Unfortunately, some misuse science. Some of their intentions, are far from benevolent. They see science as a mechanism for political power and control. There is great danger from those who would use science for political control over us.

How do they do this? They instill, and then continuously magnify, fear. Fear is the most effective instrument of totalitarian control.

Chet Richards, physicist,


Friday, 25 February 2011

Learning by Metaphor: foolish building, foolish technology, foolish teacher, foolish 'science'

Foiled by the winter: The £25,000 eco-classroom that can't be used because solar panels don't provide enough heat

Simple arithmetic would have shown this building to be a foolish one, yet it was constructed.

Modern technology would have made a better building than this one, yet it was constructed.

The importance of the building as a gesture, no matter how absurd, outweighs, for some, all other considerations:
"Headteacher Jill Hughes defended the project and said she hoped classes would be held in the classroom when the weather gets warmer.  She said: ‘We’re delighted to have the Living Ark - its a tremendous resource both for the school and the local community and is an important part of the Muswell Hill low carbon zone initiative.’ "

The source of this madness, this modern ideology, can be traced to political exploitation of computer models of the climate which are hopelessly inadequate.  Just like this building.  It is a metaphor for the wastefulness and the incompetence and the smugness of CO2 alarmism.

More details in the Daily Mail report.

Hat-tips:   http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/25/climate-craziness-of-the-week-3/    and http://spielclimate.blogspot.com/2010/03/suggestions-for-blogs-and-links.html

Note added 7 March: details of a grander scheme costing colleges in Los Angeles the loss of $10million are given here:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2011/03/colleges-blow-10-million-on-wildly.html, and once again it would have been avoided if arithmetic had been allowed at least equal status with ideology.

Note added 11 July: another example of this foolishness, this time from East Germany :
'Pupils and teachers dread every school day at the SeeCampus. If the deodorant of just one person fails to work, then half the classroom goes into a coma. The ventilation in the exemplary passive building is a catastrophe. There’s an extreme lack of fresh air on hot days. Because of concern over the health of the children, who complain about headaches and fatigue, parents are threatening to stop operation of the school through legal action.  The school building SeeCampus in Niederlausitz becomes completely overheated on summer days and is badly ventilated. Headaches and cardio-respiratory problems with pupils and teachers are the result. The number of sick days is climbing rapidly.'

Note added 23 September 2013: more metaphor opportunities:
(1) children threatened by insects dropping in from an 'eco-school' roof:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/10327504/School-closed-after-pupils-bitten-by-mites-in-eco-roof.html
(2)children threatened by mould and damp in another 'eco-school':  'Devon County Council says it has already spent £250,000 to investigate the problem and without urgent repairs, it says teaching pupils inside the building could seriously damage their health.' 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

An End to Government Scaring of Children with Climate Propaganda in the UK?: a couple of straws to clutch at

We know that children in the UK have been frightened by materials on climate change.
We know that the mass media in the UK have produced or relayed 'climate porn' for many years.
We know that the UK government issued the reprehensible, and frightening, DVD 'An Inconvenient Truth' to schools in 2007, along with guidance on how to make the most of it.
We know that in 2009 the UK government funded and promoted a frightening tv ad with imagery apparently designed to attract and disturb children.
We know that a scary movie involving children was used during the opening of the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009.We know that the UK government funded absurd, and scary, nursery rhyme posters on climate for which it was rebuked in 2010 by the Advertising Standards Agency.
We know that art exhibitions for climate propaganda have been promoted by scary imagery, and even individuals have produced scary movies to help their climate cause.
We know that various groups have produced more professional scary movies and adverts viewable by children, or, in the case of the ugly 10:10 movie 'No Pressure', with the brutal murder of children as one of the dramatic devices to urge conformance to the party line on climate.
We know that games and cartoons have been produced to scare children about their 'carbon footprint'.
We know that various initiatives on climate change aimed at schools are in place, and are concerned to achieve 'action' of one kind or another, but mostly pressure on parents to toe the party line on climate and the desired 'behaviour change' as per the prescriptions and analyses pushed by the IPCC.
We know that schools are being pushed into seeking to create 'little climate activists'.
We know that the head of the IPCC has identified children as a key political target.

So it is not unreasonable to speculate that scary climate movies may be shown to children in schools in the UK.

But evidence of how much and how often does not seem to exist. 

The journalist Leo Hickman has had several pieces recently on the possibility that scary videos are being used in schools to advance the cause of climate alarmism (aka 'CAGW', 'climate change', 'sustainability', 'climate disruption').  This was triggered by a remark by Johnny Ball, who built up a considerable reputation for sharing his enthusiasm for mathematics on tv programmes and talks for schoolchildren.  In more recent years he has taken up the cause of defending children from climate scaremongering.  This, of course, is to invite the wrath of the greens.  So it is all the more remarkable that a CO2-alarmed correspondent in a CO2-alarmed newspaper has sought to expose as unacceptable the kind of attacks on his reputation which Ball has reported.

Hickman reports Ball as asserting that a movie talking of an unliveable planet by 2050 has been shown in schools.  And, to his credit, Hickman pursues this.  First he appealed to his readers to provide any examples of such a movie being shown in schools, and he received none.  He also checked back with Ball, who could not give further details.  And then he checked with the Department for Education (DfE).

The good news here is first of all that no examples were sent to him, other than reference to Gore's reprehensible 'An Inconvenient Truth'.  This may be due to the nature of the Guardian readership, a paper which gave a generous plug to the 'No Pressure' video.  But, on the other hand, it may be due to such videos being rarely shown. 

The second piece of good news lies in the response Leo Hickman obtained from the DfE (my emphases added):

"Keen to get the definitive position on this, I asked the Department for Education (DfE) to clarify the situation regarding the showing of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in schools. It said that in March, 2007, the following email was sent to all secondary schools announcing that the film, as part of a larger educational pack, was being sent out, but that schools could opt out if they wished.

Then, after the court case in October, 2007, updated guidance was emailed to schools in December, 2007.  But that was 2007. What about today? A DfE spokeswoman said it is very unlikely any school is still using this educational pack containing An Inconvenient Truth because teachers are warned on the website that this is old teaching material and could be out-of-date. She said no other climate change-related film has been distributed to schools by the department since 2007. She added:

    We are awaiting to hear more about the National Curriculum review, which will look at all aspects of the curriculum, and will know more then about where teaching on climate change will fit – currently it comes more under the science curriculum, it may well still be [following the review]."

Should we be pleased, or remain cynical?  The alarmists and their strategists may well have decided that the 'scare the children' tactic has backfired on them, or merely that they always need something new to keep the scare bubbling over in the political class.  So perhaps we shall be spared further shocking, blatant, scaremongering materials.  Perhaps, they will gamble that there has been enough of that, that 'CO2 as a source of impending catastrophe' can be treated as a given, or pushed to one side, while superficially more positive messages about 'sustainability' will provide the new banners in their relentless campaign against humanity and industrial progress.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, the numerous groups set up to tap into climate education funds, or win donations from climate scaremongering, or trade in carbon credits, or secure influence over governments through 'environmentalism', or pursue any advantage based on the notion that we face a clear and present danger from rising CO2 levels, will not go away overnight.

It may be merely that the presentation of misleading or frightening materials on climate to children has entered a more subtle phase.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Schools without Scruples over Climate: never mind the facts, the computers have spoken

Definition of 'Scruple': a doubt or hesitation that troubles the conscience or that comes from the difficulty of determining whether something is right.  Schools such as the one reported on here in Norfolk, UK, don't seem to suffer from such a thing when it comes to climate:

It is not difficult to excuse this sort of excess, e.g.
Well, we're saving the planet.  That deals with the conscience.
The IPCC, the Royal Society and other Government-funded bodies, all say we are doomed unless we reduce CO2.  That deals with the 'rightness'.

But what is the reality?  First, with regard to the weather phenomena of the planet, nothing at all extraordinary has happened anywhere with regard to temperatures, precipitation, storms, ice extent, glacier movements, or sea levels.  All we are seeing is perfectly consistent with business as usual for a turbulent atmosphere with a complex, irregular surface, and varying orbital, solar, and oceanic features.  The null hypothesis of 'business as usual' has not been discredited by observations.

Second, with regard to argument from authority, the circular nature of that can only be broken when pushed into, when it will be discovered that political activists orchestrated a global panic by exploiting the conjectures of a few dozen workers in the field of climatology, especially those parts relying heavily on computer models.  The limitations of their work are becoming more apparent year by year.  Let it be summarised as follows: the computer models are too primitive to be fit for prediction, the data sets are too sparse in both space and time to be sufficient as a detailed guide to what has happened in the past, let alone be capable of reliable extrapolation into the future. 

So, we are in a situation in which nothing unusual has been seen to be happening to the weather, to the sea, or to the ice.  There has been a remarkably steady growth in ambient CO2 recorded at Mauna Loa, a volcano on a Pacific island.  Just about anything and everything in and around the atmosphere can influence climate, including CO2.  The problem is not determining whether this factor or that has an influence, but rather it is determining the nature and the magnitude of it. The simplest model for increasing CO2 levels is that they would lead to a modest overall warming, one which would be hard to reliably confirm in the variability of temperatures due to all the other factors involved, a warming of around 1C for a doubling of the ambient levels. But a few people programmed up computers to illustrate a much more dramatic effect of CO2 via an unconfirmed positive feedback mechanism.  This was spotted as a godsend by those who wished to see an end to industrialisation or a weakening of western power or a dimunition in energy consumption or a reduction in population or an overthrow of capitalism or a massive transfer of cash to the developing countries or the dawn of world government or a rise in their own level of recognition as wise prophets or seers or an increase in the audience for their media or an increase in the grants awarded to their institution or more votes for their party.  And what a hugely successful 'big thing' they have made of it over the past 30 years.  That man-made CO2 is leading to catastrophe is now a 'given' in our schools, and leads to events such as this one:

But it is by no means properly treated as a 'given'.  It is not satisfactory to base so much belief and commitment on a flimsy foundation.



Hat/tip: Dave W.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Toyota Recall and CAGW: two examples of sense submerged by alarmism

The vulnerability of modern societies to scare stories is revealed on a small scale by the Toyota Recall fiasco, and on a large scale by the CO2 Alarm fiasco.  Both give insight into how politicians and others can be hassled into hasty actions and foolish decisions.  Or is it merely that they spotted advantage in propagating the scare?

Millions of vehicles were recalled around the world, and a new TLA spread: UIA - un-intended acceleration.  Sounds scary!  Better do something!  The theatre is on fire!  Everybody out!  No time to waste!

Except it was a false alarm:
'NASA's Toyota Study Released by Dept. of Transportation     02.08.11'
'WASHINGTON -- The results of a ten-month study by 30 NASA engineers of possible electronic causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles was released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

"NASA found no evidence that a malfunction in electronics caused large unintended accelerations," said Michael Kirsch, principal engineer and team lead of the study from the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) based at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.'

This would be a good project for senior pupils interested in current affairs: a side by side comparison of the climate scare and the accelerator scare.  They are on different scales, but they share much in common:

(1) something scary for the general public
(2) a simple theory to convey 'knowledge' of the reason for the scare
(3) self-serving groups joining in the alarmism in which they have spotted advantage
(4) hasty legislation or the threat of it
(5) resources diverted to unnecessary actions
(6) in retrospect, revealed to be unfounded and foolish

Would that NASA, which led the investigation into the Toyota recall (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/nasalife/features/nesc-toyota-study.html), would display the same disinterested and analytical approach on climate.  But no, that would be naive, since they are a prominent example of stage (3) above.

Stage (6) is still underway on climate alarmism, and is taking far longer.  The climate stage (3) was just on so much greater a scale, aided and abetted by massive state funding for such as the IPCC, and the far larger set of parties who spotted political, financial, or merely career opportunities in and around the scaremongering.

Note added 07 April 2014.  The disturbing episode of the Toyota false alarm is still getting coverage.  An Obama functionary called LaHood helped make the alarm worse, and Toyota ended paying a fine of $1.2 billion: 'No one is innocent, of course, but not everyone is bailed out. So Toyota, after recalling millions of cars and changing parts and floor mats even before LaHood's outburst – and after years of being hounded by the administration – recently agreed to pay a steep fine for its role in the acceleration flap. This, despite the fact that in 2012, Department of Transportation engineers determined that no mechanical failure was present that would cause applying the brakes to initiate acceleration. The DOT conducted tests that determined that the brakes could maintain a stationary car or bring one to a full stop even with the engine racing. It looked at 58 vehicles that were supposedly involved in unintended acceleration and found no evidence of brake failure or throttle malfunction.' http://patriotpost.us/opinion/24589  . 

Monday, 14 February 2011

Classroom Climate Conditioning at work: the plotting, the preaching, the results

 'Teaching Climate Change' - a video for teachers.

I guess it all depends on your point of view.  For me this is a sinister, spine-chilling video from way back in 2008, but I can see how the faithful would be pleased with it, giving insight as it does into the equivalent of two senior Jesuits ensuring the doctrinal correctness of a parish priest with teaching duties.

A professor, a PR/communications man, and a teacher are sitting by a window discussing how best to convert children into political activists for their cause.  Frequent shots from the classroom are spliced in to show their schemes in action, and interviews with some pupils at the end demonstrate some success - youngsters now guilt-ridden, and keen to 'take action'. 

Dramatis Personae
The Professor: David Lambert, Chief Executive of the Geographical Association, part-time professor and co-author of the blog 'Impolite Geography', where a recent post quotes with apparent sympathy these words from someone called Huckle, in 1985: “The struggle to construct and implement a socialist school geography will face many setbacks as it has in the past, but it remains part of the overall struggle for a counter-hegemony and an alternative future”.  No, I don't know what it means either!  But the notion of 'socialist school geography' rings alarm bells in my head, given the appalling track record of socialism in the 20th century, most notoriously in Germany in the 30s and 40s, in the USSR and in Mao's China.

The Communicator: Ed Gillespie, Founder and Director of Futerra, a public relations organisation which looks to have been a great financial success, with clients including the BBC, the government, and many multinational corporations.  Ed is introduced as a 'climate expert', although he lacks any relevant professional qualification or experience in the subject, unless we take the broad definition which could include anyone who notes 'If these wet summers continue, I'll have to give up my vegetable plot' and is able to back that up with some data, and of course at least a speculative link to 'climate change'.  It would have been more accurate to introduce him as a successful businessman with a strong interest in climate alarmism.  (http://www.futerra.co.uk/about_us/directors )

The Teacher: David Dixon, a teacher at Hampstead School.  He comes across as an effective and sympathetic teacher, and is shown working with a dream class of bright, and engaged pupils, albeit ones whose critical faculties did not get displayed by the editor.  David states at the end of the video that he sees teaching 'climate change' as a 'moral duty'.

Their aim: to see how best to make use of 'climate change' to get their ideas across about 'geography', 'diversity', 'sustainability' (this last term used near the end as an umbrella term for everything else).

An early slide in what may be the first lesson has this in a prominent bullet-point:
'How can we alter our lives?' [at time 02m:10s]

Teacher decides in favour of 'steering away from the science ideas', which seems like a good tactic, given that some of the most penetrating attacks on climate alarmism are coming from scientists.
The Professor notes: 'We understand the science.  We trust it.', a catechism which I think triggered the Jesuit analogy in my tiny mind.

Pupils who say the right things about various self- and other-denials, get rewarded with 'Excellent!  Brilliant!', which is a bit much since they are merely doing as they have been told.

The Communicator promotes 'Carbon calculators' as the weapon of choice to get the class engaged in assessing their own lives, those of their parents, as well as of a celebrity and a teacher in their school.  And the movie switches to them doing just that, picking out an outstanding sportsman, David Beckham, as a figure to somehow compute a carbon footprint for, and for it to be seen as a bad thing rather than a symptom, as I would see it, of his great success.  A bit like Al Gore's footprint, which for some reason did not get a mention.

People in the USA are singled out, not so much to celebrate diversity, but to note without challenge a pupil's assertion that they are 'big and drive about a lot'! The USA, spenders of more money on overseas aid, on climate research, on new technologies, on the United Nations, than any other country is reduced to a stereotype. 

The Professor: 'why has it been allowed to happen?'  (Hinting at some authority, possibly a deity, who allows this and forbids that? Surely not!) Why did it allow 'the possibility of ....global catastrophe'  [at 10:11] Switch to big smile of delight by the The Communicator [at 10:12]) - you could almost see the cash-register sparkling in his eyes at that magic word 'catastrophe'.
If I close my eyes, I can picture our balance sheet...
A juxtaposition in time which seems accidently informative, but perhaps in fairness to Ed, it was just a trick of the editor's art.
The Professor: backing away from the deity notion, he slips in the basic cause ot the 'catastrophe' as due the fact that 'we consist of individual nation states', and hints at the discredited, even by leftwingers, 'tragedy of the commons' hypothesis so adored by an earlier generation of environmental activists, a hypothesis named explicitly by The Communicator.

Towards the end, the clear hijacking of 'climate change' as a cloak to smuggle in 'sustainable development' is revealed.  But what, you may ask, is the cloak of 'sustainable development' smuggling in?  A Trojan horse for more government control perhaps, including some kind of supranational version? (please excuse my mixing of metaphors in one short paragraph!)

The Communicator:  '..we can turn kids into a whole bundle of little climate activists..'[at: 12:53-59]).  
Yes you can, but only some of them, some of the time, not all of them, all of the time.  You missed this one for example:

The Teacher: 'we have a moral duty to teach this'.  Your morality may well differ from mine, but that's diversity for you.

Overall, a dismal story.  ( for more 'dismal' on geography teaching in the UK: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2011/02/rotting-from-top-government.html )

But let us try to be more cheerful!  Imagine the same framework, but now with a disciple of Julian Simon as the professor and Matt Ridley as the communicator!  In this new version of the clip, they are sharing thoughts about how to convey to children the wonders of the world, and what transformations in the quality of life have been achieved, and how that progress is becoming worldwide now that China and India in particular have given private enterprise a little more freedom to thrive.  The abundance of resources could be illustrated by the shale oil and gas discoveries, and the sequential failures of forecasts of 'peak oil' , not to mention many other 'environmentalist' forecasts of doom refuted by simple or subsequent observations. The cleaner technologies of the most industrialised countries show how pollution can be reduced, and more efficient use made of materials and energy supplies.  The class will be encouraged to imagine how future generations might live, with the promise of destructive, stultifying large-scale poverty fading from the world.  What a planet!  They might come to decide, as does the lead character in a current London play called 'The Heretic', with a bit of hyperbole:

".. that people, not nature, are the real miracle of life. "I've decided that the stars are rubbish. ... The stars are God's mistakes. We are the miracle. Life. Human intelligence. Human innovation, creativity, invention. That is why, every night, the stars gaze down on us in awe."

Now to develop that idea would be radical.  And would seriously challange the establishment view that we must worship nature and hang on the every word of 'environmentalists', apparently in direct proportion to the level of alarm they can muster.  Why not just teach children about climate, how varied it has been in the past, and how it will no doubt continue to vary in the future?  On the way, explaining how industrial and agricultural progress is helping more and more people to reduce their vulnerability to weather events and to climate variation. To give more emphasis to climate science, another version of our remake could choose the professor from a long list of good candidates, such as Lindzen, Spencer, Carter, and many others of that noble ilk.  And the communicator chosen from Monckton, Nova, Delingpole, Montford, and many others of that also noble ilk.  It might be harder to find 'The Teacher' though, as I guess they are liable to get fired or demonised if they step aside from the establishment line on climate.  But somewhere, surely, in private schools at least there are many who could fit the part?  Or perhaps the teacher could be shown in silhouette, with a dubbed voice, to protect his or her identity.  That picture would, by itself, be educational.

Note added 04 May 2012: My original link to the video above no longer works and has now been removed.  A possibly later (October 2011) version of the video is available here: http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/105435/ks3-4-geography-teaching-climate-change#.T6PPlFKM58F

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Paired Comparisons in Climate Claims: paired by credulity and context

How about these, side by side on the climate-classroom wall?

The intellectual problems of the alarmists, exposed by Jimbo in a comment at Notrickszone:

'A few things caused by global warming:

Warmer Northern Hemisphere winters due to global warming
Colder Northern Hemisphere winters due to global warming

Global warming to slow down the Earth’s rotation
Global warming to speed up the Earth’s rotation

North Atlantic Ocean has become less salty
North Atlantic Ocean has become more salty

Avalanches may increase
Avalanches may decrease

Plants move uphill due to global warming
Plants move downhill due to global warming

Monsoons to become drier in India
Monsoons to become wetter in India

Plankton blooms
Plankton decline

Reindeer thrive
Reindeer decline

Less snow in Great Lakes
More snow in Great Lakes

Gulf stream slows down
Gulf stream shows “small increase in flow

San Francisco more foggy
San Francisco less foggy

Less winter snow for Britain
More winter snow for Britain '

Is 'climatology' really fit for use in schools?  Should there not be a watershed below which exposure to it is not advised, say 30 years of age.  Just about enough years to see through shoddy science and self-seeking spin?  Leaving schools, and universities, to concentrate on truth and understanding, and postponing the shoddy stuff to be dealt with in those later years.

Note added 11 Feb: Pierre Gosselin has compiled a longer list of them, using 4 more pairs posted in a later comment by Jimbo: http://notrickszone.com/2011/02/10/unfalsifiable-science-proof-of-climate-change/

Note added 16 Feb:  Another commenter has added even more pairs: http://notrickszone.com/2011/02/10/unfalsifiable-science-proof-of-climate-change/#comment-14480 , giving credit to John Bignell: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm): “A complete list of things caused by global warming”.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Good Advice for Teachers: 'Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or “overwhelming proof.”'

An open letter that would grace any classroom wall:

'February 8, 2011

To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:

In reply to “The Importance of Science in Addressing Climate Change”

On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to “take a fresh look at climate change.” Their intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems.
We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly state our side of the story.
The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they view themselves as “sounding the alarm” about so many things climatic) state that the people of the world “need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being experienced with increasing frequency,” as well as the “direct health impacts from heat waves” and “climate-sensitive infectious diseases,” among a number of other devastating phenomena. And they say that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,” which is understood to mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.
To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.
For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (see http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php). That report offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the “group of eighteen,” citing in every case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past several decades.
If the “group of eighteen” pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting, then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009, Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety at www.nipccreport.org.
These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the 678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of hurricanes and other storms? No.
Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth’s seas inundating coastal lowlands around the globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.
Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels.
In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the twentieth century, and indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the eighteen climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate and weather.
But don’t take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own minds about the matter. Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or “overwhelming proof.” These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.
Like the eighteen climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.
Signed by:
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, University of Alaska1
Scott Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania
James Barrante, Southern Connecticut State University1
Richard Becherer, University of Rochester
John Boring, University of Virginia
Roger Cohen, American Physical Society Fellow
David Douglass, University of Rochester
Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University1
Robert Essenhigh, The Ohio State University1
Martin Fricke, Senior Fellow, American Physical Society
Lee Gerhard, University of Kansas1
Ulrich Gerlach, The Ohio State University
Laurence Gould, University of Hartford
Bill Gray, Colorado State University1
Will Happer, Princeton University2
Howard Hayden, University of Connecticut1
Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Sherwood Idso, USDA, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory1
Richard Keen, University of Colorado
Doral Kemper, USDA, Agricultural Research Service1
Hugh Kendrick, Office of Nuclear Reactor Programs, DOE1
Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology2
Anthony Lupo, University of Missouri
Patrick Michaels, Cato Institute
Donald Nielsen, University of California, Davis1
Al Pekarek, St. Cloud State University
John Rhoads, Midwestern State University1
Nicola Scafetta, Duke University
Gary Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study
S. Fred Singer, University of Virginia1
Roy Spencer, University of Alabama
George Taylor, Past President, American Association of State Climatologists
Frank Tipler, Tulane University
Leonard Weinstein, National Institute of Aerospace Senior Research Fellow
Samuel Werner, University of Missouri1
Thomas Wolfram, University of Missouri1
1 – Emeritus or Retired
2 – Member of the National Academy of Sciences
Endorsed by:
Rodney Armstrong, Geophysicist
Edwin Berry, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Joseph Bevelacqua, Bevelacqua Resources
Carmen Catanese, American Physical Society Member
Roy Clark, Ventura Photonics
John Coleman, Meteorologist KUSI TV
Darrell Connelly, Geophysicist
Joseph D’Aleo, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Terry Donze, Geophysicist1
Mike Dubrasich, Western Institute for Study of the Environment
John Dunn, American Council on Science and Health of NYC
Dick Flygare, QEP Resources
Michael Fox, Nuclear industry/scientist
Gordon Fulks, Gordon Fulks and Associates
Ken Haapala, Science & Environmental Policy Project
Martin Hertzberg, Bureau of Mines1
Art Horn, Meteorologist
Keith Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Jay Lehr, The Heartland Institute
Robert Lerine, Industrial and Defense Research and Engineering1
Peter Link, Geologist
James Macdonald, Chief Meteorologist for the Travelers Weather Service1
Roger Matson, Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists
Tony Pann, Meteorologist WBAL TV
Ned Rasor, Consulting Physicist
James Rogers, Geologist1
Norman Rogers, National Association of Scholars
Thomas Sheahen, Western Technology Incorporated
Andrew Spurlock, Starfire Engineering and Technologies, Inc.
Leighton Steward, PlantsNeedCO2.org
Soames Summerhays, Summerhays Films, Inc.
Charles Touhill, Consulting Environmental Engineer
David Wojick, Climatechangedebate.org
1 – Emeritus or Retired'

Letter in PDF form: TruthAboutClimateChangeOpenLetter

Thanks to: WUWT  

Note added later: Details of the 'Letter from the 18 alarmists' are given here, along with some powerful Fisking of them: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/04/pielke-sr-on-the-gang-of-18-letter-to-congress/

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fighting from the Bottom: a pupil strikes back against climate-cloaked indoctrination

A little flippant perhaps, but in this tiny act of defiance by what may be a 14-year old completing a 'climate questionnaire' I see a spark of hope:

Source: http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2011/02/clarkson-1-harrabin-black-shukman-0.html    

It would seem this was captured by someone while entering the children's responses into a computer.

For non-UK or non-TV viewers: Jeremy Clarkson is a charming free-thinker, decidedly averse to being told what to think by the PC brigade.  He leads an extremely popular tv-programme about cars (mostly).  He also writes articles for newspapers, such as this:

From The Sun, 29th January, 2011.  Hat-tip: http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=7124  

A little humour is not amiss in the face of the all-but-relentless propaganda in the media for the establishment's take on climate variability, and how it can be exploited by governments and corporations alike - such as the WWF for example, or Greenpeace, or Goldman-Sachs, or, while it lasted, Enron.

Rotting from the Top: government interference in UK geography classes

2007: 'Children will be put on the front line of the battle to save the planet under radical proposals to shake up the way that geography is taught in schools.
The plans, to be published on Monday, will ensure that, for the first time, issues such as climate change and global warming are at the heart of the school timetable. Pupils will also be taught to understand their responsibilities as consumers - and weigh up whether they should avoid travel by air to reduce CO2 emissions and shun food produce imported from the other side of the world because of its impact on pollution.'

'Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, said urgent action needed to be taken to avoid the worst-case scenarios and that educating children about the dangers of climate change was vital. "Children have a dual role as consumers and influencers," he said. "Educating them about the impact of getting an extra pair of trainers for fashion's sake is as important as the pressure they put on their parents not to buy a gas-guzzling family car."
The plans are part of a major review of the secondary school curriculum that will be unveiled by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the Government's exams watchdog, next week.'

2011: 'Children’s knowledge of capital cities, continents, world affairs and the environment is in sharp decline because of poor geography lessons, inspectors warned today. 
In a damning report, Ofsted said teaching in the subject was not good enough in more than half of English state schools.
Geography – traditionally a cornerstone of the curriculum – is often undermined by a lack of space in school timetables after being edged out by exam practice and other subjects such as citizenship.'
That didn't take very long.  I wonder how convincing Johnson's 'influencers' are when challenged by those who have learned some geography, some science, some logic, and some common sense?

Added 09 Feb: Previous UK government issued a massive amount of guidance to schools: http://www.politics.co.uk/news/education/labour-s-advice-to-teachers-was-the-length-of-two-bibles--$21386565.htm

Monday, 7 February 2011

Topical Storm Alert: 'Climate Week' has formed, and may be intensifying ahead of its expected UK landfall in March.

The National Association of Head Teachers is said to be supporting it, and so is Tesco, Kellogs, Aviva, EDF, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. And a great many others - a veritable roll call of the establishment.

This cyclone's energy is being raised and organised by a committee of a few seasoned organisers and a lot of fresh young ones.  They remind me just a bit of my own good self way back in the 70s, when Ehrlich and the Club of Rome were persuading us that we were doomed, would be lucky to see the year 2000, and even if we did, we'd not be having much fun, what with the starving, fighting, freezing, and choking and all.  Except, I don't think I looked nearly as good nor as cheerful as they do. But then I was an angry young man attacking the establishment's views, while they are supporting them.

The CEO is Kevin, who obviously is quick and light on his feet to complete this sort of manoeuvre - the leap across a change of government:
'From 2007 to 2009 Kevin sat on the Council on Social Action chaired by the Prime Minister, and on the government’s Talent and Enterprise Task Force. He chaired the Enterprise Campaign Coalition and was on the selection committee of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. He currently sits on the steering group of the Big Society Network launched by the Prime Minister, David Cameron in July 2010.'

Phil is Head of Communications, and is clearly into green and good causes: 'Phil has worked on numerous award-winning campaigns for social and environmental causes, including Friends of the Earth’s Big Ask , WWF’s Earth Hour, and Orange RockCorps, an initiative uniting young people with their community through music. He helped launch eco blockbuster Age of Stupid with the greenest ever world premiere and organised the UK’s first prison gig at HM Pentonville to highlight the problem of young male suicide. He is a trustee of Dramatic Need, a groundbreaking arts charity supported by Oscar-winning director (and fellow trustee) Danny Boyle, which works with severely underprivileged children in South Africa and Rwanda.'

There are 16 more, several of whom seem to have held down more ordinary jobs, and several are just setting out on their journeys to help us all out, and get paid for it at the same time.  Not that money is important when you have a planet to save.  Actually, let me rephrase that: 'the hundreds of billions of dollars, pounds, and euros diverted into climate change good works of one kind or another, are as nothing compared to the losses they tell us we would see if we hadn't spent all that money on them'.  In particular, we might not have learned how to adjust the thermostat on our global warming system, to return climate to the idyllic past of, say the 19th century?  Or perhaps we'd choose the Little Ice Age which spanned the 18th century, or the Medieval Warm Period that preceded it.  Or perhaps even a return to the golden days of the Climatic Optimum, a few thousand years earlier in our beloved Holocene, when mean temperatures were several degrees higher than in industrial times and humanity thrived like never before.  Anyway, this is to daydream...let's get back to the Topical Storm now heading our way:

'Climate Week is a supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change. It is for everyone wanting to do their bit to protect our planet and create a secure future.
Climate Week will shine a spotlight on the many positive steps already being taken in workplaces and communities across Britain. The power of these real, practical examples – the small improvements and the big innovations – will then inspire millions more people.
Thousands of businesses, charities, schools, councils and others will run events during Climate Week on 21-27 March 2011. They will show what can be achieved, share ideas and encourage thousands more to act during the rest of the year.
You can help create a massive movement for change by making Climate Week happen where you are. Ask an organisation or group you know, such as your workplace or local school, to run an event.'

Well, I wonder how many will?  Climategate was a bit of a bummer in late 2009, and the ice and snow and sundry political farces in and around Copenhagen that December can't have helped much.  The Met Office has given climate prediction for just a few weeks ahead a bit of a bad name in 2010, issuing secret forecasts of impressive vagueness at huge expense to poor old HMG, which ran out of cash in the cold weather funds before January 2011 got underway.  The public has been up to its ears in global warming of late, and hasn't liked it one little bit.

There may even be some who have been convinced that CO2 controls climate, and that we'd all be a nice bit warmer if only we could only get more of the stuff to stay up in the air.  Somehow I foresee that their projects and events and suggestions will not see the light of day as 'Climate Week' strikes, and we are deluged with the establishment's perspective instead.  But wait! Have the Met Office predicted such a deluge for late March?  If they have, perhaps there is yet still hope ...

Update 2nd March 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/mar/02/climate-week-splitting-green-movement: the faithful of the Church of Global Warming grow fissiparous about Climate Week:

'But a section of the environmental movement that is concerned about the event's sponsors are mounting a counter-campaign which includes spoof entries for the awards and an anti-Climate Week Facebook group. Their objections centre around two areas. The first is that by focusing on "small, positive actions" you take the spotlight off the large-scale changes that really need to happen.
The second and far more contentious issue is that Climate Week is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the company cited by groups like Platform, People and Planet, the UK Tar Sands Network and the World Development Movement as one of the worst environmental offenders in the UK. In 2009, several groups tried to take legal action over RBS investments, and last summer the bank was the Climate Camp target for the year.'

Note added 31 March 2011: hard to get data for an overview, but my impression is that Climate Week has been a low-key, low-profile, low-impact event.  Thank goodness.

Note added 15 March 2013: the ill-conceived piece of astro-turfing called Climate Week is still around, but reports suggest it is on its last-legs, e.g. http://www.thebreaker.co.uk/climate-week-a-flop-in-bournemouth-and-poole/  'Climate Week, which was set up last week by Bournemouth and Poole Borough Councils, was supposed to invite people to combat climate change by making simple sustainable life choices, but not many people came along to take part in the events and the carbon footprint remains high.'  Hat-tip Alex Cull on Bishop Hill Unthreaded (Mar 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM)  There was also this observation from Latimer Alder shortly after the one from Alex Cull:
'Was it Climate Week last week?
Oh dear.. I must have missed it. Tsk, tsk, now there's a thing....
Perhaps, like snow on the Copenhagen conference, the gods were trying to tell us something as they brought on the perishing cold weather..............'

Friday, 4 February 2011

Climate education in schools: a mess of potage, a porridge of propaganda?

Indoctrination in schools is illegal in the UK (e.g. section 406 of the Education Act of 1996).  Education ought to teach children about their world.  But there are those who see the young as so many potential footsoldiers for their cause, little Trojan horses to fill with propaganda to carry back into their homes and into their futures.  All to save the planet of course, so who can object to that?  Of course, they are not 'saving the planet'.  First of all, 'the planet' is not in danger, and secondly, crippling our economies physically, and our children mentally, are not pathways to robust societies ready to tackle whatever challenges the future may bring them, environmental and otherwise.  They are pathways to poverty and dependency.

A geologist surveys Redoubt Volcano in Alaska (Alaska Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey)

Geography is an obvious target for proselytising on 'climate change'.  It does not seem to be thriving as a subject in schools in the UK.

'In a speech at Charterhouse School, Surrey, Prof Woodhead cited the example of geography, where the curriculum has been focused on turning children into "global citizens" at the expense of an objective study of the earth.
"I think there is a difference between education on the one hand and propaganda on the other - and I think this is one of the main reasons why schools are starting to abandon GCSEs in such numbers," he said.
"Politicians seem to have this belief that schools and teachers can solve the evils of the world. Simply dump all the deeply intractable social problems on to the curriculum and let the schools sort it out. Schools should be teaching children what they don't know, not attempting to create citizens of the future who are active and responsible." '
Chris Woodhead, ex-chief inspector of schools

'Geography lessons 'not good enough in half of schools' 

Children’s knowledge of capital cities, continents, world affairs and the environment is in sharp decline because of poor geography lessons, inspectors warned today. 

In a damning report, Ofsted said teaching in the subject was not good enough in more than half of English state schools.
Geography – traditionally a cornerstone of the curriculum – is often undermined by a lack of space in school timetables after being edged out by exam practice and other subjects such as citizenship.
Many primary teachers lacked specialist geographical knowledge, the watchdog said, meaning classes often descended into a focus on superficial stereotypes. The subject had practically “disappeared” in one-in-10 primaries.
In secondary schools, classes were often merged with history to form generic “humanities” lessons that focused on vague skills instead of geographical understanding.
Ofsted said the decline severely reduced children’s ability at all ages to grasp key geographical issues, identify countries or capital cities and even read maps properly.'

Graeme Paton, Education Editor, Daily Telegraph

['Ofsted' is a government agency in the UK: 'Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. We regulate and inspect to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages.']

How come so many teachers have apparently stopped teaching in order to become facilitators for producing ill-informed agitators?  The same malaise has also affected the BBC, an organisation turning into an international laughing stock because of its blinkered, biased approach on climate and its wish to campaign for 'the cause' rather than 'merely' broadcast news, information, and honest investigative journalism. 

The scientific case for alarm over CO2 is fragile and has been widely dismantled, not least by Nature herself refusing to follow the purposeful computer models equipped with magical powers for CO2.    The political case is also faltering, not least due to the absurdities of the IPCC leadership and publications, and to simple-minded bandwagoning by politicians in many countries running out of steam (see for example, the absence of 'climate change' in the recent State of the Union address in the USA, and several opinion polls showing the declining credibility of eco-alarmism).  So will the educational system be the final redoubt for this whole sorry business? 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

CO2 Alarm Virus epidemiology: identifying some vectors in the USA.

A very useful annotated summary of some educational initiatives in the US funded by federal agencies on climate:

'Nearly 100 ‘Climate Education Programs’ funded by NASA, NOAA, NSF & EPA'

The author introduces his study as follows:

'Four Federal agencies are funding at least 95 'Climate education programs'. These programs are specifically designed to influence students, teachers, and the public in general about climate change. Based on their summaries (which I will share) these programs are not intended to present information and let the public decide for themselves. Instead, they are designed for two goals. One, to influence the public to accept and take action on climate change. Two, to increase the future workforce involved in climate change fields. I will take each agency in turn, look at their stated goals, then look through some of the programs they have funded.
To be very clear, these programs do not further climate research. They are not studying the atmosphere or oceans. They are not studying clouds or albedo. We know nothing more about the state of our climate from these programs. Their sole purpose is education.
I'm going to explain my own view shortly. I do believe that the climate is changing, and that humans have had a minor role in this occurring. I do not believe that the future of the planet is in jeopardy. I object to these programs for multiple reasons, but one main contention is the fact that they all make the assumption that future climate change is overwhelmingly negative and that we absolutely must take serious action now. These programs all appear to assume catastrophic warming will occur unless action is taken. Enough of what I think. Look at the programs yourselves and see what you conclude.'

My comment appended to the above post:

'Excellent work to bring all this together and annotate it so wisely. In 2010, it seemed clear that the flimsy basis for alarm about rising CO2 had been so exposed, and that the unpleasant, self-seeking nature of the handful of individuals and organisations at the core of the alarmism was so visible, that this particular scare was over. But your work here helps show how deeply and widely the activists, acolytes and others have spread their scaremongering, enjoying their chunk of the billions of dollars diverted to this destructive, soul-destroying, and demented ’cause’. Well done! We still have a long, long way to go to get over this, and a lot of waste and societal loss is no doubt still to come as a result.'

Hat-tip:  http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/

CO2 alarmism is not a win-win game: here is the progress that it threatens

Hans Rosling shows just how much development there has been over the past 200 years in terms of life expectancy, and the correlated per capita income for the countries of the world.  The impact of WWI and the flu epidemic can be detected in the time sequence, and possibly WWII.  One has to wonder if the effect of CO2-reduction policies in industrialised countries will also be detectable in due course.  Overall, the most dramatic good news is the great progress of Latin American and Asian countries, not least India and China, both of which may gain some short-term but substantial benefit by selling products such as wind-turbines and solar panels to CO2-reduction countries, while burning as much coal as they need to get them through this phase of their industrial development.  But if more industrialised countries are damaged by expensive energy costs, not to mention demoralised, frightened people, then the overall effect could be harmful for everyone.
Hat-tip: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/16497-200-years-of-global-development.html
Watch it here:

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

To Holt for TEE: transnational energy education, or is it more of 'scare the kids, control the adults'?

The dark spectre of 'behaviour change' may be stalking the quiet streets of Holt today, as various climate-related activists from Norway, Sweden, and England run a 'teach the teacher' programme in this small English town:
"The teacher training event at Holt brings together the very best international energy education practice to ensure teachers are well equipped to engage their pupils in learning about climate change and energy efficiency.
Teachers will also learn more about how to connect young people with the broader community, business and university partners to develop skills and action. "

Does that last part mean 'pressuring their parents to toe the party line on climate'?  If so, let us pause for a virtual two minute silence for 'Philip and Tracy', symbolically slaughtered using explosives in the 10:10 movie for the crime of having parents who were insufficiently convinced by said party line. (see the movie here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSTLDel-G9k&feature=player_embedded ; see the strategy espoused via here: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/10/terrorise-children-control-adults.html )

Civil servant Jonathan Thompson, Environment Planning Team Leader from the Environment Agency, is reported as saying ‘We are proud to be supporting this event with it's focus on developing international understanding and sharing of knowledge and experiences. Climate change is an international issue we all need to address. Education is critical if we are going to act and adapt to climate change and make the significant changes in behaviour needed.’  (my emphasis added).

I hope we can find out more in due course as to what they are getting up to in Holt this week.  Perhaps they are genuinely concerned to help teachers teach wisely and well about climate.  Hope springs eternal.

This event has been flagged on Bishop Hill a couple of days ago, with a hat-tip to Dave W.  As is often the case, the Bishop's post has an interesting set of comments, not least on the culpability, vulnerability, and competence of local authorities such as the one supporting the Holt event.

Commenter 'Pharos' tracked down some relevant links:
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/news/126979.aspx  and  http://www.answerproject.eu/
There may be many such events going on.  And why not, given the large funds available to support alarm about climate?  More background here: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/sites/campaign/index_en.htm

Many universities are in on this gravytrain, here is one outfit with the disarmingly honest acronym of SAUCE:
http://www.schools-at-university.eu/project/index.html :
"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. The SAUCE programmes are held at all partner universities from 2009 until 2011."
(German, Dutch, Danish, and Latvian universities in this little earner, or should I say siphon for taxpayers money under the control of the EU)

Here is one constructed by a group based in the University of Sussex, tapping into UN funds:

Here is another, apparently a registered charity in England and Wales: http://www.se-ed.org.uk/index.html, with a contact address in London, c/o 'Global Action Plan'.  'Global Action Plan' seems to be into tapping UN cash: http://www.globalactionplan.org.uk/about-us .  Founded by green insider Trewin Restorick .  That in turn led me to DEFRA sites, and to a sinking feeling about just far into the political fabric the CO2 alarm virus has spread.  But that is another story.

Note added 21 Jan 2012Here is an example from the States of using the children to get to the parents, by a teacher called Visco who has, thank goodness, now retired: 'For Visco's class, that meant teaching his students that small changes could have a large impact on the planet. "I had lots of students who would come in and say, 'My parents hate you. I'm driving them nuts, making them recycle and turn heat down and change lightbulbs,'" he recalled.
In many cases, by teaching his students he was also teaching their parents, something that Yale's Leiserowitz has also found. "Do parents influence kids, or do kids influence parents? Evidence suggests that it works both ways."
"I definitely saw changes in my students, and I definitely saw parents that softened," said Visco