'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

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Climate Lessons Pausing for a Break: meantime, comments invited on this blog’s past and future.

When I get back early in May, it will be close to this blog’s first birthday, and I plan to review what use this blog has been to me or anyone else, and what it might do over a further year. 

For me, it has been one means of getting back to some familiarity with climate theories and observations, after a gap of more than thirty years, and perhaps more importantly, with climate politics and school curricula.  I remain more convinced than ever that there has been a deliberate and gross exaggeration of the role of rising CO2 levels on climate, and a grossly irresponsible and melodramatic promotion of this rather weak theory outside of the walls of universities and other places of research - the only places where it really belongs.  A new headache tablet would have been subjected to far more rigorous review, and yet have been capable of far less harm without it, than the overblown declarations of settled science concerning the impact of CO2 on the very complex climate system.  That it is has been accepted with such confidence by policy makers points to some profound weakness at least in our political if not in our psychological make up.  That it is being pushed on to children in our schools remains a great concern over the potential for harm to their spirits, their attitude to science and technology, and indeed to society itself.

But has the blog been of much use to others?  It seems to get 20 to 60 new unique visitors most days, with an all-time high of  607 on one day this year, and it is now achieving 4 to 5,000 pageviews each month.  Far fewer than some climate blogs get every day!  I had hopes that it could serve as a convenient repository of ideas, arguments, and links for others engaging in more direct calls or campaigns for reform of school curricula and of the kinds of people, organisations, and materials allowed in or near schools to promote their causes under the guise of ‘climate change’.  The widespread dissemination of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ to schools in the UK remains, in my view, a sad disgrace.  It may be relatively rarely used nowadays (?), but I presume we remain vulnerable to more like it from the efforts of zealots for whom threatening the emotional wellbeing of children is not so much an obstacle as an objective in their drive for more political influence or power.

So, whether you are in the select band of frequent visitors which I hope exists, or you have just stumbled upon this place, please let me know what you think about it.  What kind of purpose might it serve for you, and what might be done differently to make it better for that purpose? 

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Ten-Minute Trainer on the Quality of Climate Alarmism: UNEP people exposed as shoddy, superficial, sly, sneaky, supercilious, and seriously stupid.

Shoddy: '50 million climate refugees by 2010'  Good soundbite, great for the headlines, good for the funding.  Pity about the lack of substance.  Here is a graphic they used with that title:
(Thanks toDonna Laframboise, here: http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/04/16/the-missing-map/)

More use is made of the soundbite here, in 2008: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=27094&Cr=refugee&Cr1
Extract: 'In a related development, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a statement today that a new kind of casualty was being created by climate change: the environmental refugee.

“Rising sea levels, increasing desertification, weather-induced flooding, and more frequent natural disasters have, and will increasingly become, a major cause of population displacement in several parts of the world,” the statement said.

Citing a report from the UN University, UNEP said that there were now more than 19 million people officially recognized as “persons of concern” – people who are likely to be displaced because of environmental disasters. UNEP said that figure is expected to grow to about 50 million by the end of 2010.'


Superficial: there was and is no substance to it, merely a highlighting of aspects of climate with a casual leap to those millions of 'climate refugees'.  Gavin Atkins spotted it, here: http://asiancorrespondent.com/52189/what-happened-to-the-climate-refugees/   Extract: 'However, a very cursory look at the first available evidence seems to show that the places identified by the UNEP as most at risk of having climate refugees are not only not losing people, they are actually among the fastest growing regions in the world.'

Sly, Sneaky: The original claim was pure spin on the part of UNEP, and now they are trying to airbrush it out of their online records.  Anthony Watts has their number, here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/15/the-un-disappears-50-million-climate-refugees-then-botches-the-disappearing-attempt/


Supercilious: try clicking on the UNEP location of the above map and 'story', and you'll get this on part of your screen:



Seriously stupid: they have provided more straws for the camel's back of public credulity.  And they have provided an informative '10-minute trainer' for any class investigating manipulation and moral turpitude in the area of climate politics.

And, talking of straws, one to clutch in these dark days of intellectual and political oppression in climate science and policy is the fact that the wrong 'side' of this 'debate' has so many people of such low calibre.  In fact, I cannot think of any that I would class as being of high calibre.  But they have certainly been influential.

(Hat-tip: http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/4/16/unexposed.html )


UPDATE.  WUWT has an update, explaining it was not just UNEP, but the UN itself taking us for that particular ride of ridiculousness:

'UPDATE3: Reader Andrew30 provides the linkage of this farce to the main body of the UN, not just the UNEP as some have complained.
General Assembly, 8 July 2008
GA/10725
Sixty-second General Assembly
Informal Meeting on Climate Change and Most Vulnerable Countries (AM)
Statements
SRGJAN KERIM, President of the General Assembly, opened the discussion by saying that 11 of the last 12 years had ranked among the 12 warmest since the keeping of global temperature records had begun in 1850. Two points were significant: that climate change was inherently a sustainable-development challenge; and that more efforts than ever before must be exerted to enable poor countries to prepare for impacts because it had been estimated that there would be between 50 million and 200 million environmental migrants by 2010.
Panel Discussion
The Assembly then held a panel discussion moderated by author and journalist Eugene Linden. The panellists were Reid Basher, Senior Coordinator at the Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; Ian Noble, Senior Climate Change Specialist at the World Bank; and Veerle Vandeweerd, Director of the Environment and Energy Group at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Source: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/ga10725.doc.htm'

They had no shame, no sense, no science.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Not Just Another Brick in the Wall: hey! teachers! leave them kids alone! – a climate change activist and psychotherapist has second thoughts about pushing her beliefs on to children

Ro Randall, who describes herself as ' psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist researching, writing and blogging on climate change', has posted some good thoughts on why climate activists pick on children, and why they might want to stop doing so:

There is a real risk of raising levels of anxiety amongst children that will not only cause distress in the immediate term but will in the long term lead to those children turning against the environmental causes we hoped they might espouse.’

[She is right there.  I have collected links to examples of such anxieties here] .  

Later in the same post, she writes:

‘But the deeper question is – why are adults so keen to focus on children? Why concentrate on the weakest, least influential members of society and ask them to act? The answer I think lies in the process psychoanalysis calls projection where unwanted feelings or parts of the self are split off and attributed to somebody else. “I’m not angry/selfish/mean/neglectful – you are/he is/she is/they are.”

Climate change makes most adults working on it feel powerless. We compare the actions we are capable of with the scale of the problem and feel weak. We look at the extent of our influence and feel helpless. We struggle to combat our contrary desires to consume and feel shame. We feel like children. Children – who are actually socially and politically powerless – are an ideal receptacle for the projection of these uncomfortable and unacceptable feelings.

By focusing on the weakest members of society and influencing them, the not-very-powerful adults make themselves feel better at the expense of the absolutely-not-powerful children. By making them act, we prove that we are not as powerless as we feel.’

I welcome this essay as a step in the right direction.  But the writer clearly assumes that the arguments for ‘climate change’ (used here in the political, 'it is a crisis due to us' sense) are convincing.  But at least she is digging into things, and raising questions about the value of targeting children for the sake of the 'cause'.

When will we see a psychiatric investigation into what has driven so many people to be so agitated about a weak theory, unsupported by observational evidence of weather, sea levels, ice extents, etc?  Part of it is due to the slick PR of such as the IPCC, WWF, and many other groups who have found great advantage in campaigning on this topic.  But yet, what about these things:

# the lack of observational support for CO2 as a major driver of climate, and a long list of failed ‘projections’ and doomsayings (1) [this number links to illustrative References, below]

# the cogent criticisms of the alarmism made by distinguished scientists and others with valid insights to contribute (2)

# the shoddy sub-culture of a few dozen scientists and computer modellers revealed by Climategate and by investigations into the IPCC – the false claims of consensus, the misleading talk of ‘thousands of scientists’, the sneaky deviousness of ‘hide the decline’, the speciousness of the hockey stick and other suppressions of the Medieval Warm Period, and much more. (3)

# the clearly vested interests of many campaigners, whether it be to attract investment into carbon trading, alternative energy, or merely financial donations to political bodies and fake charities.  There is a great deal of money sloshing around out there promoting 'climate change, the crisis'. (4)

# the occasional glimpses into an ugly, totalitarian impulse in some climate campaigners  (5)

# the fatuous ‘solutions’ put forward which even proponents admit they have neither costed nor estimated the efficacy of, or they concede that the possible effects of which will be rather hard to detect for a thousand years or so (6)

Given all this, why are so few journalists, or psychologists for that matter, having a field day with exposing it all?  I can only think of 2 doing so at all frequently in the UK (Booker, Delingpole).  Why are so few politicians enraged by the nonsense policies being foisted upon them, of which the UK's Climate Change Act must be the front-runner in madness. 

I hope that Ro Randall will one day turn her talents in this direction: to help us understand this worldwide  ‘madness of crowds’ that has so poisoned discourse about climate and the future, and caused a yet-to-be-reckoned harm to the spirits and attitudes of young people across the world, and a more easily reckoned harm to the physical wellbeing and prospects of, in particular, the poorest people in a wide range of countries.

References (these are just illustrative - the tips of various information icebergs)

(1) Examples using one web site alone: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/search?q=predictions

(2) Examples of scientists objecting to climate alarmism, using one web site alone:

http://climatephysics.com/2010/10/08/hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society/

http://climatephysics.com/2010/09/19/open-letter-to-the-secretary-general-of-the-united-nations-by-101-scientists/

http://climatephysics.com/2010/09/19/open-letter-to-the-chancellor-of-germany-by-130-scientists/

http://climatephysics.com/2010/09/22/senator-inhofes-senate-minority-report-on-climate-change/

(3) Donna Laframboise has led the way on researching into the practices of the IPCC:

http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/category/ipcc/

(4) Jo Nova has identified some financial heavyweights in the climate alarmism sector:

http://joannenova.com.au/tag/money/

This pdf copy of her SPPI report is worth getting:  http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/climate_money.pdf

(5) Where to begin?  Use the search box here with ‘No Pressure’: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/

(6) Andrew Bolt has exposed much of the climate nonsense in Australian politics:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/it-pays-to-check-out-flannerys-predictions-about-climate-change-says-andrew-bolt/story-e6frfhqf-1226004644818

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/tim_1000_years_flannery_gives_the_government_a_millennium_bug

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100079237/aussie-sceptics-destroy-eu-carbon-commissioner/ (follow link given to hear Bolt interviewing a hapless EU apparatchik)

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Marches of Madness in May: child victims of climate-scaremongering to take to the streets

A new-to-me 'youth shock brigade' called iMatter has been formed to encourage young victims of climate-scaremongering to take to the streets on or around the 8th of May this year (hat-tip: Tom Nelson).  In their own, somewhat inelegant, words:


'WE are a generation inspired by the need itself to step up and be the change we want to see. iMatter began as a simple video, created by a 13 year old, that covered the problems, consequences and solutions of climate change in like a minute. And now it's a global campaign meant to unite the voices of a generation on the most urgent issue of our time. The non profit project of Earth Island Institute, called Kids vs Global Warming, has pulled together a bunch of amazing partners to give youth a platform to raise their voices so loud they cannot be ignored.'

I think they'd all be better off paying more attention in their English classes, and generally enjoying themselves as perhaps the most fortunate generation ever to appear on the planet so far.  The huge technological improvements of the past few hundred years have given them so much, and they could set out to build upon that and contribute to the ongoing improvements in just about anything you care to mention.  Instead they are being told to be scared about the future, to cut down on energy use, and generally be disrespectful about all that has been achieved to date.  They are frightened victims of an indoctrination campaign, which includes facile nonsense such as this:


' It's not much of a secret that our planet is messed up. We're facing a long list of problems, and most of them are caused by by one simple thing: the burning of fossil fuels.

The most urgent problem is climate change, caused by our out of control addiction to fossil fuels. When we burn fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas, we emit all this extra carbon dioxide, CO2, into the atmosphere, which messes up the balance of the atmosphere.

Scientists that dedicate their entire lives to studying this, have made it clear: to avert the worst effects of climate change, the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere need to be at 350 parts per million (ppm). Right now we are at 391ppm. If we keep burning at the rate we are now, we will be at 500ppm by 2050. This would make earth a completely different planet, uninhabitable for most species. We can't let that happen.'


Let us lightly Fisk this paragraph by paragraph:

Paragraph 1.  In most respects, things are improving.  As for ‘most’ of our problems being caused by the burning of fossil fuels, the reverse is the case.  Most of our solutions are due to the burning of fossil fuels: widely affordable food supplies, housing, transport, heavy-lifting, and electricity.

Paragraph 2.  The urgency of climate change is yet to be made manifest in the climate itself, where rates of change and recent conditions have displayed nothing at all out of the ordinary.  If anything, the 20th and 21st centuries have been relatively benign and more favourable to life than the previous few which suffered The Little Ice Age.

Paragraph 3.  The remarkable growth of ambient CO2 levels in the 20th and 21st centuries has had no clear impact on any weather phenomena, not least temperatures as these plots illustrate (see charts for raw data sources):

Remember that during these time periods, CO2 levels have shown a marked growth during the last half of the 20th century.  Can you see anything remarkable about the temperatures shown above in the last half of the 20th century?  Anything at all?  Anything to justify frightening the children with?  And, if I have any true believers in the Church of AGW still reading this far, I challenge you to find any weather-linked variable that shows any extraordinary behaviour over, say, the last 60 years: it is not hurricanes, nor ice, nor precipitation, nor droughts, nor floods, nor famines, nor even sea-levels.  So just what is all the fuss about?


Of course anything in and around the earth’s atmosphere will affect it in some way, and so variation in CO2 levels will have some impact.  We know that air near the ground mainly heats up by conduction, and that heating is enhanced by infra-red capturing molecules such as H2O and CO2 and which therefore may speed up the onset of the convection which helps cool the earth by moving heat upwards where it can be more readily lost to space.  It may also have a detectable effect of slowing the cooling of the ground during dry and cloudless nights, but this too has proven elusive to confirm.  Leading climate scientists admit that there may be an overall 'warming effect' from increasing CO2, but that it is likely to be of the order of 1C per doubling of CO2 levels - an effect that would be hard to confirm reliably since we know that changes of this magnitude have occurred over relevant timescales in the past, and that these must be attributed to other causes, the identity and interactions of which are still not firmly established.

The collective madness of the past 30 years or so centred around airborne CO2 is a remarkable, and a depressing, event.  That it will take some time to flush it out of our collective consciousness is due in no small part to those who have chosen to recruit children to support their cause based on climate alarmism, whether it be from political or financial motivations, or both.  What it cannot be motivated by is climate data.

Two further examples of 'youth shock brigades' here: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2011/03/canadian-climate-campaigners-how-to.html