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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Weekend Unthreaded

Margaret River | Photo Jo Nova on Friday (Click to enlarge) Trees are Karri and Marri.

Yes, I’ve been away again. Hence not so many posts and comments.
This holiday thanks to reader Alex and his lovely family.

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Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/oo2hvxc

111 comments to Weekend Unthreaded

  • #
    Mike Spilligan

    I see that the river level has risen considerably on this photo ;-)

    60

    • #
      NielsZoo

      Oh yes. According to the Climateers this photo is of the town of Margaret River after the great Antarctic meltdown they keep predicting.

      91

    • #
      Ava Plaint

      That’s a nice viewing platform on the right. Is it at the bottom of somebody’s garden ?

      40

      • #
        Iza Doodle

        Is that a deer or a roo or a barbecue standing on it ?

        30

        • #
          Yonniestone

          It’s either a bird atop a Chiminea type burner/heater or a leftover character from H.R. Pufnstuf.

          Don’t touch it Jo or you might get turned into a mushroom!

          40

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    Climatologists to physicists: help, help, we’re mathematically challenged (and scientifically too, it would seem).

    Sceptics have known for a long time that climatologists are mathematically challenged.

    A recent Nature News Alert that landed in my inbox made me smile.

    http://www.nature.com/news/climatologists-to-physicists-your-planet-needs-you-1.17270?WT.ec_id=NEWS-20150409

    Just a couple of paragraphs to delight you, dear reader:

    “Talented physical scientists are needed to help resolve mysteries that are crucial to modelling the climate — and, potentially, saving the planet — the group says, such as the ways in which clouds are formed.”

    Really? You mean they don’t know?

    Yes. Apparently the “science” is not settled:

    “There is a misconception that the major challenges in physical climate science are settled. ‘That’s absolutely not true,’ says Sandrine Bony, a climate researcher at the Laboratory of Dynamic Meteorology in Paris. ‘In fact, essential physical aspects of climate change are poorly understood.’”

    Say again? “Absolutely not true”; “poorly understood”? Does that mean it’s a lie when they insist the “science” is settled?

    “The perception that climate science is ‘solved’ is an inadvertent result of pressure on climatologists to convey a simple message to the public.”

    Oh, I see. It’s not a lie. It’s an “inadvertent result”. And, it’s the “inadvertent result” that is the lie, not the statement that the “science” is settled.

    When is a lie not a lie?

    Answer; when it’s an “inadvertent result”.

    Jesus wept.

    However, things are looking up when they admit:

    “’We too quickly turn to the policy implications of our work and forget the basic science,’ adds Bjorn Stevens, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, and a co-author of the Nature Geoscience paper.”

    But woe is Bjorn when he then forgets the “science” part of “the basic science” and tells us in his next breath:

    “Although climate scientists agree on the basics — for example, climate change is primarily the result of human activity — large uncertainties persist in ‘climate sensitivity’, the increase in average global temperature caused by a given rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide.”

    Ahah! So that’s it. They agree on the basics; but not on the science. They faithfully assert “climate change is primarily the result of human activity” but agree that the “essential physical aspects of climate change are poorly understood”.

    I hope that clears up all those cloudy bits for you, dear reader. They have faith.

    And I’m sure they also believe Lazarus walked.

    423

    • #
      Matty

      ” Mathematicians and physicists – there are lots of cool outstanding problems in climate science, come work on them. ”

      https://twitter.com/sc_k/status/585510631639535618

      70

    • #
      Joe V.

      Ah what were we saying just three years before , with this post of Jo’s.
      http://tinyurl.com/buxqpn7
      Nature does indeed go in cycles.

      70

    • #
      PeterK

      Also from the article:

      Physicists agree that climate science is not a big attractor of physics students. “Very few, and rarely the best, choose to do a master thesis in climatology,” says Thierry Fichefet, a physicist and climate modeller at the French-speaking Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. “Talented physicists commonly go into more glamorous fields such as astronomy, cosmology or particle physics.”

      So by the statement above, there are very few if any of the best people working in ‘climate-catastrophe’. And we wonder why this field is such a joke. Perhaps if it wasn’t political and agenda driven, they would then become a robust scientific field of study…yeah right…who am I kidding.

      191

      • #
        ROM

        You can add to that Peter K @ # 2.3 this bit of information no doubt from the same Nature Geoscience “Unsettled Science” article via Doug Hoffmann’s The Resilient Earth blog

        [ quoted ]

        Recently, in Nature Geoscience, Bony’s team outlined four of the field’s deepest questions, including how clouds and climate interact and how the position of tropical rain belts and mid-latitude storm tracks might change in a warming world. In “Clouds, circulation and climate sensitivity,” they state:

        Fundamental puzzles of climate science remain unsolved because of our limited understanding of how clouds, circulation and climate interact. One example is our inability to provide robust assessments of future global and regional climate changes. However, ongoing advances in our capacity to observe, simulate and conceptualize the climate system now make it possible to fill gaps in our knowledge. We argue that progress can be accelerated by focusing research on a handful of important scientific questions that have become tractable as a result of recent advances. We propose four such questions below; they involve understanding the role of cloud feedbacks and convective organization in climate, and the factors that control the position, the strength and the variability of the tropical rain belts and the extratropical storm tracks.

        “[A]lthough general circulation models constitute one of the pillars of climate science, shortcomings in their representation of clouds, precipitation and circulation have persisted for many generations of models,” say the authors. “These shortcomings cause significant problems that remain even when other complexities in the system are stripped away.”

        “We too quickly turn to the policy implications of our work and forget the basic science,” adds Bjorn Stevens, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, and a co-author of the Nature Geoscience paper.

        According to the Nature article, physicists agree that climate science is not a big attractor of physics students. “Very few, and rarely the best, choose to do a master thesis in climatology,” says Thierry Fichefet, a physicist and climate modeller at the French-speaking Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. “Talented physicists commonly go into more glamorous fields such as astronomy, cosmology or particle physics.”

        Quoting the article: “According to the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland, 49 PhDs were awarded in atmospheric chemistry and climatology in the United States in 2013,
        compared with 303 for astronomy
        and almost 2,000 each for physics and mathematics.”

        Evidently, if the science is settled they settled for wrong. There are three major points to be garnered from the articles cited above:

        First, climate science is far from settled, regardless of what alarmist blowhards tell us
        Second, conscientious climate scientists realize that new talent is needed to solve the problems that others in their field won’t admit exist or try to solve
        Third, the contentious and ossified field of climate science is not attracting top shelf scientific talent
        This is the state of climate science: unsettled science, a recalcitrant closed community, and a dwindling pool of scientific talent. This is hardly surprising. After all, who wants to work on “settled science?”

        Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.

        ________________

        So the new students are seeing the writing on the wall for the future of climate science or some proffessors somewhere are quietly suggesting that their potential students think of another scientific discipline other than climate science or environmental science for their future in science.

        I would like to think that the hyper levels of screeching we are currently experiencing from the alarmists right now is much closer to Monty Python’s dead parrot bounce.
        Second and third rate climate scientists trying desperately to justify their funding and their positions by making ever more ludicrous claims leading to ever higher levels of doubt leading to outright contempt and increasing hilarity at the stupidity of an increasing number of supposed climate science claims and papers which rate a collective and declining 0.1 on the scale of 10 for scientific credibility.

        91

        • #

          From a different blog:
          I would go further to state, that the thermal control system of this Earth, is by design unknowable by any critter on or above the Earth surface. Not to sure about sea critters. Be careful of learning too much!! The designers are still watching with inconceivable weapons! :-)

          41

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Thanks ROM,

          I forgot that very juicy bit:

          According to the Nature article, physicists agree that climate science is not a big attractor of physics students. ‘Very few, and rarely the best, choose to do a master thesis in climatology,’ says Thierry Fichefet,….

          Rarely the best. Yep. Honesty at last.

          51

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      “Yes, yes, we will get around to deciding the shape of this wheel thing, you are on about, when we have decided what colour it should be … ”

      [Probably misquoted from Douglas Adams, because I can't be bothered finding the reference].

      160

    • #
      handjive

      ABC Science Online, 06 Oct 2000

      Clouds won’t counter global warming
      Don’t count on clouds to come and rescue us from global warming, says a NASA researcher, who claims that the minimum amount of warming predicted by scientists should be revised upwards by half a degree Celsius.

      ABC, 1 Jan 2014: Study finds link between cloud changes and global warming

      Researchers spent five years(?) investigating the impact of increased levels of carbon dioxide on storm clouds and how, in return, those changes are affecting global warming.

      Chief investigator Professor Steven Sherwood says while their findings don’t support an increase in temperatures by the turn of the century above the forecast upper level of five degrees, the lower predicted level of a two degree increase can be discounted.
      . . .
      Well. That’s 97% certified settled.

      91

    • #
      Barry

      We too quickly turn to the policy implications of our work and forget the basic science

      Could the policy referred to be the one that concerns travel to conferences?

      60

    • #
      tom0mason

      Not to put too fine a point on it, the little matter of the natural water cycle, how it works, and the energy requirements at all stages of the cycle, are just a fog of confusion to “climate science”.

      81

    • #
      aussieguy

      Its nonsense.

      Dr. Henrik Svensmark was physicist who answered the call to help those Climate folks with cloud research in 2013. His work would pass the scientific method, the pub test, and the common sense test. The problem was, it didn’t support the central Climate Change dogma of “climate change is primarily the result of human activity”. He received much scorn from the very community he wanted to help.

      What the Climate Change movement is looking for, are recruits who are stupid enough to willingly forfeit their integrity and reputation in order to preach this politically-driven narrative. Its earning its negative reputation, simply because its being led by academic-activists who will go all “Climate-Jihad” on you if you don’t sing, dance, and chant to their tune.

      Just think about the irony from a strategic level:
      If this field of “science” is settled, why do we need to study it any more? Talent, skill, competence, and money can be better directed elsewhere.

      And since most of the Climate Change Movement is feelings/social-issues based; who really wants to work in a field that feints to be legit (in order to appear as some scientific authority to the public), while at the same time, has no problems crucifying you if you don’t produce the scientific propaganda material they need to keep pushing this dying political agenda? I would give them the middle-finger and go into a different field. Maybe robotics? Robots are COOL!



      …And here we go again!
      => http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/11/claim-arctic-and-antarctic-will-melt-in-the-next-decade/

      *rolls eyes*

      60

    • #
      ELC

      The Nature article is revelatory.

      I have been reading a lot about the climate debate for about a year now. One of the criticisms of climatology that I have seen repeatedly is that climate scientists get the physics and the mathematics wrong.

      That is a very serious charge, striking at the very foundations of climate science. The Nature article demonstrates the merit of that charge. I have saved the Nature article here: https://archive.today/luiqw.

      Another criticism is that feedback mechanisms are not understood, especially that of cloud cover. The Twitter thread referenced above, by Matty, has a link to a peer-reviewed paper published this February: “Fundamental puzzles of climate science remain unsolved because of our limited understanding of how clouds, circulation and climate interact. One example is our inability to provide robust assessments of future global and regional climate changes….” This paper demonstrates the merit of that charge.

      60

    • #
      Eddie

      Skeptical Sam’s Comment #2 is worth a Post in its own rite.
      This should be devastating for the ‘Settled Science’ meme.
      Climatologists finally admit they don’t understand clouds at all & publish a cry for help from real scientists, in Nature magazine.

      50

  • #
    F. Ross

    A very inviting photo, a swim would be nice,… unless there be crocs.

    60

  • #
    Matt Thompson

    We should go camping some time.

    30

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    We should go camping some time.

    In a bus? Like, “Pricilla, Queen of the Desert”?

    50

  • #
    Another Ian

    Jo

    FYI

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/04/10/time-to-be-terrified-of-ocean-acidification-if-you-lived-252-million-years-ago-that-is/

    “The actual scientific paper uses temperate and highly qualified language. It is instructive to compare it to the press release issued by the lead author’s institution”

    110

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      Oh dear, how can a so called “scientist” talk about the oceans “becoming more acid” when they are running at a pH of 8 point something. It is really pathetic. I weep again.

      101

      • #
        Victor Ramirez

        Isn’t it simply a statement of relativity? That is, couldn’t they simply express it as ‘becoming less alkaline’ and mean the same thing?

        20

        • #
          Victor Ramirez

          My wife just criticised my previous comment and dismissed it as coming from a lay person. She’s on your side Peter.

          10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      No-one knows what caused the great Permian extinction but it could well have been the Siberian traps volcanic eruption. (The Deccan Traps eruption is also timed to approximate the end of the dinosaurs).

      CO2 alone would not acidify the oceans, unless the level went so high that ALL life was extinguished, but these “scientists” don’t seem to know, or want to know, that volcanoes also emit SO2, which is a much stronger acid.

      10

  • #
    handjive

    Got a kid in school in Australia?

    Via Quadrant: Get Them Young, Make Them Green

    One Cool Australia partner and donor is the magazine Dumbo Feather.
    Here’s inspiration, kids, from a current Dumbo article by Paul Yacoumis, an RMIT tutor (Environment Economics), Melbourne University tutor (“Reshaping Environments”) and acolyte of the university’s nutty Sustainable Society Institute:

    “In my darker moments, I’ve even found myself hoping for some kind of global cataclysm—at least then the human race may have the chance to start anew.”

    Australian schools are handing over the all-pervasive ‘sustainability’ syllabus to a militant green organisation, Cool Australia, whose curriculum material and projects have enjoyed a red-carpet ride into the state and private education systems, with accolades from the Australian Education Union and the Independent Education Union.

    121

    • #
      Barry

      The Left have been setting the education agenda for decades now and not ONE ‘conservative’ government has had the guts to do anything about it. But it goes much deeper than just the brainwashing and social conditioning of young people to deceive them into adopting the Green Left agenda. We need also to consider what is NOT being taught to children as a consequence of the Left running the agenda – manners, courtesy, respect, self-awareness, self-control, social skills, life skills, work skills and so on.

      But herein lies the problem: how do you get an aggrieved leftist teacher, one wanting to do harm to society as an act of revenge for a belief that they are a victim of society, to say to their students:

      Children, self-esteem is the motive force of the human race. You will measure your self-worth against everyone you meet in society. You must learn to rationalise this, and I will help you to do this. Those who fail to deal with it will develop a sense of low self-worth. Most will see themselves as victims of society in one way or another and will take malicious pleasure from seeing harm done to those they see as more ‘worthy’ than they are. All of them will become leftists, as they see leftist politics as something that does harm to the mainstream community. Many of you will become teachers and, just like me, will use your position to turn young people into individuals who detract from society rather than add to it. You will use the teaching profession as a means of taking revenge on society for your perceived victimhood.

      Oh, dear! It’s just not going to happen, is it? And since ‘conservative’ governments won’t put a stop to it, that is why socialist Australia is stuffed.

      100

      • #
        RB

        Its not revenge. The chips on their shoulders are that they weren’t the best in their class because the education system was stuffed. True that it could have been better but the reason that it was poor is because of these very students who thought that the education system didn’t bring out the best in them (and what fraction could have been the best if it was better?).

        The need to control the classroom and motivate hard work leads to encouragement of a sense of self worth based on grades (as well as rote learning even if the curriculum is designed for independent learning). How can everyone feel special? Give everyone good grades?

        Its easy in theory. Get them to see that a small proportion of students need to be guns at the subject but that will not happen if they are in a poor class. They need to be surrounded by people getting the best out of themselves. If you’re doing that then you might not be special but you’re a valuable member of the community. Its very difficult in practice to get the students to think like that.

        The useful idi0ts at the coal face aren’t evil. Its the power hungry people who put them there. The pigs from Orwell’s Animal Farm.

        20

    • #
      James Murphy

      The problem is that it isn’t just Australia with this type of brainwashing in place.

      Obviously there is nothing wrong with teaching people to respect their environment, and to recycle, etc, but the ‘fire and brimstone’ method is verging on criminal on so many levels.

      When this is combined with the increasing tendency for schools to teach vocational skills rather than fundamentals which can then be applied to any professions that the students want, well, I give up on Australia being capable of continuing past successes in engineering and science. The sad thing is that Australia is not the only country moving in this direction.

      To those educated under such a system, this will probably come across as being ‘extreme’, and racist – I can’t help but have some vague low level of patriotism. Elizabeth H. Blackburn was the last Australian born Nobel Prize (science and medicine-related) winner in 2009, and their work was certainly not done in Australia. I fear the days of Australians winning ‘proper’ Nobel prizes for work done in Australia are over, and indeed, the days of Australian born/educated people ever winning ‘proper’ Nobel prizes again, are also over. Australia the lucky dumb country.

      I hope I’m wrong.

      20

  • #
  • #
    Peter C

    The Global Warming Policy Foundation gets off the Tracks
    I will take as my text for today the recently released Briefing Paper from the GWPF titled
    “THE SMALL PRINT – What the Royal Society left out”.
    http://www.thegwpf.org/royal-society-misrepresents-climate-science/

    The document is a response to the Royal Society publication; A Short Guide to Climate Science, a layman’s introduction to the key issues in the subject. Dec 2014.
    https://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/short-q-a/

    The Royal Society document is quite to the point, with little room for doubt.
    In section 2. How do scientists know that recent climate
    change is largely caused by human activities?

    Royal Society: Human activity leads to emissions of greenhouse gases (causing
    warming),….

    GWPF responds: The warming effect of greenhouse gases is widely recognised. However, the direct effect is known to be relatively small: about 1◦C for a doubling of carbon dioxide levels.

    The warming effects of greenhouse gases may be widely recognised, but I am yet to see any reproducible experimental evidence which shows any warming at all. I specifically discount here Bill Nye’s infamous demonstration of greenhouse in a jar.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/climate-fail-files/gore-and-bill-nye-fail-at-doing-a-simple-co2-experiment/

    Then we come to section 5. What do changes in the vertical structure of
    atmospheric temperature – from the surface up to the stratosphere – tell us about the
    causes of recent temperature change?

    Royal Society: The observed warming in the lower atmosphere and cooling
    higher up in the stratosphere is the result expected from increases in CO2 and decreases
    in stratospheric ozone. Natural factors alone cannot explain the observed
    changes.

    GWPF: Not so: basic physics implies that increasing levels of carbon dioxide
    will lead to increased cooling in the stratosphere. This is quite separate from the
    greenhouse impact in the troposphere of increased carbon dioxide. However, measurements in the stratosphere indicate that although the overall trend is down, any
    cooling is only seen in the immediate aftermath of volcanic eruptions. Between such
    eruptions, stratospheric temperatures have been rising. This merely indicates that
    carbon dioxide levels here as elsewhere are not the only factor determining temperature.
    Similarly, temperatures in the troposphere over the tropics are predicted to rise
    faster than anywhere else, including at the surface. This too is a matter of basic physics,
    where the temperature profile follows what is known as the moist adiabat. Models are,
    indeed, consistent with this. However, observed warming in the tropical troposphere
    is very weak compared to warming at the surface, suggesting problems with observations
    at the surface or in the troposphere or both. Given the small changes that are
    being studied, neither possibility is implausible.

    Now this is where I take issue with the luke warmers of the GWPF. Most of them are probably used to quoting Richard Feynman; if the theory does not fit the observations, you have to adjust the theory, not the facts. Right here we see that there is a problem with the prediction of the Green House Theory yet they suggest that the problem lies with the observations.

    The absence of the Tropical Tropospheric Hot spot is one of the biggest problems with the Greenhouse theory. JoNova refersto it in her sceptics hand book,
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/sh1/the_skeptics_handbook_2-3_lq.pdf
    Tens of thousands of meteorological balloon flights and millions of aircraft flights have shown that there is no atmospheric hot spot. Likewise the surface temperatures refuse to follow the Green House theory.

    Now I can see the dilemma, because the temperature gradient of the moist adiabats is indeed less than the temperature gradient of dry adiabats and one is reluctant to chuck out such well established meteorology. But maybe they have been looking at the problem the wrong way around.

    If one takes the ground temperature as the reference point then increasing green houses gases, in particular water vapour, should reduce the temperature gradient of the atmosphere and consequently the temperature in the upper atmosphere should be greater. But we have seen that it is not.

    But if one starts with the level where the atmospheric temperature matches the solar radiation input at about -18c, known as a the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and regards that as fixed then increasing water will result in a reduced ground temperature. This is the argument that Doug Cotton has been making for quite a long time, but without much impact.

    Does increased water result in reduced ground temperatures. Yes it does. Both Carl Brehmer
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/carl-brehmer-fact-trumps-theory-with-the-greenhouse-effect-a-case-study/
    and Doug Cotton
    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Its-Carbon-Dioxide-After/dp/1478729228
    have written papers demonstrating lower ground temperatures in places with increased water compared with drier climates. Ian Plimer
    http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Earth-Warming-Missing-Science/dp/1589794729
    also made the point that the hottest places on earth are the dry deserts in the temperate regions, not the moist tropics, even though solar radiation is higher in the tropics.

    So meteorological theory and observations can be reconciled if water is a cooling gas. And if that is the case for water it could also be the true for the other greenhouse gases. Which leaves the Greenhouse theory in tatters.

    71

  • #
    TedM

    Anyone know what’s happened to The Griss. Hope he hasn’t gone to the “dark side.”

    70

  • #
    el gordo

    I feel a class action coming on, retired Sydney lawyer Ian Hipwell goes fishing for Klimatariat.

    http://climatechangepredictions.org/

    71

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Now that is what I call a good resource.

      Thanks for passing it on.

      50

    • #
      tom0mason

      From your link

      less rain
      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      “So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation” – Interview with Professor Tim Flannery
      ABC News (Australia) Landline, 11 Feb 2007

      ¯
      ~~~~~~ 5 years later, and ~~~~~~~~

      more rain
      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      Climate change ”cannot be ruled out” as a factor in recent heavy rainfalls, such as the flash flooding in Sydney on March 8, the wettest March day for more than 25 years, a report by the federal government’s Climate Commission says. The chief commissioner, Tim Flannery, said NSW was highly vulnerable to climate change.
      Sydney Morning Herald, Environment, 14 May 2012

      :lol:

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  • #
    Yonniestone

    What new evil is this?, if people get to this stage of depression then they should be actively encouraged to seek help via the many support groups (Beyond Blue, Lifeline etc..) and not be allowed to project their damaged state onto innocent children.

    At what point does child abuse occur under the act of implementing fear of existence through fear of oneself?
    These people either need help or jail time to separate them from functioning yet to develop humans, a truly sick outlook on life.

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  • #
    pat

    biased somewhat?

    Video/Transcript: 10 April: ABC 7.30 Report: Conor Duffy: Environmental
    groups are being targeted by the Government and could be forced to shut by a push to strip them of their tax deductibility status.
    SABRA LANE, PRESENTER: Hundreds of environmental groups flourish around Australia. Some aim to save endangered species, some have the lofty goal of rehabilitating land that’s been degraded and some are overtly political,
    intent on using their environmental activism to stop development.
    A federal parliamentary inquiry’s been set up to examine environmental groups, specifically those that have tax deductible status.
    Green groups claim it’s akin to a star chamber.
    But Government MPs say they’ve identified more than 100 so-called eco charities which are being subsidised by the taxpayer to campaign against jobs…
    CONOR DUFFY,ABC: Almost 600 green groups are on what’s called the Register of Environmental Organisations. It means donations are tax deductible and they say they need that concession to survive.
    CAM WALKER, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH: I think like every environmental organisation across the country that employs staff, tax deductibility is the lifeblood of our organisation. So if the Federal Government is successful at
    getting through its attempts to cut off groups from the register, it will basically mean the political death of our organisation…
    MATTHEW CANAVAN: There are a large minority who are clearly engaged primarily in trying to stop fossil fuel development in Australia and I don’t think its right that Australian taxpayers, including people who work in the mining industry, are asked to fund those activities..
    .MATTHEW CANAVAN: We’ve got about 100 or 150 organisations that are engaged in activity which seem to have their purpose at stopping industrial development. Not just mining. Some of those developments include tourism
    developments or agricultural developments. But engaging in what I would view as the political debate, not the environmental debate.
    CAM WALKER: I think that the Australian people are very sharp. They realise that protecting the environment isn’t just a case of planting some trees somewhere. They realise that in the current context, it’s political activity
    that brings about change…
    CONOR DUFFY: Friends of the Earth is one group that’s already been singled out by the Government for scrutiny. In the run-up to the last election it received a $130,000 donation which was spent on market research and used in
    conjunction with GetUp! for political campaigning.
    It’s currently being audited by the Tax Office. It’s been cleared in an Environment Department investigation.
    CAM WALKER: I wish we hadn’t taken this money and that’s simply because we have in Canberra enough people that are in control of government that are fiercely anti-environment and very ideologically so. So this has put us in the limelight, and as I said before, we’ve had an investigation, we’ve been found that we’ve done nothing wrong…
    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4214478.htm

    the above was on ABC’s radio news reports, plus they’ve documented it separately:

    10 April: ABC: Conor Duffy: Government MP steps up campaign against eco-charity tax concessions
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-10/environment-groups-could-lose-tax-concession-status/6384554

    61

  • #
    pat

    Bradley on CAGW grief, extreme weather events & other nonsense:

    AUDIO: 5 April: ABC Books Plus: James Bradley – Clade
    James Bradley is an Australian novelist and literary critic…
    His latest novel Clade follows a scientist, Dr Adam Leith, and three generations of his family.
    It is set in our world, in the very near future, when catastrophic climate change has begun to wreak havoc.
    Interviewer: Georgia Moodie
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksplus/bradley/6368372

    link to the following from ABC Books Plus homepage: Alice Robinson on her ‘climate change’ novel Anchor Point:

    AUDIO: 5 April: ABC Books Plus: Alice Robinson – Anchor Point
    Laura’s family tries to eke out an existence on their farm, struggling with the impact of climate change, but they slowly come to the realisation the land will never truly be theirs…
    Presenter: Kate Evans

    didn’t hear ABC’s Alice segment but, after reading the following, that might be a good thing:

    10 March: Artshub: Alice Robinson: Can cli-fi save us from ourselves?
    With the grim prospects of climate change, a new genre of narratives can address our cultural anxiety, attitudes and provide comfort for future generations…
    Climate change fiction – known as Cli-Fi – is still emerging as a cohesive category of fiction writing. Even so, it seems to me that settler Australian storytelling has long been preoccupied with the vulnerability of urban areas to dystopian, climate-related societal and environmental collapse…
    Simultaneously, it is unlikely that any part of the globe will remain unaffected by climate change. Disturbingly for us, ecological circumstances here in Australia have already been appropriated as the “canary in the mine” for projected climate change outcomes elsewhere. Troubling conditions including enduring drought and increasingly severe bushfire, illustrate ecological expectations for global futures. It is likely that Australia’s own future will grow exponentially more unstable, perhaps catastrophically so, as climate change continues to manifest.
    Given this, what role do narratives, specifically novels, play? In a realm more commonly reserved for scientific enquiry, what can mere stories about climate change and ecological degradation do for us?
    It is unlikely that cli-fi alone can temper the significant impacts of climate change on our already compromised lands. But it does furnish me with some cautious comfort to consider that the novels and stories we write now, depicting imagined climatically altered futures, might help prepare us, at least emotionally if not literally, for what comes next. …
    Even if cli-fi can’t save us from ourselves, there is a measure of comfort in the notion that future generations will read the texts we are producing now. My hope is that, in doing so, they will come to understand that the perilous realities they are grappling with were already troubling to us. A tragedy we could imagine, if not avoid, long before it came to pass…
    (Alice Robinson is a lecturer in creative writing at Melbourne’s ***NMIT. She has a PhD in creative writing from Victoria University and her work has been published widely. Anchor Point is Alice’s first novel.)
    http://publishing.artshub.com.au/news-article/features/writing-and-publishing/alice-robinson/can-cli-fi-save-us-from-ourselves-247369

    ***Wikipedia: Melbourne Polytechnic, formerly known as Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT).

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    handjive

    Who built this Siberian summer palace… and why?

    What puzzles the experts, however, is the lack of rudimentary heating systems, particularly given that Por-Bajin sits at 2,300metres above sea level and endures harsh Siberian weather.
    (siberiantimes.com)

    Por Bajin: The mystery hidden in Siberia
    (news.com)

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    pat

    SMH on James Bradley & more Cli-Fi!

    21 March: SMH: Jane Sullivan: Turning Pages: How climate-change fiction is heating up
    Prepare to meet thy doom, but don’t hold thy breath. Today’s fiction is bringing us many an apocalypse, but it happens in slow motion over decades. The world ends with a long drawn-out whimper…
    In James Bradley’s Clade we visit various times in the future where people are trying to combat accelerating climate change: they drive through an alien English landscape of baobab-like trees genetically engineered to capture carbon dioxide…
    Bradley, Babstock and Faber spoke at End Times, a panel at the recent Adelaide Writers’ Week. They all seemed to think that megacapitalism was on its way out, but that it was a natural and inevitable thing for empires to crumble. “The world is always ending,” Bradley said, “and empires are always in a state of anxiety about their own vulnerability.”
    Climate change is annoyingly slow and undramatic for a writer, with some dull heroes and villains. Faber thought it a shame that we didn’t have the same fantastic individuals as in the old Armageddon narratives: Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove, or Khrushchev banging his shoe. “We don’t have those characters for reducing biodiversity in the sea.”
    But these writers weren’t literally in the prediction business. Babstock said climate change was a “hyper-object” so huge we couldn’t really understand it, and he shared the frustration of many: “I’m happy to go on recycling, but when do we execute those at the top?”…
    Faber’s story is a metaphor for the breakdown in human relationships, and the writers agreed that much of the interest in end times in books, film and television is not so much interstellar as interpersonal: a sign that people want to talk about loss, time and grief.
    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/turning-pages-how-climatechange-fiction-is-heating-up-20150315-143ckv.html

    James, Alice and even Jane who wrote about James for Fairfax…plus former Fairfax Pilita Clark, who now churns out CAGW pieces for UK Financial Times, & Alison Flood of The “CAGW” Guardian all get a mention in this mega Cli-Fi piece!

    3 April: San Diego Jewish World: Dan Bloom: Cli-fi as an academic discipline
    Meet Adam Trexler. He went to college in Maryland and got his advanced degrees in London. Now he makes his home in Oregon, writes academic papers about climate change and thinks about ways of making gold-valued dollar bills with a company he works for called Valaurum.
    Trexler’s accomplishment? He has single-handedly taken a monograph he published online in 2011 and turned it into perhaps the most important nonfiction book of 2015.
    I can envision literary critics from the New York Times to the New York Review of Books arguing over this time for months, years. British book critics like Alison Flood and Pilita Clark will be waxing either enthusiastic or critical over Trexler’s ideas. Literary people like James Bradley, Jane Sullivan and Alice Robinson on Australia will have a field day with it as well. Foreign translations could follow for readers in France, Germany, Italy, even Israel. This book is that important, that germane, that current.
    Anthropocene Fictions’: The Novel in a Time of Climate Change (University of Virginia Press) — looks at 150 sci-fi and cli-fi novels with academic acumen and it pulls no punches…
    It’s my guess that reviews of this book will catapult the cli-fi meme into the American mediasphere big time…
    Trexler cited a list of major authors who have written climate-fiction including Barbara Kingsolver, Maggie Gee and Jeanette Winterson. He’s compiled a bibliography of over 300 climate change novels. some sci-fi, some cli-fi.
    Literary critics high and low, start your engines: Adam Trexler has arrived, right smack in the middle of the Anthropocene period.
    *Bloom, based in Taiwan, is an inveterate web surfer and cli-fi enthusiast
    http://www.sdjewishworld.com/2015/04/03/cli-fi-as-an-academic-discipline/

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    pat

    read all but, as CAGW funding is nowhere mentioned, it is obviously not questionable. guess if they clean up the non-CAGW funding, more can then be awarded to those “expert climate scientists” who will put it to good use!

    11 April: SMH: Nicky Phillips: How Australian scientists are bending the rules to get research funding
    Fairfax Media has spoken to numerous researchers who say the competition among researchers for funding is so intense it’s driving some rather unscientific behaviours.
    While they say full-blown Armstrong-esque cheating is rare, there are several ways to game the system.
    “Science has become really opaque, especially when it comes to grant funding”, says UNSW climate researcher Ben McNeil. As a result innovation suffers, he says.
    The offences in question range from junior scientists ghost-writing grant applications for senior colleagues to researchers conspiring with others to influence who might review their work…
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/how-australian-scientists-are-bending-the-rules-to-get-research-funding-20150410-1mhrbw.html

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    This is just an observation I picked up on while researching what it would mean to comply with President Obama’s pledge for Paris for a reduction in emissions of 28% based on the levels at 2005, and the hope to get to that level by 2025.

    He made the announcement in the last week or so.

    How long do you think something like this has been in the planning?

    The EPA has been hard at work for probably more than a year on the task, and here’s the link to the huge list of documents, something that would take a long time to put together. Note the date at the top, February 2015, so this is just recently released, and based on data available at the end of year for 2013.

    So, I’ll draw your attention to just one of those documents, at this link, and it’s a 34 page pdf document. Once at the link, scroll down to page 4 and look at Table 2-1, the table for the sources of emissions, umm, two pages of them in all, and shown here in MMT, or Million Metric Tons. Note that the largest emissions are from the electrical power generation sector, around 40%, and the Transportation sector, around 32%, so virtually three quarters of all emissions come from those two sectors. Incidentally, transportation covers a pretty wide area, and the breakdown for this transportation sector in 2013 was passenger cars (42.7 percent), freight trucks (22.1 percent), light duty trucks, which include sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and minivans (18.0 percent), commercial aircraft (6.2 percent), rail (2.6 percent), pipelines (2.6 percent), and ships and boats (2.2 percent).

    However, while the Table itself is of interest, look at the two years which have been specifically highlighted, 1990 (The Kyoto Protocol with effect date) and 2005. (President Obama’s start date) and then data from the most recent five years.

    That target of a 28% reduction is based on 2005, and currently they are already part way there, but still need a reduction of around 22% to achieve this goal by 2025.

    Here, you need to convert percentages to whole totals, so the end goal is 28% less than 2005, or 72% of 2005, so a whole number total reduction of 1724MMT, which will take it down to 4432MMT.

    That figure is in fact way lower than what emissions were in 1990, in fact, around 13% lower.

    Kyoto only called for a 5% reduction based on 1990 figures, so President Obama is being even more ambitious than what Kyoto required.

    Perhaps the more important thing we should be asking is not why is he being so ambitious, but why do this at all when China has categorically stated that they will not reach their peak emissions until 2030 and then may start to reduce them.

    Any reduction, even one as seemingly large as what President Obama has committed to will be totally and utterly negated by China’s increase, and that it at a level considerably higher than any reduction in the U.S.

    This is grandstanding on a huge scale, and is aimed more at his legacy than for any perceived reduction in emissions, which in all probability will never be achieved.

    Short term spotlight hunting for Paris which looks good, but is almost meaningless.

    That (currently) remaining 22% reduction is hoped to be achieved in ten more years.

    That 22% reduction must be achieved across each individual source on that two page list

    Transportation looks to be the sticking point here, as it has been increasing (albeit slowly) for the last five years.

    There are so many places a pledge like this will fall over.

    Tony.

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      I understand that this stuff is dead boring, especially because it’s the U.S. and not for Oz, but there’s something really interesting in all this, well, for me anyway.

      The first link above is for all the EPA documents regarding emissions. All of those documents amount to 1,000 pages.

      I’ve occasionally mentioned the difference between actual power consumption and total generation of power from every source, and it’s sometimes worth looking at that, especially in comparison with here in Australia.

      While the U.S. population is 13.87 times that of ours, their total power consumption is 19.2 times ours. Something like that might be misconstrued because when it comes to Residential consumption, the figures for the U.S. and Oz are remarkably similar, with the average household consumption around 20KWH per day for both of us. The huge discrepancy on the overall total amount is because there is a much greater consumption in the Commerce and Industry sectors, not because they are more profligate users in the U.S. but because there is much more Commerce and Industry in the US than here, naturally because of the far greater population.

      So, when it comes to the difference between actual total power consumption and total generation, here in Oz, we generate around 215TWH of power and consume around 200TWH, so that percentage of power over and above actual generation is around 7.5%.

      In the U.S. that percentage is only around 6%, and that percentage has stayed remarkably similar across the years.

      Reducing it to actual figures shows that the U.S. extra generated power over and above actual consumption has been between 230 and 240TWH each year.

      So, that actual excess over and above actual consumption in the U.S. is enough to comfortable power ….. the whole of Australia.

      This (remaining) 22% reduction in emissions which President Obama has planned for the U.S. amounts to taking out around 30% of coal fired power, and that does not mean replacing it with Natural Gas fired power as they have been doing over the last seven or more years, but just removing it totally from the source of generation.

      Now removing that 30% of coal fired power amounts to a reduction in overall total generation of 9% ….. and compare that with the current excess of 6%, and now you have 3% less generation than actual consumption.

      Don’t try and tell me that this huge amount can be replaced by renewables.

      That’s why I don’t think this reduction target cannot be reached.

      Removing close on 500TWH of coal fired power from the grids across the U.S. is something that I seriously think will not happen.

      Currently in the U.S. the total power supplied by Wind and Solar is just under 200TWH.

      They cannot increase Wind and Solar by that much in that time, and that’s what they already have now, multiplied by 2.5, and doing this inside ten years.

      Good luck with that.

      Tony.

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    pat

    more CAGW architecture.

    there’s an organisation called United Planet Faith & Science Initiative (UPFSI) – easy to find link online – which, on its website, says is proud to count … scientific, spiritual and religious leaders among its members (Desmond Tutu, Rajendra Pachauri, Michael Mann, Kerry Emanuel are examples). they also declare:

    UPFSI: Organizational Partners
    Climate Communication is a non-profit science and outreach project that publicizes the latest climate research in plain language, making the science more accessible to the public and policy makers. Climate Communication helps scientists improve their communication and outreach and helps journalists gather reliable scientific information and identify experts…

    Climate Communication: Susan Hassol and Michael Mann Lead VA Tech Workshop
    On March 20, 2015, Director Susan Hassol and Science Advisor Michael E. Mann led a climate communication workshop for the fellows of Virginia Tech’s Interfaces of Global Change program. The day long communication workshop, which addressed framing and messaging, scientists and social media, media training and tips, and much more, was followed by a public lecture delivered by Dr. Mann at the Lyric Theater in Blacksburg, VA. (A recording of the talk can be viewed here.)…
    https://www.climatecommunication.org/news/susan-hassol-and-michael-mann-lead-va-tech-workshop/

    MadeClear Org: Climate Communication is a project of the nonprofit organization Aspen Global Change Institute, and is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the ClimateWorks Foundation. Climate Communication focuses on three major activities. They publicize climate change to the public and policy makers in plain language to make science more accessible, support scientists in improving communication and outreach skills through professional meetings and labs, and assist journalists in using reliable scientific information and identifying climate experts.
    http://www.madeclear.org/communicate/climate-communication-science-outreach/

    there are crossovers between UPFSI & Climate Communication, e.g. Dr. Richard Somerville who is a member of the former & staff at the latter.

    the CAGW octopus has so many tentacles.

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    Safetyguy66

    Both poles to be gone in the next decade!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/11/claim-arctic-and-antarctic-will-melt-in-the-next-decade/

    Hey Jo, maybe Maurie would be willing to take a bet on that? Im sure many people at this site would be prepared to chip in and make it worthwhile. I would throw in a few thousand, hell we could probably clean him out if we put our minds to it.

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    DMA

    I have just watched the recent London presentation by Professor Murry Salby(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ0R1MCkSOU&feature=youtu.be) which adds much new work to his earlier presentations and further shows the futility of trying to control anthropogenic CO2.
    He stated that he cannot publish this work until he can recover his research files and is reinstated into the field.
    Does anyone know how his process to be reinstated is proceeding?

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      Thanks for the link

      New material but even without would be well worth the replay.

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      Safetyguy66

      I listen to Mr Selby and I cant help wondering. How is it that one of the most common insults/accusations/ad.homs of AGW alarmists is that sceptics are mostly “old, white, technophobes”?

      In many societies the most revered classes are the aged and the educated and particularly the aged who are educated, the “elders” as it were. These days having a degree in a discipline related to climate science and being a sceptic is basically a career death sentence and will open you to ridicule from the likes of Gore and Oreskes, who will dismiss you out of hand because of your age and education. Its completely bizarre.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/what-other-cultures-can-teach_n_4834228.html

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    sillyfilly

    March Arctic sea ice extent reaches lowest point in the satellite era. Where’s the headlines on this disturbing news?
    Oh sorry, that doesn’t our mantra:
    “Another excuse may be on the rocks. The Arctic ice melt has been a favorite clarion of catastrophists. What will they do if it stops declining? It is early days, but if the missing heat is hiding in the Arctic this pattern is not following the green machine plan.”

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        sillyfilly

        Why go to such a dodgy data source when reality is at your fingertips?

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Thank you. I have been looking for an example of an obviously cherry-picked time frame for ages, and that will do very nicely.

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            sillyfilly

            Hmm! interesting to see what you mean by “cherry pick”: but beware next time you refer to UAH or RSS satellite records, I may return the compliment.

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              el gordo

              This is a blatant cherry pick: When the Americas joined at the isthmus the Arctic began to cool.

              http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/new-paper-finds-long-term-cooling-of.html

              That’s what I call a trend.

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              Rereke Whakaaro

              By “cherry pick”, I mean the specific timeframe chosen, which is only 45 years, an incredibly short time, in geological terms, and just by coincidence, it just happens to be the most recent period of a retreat, within a fairly regular cyclic pattern of growth and decline. That is why it will be very useful for some lectures I give, on the subject of Cynical Assessment.

              I rarely, if ever, refer to UAH or RSS, because they are not really relevant to my areas of interest. Not much to be cynical about, you see?

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              TedM

              How can you refer to references to RSS and UAH both of which correlate extremely well with radiosonde data (if you know what that is), as cherry picking. You have to be the silliest and most scientifically illiterate troll to ever disgrace this blog.

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            Carbon500

            Rereke Whakaaro: This letter regarding what was going on before the satellite era is interesting. It appeared on page 23 in the UK’s ‘Sunday Telegraph’ newspaper, on Tuesday October 1st 2013, and came from Captain Derek Blacker RN (retd), Director of Naval Oceanography and Meteorology 1982-84:
            “SIR – I was a meteorologist during the Seventies when glaciers in Europe and other continents in Europe had been growing for the previous ten years, and pack ice had been increasing during winters to cover almost all of the Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland. Scientists were then warning that the Earth could be entering another ice age.
            The current deliberations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have conveniently overlooked this. Before insisting that humans have been the main cause of global warming an explanation of this apparent anomaly should be promulgated.”

            In connection with this letter, a look at information supplied by the Icelandic Meteorological Office is interesting. During the first two decades of the twentieth century, ‘heavy sea ice was quite common along the coasts of Iceland, but in the 1920s a drastic change occurred. Sea ice along the coasts of Iceland became an uncommon characteristic and almost a forgotten phenomenon around the middle of the century. An abrupt change occurred in the mid 1960s. Heavy sea ice distribution occurred almost each year following, but since 1980 widespread and long-lasting sea ice off Iceland took place (sic) at rather irregular intervals’.

            Nothing is as simple and cut and dried as the warmists would have us believe!

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      el gordo

      Its the see-saw effect, running lean in the north and increasing in the south, but at the moment it appears the ice is winning.

      https://sunshinehours.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/global_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2015_day_100_1981-2010.png

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      Safetyguy66

      Are you taking bets on the poles being ice free by 2025 Fly?

      Ill take your money, just ask Jo for my details.

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    el gordo

    LOL

    ‘…evidence that the solar energy delivered to the Earth is being absorbed by the oceans. The Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets are acting as giant dampers to contain temperature rise in the oceans. When both of these ice sheets melt away in the next decade or so, the rise in both ocean and atmospheric temperatures will accelerate rapidly and demonstrate that the passing of the tipping points…’

    Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry Maurie Trewhella (Victoria University)

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    Victor Ramirez

    Apologies if this was reported on this blog previously. I happened to listen to ‘The Spirit of Things’ on ABC Radio National this evening (perhaps it was a repeat) and heard a reference to the Global Catholic Climate Movement. They are having a carbon fast to be held on a different day in different countries. Australia was to fast on St Patrick’s Day. It seems climate change alarmism is becoming a multi-faith movement nowadays.

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    ELC

    Hello again! I am writing a series on climate for a small and little-known Catholic website. Hopefully, I will publish in July. From time to time, questions arise in my mind, and I don’t know where to ask about them except here on the Weekend Unthreaded, since they don’t always relate to topics currently under discussion anywhere. I asked one a few weeks ago: when did the meme of “the models can’t explain recent warming without CO2″ get started?

    My question now is this: is it correct to say that no cause-and-effect relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature has ever been demonstrated?

    Here’s what I’m considering. Since 1958, only during about two decades from the mid-1970s to the late-1990s did both CO2 and temperature go up. We had the MWP and the LIA, during which times, it is claimed, CO2 was a fairly steady 280 ppm or so. From the Vostok ice cores, going back almost a million years, we see CO2 going up or down after temperature does; there are also a few studies showing a lag time for CO2 changes after temperature changes in the recent past. On a much longer time scale, through the Phanerozoic Eon and even further back, there is no discernible phase relation between CO2 and temperature: some times, both are high or low, but some times not, and they rise and fall at times without correlation.

    So, it sure looks to me as if a cause-and-effect relationship has never been demonstrated. But, am I missing something? I know the greenhouse-gas effect posits a cause-and-effect relationship, in theory and in experiment. But, what about in the actual reality of the Earth’s global environment? Has it ever been demonstrated? Thanks.

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      Joe V.

      Not only is there no direct evidence for CO2 being the actual cause of any observed Global Warming ( though in isolation it can be expected to cause up to about 1deg.C rise per doubling of CO2), but the absence of a Hotspot that the models predict in the tropics, is proof that either the Models are wrong or CO2 is not the cause.

      ‘multiple lines’ of evidence that Warmists will come back to are just evidence of warming and not of what caused it. They rely on heavy inference, without evidence for anything more.

      Understand the Hotspot. It’s a clincher.

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      Graeme No.3

      Demonstrated? No.

      Regarding the ice cores; on the higher resolution charts the temperature goes up about 8-900 years before the CO2 goes up. Explained by Henry’s law; oceans warm so CO2 is less soluble.
      (Warmists claim differently but as it apparently involves bending over and looking between your legs I won’t bother wasting your times with the link). If they do claim that CO2 and warming occur together, then point out that when the temperatures dropped the CO2 stayed the same for roughly 1900 years (or 2800 if they insist CO2 controls the temperature.

      Note also the previous 4 interglacials were ALL warmer that the present even though CO2 was a max. 300 ppm.

      There was also the Holocene Optimum when the Sahara was green and wet. Google Tassili frescos/paintings. And the Roman warm period when North Africa was ‘the granary of Rome’.

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      Matty

      You should ask Chris Monckton
      He’s a thoroughly nice chap who I’m sure would keep you right and also has editorial experience in the catholic press
      His address is in the next post if you’d like to introduce yourself.

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      ELC

      Thanks, everybody, for the replies.

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    Ace

    Test…just seein if I recall my loggin, or was my time as a lumberjack only imagined?

    [It worked. Now you need to contribute something and it will be posted.] AZ

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    Bob Malloy

    Do Androids dream of electric sheep? Obama’s Endorsement of Hillary Clinton, truly robotic!

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    pat

    there’s no doubt the CAGW crowd have shifted to the religious realm, especially in anticipation of the Pope’s alleged encyclical on CAGW!

    10 April: The Conversation: The pope as messenger: making climate change a moral issue
    by Andy Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise and Director of the Erb Institute at University of Michigan and Jenna White, MBA/MS candidate at University of Michigan
    This summer, Pope Francis plans to release an encyclical letter in which he will address environmental issues, and very likely climate change.
    His statement will have a profound impact on the public debate. For one, it will elevate the spiritual, moral and religious dimensions of the issue. Calling on people to protect the global climate because it is sacred, both for its own God-given value and for the life and dignity of all humankind, not just the affluent few, will create far more personal commitment than a government call for action on economic grounds or an activist’s call on environmental grounds.
    Making a case on theological grounds builds on long-standing arguments in the Catholic catechism that environmental degradation is a violation of the seventh commandment (Thou shalt not steal) as it involves theft from future generations and the poor…
    But perhaps even more important than the content of the message is the messenger: the pope.
    The public debate over climate change today has been caught up in the so-called “culture wars.” The debate is less about carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas models than it is about opposing values and worldviews…
    First, the pope can reach the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics with an unmatched power to convince and motivate. Religion, unlike any other institutional force in society, has the power to directly influence our values and beliefs…
    And it would appear that Catholics are a receptive audience. According to a survey by the Yale Project on Climate Communication, a solid majority of Catholics (70%) think that global warming is happening and 48% think it is caused by humans, compared with only 57% and 35% of non-Catholic Christians respectively…
    A recent poll found that two-thirds of Americans said they were more likely to vote for political candidates who campaigned on fighting climate change (including 48% of Republicans) …
    According to a Gallup poll, 61% of Democrats view climate change as important, compared with only 19% of Republicans, ranking it dead last on the list of GOP priorities…
    ***(Disclosure Statement: The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article. They also have no relevant affiliations.)
    https://theconversation.com/the-pope-as-messenger-making-climate-change-a-moral-issue-39972

    ignore any contradictions in the above. NYT’s Andy Revkins pops up a couple of times in the comments, linking to his own blog, including the following. note the affiliation of The Conversation authors:

    10 April: NYT Dot Earth: The Power and Limits of Pope Francis’s Climate Change Campaign
    By Andrew C. Revkin
    I encourage you to read “The pope as messenger: making climate change a moral issue,” an essay on The Conversation website by Andy Hoffman, director of the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan, and Jenna White, a graduate student studying the role of religious institutions in shaping humanity’s response to global warming.
    ***(The Erb Institute pursues “a sustainable world through the power of business.”)…
    As regular readers will recall, I’m a big fan of Pope Francis’s campaign to get the world to address the buildup of greenhouse gases as a moral imperative. One rationale lies in the inequitable nature of the problem, with countries that built wealth on fossil fuel combustion more insulated from climate dangers than those that haven’t prospered yet. This is the “Climate Divide” we wrote about in The Times in 2007…
    Coincidentally, (LINK) Yale held a relevant panel discussion on Wednesday examining how the pope’s upcoming environmental encyclical might influence the global climate debate. Here’s the video…
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/10/the-power-and-limits-of-pope-franciss-climate-change-campaign/

    from Revkin’s Yale link:

    Yale: Pope Francis and the Environment: Yale Examines Historic Climate Encyclical
    On April 8, Yale hosted a panel discussion on how Pope Francis’s upcoming encyclical on the environment could transform the global climate debate for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Watch the video below. (1hr 15 mins)…
    The panelists include:
    Science: Peter Crane, Dean, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES)
    Ethics: Margaret Farley, Yale Divinity School (YDS), Emeritus
    Religion: Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion & Ecology, F&ES and YDS
    Conservation: Dekila Chungyalpa, McCluskey Visiting Fellow, F&ES
    Law: Douglas Kysar, Yale Law School
    Teresa Berger, Professor of Liturgical Studies at YDS, will offer introductory remarks. Gregory Sterling, Dean of the Yale Divinity School, will make concluding comments.
    Panelist Bios…

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    pat

    re the Greenpeace gang on the oil rig – they couldn’t take the weather!

    12 April: Maritime-Executive: Wendy Laursen: Bad Weather Sends Greenpeace Home
    Six Greenpeace activists rappelled down from an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday after spending six days living on the structure to protest against drilling in the Arctic, the environmental organization said.
    The multinational team climbed on board Polar Pioneer, an oil rig leased by Royal Dutch Shell that is bound for the Arctic, on Monday…
    Worsening weather conditions that were expected to bring swells of up to seven meters led the six activists to leave the oil rig on Saturday.
    They climbed down into inflatable boats and returned to the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which had brought the activists out into the Pacific Ocean for the protest.
    Shell said the protesters had jeopardized their safety and that of the crew assigned to the oil rig.
    The company had filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska seeking an order to remove the activists. On Saturday evening, a judge granted a restraining order against Greenpeace to prevent a repeat of the protest, Royal Dutch Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh said in an email…
    More to come
    “I might be climbing off this oil rig, but this is merely a transition into the next step of saving the Arctic,” American Aliyah Field, one of the six activists, said in a statement. “I can’t wait to join the millions of voices, the volunteers in Seattle, and all Americans who believe we deserve better, safer, cleaner forms of energy. My voice cannot be silenced, and neither can the millions of others taking a stand against Shell.”…
    Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, said: “I am so inspired and impressed by the volunteers’ decision to climb Shell’s drill rig. I hope everyone who sees what they did is inspired to take action in their own way, to help save the Arctic…
    http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/bad-weather-sends-greenpeace-home

    12 April: SBS: Greenpeace activists leave Arctic-bound oil rig
    Australian Zoe Lennox, 21, formed part of the group….
    TWEET: Zoe Buckley Lennox: Weather systems coming. So we’ve just made one more crossing – on the way home to @gp_espy. #TheCrossing
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/04/12/greenpeace-activists-leave-arctic-bound-oil-rig

    you have to laugh.

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    gogiasl

    From the New Yorker:


    Late last month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, issued a report that classified glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, as a “probable” cause of cancer. Glyphosate is the most heavily used herbicide on earth.

    read the article and be alarmed – not about the use Glyphosate but about the green agenda being pushed by the IARC, yet another UN organ setting itself up to spread green alarmism a la the IPCC.

    Rather ironic that the New Yorker should be reporting this and not seeing the parallels with the IPCC which, in the eyes of New Yorker staff, can do no wrong!

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    pat

    sillier and sillier:

    10 April: CarbonBrief: Simon Evans: Five ways the UK’s electricity grid is changing
    Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win loses to Wills and Kate wedding
    Even if we can’t expect a summer reduction in carbon emissions this year, there’s always Wimbledon to look forward to. The summer outlook shows how major TV events can temporarily reduce electricity demand, when the nation is collectively glued to the screen.
    The chart below shows the ups and downs of Andy Murray’s 2013 Wimbledon victory against Novak Djokovic and its corresponding demand-reducing powers (red line, below).
    The impressive 1.6 gigawatt dent in demand during Murray’s winning moments took 25 minutes to rebound. The largest ‘TV pickup’ – a sudden jump in demand as watchers flush loos, switch on kettles or open fridges – was 0.6 gigawatts at the end of the winner’s presentation.
    Murray is eclipsed by the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton which caused a 1.6 gigawatt TV pickup, the largest since 2010. Neither make the all-tie top 10, which reflects overall falling demand and changing TV viewing habits with all but one of the top entries more than a decade old. The list is topped by England’s 1990 world cup semi-final loss to Germany, at 2.8 gigawatts…
    Despite falling demand, there’s also a pressing need to replace aging electricity infrastructure. The summer outlook offers reassurance that the UK will have adequate generation capacity for the coming season, but there are big challenges ahead- and not just for Andy Murray.
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/five-ways-the-uks-electricity-grid-is-changing/

    Japan obviously needs more sporting stars & royal weddings:

    9 April: Bloomberg: Chisaki Watanabe: Japan’s New Coal Plants Threaten Emission Cuts, Group Says
    New coal power projects planned for Japan could emit carbon dioxide equal to about a 10th of the country’s total emissions, an environmental group said in a statement Thursday.
    Japan has 43 coal power projects either under construction or planned, representing combined capacity of 21,200 megawatts, according to a statement from the Kyoto-based Kiko Network…
    Emissions from the new projects would total 127 million metric tons, equivalent to 10 percent of Japan’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the group said…
    The report comes as Japan debates emission reduction plans ahead of the December United Nations climate talks in Paris. Japan may set a target to cut by about 20 percent from 2013 levels, the Nikkei newspaper reported Thursday.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-09/japan-s-new-coal-plants-threaten-emission-cuts-group-says

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      pat writes this:

      Japan has 43 coal power projects either under construction or planned, representing combined capacity of 21,200 megawatts, according to a statement from the Kyoto-based Kiko Network…

      These new additions are the equivalent of every coal fired power source in Australia, and will generate around 170TWH of power, which is around 85% of Australia’s total power consumption.

      Makes you think eh?

      Any minor reduction of emissions here in Australia will be totally negated by even only a fraction of these new additions.

      Tony.

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    gogiasl

    Further to the Glyphosate story, here is a link to other articles written by Michael Specter for the New Yorker.

    IMO a very interesting writer

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    pat

    13 April: ICIS: Coal to dominate Polish power supply to end of decade despite EU goals
    More than half of Poland’s new major power generation projects to be built in the next four years will be coal-fired in spite of strict targets imposed by the EU on its member countries, capacity projections show.
    However, to lessen exposure to volatile European carbon prices, the country is also building more gas-fired generation and new electricity interconnections to open up opportunities for further imports of cheaper power from neighbouring countries…
    According to data collected by ICIS, a total of 7.8GW will be added to the Polish electricity grid in the next four years, of which 4.6GW will be coal-fired power plants built by the country’s biggest state-owned utilities. The list only includes projects of 100MW or more in capacity…
    This means that some 4.5GW of installed power generation capacity, originally planned to be decommissioned by 2015 to comply with an EU climate directive, will now remain online for another six years…
    http://www.icis.com/resources/news/2015/04/13/9875162/coal-to-dominate-polish-power-supply-to-end-of-decade-despite-eu-goals/

    12 April: UB Post, Mongolia: Second day of Coal Mongolia 2015 highlights energy sector development
    By Ch.KHALIUN
    The Minister spoke about major ongoing projects in the energy sector and said, “Mongolia is located between countries with high energy consumption, and we have possibilities to export energy based on more than 300 deposits in 15 main coal beds. In 2015, Mongolia has 173.3 billion tons of coal reserves, of which 23.5 billion tons are guaranteed reserves.”
    He also emphasized that 140 million USD was spent for imported energy in 2014. Mongolia currently purchases 20 percent of its energy consumption from Russia and China.
    “Estimates suggest that by 2020 Mongolia will be able to fully ensure its domestic energy demands and also have about 10 percent of additional energy reserves,” said Minister D.Zorigt…
    CEO of Shivee Ovoo JSC Sh.Otgonbaatar gave a presentation titled, “Shivee Ovoo Coal Mining and Steady Operation of Central Power System”.
    ***The project is financed by Polish Development Bank with a low-risk, free interest loan. The loan payback period is flexible and the initial investment is to be paid from the profit generated by the operation. He talked about the project’s objectives, advantages and results…
    Over 600 guests and delegations attended the conference, and over 2,000 people visited the expo.
    A total of 34 entities participated in the expo, the majority of which were mining suppliers. Official distributors of major supply brands such as Doosan, Hitachi and Wagner Asia took part in the expo…
    http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=14144

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    pat

    obviously, the world is not listening to the likes of Bill McKibben! who, in their right mind, would.

    13 April: Argus Media: Indian utility SEL seeks coal supply, mine assets
    Indian private-sector power producer Simhapuri Energy (SEL) is looking to secure long-term coal supplies ahead of its new generation capacity coming on line later this year.
    SEL is looking to secure the coal through long-term supply contracts, or by acquiring mining assets. Hyderabad-based SEL is currently developing 1,920MW of coal-fired generation capacity at Thamminapatnam, near Krishnapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh state, in three phases.
    The project currnently has 600MW of operational capacity, which requires 3mn t/yr of coal. SEL is developing a further 1,220MW that will require a further 6mn t/yr of coal on completion…
    More Indian companies are also showing an interest in acquiring overseas coal mining assets. State-controlled Singareni Collieries last week said it is looking to acquire thermal coal mines in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and Mozambique to help secure long-term supplies for its customers…
    India’s Central Electricity Authority last week set a target for the country’s power utilities to import 73mn t of thermal coal for the 2015-16 fiscal year to help overcome the persistent domestic shortage…
    http://www.argusmedia.com/News/Article?id=1021630

    13 April: Mining Weekly: Natasha Odendaal: Keaton pushes coal output to record high
    Thermal and metallurgical coal output at the JSE-listed company’s Vanggatfontein colliery, in Mpumalanga, increased by 4% and 29% respectively, while anthracite coal production from its Vaalkrantz operation, in KwaZulu-Natal, rose by 30%, Keaton CEO Mandi Glad said in a production update prior to the release of the group’s year-end results in June.
    Vanggatfontein delivered 2.28-million tonnes of washed 2- and 4-seam thermal coal for delivery to State-owned power utility Eskom in the year under review, while sales of 5-seam metallurgical coal increased to 126,107 t in the year to March 31…
    http://www.miningweekly.com/article/keaton-pushes-coal-output-to-record-high-2015-04-13

    but in the US:

    12 April: Native Times: Judge blocks Navajo coal mine expansion in northwestern NM
    by FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press
    A federal judge has blocked efforts by a Navajo Nation coal mine to expand operations within its permitted area in northwestern New Mexico.
    Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC is seeking an emergency stay on the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John Kane in Colorado. The company says the ruling will not affect supply to the Four Corners Power Plant in the immediate future but jeopardizes its long-term sustainability.
    Kane earlier this year ruled that the federal Office of Surface Mining must consider the effects of burning the coal extracted from the Navajo Mine…
    Environmental groups had challenged the Office of Surface Mining’s claim that the Navajo Mine isn’t harming the environment of people’s health…
    http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/environment/11383-judge-blocks-navajo-coal-mine-expansion-in-northwestern-nm

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    pat

    it isn’t called “climate FICTION” for nothing:

    10 April: Reuters: Kyle Plantz: Move over sci-fi: ‘Climate fiction’ finds way into classrooms
    Students at a Massachusetts college have just read “The Windup Girl”, the tale of a dystopian future Bangkok where climate change has pushed up temperatures and sea levels, and viruses acquired from genetically modified food are killing people.
    The book, by debut novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, is the product of a new class at Holyoke Community College on “climate fiction” or “cli-fi”, a relatively new variant of science fiction.
    Around the world, from the United States to Britain to India, cli-fi classes are creeping into timetables as academics try to bring a growing international concern into the classroom in a lively way that combines science and emotion.
    “Cli-fi is capturing what is in the air now, the human impact on the environment, and I think literature is a great tool to raise awareness for this,” said Elizabeth Trobaugh who teaches the class at Holyoke and earlier taught a class looking at real-life science in science fiction.
    The class led by Trobaugh and fellow professor Steven Winters, called “Cli-Fi: Stories and Science of the Coming Climate Apocalypse”, includes a two-hour science lab each week…
    At Temple University in Philadelphia, doctoral candidate Ted Howell, chose cli-fi as a topic for his fiction class “Cli-Fi: Science Fiction, Climate Change and Apocalypse”.
    The class examines novels such as H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”, a look at the future written in 1895, and Margaret Atwood’s “The Year of the Flood”, in which characters warn of a disaster that will dramatically reshape life on Earth…
    But it is not just a trend in the United States. In Britain the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education offered a cli-fi course at its summer school and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur may launch a class this summer…
    Students would also watch movies such as “Interstellar”, “Soylent Green”, and “The Day After Tomorrow”…
    Ravichandran admits it isn’t always the case that “cli-flicks accurately portray climate change”.
    ***”In fact, they get most of the facts wrong … yet they serve a good purpose in presenting the facts in an exaggerated manner,” he said…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/10/us-climatechange-fiction-idUSKBN0N11T820150410

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    pat

    13 April: Business Day, South Africa: Philip Lloyd: Why exactly are we buying into this exercise in futility?
    (Prof Lloyd is with the Energy Institute, Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
    ON APRIL 1 I received an invitation that I was convinced was a joke. Could I attend a Treasury meeting to consider a proposal to set up a huge bureaucracy to administer the running of all industry? Whatever else I knew about our government and its policies, I could not credit that we had stooped to the folly of central planning. I had had experience of Russia in its darkest days, when Moscow ran out of lady’s underwear (don’t ask me how I know!). Surely no-one of sound mind would wish to resuscitate that system?
    But no, it was not a joke. Our Treasury had hired Dutch consultants to advise on setting up a system to determine Z-factors, “to reward companies that have taken voluntary and early action to reduce their GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions”. This is eco-colonialism at its worst. Europe is struggling with its failed carbon trading system, which has cost it billions of euros in VAT fraud alone.
    The value of carbon has fallen to less than €7 a tonne, and is not expected to rise until at least 2020. At €7, not only have those who invested heavily when it was more than €20/t lost their shirts, but it now pays to build coal-fired power stations.
    According to The Guardian, “the Exchange Trading Scheme is experiencing a glut of more than 2-billion allowances as a result of factors including massive oversupply and recession”. Yet we are buying European services to tell us how to make the same mistake. The flaws in thinking are manifold. First, anything South African companies did to reduce their GHG emissions would be lost amid the surging emissions of other developing countries. Every year for the past 10 years, China’s and India’s carbon emissions have grown by an average of 520-million and 90-million tonnes respectively; SA’s carbon emissions in 2013 were 440-million tonnes.
    Second, the climate scam is in disarray…
    A study of Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) reports has shown that temperatures have indeed climbed due to human interference — by GHCN staff, who have “homogenised” historical data downwards and recent data upwards. Adjustments have artificially added about 0.35°C to the reported 0.8°C temperature rise.
    To add to the destruction of the carbon causes chaos theory, global temperatures had been warm but stable for the past 18 years, when theoretically it should have heated by another 1°C. Moreover, the “fingerprint” of climate change, the warming of the upper troposphere faster than the earth’s surface, has not happened. The Conference of Parties in Paris in November seems likely to make even less progress than 20 such summits that have gone before…
    All of this means that the rationale for curbing greenhouse gas emissions is weak at best. We have to ask whether it is sensible to set up a bureaucracy to licence industry…
    The point of licensing industry arises from the Department of Environmental Affairs’ White Paper “National Climate Change Response” 2011. This was based upon long-term mitigation scenarios, which should immediately warn any reader that the basis is flawed…
    It was in the light of this that the Treasury asked the eco-colonialists to draw up “benchmarks” and Z-factors against which individual industry emissions could be measured. A 255-page tome was prepared, covering iron and steel, ferroalloys, cement, petroleum, chemicals, pulp and paper, and sugar industries. Fortunately, perhaps, it is a case of Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus (Horace), because for most industries there are no data of any worth…
    What this means is that a carbon tax is an exercise in futility. A tax on energy is unlikely to have any impact on our carbon emissions. Have you seen any fewer 4x4s on our roads since they were taxed in the name of saving the planet? Have you used much less electricity because coal-sourced power is levied? What is more important — growing our economy or doing our insignificant bit to save the world from carbon chaos?
    http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/2015/04/13/why-exactly-are-we-buying-into-this-exercise-in-futility

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    el gordo

    Propaganda in the school system is a disgrace, Cool Australia needs adjusting.

    ‘One Cool Australia module teaches Year 9 science students how to analyse statements by ‘sceptics’ and ‘deniers’, and “make judgements around the motivations behind them”. After paying lip service to science scepticism, Cool Australia then equates “denial” about the global warming consensus with tobacco companies originally denying health damage; anti-evolution arguments; claims that animals can learn languages; and even aliens and UFOs. Elsewhere, Cool Australia links climate scepticism with anti-vaccination campaigning. Any funding of research or groups by industry or energy companies (as distinct from government or green-lobby funding) is seen as cause for alarm.’

    Quadrant / Tony Thomas

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    el gordo

    Abbott should sack Labor/Lite Turnbull, aunty needs seeing too.

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/04/another-day-another-abc-travesty/

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