oil exports while funding anti fracking agitators north of the border to pacify his base, while while claiming the benefits of both “planet destroying practices” for himself.

    EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard admitted it all with her “even if the science is wrong the policy is right” statement.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10313261/EU-policy-on-climate-change-is-right-even-if-science-was-wrong-says-commissioner.html


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      Allen Ford

      Was ever a functionary more aptly named than Our Connie?


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      Matty from England

      Hey, if the policy is right regardless of the Science then why are we wasting all that money on funding the pointless Science ?


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      Steve

      You could also include the “Cholesterol-is-bad” myth in that space.

      They regularly re-define the myth to avoid it being eradicated too easily.

      I find the Establishment have got everyone so strung out on crisis after crisis that peopel ahave switched off their brains.

      Its formally called “Trauma Based Mind Control” in pysch circles I believe. Bali bomb did the same thing to break Australias resistence to going to Iraq…..clever, no?


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        Roy Hogue

        Steve,

        The problem with cholesterol is that it can be trouble or harmless depending on the individual. I had to work on him for several minutes to pin my cardiologist down on this point. He started by telling me that if you take apart the stuff clogging arteries it’s all cholesterol. But I kept digging. The truth is that most have nothing to worry about. But some have a lot to worry about. And he finally admitted that the level of cholesterol in your blood, just by itself, means nothing about your being in danger or not.

        So the truth may not always be black or white. Sometimes it comes in shades of gray.


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    Yonniestone

    It’s really just a two sided coin situation, on one side skeptics are trying to get the public to believe in scientific rationality whilst the warmist side wants the public to believe in scientific fear mongering.
    Sooner or later the public will figure out who the real tosser is, they always do.


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    Peter Miller

    The bottom line is nature does not give a rat’s poo about the mutterings of ‘climate scientists’ and will continue doing its own thing in its own time, as just about any sceptic will tell you.

    The general public is slowly, but steadily, waking up to the fact that CAGW theory is a myth and why the hell should they be made to pay for the goofy theories of greenies and left wing politicians.

    In the last couple of days I read somewhere that half of all the CO2 produced by man has happened since 1987, which coincidentally is the start date of the 17 year global temperature pause. That kind of blows alarmist theory clear out of the water. Does anyone know the reference for this?

    Just as Global Warming morphed into Climate Change, it will soon evolve into something like the charity Climate Scientists Without Jobs’.

    In order to try and involve their inevitable demise, the wild screechings of alarmists will get scarier and scarier. You can tell the people “the Martians are coming” just so many times before you lose all credibility and so it has become with ‘climate science’,


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    alan neil ditchfield

    People complained that Hollywood was a poor communicator; films had no message.
    Samuel Goldwyn retorted:
    People go to a cinema for entertainment. Anyone who wants to send messages should go to the post office.


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    hunter

    Controlled deceptive media only works when the state suppresses all other communication.
    By the way, Jennifer Marohasy’s blog is off line. Any news on why?


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      Truthseeker

      hunter, Jennfer Marohasy’s blog seems to be back …


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      Roy Hogue

      Controlled deceptive media only works when the state suppresses all other communication.

      I will beg to gently differ with that. Controlled, deceptive media that continually demonizes the opposing point of view has been extremely successful here in the U.S.

      The thing that’s losing the debate for the alarmists is a combination of plain old boredom with hearing about climate change and the utter failure of the rising temperature predictions.

      On the other hand, climate change is now firmly established in popular culture. I bought a new shredder two days ago. More of the literature with it was about the manufacturer’s green credentials, including that the device was “carbon neutral” than about how to set it up and use it. How something made of plastic (full of carbon) and requiring electricity (hydrocarbon fuel consuming) can be carbon neutral is explained here and here. It’s all a guilt trip of course. So part of the price I paid for it went to appease the gods of climate change.

      I bought it because the price and capability were a good mix, not because it was green.


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        Roy Hogue

        I should add that if there had been a suitable model in any of the stores I went to that didn’t have the green credentials splashed all over the box I would have bought it simply to avoid supporting the green nonsense.


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    Scott

    We had a term for the software crowd that promised lots but could never deliver it was called “VapourWare” pretty much sums up the warming scientists output in so many ways.


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      Bones

      Scott,VapourWare must be the company responsible for the Obamacare website,the govt are definitely in need of a refund.


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        Roy Hogue

        The web site in question is hardly to be called vaporware, which means never delivered. They did deliver something. The right term is junk, just plain old junk, garbage of the highest order! :-(


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    Barry Woods

    I met Brigitte last week, she is an ever so nice person and I think she will get there eventually(perhaps a little naive about the climate activists, in the past).. shouting will not help, but patience might.


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    Barry Woods

    she also had a recent encounter with Dana Nuccitelli, which is usually enough to make anyone a little more sceptical ;-)


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    Ian Hill

    If the number of articles per capita were to be plotted, then Oceania, which is essentially Australia and New Zealand, would rise to the top and on its own by a clear margin. Propaganda city. No wonder 95% of respondents rejected Lord Stern’s bushfire assertion in a recent ninemsn poll.

    Another observation, Europe falls significantly at the end of 2010 – a fallout from the No Pressure 10:10:10 fiasco no doubt.


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    Jo,

    As a Brit I must say that we pay for a lot of lightweight rubbish. At least it will only cost a few thousand quid.
    There is another piece of lightweight literature which is already costing billions of pounds a year, and that amount is going up with every passing year – The Climate Change Act 2008. This sets no financial constraints on expenditure, nor any duty to review the effectiveness of initiatives.


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    Ed

    “…why don’t we try to hammer logic and reason into schools and universities?” As a science teacher in the UK, I can tell you that most science teachers I’ve met don’t know any more about the science behind the CAGW myth than an average member of the public. They’ve been brainwashed too, often times by themselves, by constantly repeating the official line. Very few even know that warming has stopped, and refer to temperature graphs that haven’t been updated (I wonder why) since the turn of the century. Teaching is a balancing act between peddling a consensus and confusing children with conflicting information which they cannot weigh up. Sadly, it’s easier to stick to the consensus.


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    Neville

    Ten out of ten to the Bolter for listing the facts and telling the truth about Labor and the Green’s barking mad co2 tax.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/huge-price-for-green-policies-that-dont-work/story-fni0ffxg-1226831877783

    I know many small business people who are paying many thousands of dollars more p.a for running cool rooms and freezers because of Labor’s idiocy and they want it stopped NOW.

    And the change to climate and temp will be ZIP by 2100 whatever we do anyway. And if it’s so important that we stop adding to co2 emissions Labor should join the Greens and call for a halt to iron ore, coal and gas exports from OZ. That’s where the big increases of co2 come from anyway.
    Afterall Krudd joined Gore in 2007 and told the electorate this was the “greatest moral challenge of our generation.”


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    Mike Ozanne

    ” “visual thematic analysis” (a technical word for looking at pictures and saying things about them)”

    One of the first things we learnt in Statistical Quality Management is how good the eye and brain are at seeing meaningful patterns, themes and associations that don’t actually exist. There has to be other corroborating evidence for anything meaningful you see in a graph, picture or pattern. How is just looking and guessing ever considered “scientific”?


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    richard

    every fad has it’s day.


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    richard

    wish i could text edit,

    its not it’s


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    Ursus Augustus

    On the public perception of AGW/CAGW, I am reminded of something I saw on some TV show or other where people were asked to estimate the number of jelly beans in a glass jar. It was a fair sized jar, say 1 or 2 litres from memory so there were many hundreds of jelly beans, it might have even been a few thousand. There was a large sample of guesstimates taken. It turns out that the average guesstimate was within a few or even some decimal points of the actual number. The probablility this was a fluke must be low due to the sample size and it was an insightful display of something where pure democratic guesswork delivers.

    Methinks the apparent lack of concern in the public mind as evidenced by polling and also by the waning interest by the media is another exaomple of democratic accuracy. No wonder we are seeing more and more alarmist, extremist and far fetched linkages to climate doom and disaster, “climate change” replacing “global warming” etc. All desperate marketing speak trying to flog some craop product to a now savvy populace.

    I note that the media attention in the graph is probably dominated by the usual leftard rags and the ABC and in the more centrist/rightist/tabloidist media the level of attention is likely much lower.

    I think the public are not given the credit thay are due for sniffing out bullshit. In our society virtually everyone is inoculated by advertising from a young age and if the listen to the news & ca shows, have heard utter crap so many times that subliminally they know what a grandstanding tosser looks and sounds like. That is probably why Tony Abbott is PM and not KRudd, let alone Julia G ( real or fake) and Bill Shorten is looking like another dud. It is also why the Greens probably maxed out the hard core eco first vote a decade ago.


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    helen brady

    Jo, please read ABC interview with Snow Barlow re hottest year ever. I sensed fudge words and consider remarks about grapes irrelevant because of vast increase in number of growers, changes in varieties of grapes and irrigation. Any ideas from you welcome.


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      Graeme No.3

      Well, here in the Adelaide Hills the grape growers are blaming the sudden deluge for grapes splitting, not the heat.


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      Vic G Gallus

      I can feel my lunch starting to rise. Why did you make me read that? He is just cynically jumping on the band wagon because its good for his career. Give him some sodium pentothal and he’ll admit that its just a scam.

      An average increase in temperature of 0.6°C might mean that there are more days that would have been recorded as 39°C are recorded as 40°C but it doesn’t mean that there will be more extreme weather conditions. Some bloody academic.

      Worse still, ripening of grapes slows down as the weather gets over 32°C. Despite a warm August leading to earlier than usual bud burst. The grapes will ripen at the end of February like usual. We might pick earlier than the normal mid March, but only because the industry is suffering and the winery will try to finish the vintage as early as possible. When things were better 8 years ago, our property might have been harvested in mid April. I wonder if he’ll will use these stats to prove global warming rather than global wine-glut.


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    handjive

    Much gnashing of teeth over at the NYT climate desk, Dot Earth, about the confusing communication of the catastrophe.

    Lots of name calling, but no listening.
    Future totalitarian movements will refer to the Agenda 21 Carbon(sic) Climate Campaign as the Manual for Failure.


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    pat

    handjive -

    versions of DENIERS appears 16 times in Revkin’s Dot Earth piece – a per-word record of sorts! still there are a couple of honest points:

    Revkin: Here are two of his (David Victor of the University of California) closing points:

    First, we in the scientific community need to acknowledge that the science is softer than we like to portray. The science is not “in” on climate change because we are dealing with a complex system whose full properties are, with current methods, unknowable…

    Second, under pressure from denialists we in the scientific community have spent too much time talking about consensus. That approach leads us down a path that, at the end, is fundamentally unscientific and might even make us more vulnerable to attack, including attack from our own…


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    pat

    17 Feb: Wall St Journal: Bret Stephens: Climate Prophets and Profiteers
    The most cynical part of John Kerry’s climate-change speech
    The weirdest thing about John Kerry’s weekend speech on climate-change—other than the fact that this is the same guy who in 1997 voted to forbid the U.S. from signing the Kyoto Protocol—is that it begins by quoting something Maurice Strong said at the U.N.’s 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro: “Every bit of evidence I’ve seen persuades me that we are on a course leading to tragedy.”
    Maurice who? …
    When Maurice Strong, Al Gore and other climate profiteers seek to enrich themselves from policies they put into place while in office, it scarcely raises an eyebrow.
    It should. The carbon-trading schemes enacted with such fanfare just a few years ago have effectively ceased to operate amid collapsing prices. The sustainable-energy craze produced the expensive bankruptcies of solar-panel maker Solyndra, Fisker Automotive and battery maker A123 Systems, to name a few. Germany, which has taken its climate-change fetish further than any other major economy, is now coming to grips with a comprehensive fiasco of higher energy prices and higher carbon emissions. Who would have thought that when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, people might still want to switch on the lights?…
    It is now the dogma of the left that any hint of doubt when it comes to predictions of climate doom is evidence of greed, stupidity, moral turpitude or psychological derangement. “Climate denial” is intended to be the equivalent of Holocaust denial. And yet the only people who’ve predicted anything right so far are those who foresaw that the Kyoto Protocol would fail, that renewable energies didn’t really work, and that climate bureaucrats accountable to nobody but their own sense of virtue and taste for profit were a danger to everyone.
    Rereading Mr. Kerry’s speech, I have to say he really does come across as a true believer. That it begins by citing Maurice Strong, the ultimate cynic, tells you what you need to know about where this strain of true belief leads.
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304675504579389492229581738

    Australian carrying it today:

    20 Feb: Australian/WSJ: Bret Stephens: Kerry espouses Strong views of a true believer
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/kerry-espouses-strong-views-of-a-true-believer/story-fnay3ubk-1226832005678#


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    edwina

    The Courier Mail‘ in the opinions page always has a reference to “what happened this day 40 or 60 years ago.” A cover of the front page is shown. The stories often are about extreme weather events that happened in QLD or Australia. These include severe cyclones, flooding, droughts, heatwaves, bushfires, etc. Any young person, say 25 or less, would be astonished or perhaps have PTSD if those events happened now.

    Old newspapers and history books are great ways to observe how climate was even worse in times past. “Real Science” or “climate Depot” websites also show newspaper or other records from decades past which show how weather events were very bad. Thus, the cherry picking of very recent events such as heat waves seem extreme alright…extremely insignificant.


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    ROM

    When I was in my early teens now some 60 years ago now anything that even suggested sex in popular publications was to say the least quite titillating
    And really got the juices flowing in the teenager’s imagination as well as arousing considerable manufactured indignation in the straight and narrow types demanding that the womanhood be kept pure and men should not reveal who they had managed to “seduce” along with a sneaking admiration for those men who managed just that, ie; hypocrisy par excellence.

    Then of course came the Pill and the world changed. By the mid 1960′s sex was regularly discussed and became ever more a widely published with increasingly explicit sexual scenes but sex was still a titillating item of discussion and so was used by the likes of publications like Playboy and etc to develop a very considerable and quite lucrative publishing business based on the emotive pull of sexually attractive females.

    And it was all entirely based on appealing to one of life’s most basic instincts, that of reproduction through sex and the pleasure it brings to the participants.

    But the sex revolution has now become so insidious and widespread in the form of pornography that it has become just another commodity that for most who are not directly involved it has become something that they can take it or leave with no more than a quick perusal of the offerings provided and a quick personal assessment on the level of titillation provided by the offerings and then they can and do move on to other more immediate things in life.

    And this now quite casual attitude towards one of or perhaps the most important and most emotive of all human life”s most basic instincts is a reaction to the constant over stimulation of our basic emotions created by the pornographic and publishing industries desire to increase profits by exploiting to the maximum that very basic emotive human sexual drive and instinct.
    They in short have gone a long way towards destroying the very thing that provided them with their profits for a generation or more by over exposing and therefore satiating the public’s emotions with the very item they are trying to sell.

    We can extend exactly the same argument to the still basic but far less emotive instincts of our species by always having something new and different that marks each of us out personally from the pack and enhances our standing with our potential sexual partners, that sex drive emotive thing again, in the way advertising is presented to us on a constant completely saturated coverage which has led to each of us developing quite sophisticated mental filters that can screen out images and sounds from the plethora of ad mixtures of news, advertising, opinion pieces, plain garbage and etc across all the various communication media we all peruse.
    We have developed this extraordinary ability to just find what we want to see and hear amongst the continuos clangorous clamour of al the images and sounds of our modern world.
    And again advertising relies on the emotive responses of our most basic desires to always have some peacock like display of our personal attributes and our possessions to show the opposite sex that we are of high status and therefore very desirable sexual partners for reproduction.
    In this context it is often said and examples are innumerable, that “power” is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

    And so we come to the again highly emotive and explicit images of the end of times so beloved of the alarmists which purport to show us that our world and therefore ourselves are facing the end of our existence both personally and as a species.
    It is again a strategy that is entirely emotionally based, this time on another of mankind’s most basic instincts, that of fear, an instinct that is basic to all life. Fear is a part of our ancient reactions to attack from a superior or stronger force or life form.
    it is again the reaction to being forced to face the end of our lives and Fear is that emotion that leads to a protective response that makes us react to try to escape that fate.

    Like all those most basic emotions I wrote on above, the emotion of Fear when continually triggered by a single source of sustained inducement of that emotion can become quite emotionally saturated over time and the response to that potentially emotionaly Fear inducing item will fall away particularly when nothing is seen to happen to trigger a substantial response to the Fear emotion over quite considerable periods of time.

    Fear of course is an emotion that over mankind’s existence has normally led to a fast reacting protective response.
    It is not one of those basic emotions that can be sustained over long periods of time as that was never what the Fear emotion was about.

    Just look at a bird or animal that has just escaped being killed by a predator and showed total fear as it tried to escape.
    With in minutes it is again just going about it’s normal business as though nothing has happened of consequence in it’s recent existence.

    So the very strategy of the climate alarmists and eco-nuts in using a constant Fear saturated media coverage to try and induce and in particular to “use” the weight of the populace in an endeavor to enforce their own totalitarian orientated policies and agenda’s onto society will inevitably back fire as the Fear emotion across the public that the alarmists are relying so heavily on to achieve their agenda becomes satiated and saturated.
    Therefore it becomes an item that many will no longer wish to open up and revisit again particularly when very the reasons given by the alarmists for those Fears never eventuated.

    The final nail in the coffin for the Fear factor so promoted by the alarmists was the sheer mental and emotional costs borne by those citizens whose Fears were deliberately triggered and nurtured by the alarmists in the attempt to have their agendas implemented. The emotional and mental costs of those fears finally becomes too high a price for most to continue so they turn away rarely to come back because of those mental and emotional costs

    So the public turns away from the very strategy of fear inducement that the alarmists are relying so heavily on to achieve their agenda just as we are now seeing.

    And it was all so predictable if only most had looked.


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      john robertson

      How true.Fear loses its power, (we who are about to die, can hardly be scared any further by death.)
      Then anger follows.
      When a fake fear is used to stampede people into action detrimental to them.
      Anger and vengeance will follow.
      We are what we is.
      The people who staff our bureaucracies have revealed themselves as fools and bandits, who rammed this CAGW theft down the throat of taxpayers.
      As a society we are badly damaged, much treasure wasted and stolen on the advice of these experts.
      Interesting days ahead.


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      ROM

      When I posted my above post at 10.15 AM this morning I had no idea that the following would turn up on the very pro warmist Science Daily site in the “Earth & Science” section.
      The GWPF alerted me to this Science Daily article.

      Extreme weather images in the media cause fear and disengagement with climate change

      [ quoted ]
      New research has shown that images of extreme weather in the media create negative emotional meanings and might lead to disengagement with the issue of climate change. The images symbolised fear, helplessness and vulnerability and, in some cases, guilt and compassion. Appealing to fear of disaster can lead to denial and paralysis rather than positive behaviour change.


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        ROM

        And If I was so bloody dumb and was smart enough to read Jo’s entire post properly I would have seen it all there.

        Der!!!
        A dumbkoff signing off .


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          ROM

          I cant spell “wasn’t” [ so bloody dumb ] either!

          Der!!


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            Bones

            ROM,you may be a little harsh with the ‘dumbkoff’ title,I would think that would apply if you put in such a long winded post in favour of the wally warmers.It never hurts to put in your opinion,you wont be the only one who missed it in JO’s article.


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    pat

    ***a touch of reality:

    19 Feb: RTCC: Ed King: UN’s Green Climate Fund to outline funding plans at Bali meeting
    Board meeting in Indonesia seeks to clarify how Fund will operate, ready for cash injection later in year.
    PHOTO CAPTION:
    The fund could help developing countries invest in clean energy technologies and build climate resilient cities (Pic: Gemasolar)…
    Begging bowl
    ***So far the fund has received US$33.83 million of funding from Germany and South Korea, where its headquarters are based. Staffing costs alone are estimated at $24 million between 2015-2016.
    A recent financial report says it has “sufficient resources” to start work this year, but warns “additional contributions” are required towards administrative costs…
    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/02/19/uns-green-climate-fund-set-to-outline-future-at-bali-meeting/

    clinging to the dream:

    19 Feb: Jakarta Post: Evan Oktavianus: GCF and the future of $100 billion climate finance commitment
    Indonesia, as a developing country that will benefit from the flow of international climate finance, has shown great interest in the GCF and has continued to strive to ensure that its interests and those of other developing countries are properly represented.
    In fact, Indonesia has secured a seat on the GCF board, composed of an equal number of members from developing and developed countries, with its deputy finance minister, Bambang Brodjonegoro, acting as one of the 24 members of the board, and the director of Climate Change Financing and Multilateral Policy, Irfa Ampri, acting as the alternate board member…
    For instance, the board has decided that the GCF financing will initially focus on design and planning of cities, energy efficiency, transportation, power generation, land use and forest management including Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+ (REDD+), adaptation activities, readiness and capacity building and development of knowledge hubs…
    On the issue of resource mobilization, developing countries have been skeptical with the emphasis on private sector funding as the primary source of funding for the GCF, as championed by developed countries, and prefer that the majority of the funding source comes from public funding instead…
    (The writer is an analyst at the Center for Climate Change Financing and Multilateral Policy, Indonesia Finance Ministry, and a graduate of the Oxford University Environmental Change Institute)
    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/02/19/gcf-and-future-100-billion-climate-finance-commitment.html


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    pat

    18 Feb: Daily Caller: Blackburn to Obama: Stop funding green firms that benefit Chinese investors
    The Chinese auto conglomerate Wanxiang Group has bought electric automaker Fisker Automotive, marking the second time they snatched up a failed green firm that received taxpayer dollars…
    Last year, the Energy Department’s $192 million loan of Fisker was sold of to Wanxiang for $25 million — netting taxpayers a $139 million loss.
    This is the second time a green energy company that got a loan guarantee from the Obama administration was sold off to Chinese investors, garnering criticism from conservatives that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted for the benefit of foreign businessmen…
    “In 2009, Secretary Chu promised American taxpayers that a $528.7 million conditional loan for Fisker Automotive would create or save 5,000 jobs,” Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
    “The height of Fisker’s employment barely reached over 200 employees,” Blackburn added…
    Early last year, electric car battery maker A123 Systems was sold off to Wanxiang Group. A123 got $249.1 million from the Obama administration and more than $100 million in grants and tax credits from the state of Massachusetts. But financial troubles forced the company to file for bankruptcy in October 2012.
    A123′s new Chinese owner cleverly renamed it B456 — which is also apparently the name of a fire extinguisher…
    But Fisker’s backers were heavily engaged in lobbying the federal government for more green energy subsidies. The venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers — where Gore is a partner — was a seed investor in Fisker and spent $400,000 in 2009 and 2010 on lobbying. The Gore’s firm also lobbied in for the stimulus bill that handed out $90 billion for green energy programs.
    “It’s time for this administration to start working for taxpayers instead of playing venture capitalist for foreign investors,” said Blackburn.
    http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/18/blackburn-to-obama-stop-funding-green-firms-that-benefit-chinese-investors/

    btw -

    19 Feb: Wall St Journal: Peugeot’s Three Masters
    Paris wants to protect jobs but the company needs restructuring
    Does China’s Dongfeng Motor Company know what it’s getting into? The Wuhan-based company agreed to inject Euros 800 million ($1.1 billion) into its ailing French partner Peugeot.
    Along with the Peugeot family, its partner in this venture is the French government, which will make an equal investment. The possibilities for conflict among three controlling owners, each with a 14% stake and a distinct agenda, boggle the mind…
    However, any turnaround will require decisive action; Peugeot lost Euros 2.3 billion last year and €5 billion in 2012. After providing a package of Euros 7 billion in guarantees to the company’s lending unit, Paris tried to stop the closure of the Aulnay plant near Paris and 8,000 layoffs last year…
    Dongfeng is investing because it wants access to European markets for its cars as well as technology transfers…
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304914204579392773021245530


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    Neville

    More on the stupidity of Trenberth exposed by Pielke snr and Prof Robert Brown of Duke uni and Manfred in comments quoting Rosenthal et al.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/19/comment-on-kevin-trenberths-interview-on-february-17-2014-an-example-of-misrepresenting-climate-science/#more-103526


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    Joe

    Jo, you say that we should only be concerned as to whether there really is a wolf, but surely an informed scientist is going to address the real problem and be more concerned about the mental issues the boy is facing? Should scientists also be investigating reports of faeries at the bottom of gardens merely to establish whether they are real or not? I get so dismayed that the whole debate seems to have no chance of finding out WHY we are hearing these cries of wolf because we are so focused on this wolf.


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    Neville

    Here’s a good site with 1350 PR papers that support the sceptic side rebuking dangerous AGW.


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    llew Jones

    At last some real climate science:

    “Exactly how DOES global warming cause -50 deg F in Minnesota?
    February 19th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.”

    “….As they do so, the Polar Vortex® starts spinning erratically and moves southward.

    Why southward, you ask? Silly Lars, every direction from the north pole is southward. Sheesh. Now quit interrupting…

    What then makes the whole process really get energized, though, is the billions of polar bears that have died, and are no longer blocking the cold Arctic winds from plunging into Minnesota……”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/exactly-how-does-global-warming-cause-50-deg-f-in-minnesot


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    PeterS

    Given all the scientific evidence at our disposal the only possible reasons why global warming alarmist are continuing their efforts to scare us is they either want to make a lot of money out of the biggest scam ever or they want to bring down our way of life by way of economic vandalism and destruction, or both. The concern is they might win due to the apathy of the public in general. By now people ought to be screaming out enough is enough, and be calling for global warming alarmists to be shut down. Instead the crap keeps going out (eg, from leftists media outlets like the ABC). Why do the left hate Australia so much to the point of finding more ways to destroy it? I know why of course. They want to force upon us a regime change and put in place a Marxist socialist style totalitarian regime. It’s pretty obvious given the hatred by the likes of the ABC to blame Abbott on everything that’s wrong today (most of which originated from the ALP) and taking credit for the good things that Abbott has done (such as stopping the boats). The ALP with the help of the ABC are trying their hardest to rewrite history, and of course a lot of people who are too lazy to use their brains are falling for it. George Orwell must have been a prophet.


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    pat

    some may rejoice…not me.

    19 Feb: Reuters: Ayesha Rascoe: U.S. to finalize loan guarantee for Southern Co nuclear plant
    The Obama administration will finalize about $6.5 billion in loan guarantees this week for the nation’s first two new nuclear reactors in three decades, ending years of delay…
    Despite criticism of Energy Department’s loan program after the bankruptcy in 2011 of solar panel maker Solyndra, Moniz said the federal government must not be limited to strictly funding research and development.
    “The need to accelerate the pace of change in response to climate change makes it essential that we continue investments … that get the first movers out there in commercial market pushing the technology envelope,” Moniz said…
    With “substantial” funding authority still available, Moniz did not rule out additional loan guarantees. He said the department plans to move ahead with the loan program to back deserving low-carbon projects across the energy spectrum.
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/02/19/usa-nuclear-southern-idUKL2N0LO1VY20140219


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    Tim

    Consensus is the business of politics and has bugger all to do with science, unless the science is being subverted and invented for political gain. It makes a great headline grab for the sheeple, however.


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    Matty from England

    Sustainability , a perfectly good idea in its literal sense, is now a dirty word. Consensus, a useful tool in establishing consent, is now a dirty word. Skeptic is being rapidly rehabilitated as the Left try, albeit unconvincingly, to claim it for themselves.
    What is it they do to a perfectly good language to render much of it unusable for sensible discussion ?


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      JLC

      How right you are. It’s another case of the baby being thrown out with the bath water. Concensus and sustainability are useful concepts that, if used sensibly, have a lot to offer to society and public policy. However these are now so tainted by the slime of CAGW that their potential benefits may be ignored.

      One of the many bad things that CAGW has done is to destroy the credibility of the environmental movement. Certain environmentalists were too eager to use CAGW to advance their causes, some of which were honest and some of which were not. Now CAGW is being seen for the destructive fraud that it is and the public are turning away from it in anger and boredom, and environmentalism will be dragged down too.

      It’s a shame but I don’t sympathise with those pro-CAGW environmentalists who have been riding high on the gravy train. If you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.


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      Eddie

      They don’t want any discussion. They want to force their world view on you by hijacking any dialogue and replacing it with a narrative telling you what to think and making language impotent. If you try and point up any problems with it they just try and have you branded as the problem.

      Yes sadly environmentalism has had it’s credibility ruined for at least a generation by the PC crowd of Green Leftoids but they will move onto something else like parasites, when their host has become thoroughly wasted.


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    Visiting Physicist

    Extreme weather is not caused by carbon dioxide. If you want to understand why it’s not carbon dioxide after all, consider the following …

    The evidence on Uranus proves there is a gravitationally induced temperature gradient.

    “The energy balance of Uranus is therefore E = 1.06 ± 0.08; ” [1]

    The above is a percentage of about 3.7 W/m^2 of incident solar radiation at Uranus TOA. [2]

    So energy imbalance on Uranus is a mere 0.04W/m^2

    That’s quite a small amount, so if you think the 5,000K core is still cooling then I would expect far more imbalance than that.

    But it isn’t still cooling and it won’t cool significantly in a billion years unless the Sun also cools significantly.

    So how is the thermal gradient maintained (very close to the -g/Cp value) when no significant direct solar radiation gets down below the absorbing methane layer near TOA and the mostly hydrogen and helium atmosphere extends for thousands of kilometres above the small solid core that is about 55% the mass of Earth?

    This is highly relevant to what happens on Earth, because physics is universal and we do in fact have a thermal profile that supports our surface temperatures also.

    [1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0019103590901553

    [2] http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/uranusfact.html


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      The Griss

      What’s this isothermic thing that some AGW guys seem to go on about. The atmosphere is very obviously not isothermal.

      Doesn’t make sense to me. Basic physics tell me that there must be a temperature gradient

      Every object is affected by gravity, be it a gas, liquid solid…. whatever.

      Energy has two main types, kinetic and potential.

      As air moves upwards driven by the pressure density gradient, it must gain potential energy due to the effect of gravity. (Basic formula is PE = mgh. All gases have mass.)
      Since it is not gaining total energy, it must be losing kinetic energy.

      Kinetic energy is what thermometers measure.

      Now since the lost kinetic energy must equal the potential energy gained due to the gravitational force, their must be a temperature gradient directly negative to the gravity force. This is expressed as the lapse rate, which is calculated as the acceleration due to gravity divided by the specific heat of the gas.

      This lapse rate is only effected by gases that are not always gases at atmospheric temperatures.. ie mostly H2O.

      Since CO2 actually has a slightly less specific heat than air, any increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration increases the lapse rate by a tiny, tiny amount.


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        Visiting Physicist

        The Griss.

        Yes you are spot on regarding the effect of gravity. I just add to that my conclusion that it is inter-molecular radiation which has a temperature levelling effect working against the gravitationally-induced gradient and, in the case of Earth, water vapour reduces the gradient by about a third, with carbon dioxide reducing it maybe the equivalent of a tenth of a degree or thereabouts.

        You will be interested in my book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” being printed now and available late April through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

        Doug Cotton


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      Visiting Physicist

      Sorry – I should correct that reference to 1.06 ± 0.08. It is the ratio of emitted to absorbed flux for Uranus, but note that it could be less than 1.0, with more absorption. Neither does it necessarily have to reflect what is coming from the core, because it could be due to a small compression of the atmosphere.

      Note this statement …

      ‘The temperature of Uranus’ atmosphere is consistent with heating only by absorbed sunlight … .’ [3]

      [3] Fix, J.D., Astronomy: Journey to the Cosmic Frontier, WCB/McGraw-Hill, New York, p. 286, 1999.


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    Andy Hurley

    Seamus Milne has a piece in the Guardian today :>-
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/20/climate-change-deniers-markets-fix?commentpage=1

    Just another lets wind up the deniers with some name calling .

    I am attacking it (Rogueelement451) on the grounds of how lazy it is to repeat non news and opinion and masquerade as journalism.


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    richard

    I am betting that Visiting Physicist and Griss are not the same person.


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    D J C

    And another thing that’s way out with the radiative greenhouse calculations is well explained in a comment on WUWT which points out that a blackbody by definition absorbs all radiation and does not transmit any.

    But the surface of the oceans (say 1mm deep) obviously does transmit most of the radiation which then warms layers below. So the surface of the ocean is not a blackbody and it would require far more radiation than the SBL calculations indicate to raise its temperature to the observed level.

    As I have been saying, there is obviously nowhere near enough direct solar radiation reaching the Venus surface either. So obviously there is a non-radiative supply of energy as well as the direct radiation and these work together to raise the surface temperatures to what is observed. Remember, back radiation can only slow radiative cooling: it cannot actually add thermal energy (like the Sun does) or raise the surface temperature.

    The non-radiative supply of energy is actually energy that has been trapped over the life of the planet by the gravitationally induced temperature gradient, and more can always be added to the troposphere by the Sun.

    The key to understanding how this energy actually transfers from the colder atmosphere to the warmer surface lies in understanding thermodynamic equilibrium and the isentropic state, all of which is explained in my book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” available through Amazon late April.


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