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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81 companies give “me too” cheer on climate. Absolutely not thinking of profits, investments, trades or subsidy gravy, right?

There’s a lot of cheering going on in the lead-up to Paris, but not a lot of action, and definitely, no actual journalism.

Newsweek reports on the 81-company-cheer-squad with not a single mention that any of these companies could be investing, getting government kickbacks, or profiting from “climate change”.

Newsweek: Obama Finds Corporate Allies for His Climate Change Agenda

Much to the White House’s delight, 81 companies have signed the president’s American Business Act on Climate “pledge,” a non-binding resolution that is effectively a vote of confidence in the executive branch heading into international climate talks in Paris later this year.

When Exxon supported a few skeptics was that described as a “vote of confidence in skeptical science”?

The big agreement is for “collective attention”:

The pledge doesn’t create new taxes or rules, but it amounts to an agreement among industry leaders that climate change is real, human-influenced and worthy of collective attention.

It amounts to nothing. Welcome to the Cabaret.

Who’s in the cheer squad?

“The White House on Monday announced that a total of 81 companies, including Alcoa, General Electric and Procter & Gamble, have backed a U.S.-sponsored pledge supporting [...]

Lucia has a bad week on partial derivatives

We welcome collaboration, but empty, uninformed ill-will doesn’t help the unresourced skeptics to beat the billion dollar green machine.  It’s time for Lucia to admit she got it wrong. Lucia’s second post failed to clarify anything. She didn’t acknowledge that she had not found a single real mistake David’s work, nor did she apologize for getting so much wrong. Having decided everything David was doing was “crud” after reading two paragraphs, she now has the onerous and pointless task of trying to defend a hasty uninformed position.

Lucia didn’t have to dig the hole deeper but she tried. To turn her mistaken accusations into something useful she transparently shifts the goals and won’t join the dots. Evans was critiquing Held, Soden, and Pierrehumbert. He described how they relied on partial derivatives of dependent variables, impossibly holding everything else constant in climate and thereby incurring unknown errors. Lucia now says “but they could’ve done it a different way without them” and perhaps hopes no one notices the unspoken admission that David Evans was right.

The bizarre thing is that you don’t need a maths degree to know her method is silly on its face. In [...]

What Green Future? Spain adds solar tax, punishes the wind industry, loses “65,000 renewable jobs”

Remember, all developed countries are going Green, and Clean Energy is everywhere. It’s only (insert your country) that is falling behind. 

When you hear this, think of Spain. It is so green it’s just passed a tax on solar panel generation, so solar users finally pay for grid backup. This Spanish government has been building a renewable future with so much enthusiasm that their wind industry is described as “striken” and it’s estimated that the current government there has cost “65,000 green jobs”.*

That solar tax:

“The tax will be introduced in the next six months, according to a statement from the Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Tourism. It will apply to solar power systems with a capacity of over 10 kilowatts.

The Ministry said the tax is intended to ensure that solar panel users contribute to the cost of maintaining the country’s electrical grid, as they use it as a backup supply. “

They’ve been trying to get this tax through for a long time. It’s described as unpopular by the usual suspects and, improbably, as a tax on the “Sun” (but will the sun pay, I wonder?). Supposedly, I imagine, the indignation at solar [...]

New Science 13: The Start of a New Architecture for Climate Models

In most ways, David Evans’ alternative model is exactly the same as the conventional model. But a reconnection of one forcing, and an additional factor, can make all the difference. Finally, climate model architecture is getting analyzed and discussed — the conventional structure has been in place for over 40 years.

In the conventional basic model the radiation imbalance caused by CO2 is treated like extra sunlight, amplified by the same feedback processes that amplify warming caused by the sun. But as we explained, the effects of CO2 are not just confined to the surface of Earth, but spread through the atmosphere. In the alternative model the warming caused by CO2 is allowed to have its own unique response. Only after the separate “warmings” of the Sun and CO2 are calculated can they be added together. The conventional model adds them too soon, while they are still radiation imbalances, and assumes the Earth’s climate responds to both in the same way — it’s too simplistic.

David’s model also allows for other factors to change cloud cover, with the addition of an input for externally driven albedo (EDA). In conventional models, clouds are just a feedback to surface warming, [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Democrat voting vegan greenie switches sides – True environmentalists are skeptics

It’s another conversion. The real environmentalists will all end up on the skeptical side. Notably, the switch is never the other way. (Richard Muller, remember, was never a skeptic). The climate scare works through bullying and suppressing one side of the story, and once open-minded people find the other side there is no going back.

What would it take to change your mind?

David Siegel has written six books, four of which were international bestsellers. He’s a Democrat voter, and he wants to preserve the environment. He wants that so badly he actually cares about the data, the graphs, and the arguments.  (He cares about the outcome, not just about whether he looks like an environmentalist.) When challenged to find evidence, he looked, and was surprised, then he looked more and was shocked. “As I learned more, I changed my mind. I now think there probably is no climate crisis and that the focus on CO2 takes funding and attention from critical environmental problems.”Which is a similar path to mine eight years ago. I was once a Green who believed in man-made global warming. (And I was a vegetarian).

Having studied both sides, he’s written up a very sharp page, [...]

New Science 12: How do we model the thermal inertia of the Earth?

Basic models take a top down approach, focusing on gross input and output rather than all the details within the system (which is mainly left to the feedbacks parameter). This makes them very different to the GCMs, which attempt to add up the climate from the bottom up and predict based on adding up grids and guesstimates of clouds, humidity, ice, etc.

The energy coming in to the Earth is called absorbed solar radiation (ASR). It varies significantly. The Earth will absorb the peaks and troughs of this to a certain extent. If we step back and look at the big picture, the question is how many years does it take for a step up in incoming energy to spread its way through the climate system, vanish into the top layer of the ocean, come back out and be released to space. To some extent that extra energy gets absorbed for a while before being released. David analyzed this system from the outside, graphing it like a low pass filter in electronics. (How much “noise” of spikes and troughs in ASR is being smoothed out by the Earth’s climate?)

In a [...]

France’s top TV meteorologist writes skeptic book, gets told not to come to work

UPDATED: Twitter address and a Petition

Phillipe Vernier, France 2

Philippe Verdier is a household name in France where he does the weather on the nightly news on “France 2″. He’s releasing a book “Climat Investigation” being launched right now, outing himself as very much a skeptic, saying top climate scientists “have been “manipulated and politicised”. He decided to write the book because a year ago he was horrified when the French Foreign Minister got all the weather presenters together and urged them to use the term “climate chaos” in their broadcasts.

The France-2 response to force him off air is the best publicity his book could get. The Streisand effect will do his book sales a big favour. But lets hope wisdom prevails, and he is able to keep doing his job. Send feedback to “France 2″ about this forced holiday — what better proof that free speech hangs by a thread, and the edifice of the Great Global Warming Scare is only maintained by bullying and intimidation. About half of all meteorologists are skeptics. How many of them don’t speak up out of fear? The 97% consensus is not created by science but by coercion.

New Science 11: An Alternative Modeling Strategy

All pipes lead to Space

Inexorably, energy is headed for the coldest vacuum. It’s just a question of how long and what path it takes to get there. On Earth there are four main “pipes” to space — the CO2, water vapor, cloud tops, and surface pipes (see post 6). The basic establishment model treats “trapped” heat as if it were “adding heat” (see post 9). But partially blocking one exit pipe out of four is not the same as adding energy to the incoming pipe. Adding more energy on the incoming side means the total outflow must be higher. But merely slowing the outflow in one pipe means the total outflow remains the same, it just redistributes itself among the four outflow pipes.

David is proposing a paradigm shift in how a basic climate model is organized. This post is a road-map for building an alternative model.

The current paradigm starts from the assumption that reducing the outflow in one pipe is equivalent to the effect of increasing the inflow on the single incoming pipe — it is a radiation balance, where all imbalances are equivalent regardless of origin. Doubling CO2 is “equal” to 2% [...]

Burn oil, feed the world, grow plants, save forests, get richer, live longer. Why we urgently need to raise CO2.

It’s time to stop pussy footing around. We need higher levels of CO2. It is morally and ethically irresponsible to be silent while millions starve, biodiversity is under threat, and people are dying from cold weather.

Carbon dioxide increases crops, forest and plant life by 14% and is worth $140 billion, just in agricultural production. Thanks to CO2, forests have been protected because farms are more efficient in a higher CO2 world.

Countries that don’t do their part in producing enough carbon dioxide emissions need to lift their game. Coal use should be favoured over nuclear, hydro, wind and solar. Countries like France are free-riding on the nations like China, the US, and Australia — which are helping to green the world and feed the starving.

Indur Goklany has put together a comprehensive report on the benefits of CO2 for the GWPF.

The advantage of higher CO2 for all C3 crop plants is spectacular. That’s rice, wheat, barley, rye, cotton, sugar beet, spinach, and potato. C4 plants evolved in the last 30 million years to be good at dealing with low CO2 atmospheric concentration (corn, sugarcane, cabbage, broccoli, sedge, daisy.) Most plants are C3.

Figure 1: Carbon dioxide fertilization [...]

Lucia has a bad day with partial derivatives

Here’s a lesson in when to post and when to email. Over at the Blackboard, Lucia couldn’t make sense of David Evans’ post on partial derivatives, but instead of emailing us or commenting here, she published her unresearched thoughts and and asked her readers instead. Only most of them didn’t know either and it didn’t help that the quotes were misattributed, and Lucia’s assumptions were wrong. Together they generated a thread of fog, arguing about irrelevant points in maths and models that didn’t apply.  Having admitted that she is confused about what David was saying, in comments she went ahead and called him confused, declaring he didn’t understand maths, and was spouting nonsense. (Steady on Lucia.) In the nicest possible way David explains he’s right, she’s wrong. And he had defined and cited everything correctly too (it was all in the post, or linked to it).

Her post is titled: “Questions to David Evans: What do you mean about partial derivatives?”. Lucia had my email, but posted: “I’m hoping David or readers who understand his point can clarify for me”. However she didn’t email us after that either. So by the time I tripped over the [...]

Associated Press dumps “denier” and “skeptic”. (The namecalling made them look stupid). We’re keeping “skeptic”!

A couple of weeks ago Associated Press (AP) decided to change the way it refers to the imaginary monsters called “climate change deniers”. Apparently after years of namecalling, they think maybe “climate doubters” would be better. (Hands up all the people out there who doubt we have a climate? Exactly.)

Maybe one day AP will start to write in accurate English?

Why now? After a relentless decade of petty illogical names, AP are not dropping the term because it’s insulting, baseless, or an abuse of any literal English language definition. Instead, they have only just noticed the nasty implications of holocaust denial? Really?

… those who reject climate science say the phrase denier has the pejorative ring of Holocaust denier so The Associated Press prefers climate change doubter or someone who rejects mainstream science.

Perhaps the real reason they stopped using it is because they finally realized how the unscientific poisoned term is making believers look …  unscientific. Can anyone find me one homo sapiens denialia? Who’s a political activist then, and not a scientist? To the Guardian and Slate commentators who protested the loss of their favorite insult I say, yes, please, keep the “climate [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Factories in China produce four times as much CO2 as Western factories

China is making the world’s products, but in terms of carbon they are horribly inefficient compared to the West. Old factories and coal fired electricity mean the country is pouring out CO2 — not that that matters, but it rather puts the squeeze on anyone who thinks it’s good for the environment to shut down clean western factories and give that production to China.

Figure 2 | China’s emission exports and the top exporting provinces. a The emissions embodied in goods exported from China to the US, EU and Japan are shown, representing 58% of all emissions embodied in trade in 2007 (the largest flows are labelled in MtCO2 yr-1.

A new study came out by Lui et al. with headlines all over like “Goods manufactured in China not good for the environment, study finds”. But none of these media outlets put a number on it — how much more polluting were these Chinese factories? The answer was right there in table 1 of the paper. Lui et al compare 15 products made in China and the EU, and found that China produces 4.4 times the emissions of CO2 in order to produce the same product.

When Chinese workers [...]

Has the Australian government decided to sign the Paris agreement (whatever it is)?

Does Ove Hoegh-Guldberg know something about Paris that hasn’t been announced?

Last week his office sent out an email to all pollies, inviting them to a propaganda event for the climate machine (all paid for by the taxpayer, as usual). Not only were we told that Greg Hunt apparently supports this event (whatever that means), we are also told that

“leading Australian climate scientists will discuss the impact of Australia’s decision to sign the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the upcoming COP21.”

That sentence is ambiguous, but potentially loaded. We definitely have decided to endorse the UN goals for 2030 (whatever that means, and who knows?). Julie Bishop did it last week. But have we also decided to sign the Paris agreement? That would be news. Either Ove is forward projecting his fantasies, or he’s just let slip something that Hunt told him privately.

Who knows what is on offer at Paris anyway? I think the real scandal is that Australians have no idea what either the UN goals or the Paris document means. The nation ought to get to look at the fine print before anything is signed. How much sovereign power will Bishop and Turnbull give away to unelected UN bureaucrats?

As [...]