RIP Bob Carter: The Geologist Who Always Knew ‘Global Warming’ Was a Crock

Bob had known for years that man-made global warming theory was a crock. As a brilliant earth scientist – until 1998 he was head of the geology department at James Cook University in Australia – he understood perfectly well that on the geological scale our planet has experienced shifts in climate of a magnitude so vast as to make a mockery of the notion that humans can influence or control it.

His mistake was to admit this in public rather than keep schtum and take the money. As a result, Bob’s university decided to punish him for his heresy with a series of petty slights:

First  James Cook University (JCU) took away his office, then they took his title. In protest at that, another professor hired Bob immediately for an hour a week so Bob could continue supervising students and keep his library access. But that was blocked as well, even the library pass and his email account were taken away, though they cost the University almost nothing.

James Cook University didn’t even bother to pretend to be interested in whether or not Bob was right. All that mattered to JCU is that Bob’s views were not politically correct – and that therefore this might jeopardise their image:

The only reasons given were that the staff of the School of Earth and Environmental Studies had discussed the issue (without any consultation with Carter) and decided that his views on climate change did not fit well within the School’s own teaching and research activities. Apparently it took up too much time to defend Carter against outside complaints about his public writings and lectures on climate change. (Busy executives don’t have time to say “Why don’t you ask Carter yourself?” or “We value vigorous debate here.” Presumably they are too busy practising their lines and learning the litany? )

The harrying of sceptics is commonplace in academe. (See, for example, the even more shocking treatment of Willie Soon).

Read the rest at Breitbart.

The Royal Society: too little, too late

A revered institution has become a mindless cheerleader.

The other night I had the great pleasure of dinner with Professor Bob Carter. He told me that when he goes on speaking tours, there’s only one question he ever gets asked to which he is unable to provide a satisfactory answer. It goes something like this:

“Thank you Professor Carter, that was all very interesting. But please can you tell me why you expect us to take your opinion seriously when it is contradicted by most of the world’s leading scientific organisations, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society?”

Funnily enough, I replied, that’s exactly what I’m planning to write a book about. “How did a scientific theory so feeble and ill-supported by any hard evidence yet become the dominant political idea of our age with so much support from people who really ought to know better?”

One thing’s for certain. When the history of this outbreak of mass hysteria comes to be written, few organisations will emerge with more egg on their face than the standing joke that is the Royal Society.

For years it has acted as cheerleader for the AGW lobby but has now been forced to backtrack after complaints from 43 of its members that it has been exaggerating the scientific certainty about the existence of ManBearPig. Its current president Lord Rees is trying to salvage what dignity he can be making out that this rethink of its position was always part of the plan:

Lord Rees said the new guide has been planned for some time but was given “added impetus by concerns raised by a small group of fellows”.

“Nothing in recent developments has changed or weakened the underpinning science of climate change. In the current environment we believe this new guide will be very timely. Lots of people are asking questions, indeed even within the Fellowship of the Society there are differing views. Our guide will be based on expert views backed up by sound scientific evidence,” he said.

However he denied accusations that the national academy of sciences has ever stifled debate or that the case for man made global warming is in doubt.

To which the only possible answer is: Yeah, right.

It wasn’t always this way. For the three centuries after its foundation in 1660, the Royal Society was the world’s pre-eminent scientific institution. Its members and presidents included: Sir Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Sir Joseph Banks, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Hans Sloane, Thomas Huxley, Joseph Hooker, Joseph Lister, Ernest Rutherford.

Its alumni’s achievements included designing St Pauls Cathedral, laying groundwork for classical mechanics, discovering law of gravity and three laws of motion, coining word “cell” for basic unit of life, Hooke’s law of elasticity, Boyle’s law, inventing drinking chocolate, creating basis of Natural History Museum’s collection, introducing numerous plant species to the Western World, helping popularise evolutionary theory, devising antiseptic surgery, pioneering nuclear physics.

So what went wrong?

Nigel Calder blames its politicisation sometime in the 1960s. He quotes this “advertisement” which for two centuries was printed in its house journal Philosophical Transactions:

… it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always
adhere, never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject,
either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.

Yet under the presidencies of Lord May and Lord Rees, it has lost all credibility by abandoning objectivity and nailing its colours to the mast of the (now rapidly sinking ship) RMS Climatitanic.

In 2005, as Gerald Warner reminds us, it produced its “A guide to facts and fictions about climate change”, “which denounced 12 “misleading arguments” which today, post Climategate and the subsequent emboldening of sceptical scientists to speak out, look far from misleading.”

Large chunks of this, Bishop Hill has suggested, seem to bear the grubby fingerprints of Sir John Houghton, the fanatical warmist who was formerly head of the Met Office and the Hadley Centre and who was the first chairman of the IPCC scientific working group responsible for giving the AGW scare its official kick-start.

The Royal Society is also the alma-mater (sort of: if ex-press officers count) of rabid pit bull Bob Ward, now spokesman for the warmist Grantham Institute, who can often be heard on the wireless getting very cross with people who don’t believe in ManBearPig. (An increasingly tough job, given that this now means almost everyone).

Related posts:

  1. Royal Society: doh!
  2. Climategate: the whitewash begins
  3. ‘Everything dead by tomorrow!’ warns Zoological Society of London
  4. ‘ManBearPig is real!’ declare top climate scientists. ‘And to prove it here’s a photo-shopped image we found on the internet of a polar bear on a melting ice floe.’

3 thoughts on “The Royal Society: too little, too late”

  1. Neil Craig says:30th May 2010 at 4:31 pmThe politicisation may be explained by the fact that Lord May’s previous job was as the government’s chief science advisor. Advisors are chosen not because of their competence but for their willingness to advise the media that the government are right.

    Or it may be because the Royal Society received about £53 million from government in 2008 (rising much faster than inflation). You do not have to believe in deliberate corruption to realise that people tend to honestly come to believe things their income depends on.

    A summary on my blog based on figures on the Wikipedia entry which has, perhaps surprisingly, subsequently had all such figures deleted.

  2. Julian Braggins says:31st May 2010 at 6:08 amPerhaps the Royal Society rule,
    “… it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always
    adhere, never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject,
    either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.”
    came into existence a few short years after the then president of the Royal Society Lord Kelvin stated “These heavier than air machines will never fly” and realised that a consensus of that opinion would have been disastrous for the Society, apart from being unscientific in proffering consensus as proof.
  3. Michael Harris says:31st May 2010 at 2:23 pmOf course the real reason they all cling to the theory, in spite of reason itself, is that many people depend on our response to the theory ,either for their livelihood, or funding, or a mixture of both.Also ,like Al Gore,many people are, or are going to be enriched through the sale of carbon credits and the rest, the contemporary version of the mediaeval indulgences. Faced with lots of moolah, logic will always take a back seat, and their defence will become more and more hysterical.

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Why Man-Made Global Warming is a load of cobblers; Pt 1

Bob Carter’s counterblast.

Just been reading Climate: The Counter Consensus (Stacey International) the new book by Bob Carter – that’s New Zealand’s Professor Robert M Carter to you, mate: he’s one of the world’s leading palaeoclimatologists – and it’s a cracker. By the end, you’re left feeling rather as I did after the Heartland Conference, that the scientific case against AGW is so overwhelming that you wonder how anyone can still speak up for so discredited a theory without dying of embarrassment.

All the same, it’s good to be reminded now and again why the “consensus” thinking on AGW simply doesn’t stand up. There are so many excellent examples from Prof Carter’s book, I might be forced to spread them out over several blogs.

Take his chapter on the oceans. The other day some troll or other was brandishing a figure he’d got from NOAA, showing that the sea was warming. Well bully for you troll, but if you understand at all how climate works that fact does precisely zilch to support the case for AGW. Why?

The good Prof explains:

The ocean covers more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface and over much of its area it is 3-5km deep. Comprising water, which is one thousand times denser than air the ocean has far more mass than the atmosphere – notwithstanding that the atmosphere covers the entire planet and is 50 km high to the top of the stratosphere. The result of this is that the ocean has a much greater heat capacity than the atmosphere, specifically 3,300 times more. Put another way, all the heat energy contained in the atmosphere is matched by the heat content of only the upper 3.2 metres of the worldwide ocean.

Another consequence is that water requires much more energy to heat it up than does air. On a volume/volume basis, the ratio of heat capacities is, of course, 3,300 to 1. One practical result of this is that it is almost impossible for the atmosphere to exert a significant heating effect on the ocean, as is often asserted to by promoters of global warming alarm. For to heat one litre of water by 1 degree C will take 3,300 litres of air that was 2 degrees hotter, or one litre of air that was 3,300 degrees hotter, neither of which is a very common scenario in our every day weather system. Instead it is the ocean that controls the warmth of the lower atmosphere, in three main ways: namely, through direct contact, by infrared radiation from the ocean surface and by the removal of latent heat by evaporation.

Prof Carter goes on to explain that the time scales in which the oceans absorb, recirculate and re-emit heat are often much larger than is dreamt of in the Warmists’ philosophy.

….Major time lags are built into the climate system such that a warming or cooling event that occurs today (say the Great Pacific Climate Shift in 1976/1977 which corresponded to a worldwide step increase in temperature of about 0.2 degrees C) may be reflecting a change in heat energy that was stored in the ocean hundreds of years ago…

Indeed, he says, some scientists suggest that the rise in atmospheric CO2 in the Twentieth Century may represent ocean outgassing caused as long ago as the Medieval Warm Period.

And if you think his disquisition on the oceans drives a coach and horses through the Warmists’ AGW doom religion, wait till you hear what he has to say in his chapter on Computer Modeling.

Related posts:

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  2. ‘Global warming? What global warming?’ says High Priest of Gaia Religion
  3. Why we can all stop worrying about ‘Global Warming’ for a bit
  4. Whoops! CO2 has almost nothing to do with global warming, discovers top US meteorologist