Why Climate Science Is Far Too Important to Be Left to Pretty Boy Celebrity Physicists like Professor Brian Cox

Professor Brian Cox is almost certainly the prettiest physicist ever to have appeared on television. A crowded field, I know. But even I would, I suspect, happily married man though I am (and happily married man though he is too), given the right circumstances: those wonderful pouty lips; that winning perma-smile as he delivers his pearls of astronomical wisdom on his charming documentaries; the rock star cool – complete with Charlatans-style, retro haircut – a legacy of his days as keyboard player with Nineties pop band D:Ream.

So yes, I perfectly well understand why the BBC has elevated him to the position of go-to scientist on all matters of import, with TV series like The Wonders of the Solar System, and why he is constantly being invited to deliver TED talks and high profile speeches like the 2010 Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture and the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture.

The only bit that troubles me – and it is something of a problem, I think you’ll agree, in a leading “science communicator” – is his somewhat uncertain grasp of the scientific method….

To find out what the problem is read on at Breitbart London

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  4. AGW: It’s not about ‘the science’

 

Australia Shows Us All the Way by Sacking Its Useless, Pointless Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery

“G’day mate, would you like fries with that? G’day mate, would you like fries with that? G’day mate, would you like fries with that?”

Flannery
Classic cartoon by Josh.

Oh to be a fly on the wall at Tim Flannery’s waterside property as he practises in the mirror for a job more suited to his talents. This time last week he was Australia’s Climate Commissioner, on an A$180,000 a year salary which required him to work just three days a week. But incoming premier Tony Abbott’s night of the green knives has put paid to that. Flannery’s Mickey Mouse job has gone; so too has Australia’s Climate Commission, a multi-million dollar, allegedly “independent”, propaganda outlet set up by Julia Gillard to help give her climate alarmist policies – such as the hated carbon tax, which Abbott is also abolishing – a veneer of scientific credibility.

As Jo Nova notes, while it may be a good day for the Australian taxpayer, it is far too late now to recoup the billions which have already been wasted on the “expert” advice of Flannery and his alarmist chums David Karoly and Will Steffen.

This agency propped up billions of dollars in pointless futile government spending trying to change the weather. Nothing will bring back money spent on desal plants that were mothballed when the floods came that real scientists predicted. Likewise the money burned on solar panels and windfarms is gone for good too, and still going.

As you’ll see at this website, one of the few things that Flannery is indisputably brilliant at is making idiotic statements and alarmist, pseudo-scientific predictions which seem to bear no relationship whatsoever to observed reality. So what, exactly, were his qualifications for taking on this supremely well-paid gig?

We-e-ll, Flannery is that most dangerous of things – an English literature graduate. Yes, I know I’m an English literature graduate too, but I’m the exception to the rule: on the whole, it would not be unfair to say, English literature graduates have done more to promote the cause of climate alarmism than any other category with the possible exception of “University” of East Anglia environmental “science” graduates.

Reflect, for a moment, on this grotesque rogues’ gallery, every one of them an English Literature graduate.

Tamsin Omond (Westminster-educated cutie; baronet’s grand-daughter; dumper of manure on Clarkson’s doorstep; embracer of every loony climate activist cause going with her Trustafarian mates)

Caroline Lucas (Malvern-Girls-College-educated nightmare; Green MP; watermelon)

Roger Harrabin (BBC alarmist-in-chief)

Bryony Worthington (Friends of the Earth Activist; inspiration for Dave’s “greenest government ever”; architect of the Climate Change Act)

Now, as it happens, I consider the cult of credentialism one of the curses of our age. Just because you’ve got some initials after your name doesn’t mean you’re not a pillock. And as we saw with the Climategate emails, being a qualified “climate scientist” is no guarantee of expertise on – or even entry-level understanding of – the science of climate. So I’m certainly not suggesting that Flannery’s possession of an English literature degree should automatically have ruled him out of contention for the  massively influential Climate Commissioner job. What I am definitely suggesting, though, is that if you’re going to entrust the tenderest parts of your national economy to some random beardie bloke’s sweaty grasp, the very least you owe all the millions of people who are going to be affected by his announcements is to do some due diligence, ask some basic questions like: “Does anything this random beardie bloke has ever said or done in his entire life render him suitable to comment definitively on an issue as complex, uncertain and contentious as climate change?”

To which the bleedingly obvious short answer is: “No.”

After his English degree, Flannery managed to land (H/T Philip Bradley at Watts Up With That) a taxpayer-funded gig digging up kangaroo bones, which got him that impressive-sounding and all-important science PhD (palaeontology) before landing a job as a museum bureaucrat cum author of bestselling environmental alarmist books like The Future Eaters. (Sir David Attenborough once described him as ‘in the league of the all-time great explorers like Dr David Livingstone’ – which tells you rather more about the erratic judgement of David Attenborough than it does about the achievements of Tim Flannery).

Flannery, in other words, is a green activist who, like many of his kind – see Bryony Worthington; Roger Harrabin, above – has learned how to play the political system very much to his advantage. It is utterly inconceivable that anyone in the free market would ever pay someone so effectively useless so much money to do so little work for a job so utterly pointless as the one Flannery had as A$180,000 a year (for a three day week) Climate Commissioner.

If he were some weird aberration we could all, no doubt, have a jolly good laugh at the patent stupidity of it all and move on. Unfortunately, though we can’t because Flannery is not some weird aberration. He is just one of the more egregiously idiotic examples of a phenomenon which is rife throughout the Western world: environmental activists being paid eyewatering sums of money to promote junk science, ramp up green taxes and regulations, hamstring free markets, enrich rent-seeking scumballs, drive up energy prices and spout scaremongering drivel, all courtesy of the taxpayer who benefits from one jot.

Consider, for example, The Carbon Trust – a quango to which the taxpayer forks out more than £127 million a year, so as to benefit from its expertise on “low carbon issues and strategies, carbon footprinting and low carbon technology development and deployment.”

But hang on a second. Isn’t all that “low carbon” nonsense starting to look a bit overtaken by events? Aren’t we now fast reaching the stage where all the arguments in favour of committing suicide via “low carbon” have been torpedoed below the waterline? We know – as even the forthcoming IPCC report admits – that climate sensitivity has been overrated, thus making a mockery of all the doomsday scenarios fingering  CO2 as a major threat. We also know – what with shale gas, shale oil, clathrates and thorium – that the fallback defence about “scarce resources” has been overdone too.

What we know, in other words, is that every penny of that £127 million we pay James Smith and his pals at The Carbon Trust to keep bigging up renewable energy and talking nonsense about climate change is money utterly and totally wasted. The same goes for the Department of Energy and Climate Change which could safely scrapped in its entirety tomorrow, without the slightest detrimental effect to anyone but the activists who staff it. The same goes for the £3.8 billion green investment bank. The same goes for much of the Met Office, the Royal Society, the British Antarctic Survey and the Science Museum, to name but a few of the once reputable publicly funded institutions which have been hijacked by political activists in order to further the cause of environmental alarmism.

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‘Global warming’ was always far too important to be left to the scientists | James Delingpole

April 24, 2013

Now that global warming is completely unravelling, I want to elaborate on a point I made a few blogposts back about the role of humanities graduates in this great debate.

On the face of it, their record isn’t good. Some of the most influential promulgators of climate nonsense have been arts graduates – among them Bryony Worthington (the FoE activist turned peer responsible for the Climate Change Act), the BBC’s Roger Harrabin and a fair few of the Guardian’s 2,800-strong Environment Department. I think future historians – looking back on this period of mass hysteria in which so many people were persuaded by and so much expensive, damaging policy was based on the largest confection of lies in junk science history – could put together a reasonably persuasive thesis that it was mainly the fault of scientist-manque arts graduates too easily impressed by men in white lab coats.

Against that, though, you’d have to set people like me and the Booker. Neither of us – as the Warmists like endlessly to remind us and taunt us – has a science degree; yet we’ve dedicated most of the latter part of our careers towards exposing the scam. And we’ve done so with confidence not because we’re scientists but, rather, precisely because we’re not scientists. I don’t want to upset the many scientists here present who make such fascinating and enlightening contributions to this blog, for which I am always (well unless they’re trolls from the UEA….) extremely grateful. But as I tried to explain the other day in my brief spat with Wattsy, this debate isn’t mainly about “the science” and it never was mainly about “the science.”

This is something most of my journalistic contemporaries – such the one whose irksome private correspondence I quoted in the first version of this blog before someone persuaded me this was dishonourable and that I should take it down – have failed to understand. Even now, I think, in the journalistic mainstream, the view remains that “climate change” is a scientific debate about man’s influence on global warming. And it so isn’t. What it really is is just another proxy conflict in the culture wars: between those who believe in limited government, low taxation, minimal regulation, personal responsibility, free markets and liberty on the one hand; and on the other those who believe in an ever-enlarging state (perhaps even to the point of One World Government), high tax, more regulation, and rule by an elite of technocrats and “experts” on the other. I argue this, as those of you who have read it will know, in Watermelons.

In his latest column the excellent Lawrence Solomon makes a similar point about scientists versus historians:

Many blame the public’s confusion over global warming on a widespread ignorance of science. A scientific grounding wouldn’t hurt but it also wouldn’t help much – few laymen, no matter how well informed, could be expected to follow the arcane climate change calculations that specialist scientists wield.

The much better explanation for the public’s confusion lies in a widespread ignorance of history, not least by scientists. Any child can understand that the Romans conquered the world when temperatures were warmer than today, that the Dutch invented the ice skates during the Little Ice Age five hundred years ago, and that melting glaciers off Newfoundland a century ago produced the iceberg that sunk the Titanic.

He’s dead right. We all have our part to play in the debate, humanities and science graduates alike. Our gravest mistake in this particular one, I think, has been to put far too much faith in scientists as arbiters of ultimate truth. We have elevated them to the status of priest, almost – as you can hear, for example, in the broadcaster’s reverential tone on the BBC every time he or she invokes the word “scientists”.

One of m’learned commenters (remind me and I’ll H/T you) traces the problem back to CP Snow’s 1959 Two Cultures lecture. Ever since arts graduates – note, eg, its effects on Melvyn Bragg’s career – have thought meanly of themselves for not having studied a proper science degree.

For years, I must say, I felt much the same about my own mere English Literature degree.

But not any more. Climategate and its aftermath changed all that. It’s not a science degree you need to negotiate the complexities of this tottering edifice of propaganda, tortured data, lies, misinformation, political wrangling, rampant greed, corporatist manoeuvring and establishment cover-ups: it’s the mental clarity you develop translating the Battle of Maldon, the powers of endurance you develop from reading the Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, and the critical nous you acquire while trying to understand what the hell Spenser was on about when he wrote the Faerie Queene.

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10 thoughts on “’Global warming’ was always far too important to be left to the scientists”

  1. m brown says:7th June 2013 at 9:38 pmJudging from the number of comments here no one reads this stuff. You are too extreme even for the loonies.
  2. Angus Rose says:15th June 2013 at 9:01 pmWhat promulgators of climate nonsense? Every academy of science supports the conclusions of the IPCC. The causes of climate change are known. The foundations of the supporting science were established back in the 1800s! Read up on Jean Fourier Baptiste (1824), John Tyndall (1859) and Svente Arrhenius (1896)… the list goes on. The scientific support is very broad and the evidence too.

    What is uncertain is the degree and timing of long term temperature projections, currently 1.1 to 6.4 deg C by century end, with a high degree of probability that it will be 3 deg C of warming. The modelling of any highly complex system is going to include simplifications, assumptions and some uncertainty. Ethically, scientific uncertainty is not grounds on which one can disregard the risk of harm to people, nations and ecosystems. It’s ethically reprehensible to only consider one’s own benefit of GHG emissions, when those same emissions place others at risk.

    Governments, non-national governments, organisations, corporations and individuals all have responsibility to reduce the risk of harm of others. Harms are already been experienced by many, with the WHO currently attributing 150,00 annual deaths due to diarrhea, malaria, drought, famine from climate change.

    Mr Delingpole, your disinformation campaign puts many many people at risk. Your arguments of ethics, science and evidence is flawed. If you’re insistent on acting purely in self interest then I would suggest you go back to the drawing board, as the legacy you’re trying to build won’t be worth tuppence when the majority in the UK start believing in the causes of extreme weather rather than your propaganda.

    1. Circuit Ben says:19th June 2013 at 2:20 pmHe’s a Tory, self interest is religion.
  3. M Yass says:19th June 2013 at 5:19 amI see ol’ Jimbo here still peddling his climate denial claptrap. So where’s his big expose? 4 years on and he’s produced nothing. Still, the guy’s got to earn a living.
  4. Circuit Ben says:19th June 2013 at 2:19 pmFor someone who gets his “Information” from oil companies, you’ve got an awfully smug way of denying scientific evidence. How much are they paying you? I thought journalism was supposed to expose corruption.
  5. Cicero says:1st July 2013 at 10:01 pmAmazing Angus that you actually believe the nonsense you have written.
  6. Gordon R says:6th July 2013 at 3:31 amDelingpole, a useful idiot for the fossil fuel lobby.
  7. millymolly says:19th August 2013 at 11:56 pmWhatever, I just can’t believe that ‘modelling’ although superb for many scientific applications, is the real, hard science that shows and predicts (with a high rate of certainty, let alone proof) what is happening climate-wise, or likely to happen.

    There are other factors which environmental or atmospheric scientists just ignore, perhaps because they can’t be modelled or not easily incorporated into the modelling?

    There’s that huge molten nuclear factory throwing x-rays or solar flares or magnetic storms towards us. Not to mention our not yet fully understood solar wind, and the heliosphere.

    There’s our molten inner core which I used to think couldn’t possibly matter until I read that heat from it does affect or at least comes to the surface more often in areas of high geo-thermal activity (I know ….should have thought it through).

    Then there is our axial progression which takes about 26,000 years – not to forget the hole in the ozone layer (or has it gone away) as well as what is presently known re gases etc being emitted from live volcanoes.

    After all the above has been incorporated into the modelling, then I think atmospheric scientists’ work should start.

    1. terry99 says:6th October 2013 at 5:32 pmEverything that could possibly warm or cool the atmosphere has been included in the models including the sun ,volcanoes , heat from the earths core, aerosols , soot, changes in earths orbit, water vapour, movements of the oceans and atmosphere,El Nino, agriculture, cattle,forestry, natural and manmade co2 etc . The suns output has been studied in great detail. The computer models output for past temperatures (“backward prediction”) matches accurately the actual measured temp record. This improves confidence in its ability to predict future temps.. The models do not PROVE agw but is one line of evidence among many that human produced co2 is causing warming .
  8. Terry 99 says:6th October 2013 at 4:35 pmWhen Mr Delingpole was asked by Paul Nurse if he would trust his own ” medical research” rather the scientific consenus of the medical team operating on him in a heart operation scenario he stumbled and fumbled ,could not answer and changed the subject. His understanding of the scientific method of enquiry is childish. Science and technology advances by the accumulation of knowledge from repeated experiments and theoretical debate leading to scientific CONSENSUS . The mobile phone was not invented by a brilliant journalist waking up one morning with a clever idea but on the accumulated knowledge of centuries of experiment (Newton,Faraday,Maxwell etc). Has mr Delingpole ever heard of these people ? What an Igoramus!!

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If This Is Britain’s Energy Policy, We’re Toast

Daft energy bill

Davey: third runner-up in a Wayne Rooney lookalike contest.

“Global warming” is SO totally over. Even President Obama concedes this now. The problem is that after twenty years or more of infectious drivel from the richly-funded global junk science community (NASA, the Royal Society, the “University” of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, the National Academy of Sciences, etc), the minds of too many politicians have been poisoned, and too much damage has already been done.

Which brings us to Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s draft energy bill. It’s a disaster. It will, if implemented, do untold damage to the British economy and the British landscape. So much is obvious to anyone with half a brain or the merest smattering of knowledge about Britain’s approaching energy gap, about the utter uselessness of “renewables” and about the shale gas story. Yet it seems that few in our political class can see it. And that those who do – Graham Stringer, Peter Lilley – seem not to have enough clout to make any difference.

Everything the tragic Davey – whose only possible use to mankind would be as maybe second or third runner up in a Wayne Rooney lookalike contest – has to say on the subject is either wrong, stupid, fatuous, economically suicidal, a total misrepresentation of the truth – or all five put together.

For example:

Mr Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said it was impossible to “turn back the tide” of rising energy prices and that consumers should expect rising bills.

As Bishop Hill notes, this is absolute rubbish. In the US, the price of gas has not risen but has collapsed thanks to the wholesale exploitation of shale gas. This is one reason that the US economy is growing and ours isn’t. Cheap energy is good for everyone. (Not, it must be said, that this is any of Obama’s doing. It has happened despite him, rather than because of him. Indeed Obama is just as ideologically committed as his European socialist counterparts are to driving up the cost of energy, as this story at PJ Media reveals – H/T Bohemond).

The two things most scandalous about the draft energy bill are first its ongoing commitment to the disgusting nonsense of renewable energy (meaning more of the landscape will be ravaged, more lives ruined, more revolting rentier scuzzballs enriched by the great wind farm menace). And second, its tacit rejection of the shale gas revolution.

As the No Hot Air blog has noted there are many vested interests which would like to see the UK shale gas industry nipped in the bud: everyone from companies in the business of “carbon capture”, renewables, and other fake green non-enterprises to those in the natural gas sector (who see unconventional shale gas, rightly, as a massive threat to their monopoly). Many of them would seem to have attended the last Downing Street summit on the subject. The company – Cuadrilla – which is actually looking to exploit Britain’s shale gas potential was mysteriously NFI.

The final straw, of course, will be the report on shale gas due to be produced by the Royal Society in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering. Knowing what we know of the Royal Society’s dire politicisation under its three most recent presidents this will be about as trustworthy and scientifically accurate as a report on genetics produced for comrade Stalin by Trofim Lysenko.

Are we really going to allow our economic recovery to be jeopardised by a tiny handful of rent-seeking corporatists, green ideologues and lame-brained, out-of-touch, know-nothing politicians who saw Josh Fox’s Gasland propaganda movie once and found the flaming tap scene really scary?

Apparently we are. We’re toast.

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2 thoughts on “If this is Britain’s energy policy, we’re toast”

  1. Nonny says:13th June 2012 at 9:39 pmGod, I love you James Delingpole. I was having a terrible day until my sister sent me a link to your “open letter to the Bishop” re renewables. It cheered me up so I had to come to your site to read some of your rants. They are lovely, absolutely lovely. I didn’t think anyone except Mark Steyn could cheer me up, but you’ve made my day. God bless you and thank you for making an old woman smile.
  2. Contactds says:17th June 2012 at 2:29 pmOne thing I am absolutely certain about is that our educational system has been hijacked by the zealots of the left and the green movement, from an early age our children are being slowly brainwashed into their now much discredited theories right up to and through university, with prescribed text books and lectures that are totally unbalanced and do not allow for rational thought or independence of mind anymore. Where are the the inspirational old teachers who led by discussion and allowed argument, nurtured free independent thinking and gave us our scientists and leaders, no more all we have now is a future of totally second rate politicians and scientists with no independent thought process other than to follow the bigots of global warming, anyone who stands up to them is bombarded with abuse in a desperate attempt for them to hang on to the billions totally wasted over the past 20 years. Most of their pet projects have been disasters and damaged the environment far worse than any so called Human CO2 output.

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Official: Great Barrier Reef Doing Just Fine

May 12, 2012

The Great Barrier Reef, surviving

I have just been snorkelling over the Great Barrier Reef. (Not all of it: it’s 1,600 miles long). And I can now officially confirm that it’s doing just fine. The fish and corals are in excellent shape. Not one of the bits I investigated showed any signs of a) overheating due to global warming, b) dissolving due to ocean acifidication or c) collapsing in despair at man’s selfishness, greed and refusal to amend his lifestyle.

Who’da thunk, eh?

But this didn’t, of course, stop our snorkel guide slipping in global warming, as a matter of course – a bit like when in the old days Christians used to say grace before dinner – into his introductory talk.

Nor did it stop the craft on which we travelled, spewing, to the reef bearing signs from the Queensland park authorities claiming that ocean acidification is real.

Why do they expose us to this alarmist drivel? Because, like the polar bear (but unlike, say, the snail darter), the Great Barrier Reef is big and impressive and captures the public imagination. If somehow it can be co-opted by the eco-loons into their ongoing campaign to destroy the world economy and ensure that as many parts of the globe as possible become virtual no-go areas for humans, policed by brown-shirted enviro-zealots, then co-opt it they will.

Take it from me: the Great Barrier Reef is going to survive a hell of a lot longer than Catastrophic Anthropogenic Warming Theory.

Over to you, trolls …

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2 thoughts on “Official: Great Barrier Reef doing just fine”

  1. Hotrodtoprod says:23rd May 2012 at 11:44 pmAsshole!
    1. EWorrall says:24th May 2012 at 12:33 amI agree – the people who are lying to us, telling us the GBR is in trouble, are A**holes.

‘Germany’s George Monbiot’ turns climate sceptic | James Delingpole

February 9, 2012

Vahrenholt: for you, Monbiot, the war is over…

„Seit 12 Jahren ist die Erd-Erwärmung gestoppt!“

When the Germans start running headlines like that in their biggest tabloid newspaper, you know that for the eco loons Der Krieg ist Verloren. It means “Global Warming stopped twelve years ago,” and it’s part of a serialisation being run by Bild (circulation: 4 million) of Germany’s newest surprise bestseller – a climate sceptical book called Die Kalte Sonne (The Cold Sun). (H/T Jay)

What’s even more surprising is this: one of the authors, Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, is a former environment minister and well-known green activist. P Gosselin at No Tricks Zone has the story:

What has set it all off? One of the fathers of Germany’s modern green movement, Professor Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, a social democrat and green activist, decided to author a climate science skeptical book together with geologist/paleontologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning. Vahrenholt’s skepticism started when he was asked to review an IPCC report on renewable energy. He found hundreds of errors. When he pointed them out, IPCC officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned, he asked himself, “Is this the way they approached the climate assessment reports?”

Vahrenholt decided to do some digging. His colleague Dr. Lüning also gave him a copy of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. He was horrified by the sloppiness and deception he found. Persuaded by Hoffmann & Campe, he and Lüning decided to write the book. Die kalte Sonne cites 800 sources and has over 80 charts and figures. It examines and summarizes the latest science.

According to the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Benny Peiser, himself a former member of the German green movement, Vahrenholt’s U-turn represents a huge blow to the climate alarmist camp. (For further details read this GWPF account and also this one)

“Imagine if George Monbiot were suddenly to declare himself a climate sceptic. That’s how massive this story is!”

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Global Warming: Red-Faced Climatologist Issues Grovelling Apology

Even though I was wrong I’m still right…

Not.

I’ve just been listening to BBC Radio 4’s More Or Less. It was the episode announcing that the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s scientific adviser Dr David Whitehouse had won a £100 bet made on the programme four years ago with climatologist Dr James Annan. Annan predicted temperatures would rise in that period; Whitehouse predicted they wouldn’t. Annan lost.

But you’d never guess it from his high-handed tone when he was asked why he’d lost. “Just bad luck,” Annan explained, going on to insist (contradicting most available real-world data, it must be said) that the trend for global warming remained “robustly positive.” He then agreed to another four-year bet. If it went against him a second time would he change his mind, Annan was asked. At first he appeared to agree that it would but then he started backtracking, insisting that it wouldn’t change in the slightest his view that carbon dioxide causes global warming.

This “Even though I was wrong I’m still right” syndrome afflicts a lot of people in the climate alarmist community. But then, you can hardly blame them for their wilful self-delusion and glib complacency for they seem to operate in a bubble in which there are no punishments for failure.

The classic example is Paul Ehrlich who lost a famous bet on “scarce resources” with the late economist Julian Simon (aka the “Doomslayer” because he was so good at confounding environmentalists’ hysterical scaremongering using actual scientific data as opposed to computer projections).

The interesting part, as I recall in Watermelons, is what happened next:

While Ehrlich continued to be feted as an environmental seer (in 1990, the year he lost the bet, he won a MacArthur Foundation “genius award”), Simon was invariably dismissed during his lifetime as a right-wing crank.

As a profile in Wired put it: “There seemed to be a bizarre reverse-Cassandra effect operating in the universe: whereas the mythical Cassandra spoke the awful truth and was not believed, these days “experts” spoke awful falsehoods, and they were believed. Repeatedly being wrong actually seemed to be an advantage, conferring some sort of puzzling magic glow upon the speaker.”

Digging that puzzling magic glow, Dr Annan?

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One thought on “Global warming: red-faced climatologist issues grovelling apology”

  1. Nige Cook says:16th January 2012 at 4:54 pm “Just bad luck,” Annan explained, going on to insist (contradicting most available real-world data, it must be said) that the trend for global warming remained “robustly positive.”

    James, please see Dr Lakatos’s talk “Science and Pseudoscience”, published in the Open University’s published in Philosophy in the Open and in The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes: Philosophical Papers Volume 1 (Transcript here: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosophy/about/lakatos/scienceandpseudosciencetranscript.aspx ):

    “If we look at the vast seventeenth-century literature on witchcraft, it is full of reports of careful observations and sworn evidence – even of experiments. Glanvill, the house philosopher of the early Royal Society, regarded witchcraft as the paradigm of experimental reasoning. …

    “… Knowledge can only be about Nature, but this new type of knowledge had to be judged by the standards they took over straight from theology: it had to be proven beyond doubt. Science had to achieve the very certainty which had escaped theology. A scientist, worthy of the name, was not allowed to guess: he had to prove each sentence he uttered from facts. This was the criterion of scientific honesty. Theories unproven from facts were regarded as sinful pseudoscience, heresy in the scientific community.”

    Fact: if you pump CO2 into a greenhouse, it gets warmer. Case closed. However, greenhouses don’t contain oceans and clouds inside them, where the clouds form as a response to the initial warming of the ocean, and then shadow the surface from further warming (negative feedback). This is where people like Nurse/Phil Jones go wrong. It’s also the flaw in the earth centred universe system of Ptolemy, where the planets, sun, moon and stars orbit the earth daily on closed crystalline spheres. Ptolemy was able to predict the positions of the planets etc using an ad hoc mathematical model called epicycles, where fiddles were introduced to allow for the errors in the original foundations of the theory. This way, Ptolemy could ridicule Aristarchus who suggested an alternative idea, but didn’t have the thousands of followers working out predictions that Ptolemy had. AGW is more of this.

    Where’s the glass ceiling needed for the greenhouse effect? You must have one, or global warming will cause water vapour which gets warmed by the sun (positive feedback) and thus expands and rises, forming increased cloud cover until the additional warming from the CO2 has been cancelled out. This is anathema to Nurse/Phil Jones and the Guardian writers like Monbiot, who just scoff and ask where the peer-reviewed papers are that prove that hot air rises? What matters to them is not fact, but political correctness. And it matters to you too, since you’re got to be understandable and compelling to a substantial proportion of your readers. It’s not so easy to overcome witchcraft which has billions of funding and is disguised as left-wing ethical morality. :-)

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Why Aren’t There More Rewards for Being Right?

A Conservative friend of mine has a favorite exasperated phrase for our political class: “There just aren’t enough bullets.” He doesn’t mean it literally. Like me – more or less – he’s a peace and love kind of guy. What he’s expressing is frustration that the fools in power who make mistakes which impact on all our lives never seem to pay any real price for messing things up.

In this week’s UK Spectator, political journalist Peter Oborne gives a good example of this. He names the Guilty Men who, not so long ago, were urging Britain to scrap the pound and adopt the Euro as its currency. Hindsight tells us with absolute clarity that this would have been a disaster. But there were many of us who knew that perfectly well at the time – and often said so.

And how were we treated? As completely lunatics, that’s how. We were called “swivel-eyed” and “Little Englanders”. We were dismissed as reactionary eccentrics completely out of touch with the real world, that’s how.

Here’s just one example, taken from the Observer columnist Andrew Rawnsley’s column on 31 January 1999: ‘On the pro-euro side, a grand coalition of business, the unions and the substantial, sane, front rank political figures. On the other side, a menagerie of has-beens, never-have-beens and loony tunes.’ Most of Mr Rawnsley’s ‘substantial, sane, front-rank political figures’ came together 12 years ago at the launch of the Britain in Europe campaign to take us into the euro — Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Charles Kennedy, Danny Alexander.

Guilty Men takes its name from a pamphlet published in 1940, naming the myriad Establishment figures who’d pursued a policy of Appeasement with Hitler. Needless to say, those who wanted to stand up to him – and who warned that war was inescapable, in much the same way an apocalyptic collapse in Europe is now – were of course treated “those in the know” as dangerous loons. Foremost among those dangerous loons was Winston Churchill.

Today we see exactly the same thing going on with Climate Change.

As someone who has been on the right side of these arguments (I’m sure you can all suggest plenty of US examples of similar instances) I hope I don’t sound too peevish when I ask: “Where’s my reward? How come the bad, wrong guys always get away with it – and the good guys get nothing more than the satisfaction of being right?”

Sure being right is nice. But I do wish you could monetize it.

(to read more, click here)

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3 thoughts on “Why aren’t there more rewards for being right?”

  1. Bernie says:27th September 2011 at 9:09 pmDon’t call the fools in power fools. What about that genius Gordon Brown who as Chancellor of the Exchequer sold off half of England’s gold supply at $275 the ounce. How do you like that for forward vision?
  2. Nige Cook says:29th September 2011 at 8:23 pmWatch Brown refuse to admit to making an error by selling gold at rock bottom price: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDm8zGwcdZ4He claims it’s the Conservatives fault he made a loss by selling off that gold, because the Conservatives were selling off assets, and he just “diversified into gold”.

    This kind of obfuscating dishonesty is what you get all the time at the lower levels of society, such as the rock bottom state comprehensives and universities. Nobody every makes a mistake. They’re all educated enough to be able to come up with some convoluted excuse or explanation that allows them to fail to learn from their error. Would he have felt differently if it had been his own personal money he flushed down the lavatory? :)

  3. John Fourie says:20th October 2011 at 11:14 pmJust came to your website to say that you are the lowest form of life. Lying and over exaggerating without even understanding the basics. Dont read anything this man says people he only wants you to go to his website to get some click, he is what we call an internet troll and does not deserve a second of your time. Please die so that the world can be a better place.

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‘Climate scepticism is the new racism’ says Gore | James Delingpole

August 31, 2011

Climate sceptics, yesterday

Climate sceptics, yesterday

Climate scepticism is the new racism, Al Gore has told an interviewer. And do you know what? He’s absolutely right.

Just as “racist” has been honed over the decades by liberal-lefties for casual use as a deadly weapon against anyone who disagrees them, so “climate denier” has become the new leftist shorthand for “evil, wrong, uncaring, right-wing – and almost certainly funded by Big Oil.”

In both cases, the intent is the same: to close down the argument by implying that your opponent is so morally compromised that his case isn’t even worth consideration. He’s just wrong: “End of,” as they say.

Gore is by no means alone in this tactic. Consider Paul Krugman’s recent effort in the New York Times to smear sceptical Republicans such as Rick Perry by writing them off as “anti-science.” Krugman quotes a speech by Perry, in which the Texas governor and potential presidential candidate says: (H/T Roger Simon at Pajamas Media)

“I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.”

Here is Krugman’s take on this:

That’s a remarkable statement — or maybe the right adjective is “vile.”

The second part of Mr. Perry’s statement is, as it happens, just false: the scientific consensus about man-made global warming — which includes 97 percent to 98 percent of researchers in the field, according to the National Academy of Sciences — is getting stronger, not weaker, as the evidence for climate change just keeps mounting.

Krugman – and his sycophantic audience of house lefties at Pravda – may think Perry’s claims are “vile” but they also happen to be true in every respect. If the best riposte Krugman can come up with is an appeal to the bankrupt “authority” and junk sociology of the hopelessly compromised National Academy of Sciences, then maybe he should consider handing back his Nobel prize. Can Krugman seriously not be aware of the latest research from CERN? Surely one of the gravest socio-political issues of our time – one which, on current form, looks likely to take the entire Western economy over a cliff – deserves more trenchant analysis than this from a supposed economics expert?

Still less excusable is this outrageous smear job by the deputy-chairman of the IPCC, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele. The eminent rocket scientist Fred Singer and the mathematics professor Claes Johnson had been invited to address a climate conference in Brussels, organised by SEII (Société Européenne des Ingénieurs et Industriels). But when van Ypersele found out, he intervened with the following letter:

Monsieur le Secrétaire général,


La SEII soutient-elle implicitement le déni climatique, à la veille du congrès mondial des ingénieurs à Genève consacré aux défis énergétiques (où j’aurai l’honneur de donner une “keynote lecture”) ?

L’utilisation du papier à lettres de la SEII par votre administrateur M. Masson pour l’invitation ci-jointe le suggère malheureusement, malgré une phrase hypocrite pour indiquer que la SEII ne “sponsorise” pas l’événement.

Vous devez savoir que MM Fred Singer est une personne dont l’honnêteté scientifique laisse fortement à désirer. Ses activités de désinformation sont financées par les lobbies des combustibles fossiles (voir XXXXXXXXXXXXXX) , et il est scandaleux qu’une telle personne puisse être associée, de près ou de loin, à la SEII et à la Fondation universitaire.
 
Des collègues éminents m’ont écrit que M. Johnson ne valait pas mieux. Un de ses “textbooks” récents, où il parlait à tort et à travers des changements climatiques, publié par le Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Suède), a dû être rétracté par ce dernier tellement il contenait d’erreurs.

Loosely translated: Fred Singer is a person whose scientific honesty leaves very much to be desired. His disinformation activities are funded by the fossil fuel industry….
Shortly after this letter was sent Singer and Johnson were disinvited.

So we see that in each case above, the response of the left-liberal political/media establishment to a contentious subject in which it is losing the argument is not to fight back with better arguments but simply to close down the debate altogether with smears, lies and authoritarian bullying. Funnily enough, Stalin used a similar ploy against the scientists who disagreed with his pet genetics expert Lysenko. And the Nazis used the same technique against inconvenient Jewish physics when they wrote their pamphlet 100 Scientists Against Einstein. (Cf also: 100 Incredibly Obscure Lefty Historians Against David Starkey) If this is where things are going then those of us, at least, who believe in frank debate, freedom of speech and empiricism should be very worried. We are entering dark times and worse, much worse, is still to come.

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Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

August 28, 2011

Cartoon by Josh

Cartoon by Josh

If Michael Crichton had lived to write a follow-up to State of Fear, the plotline might well have gone like this: at a top secret, state of the art laboratory in Switzerland, scientists finally discover the true cause of “global warming”. It’s the sun, stupid. More specifically – as the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark has long postulated – it’s the result of cosmic rays which act as a seed for cloud formation. The scientists working on the project are naturally euphoric: this is a major breakthrough which will not only overturn decades of misguided conjecture on so-called Man Made Global Warming but will spare the global economy trillions of dollars which might otherwise have been squandered on utterly pointless efforts to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions. However, these scientists have failed to realise just how many people – alarmist scientists, huckster politicians,  rent-seeking landowners like (the late Michael Crichton’s brilliant and, of course, entirely fictional creation) the absurd, pompous Sir Reginald Leeds Bt, green activists, eco-fund managers, EU technocrats, MSM environmental correspondents – stand to gain from the Man Made “Climate Change” industry. Their discovery must be suppressed at all costs. So, one by one, the scientists on the cosmic ray project find themselves being bumped off, until only one man remains and must race against time to prove, etc, etc…

Except of course in the real world the second part wouldn’t happen. No one would need to go to the trouble of bumping off those pesky scientists with their awkward, annoying facts and their proper actual research. That’s because the MSM and the scientific “community” would find it perfectly easy to suppress the story anyway, without recourse to severed brake cables or ricin-impregnated hand-washes or staged “suicides”.

This is exactly what has happened with the latest revelations from CERN over its landmark CLOUD experiment, whose significance Lawrence Solomon explains here:

The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.

The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories. CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere.

In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.

So if it’s so great, why aren’t we hearing more about it? Well, possibly because the Director General of CERN Rolf-Dieter Heuer would prefer it that way. Here’s how he poured cold water on the results in an interview with Die Welt Online:

I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them. That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.

Nigel Calder, who has been following the CLOUD experiment for some time, was the first to smell a rat. He notes:

CERN has joined a long line of lesser institutions obliged to remain politically correct about the man-made global warming hypothesis. It’s OK to enter “the highly political arena of the climate change debate” provided your results endorse man-made warming, but not if they support Svensmark’s heresy that the Sun alters the climate by influencing the cosmic ray influx and cloud formation.

and

The once illustrious CERN laboratory ceases to be a truly scientific institute when its Director General forbids its physicists and visiting experimenters to draw the obvious scientific conclusions from their results

Lubos Motl, too, detects some double standards here:

One could perhaps understand if all scientists were similarly gagged and prevented from interpreting the results of their research in ways that could be relevant for policymaking. However, the main problem is that many people who are trying to work on very different phenomena in the climate are not prevented from interpreting – and indeed, overinterpreting and misinterpreting – their results that are often less serious, less reliable, and less rigorous, perhaps by orders of magnitude, than the observations by the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Moreover, this sentence by Heuer

One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.is really a proof of his prejudice. Whether the cosmic radiation is just one player or the only relevant player or an important player or an unimportant player is something that this very research has been supposed to determine or help to determine. An official doesn’t have the moral right to predetermine in advance what “one has to make clear” about these a priori unknown scientific results.

But then, as Lawrence Solomon reminds us, this was never an experiment the scientific establishment wanted to happen in the first place.

The hypothesis that cosmic rays and the sun hold the key to the global warming debate has been Enemy No. 1 to the global warming establishment ever since it was first proposed by two scientists from the Danish Space Research Institute, at a 1996 scientific conference in the U.K. Within one day, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Bert Bolin, denounced the theory, saying, “I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naive and irresponsible.” He then set about discrediting the theory, any journalist that gave the theory cre dence, and most of all the Danes presenting the theory — they soon found themselves vilified, marginalized and starved of funding, despite their impeccable scientific credentials.

The mobilization to rally the press against the Danes worked brilliantly, with one notable exception. Nigel Calder, a former editor of The New Scientist who attended that 1996 conference, would not be cowed. Himself a physicist, Mr. Calder became convinced of the merits of the argument and a year later, following a lecture he gave at a CERN conference, so too did Jasper Kirkby, a CERN scientist in attendance. Mr. Kirkby then convinced the CERN bureaucracy of the theory’s importance and developed a plan to create a cloud chamber — he called it CLOUD, for “Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets.”

But Mr. Kirkby made the same tactical error that the Danes had — not realizing how politicized the global warming issue was, he candidly shared his views with the scientific community.

“The theory will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth’s temperature that we have seen in the last century,” Mr. Kirkby told the scientific press in 1998, explaining that global warming may be part of a natural cycle in the Earth’s temperature.

The global warming establishment sprang into action, pressured the Western governments that control CERN, and almost immediately succeeded in suspending CLOUD. It took Mr. Kirkby almost a decade of negotiation with his superiors, and who knows how many compromises and unspoken commitments, to convince the CERN bureaucracy to allow the project to proceed. And years more to create the cloud chamber and convincingly validate the Danes’ groundbreaking theory.

Still, as you’d expect, the BBC remains dutifully on-message.  Read this report by its science correspondent Pallab Ghosh and you’ll be left in little doubt that a) the latest results are dull beyond measure  and b) that if they do mean anything at all, it’s that global warming is still very much man-made. Here’s their tame expert, Reading University’s Dr Mike Lockwood, on hand to provide them the perfect pull-quote:

Does this mean that cosmic rays can produce cloud? – No”

PS Welcome to all you American readers brought here by Drudge. Please come again. And if you want to read more about how the environmental movement got so powerful, how the junk scientists got away with it for so long, and why so many people fell for the biggest most expensive scam in history, you might enjoy my new book on the subject – Watermelons: the Green Movement’s True Colors. (Also available on Kindle)

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2 thoughts on “Sun Causes Climate Change Shock”

  1. William STEWART says:29th August 2011 at 2:51 pmI agree with the Dane…
    Only,… did some one forget to throw into the equation the three cubic miles of exhaust gases that all cities, over 5 million large, throw into the atmosphere every day… That much colloidal ‘Soot” must be a big part in the man-made entry…
  2. James Stevens says:30th August 2011 at 5:51 pmHow do you reconcile your interpretation of the paper – that there is no man made global warming – with what the paper actually says – that the study is not complete enough to determine either way. That is why the group is so reluctant to enter the political debate. It isn’t because of “political correctness” but because they KNOW (better than you or the global warming deniers) that their study does not disprove the idea of man made global warming.

    In fact, not only does the actual paper itself say that the study needs to be repeated to look at the impact of all aerosols in the air (instead of just the 3 they looked at), and until that is done, nobody can say what the impact of humans is.

    From CERN’s own press breifing: “This result leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could also influence climate. However, it is premature to conclude that cosmic rays have a significant influence on climate until the additional nucleating vapours have been identified, their ion enhancement measured, and the ultimate effects on clouds have been confirmed.”

    But I guess facts just get in the way of cherry picking to fit your own predetermined views. If you cared about actual facts then “No one would need to go to the trouble of bumping off those pesky scientists with their awkward, annoying facts and their proper actual research.”

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