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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The Skeptics Handbook

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The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



A Handy-Dandy Carbon Tax Temperature-Savings Calculator

 Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger have created a calculator of exactly how many degrees of global warming will be averted if the IPCC is right. I can’t think why the IPCC didn’t do this before. For example, if all industrialized nations  achieve a 100% reduction  (that is, stop using coal, oil, gas, diesel, and avgas tomorrow*), then 87 years from now the world will be 0.352C cooler (assuming climate sensitivity is a high 4.5C and the models work, and nothing else changes in the atmosphere). The great thing is you can adjust the parameters yourself to see how many ways Global Action does not add up.

Calculator from (Click to go to the calculator)

Unfortunately it does not also project the costs. Version II perhaps?

*Please forgive me for that sweeping assumption. We all know that to get a true 100% reduction in CO2 emissions we’d need to do a lot more. Like building nuclear plants from handmade mud-bricks using solar powered trucks and wind-powered cranes. And no more flights to anywhere unless you have a pedal powered hang-glider or one of those marvelous solar planes that takes 2 months to cross the US.


Ocean temperatures – Is that warming statistically significant?

The oceans as measured by ARGO are warming, but that warming is not only far less than the models predicted, it is far less even than the instrument error.

The background of a crucial point

Everyone agrees: 90% of the energy in the Earth’s climate system is stored in the oceans. Rocks and sand don’t transmit the heat down, except at incredibly slow rates. The wil-o’-the-wisp-atmosphere hardly holds any energy. But water covers 70% of the surface, to an average depth of 3,700m, and it can store septillions of joules.

Climate models say the Earth’s energy balance is out of whack, and therefore 90% of the extra energy trapped by increasing greenhouse gases is stored in the ocean.  The oceans are warming (probably), but the extra energy found in the top 700m of the world’s oceans is not enough. The modelers argued the heat was hidden below, that from 700m-2,000m. Skeptics argue the missing energy was flung out to space. This is the big enchilada, and as far as measuring oceans goes, everything changed in 2003 when we finally got the ARGO system, and that’s why it’s worth a closer look now.

David points [...]

IPCC plays hot-spot hidey games in AR5 — denies 28 million weather balloons work properly

The classic hot spot prediction (A) compared to 28 million weatherballoons (B). Click to enlarge. You won’t see this in the new report.

It was a major PR failure in 2007. The IPCC won’t make the same mistake again. They’ve dumped the hot-spot graphs.

In AR4 they put in two graphs that show how badly their models really do. In the next report they plan to bury the spectacular missing-hot-spot images through “graph-trickery” and selective blindness. Each round of IPCC reports takes the spin-factor up another notch. It’s carefully crafted.

See the draft of AR5: Chapter 9: Evaluation of Climate Models

It’s hot-spot hidey games and PR tricks

In the new extra-tricky AR5 version, the IPCC “quote the critics” and ignore them at the same time. That way they can say they include the McIntyre’s, McKitrick’s, Douglass’, and Christy’s: the words are on the page, but that doesn’t mean the information is used in the conclusions. The models have failed and they bury that undeniable result under the clutter.  (You’ll need to read the fine print). There is no acknowledgement that this issue of the “hot spot” drives more amplification of predicted warming in their models than any [...]

Unpaid students to review AR5. This is rigorous expert science right?

The Risk Monger (David Zaruk) was astonished to receive an advertisement from the Dutch government looking for 60 young PhD students to help with the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

They salary is “none”. But they are not just looking for any old student. You don’t need experience, but to qualify you need “an affinity with climate change”. I guess they are not looking for skeptical students who feel an affinity with logic, reason, and empirical evidence?

The reasons for asking the unpaid students is actually described as an “ambitious plan” to do a “thorough review” because there were “errors in the fourth assessment report…”. O.K.

The Risk Monger:

Maybe I am jumping to conclusions, but with all of the mess of the last IPCC Assessment Report (including a non-scientific WWF campaign document predicting the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers getting through the review process and becoming one of the IPCC’s main conclusions), shouldn’t they try to do a more rigorous review process this time around? Students, working for free, are not perhaps the ideal choice of reviewers needed to challenge the experts

What troubles the Risk-Monger more here is that many environmental activists are working on their PhDs and [...]

Pachauri quietly blows goalposts away, pretends to like skeptics. It’s all PR to keep the gravy train running.

There’s a PR war going on

Pachauri is chief PR officer for the Global-not-so-Warming-Gravy-Train. His job is to say things with a straight face that are the complete opposite of what he’s said before, and to pretend he has never said anything differently.

The IPCC are a government committee who’ve stamped the brand name “science” to their policy wish list. They got away with it by using ancient tribal rhetorical techniques. Call your opponent names, spit on their reputation, spread nasty rumors, and tell the useful idiots who follow you that they are smart, caring, and superior — even as you teach them to chant “denier” in response to the dog-whistle. The good thing about having Idiot followers is that can believe at the same time that “denier” is a scientific term and that they have a high IQ.

It is also handy if you give out plum government jobs and consultancies, to keep your supporters ardent. The power of patronage, what ho!

But the game is changing, skeptics have scored too many points.

Thus and verily skeptics have been hitting home runs by shining a light on the religious attitude of the IPCC which keeps declaring unscientifically [...]

Donna Laframboise – Secret Santa leak of AR5 Working Group II material

BREAKING:All the files from Working Group II of AR5 are now available just as “ahem” the open-and-transparent-IPCC would want them. There are 661 files amongst 1 gigabyte of material. This includes their meeting in Japan, in Jan 2011 and a year later in San Francisco, and then Buenos Aires, 10 weeks ago.

Leaked — Working Group II drafts

Behind the scenes Donna Laframboise finds that there is a layer of aggressive activists who are privvy to the IPCC drafts process, and actively lobbying. WWF are pushing the IPCC to cite the WWF. They helped create Himalaya-gate where the IPCC ridiculously predicted the end of the massive Himalayan glaciers by 2035, and got caught embarrassingly. Donna’s book showed that “two thirds of the chapters in the 2007 IPCC report included among their personnel, at least one individual linked to the WWF. One third of the chapters were led by an WWF-affiliated author.” Apparently nothing much has changed.

Donna Laframboise writes:

My 2011 book, The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert, documents the IPCC’s numerous credibility problems. Among these is the disturbing influence of green activists on what is supposed to be a rigorous [...]

Unleashed: Monckton releases his AR5 reviewer comments

Because the AR5 report is now leaked into the public domain, Christopher Monckton has released his AR5 review comments on the Lord Monckton Foundation site. Notably, Monckton does his absolute best to help the IPCC operate as a useful honest public service. In the most statesman-like manner, Monckton works from the principle that the IPCC’s credibility could theoretically be rescued. (How generous is he?) Monckton also provides a few peer reviewed papers that the team of hundreds of experts has missed — just the odd 450 references or so. As always, meticulously researched, carefully thought out, and with impeccable logic. The IPCC must be paying him well for this rigorous input… oh wait…

In order to produce a respectable useful document the IPCC has to improve:

The IPCC needs to address the failure of their past key predictions. Split up the science from the politics. (Political appointee’s can write their own chapter*, not rewrite the scientists ones). The alterations to the scientists final draft need to be marked as such and sent back to the expert reviewers. All references from gray literature (eg activist press releases) should be removed. To stop the goal posts moving, the IPCC should update projections [...]

Draft IPCC report leaked (the evidence is so overwhelming it has to be kept secret!)

UPDATE: IPCC officially confirms that when it says “transparent” it means “secret”.

UPDATE2: Donna La Frambois points out Working Group III documents are still secret. “This is What Transparency Looks Like”

What was the point of keeping the IPCC draft secret? The point is so the IPCC can control both the content and the PR. The IPCC wants a free kick, and they get one if the world doesn’t see how they arrive at the conclusion, and if critics can’t specifically point to errors or flaws until weeks after the giant press circus has done its megaphone production.

It’s how the media game works. First they release the “up and coming” scary headline. (Already done for AR5.) Critics can’t criticize what they can’t see.

Then they release the Summary with a three ring display of terrifying headlines. The black box that justifies it is shown off in all its mysterious glory: 4,000 experts labored for 5 years, produced 2,000 papers, 2 million emails, and rigorously, savagely dissected the science to give you this ominous, frightening message. Pay us your tithe! We will stop the Storms! The inner workings of the black box are held in the Sacred Vault. Those who question [...]

The IPCC was not right. Frame & Stone ignore main IPCC predictions

Professor David Frame and Dr Daithi Stone have produced a paper claiming the IPCC predictions in 1990 were successful and seem accurate.

Those who read the actual FAR report and check the predictions against the data know that this is not so.

They ignore the main IPCC predictions (the prominent ones, with graphs, in the Summary for Policymakers) They don’t measure the IPCC success against an IPCC graph or within IPCC defined “uncertainties”. They measure success against  a “zero trend” — something they defined as any rise at all beyond what they say are the limits of natural variability (which they got from the very models that aren’t working too well). Circular reasoning anyone? Frame and Stone themselves say the IPCC models didn’t include important forcings, and may have been “right” by accident.

Why did Nature publish this strawman letter? It’s an award-winning effort in selective focus, logical fallacies, and circular reasoning to be sure, but does it advance our understanding of the natural world? Not so.

Frame and Stone have produced a Letter to Nature saying that 3 is a lot like 6 (they are both larger than zero). If you ignore the Summary for Policymakers, pick a line [...]

The IPCC was wrong. (Matthew England and the ABC mislead Australians)

This is a rare unequivocal case of overreach.

Prof Matthew England proves he is either willing to stretch things beyond reason “for the cause”, or he doesn’t know what he is talking about, or both. Sarah Clark at the ABC didn’t do five minutes research on the story to check the facts or ask informed questions. This is not science, and it isn’t journalism either.

The Facts: The IPCC used the word “prediction” in 1990 and predicted a best estimate of 0.3°C with a  range of 0.2°C – 0.5°C per decade Even with the most generous overestimate of current trends, the temperature trend has fallen below their lowest estimate, while CO2 emissions were higher than expected. The 1990 predictions can not be called “true”, “consistent” or to have “occurred” by any definition in any English dictionary. The IPCC Prediction was Wrong

The quote from the first page of the Executive Summary of the Summary for Policy Makers, FAR 1990:1

“Based on current model results, we predict:

Under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0.3C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2°C – [...]

Don’t miss Donna Laframboise in Australia – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth

Donna Laframboise — author of the ground-breaking book “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert” and writer of the NoFrakkingConsensus Blog — is finally coming to Australia. I’ve booked. Have you?

Donna has been a key player, researching the way the IPCC works with an experienced eye of a real journalist (how rare). Her book scored media attention around the world as it documented how the so-called experts at the IPCC had often not even finished their PhD’s.

“In 1994, Kovats was one of only 21 people in the entire world selected to work on the first IPCC chapter that examined how climate change might affect human health. She was 25 years old. Her first academic paper wouldn’t be published for another three years. It would be six years before she’d even begin her doctoral studies and 16 years before she’d graduate.”

She described how WWF affiliates are lead authors and involved in two thirds of the IPCC’s 44 Chapters. She organized the citizens audit of the 18,000 odd references in the last IPCC report. The 40 volunteers checked every reference to see which were peer reviewed, and found that a staggering [...]

The IPCC 1990 FAR predictions were wrong

Have the 1990 IPCC predictions been proved completely, unarguably and utterly wrong? Yes.

They predicted that if our emissions stayed the same, temperatures would rise by 0.3 C per decade, and would be at the very least 0.2, and the most 0.5. Even by the most generous rehash of the data, the highest rate they can find is 0.18 C per decade which is likely an overestimate, and in any case, is below the very least estimate, despite the world’s emissions of CO2 continuing ever higher.

Climate Scientist Matthew England called that “very accurate”. Since when did 0.18 = 0.3? (Shall we call it “climate maths”, or just call it wrong?) The IPCC had a whole barn wall to aim at, and a battalion of government funded gold plated AK-47s to hit the target, but they still missed.

Both England and the ABC owe Minchin an apology.

The un-Skepticalscience page uses a pea and thimble trick to argue the IPCC 1990 predictions were right (“Lessons from Past Climate Predictions: IPCC FAR”). As usual John Cooks site looks  “technical” but uses complexity to hide the way they redefined the prediction in order to pretend it wasn’t wrong. Excuses excuses. Intellectual wordsmiths [...]

Nir Shaviv: On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes

Nir Shaviv, the well known astrophysicist from Israel, points out that climate sensitivity (according to the IPCC and co) has barely changed in 33 years. Therefore their predictions from the FAR (IPCC, First Assessment Report) in 1990 ought to mean something. Yet observations are now tracking outside and below even their lowest bounds of estimates. When will the IPCC admit those models need to change?




On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes Guest Post by Nir Shaviv (Reposted from ScienceBits , with permission. Thank you Nir). A few days ago I had a very pleasant meeting with Andrew Bolt. He was visiting Israel and we met for an hour in my office. During the discussion, I mentioned that the writers of the recent IPCC reports are not very scientific in their conduct and realized that I should write about it here.

Normal science progresses through the collection of observations (or measurements), the conjecture of hypotheses, the making of predictions, and then through the usage of new observations, the modification of the hypotheses accordingly (either ruling them out, or improving them). In the global warming “science”, this is not the case.

What do [...]

IPCC scientists test the Exit doors

RE: Mixed messages on climate ‘vulnerability’. Richard Black, BBC.

AND UPDATED: The Australian reports the leaked IPCC review, AND a radio station just announced it as “IPCC says we don’t know if there is a reason for the carbon tax”. See more below.


This is another big tipping point on the slide out of the Great Global Scam. IPCC scientists — facing the travesty of predictions-gone-wrong — are trying to salvage some face, and plant some escape-clause seeds for later. But people are not stupid.

A conveniently leaked IPCC draft is testing the ground. What excuses can they get away with? Hidden underneath some pat lines about how anthropogenic global warming is “likely” to influence… ah cold days and warm days, is the get-out-of-jail clause that’s really a bombshell:

“Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability”.

Translated: The natural climate forces are stronger than we thought, and we give up, we can’t say whether it will get warmer or colder in the next twenty years.


Greenpeace-gate breaks and the IPCC is busted. The shock. (Could they really be this dumb?)

What were they thinking? Greenpeace and the IPCC are both bleeding credibility over this one. The silly thing is, if they weren’t so arrogant, they could have hidden this so easily. The obvious conclusion is they are not even trying.

Steve McIntyre discovered that a lead-author on an IPCC report  was also a Greenpeace employee, and worse, he reviewed his own work.  A  recent IPCC report claimed we could get 80% of the world’s energy from renewables was thus founded not on a selective peer reviewed paper written by independent scientists, and not even on a shonky economic “study” issued by a big-government-loving-university, but, gasp, on a Greenpeace sponsored wish-list for world peace. Hello?

The IPCC issued a press release (May 9th) though as usual, with no details or sources at the time. They got the media headlines, then quietly “backed” it up a month later with a 1000 page report they figure no one will read. Certainly, they must be a little surprised that within two days of quietly releasing the tome, it is spreading like fire across the blogosphere, and some of it’s deepest secrets are already out of the bag.

Let’s be clear about this, Greenpeace [...]