The world’s first and only species to go “extinct” because of climate change has been found alive and well – and living where it always has for the past 80,000 or so years – on the Indian Ocean atoll of Aldabra.
Since 2007, the Aldabra Banded Snail (Rhachistia aldabrae) has been the chief poster mollusc of climate alarmists across the globe. That’s because – according to a peer-reviewed paper published by an “expert” in the field Justin Gerlach – it was the first extinction directly attributable to climate change.
In his paper, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, Gerlach claimed:
The only known population of the Aldabra banded snail Rhachistia aldabraedeclined through the late twentieth century, leading to its extinction in the late 1990s. This occurred within a stable habitat and its extinction is attributable to decreasing rainfall on Aldabra atoll, associated with regional changes in rainfall patterns in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. It is proposed that the extinction of this species is a direct result of decreasing rainfall leading to increased mortality of juvenile snails.
Gerlach also ventured to suggest that his conclusion was the result of “exhaustive surveys” and “extensive surveys.”
The snail – quite handsome by molluscular standards, with a conical shell and a natty, black and reddish-pink go-faster stripe pattern – was recently rediscovered in “dense mixed scrub forest on the coastal fringe of Malabar island, Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles”.
This reduces to a grand total of zero the number of species extinctions around the world due to “climate change” – something which will no doubt prove gravely disappointing to global warming alarmists everywhere.
One thought on “Extinct snail ‘killed’ by climate change crawls back from the dead”
Thomas Fox says:11th September 2014 at 1:20 pmWe readers of sound mind unlike the majority of environmentalists believe that you are correct in your denial of all that they preach or write about saving the planet by more renewables !
This was the week when global warming jumped the shark. Just like it did last week. And the one before…
1. Soon children will have forgotten what outdoors looks like, claims HuffPo
Doctors at a Washington, D.C. paediatric clinic are increasingly prescribing sunshine and outdoors – “nature time” – for their young clients, reports Lynne Peeples for HuffPo.
But the story isn’t as heartwarming as you might think from the first paragraphs. That’s because stalking this charming scene like a ravening, blood-crazed, razor-fanged death creature with a sinister cowl kind of like a wicked evil monk’s probably concealing a grinning death’s head face and an evil as old as time, is climate change.
Yes, Peeples has managed to find at least two eco campaigners so shameless and utterly desperate that they have been prepared to put their names to quotes suggesting that “climate change” is threatening to make outdoors a no-go zone.
“Nature is critical to health,” says Martha Berger, a children’s health officer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Climate change, she added, could “further alienate kids from nature.”
“One of the things contributing to [kids not getting enough play outdoors], along with many societal factors, is that some of the conditions are becoming more difficult to deal with,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, during a media call last month for the group’s report, “Ticked Off: America’s Outdoor Experience and Climate Change.”
2. Climate Change will kill your fluffy bunnies
Speaking on Australian national radio climate campaigner Naomi Oreskes warns ABC presenter Robyn Williams of the terrible future the world can expect as a result of climate change. Quoting from her new book The Collapse of Western Civilisation, she prophesies:
“The loss of pet cats and dogs garnered particular attention among wealthy Westerners, but what was anomalous in 2023 soon became the new normal. A shadow of ignorance and denial had fallen over people who considered themselves children of the Enlightenment.”…
Williams, himself an ardent warmist, chips in with some deep insights of his own:
“Yes, not only because it’s an animal but it’s local. You see, one criticism of the scientists is they’re always talking about global things…And so if you are looking at your village, your animals, your fields, your park, your kids, and the scientists are talking about a small world that you know, than it makes a greater impact, doesn’t it…”
Note to future historians trying to write the definitive book on The Decline And Fall Of Western Civilization:
Robyn Williams is one of Australia’s most prominent broadcasters.
Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, where she writes books, teaches impressionable undergraduates, and gets taken seriously.
All right, so we’re slightly premature. By one measure – according to Bishop Hill – we’re still a month away before “no global warming” achieves its coming of age.
But by other measurements, as Matt Ridley notes in the Wall Street Journal, we’re already as much as 19 or even 26 years into “no global warming” “depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere.”
Still, whichever measurement you pick, it’s really not looking good for the Warmists – whose stubborn ongoing refusal to acknowledge the failure of the planet’s temperatures to accord with their computer models’ doomsday predictions is starting to look so shameless and desperate it’s really about time they considered a name change. How about “deniers”?
Sure, they’ve found lots of excuses to explain the so-called “pause” in global warming. (“Pause” by the way is a most unscientific term which we really shouldn’t allow them to get away with. It presupposes that they know that continued warming is inevitable. Which they don’t. No one does – and that’s the fundamental problem)…
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….
“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?”
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.
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.
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.
10 thoughts on “’Global warming’ was always far too important to be left to the scientists”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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!!
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.
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.
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?
2 thoughts on “If this is Britain’s energy policy, we’re toast”
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.”
One thought on “Global warming: red-faced climatologist issues grovelling apology”
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.”
“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.