'First, the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are dominant over the climatic effects and are overwhelmingly beneficial. Second, the climatic effects observed in the real world are much less damaging than the effects predicted by the climate models, and have also been frequently beneficial.'

Freeman Dyson,

in Foreword to http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/10/benefits1.pdf

Friday, 30 July 2010

The Carbon Bonanza. More government work for the UEA: not only CRU but LCIC too.

Like the Royal Society of London, which has turned itself into little more than an agent of government, some parts of our universities seem to be going the same way on board the 'CO2 is bad' bandwagon.


Despite the inconvenient lack of a climate signal due to human-released CO2, the carbon campaign unleashed by the IPCC trundles on, with fabulous sums of money being assigned to it.  One participant enjoying the bonanza is the University of East Anglia (UEA).  We have all heard more than was edifying about CRU, but there is a newer kid on their block: the Low Carbon Innovation Centre (LCIC).

The LCIC could easily be part of a government department under the previous administration, the major climate-related follies of which seem set to be continued by the new one.  And like government departments involved in the CO2 madness, they have no hesitation in peddling their wares to schoolchildren, despite the law against political indoctrination in education.
  
The LCIC website has (at the time of this posting) a banner with a sequence of 8 pictures, at least 2 of which show government ministers from the previous Labour government of the UK: Benn, Clark, and Miliband (Ed).  The picture of Benn could have been modelled on Soviet agitprop from the 1930s: his fist in the air, behind rows of happy children also with their arms in the air in gestures of solidarity.  Truly the people are marching forward to the sunlit uplands under the guidance of their wise masters.  (They will of course need all the sun they can get if renewable energy continues to divert resources from more sensible methods of mass energy production such as coal, gas, and nuclear.)
  
They describe three areas of activity (Source: http://www.lcic.com/index.php), where I have added some emboldening:

(1) CRed
The CRed System is the perfect tool to engage large communities of residents and workforces to reduce their carbon emissions and is ideally suited to address the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, NI 185 and NI186 and other National Indicators as well as more informal community-based commitments. It therefore meets the low carbon intentions of both public and private sector organisations with over 70 carbon reduction pledges to assist behaviour change. Each pledge pathway addresses aspects of domestic and business emissions including transport, energy consumption, food, waste and water offering efficiency advice on giving accurate savings figures.

(2) Innovation Funds
East of England Low Carbon Venture Capital Fund
In June 2009, UEA, through the Low Carbon Innovation Centre (LCIC), was provisionally appointed as Fund Operator for an exciting new investment fund in the East of England. This appointment, which follows UEA’s success in running the Carbon Connections programme has now been formalised and since the summer, the UEA team, led by LCIC’s Chief Executive Dr Chris Harrison, has been working hard with EEDA to obtain government approval for the Fund.  With approval in place, the next stage was to appoint a Fund Manager who will be responsible for raising private money for co-investment into innovative, regional SMEs alongside investments from the £8M pot from the European Regional Development Funds.  The fund will have a broad low-carbon remit and be capable of supporting a wide range of new and established companies in their low carbon activities and products through equity investments. 

Carbon Connections Fund
Designed specifically to stimulate and support the transfer of knowledge from the university research sector into public and private sector organisations, the Carbon Connections fund supports innovative projects involving technology or services development, proof-of-concept, prototyping or testing. From August 2009, projects will typically be supported up to a maximum of £50,000 subject to agreement of terms.  The Carbon Connections fund is operated by LCIC in collaboration with Carbon Connections UK Limited. 
[Carbon Connections UK Limited is a company registered in England, Company no.5906083 whose registered office is at The University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom.  See: http://www.carbon-connections.org/, where they assert 'Climate change affects us all and we need to act now to drastically reduce our carbon output.'  - a banality followed by a non-sequitur.  Dontcha just love higher education!]

(3) Carbon Consulting
Our services include; organisational and management reviews of carbon reduction potential; carbon footprinting for your organisation and its products; climate change mitigation and adaptation planning; long and short term staff and community engagement programmes designed to deliver and measure impact; evaluation for both technological and behavioural carbon reduction initiatives; and technology evaluation and options appraisal.
Here they are at work, doing some 'behavioural change' stuff for some local schools in Norfolk (Hat tip: thanks for this to reader Dave Ward):
Norfolk Evening News, 27 July 2010.










Dave comments:
'We have 2 local daily papers here in Norfolk - the Evening News, and the Eastern Daily Press (EDP). Both come under the Archant umbrella, and are edited in the same offices in the centre of the city. They are also printed in the same building on the outskirts .... The interesting thing is the rather different editorial policies - the EDP has a much wider coverage and is traditionally Tory supporting, as is most of Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire. The EEN as we call it (used to be the Eastern Evening News) is aimed primarily at the City and suburbs, which are largely Labour territory, although that changed at the last election.  If you only read the EEN you would know little of the UEA CRU "leak" ... The EDP, by contrast, has featured the saga in quite a bit more detail...'






I imagine the faithful run these outreach missions to schools, armed with their computer outputs showing terrible times ahead, and able to pick, like a Thought for the Day speaker, on some recent disaster such as a flood or a famine to drive home the relevance of their message.  
The immediate result is that the youngsters go home wanting to monitor energy use, but the real impact involves their being told what to do, what to believe, and to take it for granted that energy consumption must be reduced.  Despite our potential abundance of energy from many sources, energy which is not only important for our way of life, and our industrial competitiveness, but which also strengthens our ability to respond to whatever the climate may bring.  Including, in particular, the possibility of appreciably cooler weather.  This readiness is put at risk by fatuous talk of humans controlling the climate itself. 

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Good news: a new weapon in the war against climate nonsense - a climate app for the iPhone

Jo Nova has yet more good news for all those on the side of the angels.
http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/our-climate-the-iphone-ap-for-climate-realists/

An 'app' on climate has been published for the iPhone.

Created by honest scientists and commentators, this may well reach lots of people not likely to be reached by the blogs and the books and the movies.

The official site is here: http://www.ourclimate.info/

Just look at all this on offer:


'Our Climate features a number of “bite-size” climate information nuggets that you can absorb without needing a PhD in climate science! These information nuggets offer you rapid insight to some of the most interesting aspects of our climate, both today and in the past.

Try your hand at our fun climate quiz, where the answers are never really what you think at first!  See if you can get your score up to that of a professional climate scientist…

With literally dozens of built-in tutorials, Our Climate will help you understand how basic climate science operates and, most importantly, help you distinguish between climate facts, climate theories and popular misconceptions. 

Once you feel familiar with the basics, why not participate in our anonymous global poll on attitudes towards Global Warming?  When you have expressed your views, you can then see by region how the rest of the world’s users of Our Climate have voted.

Since climate issues do feature heavily in the news, you also have a climate-centric news feed directly on the App.  This offers you quick access to some of the top climate stories of the day.

Finally, Our Climate comes packed with a large number of very recent climate datasets that you can browse at your own pace, or perhaps use to settle a debate with friends!  Each dataset comes with a detailed set of comments to help you understand what the data is all about.'

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Why Would You Believe This? (7 of 8): 'Children born today will not be in a position of influence for 40 years, and by then it will be too late. The inertia in the climate system means that without action from us, by the time they can change the world, catastrophic warming will almost certainly be factored into the system.'

I look at this dismal piece of hypocrisy and gobbledeygook in three parts below.  The quote came from a now defunct site determined to enrol children in the pursuit of their green agenda, and who used their own irrational fears to justify passing them on to those too young to spot their nonsense.  More on that site here: (1).

(1) 'Children born today will not be in a position of influence for 40 years, and by then it will be too late.'

The claimed lack of influence of children is belied by the efforts of Schools Low Carbon Day to make them into political and commercial actors, influencing their parents and others to change lifestyles, and purchase so-called 'green energy tariff' electricity from a particular company.

I have found several more such sites. They are intent on indoctrinating children to toe the 'party line' on the environment. Children old enough to be scared, old enough to be influenced, but too young to fight back against the propaganda.

Here is one EU-funded boondoggle explaining itself:

'The main idea is to enable the pupils to learn about the challenges of global climate change and sustainable energy use and, at the same time, acquire the competences necessary to develop and subsequently apply adequate solutions.'

by means of:

'The European project “Schools at University for Climate & Energy (SAUCE)” offers a series of one-week on-campus education programmes for pupils ages 10-13 on the topics of energy efficient behaviour, renewable energies and climate change.'
Source: (2).

They were at it in London in June, where they set out to:

'develop education in climate awareness, offer smart energy choices for 10 to 13 year olds'

Too young to answer back, old enough to hassle their parents.  Does that explain this sinister choice of target group?
For more see: (3)

Here is a site which is quite blatantly majoring on fundraising via children:

'School children across the world have made an incredible difference to rainforest protection by fundraising for Cool Earth.'

and they note: 'Schools play a really important part in raising awareness about climate change'
Source: (4).

Here is another site not so convinced that 'children will not be in a position of influence for 40 years'.  They ask:

'What do you think will happen if one million of us marched, each in our own home towns, to send a message to the “ruling generation” that is so powerful that it actually causes a real shift in our world?  Sign up to be an organizer, leader or marcher!'
Source: (5).

Here is the Pew Centre, a prosperous-looking lobbying organisation by Washington DC, getting in on the game:

'To help more kids better understand global warming, the Pew Center recently collaborated with Nickelodeon to research children's and parents' attitudes and behaviors toward the environment. Nickelodeon is using the information for an interactive campaign called The Big Green Help.  There's a lot you can learn about global warming. To help, this page provides answers to six key questions about global warming, how it occurs, and how you can help to stop the process.'
Source: (6).

Or how about this anonymous site, probably in the UK, and aimed at 5 to 11 year olds:

'If your parents must use the car, ask them to avoid using it for very short journeys if possible, as this creates unnecessary pollution. Try to encourage them to share their journeys with other people, for example when they go to work or go shopping. Also encourage them to drive more slowly as this produces less pollution and less carbon dioxide.'
Source: (7).

What kind of results are such sites and initiatives getting?  I only have some 'for-instances'.  These folks are pleased:

'Because children are such strong catalysts for social change, the program has had wonderful results.'
This quote from a campaigning site aimed at children by a couple who were convinced by, of all things, 'An Inconvenient Truth'.
Source: (8).

And in the news this week from Boston:

'Totalitarians throughout history have understood the power of co-opting youth, and here is an organization advocating what can only be called the indoctrination of a generation of students in our country's public schools, beginning in kindergarten, into radical environmentalism and advocacy for "equitable social systems" -- at the expense of reading, writing and arithmetic! Similarly, the physics teacher quoted above states: "Our goal as educators is to help students understand how to get to a sustainable world." Isn't your goal as a physics teacher teaching physics? The disregard for the essential purpose of education -- -imparting knowledge -- is aggressively blatant.'
Source: (9).

Not so recent, but alarming all the same is the set of often illiterate letters from pupils organised by a teacher in a Californian school, to berate the Heartland Institute for not taking the correct line on climate.  They include such gems as:

'In the past couple of months, we have read articles about Global Warming and we know facts about G.W.  The 1st article is Diesel traffic makes asthma worse.  The article explains that diesel traffic can worsen lung function in people with asthma.  The 2nd article is Air pollution shrinks fetus size.  This means that if mothers have higher exposure to air pollution, the child's fetus will shrink.  The 3rd article is World Must Fix Climate in Less than 10 years.  This means that if we don't fix the climate, everything will be destroyed and we won't be able to survive.  Those are all the important articles we read.'
 The anonymised letters can be downloaded from: (10).

I leave the last word on this misuse of schools and exploitation of children, to an American journalist offended by some climate change ads using children for scaremongering.  I'd extend his remark to include all those initiatives in and around schools on climate scaremongering:

'I don't know about you, but irrespective of my position on this issue, I find using children in this fashion to be indefensible and way over the line of decency.'
Source: (11).  .

(2) 'The inertia in the climate system ...'

The 'inertia of the climate system' is not defined, but it may refer to remarks by James Hansen in 2009.

From the climategate emails, we read a message from Trenberth, on 12th October 2009, cc'd to, amongst others, Hansen:
 'The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.'
Source: (12).

Hansen speaking about two weeks later in over-the-top demented alarmist terms well-suited for the Club of Rome, has found somewhere to hide the missing heat: in a pipeline, aka a timebomb.  His talk was entitled 'Global Warming Time Bomb', and his slides included one with the device 'Climate Inertia -> Warming in Pipeline'.
Source: (13).

A more temperate scientist, Roger Pielke Snr writes in January 2010:

'But unless observations document that significant heat is accumulating deeper in the ocean, there are no major amounts of unaccounted for Joules in the climate system. There is therefore no “unrealized heat” and, thus, no “heating in the pipeline”.'
Source: (14).

I'm more convinced by the analysis of Pielke, than by the conjecture of Hansen.

No pipeline, no timebomb, no scary headlines.

(3) '... means that without action from us, by the time they can change the world, catastrophic warming will almost certainly be factored into the system.'

Why would that be?  The 'almost certainly', as we have seen in earlier posts in this series, ought to read 'almost certainly not' given the complete lack of evidence of any extraordinary cause for concern, in particular from CO2.  Many scientists accept that CO2 alone could change average temperatures anywhere between a modest decrease to an increase of around 1C.  No grounds for catastrophe there.  Any such changes would scarcely be detectable against the background variation which is part and parcel of our climate.  So, it comes back to the computer models.  The Club of Rome had such an impact with their now widely ridiculed modeling, that I can't help but feel the plotters behind the IPCC were keen to make the most of the climate modellers' arts.  Especially those who invented a positive feedback mechanism that allowed the modest impact of CO2 to be converted into a dramatic effect due to water vapour.  They might well have hoped to rely on the same lack of critical review which the media gave to the Club of Rome, and if so they were surely right.  No one expects high standards from the media, but once upon a time, we expected it from science. Scientists once revered as objective seekers after truth have been transformed into jobsworths seeking security of tenure and larger research grants, both of which were jeopardised by going against the received wisdom on climate.

But hope springs eternal: the recent rebellion by fellows of the Royal Society was one bright spark, and here is another from a journalist recognising failings in her profession:

'These are desperate days for global warming advocates, and they should be. The two groups we rely on the most to be skeptical and detail-oriented, scientists and reporters, have continued to badly fail us.'
Source: (15).

In my more charitable moments, I suppose that the founders of 'Schools' Low Carbon Day'  were merely badly failed by scientists and reporters.  At other times, I wonder at their enthusiasm for scaring schoolkids in order to advance their 'green agenda'.

References
(1) http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/06/schools-low-carbon-day-concerned.html
(2) http://www.schools-at-university.eu  
(3) http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/news/latest-news/july-2009/local-school-children-get-to-the-sauce-of-climate-change.cfm
(4)  http://www.coolearth.org/421/category/get-involved-176.html
(5) http://kids-vs-global-warming.com/Home.html
(6) http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-basics/kidspage.cfm
 (7) http://www.clean-air-kids.org.uk/index.html
(8) http://www.cancelacar.org/who-we-are/.
(9) http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/avantgarde_sustainability_curr.html
(10) http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/22921/California_Teacher_Encourages_Political_Activism_by_Elementary_School_Students.html
(11) http://newsbusters.org/node/19907
(12) http://thefinalredoubt.blogspot.com/2009/11/christmas-has-come-early-for-climate.html
(13) www.clubofrome.at/2009/amsterdam/p/hansen.pdf
(14) http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/my-view-of-the-terminolgy-heating-in-the-pipeline/
(15) http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/Examiner-Opinion-Zone/A-Journolist-for-climate-change-99317999.html

Monday, 26 July 2010

USA Draft Framework for Science Education: an opportunity for Americans to comment - deadline 2nd August.



There are those who want to recruit children as agents to hassle their parents into conforming to the green religion's dictates on lifestyle, taxation, and government control. The manipulation of school curricula is one direct route for this indoctrination, an indoctrination based on taking cAGW for granted, and on treating the projections of inadequate computer models as gospel.

Norman MacLeod of Climate Science (a Google Group) is drawing attention to an opportunity for Americans to provide input into a review of 'K-12 science education for the nation's children':

'We are living in interesting times . . . 

The federal government is developing the next generation standards for K-12 science education for the nation's children.  Below I've provided a link to the announcement of the preliminary public draft of A Framework for Science Education.
http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bose/Standards_Framework_Homepage.html

As the announcement notes, this document is the first step in revising existing K-12 standards.  It is now open for public comment until August 2nd.  The authors will review your comments and then make "appropriate" revisions.


This stage of the process is taking place at the National Academies of 

Science, and has been convened by the National Research Council.  The next 

stage is going to be conducted by a non-profit organization, Achieve (

 http://www.achieve.org/ ) , which will work with the states to develop 

standards. 




The draft framework and access to the online comment submission and a PDF comment version are available by clicking on these links: 

View the Conceptual Framework Draft for Public Input: 

Click here to access the online survey and provide feedback:

Click here to view the survey questions in PDF format:

This is your opportunity to weigh in on what and how our children and grandchildren learn in their science courses in school.  We have our concerns about the quality of their education in all subject areas.  Please take part in this process while you can. 

Please also forward this message to anyone you know who might be interested in providing input to the process that's determining how science will be taught in American schools. 

            Norm 


24th July, 2010.


I imagine that inputs received and decisions taken there will be of interest around the world.  If there are any readers engaged with this, perhaps they would like to keep us informed of any developments with respect to climate topics in science education in the States.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Why Would You Believe This ? (6 of 8): 'The truth is the worst will probably not happen in our lifetime. But it will happen in our children's lifetime. And it will happen big time during their children's lifetimes.'

Three sentences taken from a statement issued to justify spreading alarm about climate into schools, and which I am steadily working my way through in a Fisking exercise which I hope might prove useful for reviewing other such statements (1):

'The truth is the worst will probably not happen in our lifetime. But it will happen in our children's lifetime. And it will happen big time during their children's lifetimes.'

I'll not dwell on the 'worst' somehow becoming 'not the worst' a generation later.  I guess they mean 'the worst so far', and want to convey the horror of 'things' just getting worse and worse.  But I do want to dwell on the confidence in the assertions, the 'it will happen' and the 'it will happen big time'.

The truth is we are not in a position to make such confident claims. Our knowledge is patchy.  Our computer models are recognised as inadequate for such forecasts, even by their builders.  They prefer to use the term 'projections' instead, but that is merely playing with words, a 'game' exploited successfully by those who facilitated and did the final edits of IPCC summary reports for policy makers, perhaps anxious that those policy makers (who partook in some editing of the reports, see (2)), be not too distracted by the primitive condition of climate science.

I make my counter-case in four chunks below.


(i) Some of the assertions underpinning the climate models are simplistic, speculative, and wrong.  
The application of a 'greenhouse effect' which does not explain why greenhouses get hot, the use of radiation budgets which seem to defy the laws of thermodynamics by displaying a relatively cool body (the troposphere) transferring heat to a relatively warm one (the Earth's surface) , and the insertion of a speculative feedback mechanism involving water vapour.  Previous posts in this series have materials relevant to this.


'The scientific method requires that a scientific hypothesis be judged by its ability to produce correct predictions. The scientific hypothesis of human-caused climate change has failed this test of science. To paraphrase the eloquent statement of Professor Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics, it does not matter who you are, or how smart you are, or what title you have, or how many of you there are, and certainly not how many papers your side has published, if your prediction is wrong then your hypothesis is wrong. Period.'
Source: (3).  


In the 2001 report they [the IPCC]  said, “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate state is not possible.” James Lovelock, Gaia hypothesis speculator said, “It’s almost naive, scientifically speaking, to think that we can give relatively accurate predictions for future climate. There are so many unknowns that it’s wrong to do it.”  Kevin Trenberth, IPCC author and CRU associate said, “It’s very clear we do not have a climate observing system… This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s going on with the climate, but we don’t.”
Source: (4).  


More leads on the limitations of climate models can be found by using the tag 'model_limitations' at: http://delicious.com/ClimateLessons


(ii) The forecasting methodologies, or rather lack of them, deployed to raise alarm are grossly  unsatisfactory. 
Experts in forecasting methodology, Green and Armstrong have this to say:

'The IPCC WG1 Report was regarded as providing the most credible long-term forecasts of global average temperatures by 31 of the 51 scientists and others involved in forecasting climate change who responded to our survey. We found no references in the 1056-page Report to the primary sources of information on forecasting methods despite the fact these are conveniently available in books, articles, and websites. We audited the forecasting processes described in Chapter 8 of the IPCCs WG1 Report to assess the extent to which they complied with forecasting principles. We found enough information to make judgments on 89 out of a total of 140 forecasting principles. The forecasting procedures that were described violated 72 principles.
Many of the violations were, by themselves, critical.  The forecasts in the Report were not the outcome of scientific procedures. In effect, they were the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing. Research on forecasting has shown that experts predictions are not useful in situations involving uncertainly and complexity. We have been unable to identify any scientific forecasts of global warming. Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder.' 
Source: (5).

(iii) Many of the IPCC-projected temperatures over the next 100 years might be troublesome, may not be unprecedented, and could be mainly beneficial.  
In which case, even for those naive enought to believe these forecasts, there is no need for alarm, only the sensible anticipation of challenges.  In particular, we can prepare schoolchildren, rather than scare schoolchildren.  A popular article mentioning some of the benefits of a warmer climate is to be found here: (6).  More on benefits, with further links here: (7).  It should be noted that warmer air temperatures of a few degrees on average will not raise air temperatures over the major icecaps and glaciers above freezing - they may in fact grow due to increased snowfall according to some warming scenarios.  The headline-generating scare of massive rises in sea-level is probably one of the least credible of all the assertions of the doomsters.

(iv) A cooler world would present enormously larger problems and challenges than a warmer one.
Yet this possibility is apparently dismissed by the IPCC, despite the strong evidence from the historical records that a new glaciation will arrive due course to end our rather pleasantly warm interglacial period, and that there are good reasons to take seriously the possibility of a briefer cooling spell over the next 20 to 30 years.  The assurance with which assertions are made about warming has served to weaken our ability to deal with cooling, for example by wasting money on extravagant and unreliable energy sources instead of building more coal and nuclear power stations, and encouraging research in both technologies.  A website dedicated to cooling, with many links on the topic, is here: (8).

Overview
The confidence in climate predictions is misplaced.  The alarms about warming are over the top.  Cooling is a far bigger concern.  But note the phrase ‘the worst will probably not happened in our lifetime’.  This has immense value in freeing the proponent from having to produce convincing evidence.  ‘The worst is yet to come!’ they can cry without fear of refutation.  Like the High Street placard bearers sometimes seen in cartoons and in reality, with their  ‘The End of the World is Nigh’ warnings, they can if they wish define‘Nigh’ to mean '50 to 100 years from now’ and continue their pacing without fear of contradiction.  But while we'd chuckle at their harmless eccentricity, the IPCC has found a more sophisticated way of doing the same thing, and has been taken so seriously by many governments that they are threatening to devastate their own economies in response, and of course harm the physical and mental wellbeings of their citizens on the way.

References
(1) First of a series of related posts: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/06/schools-low-carbon-day-concerned.html
(2) A peek into part of the preparation of Summary Reports: http://www.iisd.ca/vol12/enb12319e.html
(3) http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5929
(4) http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/25387
(5) The Green & Armstrong paper quoted can be downloaded from here: http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=129
(6) http://newsbusters.org/node/12628
(7) http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5600
(8) http://www.climatecooling.org/

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Schools' Movie Project on Climate - appeal from Oz for donations to get it underway later this year

With Jo Nova as head of the script, and other distinguished contributors ready to go, this could be a breakthrough in the worldwide search for an antidote to the toxic 'An Inconvenient Truth' which has been force-fed to children, and to their teachers, for far too long.

In England & Wales, they are partly protected by a law against political indoctrination in schools, and by a court judgement making it clear that this odious movie must not be shown without health warnings.

But a full-strength antidote would be better.  Such a thing could hasten the end of the pandemic of fear, of fatuous thinking, and of foolish policy-making still gripping so many countries.  



If they do a decent job of it, it should be shown in every school that used Gore's movie, in order to help repair the damage that would have done to young minds.  A campaigning opportunity for the end of 2010?

Here is an extract from the appeal:


Climate Science: The Movie


....

A suggestion was made during the Monckton Tour that a movie be made, aimed specifically at young people, to give them the real facts. This suggestion has been widely supported and has grown to a proposal to make a series of short movies that could be made into one documentary covering the science, economics and the morality of the “global warming” hypothesis. The bulk of the Australian filming is planned for Lord Monckton’s next visit to Australia in September/October 2010. Some more information about the movie is given in the dedicated web site: http://climatesciencerevealed.com/www.climatesciencerevealed.com/Home.html
The North American Directors for this proposed movie are Susan Kucera and Gawain Bantle of Cinepartners. The budget amounts to about $300,000, which is very low for the quality of product we have planned given it must contain only incontrovertible facts and be professional enough to have credibility yet sassy enough to outdo “An Inconvenient Truth” in its appeal to youth. Joanne Nova, an experienced science communicator, will be the principal script writer and the anchor person. The documentary will feature Lord Monckton, Prof. Ian Plimer, Prof. Peter Ridd, numerous other Australian and overseas experts as well as some teenagers and older “young” people. We will use animated graphics and humour to keep young viewers interested. 
The intention is to distribute this movie to schools and to make it available on the internet.
....
Note: I put up a similar post to this a couple of days ago, but deleted it shortly after posting because I got cold feet about the lack of corroboration I could find about the movie project.  I have since received convincing reassurances that it is genuine, and I plan to make a donation myself shortly {if only they'd get rid of that gloomy music on their homepage!). 

Friday, 16 July 2010

Wiping the Floor with Albert Gore: sensible DVDs or videos on climate for use in schools

It is illegal to show Gore's propaganda piece, 'An Inconvenient Truth' in schools in England or Wales, without at the same time pointing out some of its more blatant errors or deceptions (1).  Elsewhere in the world, there may be no such protection afforded to pupils and staff.

If Gore's film has been shown without protection, there are other DVDs and videos which can provide antidotes to the poison, and help children and staff get climate change into a more sensible perspective.  Or, in case you might prefer a different analogy:

'When students are being deluged with global-warming propaganda, they desperately need life preservers. Here are some truth-filled DVDs that will help them stay afloat.'

This quote is from an article by Ed Hiserodt, published in 2008 (2).  I have partially reproduced some of his comments below, in italics, along with the DVDs he found.  Some may no longer be available.  I have added additional links in some cases:

Apocalypse? NO!
... entitled Apocalypse? NO! It is narrated by Lord Christopher Monckton,...
He speaks well to his audience, not attempting to impress with his understated scientific knowledge, but at a level that draws them along. He attacks the IPCC, the propaganda arm of the global-warming religion, for its duplicity and its intentional demonstrable "errors." He rips the IPCC for changing its position on climate change as it became more and more immersed in promoting the position of the environmental activists, and had less to do with any semblance of science. The IPCC's words are shown to be their own worst enemy. Adding to this, the Viscount chalkboards simple mathematical errors he personally found that were "overlooked" by the reputed 2,500 scientists and dozens of governments that supposedly back the IPCC's claims — errors that just happen to favor the alarmist position.
This product is mentioned on the SPPI site, along with some other videos: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/videos/.  But I can find no information there about ordering a copy.  In the meantime, for online viewing see: http://www.vidoosh.tv/play.php?vid=5281

The Great Global Warming Swindle
Were it not for the fact that The Great Global Warming Swindle DVD runs just barely over an hour, it would have been a difficult choice between this and Apocalypse? NO! It was also produced in England (where the heavy hand of carbon footprinting and carbon reduction is well on its way) and has that crisp dialogue and action you find in professional productions. It probably has the best and most professional graphics of all the available DVDs.
The Great Global Warming Swindle is produced by WAG TV, Channel 4 in England. For ordering information, see: http://www.greatglobalwarmingswindle.co.uk/dvd.html

Global Warming or Global Governance
If you want a DVD that presents the whole picture, including the machinations of American politicians led by Albert Gore, then Global Warming or Global Governance is the quintessential source. The featured scientists, the political commentary, graphics, clarity of presentation — this DVD has it all. Global Warming or Global Governance is, however, made to impart information to adults who already have a basic knowledge of the problem, and it lacks the entertainment qualities of the charming Viscount Monckton or the "upbeatness" of Channel 4's exposé. Were it a case of imparting information to adults rather than to school children, it would be my choice.
Global Warming or Global Governance is available from: http://www.globalwarmingglobalgovernance.com/

Carbon Dioxide and the "Climate Crisis" — Reality or Illusion was written by a father and son team of Ph.D.s, Sherwood and Craig Idso. This is anything but a "home movie"; it has excellent graphics and is broken into convenient segments (e.g., Earth's Climate History, Ice Sheet Disintegration) that make it useful as a research tool. 
To order this 53-minute DVD, see: http://yhst-7134682615375.stores.yahoo.net/carbon-dioxide-and-the-quotclimate-crisisquot--reality-or-illusion.html

An Inconvenient Truth ... or Convenient Fiction? is a thoughtful and well-documented rebuttal of Gore's horror-fiction movie, that was produced and narrated by Dr. Steven Hayward of the Pacific Research Institute. "The problem with Gore and other alarmists is that they distort the science, grossly exaggerate the risk, argue that anyone who disagrees with them is corrupt, and suggest that solutions are easy and cheap. And that's an all too convenient fiction." This is probably the best DVD to show the relative "forcings," i.e., the factors that could and do affect our climate. It is clear from these that carbon dioxide is not the culprit. 
Available from the Pacific Research Institute's online bookstore at http://www.pacificresearch.org/bookstore/an-inconvenient-truthor-convenient-fiction-dvd

Unstoppable Solar Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland demonstrates unassailable points in both the causes and effects of warmer temperatures. First, the DVD shows it is obvious from the stone walls around the fields where Viking cattle grazed that it was once much warmer in Greenland than now. Graves dug then with shovels would practically require dynamite today. I might add that during this period from about 950 A.D. to 1350 A.D. there is no record of ports such as London and cities such as Venice being under 20 feet of water. Unstoppable, at a mere 11 minutes, is a tasty appetizer.
Produced by The Idea Channel, it is available at no charge from info@ideachannel.com.
It can be viewed online here: http://www.nuganics.com.au/2008/05/06/unstoppable-solar-cycles-the-real-story-of-greenland/.


More recently, in 2009, the following documentary film was published:

Not Evil, Just Wrong
Global warming alarmists want Americans to believe that humans are killing the planet. But Not Evil Just Wrong, a new documentary by Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, proves that the only threats to America (and the rest of the world) are the flawed science and sky-is-falling rhetoric of Al Gore and his allies in environmental extremism.
Buy it here: http://noteviljustwrong.com/store

A short-lived campaign in the States to get this film shown in every school was launched this year as a counter to 'An Inconvenient Truth' .  More details here: (3).

One commentator has decried the use of either film in schools:

'Diane Katz, the director of Risk, Environment and Energy Policy at the Fraser Institute, said neither movie should be shown in schools.
"I don't think political propaganda belongs in schools, especially the younger grades," Katz said. "Unfortunately, so much of what passes for environmental education has very little to do about facts about the environment and has to do with the government control of our property and every other aspect of our lives. ... I don't think any of that stuff should be school material. No matter what side the filmmakers are coming from, I don't think any of that stuff belongs in the classroom."
Katz criticized school systems that have shown the Gore film.
"It says that whatever curriculum oversight there is, it is pretty poor," Katz said. "Obviously, it is predisposed to this green dogma."
Source: (4)

More DVDs or videos

A site which I have just come across is: http://www.climatedvd.com/  
It allows downloads of the following 6 items, along with instructions on how to create DVDs:

NASA's Jim Hansen at Oregon State University
This is the best case the warmers can make and it's not much: He admits that CO2 follows temperature; that CO2 was 1000ppm in the past & more. Seveal of his long term charts show recent temperatures lower than in the past. The only evidence that CO2 causes warming is that the models don't work without CO2. (Skeptics claim that the models don't work with CO2 either.)
 
Weather and Climate, Past, Present and Future
George H. Taylor

Science & Context in the Global Warming Debate
Bob Carter

Climate Catastrophe Cancelled
Friends of Science

What is Normal? A Critique of Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming Theory
Warren Meyer

Searching For Climate Change 
John Christy


Further finds

Carbon Truth DVDs downloadable from: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/5208611/
We now have a 2 disc DVD compilation set of the best Carbon Truth material available. You can download the DVDs via bittorrent and burn straight to disc from the file. This will be a powerful tool for waking people up to the GW/CC scam. 
Part I: The Science of Climate Fraud
Part II: The Economics and Politics of Climate Fraud


The Carbon Truth site itself offers 45 videos for download, or viewing online: http://carbontruthaction.ning.com/video
Not all of these are by scientists, or even by sceptics.  For example there is an Obama speech in Copenhagen, and the notorious 'The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See'  - which is a painful display of how not to do risk/cost benefit analysis.


Youtube videos.
A lot are out there,  Here are three for starters, and each link will show not only the video mentioned, but also show a list of others in the same subject area.

Bob Carter: 'Climate Change - Is CO2 the cause? - Pt 1 of 4'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOLkze-9GcI&feature=related
This series of 4 short (8 to 10 mins or so each) would be an excellent 'compare and contrast' focus for senior pupils who have also studied 'An Inconvenient Truth'.

Don't Panic - Flaws In Catastrophic Global Warming Forecasts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctRvtxnNqU8
(good discussion of positive feedback in climate models)

Freeman Dyson on Global Warming (1 of 2) Bogus Climate Models
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTSxubKfTBU&feature=related
(an extremely distinguished physicist shares his views on climate models)


I would very much welcome reviews of any of the above, or details of any difficulties in obtaining them, and for information about others which I have missed.

References
(1) 'In order for the film to be shown, the Government must first amend their Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that 1.) The Film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument. 2.) If teachers present the Film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination. 3.) Nine inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.'
More details here: http://www.newparty.co.uk/articles/inaccuracies-gore.html
(2) http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/movies/506
(3) http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15431779
(4) http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5487

Note added 25 April 2016.  I've not been good at updating this post with new videos.  But here is one by David Evans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gDErDwXqhc

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Why Would You Believe This? (5 of 8) 'The effects of climate change [due to man] are already being felt in Asia and Africa.'

'The effects of climate change are already being felt in Asia and Africa.' 

Of course, taking this literally, it is banal and unobjectionable.  Everywhere, all the time, the 'effects of climate change' are taking place, and being 'felt' by something or other.  Our climate has never been fixed anywhere, over any time period.

But of course, the sentence is a piece of spin, in the context of climate alarmism (1), perhaps designed in the hope that our compassion will distract us from the faulty logic.  While Asia and Africa have long been locations of awful earthquakes, famines, floods, and droughts, they are growing in economic strength to help deal with them.  Countries like India and China are surging ahead with economic development thanks in some part to burning hydrocarbons in the form of oil, gas, and coal.

Much of Africa and many parts of Asia remain burdened by feeble property rights, religious politicking, ruthless elites in power, and widespread corruption.  These, combined with anti-development urges of self-styled 'environmentalists', are the sources of harm most capable of reform by human action.  When faced with a variable, and often threatening, climate, it is better to be rich enough to respond, react, and protect, than to be poor and relatively helpless.

I present below some counter-examples, showing that relatively warm spells, such as the one we are in, have been more beneficial than relatively cool ones (such as during the Little Ice Age) in Asia and Africa, and some quotations to show that some commentators and some politicians there have not been fooled by the powerful and pernicious PR of the IPCC.

Asia

Floods

'In the case of mean river discharge, the empirical observations go doubly against climate alarmist predictions, i.e., most rivers show no change, while most of those that do change exhibit decreases.  In the case of maximum river discharge, the empirical observations go doubly against climate alarmist predictions, i.e., most rivers show no change, while most of those that do change exhibit decreases, indicative of less flooding.  In the case of minimum river discharge, the empirical observations go doubly against climate alarmist predictions, i.e., most rivers show no change, while most of those that do change exhibit increases, indicative of less drought.'   Source: (2).

Droughts

'nearly every major famine in India [over the period of their study] coincided with a period of reduced monsoon rainfall'


'noting two particularly devastating famines ... occurred at the beginning of the Little Ice Age '


'...marine sediments ...and a pollen record from the western Himalaya ... also indicate a weaker monsoon during the Little Ice Age and a relatively stronger monsoon during the Medieval Warm Period."'  Source: (3).

In other words, a continued gentle warming does not necessarily mean increased droughts in India and other parts of Asia.

Let us turn to Indian politics.  It seem the government there has benefitted from sounder scientific advice than that which has a strangehold in the West.  This observation from 2008 serves as an illustration:

'India has issued a report challenging global warming fears. This is dramatic. The Indian Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change said that India would rather save its people from poverty than global warming, and would not cut growth in order to cut gases.  Referring to claimed changes in climate attributed to human activity, the report declares: "No firm link between the documented charges described below and warming due to an anthropogenic climate change has yet been established." '   Source: (4).

In China, researchers there are exposing the IPCC-promoted hockey-stick as wrong (we already know from hundreds of studies that it is wrong just about everywhere, and statistically unsound as well, but we also recall the major role given to it by Gore and others wishing to profit from the IPCC lead):

'During the last 500 years, apparent climate fluctuations were experienced, including two cold phases from the 1470s to the 1710s and the 1790s to the 1860s, two warm phases from the 1720s to the 1780s, and after the 1870s. The temperature variations prior to the 1500s show two anomalous warm peaks, around 300 and between approximately 1100 and 1200, that exceed the warm level of the last decades of the 20th century.'  Source: (5).

Africa

Floods

'In Africa's Namib Desert, the greatest floods of the past two millennia occurred during its coldest period, the Little Ice Age, with nothing to compare to them during what climate alarmists typically describe as the warmest portion of the past two millennia, i.e., the latter part of the 20th century.  These real-world observations are the exact opposite of what they predict about floods and global warming.'   Source: (6).

Droughts

Here is but one of several studies reported on at the CO2 Science site:

'Equatorial east Africa was significantly drier than today during the Medieval Warm Period from AD 1000 to 1270, while it was relatively wet during the Little Ice Age from AD 1270 to 1850.  However, this latter period was interrupted by three periods of prolonged dryness: 1390-1420, 1560-1625 and 1760-1840.  These "episodes of persistent aridity," in the words of the authors, were "more severe than any recorded drought of the twentieth century."  In addition, they discovered that "all three severe drought events of the past 700 years were broadly coeval with phases of high solar radiation, and the intervening periods of increased moisture were coeval with phases of low solar radiation." '  Source: (7).

From the false invention of the hockey-stick plot with its message of unprecedented temperatures, to Gore's fatuous blaming of the melting snows of Kilimanjaro on man-made global warming, the attempts to portray Africa as a victim of industrialisation elsewhere have failed miserably.  It has not gone un-noticed, as illustrated by the remarks of a Professor Alexander:

'Let me make one point abundantly clear. Since the establishment of the IPCC in 1988 not a single person in South Africa has died as a result of provable climate change. But thousands have died from poverty-related starvation, malnutrition and disease. How dare those who call themselves scientists deliberately suppress this information? How dare they ignore the suffering of all these people? How dare they steadfastly refuse to participate in multidisciplinary studies where their alarmist theories can be demonstrated to be without foundation?


Also, there is also no statistically believable evidence of linkages between climate change, and increases in the occurrence and magnitude of floods, droughts and threats to water supplies.


Climate alarmist tactics are obstructing the right of these people to progress towards the normal lives that those in the western nations enjoy.'    Source: (8).

For summaries and links to many more scientific papers on topics such as desertification or other climate-related disasters in Africa or Asia, see the CO2 Science site: (9).

Readers wishing to study a set of climate deceits re Asia and Africa (and elsewhere), could gain much from the 'IPCC Corner' at the Global Warming Policy Foundation site (10), where the following topics are currently listed:

African crop yields   Amazon rainforest   Disappearing mountain ice   
Dutch sea level error   Himalayan glaciers  NGO reports   
Trends in disaster losses   IPCC's Bangladesh Problem
IPCC and the Stern Review Scandal

For climate-related deception in general, Pierre Gosselin currently has listed 70 links to various ‘gates’ and other scandals, including several specific to Asia or Africa: (11).

Review
Once again, the sentence we have examined in context, is seen to be misleading in the light of the evidence we have shown, and does not give support for alarm and extravagant actions that in all likelihood would makes things worse for countries in Asia and Africa by crippling their economic development.

It is easy to imagine such sentences being used every week in schools throughout the world, encouraging sympathy, alarm, and dismay in children.  And with what justification?  I have not yet found any.

References
(1) http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/06/schools-low-carbon-day-concerned.html
(2) http://www.co2science.org/articles/V5/N2/C1.php
(3) http://www.co2science.org/articles/V11/N16/C2.php
(4) http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/india-challenges-global-warming-fears-2008-07-25
(5) http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/04/new-chinese-study-in-grl-disputes-the-hockey-stick-conclusions/
(6) http://www.co2science.org/articles/V8/N5/C2.php
(7) http://www.co2science.org/articles/V3/N4/C1.php
(8) http://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/climate-alarmism-is-a-runaway-fire-by-professor-will-alexander/
(9) http://www.co2science.org
(10) http://www.thegwpf.org
(11) http://pgosselin.wordpress.com/climate-scandals/

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Don't let your children near St Thomas University, Mrs Worthington...

There must be many youngsters fired up at school about climate, and keen to study something linked to it at university.  It is such a broad area, and now such a prosperous one, that many different subjects and even some 'disciplines' offer courses.  But some will be unsatisfactory.  Some will be unscientific.  Some will be biased and politicised beyond the pale.

A Professor Abraham of St Thomas University in the States published a snide, superficial, supercilious, and super-silly online presentation that presumably reflected his teaching style, his integrity, and his grasp of climate science.

The C3 site describes him as the 'Bozo of St Thomas':
 http://www.c3headlines.com/2010/07/the-bozo-of-st-thomas-university-professor-ignominiously-confirms-the-lying-of-global-warming-alarmi.html

Viscount Monckton, whose earlier presentation was the target of Abraham's, has replied at length.  After first giving Abraham a month to explain himself and respond to Monckton's concerns.  Answer was there none.

You can reach the offending presentation (83 minutes, with soundtrack and slides) and get Monckton's detailed response in a pdf file via here:
 http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/12/a-detailed-rebuttal-to-abraham-from-monckton/

Or you can get the rebuttal directly from the SPPI site here: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/reprint/response_to_john_abraham.html

Monckton's response would be a good gift for a senior school pupil looking for a suitable university and a suitable degree.  It will encourage them to be very careful where they go, as well as show them how a civilised man debates.

Who knows how many Abraham-clones there are in the UK alone?

Friday, 9 July 2010

"Throughout my school life we have had talks on climate change, and what we can do to prevent it. People my age are terrified of what might happen to our planet" Quote from a 15-year old.

The least forgiveable harm produced by the political success of the IPCC is, in my opinion, the harm it has done, and will still do, to children.

Adults discussing theories about climate and speculating about disasters is one thing.

But pushing speculations as facts, 'facts' that will scare children, is quite another.

I suppose that many, perhaps most, of the people campaigning in and around schools about the climate have no wish to 'scare children witless', to quote from (3), but it is hard to see how their vivid preoccupation with doom-laden speculations can do anything else.  Some will see through them (in due course), some will ignore them, some will be scared by them.

Here are some recent reports of some that were scared, from three countries:

New Zealand.  Source: (1).

'Today's children are worried about more than just their homework and peer pressure - they are also worried about terrorism and climate change and whether there will be a future for their own children.
...
Auckland University Researcher Fiona Pienaar interviewed children aged 8-12 for her PhD to find out what stressed them out and how they coped.'
...
'Global warming and how a natural disaster would affect their lives were two other issues for children.


"I'm worried about the environment and the global warming, the ice and how it's going. I write it down in my little notebook ... I'm thinking people should actually stop the global warming before it's too late for their children," said one child.
...
'"The future, if we have children, would there be a future for them?" asked one child.'

'Ms Pienaar said that in the past children tended to think of themselves as immortal but these days things have changed. They are far more exposed to the media and their parents' stress issues, which has led to a greater awareness of potentially stressful world issues.'

'When children have those concerns it can be very distracting and I don't think it's surprising that we have increasing behaviour problems, increasing diagnosis of childhood anxiety disorders and childhood depression.'


USA.  Source: (2).

'An article by Johanna Sorrentino at Education.com (titled "Get Your Kids Global Warming Savvy") reveals survey results "of more than 1,000 middle school students across the country [that] found that kids fear global warming more than war, terrorism or the health care crisis." Not only does this statement suggest the US has a non-existent "health care crisis" but it demonstrates the dangerous power of misinformation in education. Sorrentino's article is full of the very misinformation that leads to the unwarranted fear children have about "global warming."'

The source article, by Bob Webster, goes on to explain why, and he also recommends a book for children on climate:
'... parents who want to provide a good education about global warming and climate change (and how teachers are misleading students), there is an excellent book for "kids [who] fear global warming more than war, terrorism or the health care crisis." It is The Sky's Not Falling - Why It's OK to Chill about Global Warming (for children and adults) by Holly Fretwell .... Well organized, this book presents a fairly comprehensive view of climate change and global warming designed to calm any fears children may have from gross exaggerations they may have heard at school, on TV, or in other media. While the book is written for children, it is excellent for adults whose education failed to prepare them to understand why the notion that humans can cause "climate change" is absurd.'


UK. Source: (3).

'Today, it is not the mushroom cloud that threatens to suffocate children psychologically but carbon emissions. The new bogeyman is climate change: submerger of nations, polluter of skies, slayer of polar bears.'

Here is one 15 year old quoted in the article:

'Throughout my school life we have had talks on climate change, and what we can do to prevent it. People my age are terrified of what might happen to our planet; it has been drilled into our brains at school, home and even on TV. We watch the news and see earthquakes, flooding, tsunamis, and we hope that by the time we are our parents’ ages we will not be having to cope with these routinely.'

Some more disturbing quotes are in the article, but here is one by the journalist who wrote it:

 'Teaching children about man-made climate change — which is very real and threatens our wellbeing — and persuading them to adopt green habits is essential, but it can be done without scaring them witless.'

Note the casual and confident assertion that 'man -made climate change ... is very real and threatens our wellbeing'.  Not surprising, since this is the establishment view.  But shocking, all the same.  Can the journalist argue a case to defend her assertions, or would she resort to appealing to the 'authority' of the IPCC?  I suspect she has acquired her opinion because there is a lot of it about, like some kind of 'flu.

Not all journalists have caught the infection, thank goodness.  Here is a recent piece in the Washington Times which is sensible about climate change: (4).

But it is not just passive exposure to the media and their parents.  There is a widespread and generously funded level of deliberate pushing of climate change concerns on to children.  I am accumulating lists of sites that produce propaganda aimed at children, or entice them into climate-related networking groups, or 'action groups', or provide materials and project ideas for parents and teachers to push the IPCC line on climate.  I plan to publish my 'list so far', in the near future.  In the meantime, there is an illustrated list of 16 'climate propaganda' sites here (5), and of these, at least 4 are specifically aimed at children.  And, to end on a postive note, here is a UK link to Amazon for the book mentioned earlier (6).  I have this book, and I thoroughly recommend it. [Note added 16 July: the book has several technical errors which would need to be corrected before it was good enough to give to youngsters, but it is an excellent source of perspective and ideas for teachers.]

References
(1) http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10639763
(2) http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3671
(3) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article7066030.ece
(4) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/8/climate-change-a-collective-flight-from-reality/
(5) http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/climate-change-propaganda-websites/#more-92
(6) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skys-Not-Falling-Global-Warming/dp/0976726947/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1278688433&sr=1-1

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Why Would You Believe This? (4 of 8) . 'And that's not to mention the 30% of species at risk of extinction [due to impact of humans on CO2 levels].'

They really do want to scare the horses, as well as the children.  The source site for this quote has now closed down.  See earlier posts, e.g. (1) & (2), for the context of this extract from their reasons for worrying children about climate:

'And that's not to mention the 30% of species at risk of extinction.'

Julian Simon had the measure of this particular sleight of hand 26 years ago (3).  Take the upper end of a speculative range of values, and report it as if it were a fact.  Not only that, decouple it further to suggest that the '30%' applies to all species, and not merely to a subset deemed at particular risk.

The ‘30%’ figure was promoted in the IPCC's 2007 Summary Report for Policy Makers, where it was the upper end of a range.  For a summary of some of their scare stories from 2007, see (4), which has this, with my emphasis added:

'The report says that around 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the plant and animal species assessed are likely to be at increased risk of extinction if global average temperatures exceed 1.5 degree C to 2.5 degree C over late 20th century levels.'

So not only is this a speculation about the impact on a subset of species, it presumes a further speculation about temperatures.  Both speculations are so flimsy that the whole phrase is worthless except as a piece of propaganda designed for the mass media.

The low levels of scientific and statistical competence in the mass media allow such things to pass unchallenged in the news, and of course the juxtaposition with talk of man-made CO2 invites the public to more misleading conclusions.  First of all, species have always died out, and one might argue pedantically that 100% are ‘at risk of extinction’ – it is part and parcel of evolution, and of the vulnerability of any lifeform.  Why would this be worse under warming, given that conditions would be generally more favourable for life?  Especially if ambient CO2 levels increase, since more CO2 would provide an appreciable surge in plant growth wherever there was no other constraint such as insufficient mineral availability.

Both the species estimates and the temperature projections are based on computer models.  Computer models of these poorly underststood and complex systems are merely vehicles for exploring conjectures in limited ways.  In particular, they provide neither evidence nor data, merely speculations.  Apparently the species extinction models referred to by the IPCC took no account of acclimatisation nor of the more favourable growing environment produced by increased ambient CO2 levels.  This is eerily reminiscent of the absurd doom-laden talk in the 1970s by the notorious scaremongerer Paul Ehrlich, who also took no account of human ingenuity and of the benefits of certain trends such as increased availability of energy supplies and other resources.  His mental model of the world seems to view it as some kind of petri-dish, lacking in intelligent life.

As for the models used to support the 2007 assertions on extinctions, here is a recent expert opinion on them, with my emphasis added (5):

'The two researchers - Kathy Willis from the UK's Long-Term Ecology Laboratory of Oxford University's Centre for the Environment, and Shonil Bhagwat from Norway's University of Bergen - raise a warning flag about the older models, stating "their coarse spatial scales fail to capture topography or 'microclimatic buffering' and they often do not consider the full acclimation capacity of plants and animals," citing the analysis of Botkin et al. (2007) in this regard.'

This article concludes, my emphasis added:

‘Clearly, the panic-evoking extinction-predicting paradigms of the past are rapidly giving way to the realization they bear little resemblance to reality. Earth's plant and animal species are not slip-sliding away - even slowly - into the netherworld of extinction that is preached from the pulpit of climate alarmism as being caused by CO2-induced global warming.’ 

 The CO2 Science site (6) has a lot more useful stuff on species extinctions, as does the SPPI site (7).

The casual throwing around of scary but phoney numbers, and their replication through mass media in support of their cause, is all part of the modus operandi of the IPCC.  Their touting of the '40%' fantasy fact about the Amazon being but one of many, and one which by itself could account for a great many species extinctions.  Here it is refuted (8):

'The IPCC is under scrutiny for various data inaccuracies, including its claim -- based on a flawed World Wildlife Fund study -- that up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically and be replaced by savannas from even a slight reduction in rainfall.  "Our results certainly do not indicate such extreme sensitivity to reductions in rainfall," said Sangram Ganguly, an author on the new study, from the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute affiliated with NASA Ames Research Center in California.
"The way that the WWF report calculated this 40% was totally wrong, while [the new] calculations are by far more reliable and correct," said Dr. Jose Marengo, a Brazilian National Institute for Space Research climate scientist and member of the IPCC.'


So, what are we to make of the '30%'?  My inclination is to read it bearing in mind the above reservations about models, and taking due note of this statement (9):

'The attitude toward scientific fact reporting by environmental scientists may be best summarized by Stanford biology professor, Stephen Schneider’s statement, “We need to get loads of media coverage, so we have to offer up scary scenarios and make dramatic statements. Each of us has to decide on the right balance between effectiveness and honesty”.'

Along with some examples where honesty seemed to count for very little:

'In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.'

—Paul Ehrlich, (Earth Day 1970) (10)


'Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.'
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson (Earth Day 1970) (11)


And perhaps, if you think the '30%' still has a shred of credibility, consider this 'data' pushed by the WWF in 1996, and roundly rebutted here (12):

'How does WWF arrive at the number 5O,OOO species extinctions per year? It can be no coincidence that this same number is the upper limit suggested by Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University. Wilson states that while only l.5 million species have been described, it is reasonable to believe that there are over 3O times that many, i.e. 5O million. Then a computer model, based on island biogeography theory, is used to generate the number 5O,OOO. There is no list of Latin names for these species. It is, in fact, a preposterous combination of extrapolation and pulling numbers from the air.'

This is all part of a long and ignoble tradition amongst political campaigners who wrap themselves in the sheep's clothing of concern for the environment (13):

'In the 45 years since the publication of Silent Spring, it is very obvious that many environmental scientists choose effectiveness in generating media attention over honesty. Today the ability to obtain government funding for environmental studies clouds their judgment even more.'

I referred to Julian Simon at the start of this post, and I expect to do so again in this series.  But for now, I'll conclude with the title of his 1984 article (3), followed by an extract from it:

'Truth Almost Extinct in Tales of Imperiled Species.'

'... this pure conjecture about upper limit of present  species extinction is increased and used by Mr. Myers and WWF scientist Thomas Lovejoy as the basis for the "projections" quoted  in the fundraising letter and elsewhere.  Mr. Lovejoy--by  converting what was an estimated upper limit into a present best-estimate--says that government inaction is "likely to lead" to the extinction of between 14 and 20 percent of all species before the  year 2000.  This comes to about 40,000 species lost per year, or  about one million from 1980 to 2000. In brief, this extinction rate is nothing but pure guesswork.  The forecast is a thousand times greater than the present--yet it has been published in newspapers and understood as a scientific statement.'

Simon spotted their tricks back then. His insight was not enough to stop them at their game, neither back then nor now.  We are faced with campaigners less concerned about the truth, than about the impact of their statements in the media, and upon their sources of funding.

References
(1) http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/06/schools-low-carbon-day-concerned.html
(2) http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/06/schools-low-carbon-day-hoax-scam.html
(3) Article by Julian Simon reproduced in this link (need to scroll down to find it): http://www.skepticfiles.org/skeptic/az_mar92.htm
(4) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071119122043.htm
(5) Idsos article: http://www.co2science.org/articles/V13/N24/EDIT.php
(6) http://www.co2science.org/subject/e/extinctionmodel.php
(7) http://sppiblog.org/tag/species-endangerment
(8) Amazongate reference http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100311175039.htm
(9) Schneider quote and more on Schneider: http://www.john-daly.com/schneidr.htm
(10) Ehrlich's and others' quotes: http://pushback.com/issues/environment/ecofreak-quotes/
(11) Gaylord Nelson's and others' quotes: http://www.ihatethemedia.com/earth-day-predictions-of-1970-the-reason-you-should-not-believe-earth-day-predictions-of-2009
(12) http://www.nafi.com.au/library/viewarticle.php3?id=37
(13) http://www.netrightnation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1252273:four-decades-of-deceit&catid=1:nrn-blog&Itemid=7