'Every year climate science seems to get less sure until I want to shout 'Just vanish back into obscurity until you've got a handle on this mess! Go on, go to your room and don't come out till your predictions last longer than it takes the ink to dry on them." '

Jun 29, 2013 'TinyCO2' commenting at Bishop Hill


Monday, 30 January 2012

Part of a Cure for Climate Change Alarmism? - a simple chart for the classroom wall


The UK Met Office, much to its discredit, played and continues to play a leading role in the promotion of an irrational level of alarm over human impact on climate.  An alarm out of all proportion to what we have observed so far.  Instead of temperatures rising as if CO2 was a control knob for them, we have had a clear flattening out.  For those teachers who know of children disturbed or still frightened by this alarmism, the above chart may help calm them down.  It is constructed using results just released by the UK Met Office and its partner in climatism, The Hadley Centre.  The temperatures may still rise again, of course - we are looking at modest variations here and they can readily go either way for any number of reasons - but they have not followed the prescriptions of those utterly irresponsible alarmists.  Any hint that those people do not possess anything like the competence (omniscience?) they claimed or implied for themselves, might do wonders for any frightened child.  The repair of the mental damage done by alarmism aimed at the young will no doubt be a long and tricky task, but simple, informative graphics such as the above may well have a role to play.  Notice how the Met Office displays the full set of results (none of this is raw data) at their site:

First of all note the emotive use of colour.  Secondly, note that the two periods with an overall rising trend in the 20th century are of similar size and slope - yet CO2 levels are widely agreed to have been very different between these two periods.  Thirdly, note that despite record levels of CO2 emissions being reported in recent years, the rising trend has clearly faltered - as shown more clearly in the first plot in this post. Fourthly, note the fall in 2011 is hard to see (in fact on my browser the plot is cut off at the year 2000 on the Met Office site).

The Daily Mail article which published the first plot raises the possibility of a pronounced cooling being underway.  The PR folks of the green movement will be assessing this for possible use.  Those who profit from spreading fear may well choose to switch to, or merely just include,  threats of ice instead of fire, and our defence against them will be the same.  So, while it might be that sidelining 'climate change' in favour of 'sustainability' is the new wheeze of choice,  let us watch for such as the WWF and Greenpeace including nightmares about ice ages in their PR materials.  For them the 'issue is not the issue', the 'issue' in the PR is whatever they spot as a good opportunity for their aggrandisement, the real 'issue' for them is winning power.  But their point of contact with the young, and indeed with their teachers and parents, is with the issue in the PR.  The task of more responsible adults is to first of all to shield the young from such alarmism, and, failing that, help them see it for what it is and get a calmer, more balanced picture - including the fact that our great energy resources will allow us to deal well with a wide range of climatic conditions.  We can generate confidence, not fear.  We can trust in data, not speculations.  We can be free humans, not lackeys of fund-raising zealots who have a low opinion of humanity.

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