August 25, 2011
In the latest Spectator I have written an open letter to my old university mate David Cameron. Here is a companion piece: the letter I’d like to see him write to the nation, having at last recognised the gravity of the crisis we’re in.
He won’t write it, of course.
If you realised just how totally stuffed we are you wouldn’t waste time getting to the end of this letter. You’d already be outside Number 10 with pitchforks demanding my head on a spike – and you’d be quite right to do so, for I have failed you. My cabinet has failed you. My Coalition government has failed you. And it’s no good our trying to blame the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown administrations for having failed you even more. We are where we are – and where we are is about as dire a place as Britain has ever found itself in in its entire existence.
That includes, let me assure you, even the darkest days of the Second World War. Back then, however bad things might get, we were cushioned by an empire, by America, by a sense of unity and purpose, by a national character defined by resilience, self-reliance, patriotism, decency and an absolute determination – even unto death – never to surrender to tyranny in any form.
Today, none of this applies. Our empire is gone; the US – read Mark Steyn’s brilliant After America – is now owned by China; our national character has been diluted by waves of unchecked immigration and by the sapping of moral and intellectual purpose which comes with decades of ingrained “progressivism”. As for tyranny we’ve already long since surrendered to it. It’s called the EU – and the fact that it has a caring, sharing, equality-loving, nurturing, “communitarian” face does not make it any less dangerous or anti-democratic than the kind of regimes that Louis XIV or Napoleon or Hitler or Stalin were trying to impose on Europe’s once-sovereign peoples. It just makes it more subtle, and sly, and ultimately more effective, that’s all.
Some people will laugh at me for telling you this. They’ll say that I’ve lost my head; that I’m panicking you needlessly. Oh really? And which one of the problems facing us, would you say, was overstated: the fact that the European economy is on the verge of collapse; that Britain currently has a £4.8 trillion debt, which it is nowhere close even to beginning to shave off; that our best ally, America, is in worse shape than we are thanks, not least, to the reckless spending of President Obama; that one in five children have parents who have never been in work; that, thanks to our abysmal, dumbed down, low-expectation schooling we have two generations without literacy, numeracy, or even the beginnings of an understanding of what it might involve to pursue a career which doesn’t depend either on crime or state handouts; that we can no longer afford an effective military; that our police force is so hamstrung by political correctness it is incapable of protecting people or property; that our political class is so utterly remote and ineffectual that voters can scarcely see any point in going to the ballot box any more, for wherever they place the X it won’t make the blindest bit of difference. First came Blair; now you’ve got the Heir To Blair. Nothing has changed; nothing will change until a politician of principle stands up and says: “Enough is enough.”
And that’s why I’m writing this letter to you now. I want, first, to apologise for the disaster I have been since “winning” – or rather “not quite losing” – the last General Election for reasons which were almost entirely the fault of myself and my political advisers.
We took the view – the cowardly, defeatist and wrong view, I now admit – that Britain had grown so irredeemably socialised under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown that the only way a Conservative administration could ever regain power was by offering still more of the same (only with a green-tinged blue rosette instead of a red one, to give the punters the illusion they had some kind of democratic choice). The problem with adopting this attitude of “managed decline” – as my ideological soulmate Ted Heath found in the 1970s; and I’m finding now – is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So what’s to be done? The good news that what needs to be done is very, very simple: the exact opposite of what got into us this mess in the first place. And what got us here, is excessive taxation, regulation, and government spending. We need to remember that there are only two kinds of government money: the kind it rips off from taxpayers in the productive sector of the economy; and the kind it borrows at rates of interest which mean it either has to borrow still more money or take still more money off the taxpayer. Either way the result is the same: an economy in which it becomes increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs, traders, small businessmen – the backbone of an economy – to go about their work. If they can’t go about their work then the economy cannot grow. And if the economy cannot grow, the government will need to take still more money from the taxpayer, or borrow still more money (at possibly even higher rates of interest) merely to maintain its current spending levels. The inevitable result is a spiral of decline.
But while the good news is that the remedy is very simple, the bad news is that it will be extremely hard to apply. One of the main reasons for this is the nature of the political class: whether on the Left or what currently passes for the “centre-Right”, its instincts are much the same – always to ask “what more can the Government do to help?” This is the wrong question, for the answer is always the same: more stifling bureaucracy; more parasite-like layers of administration; more regulation; more spending of money that the government simply does not have.
The other main reason is you, the British people. Far too many of you, for far too long have got far too used to the idea that government’s job is to wipe your backsides for you. And it’s not. Not from now on, at any rate. For one thing we can’t afford the paper. For another thing we can’t afford the staff to do something which most of you are perfectly capable of doing for yourselves. It’s a scandalous waste of other people’s money – taxpayer’s money – and the very last thing we need if we’re even to begin to hope to compete in a global economy against places like India and China and Brazil where the work force are perfectly capable of putting in 12 hour days and wiping their own backsides without any expectation that the state’s role is to do their dirty work for them.
That’s why I’m writing to you now to tell you like it is. What I’m hoping is that I’m straight with you, you’ll be straight with me in return. You’ll never again take the soft, easy, head-in-the-sand path of voting for which ever political party offers to bribe you the most with money it doesn’t have. You’ll vote for the one which acknowledges the scale of the problem facing us all and which has the courage and the will to deal with it.
That political party ought, by rights, to be the Conservatives. And perhaps – before I embarked on my misguided quest to “detoxify the brand” – it would have been. But as you may have noticed recently this is no longer case. We have a Justice Secretary more interested in the rights of criminals than law-abiding citizens; we have a Home Secretary who believes that policing should primarily serve the interests of Britain’s senior police officers rather than the citizens they’re supposed to protect; we have a Foreign Secretary – formerly a principled Eurosceptic – who has since done a Portillo and decided that his post-politics employment prospects are better served by selling British interests down the river at every turn, for that way a comfy future on the Euro gravy train lies.
And if you think the Conservative wets in my cabinet are a liability, imagine what it’s like having to govern with Liberal Democrats. We have an Energy and Climate Change Secretary whose primary purpose is to bomb our economy back to the age of the wattle and daub and the coracle; we have a Business Secretary who loathes business; we have a Deputy Prime Minister who doesn’t know what he wants except that it has to be the opposite of whatever Conservatives want otherwise he’ll get torn to pieces by his own party.
This is no way to run a country. It is especially no way to run a country on the brink of a precipice. That is why today I’m going to offer you a clear political choice. I’m scrapping the Coalition, because 2013 is far, far too late to start out on the rescue package which needs to be initiated now. Instead, I’m going to stake my political career and the future of Britain by calling an immediate general election.
After that it’s up to you: liberty or the soft, enervating tyranny of the Left; growth or stagnation; future or no future; jobs or no jobs for your children and grandchildren. You choose.
- Cameron’s price for saving his Coalition: the destruction of Britain
- Climategate: why David Cameron is going to be disastrous for Britain
- I hate to say this but Cameron’s speech has just won him the election
- David Cameron’s shale gas lifeline
We’ve got the crème de la crème of top *ankers in this country, and should be proud of our former PM’s unbelievable skills in lying, self-brainwashing, Brezhnev doubletalk, and insulting his own party supporters like Gillian Duffy (behind her back, not to her face).
Following is something which I think/hope you will find to be of interest.
What is interesting here is that Google is making money via its investments in “green projects” ONLY because these projects are subsidized with tax dollars. At the end of this, I pose a question which I think you might find wort pursuing!
But first a quick review of the tax subsidy details. These alternative energy projects all receive enormous tax subsidies which can amount to 50% of the project cost. All of this money comes from both national and local sources and taxes. These projects are also subsidized as a byproduct of the sale of renewable energy which is sold to the local utilities for more than 30cents/ KWH. The regulators than allow the utilities to blend this into their overall electricity mix and use the cost of this “clean energy” to justify what it is that the charge us poor Schmos for power. As a result, by 2020, much of the developed world will be paying 5-10cent more per KWH than would be paid if these “green energy” sources were not being forced upon us. This is going on right now and it will annually increase forever if nothing is done to stop it. The Schmos of the world, for the most part, are completely unaware that the Schmucks are again screwing them.
Read the article at the URL I provided, you will learn that Googles “number one” goal for its green investments is to obtain a robust Return on its invested Capital. This clearly would not be possible if it were not for the tax subsidies available to these green projects. Now, as I read this article, a question arose in my mind. “Is it possible that Google’s investments in these projects are being structured so that Google is actually buying the tax credits directly from these projects so that these purchased tax credits are used to offset taxes owed on Google profits?” If so, any risk from these investments would be eliminated for Google simply because the money being invested in these projects by Google would have otherwise gone to pay taxes. If this is the case people should at least know that there tax dollars are being used to subsidize Google’s bottom line. And, if Google is doing this, I suspect that it is being done my many other companies. Wouldn’t it be delightful to discover that some high profile Green promoter like Richard Branson was only supportive to these green initiatives because he had discovered a new way to butter his own bread?
Please note you are needed back.
At Watts report, Santer is made Fellow of the AGU, Phil Bratby posts climategate emails between Mann and Jones, one year Mann is supporting Jones’s fellowship and next year he asks for the favour to be returned. He also mentions when they next meet they should meet at one of Henry’s exotic locations.
Great programme about George Martin on the BBC last night, why did they keep panning to windmills.
I hope all is fine.
Unfortunately James I think you need to answer a few questions about your own work, in order not to suffer a variation of the same criticism. You announced in ringing tones a couple of years ago that Professor Ian Plimer was going to change the way we think about climate change forever (perhaps he has, by destroying the sceptics, but that’s not what you meant …). You ignored all the criticisms which had already been published in relation to his work. You sneered at George Monbiot for setting conditions for a debate with Plimer.
And yet what happened in fairly short order was that Plimer was revealed to be a hapless fool who refused to respond to very specific queries about his own work (eg why he misrepresented his own sources, or failed to provide references) which totally undermined his credibility. His performance when he finally did debate Monbiot was painful to watch.
Meanwhile you’ve gone on to say that you don’t read peer reviewed papers as your opinion on them would be worthless. Why is your opinion on interpretations of interpretations of evidence any better? Surely it would be even less worthy?
Anyway I leave with one specific set of questions, which you can answer easily:
1. Do you stand by your review of Plimer’s book?
2. If not, are there any specific parts of your review which you wish to retract or modify? If so, please itemise these.
James Delingpole was bringing to light some criticisms of AGW scare hype; Professor Ian Plimer thought volcanoes emit vaster amounts of CO2 than that from human activity assumed by the IPCC. Lord Monckton and others suggested solar activity correlated with temperature rises. Feynman said, is distinct from religious belief systems because it is the skepticism in the reliability of expert consensus. This skepticism is required because if you turn the mainstream theory into a dogma, science is finished. Obviously with theories like evolution, science can be finished by too much skepticism of the foundations, too, so you need some censorship of criticisms that amount to fact denial. But what is a fact? It needs more than just a consensus based on a faked hockey stick curve.
I don’t think that James needs to provide justifications for an enthusiastic book review encouraging people to read evidence which counters billions of dollars of hype. If we have to have any politics in science at all, it should be democratic debate, rather than elitist dictatorship.
It’s very simple to see what’s happening that’s driving the disaster predictions from IPCC computer models. All IPCC models predict around 3 C of AGW by 2100 (see Fig 7 in my paper http://vixra.org/pdf/1104.0013v1.pdf ). Only 1 C of this is from a direct CO2 greenhouse effect; the other 2 C are positive feedback from water vapour. The 1 C direct rise from CO2 causes more evaporation from the oceans, and the water vapour is very good at absorbing infrared radiation from sunlight, amplifying the total temperature rise to 3 C.
However, all the IPCC models assume that when this additional absorption of infrared by water vapour occurs (which can only occur in clear skies, not under cloud cover which stops infrared at high altitudes, well above the surface), the warmed moist air doesn’t rise.
This defies Archimedes’s law of buoyancy. When you heat air, it expands and so its density falls, and it rises. When warm moist rises, it stops after expanding and cooling, creating water droplets which reflect heat away, cooling the surface. Once you correct the IPCC climate models by using the correct negative feedback water vapour data from Dr Roy Spencer’s recent cloud cover feedback research (which shows that temperature rises in the topics increase evaporation, increasing cloud cover, which soom cancels out the initial temperature rise; see Fig 5 in my paper linked above), NOAA’s 1948-2009 humidity records (Fig 1 in my paper linked above), etc., you find that AGW is a complete lie.
AGW is very much like Marxism. It’s believed to be true for moral and “groupthink” (fashion) reasons, which then leads to “the ends justify the means”-censorship by duped fellow travellers who believe in the utopian message of world peace and tree hugging. They’re certain for moral reasons that AGW is correct.
I am far from 100% convinced on AGW, for a host of reasons. But if properly debated – as you correctly call for – claims lacking proper sources need to be identified as such, and then modified or withdrawn. A number of Plimer’s central claims fall into that category. To maintain his credibility as a journalist, James should admit that Plimer’s book needs caution to say the least, not unqualified praise.
Dr Jones recognised that temperature station data after 1960 was inconsistent with tree ring temperature proxy data, so he cut and pasted bits of data from different sources to get the perfect hockey stick curve which was required by the WMO, deleting the seams in the data.
1. Prior to 1960: use tree ring growth proxy. Pretend that tree growth depends on air temperature alone, ignoring effects of cloud cover (sunshine exposure), rainfall, etc.
2. 1960-1980: use temperature station data. The temperature stations receive some waste heat from expanding cities and industrial areas located upwind, which helps to create a rise linked to population growth, which is easily confused for the supposed CO2 AGW effect.
3. Post 1980: use satellite data. Satellite sensors can determine surface temperatures from the Planck spectrum emission of the surface, and they can determine mean air temperatures from a range of altitudes utilizing the emission of microwaves by air molecules. They can’t determine surface temperatures under cloud cover, so 100% of the satellite data on surface temperature pertains to clear skies, i.e. it implicitly excludes negative H2O feedback from increasing cloud cover. So it’s a fiddle.
Sure, the three sets of data above do show global warming. Sure, in cloudless skies CO2 does produce a small amount of global warming (one third of the IPCC predictions, because two thirds of the IPCC predicted global warming is fake positive feedback due to H2O evaporated from oceans). However, 62% of the sky over Earth has cloud cover. So the satellite data is misleading, focussing on surface temperatures on 38%. We’re not interested in the average air temperature over all altitudes determined by microwave emissions, because if the air above you is hot, it rises further from you (buoyancy) and there’s no mechanism for it to warm you. Even if rain falls, the rain droplets pass latent heat on to the air that they are falling through at high altitudes, long before they reach the ground.
Aside from the lie about H2O positive feedback and the hockey stick curve, the other big lie is the future predicted emission of CO2. How do the IPCC models predict what the future emissions will be, when we’re running out of oil and gas and prices are rising? If there really is a fossil fuel crisis, why bother to impose limits now? The shrinking supply and its effect in pushing up prices at the petrol pumps will push us towards alternatives anyhow. The IPCC predictions of future CO2 outputs are vitally important but non-scientific. They don’t predict the complex natural effects from rising prices curtaining oil demand in the coming decades. They assume a scenario which leads to the scare mongering they want.
I tried this argument with climatologist Dr William Connolly, a Cambridge mathematician, who simply responded that China has loads of coal reserves. Sure! My point was that the West isn’t burning so much coal, it’s burning oil which is running out. Sure China is the main problem, burning coal. The problem then is to deal with China’s coal, not ban the West from making the most of its dwindling oil resources before they dry up altogether! Connolly, pressed by others in Wikipedia, failed to understand Fig. 4 of Dr Roy Spencer, et al., “Cloud and Radiation Budget Changes Associated with Tropical Intraseasonal Oscillations”, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 34, 2007, which shows that a 0.4 C ocean temp rise causes an average 2.5 W/m^2 fall in surface solar radiation heating, due to the increased cloud cover. Dr Connolly couldn’t grasp this, probably because Dr Spencer didn’t emphasise its consequences for AGW in that paper (he does so elsewhere, not very effectively).
You can’t get away from this effect. Warm the earth 1C with CO2, and the oceans will evaporate slightly faster, causing more cloud cover which cuts down the sunlight getting to the surface. Negative feedback. The problem here is that H2O negative feedback – the real stake through the heart of AGW lies – has a very small fan base and few understand the facts.
Sayimg that Jones was a fool and that there is a load of evidence against AGW is fine, but does not save Plimer. If we are to have a proper debate then we should discount Plimer’s claims until he answers his critics, AND respond to Jones in the same way.
Dr Phil Jones is a climate professional, Professor Plimer likewise lays claim to expertise regarding the stuff he wrote a book about. Delingpole is not misrepresenting anything by giving a fair hearing to the evidence from AGW skeptics; if they’re wrong, they’re wrong. Delingpole reminds me of Dr Peter Woit (maths department, Columbia University, NYC) who runs the blog “Not even wrong” dedicated to debunking 10/11 dimensional superstring mythology. Woit was attacked for using a blog and a book (Not even wrong, 2006), and not putting his debunking into string theorist “peer”-reviewed journals (he writes in his book of the anonymous censorship he experienced from string theory “peer”-reviewers).
Pertinent to this is a recent blog post by Dr Roy Spencer, the best H2O negative-feedback researcher:
Then, when Plimer falls to pieces by failing to provide answers to very simple questions and acts like a buffoon on television, James just ignores it. The qu’s which Plimer was asked should have taken about five minutes to answer – if he had valid answers to them. The fact is that they revealed his book to be unscientific nonsense.
Now somewhere out there may be the book that is the great demolition of AGW, but Plimer’s is not it. By endorsing Plimer so uncritically, and failing to publish a retraction when Plimer was discredited, James has greatly harmed his own cause, and shown that it is not just the AGW proponents who are obscuring (and afraid of) proper debate.
My point is that if the anti AGW writers want to have a proper debate as they claim, then they need to admit mistakes as and when they are pointed out. Otherwise they are acting like religious zealots, just as they claim the AGW crowd are. Perhaps James will stop by and let us know if he still thinks Plimer’s book is the game changer he said upon its release.
Except when you spend just a few minutes on google and discover the howling errors in Plimer’s book.
Whether a review or an interview, surely any journalist would at least mention the fact that Plimer’s book had already been reviewed extremely unfavourably by many eminent scientists – even if you do the usual Delingpole routine and promptly dismiss those with whom you happen to disagree as being part of a global conspiracy. And if you subsequently find that Plimer’s book is a house built on sand, you should publish a follow up post pointing this out, and then saying whether or not Plimer’s destruction has modified your views (and why it has or has not). That’s what a journalist interested in truth would do.
Plimer’s book makes a number of scientific claims. It references these as per the norm by footnotes. It has since been pointed out to him that a number of his footnotes do not, in fact, support his thesis but are in direct contradiction, eg the claim about volcanic CO2, or the graph which he in fact doesn’t reference. It would be easy for Plimer to provide a reference and to check the ones others have highlighted. He hasn’t, and won’t, because they are severely damaging to his case.
Either one is interested in proper debate or one is not. If one is, then one assesses evidence as it is presented, and then modifies or abandons one’s views accordingly. Thus, presented with Plimer’s book and nothing else it would have been fair enough for Delingpole to have accepted it and written a positive review. But, presented with the evidence that Plimer can’t substantiate his claims, Delingpole should admit it is a setback to those who doubt AGW and withdraw or at least water down his previous praise. He would certainly expect those in the other “camp” to do the same if one of their positively reviewed books was subsequently destroyed.
Read all the questions Monbiot posed and then decide if they are nitpicking, or fail to undermine the overall thesis. They are not confined to the volcano point (though that is quite damning of itself given Plimer’s stubborn refusal to address the point).
Presumably lefty quangos only want lefties, so I’m ruled out. But you have a strange view of scientific debate if you think that asking people to back up what they write constitutes censorship . . .
I just hope that H2O negative feedback evidence will get a fair hearing.
Here’s just one, already foreshadowed: Plimer says volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans. He provides a reference for this claim, to a US institution. It is then revealed that the US reference does not support that claim. Therefore, Plimer needs to show why the US institution was wrong, or provide a different reference, or abandon the claim. He has done none of those, instead he just bangs on about volcanoes without providing any references.
Is this claim insubstantial? Are the criticisms nitpicking? Is Plimer’s response adequate?
Of course there are errors like the occasional mixed up reference, in such a book. It’s dishonest of you to keep claiming that Delingpole is relying on the trivial errors in Plimer’s book, when the fact is, everything Delingpole singles out for discussion with Plimer is hard fact. The errors are irrelevant, strawman arguments. In any case, Monbiot is just going on about a difference between USGS data and Plimer. There’s no proof that USGS assumptions on CO2 output from a volcano is true. The scientific question is: how accurate is the USGS data anyway? Is it just a back-of-the-envelope guesswork assumption which has become “accepted wisdom” or is there any hard evidence that the USGS actually knows exactly how much CO2 is emitted from a volcano? Obviously, every volcano is different, since it depends at least in part on the amount of carbonate rock being reduced in the volcano of interest. The whole basis of Monbiot’s analysis of scientific claims is to try to determine who is the best “authority”, when science is about facts. It doesn’t matter what the consensus says, if it’s all based on guesswork to begin with. The correct question to ask is not whether two authorities disagree and which has the biggest consensus (fan club) and is most “fashionable”, but which is being funded to issue politically correct lies to the public. AGW has all the authority of mainstream bandwaggons like epicycles, phlogiston, caloric, aether, Piltdown Man, superstring theory, the unobserved Higgs boson, etc., etc.
Sure, Plimer hasn’t had the billion dollars a year that NASA alone spends on AWG. Sure, gets a publisher living in the outback who has three kids and can’t afford curtains let alone expert proof-readers, sure he therefore makes errors. So what? What about the climategate errors and coverups? This isn’t a symmetrical situation to that of Professor Plimer: Dr Phil Jones has been working with funding on this stuff since the 1970s. Plimer hasn’t been in the same situation. Can’t you see how absurd your position is?
Of course I would allow errors in Plimer’s work – but the key thing is that he refuses to admit them when they’re pointed out. On the volcano point your argument is a joke. If the aource is inaccurate Plimer should not have cited it!!
For the umpteenth time – other people making errors does not get Plimer off the hook. It might well be that AGW is hogwash AND that Plimer’s book is unscientific junk. So to say “what about the climate gate errors” – well, NOT about climate gate. I am asking about Plimer and his errors.
Here is a simple question even you can answer. Are Monbiot’s questions 8 and 9 “typos”?
Should Plimer have answered them? If not, why not? What do you think the answers are?
I repeat. The claim may be true. But failing proper evidence, there is no reason to accept it. You would say the same of anyone else making a scientific assertion. Why should Plimer be different just because you are anxious for him to be right?
If so, then let us have the answers to the balance of Monbiot’s “nitpicking” questions. As you think they’re trivial this should not take long, though Plimer himself will have to answer qu 8.
This conclusion is too narrow because genuinely new results can’t be found in the past literature. Sometimes you have to “look” in nature, not a library!
The criticism about Plimer and the volcanoes was that he did neither. He did not offer his own data. He quoted the US institution. But that institution did not say what he said it did. Neither did some of the other sources he quoted in support of other claims. That was what needed correcting – either by way of original data in substitution for the reference, a new reference from someone else, or a retraction of the claim. I cannot see how anyone interested in science would disagree with those requirements.
If Delingpole was interested in the volcanic stuff in the content packed book, he would have specifically asked Plimer something about it during the interview. I’m afraid the simple answer is that Delingpole couldn’t care less about volcanic pollution, and was concerned with the major portion of the book, the climategate stuff, and the history of the temperature record. Monbiot’s attempts to pick out trivial with incorrect references in a smear campaign against anyone who raises genuine criticisms of AGW lies, are as I said, strawman attacks which look pathetic. The fact is, AGW consists of a conspiracy of self-serving, pseudo-scientific liars who resent genuine debate and can only attack trivia. They don’t know what science is all about.
“Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.” – Richard Feynman (quoted by Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics, Houghton Mifflin, NY, 2006, p.
You are, yet again, missing the point entirely. I shall make one last attempt to explain it.
IT MAY WELL BE THE CASE THAT AGW IS WRONG, BUT THAT DOESN’T EXCUSE PLIMER’S ERRORS.
Or to put it another way: AGW can be wrong, and Plimer can be a charlatan. The two are not mutually inconsistent.
IF the likes of Delingpole and Plimer are to convince everyone that AGW is wrong, it behoves them to observe and maintain rigorous scientific standards – particularly as their thesis is partly founded on the failure of AGW proponents (eg the East Anglian buffoons) to do the same.
Why on earth can’t you accept this?
The stupidest conspiracy ever to gain currency is the one which says the Moon landings were faked. They weren’t. But it would not help anyone trying to defend the Moon landings to rely on a book which contained poor references and basic errors.
So too the Kennedy assassination. I believe Oswald acted alone and the conspiracy theories are all hot air. But I wouldn’t cite a book saying Oswald acted alone if it was riddled with incorrect dates and other references.
If Delingpole was interested in proving one thing or another regarding AGW he wouldn’t just latch on immediately and uncritically to a book which happens to say what he wants to say. As I said, once it came to light that Plimer was unable to defend most of the criticisms levelled against him, Delingpole should have admitted his encomium wasn’t justified.
If Monbiot’s criticisms are straw man and pathetic why couldn’t Plimer answer them? He kept promising to answer them and consistently failed to do so. As they all pertained to particular parts of his book it would have been easy to do so. We can only conclude he didn’t like the answers.
Again, if you possibly can, point out why my insistence on properly verified research (original data or proper attribution) is in any way inconsistent with proper debate. In fact it is you – continually throwing up irrelevant points about AGW conspiracies – who fails to observe the normal bounds of scientific debate. For the umpteenth time IT MIGHT WELL BE TRUE THAT AGW IS A CROCK, BUT PLIMER HASN’T DONE THAT!!!!!!!!! All well and good if others have proved his points independently – though I notice a distinct lack of answers to the majority of Monbiot’s questions, and none at all from Plimer personally – but as it stands James Delingpole should publish a follow-up piece on Plimer’s book explaining if it is still deserving of the uncritical praise he heaped upon it originally. (The then editor of the Spectator, incidentally, seemed to wash his hands of it).
Please answer without irrelevant rants about conspiracies, pious quotes from Feynam (someone I greatly admire, incidentally, and who would never have allowed any of his opponents to offer shoddy references like Plimer’s), personal abuse, or anything else that is irrelevant to the straightforward questions I have asked. (Notice I have never said what my own views are on AGW – you guessed completely wrongly as to what they might be …)
If so, why?
If not, why not?
I’ve already pointed out to you that Delingpole didn’t “uncritically” latch on to anything in Plimer’s book that wasn’t factual. He didn’t latch on to Plimer’s volcano emission questions, for example! You’re making an issue out of that, and you haven’t even disproved him. All you keep saying is that a reference was miscited, which is not a hanging offense. It’s a Plimer puts 500 nails into the AGW coffin, and you’re fussing about one or two which you think are rusty.
I love fact that out of Plimer’s five simple questions to Monbiot on 10 August 2009, http://www.monbiot.com/2009/09/14/correspondence-with-ian-plimer/ , Monbiot failed to answer any of them!
Monbiot’s questions, on the other hand, were directed at specific claims which Plimer had made in his book. If his book had been properly researched, then he could have answered them very quickly and easily. The fact that he didn’t says rather a lot.
Delingpole didn’t mention volcanoes or anything else because he is unqualified to do so. He could, however, have googled some of the reviews by qualified scientists and put some of the questions to Plimer. Or he could at least have acknowledged that some disagreed with Plimer, said why he (Delingpole) thought otherwise, and provided a few links. That would have been elementary journalism I would have thought.
Just for the record, then, are you saying:
1. Delingpole’s original article is absolutely fine, and shouldn’t be criticised
2. Monbiot’s questions were trivial nonsense which in no way undermined Plimer’s book
3. Plimer won the subsequent tv debate with Monbiot
Delingpole simply wasn’t interested in speculations over volcano greenhouse emissions, because there were more than enough silver bullets to kill AGW in Plimer’s book without resorting to them. Delingpole wrote in his 8 July 2009 interview with Plimer (the Spectator article) that Plimer’s book states “that polar ice has been present on earth for less than 20 per cent of geological time; that extinctions of life are normal; that climate changes are cyclical and random; that the CO2 in the atmosphere — to which human activity contributes the tiniest fraction — is only 0.001 per cent of the total CO2 held in the oceans, surface rocks, air, soils and life; that CO2 is not a pollutant but a plant food; that the earth’s warmer periods — such as when the Romans grew grapes and citrus trees as far north as Hadrian’s Wall — were times of wealth and plenty.”
The questions Delingpole asked were not a matter of qualifications in geology or not. It just so happens that he questioned Plimer about those portions of his book which were accurate and fully defended, and not about the speculative stuff which Delingpole was superfluous. Monbiot’s attempts to smear Plimer for getting a reference or two wrong are a waste of time.
Has Monbiot ever written anything based on trying to understand the physics, rather than formulaic journalist mud slinging? Even where he is right, such as his post last month exposing Helen Caldicot’s anti-nuclear radiation propaganda, he isn’t going about things scientifically. Science isn’t about trying to find a weak point in irrelevant trivia and then doing a hatchet job on someone. It’s about doing the exact opposite: ignoring irrelevancies and searching for hard facts. Science is a positive experience. You search out fact, you don’t do the opposite in an attempt to politically assassinate a scientist. If their work is rubbish, move on. If Plimer was really a faker, you’d have no interest. Instead, you’re trying to simultaneously ignore the strong arguments (summarized in the Delingpole quotation above from Spectator, 8 July 2009), and focus on weak volcano stuff which isn’t the main thrust from Plimer’s case. Delingpole behaved correctly, focussing on the stronger arguments.
Precisely, I agree with the three points you state:
The reason Delingpole’s article was fine was that it ignored the weaker points, which are where Monbiot homed in. The difference between Delingpole’s and Monbiot’s approaches to Plimer are very telling. Delingpole is interested in the stronger facts Plimer has discovered from many years of research, and Delingpole steers clear of the weaker stuff. Monbiot, by contrast, ignores the stronger arguments and just tries to argue with Plimer over the weakest arguments. This difference is the difference between the scientific attitude and the crackpot denialist; Delingpole is behaving scientifically by searching for the strong facts, while Monbiot is behaving as a crackpot denialist by provoking arguments over trivia just to engineer a scene for the Guardian readers.
Incidentally, they are not just errors on Plimer’s part, at least some are outright fabrications!!!
Whereas speculation about warm periods being times of wealth and plenty is the hard stuff?!?!
You’ve totally lost the plot. Name each of Monbiot’s questions that you think are trivial and say WHY they are trivial, then that might answer why Plimer totally failed to answer a single one of them, despite saying he was going to. You can watch him failing miserably in the tv debate too.
Again and again and again you try and dismiss Plimer’s errors with irrelevant tangents.
But it fails in science. As Michael Faraday said, in science you’re a success if you have make 999 failures and have 1 success. Science isn’t about the errors you make, but what you get right. The weak evidence doesn’t detract from the strong evidence.
Quite simply, science isn’t about people and their problems. It’s about facts, not people; defendable facts. You’re not going to disprove fact-based criticisms by throwing mud at the person making criticisms, or because they made a mistake in a couple of the references for their weaker arguments. Whereas in politics and law you do well to search for a weak spot – the Achilles’ heel – in science weak stuff is irrelevant: it’s the strong evidence that counts.
The first reason why Monbiot’s “questions” are all trivial and irrelevant is because Plimer kills AGW using climategate and the geological record, which shows immense natural variations in CO2 and in temperature. As mentioned before, the final death of AGW probably requires popularization of the H2O positive feedback scam (it’s really a negative feedback, so that increasing cloud cover cancels out CO2 temperature effects and the only long-term climate change from CO2 is a slight increase in cloudiness, not temperature), the basic solid evidence for which I’m summarized in a note here: http://vixra.org/author/Nigel_B_Cook However, climategate and the wide fluctuations in the temperature record have already cast doubt on the AGW myth. People are aware it’s defended by KGB/”World Peace Council”-type hatchet jobs using strawman arguments against critics…
Science is based on fact. plimer’s shoddy references and invented graphs are te opposite of facts. If they don’t change his arguments why not just admit the errors then show why they are irrelevant to his thesis?
As for your KGB World Peace Council fantasy, who is in charge? Monty Burns?
Nathaniel, all I can say to you is that I hope you’ll read my forthcoming book Watermelons. There’s a chapter in it expressly for you and people like you where I discuss AGW in terms of the Titanic. The ship has sunk yet the owners of the White Star line call a press conference in which dozens of their in-house experts explain in minute technical detail why it is that the ship can’t possibly have gone down because it is unsinkable: the quality of the rivets, the strength of the steel, the bulkheads, etc. And here you are focussing on the rivets and the bulkheads, apparently quite incapable of seeing the bigger picture. Your ship has sunk. Get over it.
Since H2O is a greenhouse gas that’s 30 times stronger than CO2, the 1% fall in total atmospheric column humidity over six decades disproves the “positive feedback” effect (which would require a statistically significant increase in humidity while CO2 increased 25%) and suggests a negative feedback equivalent to a fall of 30% in CO2. So the total greenhouse gas content hasn’t significantly been altered: increased CO2 has just made the atmosphere slightly drier.
Dr Spencer is right to be critical of errors in Dr Miskolczi’s calculations, but the NOAA humidity data (showing that humidity hasn’t increased in step with H2O positive feedback theory) shouldn’t be hidden in the dusty basement. The NOAA data 1% fall in humidity since 1948 seems equivalent to a 30% fall in greenhouse CO2, approximately cancelling out the temperature effects from 25% rise in real CO2 since 1948. The whole problem the “greenhouse” analogy? Greenhouses aren’t 71% ocean, and the real world doesn’t have a glass ceiling to prevent evaporated water rising and condensing into clouds. Add this long-term negative feedback to Spencer’s research showing short-term negative feedback (cooling due to a cloud cover increase from evaporation following hot spells), and you have a complete refutation of “greenhouse effect” theory.
So why on earth didn’t Plimer respond to Monviot’s questions after agreeing that he would?
And note that nowhere did I give my views on AGW. My point all along is that the Anti AGW movement is harmed, not helped, by the likes of Plimer making claims he is unable to back up with proper references or original data. Equally by the likes of you giving him completely uncritical write-ups.
If you can’t see that, then you are in with the creation scientists for ignorant zeal – a group which, incidentally, Plimer has correctly criticised in the past, in a much better performance than his underwhelming GW effort.
As to your abusive remarks, colourful they may be, relevant they are not. All I have asked is why Plimer could not back himself up. You haven’t backed him up either. I wonder why not.
“We agree AGW should be subjected to scientific debate, but not whether Plimer has conformed with that requirement..”
How arrogant to speak for other people. I dont agree that AGW should be subject to scientific debate because there has been no scientific testing of the hypothesis that AGW will cause dangerous global warming.
Your inane concentration on Plimer, is the sort of diversionary tactic alarmists use all the time and you need to realise something, just because a lot of people say they have fairies at the bottom of their gardens does not mean its true.
If you real are interested in learning, I suggest you watch this lecture by Professor Carter, he destroys the hypothesis using the scientific method which you prefer.
Because of people like you, the conservatives have been able to sneak in a stealth tax. The petrol cartels have increased petrol in the last year by 16p per litre, excepting all the other taxes the government gets, it now gets an extra 4p per litre in vat. The average family are paying approx £200 extra per year and I dread to think how much the average business is paying, which of course all gets past on to Jo muggins.
I asked a simple question – shouldn’t James modify his praise of Plimer given the latter’s blatant lies/errors, and thereby show he is interested in the facts about AGW rather than just latching onto whichever talking head said what he wanted to hear. His acolyte Nige went off on a rant about either Monbiot being a berk or AGW being wrong irrespective of Plimer’s errors. As I have said all along, none of those points is necesarily inconsistent. But it is important for the integrity of the debate that false claims are identified as such, whether they be inadvertent errors by Plimer, intentional errors by Plimer, or the disgraceful antics of Phil Jones and co. For James to continue endorsing Plimer uncritically (I mean watch Plimer’s hopeless performance on tv with Monbiot – it’s on Youtube) damages his journalistic credentials. It’s a straightforward point, but one which appears beyond Delingpole or Nige to grasp.
It’s been quite revealing spending time on this blog. I ask a simple question of James that seems to me entirely appropriate IF he purports to be a journalist with some credibility, namely how he felt his original article on Plimer stood up after Plimer’s capitulation to Monbiot’s straightforward questions. I get a heap of irrelevant stuff about AGW when, as I’ve said till I’m blue in the face, Plimer’s thesis might be right but it is very damaging to the anti AGW crowd if his reasoning is inadequate. It’s like me saying the moon landing was genuine because I was there myself and saw it. The thesis is right (the moon landings were genuine) but the reasoning preposterous. Plimer’s errors are not as absurd you will respond, but they are genuine errors (or at least stand as such until he answers them – as he promised to do but didn’t – and very damaging to his creditability as a scientist.
I am, for what it’s worth, an agnostic about AGW. But as I try and evaluate the evidence (or interpret the interpretations to borrow a phrase from a certain someone) I am not swayed by rhetoric or abuse – or at least not in the direction intended.
Staccey it is because of people like Plimer and Delingpole, who act with religious imperviousness to criticism, that the AGW crowd are not getting tested as they should be.
I am not a scientist, but I do have some knowledge of business, law and politics. And from that I know that the energy taxes, carbon credits and various other measures are not working as well as being economically ruinous. I also know that even if Delingpole and his acolytes converted to AGW, the Chinese, Russians, Indians and Brazillians will not (other than in name only) and so the chances of global emissions reducing are nil, and that’s without taking into account the ever increasing world population, which will also do for emission reduction. But you aren’t going to convenience this government, or the EU, or any successors thereto, by shouting loudly and refusing to admit errors, whilst accusing the other side of not doing or admitting the same.
The AGW dogma is a lie because it relies on the assumption of H2O vapour as a positive feedback. Roy Spencer points out (Fig 7 in http://vixra.org/abs/1104.0013 ) that the IPCC models predict CO2 will increase global temperatures ~1 °C by 2100, and that H2O will amplify this to ~3 °C. This is physically incorrect, because such a positive feedback would have caused a runaway greenhouse effect in the past (converting Earth into another Venus): more and more of the ocean would evaporate in such a positive feedback until the air was saturated with moisture (100% humidity).
Clearly something happens to prevent a runaway greenhouse effect on Earth. Cloud cover increases as the Earth warms slightly, and this cuts down the sunlight energy reaching the surface. You don’t get this effect in a “greenhouse” due to 1) the lack of oceans covering 71% of the surface and 2) the glass ceiling which prevents cloud cover forming inside the greenhouse, like the Earth. The greenhouse is a false model.
Dr Roy Spencer and others demonstrated this negative feedback from H2O evaporation in the tropics in Fig 4 of their paper “Cloud and Radiation Budget Changes Associated with Tropical Intraseasonal Oscillations”, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 34, 9 August 2007: increases in air temperature lead to increased cloud cover which reduces solar radiation reaching the surface.
Spencer’s data for 15 strongest tropical intraseasonal oscillations from 2000-2005 in tropospheric temperature using weather satellites NOAA-15 and NOAA-16, indicates that a 1°C temperature rise will increase cloud cover sufficiently to reduce surface sunlight intensity by 6.5 watts/square metre, while the 1°C temperature rise is only equivalent to a 3.3 watts/square metre increase. Therefore the net effect is negative feedback: the increase in cloud cover has a negative effect on surface sunshine which causes a cooling. If you inject enough CO2 to produce a 1°C temperature rise by itself, the Earth will gain 3.3 watts/square metre from CO2, but the cloud cover accompanying this will reduce the solar radiation on the surface by 6.5 watts/square metre! So the overall effect is fall in surface temperatures.
If you put this result into the IPCC models which include methane and non-uniformities over the Earth, instead of the CO2 induced temperature rise of ~1 °C by 2100 being amplified to ~3 °C by positive feedback from H2O, you instead get a negative feedback which cuts the total projected temperature rise to under 1 °C.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have also measured the integrated H2O vapour (not water cloud droplet) column from the surface to the top of the atmosphere from 1948 onwards. This total atmospheric column humidity content has fallen by 1% over 61 years (Fig 1 in my paper). If there was positive feedback from H2O as assumed by the IPCC, then the humidity must have risen, not fallen. Thus negative feedback from H2O.
Cloud cover (water in small droplets, typically 1 to 50 microns in diameter) acts as a reflector that cools the surface below like a parasol. Increasing water evaporation by the slight surface temperature rise in clear skies due to adding CO2 to the atmosphere will increase cloud cover, because there’s a limit to how much water the air can contain at any altitude, and that limit (100% humidity) obviously exists at the cloud base altitude (the lower the air pressure, the less water vapour the air can hold without condensation of cloud droplets).
The point is, all of this physics and evidence is being censored out. And there you are, ignoring it and complaining that someone mixed up references about volcanic CO2 emissions! The reality is, we don’t live in a glass ceiling greenhouse with no oceans: the greenhouse effect is damned lie. Put in cloud cover evidence, and it doesn’t exist.
Anyone else who had endorsed the book uncritically as Delingpole did would, when further evidence comes to light that the book was not deserving of that praise, publish a retraction or modification. As the record stands Delingpole’s glowing tribute was made and he has ignored Plimer since (maybe that in fact answers my question about Plimer’s standing …) To respond with childish abuse and by dodging the question does not persuade me (as an AGW agnostic) to join the no campaign as it were.
Once it has been admitted that Plimer’s work is riddled with errors, proper analysis of the science can continue (or start, depending on your view of it so far).
I await scientific analysis of Nige’s theory; I assume he would wish it to receive some. Then obviously further down the line James will give some interpretations of interpretations of peer reviews of it, for what that’s worth …
Delingpole endorsed, as you’ve seen, the strongest arguments in Plimer’s book, not the weakest. It was deserving of praise for the reasons Delingpole praised it. The very fact that you focus on trying to refute strong arguments using this pathetic approach just shows how weak your understanding of science is. Negative feedback is a fact shown in the data, not a speculative “theory” of mine that await’s “scientific analysis”.
Delingpole focuses only on being told what he wants to hear, and blinds himself to everything else.
If you could just get over the fact you’ve been brainwashed by Monbiot, you could see it for yourself.
If they were irrelevant drivel Plimer wouldn’t have agreed to answer then wimped out of it once he saw them – he would have said these are irrelevant and here’s why.
He had enough time to appear on tv with Monbiot – and looked like a total ass when he did too.
Even D’Ancona didn’t back up either Delingpole or Plimer – he admitted it was mischevious attention seekign.
There are countless distinguished scientists who’ve slaughtered Plimer’s book. Here’s a very funny snippet from Professor Michael Ashley in the Australian:
“I couldn’t help noticing on page120 an almost word-for-word reproduction of the abstract from a well-known loony paper entitled “The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass”. This paper argues that the sun isn’t composed of 98 per cent hydrogen and helium, as astronomers have confirmed through a century of observation and theory, but is instead similar in composition to a meteorite.
It is hard to understate the depth of scientific ignorance that the inclusion of this information demonstrates. It is comparable to a biologist claiming that plants obtain energy from magnetism rather than photosynthesis.”
There are many others –
– Professor David Karoly, University of Melbourne’s School of Earth Sciences:
– Professor Kurt Lambeck, earth scientist and President of the Australian Academy of Science
– Colin Woodroffe, a coastal geomorphologist at the University of Wollongong,
– Kurt Lambeck, President of the Australian Academy of Science,
And so on it goes. You will no doubt dismiss all scientists who disagree with Plimer as either cranks or part of the Monbiot-led World Government conspiracy that you mentioned (presumably – hopefully, though in view of your comments not necessarily – a joke) above.
You thunder that an “Aussie scientist” (are they better than the other types?) wouldn’t have time for the likes of Monbiot. What about Plimer’s colleagues – also Australian – at his very own university who disagree with him? Do they figure anywhere in your game of scientific top trumps?
Point is this: say “my scientists are better than your scientists” all you want. Say that their criticisms are whining irrelevant trivial guff (as Plimer always does himself). But wouldn’t it be easier for Plimer just to answer questions about his references and sources? That way, his critics would have no comeback and I would be happy to endorse him as much as you do. As it stands I cannot place any value on his work, and you’ve given me no reason to do so. You have adduced other material to say that climate change is bunk. Fine, assuming they pass muster when examined by appropriately qualified scientists – which, I think we can both agree, rules out the clowns in East Anglia. That’s the sort of thing that agnostics would be swayed by. But not books that get a heap of criticism only for their authors and apologists to scream abuse about. Or books like James’ which, on the preview he’s given us here, contain no facts, argument or references at all, just abuse dressed up as analogies.