What we need is a mature national discussion. But what The Conversation (and the Business Spectator) gives us is logic-according-to-Clive, which is a black and white world where complex debates are reduced to yes or no answers and there are no shades of gray. How much will our climate warm? Clive says “Yes”.
Clive Hamilton is an Australian “intellectual” a Professor of Public Ethics and holds the Vice-Chancellor’s Chair at Charles Sturt University, and is a former candidate for The Australian Greens.
Maurice Newman talked about the IPCC, the satellites, Climategate, Renewable Schemes and $100 billion dollar funds. Clive responds:
“Now unleashed, Newman is in full flight mimicking the anti-vaccinators.”
Clive does not refute a single point that Newman makes. He calls him names and merely declares what Newman said was “bizarre”. Clive obviously has no answer and no evidence — he can’t point to models that work, or predictions that were correct, the best he can do is a pop-psychology analysis of “tactics”. It amounts to smear by association. Like saying that Attilla the Hun rode horses, so if you ride a horse you are mimicking Attila.
Indeed the tactics he cites are so meaningless and common, he uses them himself. “Deniers” he says, may portray themselves as David vs Goliath. (And which academic makes out they fight against monster Fossil Fuel interests against a conservative media?) “Deniers” spread theories about cover-ups, and conspiracies. You mean, like saying that Fossil fuel companies are “the most powerful industry lobby we’ve ever seen in Australia”, so powerful that politicians dance to them, and “they’ve captured universities“? (Or they have their own political party and sometimes form government? That would be the Greens.) Who thinks the ABC is biased in favour of skeptics, thanks to “political pressure”? (What kind of bias means skeptics almost never get any airtime and when they do, the editors take the trouble of editing skeptics sentences to produce quotes they never said?)
His thesis of deniers who can’t be persuaded collapses in a hole upon the smallest inspection
Hamilton argues skeptics can’t be persuaded, but if he’d bothered to do any research he’d know that many leading skeptics used to think CO2 might cause a crisis, or used to be active Greens themselves, like me. What about former Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, or conservationist David Bellamy? Margaret Thatcher set up the Hadley Met Centre, but later become openly skeptical. Environmentalist Lawrence Solomon, or Peter Taylor (who wrote Chill, A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory) are hardly conservative commentators making ideological calls. My other half Dr David Evans, used to work for The Australian Greenhouse Office. “What kind of denier changes their mind? The kind that aren’t deniers.
There are virtually no former skeptics who have become believers, instead there is only a pretender — Richard Muller, who dishonestly makes out he was skeptical, despite obvious quotes of him praising the consensus and calling CO2 “the greatest pollutant”.
Time to turn off the tap
Sensible people would just ignore Hamilton, but it’s time those who channel our tax funds to him need to start explaining how we get value out of his unresearched, untested pop-psychology, used to denigrate half the population and reduce our national debate to name-calling. Charles Sturt University needs to explain if this is the kind of logic it applies to the rest of it’s science research departments. Do they allow Hamilton to teach students? Will they censure him for abusing English and being irrational? The ARC likewise, and all the universities that fund The Conversation, mostly using your money. Academia in Australia is an irrational swamp and it’s time the bog was drained. The Conversation is the megaphone over the mud.
Are you an alumni of any of these? Can you write to the VC and ask why it supports this kind of baseless, fallacious reasoning, abuse of English and derogatory namecalling?
The Conversation is funded by CSIRO, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, UTS, UWA, ACU, ANU, Canberra, CDU, Curtin, Deakin, Flinders, Griffith, JCU, La Trobe, Massey, Murdoch, Newcastle, QUT, Swinburne, Sydney, UniSA, USC, USQ, UTAS, UWS and VU.
Does this article represent the standards of these universities?
First up, our national institutions need to stop supporting name-callers and start speaking English
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Climate change violates one of Newton’s Laws
First published on OnlineOpinion Dec 2007 and unfortunately still very applicable.
by William York
The claim that the science debate over cimate change is settled violates the most important of Newton’s Laws. This violation is not of the famous Laws of Motion but of a little known set of derived bylaws, Newton’s Laws of Experts, a major contribution to understanding social dynamics.
Newton’s Laws of Motion may be simply stated as:
- First Law: every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force;
- Second Law: the rate of change of momentum is directly proportional to the applied force; and
- Third Law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The bylaws, Newton’s Laws of Experts, are as follows:
- First Law: every expert persists in his state of rest or opinion unless acted upon by an external grant;
- Second Law: the rate of change of opinion is directly proportional to the applied grant; and
- Third Law: for every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.
The First Law of Experts is well known and can be demonstrated in countless universities, institutes and research bodies. There are two major influences. First, the need to appear relevant to the wants of society means engagement in the great issues of the day. This has been brought on by well intentioned but misguided policy that assumes innovations, financial, technical or other, spring fully developed from academic research and national needs should determine the areas of research interest.
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Last week a new ComRes/ITV poll came out in the UK. The poll of 2,047 people from across the country shows that the population is split roughly into thirds. A third are skeptics, a third are believers, a third don’t know. Overall about 60% of UK citizens are not convinced that humans are changing the weather.
What was also really interesting but unreported about this study is that the wealthiest and most educated are more skeptical and those with the lowest income or shortest education were more likely to believe that humans are affecting the climate. In the upper middle class 36% think the floods are due to human activity, and virtually the same percentage — 35% are skeptics. In the manual worker and less skilled social bracket 44% think humans are to blame, and only 28% are skeptics. The skeptic message is winning over the upper class, better educated bracket. Presumably the rest will follow.
Firstly, most people think the weather is getting worse (red bar) — 65% of all the population. This belief is most common in the lowest income and less educated bracket.
Figure 1: Results from the question “Weather in the UK seems to get worse every year” graphed according to social grouping.
A belief that the weather is getting worse does not necessarily mean that it is due to man-made emissions, and “weather” can mean storms and floods rather than hotter or colder temperatures. The next few questions provide more definition, though two of them still use the confounded and almost useless term “climate change”. We don’t know if people answer the question using the literal meaning or the coded one where all climate change equals man-made change.
But we can see that when people say the weather is getting worse, quite a lot of them are are referring to storms and floods, but about 15% are thinking of hotter or colder weather or don’t think this is a a true change in the climate, or a man-made effect but perhaps is only a natural patch of bad weather.
One question asks if the recent storms and floods show climate change is really happening, and the 65% who thought the weather is getting worse falls to 50% who think the climate is changing. Note the stark divergence across social groups continues. I’ve colored the more skeptical answers in blue and those more likely to be concerned about concerned about the climate with the red bars.
Obviously, the IPCC message rings with uneducated and low income groups. The more educated and the higher the income, the less convinced people are. Alarmists would probably say that rich people are more likely to be deniers and the poor are more concerned, the predictable spin. But I say this has more to do with education and information sources.
Looks to me like skepticism is driven by those who can read and are online. Those who rely solely on TV news will be the last to find out. (Can anyone find a older version of a study like this so we can see how the proportions of social groups are shifting? Since skepticism is growing, but a predisposition to selfish “denial” in the population probably stays the same, it would be a safe assumption that the more educated are driving the rise in skepticism.)
The propaganda message that CO2 is “pollution” is failing first in the well read classes. The intellectual debate is being played out in the influential upper middle classes.
Figure 2: Results from the question “The recent storms and flooding in the UK show that climate change is really happening”, graphed according to social grouping.
Turn the last question inside out and a curious thing happens. The number who believe climate change is real and causing floods and storms drops from 50% to 44%. So for at least 6% of the population any statement of belief in climate change vanishes if the opposite question is asked. The change appears to occur in the lesser skilled, lower income groups. These are what I call “passive skeptics” — they tick boxes on surveys saying “yes” to propaganda, but if given the merest excuse to dump the official approved line, it’s dropped. Climate activists don’t know these people exist, because they never discuss the skeptical view with any approval so they don’t realize how fickle some of their “fans” are. They never see the other side.
Again, unskilled workers, the unemployed and pensioners are more likely to say that storms and floods are due to “climate change”. Again, the divergence is obvious, the highest proportion of skeptics are in the upper middle class. Those who believe, are in the low income, less educated groups. Interestingly the most uncertain group are the lower middle class — perhaps caught between knowing the official dogma, but hearing increasingly skeptical messages from friends or colleagues in the influential wealthier more educated group?
Figure 3: Results from the question “The recent storms and flooding in the UK are no worse than they have been in the past and are probably not a result of climate change at all” graphed according to social grouping.
Finally, thankfully, there is one question that uses the phrase, “human activity”. And now the 44% drops to 38% who agree with the officially approved conclusion. Fully sixty two percent of the population are skeptical. The stand-out feature of the responses graphed below is that there are fewer skeptics and more belief in the official line among the poorest and least educated.
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For all those other thoughts…
Last year the Best Science or Technology Weblog category was dominated entirely by climate science blogs, and 4 of the 5 were skeptics. Not surprisingly Watts Up won for the third time (congrats to Anthony). Tellingly, Skeptical Science withdrew even though the skeptics vote would have been split. (I guess they know their traffic stats.)
This year, the bloggies has quietly announced “Best Science or Technology Weblog has been discontinued”. Ho hum? Have the organizers succumbed to political correctness for fear of letting skeptics win the award again? Seems so.
Now we could lodge a protest, or we could just nominate our favourite blogs for other categories couldn’t we? So here are the categories (below). You might think the blogs in your usual science circle are not Education, Topical, Group, Secret, or Business blogs, but when you look at the past finalists (eg for Education: Science is beauty, or AMS Graduate Student) you will see that science blogs easily fit. In terms of science education, skeptical bloggers are doing more for the history and philosophy of science, the scientific method, statistics, rhetoric, and paleohistory than any national curriculum. Is global warming topical? Do I even have to ask? Are skeptics blogs well known and promoted by the media, or are they all a best-kept secret? Which skeptic blogs started in 2013 and are new?
Do these dumb awards matter? They bring in new traffic, and help bloggers tick credibility boxes with the media and with donors. So yes. If you bother (I know it’s a chore) it is a way to say thanks and to put your favourite sites further up the rankings lists. Think of it as a way to alert more people to the sites you feel deserve more attention. It’s free advertising for them. You might have a bit more sway if you also tick the box “I’d like to be on the panel of voters who choose the finalists”.
Nominations close on Sunday evening. To nominate click here, fill in at least three different URLs. But you can nominate any blog for several categories as long as they suit the category.
Categories in 2014
Let’s see if we can get them to put Science and Technology back in 2015?
Filed under: Skeptics are winning.
The EU was always the leader in the Great Green Push, and announcements on Wednesday are an excellent sign. Both the media and politicians are finally coming around, dragged by reality. This is the good news. The bad news is it’s cost hundreds of billions, and there are still renewable targets when there shouldn’t be, but we are over the peak…
Today is a big day in Brussels as the EU has begun the gradual process of rolling back its bankrupting climate and green energy policies. Of course this modest climbdown is not the end of Europe’s climate hysteria that has dominated Brussels for 20 years. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is the beginning of a much deeper retreat of its unilateral approach in coming years. –Benny Peiser, 22 January 2014
The talk is for an “ambitious” 40% target by 2030, but really this is about dropping the legally binding nature of the targets. So as usual in warmist politics, no one is up front and honest. It’s a face-saving move as the green reality falls.
European Commission to ditch legally-binding renewable energy targets
Climbdown on setting mandatory national targets, enforced in the EU courts, will be welcomed by Britain
“A 2009 EU directive set the objective of ensuring that 20pc of the energy used by 2020 should come from renewable sources. ”
“The binding target for renewable energy has probably had more impact on how power is generated and the bills paid by households in Britain than any other single piece of EU legislation.”
The media is turning around: more than half the stories in the UK are negative about renewables.
Benny Peiser – The Australian
“A study by British public relations consultancy CCGroup analysed 138 articles about renewables published during July last year in the five most widely circulated British national newspapers: The Sun, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, which enjoy a combined daily circulation of about 6.5 million.
“The analysis revealed a number of trends in the reporting of renewable energy news,” the study found. “First and foremost, the temperature of the media’s sentiment toward the renewables industry is cold. More than 51 per cent of the 138 articles analysed were either negative or very negative toward the industry.”
More than 80 per cent of the articles appeared in broadsheet titles The Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the report says, “but 55 per cent of these articles were either negative or very negative about the industry”.
Two weeks ago, the Czech government decided to end all subsidies for new renewable energy projects at the end of this year.
Now that the Spanish government has dramatically curtailed these subsidies…
No country was in deeper than Germany
Germany has the most expensive energy, “26.8 euro cents (40c) a kilowatt hour”. It has half the world’s solar panels, but while they make up to 40% of the countries electricity in summer, they make nearly 0% in winter, when energy is most desperately needed. Germany is building 20 new coal plants, and its CO2 emissions are rising. This despite the enormous bill most electricity users are paying.
Finally the mainstream press is starting to report the real pain. Cons are always cloaked in good intentions. And this is no different. A stupendous swindle dressed up as being good for the poor and the planet has instead extracted money from the poor towards some of the wealthy. Nearly a million people have lost access to one of the most basic essential services, electricity, thereby rolling back one of the great advances of the last century.
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Mike has been an active skeptic in Scotland, and has designed a demographic and opinion survey that I think would give us interesting results. It’s very reasonable, I hope you can take a few minutes (it is short) please try to finish it if you start it. – Jo
I am writing to you on behalf on the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum, we are conducting a survey of those interesting in the climate debate. The aim of the survey is to understand the nature and background of those interested in the climate debate online. It will provide an invaluable insight into the education and work experience of participants, test the relevance of politics in forming views and assess employment and social factors for their relationship with views on climate.
We would be very grateful if you would take the time to complete the survey. The responses are confidential.
The url is: http://scef.org.uk/survey/index.php/868721/lang/en.
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Showing that academics can cost the country more than they return, ANU’s Geoff Cary posits that there is an 80% consensus (an unmeasured, meaningless statistic) that there will be more fires in Australia 60 years from now.
This is an opinion about opinions of experts who use models that we know can’t predict temperatures. Not only is this “fact” already piled three layers of nonsense deep, the most abjectly stupid point is the fourth layer, the pretense that these models might, in their wildest dreams, be able to predict rainfall — which is an order of magnitude harder than just predicting global temperature. Predicting bushfires is dependent on knowing not just total rainfall in one region, but how that rainfall is spread throughout the year. Not to mention that bushfires depend on wind speed, wind direction, land-use (fuel load), and humidity.
Everyone knows that different climate models predict both higher and lower rainfall in the same areas at the same time, and the type of phrases used to describe the ability of climate models are: “low confidence” (National Centre for Atmospheric Research), “irrelevant with reality” (Koutsoyiannis ), or an “absence” of skill (Kiktev). Compare the different projections of climate models below, which model is right.
Predictions of changes in bushfire 60 years hence are thus equivalent to alchemists attempts to turn lead into gold. These are National Tea-leaf Readers, and they are not only afforded nice salaries and all the accoutrements, but given space in our national news as if they had something remotely useful to say.
Climate change means more fires: academic
Australian National University’s Geoff Cary said a projected lift in temperatures of more than 2C would probably mean much more bushfire activity across the country.
“There’s an 80 per cent consensus indicating that increased fire activity into the future is highly likely,” he told reporters in an online Australian Science Media Centre briefing.
Associate Professor Cary said in areas with wet climates, like Tasmania, bushfire risk could double over the same period.
“In the Tasmanian climate, the future scenario for 2070 which is warmer and drier suggested a … 70 to 100 per cent increase in area burnt,” he said.
However, he predicted bushfires would burn far less area in central Australia by 2070 as hotter, drier, weather reduced the amount of fuel blazes had to feed on.
“We predict a significant decrease in the area burnt,” he said.
On rainfall, there is almost always one model that is “right” because there are so many models and they all say different things.
Figure 2.Projected changes in temperature and precipitation for the 2050s. Left: United Kingdom Hadley Center. Right: Canadian Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis. Source:Rosenzweig and Solecki, Climate Change and a Global City, 2001.
Source: Columbia .edu
Here are comparisons of 5 different models over Australia. Is CSIRO Mk 3.6 the “right” model?
Figure 2.1.1: Leading mode of annual rainfall variability over Australia, from observations (Bureau of Meteorology), the CSIRO Mk3.6 and Mk3.5 climate models, and three leading international models: HadGEM1 (United Kingdom), GFDL CM2.1 (USA) and MIROC 3.2, medium resolution (Japan).
Source: Indian Ocean Climate Initiative
The IPCC AR4 report shows that over most of Australia precipitation increases and decreases are only shown in two-thirds of all the models, in other words, up to one third of the models might predict no change or the opposite result in exactly the same area.
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A boat full of climate scientists and their adoring media entourage got stuck in sea-ice in Antarctica on Dec 24th, and they’ve finally made it back to Australia on Jan 21st.
The ABC PR machine covers for their embarrassment — lest anybody think that climate scientists might be clueless. In the ABC’s world an “Australian Research Team” with “60 scientists” left because “scientists believe there is evidence of climate change.” After they got stuck in ice they didn’t predict, and looked like partying fools on an ill-prepared junket, the magic wand of ABC-apologia stopped using the term “climate” and they underwent a magical transformation to become a “Russian Passenger Ship“.
The sudden lack of accurate reporting was all the more strange given that the ship and the icebreaker had a dedicated on-board media team from BBC World News, the Guardian, and Fairfax news. They had media on satellite connections, but probably needed meteorologists on it instead.
Repeat after me, The media IS the problem. If reporters were reporters instead of political activists, $1.5 million dollar junkets to promote climate scares would not be approved in the first place. Total cost of this mission now could be almost $4m:
“Director Tony Fleming says the total bill (for the rescue) could be as high as $2.4 million.”
No one is sure who will be paying for the rescue. It depends on insurance clauses. But we all know who pays a billion dollars a year to be fed climate spin.
For those who appreciate poetry, the infamous Speedy has penned an Antarctic epic.
Mawson’s Spirit Gets Right of Reply.
There seems no shortage, nor a dearth, of those who plan to save the earth;
Christopher Turney, (“That’s Professor, thanks”), felt the need to join their ranks,
So he organised his own crusade, somewhat pricey, mostly paid,
By largesse of the public purse – not the last time, nor the first.
His purpose and his noble goal – to sail towards the Southern Pole,
To collect, collate and then report, all data of the climate sort,
Thus confirming something we all “knew” – the evil role of CO2;
Any changes he would show, compared to Mawson, years ago.
(To raise the profile of his scheme, he passed it off as “Mawson’s Dream”.)
Apart from that, not much to do, just hire a boat with Russian crew,
And, to tabulate the climate ruin, invite some friends and camera crew in;
(These climate types, I don’t know why, are rarely, rarely camera shy.)
The ship sailed southward, out to sea, and all was going, swimmingly,
However, as the South Pole beckoned, a fact arose; no-one had reckoned;
For, despite what they’d all been told, the South Pole still was JOLLY COLD!
And, nearly 60 k’s away from shore, the ship was blocked, could go no more.
Chris gazed upon the icy sea; “We’ll disembark, – just follow me,
To explore the ice; this will be awesome – we’re gonna do a Dougie Mawson!”
So the kiddies all got off and played, but, tragically, they overstayed;
For when they returned, the time had passed – the ship by now was stuck and fast!
These latest antics off the coast, had worn quite thin with Russian host;
To Chris he cried: “You stupid jerk! You’ve cost me time and lots of work!
I’m sure you thought it would be nice, to take that frolic on the ice;
You came back late, now, thanks to you, my ship is firmly in the pooh.”
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The Australian Academy of Science has announced its 2014 Academy awards to “celebrate scientific excellence.”
To show how excellent, their excellence is, the Frederick White Prize for scientific achievements contributing to the understanding of natural phenomena goes to Professor Chris Turney, University of New South Wales.
Professor Chris Turney
“Professor Turney is an internationally recognised earth scientist and research leader in both climate and environmental change, from the tropics to the poles. By pioneering new ways of combining climate models with records of past climate change (spanning from hundreds to thousands of years), he has discovered new links between variability mechanisms in the Australian region and global climate change”.
Australian Academy of Science
Curiously the 2015 McFarlane Burnet Award has already been awarded. Professor Lambeck will be doing wonderful work this year. Good to know.
The point of this post? Just another poke at the scientific hierarchy for awarding a prize to a man who uses broken models with proven flaws to help us understand the natural phenomenon that he so famously got 74 people and two ships stuck in. And there are people who think we should listen to and laud these associations?
The Frederick White Prize is “up to $3000″.
The termination of the Pattern Recognition journal ought to be PR gold for skeptics. Nothing like this happens to unskeptical scientists, ever. It’s a telling spectacle.
A major science publisher gasped in horror that one amongst its scores of journals had “doubted the IPCC”, so the journal had to be axed forever. Oh the Crime! The over-the-top dummy-spit exposes the religious zeal in a supposedly scientific process. So much for the hallowed “Peer Review”. Fans of establishment science want us to believe it’s a gospel part of the scientific method, but it is neither intrinsic nor essential, and skeptics should not be fooled into thinking it is.
Peer reviewed papers may be gems or junk but we won’t know which by discussing who reviewed them.
Let’s follow due process in science, but that is not by review whether peer-or-pal, it’s by prediction, test, observation, and repeat.
Some people seem to have lost sight of this, and think that skeptics ought to be trying to play the Peer Review Game according to the fine print of arbitrary rules dictated by unscientists who hate skeptics and who don’t even play by the rules themselves. The game belongs to them – they set, change and break the rules, and they decide who gets an invite to the clubhouse. But in the end, the review game is a sideshow, and it is usually used to lock out those who question a consensus.
Decisions by anonymous unpaid reviewers are not worth much and never will be.
Should skeptics maintain the high ground? Absolutely, but the real high ground is another level entirely. I’m not going to fight to preserve the current system. Decisions by anonymous unpaid reviewers are not worth much and never will be, the incentives are too weak. We need accountability and responsibility of one individual, not so much committees, or brand-names, or boards.
Anyone who claims that science only exists on official approved pages of anointed publications is a Gatekeeper of Dogma. (How many trolls respond to a valid point by saying “why don’t you publish it in the peer review?”) Real scientists know that the truth is not dependent on where it was printed, nor who reviewed it. It’s time to rise above the Gatekeeper’s Rules, not fight over them.
The rules are arbitrary, the hypocrisy rife. When establishment climate scientists do pal-review they call it peer review; when skeptics do anything that could be construed as pal review, it’s “nepotism and malpractice”, and destructo-the-journal. Seriously?
It’s about politics not science. The publishers themselves said:” PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics”. No one can define “climate sceptic” in scientific terms (who denies there is a climate?). It follows that if PRP was used as a platform for climate unskeptics, presumably that would be fine.
Neither Peer nor Pal is perfect. Open review is the only one that counts
You don’t need to have a science degree to understand that there is nothing rigorous or scientific about what happened. The charge of “nepotism” was added as an afterthought. The journal announced the termination, and then got blow-back and apparently realized they had accidentally revealed their very unscientific philosophy where the IPCC = God, and one of the ten commandments was that it shall not be doubted. The publishers (“not-so-Copernicus“) belatedly added, without any detail, that the 14 papers published by 19 scientists in one special edition had reviewed each others work, and therefore should not have been published. The only “error” listed was to disagree with the IPCC. This is a scandal.
Not permitted: “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project.”
If all these articles had been published one month after each other, who would have noticed or cared that over a year there was a form of what could be construed as pal review? Isn’t this business as usual — if we looked at many clusters of specialist topics wouldn’t we find patterns where a small group of authors and reviewers cross check each others work? What does it mean? It means we can’t ever get past the human foibles, and there are always conflicts of interest. On the one hand if-you-pat-my-back then I’ll-pat-yours is a real phenomenon and definitely a temptation, and virtually impossible to police. But, in a Special Edition, if I allow your junk paper to be published next to my good one, I’m hardly doing myself a favour.
Asking someone outside the group doesn’t guarantee rigorous reviews either. How much effort should an unpaid unnamed reviewer go to, to cross check and improve a paper that they won’t get any credit for? There is no perfect solution. It’s not a bun-fight we need to waste time on. Bureaucratized Peer review is highly flawed, doesn’t prove a thing scientifically and works to the advantage of those who are already in the game.
Asking one outside-reviewer might improve the paper, asking two is better, but how long is a piece of string, and where is the sweet spot? Let’s ask a thousand outside reviewers — call it published and set it free. Then pick the most insightful responses and publish them too.
The only way to know if the review process helped or hindered is to discuss the papers themselves, not the details of the review process. Let’s not get lost fighting in the bureaucratic maze, when what matters is the rest of the universe.
Curve fitting is not a crime
Curve fitting or wiggle-matching is a low end tool. It doesn’t prove anything, but sometimes it points to something worth investigating. Nearly every discovery starts with noticing a curve that fits, then people ask why…
For some perspective, ponder that the people who misuse it shamelessly are the ones with billions of dollars, PR departments, a BBC fan club and two-week junkets to Bali. Climate modelers are the worst Curve Fitters of all. The infamous IPCC climate models do the lowest form of wiggle-matching possible yet are hallowed in the peer review literature and in hundreds upon hundreds of papers, and then in thousands of media articles. In their wiggle-matching there are not even any wiggles to match. It is all done on a monotonically rising CO2 trend. There are no turning points, and no places on any graph where CO2 falls, and leads to a temperature fall. There is only the weakest of correlations between rising CO2 and a rough-rising temperature. (And there are countless examples where temperatures fell while CO2 rose.) Yet billions of dollars rests on these curves.
Just because curve-fitting finds a match, doesn’t mean “therefore” the match is a false one. This is as illogical as pretending curve-fitting is “therefore” the truth. Some forms of curve fitting are worth protesting about. Let’s keep our eyes on the target.
Rise above the Peer Review Game
Current journal reviewers are not crucial to science, there are other ways to review material.
If their pal-review system blocks the truth emerging in their journals, it will emerge somewhere else. So be it.
Reviewing papers is treated far too seriously after the fact, and often far too casually during the review. We have it completely back to front.
Let the free market review the papers
Peer review should not be raised on a pedestal, but it should be overhauled, as well as put back in it’s place. Here’s one possibility, but there must and ought be many, and the more we force science to fit a bureaucratic regimen, the less science we’ll get.
What if one named editor solely makes the decision to publish, and they can ask advice from reviewers, whomever they should choose. The reputation of that one editor should depend on the value of the papers they pass. The buck stops with them. They need to be paid, and the best ones, more. An editor’s name ought go on the paper (obviously as an editor, not as an author). Great editors would accrue great status. Reviewers can earn brownie points from the best editors by doing a good job to protect the editor’s reputation (which means accurate, complete reviews). Good editors pay off the brownie points, in turn, getting the best reviewers to improve and review each others papers. Whether the reviewers are pal or peers is up to the editors judgement — if they only ask pals, and the paper is poor, it’s on the editors head. Reviewers can still be anonymous. If the editor leaves the journal, the cachet of the editor stays with the editor, not with the journal. Some editors will prove to be much better than others at choosing which papers are worth publishing. It would be a very hard job.
As a small point to notice, bloggers sometimes work just like this…
Many journal editors today palm off their responsibility to vague anonymous reviewers. It’s death by committee.
Let’s not lose our focus
I am disappointed to see many good names in the Pattern Recognition paper being treated with so little respect and goodwill. This is not the way to advance science. Can we get back to ideas, tests, logic and results?
The Pattern Recognition debacle exposes what a waste of time most peer review journals are as they currently stand. (Has a single one spoken out against censorship because a paper “doubts the IPCC”?) Anything that shows that there is nothing rigorous about peer review is a good thing for independent thinkers.
Therefore this incident is a bonus in the campaign to let the public know how weak the warmist case is, how unable to compete.
The main aim should be more than Peer Review Poker. The deck is stacked…
The Peer Review Game works as a gatekeeper to silence critics, so pandering and bowing to it is exactly what the unscientists want. Let’s put the process exactly where it belongs. It’s not science, but sometimes it’s useful despite that, and sometimes it’s fun to play anyway, so we do it for the entertainment and wins we get (despite the odds). But the deck is stacked, and when we play the game we should not be placing big bets, nor attacking real scientists to score points in a flawed game.
Science, after all, is not done by “Peer Review”, it’s done by evidence and reason.
Double standards? Not here…
People will accuse me of double standards, but quote me carefully (and in context) and you will find I have never attacked a paper purely because it was pal-reviewed, but always because I had problems with the reasoning and arguments first. When good scientists pal review good science, we can get better science. When poor scientists pal review poor science, we get a cheating loophole, though good editors ought to know that, and rebuttals can clean up mistakes. Pal review merely explains why some truly junky papers get put into supposedly eminent journals. My real problem is with scientists who make out that Peer Review is gospel while practicing bad pal-review. There is active deception in that contrast.
Nils Axel Morner, Roger Tattersall, Ian Wilson, have not said their papers are true because they are published, they all say “judge me by my work”.
Into the Fray (sigh)
In response to Anthony I would say:
1. The media are going to one-sidedly cherry pick a belated unsubstantiated excuse anyway. They always falsely try to pin any flaw to “all skeptics”. Why amplify that or accept it? I would point out their hypocrisy, rather than join the chorus.
2. The real priorities are logic and reason, evidence and free speech. In the peer-pal debate there is no win worth achieving. Peer review is a weak system anyway. And current journal editors are only going to send alarmist papers to independent skeptics as a matter of course when everybody realizes the real debate occurred online, and some bloggers were closer to the truth than Nature. Let’s help independent scientists continue to push the bounds of knowledge.
3. As far as dashing “…any chance of any sort of climate skeptic or citizen science based journal coming into existence…”. I would say, No. Not at all.
4. Until Copernicus shows that the papers contained flaws worse than MBH98, which was not even retracted, terminating a journal for no named error at all is a scandal. When will Copernicus be closing the other journals?
* * *
Roger (Tallbloke) stands by his work: “our papers are still available for download at PRP so people can read our science and decide the merits for themselves. Backup copies are available at the Talkshop in case the link dies. “
So how sure are they of their climate model predictions? So sure they demand we pay billions but when it comes to betting their own money, the modelers are all bravado over the chance to bet on any warming “above zero” 20 years from now.
Some of Australia’s top climate scientists, including those from the CSIRO, have said they will be willing to bet Tony Abbott’s business adviser Maurice Newman $10,000 that the world will warm over the next 20 years.
These gutsy scientists are offering bets that the climate “might” warm, and which might pay out to a man who will be 95 at their completion. The Guardian takes them seriously?
Here’s an offer to those climate scientists, yes I’m interested in a bet, for sure, but I won’t be offering you a shot at winning in a situation where you predict (and we pay to prevent) far more warming than you are willing to bet on. Hypocrisy what? Your own models are abject failures, and we are forced to pay for policies fueled by your failures and your salary as well.
So show you have the balls and come and talk about a real bet — one that demonstrates you honestly really do think your models work, and you understand the climate.
There are many readers here who are keen as well, and I’m happy to arrange things. I’m already been party to a serious bet, and you can read the details there, we are happy to negotiate on volcanoes, prefer 5 year smoothing, or decadal trends, and talk about a neutral range where the bet is draw because we all know there are error margins.
I offered Brian Schmidt a bet based on the weak outcomes he talked about, but climate modelers don’t deserve to bet on anything except their own predictions.
Which brave scientists are we talking about?
All of these ones, who insult taxpayers by offering to accept a “win” if they fail as scientists:
The CSIRO’s Dr John Church, who is also an IPCC lead author, said he would take up the $10,000 bet, while Dr Tony Hirst, deputy research program director, said he would bet $500 based on “clear terms” of a three or five-year temperature average.
The other scientists include David Karoly of Melbourne University, Will Steffen of the Climate Council, and Dave Griggs, director of the Monash Sustainability Institute.
Prof Andrew Blakers, director of the centre for sustainable energy systems at the Australian National University, said he would be willing to bet $10,000, placed into an escrow account along with a “legally binding agreement” over the payment of the funds.
“Let’s put real money on the table and do this properly,” said Blakers.
Ian Lowe, emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University, said only a “catastrophic meteorite impact” could avoid the “inevitability” of higher temperatures in 20 years’ time. Lowe said he would be willing to join Schmidt but questioned the viability of the wager. He said: “He [Newman] was born in April 1938, so he is nearly 76.
Dr Alex Sen Gupta, of the University of NSW’s climate centre, said it was a “pretty safe bet” and that he would have “no chance” of losing his $10,000, based on his understanding of climate science.
In addition to the scientists, economist John Quiggin said he’d be prepared to bet $10,000 to prove Newman wrong. — The Guardian
I’m willing to be serious, the question is — are these scientists serious too, or are they media-show-ponies who think betting on “anything above zero” is worth discussing as a bet while other days they stand in front of cameras to tell us they are 90% sure we are headed for cataclysmic warming. “Pay us your money”.
Keep reading →
So much going on…
In extraordinary news, the scientific journal Pattern Recognition in Physics has been unexpectedly terminated, a “drastic decision” taken just ten months after it started.
The publisher appears to be shocked that in a recent special issue the scientists expressed doubt about the accelerated warming predicted by the IPCC. For the crime of not bowing before the sacred tabernacle, apparently the publishers suddenly felt the need to distance themselves, and in the most over-the-top way. The reasons they gave had nothing to do with the data, the logic, and they cite no errors. There can be no mistake, this is about enforcing a permitted line of thought.
I must say, it’s a brilliant (if a tad expensive) way to draw attention to a scientific paper. It’s the Barbara-Streisland moment in science. Forget “withdrawn”, forget “retracted”, the new line in the sand is to write a paper so hot they have to terminate the whole journal! Skeptics could hardly come up with a more electric publicity campaign.
Naturally, as with all good Barbara-Streisland-moves intended to suppress information, as soon as I heard, the first thing I did was to seek out and download copies of all the papers. Right now, people everywhere would be starting to do the same, curious to know what could be so unsayable. (See the links at the bottom).
In the official announcement the excuses are amazingly transparent. There is little attempt to cover up the reasons. The publisher pays the usual lip service saying science needs disputes and discussion of controversial topics. But some things are apparently too awful to contemplate — like pointing out how the high priests of the IPCC might be incorrect.
Termination of the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics
Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics. However, the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.
Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”. Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).
Copernicus Publications published the work and other special issue papers to provide the spectrum of the related papers to the scientists for their individual judgment. Following best practice in scholarly publishing, published articles cannot be removed afterwards.
We at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP. Of course, scientific dispute is controversial and should allow contradictory opinions which can then be discussed within the scientific community. However, the recent developments including the expressed implications (see above) have led us to this drastic decision.
Interested scientists can reach the online library at: www.pattern-recogn-phys.net
UPDATE: I hear that there is a newer version of this note which added an extra paragraph:
“In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.”
Copernicus is a large publishing group which also publishes many other journals. I wonder if “nepotism” is the word for pal-review which occurs all the time…
UPDATE #2: So no one misses it, the Editors primary objection was “doubt of the IPCC” and this shows in their original Termination page as well as in their emails to authors. The “nepotism” excuse appeared later, probably when they realized how pathetic their reasoning was as the authors pointed out in their replies.
The Unspeakable special edition was authored by the following (skeptics will recognise many names):
N.-A. Mörner1, R. Tattersall2, J.-E. Solheim3, I. Charvatova4, N. Scafetta5, H. Jelbring6, I. R. Wilson7, R. Salvador8, R. C. Willson9, P. Hejda10, W. Soon11, V. M. Velasco Herrera12, O. Humlum13, D. Archibald14, H. Yndestad15, D. Easterbrook16, J. Casey17, G. Gregori18, and G. Henriksson19.
If you would like to thank the editor for guaranteeing that this paper will now be discussed in magazines and newspapers (when it might have been ignored) or if you’d like to suggest a different title for their business (Not Copernicus, perhaps) you can write to him martin.rasmussen AT copernicus.org. As always, be polite, please.
Nils Axel Morner has published 580 papers and presented 550 talks at major international conferences. He was the editor of the special issue which includes 14 papers and 20 authors. He writes to Martin Rasmussen:
“I can do nothing but condemn your decision as unjust, unethical and ultra anti-scientific.“
Make no mistake, the editors wrote to Nils and their main reason was that anyone could doubt the IPCC:
We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”.
So the editors were alarmed that scientists were not alarmed. It’s in writing. Who decides which papers have scientific merit these days?
Skeptics do not need the rusty clanking gears of peer review paper journals. We have free press, we have the Internet. It’s time we got back to what science is supposed to be. Science is not “peer review” — it’s reasoning and evidence. It’s not about the paper, the editors, the brand name or the color of the print. It’s about the truth.
Where are the real scientist, and the real science journals?
Peer review is broken, scientists need a better system – it’s time to boycott any journal which does not speak up against this weak act of caving in to the dominant paradigm. It is not about whether they agree with the scientific conclusions, it’s about free speech. It’s about science.
(1) all the individual papers can be downloaded (free of charge) at:
Tallbloke is shocked at the censorship
Brian Schmidt offered to bet against Maurice Newman, but what’s interesting is just how startlingly weak and underconfident the bet is.
How times have changed. In 2007 the IPCC seemed to be 90% confident that the world would warm by about 0.4 degrees over the next two decades. Now Brian Schmidt braves up to offer a bet of “anything above zero”. Is he really a sceptic? It appears so.
How much should we pay now to prevent “any warming above zero” in the next twenty years? $4.5 billion a year? How about nothing.
I sent something similar to this to three Australian editors yesterday, unfortunately at least two were out of the office. Holiday season.
As Australia’s largest sceptical climate blogger, I would be delighted to take up Brian’s offer of a bet (made to Maurice Newman).
Here’s the bizarre thing, I’m already a party to one of the largest bets on global temperatures, and would you believe, with a man also called Brian Schmidt? (My husband, David Evans, carved out that bet long ago in 2007, and as it happens, right now, things are looking good for us at the moment.) We have a US$6,000 exposure, Brian Schmidt has US$9,000 and the bet was split into three bets ending in 10, 15, and 20 years (so ending in 2027). Though this bet was based on a low end temperature rise of just 0.15 degrees C per decade, which was below the IPCC estimate, butwhich is not happening.
The other Brian Schmidt (the Nobel Prize winner) is offering to bet on any warming at all, something very conservative (for people convinced of man-made climate change), and potentially much riskier for me. Indeed, even if there is only a small amount of warming and he wins, it could still show that the current IPCC climate models are wrong, and skeptics like myself were right to criticize them.
Both Schmidt and I also agree that the greenhouse effect is real, so the question is whether other factors overwhelm it. For example, the Earth is covered by a blanket of cloud that covers 60% of the planet. Schmidt mentioned Roy Spencer’s work, but Spencer himself explains that if clouds increase by even 1 -2%, say, it will dramatically affect the temperature of Earth. The climate modelers Schmidt follows admit they are unable to predict cloud cover changes. Their models also don’t include any effect due to solar magnetic activity, and if Henrik Svensmark is right this would easily neutralize, or override any warming effect of CO2. Others, like David Archibald and Professor Solheim have noticed that longer solar cycles correlate with cooler global temperatures, and the current cycle appears to be very weak and long. The ominous slowdown in solar activity has many solar astronomers predicting a grand minima may occur.
To put this in perspective, some say (in a rather scary way) that CO2 adds the equivalent of 4 Hiroshima bombs of extra energy to our atmosphere every second. But the sun is so powerful, it is continuously adding 500 times as much energy. Surely a small change in the sun could swamp a trace gas, potentially anyway? The IPCC are 95% sure it can not.
In Brian Schmidt’s favour, there has been a warming trend for the last 200-300 years and it is reasonable to assume that it will continue. Though without understanding the cause of why the warming started so long before our CO2 emissions rose, this is more a dart-throwing projection than science. Conversely, not in Schmidt’s favour is the general cooling trend that has run for the last 5,000 years. Like the stock market, all rising trends continue until they fall.
Then there is a sixty year cycle of Pacific Oscillations, which has reliably oscillated for hundreds of years. We recently entered into a down-swing of that cycle, and will continue to be in it until the mid 2030′s. During these downswings, there are more La Nina’s and as the winds grow stronger over the Pacific, the deep cold waters are stirred which releases the “stored cold” and sucks the heat out of the atmosphere. Some of the warming in the 1980s and 1990s was probably due to the upswing of this same cycle. Those claiming the ocean has cooled the climate in the last 15 years, never acknowledge that the oceans might equally have been warming it in the 20 before that. There is no symmetry in this “science”.
Schmidt’s argument quietly marks the end of the era of the IPCC
Schmidt does not try to defend their predictions. His bet is a tacit admission the alarmists were wrong. But instead of admitting that, he is one of a growing group trying to shift the goal posts instead. This is a desperate rearguard action to save face and pretend that any warming at all in the next twenty years is some kind of “win”. A few years ago the extremists were saying we only had ten years til we hit a tipping point — now, golly, it’s only twenty years til we see any warming at all. Be afraid!
Twenty more years of nothing would make it 37 years of no climate trend. This would be far beyond utter and complete failure, but anything above that is being dressed as success.
There is no way we will let them get away with this.
The real policy question we need to discuss in our national newspaper (because it sure won’t happen in Fairfax or the ABC) is our action on man-made emissions. The Schmidt bet is nothing but an attempt to sidetrack us from the points Maurice Newman so devastatingly raised.
How much money should we spend?
Let’s spend nothing. Scrap all the carbon clauses, the subsidies to inefficient energy, the grants to climate models we know are broken. One-sided funding to scientists seeking a crisis has done more harm than good to science, but it has engendered a lot of namecalling. Unless there is a change, climate science will advance faster if the government gets out of the way. I have yet to see a single observational study suggesting we will improve the weather with carbon credits or windmills and solar panels. We could save lives and spend the money on medical research instead. The opportunity cost is ignored.
How many people must we kill appeasing the God of the Carbonistas?
PS: to readers. You may wonder why I am willing to enter a bet which is basically accepting the failure of the IPCC models as a starting point. But I have access to some unpublished research that suggests this is still very much a bet worth making. I will explain in full soon. In the next few months it will become clear. This is the first hint of a new theme which is likely to come to dominate this blog. Wait til you see…
What I found most interesting about this was the skill, dedication and length of meteorological data taken in the 1800′s. When our climate is “the most important moral challenge” why is it there is so little interest in our longest and oldest data?
Who knew that one of the most meticulous and detailed temperature records in the world from the 1800′s comes from Adelaide, largely thanks to Sir Charles Todd. The West Terrace site in Adelaide was one of the best in the world at the time, and provides accurate historic temperatures from “Australia’s first permanent weather bureau at Adelaide in 1856″. (Rainfall records even appear to go as far back as 1839.) Lance Pidgeon went delving into the National Archives and was surprised at what he found.
If we want to understand our climate the records from the 1800′s in Adelaide are surely worth attention?
The BOM usually shows graphs like this one below starting in 1911. You might think you are looking at the complete history of Adelaide temperatures and that smoothed temperature is rising inexorably, but the historic records remain unseen. While “hottest” ever records are proclaimed in the media, few go hunting for older hotter records. Yet, one of the hottest temperatures recorded in Australia were recorded in 1828, and raging heatwaves with temperatures over 50C occurred in the 1800s. In 1896 a monster heatwave across the nation killed hundreds, and people were even evacuated on emergency trains.
BOM temperature records for Adelaide ignore older warmer days: BOM
The old equipment was not identical to modern stations, but it was recorded diligently and with expert attention, and in the same location for over 120 years. When compared side by side, the older types of screens produced slightly more extreme temperatures than the Stevenson screens but this does not mean that the old recordings should be forgotten. With careful adjustment the Adelaide record could be one of the longest in the world. Strangely, no one seems too interested. If these old records showed Adelaide was way cooler in the 1860′s, do we suppose an eager PhD student would not have jumped at the chance to splice historic old and new records into a long alarming graph and a popular thesis? The question begs…
I fear the cult of the young means the smarts of the oldest of old-timers is automatically discounted, yet those old codgers from the 1800′s weren’t necessarily old at the time, and were connected to the harsh realities of the natural world in way that soft cushy net-connected university grads could not imagine today.
Below, notice how commonly those red spikes go about 40C? Adelaide gets scorched nearly every year. It’s summer.
Thanks to Lance for his work and his patience.
Guest Post by Lance Pidgeon
Amongst the best temperature recordings taken anywhere in the world were the recordings taken at the West Terrace Adelaide observatory by the scientist, astronomer, meteorologist and pioneer of Australian post and telegraph, Sir Charles Todd K.C.M.G. M.A. F.R.S F.R.A.S. F.R.M.S F.S.T.E.
Here thanks to Chris Gillham is the chart you get from the BOM West Terrace data in Adelaide. It could be even longer! (What a shame the West Terrace data stops in 1979). As it is, we see how incredibly constant the average temperature was.
Summary of the old Adelaide data…Nothing to see here. Move along!
How good is this old data?
Temperatures were recorded concurrently at Adelaide via multiple different methods using many different types of stands and equipment. Even the temperature at various depths under the ground was recorded but the most basic of these fantastic old records does not show on the BOM raw temperature data record here before 1887.
“The temperature of the soil is also ascertained by mercurial thermometers, whose bulbs are respectively 8, 5, and 3 feet beneath the surface.”
Image: National Library of Australia
Could these old measurements be wrong?
Keep reading →
Brandon Shollenberger writes a follow up of the survey last week that was inspired by Stephen Lewandowsky’s work (thanks to all the people who helped fill it out). Note the footnote and the background reading, before commenting. – Jo
Warmists Are Never Wrong, Even When Supporting Genocide
Global warming proponents support genocide. That may seem hard to believe, but remember, they’ve said it’d be right to blow up dams and burn cities to the ground:
Unloading essentially means the removal of an existing burden: for instance, removing grazing domesticated animals, razing cities to the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas emissions machine. The process of ecological unloading is an accumulation of many of the things I have already explained in this chapter, along with an (almost certainly necessary) element of sabotage. If carried out willingly and on a sufficiently large scale, this process would require dismantling many of the key components of civilization; no person would be foolish enough to cut off their own limbs unless they were suffering from some kind of psychotic delusion, and no civilization would be willing to remove many of the pillars of its own existence. Looking from the outside, though, a civilization hacking off its own extremities would seem like exactly the right thing to do.
That view is not from some fringe element global warming proponents shun. James Hansen, arguably the most influential member of the cause, supported the book that was said in. Hansen has also suggested “coal trains will be death trains” and GHGs could “destroy much of the fabric of life.” Supporting genocide is incredibly extreme, but clearly some extremes are acceptable to them.
But supporting genocide? That’s hard to believe. I’d need some strong data to make me even consider the idea. That’s why I collected some. Using the approach of Lewandowsky et al, I created a survey (copy here) which got 5,697 responses (two of which I filtered out for being incomplete). Three items on the survey were:
You believe global warming is a [sic] real.
You believe global warming poses a serious threat.
You believe genocide is…
Respondents were asked to rate their level of disagreement/agreement (1-5) on the first two. For the third, they rated bad/good (1-5).
I found statistically significant correlations (at the 99.99% level) for all pairings of these items:
As you can see, people who say global warming is real but not a serious threat are more likely to oppose genocide. On the other hand, people who say global warming is a serious threat are more likely to support genocide. The effect isn’t large, but it is statistically significant. There’s more. The survey also included the item:
You have never been wrong.
The effect is small but statistically significant at the 99.99% level. Believing global warming is a serious threat correlates with believing one has never been wrong. Believing you are fallible correlates with merely believing global warming is real. Combine these two findings, and we get:
- Believing global warming is a serious threat correlates with believing you are never wrong.
- Believing global warming is a serious threat correlates with supporting genocide.
Therefore, global warming proponents believe they are never wrong, even when supporting genocide.
Quick note, Stephan Lewandowsky built upon correlation matrices like mine by using factor analysis and structural-equation modeling (SEM). These cannot change observed patterns; they can only tease out additional ones. I am not replicating those steps.
* * *
Jo Nova’s Footnote: The conclusions should be taken every bit as seriously as Stephan Lewandowsky’s finding that four potential unconfirmed skeptics (who responded to surveys on alarmist sites) say they believe the moon-landing was faked. Though Shollenberger’s study was five times the size, only used one version of the survey instead of two or three different ones, and makes no claim that 78,000 warmists saw the survey on a site which had no links to it. Plus when I asked for the data it was provided immediately. We look forward to further analysis
Footnote #2: Filed under Satirical science.
Important background material:
All posts on Stephen Lewandowsky
Another sign the debate is shifting, and probably in an irreversible way. Like a ratchet, the truth is slowly advancing, but once revealed, there is no going back.
The debate is gaining nuance: instead of scientists and deniers, there the public starts to see the argument is about shades of grey. The real debate has never been about whether greenhouse gases were real, instead it’s about how much global warming will happen. The cheating tactic of pretending the conflict was about something that nearly everyone agrees upon is like a ticking bomb for alarmists. The fuse has been lit. They will pay for their deception eventually.
Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, is following up on his extraordinary front page article in The Australian. He is influential and was Chairman of the ABC, and of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange, and was Chancellor of Macquarie University until 2008.
Maurice Newman in The Australian today:
GIVEN the low-grade attacks on me following my piece “Crowds go cold on climate cost” (The Australian, Dec 31) readers of Fairfax publications and The Guardian may be shocked to hear I believe in climate change. I also accept carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The trouble is, I cannot reconcile the claims of dangerous human CO2 emissions with the observed record.
Newman is someone from outside science, telling scientists what science is, and he’s right:
The climate consensus of the 70s, like the period since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established in 1988, was dominated by politics, not science. I was reminded of how deeply political awareness has infected today’s academies when I received an apology from a respected climate scientist who corrected his own public cheap shot at me. He said, “I attempt to be politically even-handed … I try to steer a middle course as a scientist.”
Really? Surely science is not about neutrality? It is about evidence and conclusions which fall where they will. So when an internationally acclaimed climatologist like Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama at Huntsville dispassionately analyses climate models covering 33 years and concludes that both the surface and satellite observations produce linear temperature trends that are below 87 of the 90 models used in the comparison, he does not politically neutralise his findings. They are empirical fact.
Newman talks of the massive turnaround in the renewables subsidies that is currently underway – of how Europe is pulling back. Then puts a fine point on what caused the waste. Sloppy science and sloppy journalism. As I keep saying “The Media Is the Problem”. In Australia Andrew Bolt led the way, then The Australian, now there are tiny hints that some in Fairfax see a crack in the facade.
What we now see is the unravelling of years of shoddy science and sloppy journalism. If it wasn’t for independent Murdoch newspapers around the world, the mainstream media would be almost completely captured by the IPCC establishment. That is certainly true in Australia. For six or seven years we were bullied into accepting that the IPCC’s assessment reports were the climate science bible. Its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, told us the IPCC relied solely on peer-reviewed literature. Then Murdoch papers alerted us to scientific scandals and Donna Laframboise, in her book The Delinquent Teenager, astonished us with her extraordinary revelation that of 18,000 references in the IPCC’s AR4 report, one-third were not peer reviewed. Some were Greenpeace press releases, others student papers and working papers from a conference. In some chapters, the majority of references were not peer reviewed. Many lead authors were inexperienced, or linked to advocate groups like WWF and Greenpeace. Why are we not surprised?
We’re at the point where all the past cheating tactics (like bullying, namecalling and dodging debates) are starting to backfire badly. Coming sometime is the steep fall of public opinion on “climate change” down over the Continental Shelf of Abject Derision into the Trenches of Urban Mythology.
Keep reading →
Reader Cookster expressed amazement asked if the tide was turning and linked to Tom Switzers piece in the SMH today “Game Finally Up for Carboncrats”. It’s a no-holds barred description of the current state of the climate scare. I’m not a regular reader of the SMH (the left leaning major daily in Sydney), so I might be wrong, but I’m tempted to agree with Cookster. What I can’t tell from the other side of the country is whether this was put out in print in the main Op-Ed section (please let me know).
Switzer is well respected in Australian newsprint (he’s the editor of The Spectator Australia) which no doubt made it hard for the SMH to say no. But look how confident, and well informed he is. The bland truth is that Kyoto is over, and as Tom says:
“Prospects for a replacement are virtually zero. Rich nations are rejecting climate compensation for the developing world. Europe is in a coal frenzy. Germany, a former green trend-setter, is slashing unaffordable subsidies to the renewables industry. The European Parliament is losing confidence in the EU emissions trading scheme. No Asian nation has an emission trading scheme in operation. China’s and India’s net emissions are growing dramatically and governments, most recently Japan’s, are abandoning earlier pledges to reduce their nations’ carbon footprints. Even US Democrats, notwithstanding President Obama’s direct action-style energy plan, won’t pass modest carbon-pricing bills in the Congress. Add to this those debunked predictions (remember the vanishing Himalayan glaciers, disappearing North Polar ice cap?), and it is clear that Tim Flannery’s moment has come and gone.
It really would be remarkable if reality was nibbling away at Fairfax editors. Apparently the circle of believer-territory is shrinking. (First The Australian, then Fairfax, lastly the ABC…?)
Al Gore and Tim Flannery would not be too happy about this.
“… Of course, the environmental doomsayers remain apocalyptic. You try going on the ABC’s Q&A and raise doubts about global-warming alarmism. You will still see the inner-city studio audience treating you not merely with hostility but with open-mouthed incredulity.
The climate-change Cassandras are increasingly marginalised here and abroad.
When they abuse, intimidate and victimise anyone with the temerity to criticise the fanaticism of their movement, the inclination of ordinary Australians is either to shrug their shoulders with a profound lack of interest or to grimace at this moral grandstanding.
Historians will probably look back at the years 2006-09 as the time when the climate hysteria reached its peak in Australia, when rational debate was at its most restricted and politicians at their most gullible.
Keep reading →
The 200,000 comment mark has crept up on me. Not long to go…
For the record there were 496,107 “unique visitors” to this site during 2013.
All told, the crowd spent 23,703 person-hours on this blog last year.
(Who is reading? See these comments).
I’m grateful to the commenters for generating such an avid conversation.
Thank you especially to the volunteer moderators who look out for me and make this possible.
Thank you to the people who donated in support. It is brilliantly useful, Cheers!
My favorite posts.
Gratefully, — Jo
UPDATE: JoNova Alexa ranking globally is 78,819 (similar to GWPF 80,292; Bishop Hill 102,464; Climate Audit 84,996). This site’s rank in Australia a very good 2,015. (Lower is better). Congrats WUWT global rank 10,250.
Right now, I’m getting 30% of my traffic from the UK, which is surprising.
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