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Biases, U-turns, and the BBC's climate coverage

Richard Black | 16:00 UK time, Tuesday, 13 October 2009

I get a lot of correspondence accusing the BBC of bias in its climate change coverage.

A polar bearWhile these readers agree that the BBC is biased; what they don't agree about is in which direction it's biased.

Too much "scepticism", or not enough? In the pay of the oil barons, or told what to think by "Europe"? Too scary, or not scary enough?

All these accusations turn up as regularly in my mailbox as they do for my colleagues and in the comments section of this blog and others.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I've tried to steer discussion away from "BBC bias" in months gone by, mainly because I think what's happening "out there" matters more than what's happening "in here".

Whether the Greenland icecap is disintegrating, why biodiversity loss is not being curbed, why industrial fishing is not more efficiently regulated - these are surely bigger questions to ask and more interesting topics for an environment forum than endless debates about BBC reporting.

So you might ask why I'm raising the issue now.

There are two reasons: one is that in the run-up to the UN Copenhagen summit, climate change is moving ever closer to the centre of the political stage, and readership and scrutiny of our coverage is bound to escalate - and I wanted to get this train of thought done and dusted before we reach Copenhagen, because there's going to be no time to discuss it then.

The second reason is that I'd like to respond to a recent blog post by the Daily Telegraph's Damian Thompson, who reported what he described as a "U-turn" in the BBC's climate coverage in an article by my colleague Paul Hudson last week: "Whatever happened to global warming?"

Climate_protest_at_UK_Parliament

Anyone who monitors BBC coverage regularly will see, first of all, that we do not have and have never had a line on the issue:

We covered the Stern Review when it was published, reporting what it contained and analysing what it meant. We examined it critically and talked to economists who didn't rate it as a piece of work.

We reported the UK government's Climate Projections, which purport to provide a local-level picture of climate change in the future - and reported why some scientists reckoned that the projections couldn't be reliable.

We reported pieces of science suggesting that sea levels would rise higher than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected, and pieces of science forecasting there would be no net warming over the next 10 years.

Hockey t stick graphWithin the BBC, there are many different people covering climate change.

On this website, you can read articles relating to the issue written by Jonathan Amos, Tom Feilden, Pallab Ghosh, Roger Harrabin, Matt McGrath, James Morgan, Sarah Mukherjee, James Painter, Paul Rincon, David Shukman, Susan Watts - that's just a selection - and by Paul Hudson, and by me.

These days, the issue is covered by journalists with expertise and backgrounds in science, in business, and in Westminster politics, as well as by those with expertise in one particular region of the world.

It's also worth making the point that, as a general rule, the BBC allows the correspondent to identify what the story is. You are the person on the ground who's done the research - it's your field of expertise - and so, by and large, you get to decide what's important about the story and how it should be told.

That's not to say that editors don't scrutinise and shape coverage - they do - but they don't dictate it.

What are we accused of? Here's an example:

A few weeks ago, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center announced that this year's summer ice minimum had not fallen below those of the last two years, but that the overall longer-term trend was still downwards.

Given the constraint that our news headlines have to be between 31 and 33 characters long, I thought "Pause in Arctic's melting trend" was a pretty decent effort, encapsulating both the immediate finding and how it sat in the longer-term picture.

Not a bit of it. It attracted complaints of bias both because "there is no long-term melting trend" and because "it isn't a pause or any such thing": perfect symmetry.

Sun with aeroplaneA headline can't be biased in both directions at once. Any bias here has to be in the eye of the beholder.

So here's the nub. In the run-up to Copenhagen, you're not all going to agree with everything the BBC writes or broadcasts - that's impossible. And let's be honest - journalists are not infallible, in the BBC or anywhere else.

But biases and party lines? I don't think so - but please feel free to disagree. So let's have that discussion here, and now.

PS: Another blog post this week - by the Guardian's Leo Hickman - queried why Paul's article appeared as a BBC News website story, when it was first conceived as a blog post.

On this occasion, we commissioned a piece from Paul which in fact overlapped with what he was already doing for the blog.

On most occasions, we'd just link straight to the blog (as we do to this one). But regardless of format, the editorial standards are the same across the News site, blogs and news stories included, as Steve Herrmann describes in a recent post at The Editors blog.

Comments

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  • 1. At 2:04pm on 14 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard: If the BBC is not biased how come:

    There is a BBC document in which the amazing statement was made that the BBC Trust and Board of Management had commissioned a report entitled: “From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel - Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century”, published in June 2007……’

    I quote from this report: ‘There may be now a broad scientific consensus that climate change is definitely happening and that it is at least predominantly man-made… the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’.

    Please

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  • 2. At 3:01pm on 14 Oct 2009, Jack Hughes wrote:

    The BBC decided its house opinion at a seminar that took place at the BBC Television Centre on 26th January 2006.
    The list of attendees is secret.
    The agenda is secret.
    The minutes are secret.

    One attendee was Richard North who writes:
    "I found the seminar frankly shocking. The BBC crew (senior executives from every branch of the corporation) were matched by an equal number of specialists, almost all (and maybe all) of whom could be said to have come from the “we must support Kyoto” school of climate change activists.
    So far as I can recall I was alone in being a climate change sceptic (nothing like a denier, by the way) on both the science and policy response.
    I was frankly appalled by the level of ignorance of the issue which the BBC people showed. I mean that I heard nothing that made me think any of them read any broadsheet newspaper coverage of the topic (except maybe the Guardian and that lazily). Though they purported to be aware that this was an immensely important topic, it seemed to me that none of them had shown even a modicum of professional journalistic curiosity on the subject. I am not saying that I knew what they all knew or thought, but I can say that I spent the day discussing the issue and don’t recall anyone showing any sign of having read anything serious at all."

    Full text on Harmless Sky blog

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  • 3. At 3:07pm on 14 Oct 2009, Gates wrote:

    It must be especially hard for reporters to talk seriously about climate change. It all comes down to reliable sources. The trouble with the environmental community is that its so massive. There have been thousands of reports on the climate, but most have them have only analyzed a tiny part of the equation and called how that would effect climate change as a whole, despite other studies showing contradicting results. These may be reliable sources for the specific study they have conducted but for climate change as a whole they are not comprehensive.

    Investigative reporters have to find the facts for themselves from what they deem to be reliable sources, but who do you trust to go to for accurate information on climate change when no one has really been completely accurate so far?

    What the public and the readers of this blog have to realize is that our opinions don't matter on climate change. That's not a claim I could make about any other subject. Our opinions don't matter because we are not climate scientists. We have not done any research for ourselves, we get our information from people who may or may not have done completely comprehensive research. In many ways most reporters are the same.

    The only opinion that matters, or at least should matter, is that of those who are actually on the front line, carrying out complete analysis of the climate and the possible changes that might be caused by our actions. Whether we choose to believe in global warming or not, makes absolutely no difference to the facts, and they are what is important.

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  • 4. At 3:29pm on 14 Oct 2009, rollo47 wrote:

    I'm satisfied that BBC coverage on all matters is pretty unbiased.

    The BBC clearly doesn't have ideological and commercial agendas like the right-wing biased media (Daily Mail, Telegraph, Times etc). On the subject of climate change the BBC are simply reflecting scientific consensus.

    Ideologically-speaking, climate change presents right-wingers with inherent problems. It tends to mean increased regulation and higher taxes. Combined with the fact that controversy sells newspapers, it's not surprising the Telegraph et al continue to publish biased and untrue climate-sceptic articles.

    Thanks heavens we have the BBC to provide us with broadly accurate information!

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  • 5. At 3:31pm on 14 Oct 2009, Tim Holmes wrote:

    Apparently there was a lobby of hardcore Nazis who used to complain that the German media under Hitler was too soft on communists and Jews. As long as that lobby group was sending in as many letters as the opposing lobby group, by Black's standards, presumably the German media was doing its job.

    And here I was thinking that headlines were supposed to represent the facts. There was no "pause" in the melting trend - a headline which implies that the Arctic has +stopped melting+. That makes as much sense as claiming "global warming has reversed" every winter.

    "Balancing" opposing forces is the job of a tightrope walker. A reporter's job is to report.

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  • 6. At 3:32pm on 14 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    PAWB46, thanks for starting with an easy one. The Trust report made explicit what many of us working in the field had long concluded - that the picture held in some circles of two opposed camps of roughly equal weight is simply incorrect. It is far more nuanced than a simple question of "believers" against "sceptics" (or "deniers", if you will); and to the limited extent that the world can be divided into these two camps, they are far from equal, in terms of scientific output, political weight or public acceptance.

    I'd refer you back to the series I wrote on climate scepticism two years ago; also to the article I wrote with Roger Harrabin around the same period.

    Having taken soundings from a number of experts, the BBC Trust (which is an independent body) concluded - in addition to the excerpt you quoted - that:

    "these dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. They cannot be simply dismissed as ‘flat-earthers’ or ‘deniers’, who ‘should not be given a platform’ by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view: for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space."

    You can read the Trust's full report here.

    If there were real bias ("anti-sceptic", as you perceive it) in the organisation, would it not be somewhat hard to explain why Paul Hudson's article last week or articles critical of the Stern Review and UKCP09 or suggesting a pause in the warming trend came to be published, as referenced in the post?

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  • 7. At 4:10pm on 14 Oct 2009, Chatton11 wrote:

    timbird84, what are you talking about? A pause means a temporary stop, which as mentioned above is what has apparently happenned. The trend is that the arctic ice is melting (again, this is a 'trend', that is taken over many years), and this year it has not melted any more than previous years, suggesting a 'pause' in the long term trend that more and more arctic ice is melting. Seriously, if you're not going to make sense, don't bother commenting.

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  • 8. At 4:25pm on 14 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    Richard, you say: I've tried to steer discussion away from "BBC bias" in months gone by, mainly because I think what's happening "out there" matters more than what's happening "in here".

    PAWB 46 - a friend of mine, posted the quote extracted from “Seesaw to Wagon Wheel" which was in a letter, sent to me, from Stewart McCullough, Complaints Co-ordinator, BBC Complaints. This letter was attached to correspondence under the signature of BBC DG Mark Thompson which came via my MP Nick Harvey who managed to elicit a response to my (failed) enquiries with MT going back almost 3 years!

    So, Richard, please let's have no more obfuscation and fancy footwork in defence of BBC bias. With the appearance of this document the cat is well and truly out of the bag.

    I suggest now is the time for honesty; admit the BBC has been wasting millions of pounds of licence-fee payers' money promulgating left-wing propaganda!

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  • 9. At 4:36pm on 14 Oct 2009, Trefor Jones wrote:

    May I ask why the totally discredited hockey stick appears on your blog? I find you very objective, however the BBC has been biased, it seems to be changing since the evidence has begun to stack up in the opposite direction. To quote the Bard "He doth protest too much".

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  • 10. At 4:46pm on 14 Oct 2009, RuariJM wrote:

    Yertizz - I think the BBC's position (that "‘There may be now a broad scientific consensus that climate change is definitely happening and that it is at least predominantly man-made… the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’.") is in keeping with the reality on Planet Earth, as opposed to any other solar satellite some may be inhabiting. Richard's expansion of the point in his reply shows that it is reasonably fair. The BBC isn't going to give 'equal time' to what is, very clearly, a rather small minority. At the moment - if things change, then I'm sure the treatment will change.

    One wonders what your beef is until one reads "...admit the BBC has been wasting millions of pounds of licence-fee payers' money promulgating left-wing propaganda!"

    Ah, one understands your pain.

    trefjon - "...the totally discredited hockey stick..." Could you help me out here, with references to peer-reviewed and disinterested* scientific papers?

    (*not paid for by oil companies, for example)

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  • 11. At 5:05pm on 14 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard #6:

    Thank you for the reply. I think what you are saying is because 99% of the climate research funding and follow-on alarmist projections is to try and prove AGW, then that represents scientific consensus and therefore the BBC reports about 99% warmist headlines to about 1% sceptic headlines. As we scientists all know, consensus is irrelevant in science. I guess the BBC Trust doesn't consist of many scientists. I would also guess that the "number of experts" that the BBC Trust sounded out, are all paid out of the public purse and work for the Met Office, Hadley Centre, CRU etc and are hardly impartial.

    I'm not sure about your claim that the public accept the "believers" more than the "sceptics". Because a majority of the public senses that global warming is not happening but is being used to tax and control them, the government has had to start adverts (propaganda) aimed at convincing us that AGW is real and is happening 'faster than we predicted'.

    You'll never convince me that the BBC is not biased in favour of the alarmist position. I still await the BBC to publish headlines about the papers I mentioned in a previous post - Antarctic sea-ice highest on record, etc.

    PS When you say "many of us working in the field", what field is it exactly that you (collectively) have been working in that enables you to make the conclusions? Have any of the BBC correspondents worked in climate science, or are even physicists or scientists (in the old-fashioned meaning of the word)?

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  • 12. At 5:05pm on 14 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    RuariJM if you spent time researching instead of using cheap jibes to score points, you may learn something to your advantage, viz:

    The Oxford English Dictionary states: impartial adj. treating all sides in a dispute etc. equally; unprejudiced, fair.

    The simple, yet damning, statement contained within an official BBC document demonstrates absolutely that the Corporation is NOT impartial but clearly is PREJUDICED and UNFAIR!

    As such the BBC is in direct conflict with one of the prime requirements of its Royal Charter and spending licence-fee payers' money to further left-wing orthodoxy, simply compounds the felony!

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  • 13. At 5:07pm on 14 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    I do not think that the BBC is guilty of any particular bias, however I do think it is getting caught up in the current ‘climate storm’ (if you’ll forgive the pun) on C02 and climate change. There IS a definite bias in reporting towards the pro-man made climate change (MMCC) camp, rather than the ‘sceptics’- terms I find quite worrying in itself to be honest, but I think this is a worldwide issue and not something that is conscious or deliberate by the BBC. To say thought that scientific research has been affected by this would, by my experience be a huge overstatement (though it has certainly politicised an area of research that didn’t need it).

    I have performed sufficient independent research on the subject (being a scientist- although I hasten to add not a climate scientist) to be truly worried about the quality of the research being promoted by bodies such as the IPCC.

    It would be interesting I think, if you were to do a comparison on the initial claims by the IPCC and Al Gore versus the ‘actual’ results for today. It would certainly make for a good article. Also, it is would be worth examining the corrective methods used to negate ‘heat island effect’ used by the ‘pro camp’ (a specific Vienna case study has cast severe doubts on their methods) as this has real implications on the ‘observed’ temperature rises. I would also suggest looking into the rise in sea levels, extrapolated (by IPCC etc) and real (us monitoring stations), the ice thickness levels for the Antarctic centre and the finally temperature maps for the lower atmosphere (the area where any C02 induced increase would be most prevalent) and the satellite data ‘corrective methods’ that have been used. I would be more than happy to supply some links/locations of this data for you.

    To be clear though- although I would class myself as a ‘sceptic’ (I really hate that term), I do not doubt for a second that the climate is changing. Or that we need to identify (and rather quickly) alternative, renewable energy sources. Or that looking after our planet and ecosystem has to be one of the top priorities for us as a species. I have however not seen any data (and I’ve looked into this extensively) that can convince me that a) C02 can be linked to temperature rises, b) that any climate change is man-made and c) that the governments are even going about it in the right way.

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  • 14. At 5:07pm on 14 Oct 2009, metric tonne wrote:

    RuariJM

    Yes, if you keep up with the science, the hockey stick graph has been discredited by a group of the highest standard of statisticians. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wegman

    If you will excuse descending into some of the maths behind this, essentially the hockey stick graph was created by a use of Principal Component Analysis which was fundamentally flawed. By incorrect use of centring they managed to produce an analysis that would produce a hockey stick from randomly generate auto-correlated data. The stasticians did not criticise any of the data collection methods, purely the statistical techniques used to analyse it and produce the final graphs. They stated, for the record, that climate scientists should seek assistance more from the field of statistics since many of the statistical techniques they use are being specifically tailed to deal with unique aspects of climate data. As a statistician myself, I know that introducing biases that completely invalidate your results is remarkably easy.

    Your request for disinterested papers is interesting since many of the papers generated by the climate change community are funded by money that would not be there if climate change were not a big political hot-potato. Furthermore, it needs to be scary in order to be a big political hot-potato. Therefore many of the scientists involved are not disinterested. This does not mean that all the studies are biased, just that we should not take everything at face value, in just the same way that we should look critically at data generated through oil company funding.

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  • 15. At 5:14pm on 14 Oct 2009, Phil_N wrote:

    It seems that the independent media are queuing up to have a go at Auntie BBC at the moment. This line of attack centres around the problem that their business model is in trouble, advertising revenues are down and they either want a piece of the BBC's cash, or for the BBC to go away and stop providing competition. Therefore, one should read what they say with a note of caution in the back of ones head.

    With that in mind, the sentence "I mean that I heard nothing that made me think any of them read any broadsheet newspaper coverage of the topic (except maybe the Guardian and that lazily)." should ring alarm bells for anyone reading it, especially in the light of Ben Goldacre's Bad Science blog. The only way to become expert about complex scientific subjects is to read complex scientific papers - reading the mainstream media and then claiming to be any kind of expert on the subject is laughable at best and dangerous at worst.

    The BBC's coverage of global warming is an attempt to report the latest in scientific studies and opinion, which inevitably means that people who are not actually well enough informed to know what they're talking about - by which I mean, not actual climate scientists - will constantly call bias because of whatever personal position they have taken which is now being challenged, most especially if they are in the minority. Carry on BBC, there is nothing to see here except a vocal bunch of people who will never be satisfied no matter what you publish.

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  • 16. At 5:27pm on 14 Oct 2009, cristobaldelicia wrote:

    "Whatever happened to global warming?" is a pretty far cry from "Pause in global warming." Yes, the BBC will be criticized for bias whatever they print. Yes, sensationalistic headlines will bring more readership (I read a bit of Paul Hudson's column, I don't remember ever seeing "pause in global warming.") The headlines at the BBC have been biased (now in both directions) even if otherwise the reporting has been more balanced. You cannot deliberately invite criticism with attention-getting headlines, and then pretend to be "shock-ed, shock-ed" that you get complaints of unfair reporting. That's disingenuous.

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  • 17. At 5:28pm on 14 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    There is a remarkable silence from the BBC about the current lack of solar activity, which really is newsworthy. A similar silence is being maintained at the New Scientist, but NASA have recently broken ranks. It's time for the BBC to do the same, if it wants to call itself "unbiased".

    This from today's Spaceweather.com home page:

    Today, the sun is entering its 13th consecutive day without sunspots. Just a few years ago, such a stretch of blank suns would have been unthinkable. Now it's routine. So far this year, the sun has been spotless 79% of the time, topping the 73% mark recorded in 2008. Long after many forecasters thought solar minimum would be finished, the quiet is not only continuing, but actually deepening. Are sunspots gone for good?

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  • 18. At 5:42pm on 14 Oct 2009, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    There are a third group in the global warming debate and that is those who acknowledge that Global Warming is/has happening/ed, but do not share the same view as the 'lets try reducing CO2 brigade' as to to the actions that are being taken/proposed to be taken.

    Arctic Ice is melting etc, but then the only way to be seen as confirming this is to believe in reducing CO2 - why? But if one does not believe that reducing CO2 will work then in which of the two camps should one put oneself in? I think it is highly dangerous to nail ones hopes so firmly to reducing CO2 when other of the available actions may save more lives and may have a higher probability of being effective.

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  • 19. At 5:43pm on 14 Oct 2009, originaloakviewboy wrote:

    When did David Shukman ever report on disquiets or doubts about the CO2/global warming thesis? His reports have been absolutely unequivocal for years, allowing for no legitimate uncertainties. It would be outrageous if - after so many years of self-righteous scaremongering - he were allowed to back-pedal on the case he has so confidently advanced.

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  • 20. At 6:01pm on 14 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard #6

    Another question for you. You state that "many of us working in the field had long concluded". I assume that means you concluded that the hypothesis of CO2 leading to global warming is correct and that natural effects could not account for the "recent warming". I would be interested for you to tell us what evidence caused you to make the conclusion?

    It is over 40 years sunce I got my physics degree and nearly 40 years since I got my PhD. I understand how science works (or is supposed to work). I have asked various bodies (such as the Met Office) to tell me what is the evidence for man-emitted CO2 causing global warming and they have always fobbed me off, with such statements as 'read the IPPC reports'. Well, I've read the IPCC reports and many other reports over the last 3 years, and as a scientist I can tell you that I have found zero evidence for CO2 as a driver of global temperature - plenty of opinions, yes, but no evidence. If in my career I had presented work of the standard produced by climate scientists and drawn the conclusions that climate scientists have drawn, I would have had my career considerably shortened. To draw conclusions without evidence is unscientific.

    So Richard, please tell me what led you to your conclusion.

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  • 21. At 6:06pm on 14 Oct 2009, Stargazer wrote:

    Bowmanthebard, I follow Space Weather closely as part of my job. The current sunspot minimum is unusual, but not exceptional (yet). We are only about up to 50% more spotless days than an average minimum and the average sunspot number has not been so low because there have been intervals of relatively intense activity.

    The minimum is interesting, but unless it lasts into 2010, not yet far enough away from normal to be exceptional. The low activity is annoying to us, but not critical... yet!

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  • 22. At 6:19pm on 14 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Jack_Hughes_NZ: Government cabinets hold meetings in private. Army leaders hold meetings in private. Companies hold meetings in private. Families hold meetings in private. We hold editorial meetings every morning that are private. What's your point?

    In addition, you'll note that the BBC Trust report came out after the seminar to which you refer - the seminar was an event for BBC employees rather than Trustees, and the Trust conducted its own process. Therefore any conclusions that might or might not have been drawn in this 2006 seminar would be superseded by the Trust report.

    timbird84: Some of your comment baffles me, but if you're saying reporting shouldn't be balanced (by whatever definition makes sense for that issue), I cannot agree, and neither would any BBC executive or any professor of journalism. And has already been noted, a "pause" is not the same thing as a "stop" - it carries a clear message of being temporary.

    Two comments, two accusations of bias - in different directions. As discussed in the post.

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  • 23. At 6:20pm on 14 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black

    For my part the accusation of bias comes from the BBC not reporting stories such as the Phil Jones episode, the problems with the proxies, problems with the weather stations or the loss of the CRU data.

    All of these items have a clear impact on the science behind global warming and are newsworthy items, but not a mention from the BBC.

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  • 24. At 6:26pm on 14 Oct 2009, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    Richard, I cannot accept your claim that you are unbiased, given that you include a picture of the climate protestors and the totally-discredited-and-abandoned-by-the-IPCC hockeystick picture. Well, I know you you like to wind up the sceptics to get some responses :)

    Anyway, yes I agree, the BBC is becoming more balanced on this issue. Hooray.

    The responses to Paul Hudson's article seem excessive in both directions.
    Some of the sceptics are quite wrongly announcing a BBC U-turn, while the aggressive sneering tone of the Guardian and even Nature is extremely ill-judged and undermines their arguments.

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  • 25. At 6:37pm on 14 Oct 2009, spectrum wrote:

    Richard
    AGW is all over. Apart from the Hudson article, New Scientist published something similar and even Monbiot has given up AGW. The infantile 'denier' material has been relegated to the green blog which few people read.
    Yes, and there is the small matter of Copenhagen shaping up to be a bigger global catastrophe than 'climate change' ever was. The Germans destroyed Poznan and the Americans will do the same in Denmark.
    Never mind, getting Hudson to write the Geneva material maintains your reputation in the eco community.

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  • 26. At 6:40pm on 14 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    You say the BBC is constantly accused of bias from both sides. Given the strong feelings on both sides of the debate I am not surprised. But perhaps you might have noticed a distinct drop-off from the sceptics since Friday.

    Up until now I've been pretty happy with the BBC's coverage. I don't want you to stop reporting on sceptic positions. But I have big problems with Paul Hudson's article. There are two things about Paul Hudson's article that make it stand out from the rest of the BBC's coverage.

    Firstly it is a news article that portrays climate scientists as 50:50 for:against. With Paul signing off saying the debate is hotting up.

    Secondly I have never seen so much praise for a BBC article by the sceptics. Log onto a search engine and enter his name, or the title of the article. Paul Hudson is their new hero. Paul Hudson has reversed years of damage by the BBC. And now the BBC, in the person of Paul Hudson, Climate Correspondent, has ended "the Big Lie", they are expecting more of the same, and will call foul if they don't get it.

    OK so it isn't deliberate bias. In which case it is really unfortunate accidental bias. Bu that's still bias.

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  • 27. At 6:44pm on 14 Oct 2009, David L wrote:

    I think PWB's comment 11 raises an interesting question. i.e. How should the BBC approach issues which are still in contention?

    I personally think that going along with expert opinion, weighing up sources etc. is a good way to go, and I trust the BBC as my main source of information on current affairs because, by and large, I think it does it extremely well.

    Incidentally Richard has exposed what in my view is rather selective quoting in comments expressed here by BBC readers, purely because it supports the point of view of the persons making the comment. I realise that suggesting this endangers my post with reference to the house rules (hence my selective and slightly arcane language here), and I mean no offence in pointing it out; I mearly mean to ask those people if they do not find this "bias" somewhat self defeating in a conversation about bias?

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  • 28. At 6:44pm on 14 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Cricketing_stargazer, you say that the solar minimum is "unusual" and "interesting", but not "exceptional". I'm not sure I can distinguish those subtle nuances of meaning, but NASA says it is a once-in-a-century event, which to my mind makes it newsworthy. It also threateens to shatter the current orthodoxy, which in itself is newsworthy. I would have thought an unbiased news reporting organization such as the BBC would feel itself obliged to give this interesting and unusual event rather more coverage that it has so far.

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  • 29. At 6:49pm on 14 Oct 2009, Tree_Fan wrote:

    9. At 4:36pm on 14 Oct 2009, trefjon wrote:
    "May I ask why the totally discredited hockey stick appears on your blog?"

    Others have commented already. I add only that this hockey stick chart ends with a wild upswing that was based on a few tree rings and trees do not make really good thermometers. Your text does not mention the graph. Why? You have put this graph with a statement about being unbiased and that seems to show exactly the opposite of what you say in the text. Odd!

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  • 30. At 6:55pm on 14 Oct 2009, MrJackSavage wrote:

    You had better take it up with Paxo...

    ""People who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that [global warming] is the consequence of our own behaviour. I assume that this is why the BBC's coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago",

    Jeremy Paxman

    Media Guardian, Jan 31st, 2007.

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  • 31. At 6:56pm on 14 Oct 2009, spectrum wrote:

    PAWB46
    I remember on the Guardian blogs that more or less every qualified individual was incredulous. Like Freeman Dyson and Nobel Prize Winner Ivar Giaever to name a couple of famous physicists.

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  • 32. At 7:01pm on 14 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    You say the BBC is constantly accused of bias from both sides. Given the strong feelings on both sides of the debate I am not surprised. But perhaps you might have noticed a distinct drop-off from the sceptics since Friday.

    Up until now I've been pretty happy with the BBC's coverage. I don't want you to stop reporting on sceptic positions. But I have big problems with Paul Hudson's article. There are two things about Paul Hudson's article that make it stand out from the rest of the BBC's coverage.

    Firstly it is a news article that portrays climate scientists as 50:50 for:against. With Paul signing off saying the debate is hotting up.

    Secondly I have never seen so much praise for a BBC article by the sceptics. Log onto a search engine and enter his name, or the title of the article. This is their favourite BBC article. Ever.

    OK so it isn't deliberate bias. But it's had that effect.

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  • 33. At 7:16pm on 14 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 34. At 7:29pm on 14 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke

    you might have noticed a distinct drop-off from the sceptics since Friday.

    For my part, Jane, if somebody posts something that is interesting and/or I didn't have knowledge of, then I try to read it before making posts, so that could be the reason why I wasn't posting.

    That or I was down the pub

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  • 35. At 7:33pm on 14 Oct 2009, forthurst wrote:

    What is that graph on your blog supposed to be? Printing a graph without any indication as to what the x or y axes represent is meaningless (except for cretins for whom the very shape of the graph is likely to be 'significant' - your target audience, perchance?). If this is the 'hockey stick', then that has been discredited, comprehensively - viz

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Do you feel comfortable arguing with people whose mathematical ability may arguably more substantial than yours?

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  • 36. At 7:49pm on 14 Oct 2009, dmatlak wrote:

    I've seen this in the comments a few times but perhaps the squeaky wheel will get some of Richard's oil. Why put the biased photos in your blog entry? They seem to be straight out of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth archives . . .

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  • 37. At 7:53pm on 14 Oct 2009, aquanickel wrote:

    I think you (Richard) and the BBC pretty much do an excellent job of remaining impartial and unbiased,so I would imagine most complaints about bias are from people who are very strongly opinionated.But complaints about that Paul Hudson's article are justified. He admits in the report that the cooling cycle of the oceans has already been incorporated into global models of climate change, but he seems to ignore his own words to this end, and then he gives it a catchy title that suggests climate change may be a myth and finishes it by saying that there is no agreement on whether climate change is actually happening and that far from there being agreement, discussion is actually heating up! He seems to have forgotten that this discussion has been going on a long time and is not new, and that whilst there are a few sceptics out there and the science is difficult, the overwhelming majority of science is not any more arguing about whether global warming is real. That discussion in itself has actually cooled down, and now we're in the stage of just how bad will the effects be and "how the heck do we sort this out?!". His article was the most read and shared article in north america for a few days, despite a more balanced report you wrote ("Scary climate message from past") because it grabbed a catchy title. My complaint is not that BBC are biased - far from it - but that Paul's article shows very bad journalism that does not represent the discussion properly and just tries to make catchy or sexy headlines - and effectively is shifting the discussion back to something that is old. At this stage of the game it is highly irresponsible - especially with Copenhagen coming up. It seems like his story was more looking for a punchy title and catchy punchline at the end than actually reporting the news!

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  • 38. At 7:57pm on 14 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    I am really curious to see what happens to my #33 Comment presently undergoing 'Moderator' inspection.

    It seems to me Mr Black if you are this sensitive (i.e. my "..how you have the brass neck..") then really you are in the wrong job altogether!

    Global Warming is up for "...discussion, here and now..", but, not apparently for shrinking BBC violets who find +2 or +3 Celsius in the debating chamber is just not the environmentally friendly atmosphere they were so eager to Report on from a strictly unbiased perspective.

    BBC Journalism! From a man who wept with British soldiers at a scene of utter depravity to man who shrivels at the written word!

    Thanks for the very short laugh!


    I'll not bother you again - - this Climate is just too rarified for me.

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  • 39. At 8:08pm on 14 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @ikamasheip #38

    I defence of Richard Black, I think you will find it's the moderators, outside of his control, who have referred your comments. Most regular contributors to these posts have at some time been referred. The chances are, ikamasheip, the mods will release your post after they have checked the post hasn't broken any rules.

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  • 40. At 8:30pm on 14 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK and #39.

    Thanks for advice.

    However, we have to assume Mr Black intends on joining in this Debate (as his #6 suggests) as he is the one who invited the Comments in the first place.

    Now, after quite a few Comments have firmly rebutted his claim of no bias it would appear a shrinking 'violet' he has become like so many of these BBC Editors who submit Articles and scuttle off to hide behind the 'Moderator'.

    Well, this was an OPINION piece by a BBC EDITOR and as such he should be here answerable to those who have joined the discussion, and, if he is not then he had no right to PUBLISH such an OPINION instead of sticking to FACTS.
    But then, unfortunately, that is the reductive standard of BBC Journalism these days.

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  • 41. At 8:36pm on 14 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @ikamaskeip

    Ikamaskeip, Don't forget he is an employee, not a "freelance poster", he's probably having dinner with his family or a pint with his mates. I'm sure he will answer specific points when he is back at work.

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  • 42. At 8:48pm on 14 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    This is the real deal.
    We ordinary folk are allowed to ask questions and we get answers from the not-so-ordinary folk who also blog here. Where else can you find such democracy?
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK RICHARD BLACK ;-)

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  • 43. At 8:56pm on 14 Oct 2009, paulvanp wrote:

    I am not going to wade into the "yes there is, no there isnt" climate change debate There is enough of that already and it would take far too long to even outline my personal position in this which is highly detailed and probably doesnt satisfy either side. Instead I want to maje a couple of remarks on "reporter bias" s Richard descibes here. I think, espcially in complex debates, it is impossible to be completely balanced; the information we select to use or convey will inevitably lead to some "off balance" one way or another in the eyes of others. Even when we use a coven of reporters on a subject, there will be "group bias". However much of this is based on the idea of reporting in the "public interest" which we worship officially but which is different from "what interests the public". An excellent example of this could be seen this week, when Elinor Ostrom was awarded the Nobel prize for economics. A very worthy candidate and recipient and what was really so remarkable about it is that her type of economics (political economics focussing on governance of "the commons" in which she has made some enormous contibutions, including from an environmental pespective), at this very time in a recession, was selected, rather than some classical macro theory and theorist.
    What was the most remarkable though was the way it was universally reported: a WOMAN economics Nobel Prize recipient... with a few minor and obscure exceptions nothing about the content of her work, only the fact that she is a woman.Frightening and infuriating, until you realize that in reality reporting is mostly based on what "interests the public" rather than the "public interest". And that is what generally climate change reporting has in common with this and almost all other reporting... and once you absorb that notion, you look with entirely different eyes at anything that is being reported. And few things wind you up anymore..

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  • 44. At 8:56pm on 14 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @ikamaskeip

    Richard Black also posted at #22. His posts are "highlit" in grey, and he is clearly making an effort to reply to questions in both #6 and #22.

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  • 45. At 9:27pm on 14 Oct 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    I am ready to agree with Richard that at the BBC they "do not have and have never had a line on the issue". All I need is an example of an honest mistake ever made on the News site, a mistake that made a story look in any way less warmist than should have been. Should be easy to find, since there have been plenty of honest mistakes in the other direction (forgotten or omitted links, wrong news category, etc).

    And by the way...whatever happened to the Blog of Bloom???

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  • 46. At 9:43pm on 14 Oct 2009, petewibble wrote:

    The BBC is biased, I find it incredible that anyone would say it isn't, I was going to quote Paxman but see someone already did.

    How about your Antarctica coverage? An ice shelf breaks off and it's front page news, not a single mention of the fact that sea ice extent has been steadily increasing there for 30 years. If sea ice extent is news at the Arctic how come it's suddenly not news in Antarctica?

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  • 47. At 10:48pm on 14 Oct 2009, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    The only people who think the BBC are biased are people who think that the Daily Mail or the Morning Star are models of impartiality. You can see why Nick Robinson doesn't bother to read the comments below his blog. They are a sea of Daily Mail/Express inspired outrage claiming he is a stooge of the government because he doesn't spend his whole time attacking Labour and saying how wonderful the Tories are.

    I'm impressed that Richard Black bothers to engage with the same type of people below his blog. It's a waste of time as they already made there minds up long ago and no weight of evidence is ever going to change it. That's the joy of dogmatic ideology. Keep up the good work Mr Black - the silent majority appreciates it. After all, recent surveys show that the majority of people trust and like the BBC; they also show that the vast majority of people accept the basic principles of climate change science. I can't think of a single proffesional organisation that rejects established thinking on this issue. The only political party that rejects anthropogenically induced climate change is UKIP. Enough said really.

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  • 48. At 11:01pm on 14 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke.

    Look, Mr Black can lob in opinion any time he likes and there wont be a BBC note saying "this comment has been referred to the Moderators..", so, lets not have any suggestion that this is an even playing-field!

    Hence my opening lines in my Moderator referred Comment #33 in which I asked how he could have the 'brass neck' to suggest there isn't bias?
    If my and your Comments are subject to Moderation and one other chap gets free reign for his perspective that is not a "discussion" or a "debate"!

    My Comment 33 did not contain a single swear word, sexual reference, slur/defamatory/slanderous allegation upon any one or the BBC.
    It most certainly did impune the BBCs overall integrity with regard to its standard of Journalism and Reporting on the issue of Global Warming. Well, as that was the topic Mr Black invited "discussion" on I did expect that honest opinion on the bias or otherwise of the BBC would be permitted. Evidently not!

    So, Mr Black can write all he likes at 6 and 22 and whatever number he chooses, but, I am not joining his game so he can later claim he thrashed it out with his critics because he is patently not doing so!
    It is the BBC categorically saying this is my ball, my pitch, my colours and we are going to play under my rules or not all.
    So much for an even contest and made worse by their cheek to proclaim this is all about showing the game is played fairly by them.

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  • 49. At 11:14pm on 14 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Here is sme new information, available online if you have a subscription, at 'Natureexpress." Apparently it will be in the journal 'Nature' at a later date.

    Last Time Carbon Dioxide Levels Were This High: 15 Million Years Ago

    "A slightly shocking finding," Tripati said, "is that the only time in the last 20 million years that we find evidence for carbon dioxide levels similar to the modern level of 387 parts per million was 15 to 20 million years ago, when the planet was dramatically different."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm

    - Manysummits -

    PS: To Richard Black: How do you 'maintain an even strain' when reading and answering some of these comments? Is it actually your professional obligation to do so? I'd be interested to know!

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  • 50. At 11:29pm on 14 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Another Newsnight, another "Gang of Three" running the full gamut from "extremeley green" to "moderately green" -- and no non-green voice, once again.

    While I rather welcome the fact that this sort of coverage is hugely counter-productive politically -- the green movement is almost over -- I care enough about the BBC to shed a tear for its self-deception. How can anyone who cares about truth and journalism regard three-on-one side versus none-at-all on the other as "unbiased"? It's laughable!

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  • 51. At 11:50pm on 14 Oct 2009, Bryn wrote:

    Mr Black should never have had to write this piece. Bias? Rubbish!
    Ah but it's all a vast socialist conspiracy to extract more taxes and the scientists are feathering their nests and CO2 makes the flowers bloom and polar bears and Bangladeshis can swim can't they? and the ice is thicker than ever and we were all told there was going to be an ice age a few years ago weren't we? and CO2 just pumps the heat into space and its the suns fault and the climate is always changing and Clarkson in the Telegraph is a lot more authoritative than Stocker and the other so called scientists in Nature who (did I mentions?) are only feathering their own nests. Ahhhh!
    Now let the man get on with his job.

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  • 52. At 00:03am on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @ikamaskeip

    That's not what modding is about. It isn't about the sort of censorship you are referring to.

    I've had my comments modded before now. And I've seen other comments before they're modded. Modding is not nice, no one likes it, not even the moderators. Especially not the moderators, they get so much flak.

    If you don't know why your comment has been referred to the mods, then please consider these possibilities.

    1. Ambiguous - your meaning was OK but the alternate meaning is problematic.
    2. You have tripped over some legal rule or injunction that you don't know about.
    3. It's about balance, and the mods are being stricter than they need for safety reasons.

    Example of legal rule - this is the Beeb, they are not allowed to advertise. (Have you ever watched the BBC television programme Blue Peter with its references to "ballpoint pen" or "sticky tape".)

    Please remember, without the mods some people would cheat. Then the BBC would be partly or wholely liable for any resulting mess.

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  • 53. At 00:09am on 15 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    YorkUrbantree and #47.

    What's it like being omnipotent?

    Having divined the reading material of the Commentators will you turn water into wine next or are you saving yourself for the really big one?

    You know: Making a Comment that in some substantive way supports your personal inclination that all is well with the BBC standard of Journalism and Reporting of the Number 1 issue facing the modern world.

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  • 54. At 00:32am on 15 Oct 2009, Ayrdale wrote:

    A very interesting debate and comments posting.

    I've yet to see a mention though (uneless the comments moderator has stepped in) of the debate which reached around the blogosphere re the BBC (apparent) fiddling with President Obama's acceptance speech. The (apparent) aim seemed to be to give extra emphasis to climate change, its imapct and its mitigation.

    A full coverage of this is at the wonderful blog Harmless Sky...

    http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/

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  • 55. At 01:11am on 15 Oct 2009, HumanityRules wrote:

    A very honourable attempt Richard but I'm sorry what you suggest is impossible.

    You are most certainly a green of some sort. You shouldn't be embarassed to say it after all honesty in this debate is more necessary than ever.

    Take the simple phrase "why biodiversity loss is not being curbed" what appears a reasonable question is in fact totally biased. Costa Rica which contains 4% of the planets biodiversity has 25% of it total land area under conservation. Even an "anti-eco" country like the USA has doubled the area of land protected by land trusts and has over 1700 marine protected areas. You seem happy to ignore everything that is being done to protect biodiversity in order to make your point on how humanity is raping the planet, some might say that is biased.

    I probably stand in opposition to most things you say but that doesn't mean I have a problem with your right to say it. This of course is not how the warmists approach the debate. The number of comments that asked for Paul Hudson's article to be remove from the website was astonishing. Their collapse into censorship exposes a worrying lack of the democratic spirit among that group.

    I'll accept your extreme eco-babbling ;) as long as more balanced stuff can be printed.

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  • 56. At 01:21am on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To Bryn_hill #51:

    Good to hear from you again - I was wondering where you, and many others, have been.

    I see by the tone of your post what has kept you away.

    I have adopted the 'identify and disregard' tactic.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 57. At 01:30am on 15 Oct 2009, pmagnus wrote:

    You still don't get it, do you Richard.

    You are a skeptic aren't you?

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  • 58. At 01:32am on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 59. At 01:47am on 15 Oct 2009, HumanityRules wrote:

    I couldn't stop looking at land conservation data.

    Australia, where I live, has 11% of it's land protected. But Australia has a vast outback where very little happens. If you take the more populous states such as Victoria where human and nature compete. In 1998 Victoria had ~10% of it land area under natural conservation. That value is now upto 22%. A further 14% is in it's natural state but allows low intensity use. That means 36% of the state maintains it's native environment for flora and fauna. Biodivesty protected. Incredible. Unbelievable. Mis-representative. Biased. Heretical.

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  • 60. At 02:13am on 15 Oct 2009, b5happy wrote:

    Biased. Unbiased. Sayers. Naysayers.
    Oxford Dictionary. Glaciers disappearing.
    Holes in Greenland Ice. Moratoriums on fishing.
    Permafrost is becoming less frosty.
    Carbon Dioxide Levels. Over population. Starvation.
    Being human by expressing alarm towards these things.
    Being human by expressing indignity towards those who believe either way.
    Being human by expressing the need for fair and balanced reporting.
    Blaming those who struggle under the sheer weight of the responsibility.
    Whether there is climate change or not.
    Whether climate change is created by humans or not.
    True or not true... Do not look to humans to solve anything.
    Maybe there is nothing to solve. Some humans seem to think that way.
    Ted Turner said something like: 'In 50 years there will be roving bands of humans feeding off of each other.' To my utter dismay not one writer (in my orbit) could say anything to this statement other than: 'Ted Turner is a wacko.'
    I was shocked that no one took him up on the subject. Just total denial.
    Where is everyone living? Under a rock? Everyone knows what happens when you crowd rats together... Anyone know the horror story of New Orleans and the days spent under the Dome? We are talking about instantaneous violence. Or, do you feel that the reporting was simply biased or unbiased?
    Let's see... Oh, yes! Climate change... Hmmm...
    How does that go??
    'You don't need a weatherman to know which way...'

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  • 61. At 06:19am on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    If the David Shukman piece (headline news today) "Arctic to be 'ice-free in summer'" isn't a piece of pure unscientific prpaganda, I don't know what is. Peer-reviewed work or one-sided quotes? Catlin Survey was pure media hype, nothing scientific in trying to get to the pole across nicely smooth first year sea ice and finding it much too cold to achieve the objective. With all these super-alarmist headlines, one would think a big climate conference was about to happen.

    Did someone say David Shukman had never written an unbiased article about climate change (global warming)?

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  • 62. At 06:54am on 15 Oct 2009, britishandeuropean wrote:

    Anyone else noticed the curious overlap between climate change deniers and eurosceptics, often the very same people?

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  • 63. At 07:14am on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    When David Shukman writes an article entitled "Antarctic - sea-ice at highest ever recorded - it's worse than we previously thought" or "Sunspots have disappeared - are we in for another Little Ice Age?" or "Oceans are in a cooling mode - are we in for 30 years of cooling?" just before the Copenhagen Conference, then I'll know he isn't totally biased.

    There isn't one shred of scientific evidence in his article "Arctic to be 'ice-free in summer'". It's all opinion and propaganda. The Catlin Expedition was just media hype. If it had been a scientific expedition, Padow et al would have followed in the footsteps of Jeremy Clarkson and used 4x4s or snowmobiles with proper scientific equipment on board. Taking a few boreholes (on the thinnest ice they could find to travel over) in an area of ice of over 4 million sq km at its lowest extent, proves nothing. By travelling on foot, they suffered extreme hardship, hypothermia and frost-bite, and necessitated several air-craft flights to provision them and rescue them (with all those nasty CO2 emissions to boot). According to David Shukman's words on the news, despite all the frostbite and wind-chill of -70C, "they found evidence of rapid warming". I couldn't see any signs of rapid warming. According to Prof Wadhams, his alarmist predictions are based on computer models of global warming. So the predictions are worthless then and yet it is BBC headline news.

    Why is this reported when there are many much more scientifically interesting facts (not worthless predictions) that are newsworthy (such as sunspots or the Antarctic sea-ice or ocean cycles)?

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  • 64. At 07:30am on 15 Oct 2009, dansat wrote:

    Hi Richard,

    My complaint is not so much about the story Paula wrote as much as the headline on top of it. There is no credible scientific evidence of a pause in the warming. (I thought the NSIDC picked a poor headline for their piece as well.)

    You know as well as I that the multi year averages are the only correct way to look at the data. The public for the most part does not, and poor headlines like those add to the confusion that a well written news story should diminish.

    That said, you made some good points about the thoughts/process behind the BBC coverage of this issue.

    Without doubt, the BBC has been the leader in covering this issue with proper balance and emphasis on the real science.

    Dan Satterfield
    WHNT TV Huntsville AL
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 65. At 07:57am on 15 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    I really don't see what all the fuss is about.

    I have been reading Richard Black's articles for quite some time now and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. He writes these articles as he sees them. Wouldn't you?

    Each article engenders massive discussion. Those for, those against and those seeking clarification. Isn't that what debate is all about? If we all thought the same, just consider the outcome! We could all be right or on the other hand we could all be wrong.

    Differences of opinion, no matter how those differences are encouraged, are a healthy sign in my book.

    So..if I have a message for Richard here, it is this.

    "Keep up the good work and we will continue to debate the issues. To that end, it doesn't matter a hoot what slant or personal belief you put on the topic there will always be those for, those against and those sitting on the fence"

    Just out of curiosity...........what about the article in early July...something about "Climate Change hijacking other important concerns"???????

    Where's the bias there? How long did it take for the antagonists to bring the discussion round to "AGW for and AGW against"????????

    So..as Bryn_hill wrote..quote.."let the man get on with his job" and let us continue to contribute our comments whatever they may be.

    That's what democracy is all about.

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  • 66. At 08:10am on 15 Oct 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    More evidence of honest mistakes always made in the same direction at the BBC.

    Much fuss about thinner ice in the Arctic this morning. And yet...last April there was no time to report _thicker_ ice measured by a German expedition, by research aircraft Polar 5 of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.

    http://www.awi.de/en/news/press_releases/detail/item/research_aircraft_polar_5_finishes_arctic_expedition_unique_measurement_flights_in_the_central_arc/?cHash=e36036fcb4

    I am sure all of this can be easily explained. Please do.

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  • 67. At 08:11am on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    ikamaskeip @48

    Look, Mr Black can lob in opinion any time he likes and there wont be a BBC note saying "this comment has been referred to the Moderators..", so, lets not have any suggestion that this is an even playing-field!

    Not so, I can recall a comment by Richard was refused by the moderators. Can't be bothered finding the reference, but as I am not exactly a warmist, you can trust me on this one



    @manysummits #49

    Here is sme new information, available online if you have a subscription, at 'Natureexpress." Apparently it will be in the journal 'Nature' at a later date.

    Last Time Carbon Dioxide Levels Were This High: 15 Million Years Ago

    "A slightly shocking finding," Tripati said, "is that the only time in the last 20 million years that we find evidence for carbon dioxide levels similar to the modern level of 387 parts per million was 15 to 20 million years ago, when the planet was dramatically different."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm


    If you were prepared to follow links posted by sceptics, you will have discovered we have already discussed the new findings.

    Now that you have raised this again a couple of quotes from Tripati:

    “A slightly shocking finding,” Tripati said, “is that the only time in the last 20 million years that we find evidence for carbon dioxide levels similar to the modern level of 387 parts per million was 15 to 20 million years ago, when the planet was dramatically different.”

    “During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today,” Tripati said. “Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount.”

    In the last 20 million years, key features of the climate record include the sudden appearance of ice on Antarctica about 14 million years ago and a rise in sea level of approximately 75 to 120 feet.


    Obviously, she doesn't mean the ice age and rising seas were at the same time, but she does say both occured when CO2 was "sustained at about 400 parts per million"

    "time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago"

    "sustained at about 400 parts per million"

    "Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount."

    "In the last 20 million years, key features of the climate record include the sudden appearance of ice on Antarctica about 14 million years ago and a rise in sea level of approximately 75 to 120 feet."


    If CO2 raises the temperature significantly, why was there an ice age when CO2 levels of 400 ppm were sustained for 6 million years?

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  • 68. At 08:25am on 15 Oct 2009, mjholm wrote:

    I would just like to add that on the whole I think the BBC and reporters etc do a pretty good job. About being biased, of course everybody is biased to one degree or another, that my friends is human nature. If you don't like the BBC's reporting maybe you should try The Sun - you also get pictures!

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  • 69. At 08:30am on 15 Oct 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    How about this issue...

    When you interview some politician about an issue (quite correctly) they get some challenging questions and someone will probably be called upon to give a response.

    Why is the same approach never taken with 'environmental' groups?

    Virtually every night on BBC news I will hear some statement by fiends of the earth or greenpiece. No one questions them. No one challenges them. No one gives a counter comment.

    These people are now at the forefront of politics - why no challenges to their pronouncements?

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  • 70. At 08:41am on 15 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK and #67.

    The BBC has never Moderated and refused Publication of one of its Editors' Comments/Articles: That wouldbe a resigning issue for the Editor.

    You, can trust me on this one.

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  • 71. At 08:55am on 15 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke and #52.

    Beg to differ: Moderatoring is entirely about the BBC ensuring its Editorial view prevails.
    Moderators are not there to allow our (i.e. License Fee Payers) views they are there to maintain the BBC's views of what constitutes 'balance'-'argument'-'fact'-'opinion' etc. It is their House Rules, their Blog Articles and their power to control every aspect of everything that is Published.
    BBC compulsory takes your and my money and then informs us BBC will decide how that money will be used and BBC is the only arbiter of 'good/bad' taste.

    In that world where those 'moderators' doing your 'modding' are so down in the dumps about it because they 'get so much flak' do you suppose for one moment it occurs to them that they would get much less criticism if they allowed Discussion/Debate of the sort that Mr Black laughably ended his Article by proclaiming!?

    Mr Black may think he is being genuine but he is being disingenuous: There is no even-handed discussion or debate where 1 Contributor controls everything that is seen by thousands of other would-be contributors. On an issue as vital as GW and BBC Reporting of it the invitation of that 1 BBC Editor to discuss 'bias' with him when he holds all the discussion tools is simply a "brass neck" too far IMO!

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  • 72. At 09:04am on 15 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke and others.

    I note that my #33 Comment which was referred for Moderation at 7.16pm is still undergoing 'Moderation' over 12 hours later.
    No polite little e-mail informing me it infringed House Rules: An e-mail of course that like the 'Moderation process' does not allow for any genuine discussion/debate of how BBC reached that decision!

    No 'bias' of course!

    Now why do you suppose it has already taken that long to consider if the Content contravenes the House Rules - - do you really think it was the 'ambiguity' or an inadvertent 'trip'of 'legality' - - or, is my contention the only possible conclusion?

    Mr Black and the Moderators do not like it when their version of an even-handed discussion gets run over by the allegation the whole discussion starts from the premise of 'bias' and poor quality Reporting by the BBC!?

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  • 73. At 09:10am on 15 Oct 2009, Jack Frost wrote:

    The BBC not biased... Oh really?

    I'll post this again for those that missed it how a climate activist successfully pressured a main stream BBC journalist to change the story to suit Global Warmist views.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=216v5AoQcFQ

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  • 74. At 09:16am on 15 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Thanks for all your comments so far. Being into a new working day and sat at a newly refreshed laptop (thanks, MangoChutneyUKOK, for reminding the thread that even humble journalists are entitled to a bit of rest and play in between the work), I'll do my best to answer some of them.

    Firstly, a number of you - trefjon the first - ask about the pictures on this blog entry. I deliberately chose some contentious themes here because that's the nature of this thread. Whether the hockey stick is broken or intact - well, you'll find very different views on that, but I don't think anyone would deny it's been at the centre of controversies involving "bias" and much more. Similarly emissions vs the Sun, etc. When you're choosing pictures for an article it doesn't mean you personally endorse what they show, just that they're relevant.


    cristobaldelicia
    , in contrast to what you suggest I'm not shocked by complaints of "unfair reporting" - it's no surprise, dealing with complaints is part of the job, and I think - I hope - that the openness generally practiced at the Beeb (you may have seen that the UK public, who after all own the organisation, are being invited to suggest what should be in the forthcoming edition of our Editorial Standards) helps to build an atmosphere of trust


    Phil_N
    , I think you raise a crucial point in distinguishing between reading scientific papers and general publications such as newspapers. I read scientific papers on climate change virtually every week - sometimes in their reams - and that's what I meant, PAWB46, by "working in the field". You do this week in week out for a decade or more, wrestle and discuss what it means and see how the science evolves - my guess is that it produces a very different impression of the field that one would gain from sticking with mainstream media or - dare I say it - partial blogs. However, to phrase it as you have here - that I (or others) "concluded that the hypothesis of CO2 leading to global warming is correct" is not right. The conclusion is about weight of evidence and weight of opinion among working scientists. It is always open to revision, and it does not direct the telling of any particular story.

    bowmanthebard, you ask about coverage of current solar activity. This is something I will cover between now and Copenhagen.

    What I probably won't be writing about, MangoChutneyUKOK, is the series of detailed disputes that periodically erupt in the blogosphere over proxy data. Why not? Two reasons: firstly, as I have mentioned before, it takes things to a level of detail that I don't feel is appropriate for a general news website - and this is something you need to follow day by day as new bits and pieces emerge, so it's a pretty major commitment for something that is probably of peripheral interest to most of our readers. That would change if there were signs of something emerging that could make a real impact on the broader scientific picture. And presently - and this is the second reason - I don't see that.

    I understand what you mean by saying "consensus is irrelevant in science" - the facts, the evidence, are the relevant things - but I don't agree that it ends there. Facts and evidence are always capable of being interpreted - always are interpreted, in fact - and the fact is that you may look at findings across the climate field and reach one conclusion, while the IPCC and other bodies do the same and reach another conclusion. And then politicians and ordinary folk have to decide which interpretation to believe. And as one of our readers, Nicholas Mayes, commented on a recent Green Room article:

    When trying to work out what to believe about the science behind climate change, should I listen to the IPCC, the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, the Royal Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Science Foundation, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, the American Geophysical Union, the European Federation of Geologists, the European Geosciences Union, the Geological Society of America, the American Meteorological Society, the Royal Meteorological Society, the American Astronomical Society, the American Institute of Physics... or George in Kentucky?

    ikamaskeip, rest assured that I have had comments removed before - regular readers will vouch for that I'm sure. BBC bloggers have no contact with the moderators - I don't know who they are or where they are, and as far as I know they simply apply the house rules.

    OK - more later...

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  • 75. At 09:17am on 15 Oct 2009, Fran__F wrote:

    Richard, in your piece "what happened to global warming?" you forgot to mention that 1998 was the warmest year followed by 2005, 2003, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2001.
    As the MET office clearly states there is no doubt about the ongoing warming trend (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/2.html)
    You will not be able to walk the middle way in such a debate. As a reporter you should be able to distinguish between a shouting minority and scientific measurements, a scientist and a misinformed laymen (or a lobbyist posing at such).

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  • 76. At 09:23am on 15 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Mr Black and #74.

    Rest assured the idea BBC Editors have no contact with Moderators is aniother fine line in 'bias': If your answers are in 'grey' for our benefit then okay, but, if its because the Moderators know it is you and not another Richard Black...

    As for your views being referred to Moderation: Please, is this some sort of street-web cred!?

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  • 77. At 09:25am on 15 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    Jon112UK @ 69 says:

    "Virtually every night on BBC news I will hear some statement by fiends of the earth or greenpiece. No one questions them. No one challenges them. No one gives a counter comment.

    These people are now at the forefront of politics - why no challenges to their pronouncements?"

    That sums up precisely what the BBC bias is ALL about! Only people such as us debate these issues on the Blogoosphere. Everyone else relies for information on the One-eyed Monster in the corner of the room. And the BBC is very selective in what it puts out especislly when it is delivered by the gullible Shukman.

    To those on this Blog who sneer at people who challenge the 'Consensus' on AGW I say. Get Real and understand how the AGW Terrorists prey on peoples' fears, ignorance and prejudices to further their aims.

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  • 78. At 09:29am on 15 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Ayrdale, thank you for bringing Susan Watts' splicing of the Obama speech to our attention:

    http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=147

    I am not a natural blog user, and hadn't heard of this before. Assuming the (linked) sound file is genuine, it strikes me as a shocking attempt to mislead the public. I wonder why this has been kept so quiet, and why Susan Watts still has her job?

    britishandeuropean, logicians consider it a "fallacy of relevance" to assume that a person's political allegiances have a bearing on the truth of what he is saying, if what he is saying is not testimony. To see this, imagine someone asking us to notice the "curious overlap between climate change deniers and skin colour".

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  • 79. At 09:34am on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Re the Catlin article of David Shukman, see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/15/top-ten-reasons-why-i-think-catlin-arctic-ice-survey-data-cant-be-trusted/#more-11702

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  • 80. At 09:44am on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    I said this earlier- #13- i don't think the BBC is guilty of any conscious bias- it's just that climate scare stories make better headlines than 'ice probably thicker in some places and thinner in others- balance resumed).

    I just really REALLY want to see someone, anyone in a position such as yours richard do an actual in-depth look to the original IPCC claims and the current 'results'. It was that 'report' that kicked it all off and it has ALL been discredited. Yet, it seems the momentum of the 'movement' is such that to this date- no one in the media has bothered to look at just how amazingly wrong they got it.

    The subsequent IPCC reports aren't exactly better either.

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  • 81. At 10:16am on 15 Oct 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    Still no reference to "research aircraft Polar 5". If Richard or anybody else at the BBC needs support in order to read German and statements by German-based researchers, I am here to help (you have my private e-mail address).

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  • 82. At 10:18am on 15 Oct 2009, petewibble wrote:

    So is Paul Hudson's blog being closed then? Given that the website realclimate told all their readers to email complaints to the BBC about his article.

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  • 83. At 10:25am on 15 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:



    If the BBC is not biased towards Global Warming and all Green issues, why has it not triumphed the fact that Antarctica has the highest amount of ice since records began??

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg

    Yes, the BBC likes to highlight anything to do with Arctic ice melting (but not the fact that it is recovering), but Antarctic ice increasing? Whoa, that does not fit in with our Green agenda - better keep well away from that.

    BBC bias it off the scale towards any Guardian-Left-Green-Climate-Immigration issues.


    .

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  • 84. At 10:36am on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    From the BBC this morning:

    The Arctic Ocean could be largely ice-free and open to shipping during the summer in as little as ten years' time, a top polar specialist has said.

    "It's like man is taking the lid off the northern part of the planet," said Professor Peter Wadhams, from the University of Cambridge.

    Professor Wadhams has been studying the Arctic ice since the 1960s.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8307272.stm
    ------------------------------------------------------

    From a new report on 'natureexpress', discussed in 'ScienceDaily':

    "During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today," Tripati said. "Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount..."

    Today, the Arctic Ocean is covered with frozen ice all year long, an ice cap that has been there for about 14 million years.

    "Prior to that, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic," Tripati said.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm#
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    or, you could listen to "George in Kentucky"
    - from Richard Black commentary above

    - Manysummits -


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  • 85. At 10:38am on 15 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    Richard

    Stop defending your position. There is absolutely no need!
    You write..I comment..Mango disagrees (or whoever) and so it goes on.

    Great

    IF (and therein lies the rub) we come to some area of agreement, no matter how small, then mankind makes progress.

    Without your original input,no matter how "biased " it may appear, there would be no discussion!....Boooooooooring!..........Non productive!!!

    Carry on the good(provocative?) work

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  • 86. At 10:43am on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    Strange how opinions are so left/right divided. The environment and concerns about it should not be decided on a political party basis and the fact that the BBC appears to upset both sides of the arguement at one time or other seems to me, as a non scientist, to indicate a non biased approach. The fact that some of us are not convinced about global warming does not mean we are not concerned about what damage man does to the environment. Global warming is apperently proven by meteorological models - but a model isn't proof, it's a guess, maybe a good one based on good knowledge and data, but still a guess; as are all weather forecasts - when was the last time you saw an accurate 10 days forecast? So how can one of 10 years be proof?

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  • 87. At 10:43am on 15 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:



    And here is the BBC on wind power.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/climate/adaptation/wind_power.shtml

    Note that the biggest Achilles heel of wind power - intermittency - is not mentioned!! Intermittency is the factor that could bring down industry, the economy and the government - and the BBC knows nothing about it!!

    The BBC is as biased towards Green issues as is GreenPeace itself. Indeed, like New Scientist magazine, it appears to be the media wing of the Green movement.


    .

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  • 88. At 10:48am on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard:

    Would you like to counter the claim of Anthony Watts about the Catlin work, headlined in the BBC news by David Shukman: “The Catlin Arctic Ice Survey is in my opinion, nothing more than a badly executed public relations stunt covered with the thinnest veneer of attempted science”?

    Does David Shukman have a blog where we can question him? I couldn’t find one.

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  • 89. At 11:01am on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    In reading many of the comments on this blog, I am struck by the ugliness of many of the comments. Not with the science issues - not with natural scepticism - not with legitimate doubt. But with the truly distasteful flavor of the comments of the denialist campaign, if I can phrase it like that, to exclude those who are legitimately credulous of man-made global warming.

    Preposterous and derogatory comments are made routinely, precisely because they are meant to sound preposterous and derogatory, to appeal to whom? There is not the shred of an attempt at 'discussion', quite the opposite. The appeal is to a block of the voting public.

    I have tried 'discussing' science and other topics with these people for some ten months now. In my opinion, something does not compute. No one smart enough to post a comment on this website could possibly be so dense as to trot out the same old lines, again and again, ad infinitum, if 'discussion of the issues' were the intent.

    Quite obviously, to me anyway, this sounds and feels like blogging to a script.

    Many of us are routinely presenting "new information", such as that of the breaking story I posted in #84. The same old lines are trotted out by the denialists.

    And I have seen many decent bloggers leave the scene entirely, or almost so, to get on with their lives, not wishing to put up with the ugliness present here. That is understandable, so much so that it makes sense of the ugliness if one thinks along 'denialist campaign' lines.

    It is part of their intention to drive away reasonable people, and they succeed.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 90. At 11:01am on 15 Oct 2009, RealistChrisH wrote:

    Either the BBC reporters are biased in favour of AGW or they're simply ignorant of the principles of the science they report. As an example, take the latest rehash of the Catlin Arctic Expedition. This joke of an expedition found thin ice because they deliberately sought out thin ice. They only drilled and travelled on the smooth ice because it was easier! They managed 39 measurements over 435km, less than half that expected. Why so little progress? Because it was so cold, well below zero! The Arctic Ice sheet covers millions of square kilometres, they "sampled" a few hundred at best. This "sample" transgresses every principle of sample selection and demonstrates extreme bias. Any observer with a shred of scientific understanding would know that extrapolation to the whole ice sheet is ridiculous. It's like trying to judge the average height of the population by measuring a few children because they're shorter and easier to measure.

    The Bremerhaven Polar 5 survey using a towed array sonar behind a low flying aircraft covered a vastly greater area of ice of all ages and found that it was thicker than expected! Was this reported in as much detail?

    Arctic Ice surveys have shown that the total ice extent, having fallen in 2007 has now recovered. Changing ocean currents are the likely cause.

    The Catlin researchers were found to be displaying recycled biometric telemetry data on their website after technical problems and did not report failure of their sonar equipment for a month. Are these signs of reliable data collectors?

    Do we see reporting of objectively assessed science in this case? No, we see an uncritical breathless regurgitation of opinion masquerading as fact. Anything that supports the warmist agenda no matter how ridiculous and alarmist is reported uncritically. Anything that disproves the AGW stance is ignored.

    There are three explanations for this sloppy reportage; bias, ignorance or laziness. Which do you think it is?

    My view is that it's all three, but predominantly bias.

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  • 91. At 11:14am on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Quick responce to the 'model' comment.

    The models the climate scientists are using cannot even model past events correctly, i.e. using past known data they cannot correctly model what happened in the near past (e.g. using tuesdays data to predict wednesdays on thursday).

    The error can be up to 300% on some of these models.

    Anyhing relying on a computational model, that is trying to predict something (the climate) that even the IPCC has admitted is impossible, should be ignored.

    Unfortunatley all you hear is 'this models says thit' and 'this model says that'.

    Again i'd be more than happy to give you the data on this were you interested in looking-in to this in more detail.

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  • 92. At 11:19am on 15 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:


    And I don't suppose the BBC will be highlighting the fact that sea ice in the Arctic is RECOVERING.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    Just watched the BBC World news, and that confidently stated that the Arctic would be ICE FREE inside ten years (smiles and congratulations all round). Yet the data clearly demonstrates that Arctic ice is RECOVERING from its 2007 lows. This is just the kind of bias we expect from the Biased Broadcasting Corporation.


    .

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  • 93. At 11:20am on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    See posts # 90 and 91 with regard to my post #89.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 94. At 11:25am on 15 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    And when/if Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge is proven utterly wrong about the disappearance of Ice in 10 years in the Arctic will he be brought back to explain the error?
    Come to that will Mr Shukman who wrote the Report for BBC be brought back to explain why this particular prediction warranted such highlighting?
    When the present GW trend begins to irrevocably slide back and figures start pointing to a new Ice Age will we still all be treated to Prof Wadhams' predictions as proven-factual 'science'?

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  • 95. At 11:30am on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    "93. At 11:20am on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:
    See posts # 90 and 91 with regard to my post #89.

    - Manysummits -
    "

    I see what you're trying to do here- but your mistaking genuine questions for some sort of persecution.

    These are perfectly valid questions- why try to dismiss them by attacking the percieved 'style' of the post??

    "The same old lines are trotted out by the denialists.
    - Manysummits -"

    The same lines are trotted out as they are repeatedly ignored. The IPCC data is flawed. It has shown to be flawed and the corrective methods they used to 'adjust it' have since been showed to be flawed. I will supply you with ALL this PEER REVIEWED data if you like. Do not take this as me trying to shout you or anyone down- or trying to disregard your stance as you seem to be claiming. Shoddy science and slanted reporting is being used to push an agenda that frankly, has little basis in science.

    If anyone is being dismissive- it is yourself.

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  • 96. At 11:31am on 15 Oct 2009, Steve Cooke wrote:

    Finally, a BBC blog where the blogger replies and defends his position. Richard, if you do nothing else, can you please let Robinson, Peston et al. know that part of the responsibility of writing a blog is to read the replies, acknowledge mistakes and reply.
    My view of this climate change bias debate is quite simple. All human beings have an opinion on things around us. The last time I checked, the BBC was made up of human beings. Ergo, the BBC cannot be totally impartial. If you asked say 300 BBC employees their opinion about climate change, not all 300 will say the same thing. This is entirely normal. If you asked 300 people to name their favourite football team, not all will say the same team. Again, this is normal.
    So, my advice to the BBC is let people declare their biased view on any subject. As an organisation, the BBC does not need to have a view. If the BBC keep insisting that they are impartial, they will continue to get hammered. What compounds this is that you are funded by the TV tax-payer or license fee payer.
    And if there is a contentious topic such as climate change and the evidence is not clear-cut, don't waste your time on it. The reason is that climate change is one of those topics which does not lend itself to short term,headline grabbing 24 hour news. You will constantly be chasing the headline grabbing reports while not being able to capture the long-term view. Of course, if the BBC is ready and willing to commission a programme that is going to dedicate itself to climate change and can promise that this programme will run for 50 years, then that would be great. But somehow I can't see that happening.
    By all means cover the Copenhagen summit as just another new item and stop there. Let the experts have their say and stop there.
    Of course, the other way is to become a full commercial channel like ITV,Channel 4,Channel 5, Sky and do whatever you want. Personally, I favour this so that I no longer need to pay for a TV licence when I'm using a TV just for my video game.

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  • 97. At 11:32am on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    Further on weather models - I'm a police officer, would any one be happy if I developed a computer model that predicted who was going to commit a crime and then we presented that as evidence at court, and they were convicted?

    If we did develop such a model would it be appropriate to use personal abuse against people who opposed it's use in order to shut them up?

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  • 98. At 11:40am on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    So the real question is this:

    Is there merit in continuing with this blog?

    In a court there are remedies for outrageous comments. It's called evidence.

    And impuning the reputation of others is also subject to scrutiny and proof, and if lacking, there are remedies.

    None of these remedies are available in the blogosphere.

    And if there is a paid denialist campaign, then there will be no end of comments, for the work is easy, and can be done from an isle in the Carribean.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 99. At 11:48am on 15 Oct 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    I had a bit of a think about how people might complain that you were biased pro-MMGW and anti-MMGW at the same time.

    If you have a headline saying some facet of MMGW has temporarily halted then that implies two things: you accept it has halted + you accept it existed in the first place.

    Sceptics are complaining you are biased to accept MMGW.

    Environmentalists are complaining that MMGW is so obvious that if you are questioning any aspect of it you are not biased enough!

    I think the same thing could apply to complaints about BBC coverage of palestine/isreal.

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  • 100. At 11:55am on 15 Oct 2009, NeilHamp wrote:

    Fran #75

    You place absolute faith in the MET office claim that "there is no doubt about the ongoing warming trend"

    The excellent Wood for the trees site enables you to check out trend lines for HadCRU data. If you copy and paste ALL of the following into your browser then check out the web page the trend lines from 1999 to 2002 will be shown for the most recent HadCRU temperature anomoly data.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut3vgl/from:1990/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1999/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2010/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/to:2010/trend

    The Met.Office have been VERY selective when they claim warming over the past 10 years. 1999 is the ONLY trend line which shows warming. All others show NO WARMING or COOLING.

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  • 101. At 11:56am on 15 Oct 2009, MrJackSavage wrote:

    I do not think anyone would quarrel with the statement that there is, for the present, more literature published, more research undertaken and far more opinions expressed that are saying man made global warming/climate change is or is about to take place than there are saying that it is not. Leaving the scientific aspect aside (science is not a consensus, etc :) let us call this the “Consensus”. Let us also leave aside all arguments as to why it has come into being. Let us just admit it is there.
    Further, our present Government, I think we could also agree, goes along with and is making policy in agreement with this Consensus. (I do not see much evidence of anything being DONE but that is another matter.)
    Next, I would like to put forward that all of us who listen to BBC Radio, and I listen to it a lot (Radio 2, Radio 4 and the World Service ) cannot fail to notice that for the most part any features dealing with the various aspects of climate change ,changes to the Arctic, global temperature and so forth and climate change itself seem to be promulgated with a given that climate change is happening, it is all bad, and it is caused by Man’s carbon dioxide emissions.
    It would be remarkable if the BBC were NOT to have an editorial policy in line with the Consensus. I can see that. I can understand that. Furthermore, along with a fair few other contributors to this thread, I am firmly of the opinion that it does.
    Is the BBC entitled to have such an editorial policy? A question for a long debate on its own, but not relevant to the point I am trying to make.
    Does the BBC not occasionally produce an article or feature that casts some doubt upon the Consensus? Yes, it does. However, when it does, it is so much an uncharacteristic event that it attracts huge attention, as has Paul Hudson’s feature.
    The other examples of “non-bias” you give do not stand up. Yes, the BBC reported on the Stern report. But the BBC merely stated what it said.
    Yes, you then analysed what it said, but not in any way did you disagree with the assumption of climate change on which it was based.
    Yes, you talked to economists who did not rate it as a piece of work. But it was only the economics of dealing with climate change that were being questioned, not the Consensus.
    As for this… http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8107014.stm I am absolutely staggered that you should actually put this forward as evidence that you do not have an editorial line in favour of warming climate change. What are you thinking of?
    This further example you quote ….. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8106513.stm …only throws a little doubt on the accuracy of predicting the scale of the impact of climate change, but implicitly the article accepts that it is taking place.
    Again…this further article you quote http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7349236.stm absolutely assumes global warming/climate change.
    Once more….this article you quote… http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7376301.stm
    ....suggests only that there may be a short pause in global warming/climate change before it continues apace.
    If you are maintaining there is no editorial line on the basis of those articles I feel you are on shaky ground.
    By all means have an editorial policy, but please admit to it. This feeble denial smacks of back-pedalling and backside covering. Have the courage of your convictions. Nail your colours to the mast. No doubt about it, one side of this argument is going to have egg on its face within the next decade.




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  • 102. At 12:01pm on 15 Oct 2009, MrJackSavage wrote:

    Yeah. What DID happen to the "Blog of Bloom"?

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  • 103. At 12:13pm on 15 Oct 2009, Pogo wrote:

    "manysummits" post #84, 10:36am on 15 Oct 2009:

    From a new report on 'natureexpress', discussed in 'ScienceDaily':

    "During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today," Tripati said. "Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount..."

    Today, the Arctic Ocean is covered with frozen ice all year long, an ice cap that has been there for about 14 million years.

    "Prior to that, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic," Tripati said.


    I can't quite see the point that you're trying to make. Are you equating the Tripati report with "George in Kentucky"??

    The simple fact that a (presumably peer-reviewed) study has shown that it's possible for the atmosphere to have 400ppm CO2 leading to a temperature 5 to 10F warmer than today and no ice caps, or, like today have nearly 400ppm CO2, today's temperatures and substantial, not to say massive in the case of the Antarctic, ice caps, would tend to indicate to a reasonable clear-thinking person that atmospheric CO2 levels are not that closely-connected to planetary temperature...

    Or am I, being like PAWB46 an "old-fashioned" physicist (in my case PhD some 35 years ago), somehow failing to appreciate the "science"?

    As to the Caitlin expedition (url noted in #79)... I and I guess, a lot of other real scientists, followed its "progress" with a mixture of unrestrained hilarity at the sheer incompetance being displayed and a feeling of dread that the stupid individuals involved were going to get themselves killed, and possibly endanger others in a rescue attempt, purely for a half-baked publicity stunt. It certainly wasn't science.



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  • 104. At 12:18pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    MrJackSavage wrote: No doubt about it, one side of this argument is going to have egg on its face within the next decade.

    The question I suppose then is will it be raw or scrambled!!!

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  • 105. At 12:59pm on 15 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    The denial by most contributors to this forum to a perfectly reasonable approach from Richard Black is staggering. I mean, are people suggesting that 6.7 billion people (rising to 9 billion by 2050) pumping waste products of all descriptions into our life supporting atmosphere and oceans at an accelerating rate can continue ad absurdum?
    It’s analogous to a single virus inside a human body. It is all very happy multiplying and consuming that body until it drowns in its own waste and kills its host!
    One person at #94 even bizarrely states ‘When the present GW trend begins to irrevocably slide back and figures start pointing to a new Ice Age...’, I mean isn’t that a biased view? Why would he believe the ‘new figures’ about ‘an ice age’...that could be biased?
    It seems that what many of these contributors are proposing for humanity is business as usual, with a large B.
    What if we do nothing and the bulk of scientific opinion is correct, what awaits us? Extinction clearly, because temperature will continue to rise beyond 2100. It follows that we are not concerned for those who come after us but only our short term self and selfish interest.
    If on the other hand the earth’s atmosphere is warming up or cooling down for some other reason which has yet to be clearly articulated, except by reference to bizarre websites with vested (i.e. biased) interests, then what have we gained by acting anyway? Quieter roads, streets not clogged with parked cars, no droning motorways day and night, few traffic jams, less light pollution, no plastic floating in all our oceans, children able to play in the streets again without being run down, species loss reversed, no concreting over green fields, no endless boring shopping malls, in short, some peace and quiet. These are surely good things to strive for unless you want that motorway at the bottom of your garden, because that’s the way things will go unchecked!
    I mean what is the sense in a person weighing 75 kilograms driving around in a 2000 kg vehicle. Common sense indicates the energy wasted is enormous.
    Why waste so much energy attacking the BBC. Look at the weird stuff the US cable channels have on their news bulletins if you want to see bias! They’re all owned my huge corporations whose aim is to sell more products!!
    Finally, maybe it should be called atmospheric warming rather than ‘global’ after all the rocky bit will be here whatever!

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  • 106. At 1:03pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    Isn't it reassuring that no matter how great the passions raised ............................

    everyone still took time off for lunch!

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  • 107. At 1:12pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Richard Black

    When it comes to balanced coverage of global warming you have a big problem.

    If it was a purely political issue then the BBC's coverage is unbalanced in favour of the global warming theory, you would need an exact 50:50 balance in line with Paul Hudson's article. I.e. equal coverage of global warming science and sceptic science, and reminding everyone of the ongoing political debate at the end of every article.

    If it was a purely scientific issue then the BBC's coverage is unbalanced in favour of the sceptics, sceptic scientists are numerically extremely rare and as individuals get disproportionally more coverage than mainstream scientists. This extra coverage is partly because a large sector of the general public trusts the sceptic scientists more than mainstream climate scientists, making them more newsworthy. But this extra coverage of the sceptic scientists contributes to many of the general public being unaware of the mainstream scientific consensus. It also has the drip drip drip effect of making people who are aware of this consensus far more doubtful than if the BBC articles were numerically proportional to the published science. Balance according to science issues would involve reminding everyone of the mainstream science consensus at the end of every article.

    Perhaps if this conflict was made more obvious you might get less flak about bias.

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  • 108. At 1:23pm on 15 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    manysummits #89: "In reading many of the comments on this blog, I am struck by the ugliness of many of the comments. Not with the science issues - not with natural scepticism - not with legitimate doubt. But with the truly distasteful flavor of the comments..."

    Very true. I noticed also how a very large number of "bloggers" suddenly appeared "out of the woodwork"; many I've never seen before on this blog.

    I started checking the "comment history" of some of them and found many were very short.

    I stopped after the first 10 I examined.

    A total of 3 had posted once before on one other blog.
    A total of 7 had never posted comments before at the BBC

    Maybe Richard would be interested to know why 7 (probably several more since I only got half way through the comments) completely new bloggers suddenly decided to register and post comments for the very first time on this particular blog.

    If not Richard, then I'd certainly be interested to hear from any of the bloggers listed below; what led you to start commenting now at the BBC, on this particular blog, when you have never ever bothered at all in the past.

    UserId___First_Post_____________Blog_Name
    14173080 4:10pm on 14 Oct 2009 Chatton11
    14173110 5:07pm on 14 Oct 2009, LabMunkey
    14173175 7:53pm on 14 Oct 2009, aquanickel
    14173178 5:28pm on 14 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard
    14173201 5:43pm on 14 Oct 2009, originaloakviewboy
    14173322 6:55pm on 14 Oct 2009, MrJackSavage
    14173332 6:49pm on 14 Oct 2009, Tree_Fan

    /davblo2

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  • 109. At 1:26pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black #74

    Richard,

    First of all you are very welcome. I am happy to point out that you have a real life too - probably ;)

    Second, I am not talking about the detail of the argument, people are either interested in rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty or they are not. What I am talking about is the BBC will happily tell us the Arctic is becoming ice free, but they won't tell us the raw data, used by all the climate scientists has been destroyed. Don't you think that simple matter is newsworthy?

    Thirdly, I really don't care about the appeals to authority, what if George in Kentucky happens to be right? Forget the source and look at the science. The science is all that counts. You know as well as I do that people post items telling us that Spencer believes in evolution therefore his climate science must be wrong, whilst not being able to fault his science.

    @mansummits #89

    The thing is manysummits, you carry on posting a lot of stuff that tells us the planet is warming, but not what has caused that warming. You tell us the "denialists" (is that a real word?), trot out the usual stuff, but you don't bother to answer my questions or read the links to educate yourself.

    Here's the deal, you stop posting stuff that doesn't prove what is causing the warming and I'll stop posting stuff pointing out your stuff proves nothing. How's that? Or you could re-read my post #67 and comment on that.

    @manysummits #98

    In a court there are remedies for outrageous comments. It's called evidence

    So present some evidence not conjecture

    @hevipedal #104


    MrJackSavage wrote: No doubt about it, one side of this argument is going to have egg on its face within the next decade.

    The question I suppose then is will it be raw or scrambled!!!


    lol, that is really funny :)

    PS Richard - This must be the fastest commented blog you've ever had - and Yeah_Whatever hasn't even commented yet!

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  • 110. At 1:29pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    soveryodd wrote: "are people suggesting that 6.7 billion people (rising to 9 billion by 2050) pumping waste products of all descriptions into our life supporting atmosphere and oceans at an accelerating rate can continue ad absurdum?"

    You see this is where we have a problem; I am not convinced by the evidence presented to me about global warming, I am not even convinced that global warming, in and of itself, is necesssarily a bad thing.
    However I do believe that waste in all it's forms is bad. Pollution is bad. Destroying the rian forest and therefore the species in it is bad. This does not need global warming or a new ice age or an increase in catastrophic weather events, in order to be bad.
    They are bad because it is ethically wrong to destroy and not create, to use and not replace.

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  • 111. At 1:38pm on 15 Oct 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Richard at #6 wrote: "I'd refer you back to the series I wrote on climate scepticism two years ago; also to the article I wrote with Roger Harrabin around the same period."

    Thanks for those links - I hadn't seem them before. Looking at the comments posted here, I'd say nothing much has changed when it comes to claims of bias since you did those pieces.

    For what it is worth, I think your writing and the BBC's environmental reporting generally, is done to a high standard. Thanks!

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  • 112. At 1:42pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @davblo2 #108

    That struck me as being odd too, but I didn't want to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist

    Can I have the tin foil hat after manysummits and yourself have finished with it? ;)

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  • 113. At 1:47pm on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ davblo 2

    i signed up and commented as i thought i could contribute to the discussion- being a scientist and all. I didn't realise you had to put in a number of hours first before you opinion was valid.

    Two points-

    " sceptic scientists are numerically extremely rare ".
    gotta love ignorance. In fact i think you'll find 'sceptics' are very common, in fact numerous petitions are around- easily locatable with hundreds of thousands of signatures in total. I'd hardly call that rare.

    "Balance according to science issues would involve reminding everyone of the mainstream science consensus at the end of every article.
    "

    not quite- it would however involve the romval of EVERY editorial/opinion article cited by the pro camp to back up their claims.

    If you (collective) could actually counter the points that the 'sceptics' were raising instead of just brushing them aside- then we'd be getting somewhere.

    Oh and if i hear the 'it's better to act and be wrong than not and be right' argument i'll go spare, do you have any idea how dangerous some of the proposed remedies are?

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  • 114. At 1:54pm on 15 Oct 2009, oldterry2 wrote:

    As someone who was trained many years ago as a physicist, and worked with many computer models, I find that the current debate suprising.

    The IPCC report states that the man made contribution to to energy input (radiative forcing) since 1750 is 1.6W/sq m. Now, despite the statements the IPCC report then goes on to make, the problem I have is that the sun dumps between 200 and 400 W/sq m on the planet, which means that the man made effect is down at the 0.5 - 1% level, which is way way too small to account for the observed temperature change. The other problem I have is that I know just how flakey physical computer models can be: the results are critically dependent on the assumptions you build into the models - even a small discrepancy in the assumptions can lead to totally different results. I would have a bit more confidence if the models could correctly produce the observed global temperature variations for the millenia prior to the industrial age, but so far they do not.

    Now reducing energy consumption and CO2 are perfectly sensible things to do, but it is foolish to assume that doing that is going to have much effect on the climate. We should be urging the politicians to worry about the real problems of lands being flooded and changing rainfall patterns; however those are really difficult problems, so they would rather concentrate on talking about the CO2 side issue and leaving the real problems to their successors.

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  • 115. At 2:01pm on 15 Oct 2009, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    I like the way that manysummits complains about ugly and outrageous comments, and then refers to anyone who disagrees with him as 'denier' .

    Meanwhile the BBC bias is back to normal today, with the usual biased scaremongering over the Arctic.
    No mention of the fact that Antarctic ice is increasing.
    No mention of the fact that a german research team, who studied arctic ice thickness a few years ago and then again this year, found that the ice was getting thicker (the Pen Hadow team didn't do this, so their measurements tell us nothing about how the ice thickness is changing).
    No mention of the fact that the expedition failed to reach the pole - because of severe weather!
    Not even a mention of the fact that the Arctic ice has recovered in the last two years since the minimum of 2007.

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  • 116. At 2:04pm on 15 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    davblo2 asks:

    "what led you to start commenting now at the BBC, on this particular blog, when you have never ever bothered at all in the past."

    Speaking for myself, I have had a decades-long interest in philosophy of science and in questions of freedom of thought and discussion. The climate change issue itself and the media (especially the BBC's) coverage of climate change therefore press both of my buttons... I would have got involved in other discussions, but really I'm too busy to devote time to them. This, however, is an issue that I care very strongly about -- strongly enough to spend some real time on it.

    First, it seems to me that "climate change science" exemplifies bad science. Perhaps it doesn't even deserve the name "sceince" at all, because it involves practically no testing, and instead extrapolates from prior data using computer modelling. Philosophers of science would say it is guided by a mistaken "inductivist" view of science -- a view that has been discredited since the seventeenth century.

    Second, when partisans on one side of a debate insist that "the debate is over", that opposing views do not deserve to given an airing, that what they are saying should not be believed because it "sounds ugly", and so on, my alarm-bells ring. They ring louder when I see that one side uses the method of "re-writing history" -- the splicing of speech-fragments, and so on, as overseen by Susan Watts of Newsnight.

    The climate change debate is riddled with intellectual conformism and authoritarianism -- with appeals to "consensus" and the opinion of "the experts" -- the latter's expertise, apparently, being simply a matter of which side they endorse. I passionately believe that this must end, and indeed feel heartened by many of the posts to this blog which seem to suggest that the tide has finally turned.

    Credit goes to Richard Black for encouraging this sort of discussion. If it weren't for his encouragement, I wouldn't have bothered contibuting, because I would have expected the usual authoritarian silencing of unwelcome opposition.

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  • 117. At 2:07pm on 15 Oct 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    LabMunkey #113.

    "If you (collective) could actually counter the points that the 'sceptics' were raising instead of just brushing them aside- then we'd be getting somewhere."

    hope you managed to listen to 'Costing the Earth', a few minutes ago on BBC Radio4, I think you'll find it "interesting" given the point you make.

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  • 118. At 2:21pm on 15 Oct 2009, petewibble wrote:

    Anyone else remember this?

    Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013' http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7139797.stm

    So I guess giving us another 6 years is a major U-turn for the BBC :)

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  • 119. At 2:21pm on 15 Oct 2009, Peterooo wrote:

    The BBC has a problem.

    It appears to be unable - or unwilling - to apply the same scrutiny to material that the internet does.

    This is a new problem not because the internet is new, but because the BBC used to apply such a level of scrutiny.

    There are many internet sites which analyse material supporting the AGW hypothesis and find it variously weak, contaminated or downright corrupted (that which is not intentionally hidden from public view). Exaggerated claims made on the basis of this material are patently absurd - and, once again, these claims are analysed on the internet.

    This is called 'whistle-blowing' and 'debate' and the BBC once used to be world experts at this - especially so where material affected the general public. The BBC disregarded the power of the 'consensus' in collecting evidence and acting to do so.

    The BBC's problem is that the internet is now widely seen by the general public as where the 'real' news is being reported. The general public's wide-spread scepticism concerning the AGW hypothesis is almost entirely the result of them seeking out news on the internet. News which has a very real value to them and which they experience as being almost totally absent from the BBC.

    A perfect example of this for the general public is the BBC's current reporting of the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey and a report of the same topic on websites such as WattsUpWithThat. For me, this website offers a far more compelling, objective and honest version of the story than the BBC. Like millions of other licence-payers, I ask myself "why won't today's BBC report similar material as this website in a news story about the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey? - or at least draw attention to some of its points?" There may be a consensus, but if the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey was little more that a disaster-ridden publicity stunt, abandoned half way through (because of the intense cold) and carried out over a tiny area of thin 'new ice'... DOES THE BBC NOT HAVE A DUTY TO TELL US SO?

    Is the BBC hoping that I (along with millions of other people) are now aware of these internet sites, or place no value on the quality of news and analysis they report?

    It seems hardly unconnected to me that there is a concurrent debate about the licence fee and its value... the call for it to be scrapped is drawing the growing support of millions of people who (like myself) would once have fully supported the BBC.

    The BBC need to put 2 and 2 together... and fast!

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  • 120. At 2:26pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @davblo2 #108
    @MangoChutneyUKOK #112

    You want to do a search engine check on "Paul Hudson" or "Whatever happened to global warming", particularly a News search or a Blogs search. Right now he is a hot talking point. It's the sort of talking point that creates genuine first time posters.

    Then this blog (Biases, U-turns, and the BBC's climate coverage), appeared on the BBC News front page.

    That doesn't mean of course that some of the others here aren't sockpuppets for one cause or another.

    (Definition of an internet sockpuppet = someone on a blog pretending to be something that they're not.)

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  • 121. At 2:29pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Bowmanthebard #116: Well said. Total agreement. Also it is heartening to see fellow physicists commenting here. All scientists are sceptics - that is what science is all about; questioning, questioning and finding the evidence. There is no consensus in science. I guess from her comments that Janeinbasingstoke knows nothing of science.

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  • 122. At 2:33pm on 15 Oct 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    Re: #89

    Would anybody please explain "manysummits" what the exact meaning of "credulous" is?

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  • 123. At 2:34pm on 15 Oct 2009, NoWombats wrote:

    Richard,

    The reason people feel there is bias is perfectly demonstrated today. The story by Paul Hudson, which questioned the received climate change wisdom, was not given much prominence on the BBC website. However, if it turns out to be true, it's potentially the biggest story of the last 10 years.

    However, today the BBC is running a story on Arctic ice disappearing during the summer in 20 years time (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8307272.stm) - which has been promoted to be the main splash picture on the BBC homepage.

    That's despite the fact the essence of the story is nothing more than this: "a group of scientists and an explorer go to a part of the Arctic circle which is known to have melted in recent summers - and therefore has only young, thin ice - and discover it's made up of young, thin ice, which melts easier than old, thick ice."

    Of course, this is nothing new, and Paul's story is potentially much more interesting and newsworthy. Should it actually turn out that temperatures are cooling, as is being discussed, then the Arctic sea ice will not melt in the summer as today's scare-story predicts, because it will be made up of thicker, older ice in a few years time.

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  • 124. At 2:52pm on 15 Oct 2009, zzzzzzed wrote:

    soveryodd wrote: "are people suggesting that 6.7 billion people (rising to 9 billion by 2050) pumping waste products of all descriptions into our life supporting atmosphere and oceans at an accelerating rate can continue ad absurdum?"

    You are totally missing the point. Yes we have environmental problems and yes we need to do something about them. But we need to honest and probing investigative journalism to make sure that we are tackling the correct problems in the correct way.
    There is a great deal of empirical evidence now which indicates that CO2 is not cause of warming. Some of the actions being proposed now could either be irrelevant to the environment or possibly be making it worse.

    There are huge vested interests behind the warming argument. Enron helped push Kyoto through because they anticipated making trillions out of CO2 trading. Most of us don’t have the time to investigate these issues so we pay for journalists through our TV licence fee to do it for us.

    Remember that a strong argument will be strengthened by close investigation not weakened.

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  • 125. At 2:54pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    Labmunkey said: do you have any idea how dangerous some of the proposed remedies are?

    Remedy to the use of plastic shopping bags = lovely eco friendly sisal bags that last.
    Result of increase in sales of sisal bags = rain forest in Madagascar cut down to make way for sisal plantations

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  • 126. At 2:57pm on 15 Oct 2009, eddhind wrote:

    I think the regulars on the board may have exhausted each other on the topic of global warming. I would like to stay on the topic of CO2 but highlight another problem with rising CO2 levels. I also hope it is a topic that future BBC blogs can address as it came up a year ago, but has gone quiet since. The problem is OCEAN ACIDIFICATION. It is a problem with impact potentially even more serious than warming... and it is due to anthropogenically raised CO2 levels... not due to solar warming! I would be interested to see if people divide up the same as on the warming issue on this one... or whether they can come to a new topic with a fresh approach. Please BBC... cover this debate more as well! Of course I don't believe it is a debate... just a problem that we need to address... although I am sure it will become a debate! The document below is an ace introduction for those who don't know about Ocean Acidification.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 127. At 2:58pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    results are critically dependent on the assumptions you build into the models - even a small discrepancy in the assumptions can lead to totally different results.

    Classic definition; to Assume - makes an Ass of U and Me

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  • 128. At 2:59pm on 15 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    My #108 cont'd

    With apologies to genuine bloggers and thanks to those who responded so far.
    The list goes on...

    UserId____First_Post_____________Blog_Name
    14129962 08:25am on 15 Oct 2009, mjholm
    14146396 _1:54pm on 15 Oct 2009, oldterry2

    14173080 _4:10pm on 14 Oct 2009 Chatton11
    14173110 _5:07pm on 14 Oct 2009, LabMunkey
    14173175 _7:53pm on 14 Oct 2009, aquanickel
    14173178 _5:28pm on 14 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard
    14173201 _5:43pm on 14 Oct 2009, originaloakviewboy
    14173322 _6:55pm on 14 Oct 2009, MrJackSavage
    14173332 _6:49pm on 14 Oct 2009, Tree_Fan
    14173663 00:32am on 15 Oct 2009, Ayrdale
    14173679 01:30am on 15 Oct 2009, pmagnus
    14173745 09:17am on 15 Oct 2009, Fran__F
    14173814 11:01am on 15 Oct 2009, RealistChrisH
    14173969 _2:21pm on 15 Oct 2009, Peterooo
    14174016 _2:34pm on 15 Oct 2009, NoWombats

    Replies
    LabMunkey "...as i thought i could contribute to the discussion"
    bowmanthebard "This... is an issue that I care very strongly about"

    Maybe Richard has just stirred up a "hornets nest".
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but most of the new sign-ups appear to be negative on the impartiality question.

    /davblo2

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  • 129. At 3:04pm on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    "117. At 2:07pm on 15 Oct 2009, jr4412 wrote:
    LabMunkey #113.

    "If you (collective) could actually counter the points that the 'sceptics' were raising instead of just brushing them aside- then we'd be getting somewhere."

    hope you managed to listen to 'Costing the Earth', a few minutes ago on BBC Radio4, I think you'll find it "interesting" given the point you make.
    "

    no i didn't- i was actually in the lab and there's no radio there.

    What was it about, dare i ask ....

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  • 130. At 3:07pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @LabMunkey #113

    You seem to be confusing davblo 2 with me.

    As my comment was about coverage of the science I would have thought it obvious from the context that I was talking about climate scientists rather than all scientists. Or perhaps you know something about oncologists and neurologists that I don't?

    However, since you bring the subject up, I believe opinion polls show that even scientists with a non-climate discipline are mainly supportive of global warming theory, a much higher proportion than the general public.

    Coverage of science needs to discriminate clearly between opinion, peer reviewed papers, investigative journalism, and other forms of investigation, and is dominated by peer reviewed work. For non-controversial science subjects your point about pro- and anti- opinions is partially irrelevant and partially automatically covered by the above.

    Personally I would like my camp to counter more of the political arguments against global warming as I suspect that a lot of people are forced by the complexity of the subject to resort to them.

    PS, as to the more dangerous proposed remedies, space mirrors and the like, yes the environmental lobby does not like them any more than the sceptics, they almost certainly won't get used until the public is begging for them. Personally I would hope for less damaging technologies that would deal with other problems as well. Solar energy, design efficiencies, and (if it's ever ready) fusion would help fix peak oil and ocean acidification as well as global warming.

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  • 131. At 3:11pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    Perterooo said: A perfect example of this for the general public is the BBC's current reporting of the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey and a report of the same topic on websites such as WattsUpWithThat. For me, this website offers a far more compelling, objective

    re WattsUpWithThat - I'm sorry compelling yes but objective?
    The definition of objective is not that you agree with it. The definition of objective is - thefreedictionary = Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: an objective appraisal.
    I think the BBC tries to achieve this standard

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  • 132. At 3:13pm on 15 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    PAWB46 #121: "I guess from her comments that Janeinbasingstoke knows nothing of science."

    Insult the person...? Rather "below the belt"; as manysummits said; "ulgy comments".

    PAWB46 #121: "All scientists are sceptics - that is what science is all about;..."

    It makes me wonder; if healthy scepticism is so important, that all the counter arguments (to AGW) I see presented by bloggers and blog-sites are so absolute and factual and irrefutable.

    /davblo2

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  • 133. At 3:15pm on 15 Oct 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    In the latest twist of events, the "ice free" story has now been classified as "Europe". Why, Canadians (and people in Siberia) obviously have nothing to worry about.

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  • 134. At 3:19pm on 15 Oct 2009, Bryn wrote:

    It's about time that Richard Black came clean and admitted the BBCs huge corporate bias against toasters! Yes, if you look at this authoritative webpage (damn! Link broken again!) constructed from string and glue by acknowlegded experts with their own pens and fanzines and industry sponsorship (oops) and everything I think you will agree that the curve shows a remarkable similarity between the so called global warming trend and the rising global use of the electric toaster. Coincidence? I don't think so! yet Where Oh Where is the BBC reporting this? What more proof do we need of extreme green left wing guardian reading socialist bias than this? They take our money and they refuse - yes refuse - to tell us about the toasters! On your bike Mr Black!

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  • 135. At 3:21pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    NoWombats said: However, today the BBC is running a story on Arctic ice disappearing during the summer in 20 years time (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8307272.stm) - which has been promoted to be the main splash picture on the BBC homepage.

    No it's not on the front page

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  • 136. At 3:24pm on 15 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Interesting variation in title.

    Here, Richard's article is entitled...

    "Biases, U-turns, and the BBC's climate coverage"

    On the BBC "Science & Environment" page, it is shown as...

    "Our climate coverage: No bias, U-turn or agenda"

    Maybe that's what's attracting the hornets.

    (I wonder; who slipped the "No" in?)

    /davblo2

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  • 137. At 3:26pm on 15 Oct 2009, Physicsist wrote:

    The only stories about climate change that appear on the BBC are about disasters or imminent catastrophes. Newsworthiness seems to govern reporting. The truth of the reports is never investigated in any scientific manner. There is a general implication that if it is suggested by some researcher then it must be true! It is extremely sloppy journalism of a type that would be considered unacceptable in any other sphere of reporting. Perhaps most of the reporters have Arts degrees rather than science based degrees. How else can you explain your reporting of ships using the North East Passage as a short cut route to the far east as something "new" and therefore implying that the Artic ice is retreating? The North East passage has been used regularly since the mid 1930s. I suspect your reporters were confusing North East passage and North West passage across the Artcic. How sloppy can you get! I don't believe there is a deliberate bias in reporting, I just feel the journalists lose their inquiring faculties. They have been told something so many times they do not question it. This is a far greater accusation than being deliberately misleading towards the public. It is incompetence of such a level that the BBC will run the danger of losing the trust that people have in their reports.
    Why do we not have anyone questioning the funding of these researchers? They have to mention some possible catastrophe to support their research. Why are there not the reporters who supposedly specialse in these areas who have the knowledge to question them critically as happens in economics or politics?
    Why do your reporters always mention that the science is proven and that tehre is a consensus? Science does not work by consensus! Popper's maxim was that the possibility of disproving something was the key element in science. A theory cannot withstand one negative fact. Yet these climate model computers have been so bad with their predictions that the "negative facts" come thick and fast. Science , by its nature, is never "settled". The bbc should reflect this and not be a timid slave to a political orthodoxy.

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  • 138. At 3:33pm on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Labmunkey said: do you have any idea how dangerous some of the proposed remedies are?

    Remedy to the use of plastic shopping bags = lovely eco friendly sisal bags that last.
    Result of increase in sales of sisal bags = rain forest in Madagascar cut down to make way for sisal plantations

    exibit a. ta.

    Was refering to the more drastic curb CO2 methods (iron filings and all that jazz) but that'll do nicely. Don't even get me started on biofeuls.

    Put it this way- if they were really serious about curbing c02 emissions and not just, say, making a killing of taxing it- they'd make all rainforests national parks and place armed guards at the boarders to prevent logging.

    Hell, pay each loggin company 10 million dolars to stop work. Still work out significantly cheaper than thousands of wind turbines that don't really do that much....

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  • 139. At 3:39pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    I believe opinion polls show that even scientists with a non-climate discipline are mainly supportive of global warming theory, a much higher proportion than the general public.


    of course that's where the funding for research is.... cynical I know, I slap my wrists.

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  • 140. At 3:40pm on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    " I believe opinion polls show that even scientists with a non-climate discipline are mainly supportive of global warming theory, a much higher proportion than the general public.
    "
    you do know the planets been cooling for the last few years right, drastically so this year??

    http://www.dailytech.com/Temperature+Monitors+Report+Worldwide+Global+Cooling/article10866.htm

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3624242/There-IS-a-problem-with-global-warming...-it-stopped-in-1998.html

    There's also that issue of the petition i mentioned earlier with thousands of scientists who do not agree with the global warming theory

    http://www.oism.org/pproject/ this is the one, just in america. there's kinds of this world wide. So yeah, the consensus is great.

    Oh- and if i did confuse you, or anyone with another poster then i apologise- the problem of blogging and doing labwork at the same time i'm afraid!

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  • 141. At 3:49pm on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    " It makes me wonder; if healthy scepticism is so important, that all the counter arguments (to AGW) I see presented by bloggers and blog-sites are so absolute and factual and irrefutable"

    The arguments they make are not, nothing is- that's the point.

    However a lot of the factual information they, and other sceptics present is simply ignored...

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  • 142. At 3:55pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    davblo2 #132:

    Let Jane tell us. Nothing below the belt or ugly in my comment. If she knows about science she should know about scepticism and scientific consensus.

    I suggest you read bowmanthebard a #116.

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  • 143. At 3:57pm on 15 Oct 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    LabMunkey #129.

    from their webpage: "Costing the Earth finds out about those who continue to campaign on the planet's behalf; is it really getting harder for them to make an impact on how we and our governments behave?"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n51z5#synopsis

    and http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006r4wn for iplayer.

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  • 144. At 4:00pm on 15 Oct 2009, NoWombats wrote:

    hevipedal

    Actually the Arctic ice melt story is on the front page - there are four splash images/stories and one randomly displays when you view the page. Refresh your browser a few times and you'll see it.

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  • 145. At 4:04pm on 15 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    I see the moderators didn't take kindly to my little statistical report at #128.

    I was up to 16 first-time commenters here in the last 23 hours. Must be some kind of record.

    In the interests of staying on-topic...
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned much here is the fact that the BBC, like all other media companies, seems to have an obligation to "entertain" people. To that end, news has to be chosen and presented in rather restricted ways; such as including a range from serious to trivial, and above all have an element of excitement.

    What would it take to have a "non-entertainment" reporting media, with serious and accountable vetting of information? Forgive my ignorance if such already exists; just point me to it (and I don't mean denialist blog sites!).

    One thing that struck us when we first came to Sweden was the amount of "heavy duty" documentary and discussion programs on the TV. I don't watch some much these days but I know the discussion/debate programs are still common (although some do seem to try to be rather "provocative" these days). I don't recall such things in the UK.

    /davblo2

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  • 146. At 4:08pm on 15 Oct 2009, Beejay wrote:

    If there is no BBC bias in the direction of the Warmists then how do they allow an Australian - Doctor Karl Radio Five Live "Up all Night" - to add to the bias with a conclusion about how aviation can combat lack of fuel by stating that a friend of his says that All USA and Australian power needs [well, 95% of power requirements] can be met by Wind/Solar/Tidal generators! Some of that available power would then convert water into hydrogen [and oxygen] and the hydrogen would be pumped into modified Airbus 380 aircraft, using the top deck to store the liquid hydrogen! Every Wednesday night [03:00-04:00 hrs]he spouts a lot of absolute rubbish [BBC promote him as their science guru!] and it is time the BBC called "Time" on this segment of disinformation!
    Anyone care to have a guess at the amounts of Oil and Gas that still remain available? How many years before it becomes no longer viable as a fuel?

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  • 147. At 4:15pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    remember all science is subject to change.............



    except mathematics of course; if it's proved in maths it's proved forever.

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  • 148. At 4:15pm on 15 Oct 2009, Peterooo wrote:

    hevipedal
    "The definition of objective is not that you agree with it. The definition of objective is - thefreedictionary = Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: an objective appraisal."

    The WattsUpWithThat website list 10 damning facts about the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey - in support of a professional opinion that the trip and its data are of no value. None of this information is available, or referred to, in the BBC's current article or anywhere else on the BBC website.

    Like thousands upon thousands of other people I gather my news from both websites. In time, why should I not arrive at the conclusion the the BBC are more interested in pushing propaganda than being an objective and analytical news service?

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  • 149. At 4:18pm on 15 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    OK, back at the keyboard after a briefing on the UN Copenhagen process... and picking up a few more comments here.

    Forumdude2, are you saying George Monbiot has "given up AGW"? Really? Can you post a link?

    JaneBasingstoke, you pick up the point that Paul Hudson's article has been praised in "sceptical" circles. But does that make it biased? To take an earlier example, were we biased towards the Stern Review when we first reported it, or biased against it when we examined it (instant deep analysis would have been an impossible feat - try reading it if you don't believe me) more critically later?

    Or does it just indicate that different articles take different directions - a smorgasbord of plurality that amounts to a healthy whole?

    And in any case if any one article is biased, does that make the entire organ biased? I note, PAWB46, that you haven't answered the question I posed earlier - if there were real systemic "anti-sceptic" bias in the BBC, how come we publish articles questioning elements of the "climate consensus".

    In some circles, all of scientific publishing is labelled as "biased" because Nature once declined to publish material critical of the hockey stick. Whatever their reasons, one example cannot damn an entire journal and certainly not an entire field, just as Oblah-di Oblah-da does not prove the Beatles systemically wrote bad lyrics.

    A few people including omnologos have asked what's happened to the "blog of Bloom". I know that the journalist who used to look after it has left - I'll try to find out whether there are plans for it to continue.

    While we're on the topic of BBC blogs, Ayrdale raises the Newsnight/Obama issue, which was covered on a thread of Susan Watts' blog including a reply from the programme's editor Peter Rippon.

    And I can't imagine Paul Hudson's blog is being closed, petewibble - what reason would there be for doing that?

    The issue you raise, HumanityRules, really deserves a thread of its own but I will just note that merely protecting areas of land doesn't protect all the life on that land. In fact the fact that amphibians were disappearing from protected areas was one of the factors that first alerted scientists to what's become known as the "global amphibian crisis", with its myriad roots in disease, climate change, trade, and so on. And the proportion of oceans protected is far, far less - less than 1%.

    Dansat, thanks for your kind comments - just a note that a bit of confusion has crept in here between the article I wrote, headlined "Pause in Arctic's melting trend", and the one Paul Hudson wrote, headlined "What happened to global warming?" (This relates to Fran_F as well.)

    Grumpy-mike, thanks for your kind comments too - and indeed to everyone who's been writing things that bring joy to a humble hack's heart - and I'm glad you mentioned my "Hijacked by climate change" article and the radio programme that went with it. Yes, I did receive a little flak in some quarters - but I've been pleased that people in the environment community (who would be pleased to have HumanityRules refer to them as "green") who've been involved with a range of issues over a long period have generally been positive about it.

    Jon112uk, you're simply wrong to suggest we never challenge or query environment groups. "Hijacked by climate change" is one example - here's another and here's another. There are many more.

    Ikamaskeip, once again you're just wrong on how these threads are moderated - sorry, but you are.

    TateLyle, your point suggests you see Arctic and Antarctic sea ice as equally important. They aren't. The southern high latitudes are dominated by land-based ice; the northern high latitudes by sea ice. In addition, the bulk of the southern ice mass is partially "insulated" from global climatic change, which the Arctic is not.

    There is no prospect of imminent mass ice loss in the south at the moment (which is not to dismiss longer-term concerns). But the northern ice is much more prone to a rapid melt for the reasons I've noted above. This is a news website, and a more dynamic situation obviously generates more news than a relatively static one. To me, the notion that there is symmetry is false - analogously false to the idea that there is a symmetry between "warmers" and "sceptics", as discussed above.

    In regard to the "recovery" of the Arctic sea ice - well, yes, we did report it (as highlighted in my original post) but did not claim it was a long-term recovery, for the reasons discussed above.

    Manysummits, I read here with appreciation (as often) your eloquence and the breadth of your perspective. I don't think slanging matches do anyone credit - if someone needs to say it something stridently, it may raise a question mark over the worth of what they're saying.

    NonEnglish, I try to answer comments and so on when I can and I know that a number of other BBC bloggers do too. It's just a question of time. I find it tough enough some weeks when there are news stories and feature articles and radio pieces to be done and so on, and I'm not half as in demand from TV and radio programmes as Nick Robinson or Robert Peston.

    MrJackSavage, if you don't find the examples I've cited in the original post compelling, try this or this or this. And we do have an editorial policy - clearly outlined by the BBC Trust, as discussed above.

    NoWombats - and why not, by the way, what's wrong with wombats? - the line that we didn't give Paul Hudson's article much prominence (promulgated by the Daily Telegraph blog) is plain wrong. Like any feature article - and this was a feature, not a news story, as should have been (but clearly was not) clear to The Guardian - are placed on what we term "promo bars", the grey strips across the middle and bottom of each index page. This is where my ugly mug resides right now. As newer features come in, the older ones slip further down the page and eventually off the end. Paul's article stayed on the index for several days, and he did a related TV piece on The Politics Show - hardly tucking something away.

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  • 150. At 4:21pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    NoWombats

    Either I'm blind, you're stuck on an old page, or the BBC conspiracy is preventing me seeing..............

    whatever , it's not there...................

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  • 151. At 4:22pm on 15 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ jr4412 #143.

    i'll give it a look, thanks for the linky.

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  • 152. At 4:23pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    ice-free - found it but on the science page only not front page of news

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  • 153. At 4:26pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard #149: I thought I'd responded to you at #11; but you didn't respond to my #11.

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  • 154. At 4:28pm on 15 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    Richard said : just as Oblah-di Oblah-da does not prove the Beatles systemically wrote bad lyrics.


    Careful, it's bad enough to offend the 2 sidess of the eco arguement but to offend the Beatleista!

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  • 155. At 4:30pm on 15 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    It’s strange that many of the contributors on here who for some reason will not accept any data or research findings that implicate carbon (or perhaps more importantly hydrocarbons – bit of a giveaway there) as a possible factor in climate change but get all concerned about all other forms of pollution (see comment #124) and such things as Madagascan rain forests (see comment #125) (which I agree should be saved although Wikipedia says ‘since the arrival of humans there 2000 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90% of its original forest – yes, it’s us again.).
    Why is doing ‘something’ not better than doing nothing – if bias is not present then both approaches would be equally valid.
    I agree with JaneBasingstoke at #120. Some of the commentators on this message board seem to be arguing in favour of business as usual for fossil fuels at any cost!
    Debate is useless!
    By the way, I’m an expert physicist...
    Shh! don’t tell them I lied about that...

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  • 156. At 4:41pm on 15 Oct 2009, NoWombats wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 157. At 4:57pm on 15 Oct 2009, NoWombats wrote:

    Richard

    Thanks for addressing my comment. However, your reply does beg the following questions:

    Why was Paul Hudson's article a feature piece not a news story - why did no-one pick it up and make it new? And if it was written as a news story, would it have been given the prominence of today's Arctic ice melt story?

    My own belief, which of course I cannot prove, is that it would not. My feeling about BBC coverage across the board is that the various editors, news editors and producers simply would not allow a story questioning the reality of global warming to have huge prominence on any of the outlets - certainly not remotely equivalent to the Arctic ice melt story (which I'm sure I'll see all over TV news tonight).

    If you wanted to, you could easily get enough proper scientists (those people we are often told do not exist) to question or even refute other scientists' theories on man-made global warming. However, I'd be willing to bet you'd struggle to achieve any degree of prominence for the piece. Who knows, could it even damage your career at the Beeb?

    By the way I now note that the BBC's main homepage is not now using the Arctic ice melt story as one of its splash images/stories.

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  • 158. At 4:59pm on 15 Oct 2009, vabchva wrote:

    You are an “environment correspondent”. Your job depends on the existence of climate fear. In America, the climate fear industry was first funded during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. Back then, Climate Fear Profiteer Scientists used the fear of an Ice Age to obtain research funds. When the extremely complex natural climate cycle began a warming trend, the Climate Fear Profiteer Scientists had to changed to their CO2-end-of-the-world scam. The creation and continued existence of “environment correspondent” jobs depends on the existence of climate fear. Give the Climate Fear Profiteer Scientists cover until they can come up with a new climate fear scenario. For your job’s sake, don’t start writing unbiased climate articles.

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  • 159. At 5:03pm on 15 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    I think it's quite evident that the BBC is biased toward the idea of man-made warming - and it's appalling journalism. It's a shame that they don't present an opposing view when interviewing either a Warmist or a Warming-sceptic. They do when interviewing politicians, and I can see no difference. Both have theories! We've seen the ridiculous reports on Pacific islands 'engulfed by rising sea levels caused by man-made emissions' and any crackpot theory on warming gets an airing on the BBC - like an ice-free Arctic in 10 years! Pen Hadow is doing the rounds today after his pathetic trip to the Arctic where he very nearly killed himself. He's just been on R4's Material World and brilliantly shown that he knows virtually nothing about the subject of ice at the north. The fact that he had to give up without even getting halfway there should have meant that the BBC would have nothing to do with him, but didn't. Of course, as time goes on and the increase in warming that ended 11 years ago evidently becomes known as the fraud that it is, then even the BBC will have to fall into line. Thing is though, we sceptics are taking names, and don't think we won't remind all those journalists who didn't do their job.

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  • 160. At 5:07pm on 15 Oct 2009, NoWombats wrote:

    hevipedal

    I'm honoured you spent so much time trying to validate my claim about the use of the Arctic ice melt story on the BBC home page (http://www.bbc.co.uk).

    However, just because you failed to find it does not mean it wasn't there.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that with the personalization options available on the homepage that perhaps yours was not showing it, however mine certainly was. And, there's no point looking now, because it is no longer being used on the front. But, for most of the afternoon, it was being used as one of four rotating splash images/stories on the main BBC home page (the one I was seeing). Which of the four splash images is displayed when you look at the page is random - if you refresh your web browser, you'll see it switches to another one.

    Of course, I could be making the whole thing up to try to slander the BBC over bias towards climageddon theories - but it would be a bit of a weak attempt.

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  • 161. At 5:21pm on 15 Oct 2009, NoWombats wrote:

    Can I just clarify my comment #156 as I rather feel a bit done over.

    All I did was press the Post Comment button without entering any text (don't ask me why, I was having a moment).

    However, the message "This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules." makes my post look rather sinister and offensive or something. I can assure you it was not.

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  • 162. At 5:23pm on 15 Oct 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    Still waiting for an example of inadvertent non-warmist bias at BBC News...come on guys and gals, there HAS to be something, somewhere where by mistake BBC News has presented a story in less a warmist light as it should have been!

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  • 163. At 5:31pm on 15 Oct 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    vabchva #158.

    "The creation and continued existence of “environment correspondent” jobs depends on the existence of climate fear."

    there's more to environment than just climate, see http://na.unep.net/digital_atlas2/

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  • 164. At 5:31pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Labmunkey #140

    It gets cooler at night, does that mean it won't warm up in summer?
    Sometimes there's a late frost in spring, does that mean it won't warm up in summer?
    It gets colder in winter, does that mean it won't warm up in an El Nino?
    It gets cooler in a la Nina, but that doesn't mean it won't warm up due to global warming.

    The stats involved in global warming are a pig, but they have been done. Mainstream climate consensus has included all of the above in calculations, plus more stuff like sunspots and the extremely drawn out Milankovitch cycles.

    I don't have time to defend the whole scientific consensus on climate change. My post was about the presence of that scientific consensus, which most sceptic climate scientists acknowledge, even though they obviously disapprove.

    And as for that petition. Firstly it doesn't refer to climate scientists, just scientists. (The late Edward Teller is a physicist not a climate scientist.) And as for the opinion of scientists in non-climate disciplines in general, why is one petition more valuable than many opinion polls? Particularly a petition where the proportion of scientists that have signed is unclear?

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  • 165. At 5:41pm on 15 Oct 2009, zzzzzzed wrote:

    soveryodd wrote:
    "It’s strange that many of the contributors on here who for some reason will not accept any data or research findings that implicate carbon"

    Would you care to give us some evidence that CO2 is driving climate change – or has ever driven climate change at any time in the earth’s history – I haven’t seen any yet.

    CO2 levels have been up to ten times higher in the past but at the same time temperatures were much lower. The heat bubble in the lower troposphere that the IPCC says would be the indicator of CO2 led warming hasn’t been found. That is why many people are sceptical – we have looked carefully at the evidence and it doesn’t add up.

    If you can produce some evidence to support the theory I would genuinely like to see it and may become a believer.

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  • 166. At 5:56pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Richard Black

    After reading it I had to go away and check elsewhere that there wasn't some big announcement due from the IPCC. So yes, I'd call that bias. Accidental maybe. But bias.

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  • 167. At 5:57pm on 15 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 168. At 6:00pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke:

    Still talking about "scientific consensus". It doesn't exist in science.

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  • 169. At 6:25pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @PAWB46 #168

    Mainstream climate change consensus. The stuff that mainstream climate change scientists agree on.

    (Please don't make me trot out one of those metaphors that sceptics hate. I am trying to be polite here.)

    And if it doesn't exist, why are so many sceptic sites celebrating Paul Hudson's article's attack on it? And why do sceptic climate scientists complain about it?

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  • 170. At 6:35pm on 15 Oct 2009, Bryn wrote:

    #168
    And there was me thinking that we had concensus about plate tectonics and the periodic table. Thank goodness we have scientist (a Physics PhD no less) to put us right.

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  • 171. At 6:48pm on 15 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "Mainstream climate change consensus. The stuff that mainstream climate change scientists agree on."

    Consensus doesn't count for much even in ordinary conversation. To see why, consider the fact that the consensus on this blog is that the BBC is biased in favour of "climate change science". Do you therefore feel compelled to accept that the BBC is biased in favour of "climate change science"? -- Of course not -- this question is not the sort of thing to be decided with a mere show of hands.

    And if consensus counts for little in ordinary conversation, it counts for less than nothing in science, because in science theories are subjected to observational testing rather than judged on how popular they happen to be.

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  • 172. At 7:09pm on 15 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    It’s very clear what is happening on this forum. Misquoting of comments is common. Comment #165 selectively quotes me. I said ‘It’s strange that many of the contributors on here who for some reason will not accept any data or research findings that implicate carbon (or perhaps more importantly hydrocarbons – bit of a giveaway there) as a possible factor in climate change but get all concerned about all other forms of pollution...’ He/she was careful not to address the second part of that question.
    He/she only quotes the first part i.e. ‘It’s strange that many of the contributors on here who for some reason will not accept any data or research findings that implicate carbon.’ Why is carbon the only ‘acceptable’ pollutant?
    The Hadley centre at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/hadleycentre/ explains to all interested parties what the science is saying about our atmosphere. I expect most of the lobby groups on here know all about it but could not accept any of the conclusions even if they were floating in a coracle in a balmy arctic ocean! It also explains why so many of the world’s governments will be meeting in Copenhagen in December. I mean if they knew the ‘facts’ like so many on here are alleging why would they even bother?
    For those people with an open mind and a concern to pass on a clean, green planet to succeeding generations also look at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/ .
    Somebody at #158 repeats a strange phrase over and over i.e. ‘Climate Fear Profiteer Scientists’, like some marketing mantra...mm..I wonder? Maybe we’re all supposed to wake up in the night with it ringing subliminally in our heads.
    So misquoting and mantra...The tools of marketing and lobbying and all this with Copenhagen just round the corner..Who’d have thought it? Probably a last gasp before that summit.
    In conclusion all the bluster and obfuscation on here can’t alter the fact that the public are becoming more and more aware that there is a problem and it’s manmade.

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  • 173. At 7:16pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Richard Black

    Most readers of the Paul Hudson article either clicked through from one of the many external sites advertising the BBC's apparent change of heart, or, like me, clicked through from one of the BBC's Most Viewed. It is still in BBC's Environment Most Viewed now. Most readers will have not been near the page with the "Features View and Analysis" caveat.

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  • 174. At 7:29pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @soveryodd #172

    You seem very certain that CO2 is the primary driver of global warming and CO2 is a pollutant. Please post empirical evidence to back up your claim.

    Thank you

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  • 175. At 7:33pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Richard Black

    PS, right now Paul Hudson's article is the most popular news article for science and environment. Because external sites have acted as a guest editor and placed it in the Most Viewed section, where there is no "FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS" warning.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/default.stm

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  • 176. At 7:51pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    Mainstream climate science consensus is backed by rather more climate scientists than there are posters here, and a rather higher proportion than either pro- or con- posters here. And it is backed by peer review.

    Please don't criticise peer review. Peer review has given science and technology gifts that simply don't come from any other intellectual approach to the subject. Ask Galileo.

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  • 177. At 7:58pm on 15 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    soveryodd. Yes, I think we all know what's been going on, on this thread. My post has been "referred to the moderators" when it didn't even get to appear here, and doesn't break any house rules, but because I criticised two journalists.

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  • 178. At 8:01pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #176

    Peer review has also given us such howlers as Manns Hockey Stick (refer to Wegmans comments on the almost incestuous relationships of the peer reviewers), Manns confusion between Spain and Africa, Briffa's errors in the Yamal divergence problem

    If you would really like to see how peer review works, see here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5416

    And anyway, just because an article is peer reviewed and published doesn't mean other work can turn the original work on it's head.

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  • 179. At 8:02pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    With regard to comments being referred, I really don't think you guys should read any thing sinister, we have all had posts referred, even our host

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  • 180. At 8:13pm on 15 Oct 2009, SmokingDeepThroat wrote:

    Mango. All I did was to post a link to the BBC's own Arctic piece and point out the caption beneath the photo. It reads: "Pen Hadow's team completed an extensive survey of the Arctic ice cap"
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8307272.stm
    No they didn't. They didn't complete anything and it wasn't extensive.

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  • 181. At 8:21pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #176

    "Mainstream climate science consensus is backed by rather more climate scientists than there are posters here". What is a mainstream 'climate scientist'? There are very few scientists who actually study the climate. Of the oft-cited IPCC total of 2,500ish 'climate scientists', only a few dozen study the climate. The rest study dendroclimatology, computer programming, polar bears, sea level rise, glaciers, adaptation to climate change, mitigation of climate change etc etc. I think if you did the research, you would find that there are as many 'climate scientists' with opposing views as there are 'climate scientists' who support AGW. And those with opposing views generally are not dependent for funding on supporting your 'consensus'.

    As others have asked here; show us the evidence that CO2 is causing global warming and maybe we will become less sceptical.

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  • 182. At 8:22pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @SmokingDeepThroat #180

    If that is all you wrote, then I don't know why it was refered. Could it be construed as off topic? I think not.

    An interesting point on that link. The image entitled "Arctic Ice in Retreat" shows the average ice extent for the period 1979-2000 and yet we have the full 30 years of satellite data to show i.e. the average from 1979-2009.

    Cherry picking by the BBC?

    In this case, no, it is NSIDC that is doing the cherry picking:

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091005_Figure2.png

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  • 183. At 8:25pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #178

    You do know that those debunks have been debunked in their turn, don't you. Especially the Yamal one.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/

    Do you really want to go over all the debunk and counter-debunk claims?

    Peer review is the best we've got, and it's thanks to peer review that we both have computers and there is an internet to log into.

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  • 184. At 8:28pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #176

    Peer review is a poor relation of replication. Peer review has to be independent and thorough. All too often the peer review process is not carried out thoroughly and lets through poor science (e.g. the Mann, Bradley & Hughes hockey stick and numerous follow-on hockey sticks). There is too much hiding of data (e.g. CRU (also culpable of losing raw data)) so that replication is not possible. Science that is not replicable is worthless, hence the CRU temperature records are worthless.

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  • 185. At 8:32pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke

    You think RC is debunking?

    There is a notable contrast between Professor Briffa’s measured and dignified response, which acknowledges that Mr. McIntyre’s work merits further investigation, and the vituperative tone of this piece which does the latter little credit.

    As one critic commented

    BTW, my understanding is McIntyre will publish his findings in a peer-reviewed journal. I look forward to RC's peer-reviewed debunking, hopefully this time with a little less colourful language

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  • 186. At 8:35pm on 15 Oct 2009, LeoHickman wrote:

    Richard, you say:

    "Like any feature article - and this was a feature, not a news story, as should have been (but clearly was not) clear to The Guardian - are placed on what we term "promo bars", the grey strips across the middle and bottom of each index page."

    This was exactly the point I was making in my Guardian blog. As JaneBasingstoke points out at 7.33pm, the issue is not that the news version of Paul's blog was orginally placed within the "FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS" promo bar, but that the article itself didn't carry any such "furniture" to help tell readers arriving via an external link that this was, indeed, a personal view by Paul and not the "BBC's offical line", as so many have mistakenly inferred. If the article had carried such clear signposting, like the Roger Harrabin analysis piece example I gave in my own blog, I don't think it would have generated anywhere near as much fuss and attention as it has done. That's all I was really trying to point out in my blog for the Guardian.

    Thanks for diving into this debate, though.

    Leo Hickman, The Guardian

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  • 187. At 8:36pm on 15 Oct 2009, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Peer-review is a crock.

    It's a human artifact designed to stop obviously stupid and embarrassing stuff getting into learned journals. Nothing more, nothing less.

    We all recognise the names and achievements of great scientists: Newton, Galileo, Einstein, Boyle, Hooke, Kelvin, Rutherford. Who remembers their peers ?

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  • 188. At 8:40pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @PAWB46 #184

    I think your sentance "Science that is not replicable is worthless, hence the CRU temperature records are worthless", should have read:

    Science that is not replicable is worthless, had CRU not destroyed the raw data, we would have been able to reconstruct temperatures, but alas, we are unable to replicate there work, therefore the CRU temperature records are worthless,

    just my humble opinion

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  • 189. At 8:42pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    gosh! my spelling was bad in that last post! lol

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  • 190. At 8:43pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @PAWB146 #184

    Sorry. First you criticise climate scientists for insufficient replication. Then you mention "numerous follow-on hockey sticks".

    And as I said, the debunks have been debunked in their turn. If you really want to argue hockey sticks why don't you pop over to the Realclimate site and argue with Mann himself.

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  • 191. At 8:46pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #188

    You are correct. I stand corrected.

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  • 192. At 8:51pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    LeoHickman #186:

    I didn't know there was such a thing as "the BBC's official line". I thought the BBC was supposed to be impartial (unbiased); the purpose of Richard's article.

    Does Roger Harrabin carry the BBC stamp-of-approval, whilst Paul Hudson does not?

    Obviously in future it would help if the BBC told us what was official and we could believe and what was not official and we should not believe.

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  • 193. At 8:57pm on 15 Oct 2009, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Hi Bloggers and Astroturfers !

    Maybe the BBC should just, err, report the facts ?

    The headline "Pause in Arctic's melting trend" would be "Arctic Data from 2008".

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  • 194. At 8:58pm on 15 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Janebasingstoke #190

    No need to be sorry. The numerous follow-on hockey sticks are not replications of the original. They are just more attempts to produce hockey sticks using faulty statistics on the same and alternative data sources.

    I've tried posting at RealClimate, but, like many sceptics, my posts get deleted. Others say RealClimate censors dissenting voices. RealClimate certainly doesn't like to be contradicted or debate with sceptics.

    The Wegman Panel (statisticians) report certainly debunked the original hockey stick. The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age certainly existed - get real,

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  • 195. At 9:05pm on 15 Oct 2009, LeoHickman wrote:

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  • 196. At 9:20pm on 15 Oct 2009, LeoHickman wrote:

    PAWB46 # 192

    No, you misread me. I'm not saying there is an "official BBC line". That's simply what some people seem to have inferred, as I originally said.

    My point is really quite simple. Either an article is written as "news", namely it's impartial, as you say, and written in the standard, well-established BBC News style that is so respected around the world. Or it is written as a personal view and therefore should be clearly signposted as such, particularly on the actual page itself. Both are valid forms of journalism, of course, and it's great the BBC encourages its journalists to do both, but there should never be an opportunity for the reader to confuse the two otherwise you can create the kind of furore seen with the news version of Paul Hudson's original blog.

    I reference Roger Harrabin's analysis piece simply to show how Paul Hudson's blog might have been "dressed" when it was moved from the BBC Weather site to here on the BBC News Science and Environment site.

    I hope that clears things up.

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  • 197. At 9:23pm on 15 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "Peer review has given science and technology gifts that simply don't come from any other intellectual approach to the subject. Ask Galileo."

    You're suggesting that Galileo's scientific (and philosophical) genius had something to do with peer review? That's a strange claim, given that his (religious) peers gave him such a hard time!

    Peer review is just an imperfect "first hurdle" that papers have to get over in order to be published. Publishing is extremely cheap nowadays, and because academic promotion depends on it, a huge number of academic writers are stuffing a huge amount of paper into the "publishing pipeline". So it needs an "inital filter", and the "filter" of peer review exists for French postmodern theatre critics as much as scientists, so it has nothing whatever to do with what makes science special.

    Many aspects of science single it out as an unusual sort of industry. The insistence on testing is central. But perhaps most crucial of all is the way in science, unlike any of the humanities, iconoclasm is rewarded.

    If anything, peer review pulls science in the opposite direction, rewarding mediocrity and conformism, stifling originality, and so on.

    For the time being there are no obvious alternatives to peer review as a first filter for publication. But the idea that the necessary evil of peer review is itself responsible for scientific breakthroughs -- including those of Galileo -- is completely wrong.

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  • 198. At 9:25pm on 15 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    #174. At 7:29pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    @soveryodd #172

    You seem very certain that CO2 is the primary driver of global warming and CO2 is a pollutant. Please post empirical evidence to back up your claim.

    Thank you

    Why is it you keep raising the red-herring of "Empirical Evidence" in this context.

    Pure Science is based on empirical evidence. We all know that but that is not the only pertinent science.

    Despite the assertion of several other contributors to this "blog" consensus science is alive and very well and is the basis of the discipline known as Risk Management.

    Let me give you a very simple example.

    There is no empirical evidence that smoking causes lung cancer.

    To gather such evidence would require controlled experimentation with real live human beings, much like is actually carried out by the pharmaceutical companies when developing new drugs.(bear in mind, that sometimes goes badly wrong).

    For this experiment though we would require two groups of "volunteers" one for the control and one for the "drug"...nicotine/smoking.If we were to put a time limit on this experiment and at the end of that time everyone was still alive we would be obliged to kill off all the volunteers, cut them open and see which ones had developed lung cancer.

    Obviously we don't do that to people nowadays. We use rats instead. But rats are not human beings (vice-versa may not always be true)

    And so we rely on consensus evidence to justify the statement that "smoking is bad for your health". The consensus here is that, based on what happens to rats together with the observed data (gathered of course over a long period of time after many victims have died) that links smoking with lung cancer, smoking is not a good idea. Not everyone is convinced of course, there is still that element of doubt that enables some people to take the risk not to mention cigarette companies still providing the product.

    That as I have said is just one example, there are many others that I could quote but instead I will ask you again to play fair. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    You seem very certain that CO2 is NOT the primary driver of global warming and CO2 is NOT a pollutant. Please post empirical evidence to back up YOUR claim.

    You see, if you happen to be wrong and if by some absurd situation the IPCC happen to be right the consequences won't be very nice for future generations.

    No time to preview this, I am of to hospital for more surgery on a melanoma. Caused by????????

    So, my next question is possibly a bit below the belt.

    Do you have any children?


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  • 199. At 9:36pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @PAWB46

    Personally I would have thought that "more attempts to produce hockey sticks on the same and alternative data sources" counted as at least one essential form of replication, even with a different mix of input data.

    I'm surprised to hear that about you being excluded from RealClimate. They've got a lot of climate sceptics on their threads.

    Of course The Mediaeval Warm Period and Little Ice Age existed, but they were only local.

    And Wegman was only asked whether Mann et al had made a mistake, not whether that mistake made their hockey stick wrong. When that second, rather more important question was asked, the answer was in the hockey stick's favour.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing/

    Why don't you give trying to talk to Mann another go.

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  • 200. At 9:45pm on 15 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    grumpy-mike wrote:

    "There is no empirical evidence that smoking causes lung cancer."

    There is abundant empirical evidence that smoking causes lung cancer. For example, most ordinary people personally know one or two people who were heavy smokers -- till they unsurprisingly died of lung cancer.

    You have probably gerrymandered your own concept of "empirical evidence" so far beyond its common-sense boundaries that it is unrecognizable to most other sensible people. If you think empirical evidence "must" involve numbers and statistics and stuff like that, you have fallen victim to another disease -- what the great American philosopher WVO Quine called "mathematosis"!

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  • 201. At 9:50pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    No, I'm suggesting that Galileo was on the receiving end of an alternative to peer review called the Inquisition.

    Yes, that was a long ago, and today's Church renounces that sort of behaviour. How about George W Bush's restrictions on stem cell work?

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  • 202. At 10:02pm on 15 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @grumpy-mike #198

    Why is it you keep raising the red-herring of "Empirical Evidence" in this context

    Red-herring? If cO2 is not the primary driver of global warming, then everything else related to AGW is irrelevant.

    There is no empirical evidence that smoking causes lung cancer.

    Do you mean second-hand smoke? I can recall reading the Elizabethans knew smoking caused blackening of the lungs resulting in death. I'm sure there must be empirical evidence for lung cancer caused by first hand smoking. Correct me if i am wrong.

    Pure Science is based on empirical evidence. We all know that but that is not the only pertinent science.

    It is as far as climate is concerned

    You seem very certain that CO2 is NOT the primary driver of global warming and CO2 is NOT a pollutant. Please post empirical evidence to back up YOUR claim.

    You obviously missed my reply to this same point you raised here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile?userid=13967519

    No time to preview this, I am of to hospital for more surgery on a melanoma. Caused by????????

    Genuinely sorry to hear this. I may disagree with you, but I really hope it's nothing serious

    Do you have any children?

    3, 2 beautiful girls and a strapping boy

    Your point?

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  • 203. At 10:09pm on 15 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    It is amazing to see how many people are still unable to acknowledge the problems with the hockey stick and its 'independent' offspring.

    One problem that even those with no mathematical ability may be able to spot appears in the RC post quoted above.

    Defending Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Mann cites Rutherford et al (2005).

    Rutherford et al (2005) is written by:
    Rutherford, Mann, Osborn, Bradley, Hughes and Jones.

    Sausage, Spam, Egg, Spam, Spam and Chips!

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  • 204. At 10:26pm on 15 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @RobWansbeck

    They are defending some of their work. Given the context why would they be expected to ignore the rest of their work.

    Perhaps you might be better asking these questions at RealClimate as well.

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  • 205. At 10:36pm on 15 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke
    Read comments 10 and 28 from the post you quoted. It may give you some insight into how the real problems are being sidestepped.

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  • 206. At 11:17pm on 15 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    As predicted nothing new from the business as usual lobby except asking for more ‘evidence’ that carbon dioxide is one of the causes of atmospheric warming. (#172) No surprise that he /she hasn’t looked at the links I included or at least doesn’t want to.
    You guys are so far behind the eight ball on carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas as it transmits visible light but absorbs strongly in the infrared. I mean this has been known for 150 years and is the most basic physics there is. The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contains carbon 13 and small amounts of carbon 14 from living things. Fossil fuels on the other hand contain almost no C14 as it has long since decayed. The thing is, the proportion of C13 in the earth’s atmosphere is increasing indicating that most of the additional CO2 burden is from the burning of fossil fuels, i.e. the presence of the extra CO2 (a strong greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere is coming from the burning of coal, oil and gas. Why is that so hard to grasp? Oh yes, I forgot!
    When are you all going to start posting some real hard data to support any of this ‘nothing is happening’ position- it’s all one way. Don’t you see that you’re all only confirming that it is you who are biased? The public will draw their own conclusions. Carry on while the world tries to act against this fog and you will only discredit yourselves further.

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  • 207. At 11:28pm on 15 Oct 2009, Pogo wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke, post #204, 10:26pm on 15 Oct 2009:-

    Perhaps you might be better asking these questions at RealClimate as well.

    I, and many other sceptical scientists would love to... But our questions never survive the moderation process at RC. Their opinion appears to be that "the science is settled" (a most unscientific approach, especially for a Popperian).

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  • 208. At 11:33pm on 15 Oct 2009, Gortlosk67 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke
    Real Climate does not allow debate. Anyone who questions their preconceived biases is moderated out of the blog. If you are interested in an open debate on the Hockey Stick farce you will have to listen to comments from both sides of the argument and not just from Realclimate's flock of believers. Go and join the debate at www.ClimateAudit.org your comments will not be censored as mine would be at realclimate.

    Until a few years ago I accepted the IPCCs hypothesis of a warming world because although a scientist I was engaged in other fields of research and had relied on the mainstream media for my information on the subject. At that point I set about searching for evidence of AGW to emphasize the need for action to my students. However the search for credible impartial data has proved fruitless. As a result I would now describe myself as having been converted from an ill informed "believer" to a well read "skeptic".

    I am continually shocked by the poor standards of science and data analysis employed by researchers in the field of climate change. If you want scientists like myself to believe in global warming show me the evidence. It is the job of those that propose that the planet is warming to provide the rest of us with evidence. To date you have failed to do so in a credible and rigorous way and I will remain a skeptic until that changes.

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  • 209. At 11:41pm on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2:

    You are probably aware of the "Guardian" newspaper, but just in case, I thought I'd post a link to apaper which:

    "is unique among major British newspapers in being owned by a foundation (the Scott Trust, via the Guardian Media Group)."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_guardian
    --------------

    It's the paper George Monbiot writes for on a weekly basis.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 210. At 11:42pm on 15 Oct 2009, Gortlosk67 wrote:

    soveryodd

    The discussion is about global warming not whether CO2 levels are increasing. We know CO2 is increasing - what we don't know is whether that will cause global warming.

    We do not understand the relationship between CO2 and climate - that's why the computer climate models have failed to predict the past 10 years of no increase in temperature.

    If CO2 did cause the warming upto 1998 why have we not been able to detect the hotspot in the tropical troposphere that is predicted by the theory behind CO2 generated global warming?

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  • 211. At 11:44pm on 15 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To Richard Black:

    Thank you for the kind words!

    It was unexpected, and thus all the more delightful.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 212. At 01:04am on 16 Oct 2009, agwbsdotcom wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke

    "Of course The Mediaeval Warm Period and Little Ice Age existed, but they were only local. "

    That you could utter such then wonder why "deniers" like myself have jumped at the chance to "debate" the "consensus" here at Auntie Beeb is indicative of the confusion in anyone who "recommends" realclimate.

    We are treated to sweeping, unresearched statements such as yours and then ridiculed, defamed and censored for pointing out any errors. We are constantly marginalised when we ask for some sort of result from the (tens of) billions of dollars spent on attempting to prove that our current, or projected future levels of CO2 in atmosphere are cause for concern rather than celebration.

    By the by, I would love a slice of the (few) millions of dollars that "the oil companies" have supposedly spent on the denialosphere, thanks.

    The divide is huge between those of us asking questions of those who would marginalise the giants of meteorology and geology such as Richard Lindzen, Reid Bryson, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer and Bob Carter because they may have had the temerity to accept payment from entities currently in disfavour with those who would rather forget that human advancement depends upon the slow movement from one source of energy to another and not on prematurely forced, unsustainable, costly and unproductive forms of power production such as wind, solar and tidal.


    soveryodd

    150 year old science that has not been revisited by the colossally overfunded climate machine. I wonder why? Could it be that 96% of that supposed effect is governed by water and that the measurements and suppositions made a century and a half ago were erroneous and are now outmoded? Maybe one engineering quality experiment is all we need to be turned from deniers to believers?


    Any hypothesis that "CO2 caused the warming" has to explain this:

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html#anchor147264

    Not a thing proposed by the "CO2 caused the warming" people stands up to the end of part one here:

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/popper_falsification.html



    Richard. Having checked I note that NONE of the aforementioned, formerly esteemed, establishments polled their membership before falling in line with the "consensus". That the editors, speakers or representatives of those arms of government decided to join the madness of crowds without a nod to democratic process is a major part of the problem we face.

    Chum club decides not to gnaw off its own arm - hold the front page.

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  • 213. At 01:13am on 16 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @RobWansbeck

    It would appear that they thought a brand new study would be better than just patching up the amended graph, particularly as there were more proxies available. Perhaps, unlike the questioner, they thought that Wahl and Amman vindication applied to the whole graph, that plugging the gap in the graph would give the same result as the rest of the hockey stick work, and therefore didn't bother doing both.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13252
    (Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia, Mann et al)

    Perhaps you ought to ask them though.

    As for bristlecone pine proxies, I believe they tackled the bristlecone problems as early as 1999, something about drought adjustments, but I can't find out the details (broken link). (M.E. Mann, R.S. Bradley, and M.K. Hughes (1999))

    Again, ask them. You've got their contact details. If they mod you off, try using their e-mail.

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  • 214. At 03:35am on 16 Oct 2009, babybird089 wrote:

    Thursday15October2009
    For Richard Black, I really enjoy reading your very professionally presented articles on the latest developments in Science and The Environment.There is nothing like that here in San Antonio, Texas where I am currently residing.Keep up the great work, the world needs to be informed in every way possible to realize and take action on the fact that our earth environment as we have come to know, value and appreciate it, is in jeopardy, If we do not collectively unite for postive pro-action.
    Best regards,
    Patricia A. Pesek

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  • 215. At 07:00am on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @soveryodd #206

    No surprise that he /she hasn’t looked at the links I included or at least doesn’t want to.

    I've seen those links a thousand times and they still don't prove a thing

    You guys are so far behind the eight ball on carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas as it transmits visible light but absorbs strongly in the infrared. I mean this has been known for 150 years and is the most basic physics there is.

    Correct

    Are you aware that the ability of CO2 to raise the temperature is logarithmic in nature and diminishes with each additional molecule? This is also undisputed and empirical proved

    Are you are that empirical observations of climate sensitivity (real data, not computer) indicate climate sensitivity is low? Climate sensitivity has negative and positive feedbacks, which the IPCC tell us is high, but observations prove is low

    What do you think of the CRU destroying the raw data, so that we can't reproduce the temperature history and have to take their word for it?

    What do you think about all the weather stations that are so poorly sited or maintained that they don't even pass USHCN own quality guidelines?

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  • 216. At 07:04am on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    has anyone else noticed some of the alarmists (you know who you are) use the Stephen Schneider tactic of demanding a debate with sceptics and then, when a sceptic takes up the offer, refuses to discuss anything?

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  • 217. At 07:25am on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black

    Morning Richard.

    If you are not busy 28th October in the afternoon, Climate Fools Day is holding its 1st Year Anniversary Meeting at Imperial College London. Piers Corbyn will make an important announcement concerning his Solar theory.

    Scheduled presentations include:

    Climate Change
    Refutation of the CO2 driven theory of Climate Change.
    What does cause Climate Change - The Evidence

    The Solar Weather
    The Solar Weather Technique of long range Weather & Climate forecasting

    Technique & The future of forecasting
    Principles & Advances The Future of Weather and Climate Forecasting

    Details of how to register can be found here:

    http://climatefoolsday.com/

    I'd be really interested to read your take on this meeting and the evidence presented

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  • 218. At 07:25am on 16 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #199:

    You say "Of course The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age existed, but they were only local".

    I'm surprised at this statement. I would point you to the following statement "Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 744 individual scientists from 437 separate research institutions in 41 different countries." Go to http://co2science.org/index.php and check it out for yourself. You can see all the papers, all the authors, all the locations from all around the world.

    Conclusion from peer-reviewed papers - it was global.

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  • 219. At 07:29am on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    For anybody interested in the scientific method:

    http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_scientific_method.shtml

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  • 220. At 07:30am on 16 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    MnagoChutney #216

    Yes, the unwillingness to debate is very noticeable. It reflects that they are on very shaky ground. They refuse to discuss the logarithmic effect of CO2, the flaws and assumptions in computer models, the negative feedbacks, the poor temperature datasets, the historical record of temperature driving CO2, sunspot effects, ocean cycles. The list is endless.

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  • 221. At 08:01am on 16 Oct 2009, callen wrote:

    Thank you BBC. Please continue walking the tightrope and producing excellent and unbiased reports on climate change issues.

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  • 222. At 08:25am on 16 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #217

    I await with eager anticipation the conference at Imperial. Piers Corbyn has come in for a lot of stick from a lot of people. I was actually in the same physics class as Piers at Imperial back in the late 60s (what good times those were). He was one of the outstanding students and people who write him off may be being slightly naive. I certainly trust his seasonal forecasts far more than the ones from the Met Office.

    One blogger at Paul Hudson's blog wrote of him "Piers Corbyn ... disagrees. - he's not a 'solar scientist', he's an eccentric weatherman who has a 'secret formula' to predict future weather - and his predictions have an accuracy similar to random guesses - but that doesn't stop him trying to sell them to anyone who is gullible enough to buy them." That's typical of how he is treated. The conference should be revealing.


    Interesting times we live in.

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  • 223. At 08:31am on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK:

    There are various theories of how science works, and I'm a bit suspicious of any that says it's simply a matter of following an algorithm or a clear-cut set methodological steps.

    The reality is much messier, but I would say it goes roughly like this. It starts off with some bafflement, which begins to clear when some genius comes up with a clever but highly speculative/tentative explanation. Really it is just a guess. Then someone (perhaps the same genius as before, perhaps not) shows that this guess plus some other assumptions yields a prediction of some sort, which can be observed directly.

    If the prediction turns out to be true, the guess looks better than it did before, because it passed a test. If the prediction turns out to be false, the guess looks worse than it did before, because it failed the test. But in neither case can the guess ever be considered conclusively established or conclusively refuted. There is never any certainty.

    There are endless variations on the above, and sciences differ. All require a considerable amount of imagination, creativity, and cunning. But no science worth the name simply "starts off with some data and then extrapolates". That's one of my problems with "climate change science".

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  • 224. At 08:33am on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @PAWB46

    he's not a 'solar scientist', he's an eccentric weatherman who has a 'secret formula' to predict future weather - and his predictions have an accuracy similar to random guesses - but that doesn't stop him trying to sell them to anyone who is gullible enough to buy them." That's typical of how he is treated. The conference should be revealing.


    You sure they weren't talking about the IPCC?

    ;)

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  • 225. At 08:59am on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #223

    I understand what you are saying. The link In gave is just a simplified version i.e ask, research, hypothesise, experiment, analyse, conclude, not as you rightly say obtain data and then make it fit the hypothesis

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  • 226. At 09:06am on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ janebasingstoke #184

    Interesting how you're happy to accept the data leading up to 2000 that show a temperature rise yet dismiss out of hand the data post 2000 that shows a temperature fall. That's something we call 'cherry picking'. You cannot use one part of the data without examining the other. Hence the assertion that the world is cooling, not heating- DESPITE C02 levels rising. Oh, and if you decide to fall back on the 'it's a blip and will continue heating soon' fallback the pro camp use, you then have to admit that it's possible the heating stage was just a blip in the cooling trend.

    Yes the data's been crunched, but unfotunatley the way's it's been processed is HIGHLY suspect. E.G- totally discredited hocky stick data. Misrepresented C02/Temp traces (al gores film). Improper and arbitrary HIE adjustments. I could and can go on.

    A lot of people are saying the evidence for CO2 causing temperature rises is irrefutable. Post it please and i'll show you why you're wrong.

    Finally, the term 'climate scientist' was virtually coined by the IPCC and 'pro' climate camp. There may not be many climate scientists on that petition, but a large number are meterologists, physacists, nasa engineers etc etc. I only posted it to show that in the scientific comunity- there is no such consensus on MMCC- people like to say there is, but it's a lie.


    And as for that petition. Firstly it doesn't refer to climate scientists, just scientists. (The late Edward Teller is a physicist not a climate scientist.) And as for the opinion of scientists in non-climate disciplines in general, why is one petition more valuable than many opinion polls? Particularly a petition where the proportion of scientists that have signed is unclear?"

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  • 227. At 09:11am on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    oops- copy pasting error- part of your post is below (last paragraph)=- sorry if it confuses.

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  • 228. At 09:24am on 16 Oct 2009, Trebor wrote:

    It would be quite simple for the BBC to report without bias. Ask the questions and provide answers that concern the sceptics. Also, don't use that ridiculous hickey stick graph in a blog about impartiality.

    Report both sides like a debate. easy!

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  • 229. At 09:37am on 16 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    @ bowmanthebard 223

    I liked your explanation. Making something 'fit' a methodological and clear-cut set of steps is a major headache for people in my trade too.

    Victor Papanek teaches us to think differently and consider unlikely combinations of ideas. Oh well, I suppose the mythology of linear methodology will continue as long as marking and ticking boxes continues to be necessary.

    I prefer wheel methodological steps as opposed to linear methodological steps. The enquirer can come in at any stage on the wheel of methodological steps and develop ideas from that point in the wheel, while still following a process. The beauty of this method is that earlier stages of an enquiry can be revisited as a normal part of the development of an idea. If you make a mistake it can be spotted early.

    @ MangoChutneyUKOK, 224

    I had a look at the IPCC stuff hoping to find some new revelation but was disappointed.

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  • 230. At 09:40am on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    manysummits #209: "the 'Guardian' newspaper..."

    Yes thanks. That's my second port of call after the BBC.
    But I hadn't read about it on Wikipedia before. Interesting.
    ---
    At the moment I find this blog too chaotic and undisciplined.
    The denialist front wallowing in the confusion created by dragging up the same old red-herrings which many of the "newcomers" may not realise we've tackled so many times before.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 231. At 09:43am on 16 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    davblo2 #230:

    What red herrings would those be that we denialists drag up? Scientific evidence perhaps?

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  • 232. At 10:01am on 16 Oct 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    #149 Richard Black

    Thanks for the response Richard - agree or disagree it's refreshing to know people are listening and responding.

    On the issue of challenging 'environmental' groups, I was refering to the almost daily snippets from a 'green' talking head following almost any issue on the TV news. Roads, airports, powerstations, rubbish disposal, new housing etc etc

    Example: local council building a high tec. waste incinerator incorporating combined heat and power output. Compulsory 'environmentalist' tells us it will make the rubbish situation worse and everyone will be killed by the dioxin. End of piece, switch back to studio for another story.

    Rightly the council representation was questioned by the reporter - why not the envrironmentalist?

    Both you and I know there is two sides to the issue of modern waste incineration - why are the dodgy pronouncements of the 'environmentalist' not subject to challenge?

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  • 233. At 10:22am on 16 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:



    >>TateLyle, your point suggests you see Arctic and Antarctic sea ice
    >>as equally important. They aren't.

    Well, yes, you are right there - but not for the reason you expect.

    Antarctic ice is FAR more important than Arctic ice, because it is on land and can effect sea levels. Arctic ice cannot effect sea levels.

    So, Mr Black, you have now admitted that Antarctic ice levels are growing - as I stated previously.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg

    But if increasing Antarctic ice will REDUCE sea levels, as they must, then why do we hear and see the BBC continually harping on about rising sea levels? Are you not guilty of deliberate misinformation and Green Propaganda??

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/caribbean/news/story/2009/10/091002_climate_change.shtml
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8240406.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8291487.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/devon/8198774.stm

    And indoctrinating the children with false propaganda is always the lowest of mean tricks:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cumbria/content/articles/2009/08/21/cartmel_world_class_feature.shtml
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass/your_stories/20090731_atlantic_rising_mosslands.shtml
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8214920.stm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/content/articles/2009/08/21/nature_sea_levels_schools_feature.shtml



    Tate


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  • 234. At 10:36am on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Great post

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  • 235. At 10:41am on 16 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:


    >>>The discussion is about global warming not whether CO2 levels
    >>>are increasing. We know CO2 is increasing - what we don't know
    >>>is whether that will cause global warming.


    Do we know that Co2 levels are increasing?

    We are only using one source of ancient CO2 data - data from not hugely reliable ice cores. I can think of many reasons why the ice-core CO2 data might be incorrect.

    However, we have a complete record of CO2 levels by chemical analysis since 1800. Surprisingly, these show that CO2 levels were HIGHER in the 1940s.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    See fig 11

    But this is the trouble with the AGW brigade. Because the 'science is already settled' (supposedly), they will not continue research into all of the possibilities. This data (and nobody has refuted its accuracy) clearly suggests that CO2 levels are not the only factor in this debate - with a nice, linear correlation.

    Also, since the absorption of long-wave energy by CO2 can reach saturation levels (and it already has), increasing CO2 levels will hardly effect climate at all.









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  • 236. At 10:53am on 16 Oct 2009, TimOsborn wrote:

    A number of fallacies keep cropping up:

    (1) "CRU destroying the raw data, so that we can't reproduce the temperature history and have to take their word for it?" and variants.

    Raw data (climate observations) are archived by national meteorological services and also available in various compilations (e.g. GHCN); CRU have not destroyed these data. Other groups have used such raw data and *have* reproduced the CRU temperature history (e.g. GISS, NCDC).

    (2) "the totally discredited hockey stick" and variants.

    Some of these comments confuse scientific criticism and progress with debunking. Taking the whole body of work including criticisms supports the conclusion that there was relative warmth in some regions/seasons during medieval times, relatively cool conditions during the Little Ice Age in many regions, and warming during the last 100 years in all seasons and almost everywhere.

    Is the global average temperature now warmer than any previous time in the last 1200 years? Can't answer due to lack of tropical and southern hemisphere data.

    The answer to the same question for the northern hemisphere average temperature is "probably" -- there is more evidence that recent warmth exceeds earlier warmth, but the uncertainties preclude a stronger statement.

    This is exactly what the last two IPCC reports concluded, based on sections whose lead authors were Mann and Briffa (they used the term "likely", meaning between 66% and 90% confidence that the statement is correct).

    Tim

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  • 237. At 10:55am on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Pretty much my point.

    We know C02 levels are rising at present, we (thought we) knew temperatures were rising, but we had no way to show the two were linked. none. That's my major issue with AGW, the think that if C02 and temp levels are rising that they MUST be linked, when anyone with half a brain will tell you that this is not the case.

    This is of course completely glossing over the fact that global temps are dropping in-spite of C02 levels continuing to rise- which you know, right there disproves the C02 theory.... sorry and all- but you can't argue with the data.
    Be interesting to see how they spin it though if nothing else.

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  • 238. At 11:05am on 16 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Citation Correction

    I must have journal dyslexia, as I have a couple of times cited 'nature express' for an article I cited in previous posts when it should have been 'Science Express.'

    For those interested, here is the abstract and correct citation:

    Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Major Climate Transitions of the Last 20 Million Years
    Aradhna K. Tripati 1*, Christopher D. Roberts 2, Robert A. Eagle 3

    Published Online October 8, 2009
    Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1178296


    "The CO2 content of the atmosphere has varied cyclically between ~180 and ~280 ppmv over the last 800,000 years, closely coupled with temperature and sea level. For earlier periods in Earth’s history, pCO2 is much less certain and the relationship between pCO2 and climate remains poorly constrained. We use boron/calcium ratios in foraminifera to estimate pCO2 during major climate transitions of the last 20 million years (myr). During the Middle Miocene, when temperatures were ~3 to 6°C warmer and sea level 25 to 40 meters higher than present, pCO2 was similar to modern levels. Decreases in pCO2 were synchronous with major episodes of glacial expansion during the Middle Miocene (~14 to 10 million years ago; Ma) and Late Pliocene (~3.3 to -2.4 Ma)."

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1178296v1

    - Apologies, Manysummits -

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  • 239. At 11:11am on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @tim osborn #236
    "work including criticisms supports the conclusion that there was relative warmth in some regions/seasons during medieval times, relatively cool conditions during the Little Ice Age in many regions, and warming during the last 100 years in all seasons and almost everywhere."

    completely ignoring the HIE issues, which artificially skew the data, the inconsistancies between ground, baloon and satellite data and the fact a lot of the data is suspect at best (tree rings etc).
    Also, as the level of error in the graph dwarfs the current 'supposed' heating trend from a statistical standpoint the warming trend in the last 100 years is not significant (although i hasten to add i DO think it is an 'real' observed tren- whether it is representative of real events however is a different matter).

    "Is the global average temperature now warmer than any previous time in the last 1200 years? Can't answer due to lack of tropical and southern hemisphere data.
    "
    yet there are numerous places that are significantly cooler- antartica for example has been cooling for the last decade, and new york is colder now than in the 1950's....

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  • 240. At 11:25am on 16 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To:

    1) 214. At 03:35am on 16 Oct 2009, babybird089 wrote:

    2) 221. At 08:01am on 16 Oct 2009, cfallen wrote:

    3) 230. At 09:40am on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    4) 236. At 10:53am on 16 Oct 2009, TimOsborn wrote:

    5) et al; sorry if I missed anybody

    Davblo - what's your word - we're being - 'spammed'!

    - Manysummits -

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  • 241. At 11:28am on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    PAWB46 #231: "What red herrings would those be that we denialists drag up?"

    The list only gets longer...

    (a) There is no warming
    (b) There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    (c) There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    (d) There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    (e) CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    (f) CO2 hasn't risen
    (g) Artic ice isn't disappearing
    (h) Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important

    Oh and I nearly forgot my favorite (one of yours)...
    (i) It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    "...by the end of the day the surface is hotter than it otherwise would be. ... During the night all that energy is dissipated (notice how quickly the temperature falls when the sky is clear)

    Would you like to add some more?

    /davblo2

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  • 242. At 11:43am on 16 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    With regard to post #239, where it is stated:

    "yet there are numerous places that are significantly cooler- antartica for example has been cooling for the last decade, and new york is colder now than in the 1950's...."
    -----------------------------

    Here, from a January, 2009 article in 'Nature':

    Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year
    Eric J. Steig1, David P. Schneider2, Scott D. Rutherford3, Michael E. Mann4, Josefino C. Comiso5 & Drew T. Shindell6

    Nature 457, 459-462 (22 January 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07669; Received 14 January 2008; Accepted 1 December 2008



    "Here we show that significant warming extends well beyond the Antarctic Peninsula to cover most of West Antarctica, an area of warming much larger than previously reported. West Antarctic warming exceeds 0.1 °C per decade over the past 50 years, and is strongest in winter and spring. Although this is partly offset by autumn cooling in East Antarctica, the continent-wide average near-surface temperature trend is positive."

    - Manysummits -

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  • 243. At 11:49am on 16 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Thanks once more for all your comments.

    This is going to take me into realms of detail on how our website operates that I never thought to tread; but let's go there anyway.

    omnologos, you write that the Arctic story had been "classified" as a Europe story. Basically, stories get written by different sections within the site; then the manager of any index (eg World, Europe, Business, etc) can select that for his or her index. A story can appear on several indices simultaneously, therefore. Similarly, hevipedal, a story will stay on the front page until editors judge there is something newer or better or both that should replace it. It's a dynamic news medium. JaneBasingstoke, you're right that readers now access articles from a range of portals - and with blogs, we're getting even further away from the use of index pages - but that's just how the web is evolving

    davblo2, the text used when feature articles are promoted on indices has to be longer than the headlines on articles themselves. Check any promoted feature article (not news story) and you'll find this. It's mainly a design artefact.

    In response to your other point about entertainment: remember Lord Reith's famous dictum "Inform, educate and entertain" - the BBC's core purposes right from its inception.

    NoWombats, you ask why Paul Hudson's was a feature article rather than a news piece. The vital clue to what makes something "news" lies in the first three letters of the word. Paul's article, by contrast, reviewed and analysed material that had already been in the public domain for some time, or in one case is about to enter the public domain.

    On that line, LeoHickman, articles that are viewpoints we do highlight as such (for example, the Green Room series) but you're right - on other features there's no "furniture" to distinguish them from news stories. This wasn't intended as an opinion piece - BBC correspondents don't do opinion pieces - but was intended, I think, to be analytical. As the BBC Trust has made clear, the BBC's "official line" on climate change is wide and inclusive - and the tone and direction of Paul's article should, I think, be seen within that wide avenue. The fact that it existed as both a blog post and a feature was down to a communication problem, and I don't think it'll happen again. Thanks for coming on the thread.

    globalclaptrap: Dr Karl appears regularly on Five Live's Up All Night. Philip Stott, one of the UK's most prominent (and always impeccably polite) "sceptics" - as featured in "The Great Global Warming Swindle" - has a regular slot on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine programme which has a vastly bigger audience. Bias - or both part of a diverse mix?

    Apologies, PAWB46, I did miss responding to part of your comment 11, the segment on public opinion. There have been a number of opinion polls (here's one) across numbers of countries in the last few years that pretty consistently indicate concern about climate change and a desire to do something about it - more in developing countries than in the industrialised world. That was the basis for my comment.

    I think I've offered an answer to everything of yours now so if you'd like to have a go at mine - how come, if we're systemically biased against the "sceptical" position, we could publish articles along the lines of Paul Hudson's recent one, or the others I highlighted? I'd be delighted.

    eddhind, thanks for raising the issue of ocean acidification. It's something that we have covered regularly and will continue to cover. There's something of a disconnect here, I feel, between the science and the political process. The UN process is explicitly for "climate change" - and acidification isn't strictly speaking a climate issue. It's a greenhouse gas issue, but not a climatic impact. So although acidification is mentioned in discussions in the UN process, Major Economies, G8 etc, there's not as yet a political means designed to address it globally.

    I don't think you'll find any reporters here saying "the science is proven", Physicsist, though I couldn't absolutely vouch for every single article on our site. After all, it's not a claim that the IPCC makes - more than 90% likely is as far as it gets.

    The quotation you use, LabMunkey (apologies, I couldn't find the place you quoted it from), about the apparent non-scepticism of "climate sceptics" when it comes to developments endorsing the "climate-sceptical" view of the world is something I've noted before. Exhibit A - worth following for amusement, at least - is the Journal for Geoclimatic Studies spoof, which had a number of prominent "sceptical" organisations and pundits very excited - "the proof we've been waiting for" - despite the fact that the briefest of reads told you it was a hoax. A complete lack of proper scepticism on display. I've often wondered too at the unquestioning veneration that some commenters display for websites such as climateaudit and wattsupwiththat. Interesting they may be - but they're blogs, not Delphic oracles. Who audits climateaudit?

    vabchva, yours is one of the strongest statements I've seen on these pages. Let me ask you, if you would, to be absolutely explicit about your views. Do you really believe that I, and others in my position, would lose our jobs if we reflected views other than that of anthropogenic climate change? Do you really believe that I and others in my position knowingly make up or distort information to emphasise AGW in order to safeguard our jobs? Do you really believe there is an army of climate scientists out there knowingly fasifying research and data, aided and abetted by scientific publishers, in order to keep themselves in employment? I for one would be grateful if you could spell it all out - and your reasons for believing all that - as precisely as you can.

    omnologos, I've been racking my feeble brain for an example of a climate science article that has been meaningfully changed after publication - in either a "warmist" or "sceptical" direction - and I can't think of one. Obviously the intention is to get it right first time so you don't have to alter it later.

    MangoChutneyUKOK, thanks for pointing up the forthcoming Piers Corbyn presentation. It's on my radar and as always, coverage will hinge on its merits compared to what else is going on that day and week.

    Renidrag, you offer an over-simplistic definition of balance. I've used this example many times before but it is the best, so I'll use it again. The MMR vaccine. Some media organisations (including parts of the BBC) reflected "both sides of the story" according to your recipe for balance, when the weight of scientific evidence was hugely on one side. Result - a significant drop in vaccination rates carrying the obvious risk - which has since turned into reality - of measles outbreaks.

    I leave the best until last this time - babybird089, thank you for the kindest of words. San Antonio is one of my favourite US cities. The river walkway at night - enchanting.

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  • 244. At 11:57am on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @bavblo 2

    Well how about these ones then-

    -c02 has continued to rise as global temperatures have dropped.
    -Land based temperature monitoring has been shown to be highly suspect.
    -no conclusive link has ever been made between c02 and temperature rises.

    Address those 3 points directly please.

    @richard- thanks for the reply. You deserve a medal for wading through all this. Would, as i mentioned earlier, a review of IPCC claims vs reality be an article/piece you'd be interested in writing?

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  • 245. At 12:04pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Richard Black (BBC) #243: "davblo2, the text used when feature articles are promoted on indices has to be longer than the headlines on articles themselves. Check any promoted feature article (not news story) and you'll find this. It's mainly a design artefact."

    "Biases, U-turns, and the BBC's climate coverage"
    "Our climate coverage: No bias, U-turn or agenda"

    I didn't really understand how length could be responsible, the main differences are "and the" in one case and "No" in the other; and they both look the same length.

    /davblo2

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  • 246. At 12:13pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    LabMunkey #244: "Well how about these ones then..."

    Thanks I missed those.

    That makes a round dozen.

    (a) There is no warming
    (b) There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    (c) There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    (d) There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    (e) CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    (f) CO2 hasn't risen
    (g) Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    (h) Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    (i) It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    (j) It has been warming but now it's cooling
    (k) We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    (l) CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it

    Any more offers?

    /davblo2

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  • 247. At 12:28pm on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke (#201) wrote:

    "Yes, that was a long ago, and today's Church renounces that sort of behaviour. How about George W Bush's restrictions on stem cell work?"

    You've changed the subject -- you were saying that Galileo was a great scientist because of peer review. I was saying that he was a great scientist despite the only sort of "peer review" that existed at the time -- which kept him under house arrest for believing unpopular things.

    Actually, I'm glad you've changed the subject, because it raises the topic of what makes an opinion popular or unpopular. Alas, among the general public it has a lot to do with what it's called, in other words "how pretty it sounds". For example, in the 1970s a movement arose which styled itself "pro-life". That was a clever choice of name, because it made the other side look as if they were "anti-life", at least to gullible people who fall for euphemisms. So the other side had an uphill struggle to make the opposing case that things are more complicated than that.

    Some aspects of the current climate change debate similarly exploit the gullibility of the general public in their susceptibility to euphemism. One side styles its cause as being to "save the planet" -- as if those on the other side are out to "destroy the planet". So-called "deniers" now have an uphill struggle to make their case that things are more complicated than that in this debate too.

    The label 'deniers' is used to score a rhetorical point by likening sceptics to anti-Semites who deny the Holocaust. Given the way the word is most commonly used, a "denier" certainly sounds ugly. But that trivializes the Holocaust as the same time as misrepresenting sceptics. Leo Hickman of the Guardian has recently taken a new tack by likening sceptics to people who believe too much, namely worshippers at the Shroud of Turin. In my opinion, that neglects one of the most important duties of journalism: to look behind the rhetoric and reveal the truth -- or at least to honestly present both sides of the argument rather than simply adding to the rhetoric. Whatever about others in the BBC, at least it can be said of Richard Black that he takes that duty very seriously.

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  • 248. At 12:44pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Richard Black (BBC) #243: "the BBC's core purposes"

    I think I'd "tone down" the second part of that...

    "Our vision
    To be the most creative organisation in the world."

    It could be misconstrued :-)

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 249. At 12:46pm on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    erm well yes- i was hoping you'd actually try to address the points rather thn just dismiss them out of hand, as they're very valid points and effectively sink the MMCC argument....

    Oh well- too much to hope that some people have actually done their homework i guess.

    Oh, and btw, it'd be just as easy for me to type a LONG list of things the IPCC/climate camp have stated that have been lies/inaccurate.

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  • 250. At 12:52pm on 16 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    ~148 Peteroo said : Like thousands upon thousands of other people I gather my news from both websites. In time, why should I not arrive at the conclusion the the BBC are more interested in pushing propaganda than being an objective and analytical news service?

    I never said you shouldn't draw any conclusions about the BBC - what I was saying is that I have drawn the conclusion that watsupwiththat is not an objective unbiased report - we are both entitled to draw our own conclusions....

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  • 251. At 1:12pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    LabMunkey #249: "i was hoping you'd actually try to address the points..."

    The point (which you seem to have missed) is that many of the "claims" are mutually exclusive.

    The challenge to you "people you do not hold with the principle of AGW", is to select a mutually consistent sub set of statements from that list.

    Once you present that sub set we'll know which points to address.

    Until then we have a "moving target" and you are wasting our time.

    /davblo2

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  • 252. At 1:55pm on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    I gave you the thress biggies- but if you like we can concentrate on just one-

    How can you maintain the link between temperature rises and c02 level-rises now it has been shown that despite c02 levels continuing to rise, that global temperature has been dropping, constantly for the last few years (drastically so this year).

    Address that and then i'll move onto the next one.

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  • 253. At 1:59pm on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Oh i see- you're using inconsistancies in some peoples arguments to taint the entire 'anti MMCC' argument. Very nice... shame people have been doing that for ages- could do the same for the 'pro' camp quite easily. How's those 8m sea rises that were predicted coming along?? Take you a while at 3.4 mm a year huh....

    Answer the 3 points i made please, if you can.

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  • 254. At 2:04pm on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @TimOsborn #236

    Tim, could you post links showing where the the raw data is please, I know a man who would be very interested in seeing the raw data

    Thanks

    @manysummits #238

    You keep posting this study, manysummits but don't answer my posts

    here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/10/climate_issue.html#P87074877

    @Richard Black

    Yeah_Whatever used to accuse me and other sceptics of "lying by omission" (in his opinion). Do you think a similar accusation could be levelled at the BBC i.e. by not reporting the Antarctic is gaining ice, the BBC is biased by omission?

    @davblo2 #248

    It could be misconstrued :-)

    That's blown my comment out of the water ;)

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  • 255. At 2:14pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    LabMunkey #252: "How can you maintain the link between temperature rises and c02 level-rises now it has been shown that despite c02 levels continuing to rise, that global temperature has been dropping, constantly for the last few years (drastically so this year)."

    Already answered that one here.

    LabMunkey #253: "you're using inconsistencies in some peoples arguments..."

    Yes. You should consult with your other "anti" bloggers and agree on your stance before posing the questions. Otherwise as I say, you are wasting our time.

    /davblo2

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  • 256. At 2:21pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    LabMunkey #253: "...could do the same for the 'pro' camp quite easily."

    I think you'd be hard pushed to find a similar set of claims made by the "pro" movement which are both concurrent and as outlandishly contradictory as the dozen I listed in my #246.

    But you are welcome to try. It could be interesting to see.

    /davblo2

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  • 257. At 2:27pm on 16 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    The BBC comments that Sweden is using rabbits to make biofuel. My mind goes into overdrive as to what might be next when the rabbits run out. ;-)

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  • 258. At 2:29pm on 16 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke and all her AGW supporters cling to the IPCC for dear life.
    However, they conveniently forget, or overlook, or choose to ignore the one simple fact which blows its credibility. It was set up SPECIFICALLY to investigate man's role in climate change...with the express exclusion of ANY OTHER causes.
    It is hardly surprising, therefore, it concludes that man is responsible. So, all your protestations that 'Scientific Consensus' is on your side are totally irrelevant!
    The IPCC is a POLITICAL organisation which has cynically manipulated the 'science' to push its own agenda and the BBC, whatever Richard may claim to the contrary, adheres STRICTLY to the IPCC line.

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  • 259. At 2:34pm on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    but you havent answered it at all. You (collective) use the increase (which is debatable) in temperature to conclude that it must be caused by the rise in C02 levels.

    This is not a conclusion- using the same logic i can say red ant's cause traffic congestion- as i've seen both increase over the last ten years.

    The very fact that the global temperatures are falling despite C02 levels rising eliminates C02 as the main driver of artificial climate change. This is of course completely glossing over the fact any link HAS STILL not been established beyond 'coincidence'.


    Well, i'll get them all together to agree on the stance once i can get a definitive prediciton on what the sea levels (for example) are going to do in ten years... that or the temperature rises you're likely to get in ten years.... you see the issue here??

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  • 260. At 2:34pm on 16 Oct 2009, neilninepercent wrote:

    So when Newsnight's editor spoke favourably of the BBC not reporting warming alarmism with "due scepticism & balance" & Peter Sissons, on his retirement, spoke unfavourably of the BBC pushing the warming scare dishonestly both of them were lying. Presumably this is what the BBC menas by saying that when everybody accuses you of bias you must be unbiased.

    I would be interested to know how many of the BBC investigators quoted as having expressed views are among the 31,000 scientists who signed the Oregon Petition saying warming alarmism was false (this is the largest single expression of scientific opinion). Being cynical my guess would be none. Indeed how many of them have even mentioned the existence of that petition while claiming that warming is a "consensus" - do I hear "none"? On the alternate question of how many of them, when reporting on warming, have put the alarmists side - being cynical my guess would be all.

    It will be possible to say the BBC are unbiased, at least on this subject, when they have devoted a full day's programming to promoting the undeniable fact that the globe is cooling not warming, as they spent an entire day promoting Al Gore's concert to stop warming. Not before.

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  • 261. At 2:35pm on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    "I think you'd be hard pushed to find a similar set of claims made by the "pro" movement which are both concurrent and as outlandishly contradictory as the dozen I listed in my #246"

    how about downright lies then? 8m sea rises, 10'C temperature rises? care to explain those?

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  • 262. At 2:52pm on 16 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    ~193 , Jack_Hughes_NZ wrote: Maybe the BBC should just, err, report the facts ?

    That's the whole arguement your facts are my myths or vice versa

    (that's your and my in general not a personal comment on you by me)

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  • 263. At 2:59pm on 16 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    There is no empirical evidence that smoking causes lung cancer.
    To gather such evidence would require controlled experimentation with real live human beings,

    I think there is a misunderstanding of empirical: 1 Relying on or derived from observation or experiment: 2 Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment:
    That doesn't mean you have to go back to the lab. It does mean you have to be able to produce figures and results and analyze them to state what they mean.

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  • 264. At 3:32pm on 16 Oct 2009, Trefor Jones wrote:

    The BBC coverage of the woeful Catlin Expedition is a classic example of selective bias.However,hot" off the press.The Met Office have today issued a very revealing press release that the ice in the arctic is highly unlikely to be clear before 2060-80.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091015b.html
    The press release also states that the ice has recovered since its denouement in 2007 and that the cause of thinning was to do with wind direction and sea currents.This would appear to be a salvo from the Met Office desperate to maintain its credibility and its avowed intention to give science its head, following the hystrionics of Catlin.Presumably, nobody reading this will be alive to decide whether the press release is a lengthy way of saying, we have'nt a clue but at least my pension will be safe!!

    The BBC should take note.

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  • 265. At 3:39pm on 16 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    What red herrings would those be that we denialists drag up?"

    The list only gets longer...

    A red herring is something that leads away from the truth.
    The fact that you - and many others - think it an incorrect statement does not make it a red herring.

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  • 266. At 3:40pm on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hevipedal wrote (on "empirical evidence"):

    "That doesn't mean you have to go back to the lab. It does mean you have to be able to produce figures and results and analyze them to state what they mean."

    I have empirical evidence that it's not raining: I can hear cars drive past, but I can't hear the swishing sound that car tyres make on a wet road. No figures or analysis required for that!

    One of my many problems with the "global warming community" is that they suppose numbers are required, and that the mere appearance of numbers implies scientific rigour, or even certainty. Hence claims that the "debate is over", and the generally worshipful attitude towards computer modellers. But anyone who has done even a modest bit of computer programming knows that it's extremely unpredictable, and the rule is "garbage in, garbage out". Whatever climate predictions a computer makes are critically dependent on the reliability of the numbers it was given to "crunch" -- plus many, many other things such as the reliability of the programs involved. Anyone with experience of this sort of thing knows that an untested computer model can produce just about anything, however crazy. Close your eyes and wave a pin in the air -- same thing.

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  • 267. At 3:55pm on 16 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Thanks, LabMunkey. I'm hoping the editor might buy me a pint, but I suspect a medal's a step too far.

    The problems with attempting something akin to "a review of IPCC claims vs reality" are several, I think. First, many of their projections have been centred on a scale of many decades - even the end of this century - and clearly we're not there yet. Until Doctor Who permits me use of his Tardis, there's no way of knowing whether they'll be right or wrong.

    Second, are journalists qualified to make this sort of assessment? I wonder.

    It's interesting to note that some scientific groups have made the comparison you're talking about, certainly for some aspects of the IPCC's projections. The most recent across-the-board comparison I've seen is the synthesis report from the climate science meeting held in Copenhagen in March. You'll have to download the pdf file, but pages eight and nine have some comparator graphs. The overall message from this analysis is that "greenhouse gas emissions and many aspects of the climate are changing near the upper boundary of the IPCC range of projections".

    Despite these reservations, I do find the idea intriguing and as we approach the Copenhagen UN summit, I'll see whether we can do anything meaningful in this direction.

    davblo2, you're kind of right although - even more detailed point - text wrapping means the overall length of the text isn't the only thing that matters - it has to wrap onto three lines as well. This blog headline was considerably longer than most feature heads. (On top of all of that, the headline conventions differ depending on whether it's a blog post or a news piece.)

    I don't think the Antarctic ice issue is "lying by omission", MangoChutneyUKOK - not at all. There must be all kinds of climate trends that don't get routinely reported - it just depends how important and how interesting they are in the global picture and as I tried to detail above, Antarctic sea ice just isn't that important (in comparison to the ice sheet).

    yertizz, despite your capital letters, the fact is that the IPCC does analyse the impact of natural variability. It has to: how could you detect an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signature against a background unless you understood that background? But please don't take my word for it. Go and read the Working Group One report - it's all online.

    neilninepercent, I would say that any BBC editor or presenter is absolutely entitled to his or her view. But - and this is the basic point of this post - that is their perception; doesn't mean it's anything more, shouldn't be taken as any objective standpoint, and doesn't mean other people don't detect bias in the "other direction".

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  • 268. At 4:20pm on 16 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    Richard, you say: '.....the fact is that the IPCC does analyse the impact of natural variability. It has to: how could you detect an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signature......'

    If you look hard enough for something, you will eventually find it....especially if the evidence is flawed!

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  • 269. At 4:28pm on 16 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    It never ceases to amaze me that the AGW Alarmists believe they have a Devine Right to the truth on this subject and label everyone else as ‘Deniers’.

    Yet their arguments are based upon flaky science which claims to support their projections. However, projections and their allies, predictions, simply support theories and they remain theories until science proves them as factual (OR NOT).

    At the same time, they point derisive fingers at those who argue against them and try to rubbish the scientific facts which have proved the cyclical nature of natural climate change over millions of years!

    If the two arguments were tested in a court of law, where ONLY facts are permitted in evidence, the AGW arguments would be thrown out.

    So, who are the true ‘Deniers’?

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  • 270. At 4:32pm on 16 Oct 2009, TimOsborn wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #254

    I wrote: "Raw data (climate observations) are archived by national meteorological services and also available in various compilations (e.g. GHCN); CRU have not destroyed these data."

    You replied: "Tim, could you post links showing where the the raw data is please"

    Did you really want me to list *all* the national meteorological services?!

    The UK Met Office make their station data available via the British Atmospheric Data Centre:
    http://badc.nerc.ac.uk/data/ukmo-midas/

    I also mentioned various compilations of station data. The GCOS surface network provide data such as this. See:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/hofngsn/HOFNGsnStn

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  • 271. At 4:39pm on 16 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    I have empirical evidence that it's not raining: I can hear cars drive past, but I can't hear the swishing sound that car tyres make on a wet road. No figures or analysis required for that!


    No figures maybe but you do have noise data - which could be recorded as figures if you wanted - but you certainly did analysis. I fully agree that is empirical.

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  • 272. At 4:41pm on 16 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    Computer modelling is the opposite of empirical - it's just a guess, educated maybe but still a guess

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  • 273. At 4:48pm on 16 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    I think you’re right davblo2 at #241 and #246. They know in their hearts that the extra burden of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by the burning of fossil fuels is causing atmospheric warming. They are rightly called ‘denialists’ (a word I didn’t like before) because, like any individual under cross examination who is making stuff up, they are contradicting themselves more and more. At least some of them have admitted that CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere although one very ill-informed contributor asks (at #235) ‘Do we know that CO2 levels are increasing? And goes on to say that we have no record of CO2 levels since ancient times. He follows up with another contradiction that we do have results from chemical analysis ‘since 1800’, whatever that means? In fact the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in the US has been measuring atmospheric CO2 very accurately both globally and at Mauna Loa (That’s Hawaii to you guys) since the late 1950’s. See http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/.
    Somebody asked earlier whether carbon dioxide is a pollutant. On March 20 this year the US EPA sent what is called an "endangerment finding" to the White House, a proposal that means the agency found that there is a scientific case that man-made global warming poses a threat to human welfare. Oh, and if you’re a fish you may not like this ‘H2O +CO2 =H2CO3 (carbonic acid) but who needs the oceans, I mean, they’re all wet and cold.
    Oh yes, nobody answered my earlier question as to why a 75 kilogram human being needs to drive around in vehicles which weigh between 1000 kg to 2000kg. Aliens landing here would assume we’re all ga ga!
    As I said earlier at #206, carry on as you are guys and everyone will see what’s really going on on this forum and it is not BBC bias.

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  • 274. At 4:59pm on 16 Oct 2009, ikamaskeip wrote:

    Well, Mr Black whether my view of BBC Moderation and your role in it is right or wrong is no longer of concern to me.

    I finally got the BBC E-mail (some 30+ hours after I submitted my Comment!?) informing me my original fairly lengthy, factual based content and balanced critique of your Article and the BBC's Reporting of Global Warming had been REMOVED for breaking House Rules.

    It did NOT break any House Rule, but, then only BBC Moderator determines what or how a House Rule is broken so plenty of even-handed fair-play in your Discussion.

    I say your because quite clearly my contribution does not suit your BBC's view and it therefore can not be anything else but YOUR discussion.

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  • 275. At 5:13pm on 16 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    trefjon #264:

    Since the Met Office is slightly more credible than the Catlin crew, I expect an unbiased BBC to have in its headline news (all news bulletins and the front of the website) the Met Office projections that Arctic sea-ice will not all be gone so quickly as the Catlin news item said.

    The Met Office keeps back-peddling, but its 30 year cycles don't seem to recognise the natural oceanic 30 year cycles and it still bases its forecasts on those faulty computer models (GIGO as bowmanthebard notes).

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  • 276. At 5:34pm on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @trefjon #264

    Thank you for bringing to our attention the press release by the Met Office.

    Can we all finally put to bed the notion that ice melting in the Arctic is evidence that CO2 is the primary driver of climate? I accept there may be other evidence to implicate CO2 (of you find evidence, please let me know), but melting ice is not evidence.

    Analysis of the 2007 summer sea-ice minimum has subsequently shown that this was due, in part, to unusual weather patterns. Arctic weather systems are highly variable year-on-year and the prevailing winds can enhance, or oppose, the southward flow of ice into the Atlantic.

    @Richard Black #267

    the fact is that the IPCC does analyse the impact of natural variability. It has to: how could you detect an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signature against a background unless you understood that background

    Actually Richard, the IPCC hasn't been able to detect the signature of AGW, it's one of my pet complaints against the so-called evidence or are you refering to something else when you say "anthropogenic greenhouse gas signature"?

    @TimOsborn #270

    The UK Met Office make their station data available via the British Atmospheric Data Centre:
    http://badc.nerc.ac.uk/data/ukmo-midas/


    Correct me if I am wrong, Tim, but isn't this the adjusted not the raw data?

    See: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/08/we-lost-original-data.html

    We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.

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  • 277. At 5:47pm on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @ikamaskeip #274

    I don't want you to think Richard Black is a mate of mine (except in the virtual sense - no offence meant Richard), but he really doesn't moderate his own blog. For the record there have been 3 posts removed, 1 of yours (sceptic), 1 of manysummits (alarmist) and 1 by nowombat (sceptic). Manysummits has a post pending.

    I really don't think there is a problem with the mods. They normally tell you what rule you have broken and advise you to rephrase and repost.

    Why don't you try that?

    Leave out any links to pdf's or email addresses etc and you should be ok

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  • 278. At 5:51pm on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    it seems there are more errors turning up in the tree ring studies, caused by other scientists using the Briffa data almost blind:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7437#more-7437

    please note, McIntyre is not accusing the scientists of anything other than making genuine mistakes:

    Just so there is no doubt: Rob Wilson was one of the authors of D'Arrigo et al 2006. While I disagree with him on statistical issues, his integrity is unimpeachable. The mishmash here is just the weird sort of cock-up that happens from time to time.

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  • 279. At 5:53pm on 16 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    Nice post at Lucia's about Hockey Stick creation:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/tricking-yourself-into-cherry-picking/

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  • 280. At 5:53pm on 16 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    A number of comments here have raised issues connected with our reporting of Arctic stories in general, and in particular of the Catlin Arctic survey. As Catlin was David Shukman's story, and as David has covered the Arctic regularly over the years, I asked him if he'd like to respond to some of the points you raised - here's his reply:



    Hi,

    The messages cover a range of questions so I hope the following provides answers:

    The Catlin Arctic Survey: We never shrank from covering the failures and mishaps of the expedition, reporting on the breakdown of the Sprite portable radar and the telemetry system among others. We explained how a combination of equipment failures and bad weather forced the team to abandon the original objective of the North Pole. The delay in resupply flights and the resulting shortage of food were also part of our coverage. It's hard to see how that constitutes granting the expedition unwarranted publicity.

    However, the fact remains that the expedition did then adapt and managed to gather ice measurements by hand-drilling, albeit over a shorter distance than planned. Several readers question the validity of the data, with one quoting Dr Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado as saying that he did not "anticipate using the Catlin data". However, that phrase was extracted from a blog in which Dr Meier goes on to say that the Catlin survey could provide "ground truth" to corrobate other sources.

    This is where the Catlin expedition can be particularly valuable. To have a group out on the ice taking direct measurements of thickness across a relatively large region (compared to most field expeditions) of the Arctic is something that has only rarely, if ever, been done before. It is unfortunate that the radar may not have worked as well as hoped, but that is the nature of field work, especially in harsh polar environments - things almost never go according to plan. The radar would essentially provide a continuous transect of thickness estimates over several hundred kilometers. However, the drill hole measurements taken regularly over the route will still likely be valuable.

    The data has since been passed via Professor Wadhams to a network of Arctic researchers including the NSIDC and the European Damocles project.

    Readers further question how the terrible weather which the survey encountered can be squared with the notion of warming. The expedition took place in the tail-end of winter. That was always the plan both because it's the state of the winter ice that scientists find most useful (before the summer melt) and because any expedition needs to be completed before the ice breaks up.

    Professor Peter Wadhams: Like any academic he inevitably needs funding - there's nothing unusual in that - but his credentials as a polar specialist are surely hard to deny. A veteran of submarine missions under the ice with the Royal Navy and numerous expeditions on the ice itself over the past 40 years, he has never been someone content only with computer modelling. And he is not alone in bringing forward the forecasts for the timing of Arctic melt. Since the record melt of September 2007, a growing number in this field have radically revised their forecasts too. Muyin Wang and James Overland, two noted US specialists, suggested a similar timeframe - 30 years - for seeing a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean, in a paper published last year in Geophysical Research Letters.

    Apparent contradictions: several readers have complained that the findings of the Catlin Arctic Survey, and associated comments from Professor Wadhams, are contradicted by the results of an airborne survey, known as PAM-ARCMIP, carried out by an international consortium of researchers including the Alfred Wegener Institute of Germany. It reported finding ice which was thicker than expected. As I understand, the airborne survey did not follow the route taken on the Catlin expedition but instead focused on areas further east and north.

    The fact that the aerial measurements found thicker ice along the northern coasts of Ellesmere Island and Greenland is explained by Professor Wadhams. He and others have for some years forecast that warming would have the effect of dislodging older, multi-year ice allowing the ocean currents to drive it into that very area, on its approach to the Fram Strait and out of the Arctic Ocean. It does not mean that the Arctic ice is "getting thicker", as some have written; instead, it means that the thickest ice appears to be breaking up and then accumulating, as predicted, in one particular region.

    Patterns of melting: more than one reader has suggested that we are ignorant of the fact that much of the Arctic sea ice melts in the summer and re-freezes in the winter, and that we are also somehow ignoring evidence that the ice is regrowing. This follows the confirmation that the peak melt this year did not set a new record. My colleague Richard Black has addressed this in this blog post. But to restate this: the data show that this year's melt was the third in a row to be well below the average since the satellite record began in 1979. The past five years have seen the five lowest ice extents since that record started and, according to the NSIDC, the rate of decline is currently running at 11.2% per decade. It's worth noting that in September 2007, the sea-ice shrank to the extent originally forecast for 2055.

    David Shukman




    PAWB46, you raise (and praise) the press release put out by the UK Met Office saying their computer models project ice-free summers will first occur between 2060 and 2080.

    Is the same PAWB46 who's previously shown little confidence in Met Office projections, viz. "I would rather trust Piers Corbyn than the Met Office models" - and indeed labels them "faulty" in this post???

    Now I do need that beer...



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  • 281. At 5:56pm on 16 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black

    LMAO!!!!

    I'll pay ;)

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  • 282. At 6:42pm on 16 Oct 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    In post #78 on ” Climate doctors say 'feel the pain'...” Jack_Hughes_NZ wrote:

    ” wonder if any of the AGW team's computer simulations predicted this flatlining of global temperatures beforehand ? Predicting something afterwards is not usually called predicting.”

    As I suggested there, it is perhaps worth looking at this story published on 30 April 2008.

    The headline was: "Improved climate predictions suggest a reduced warming trend during the next 10 years"

    The opening paragraph was: "During the last decades, temperature maxima were regularly broken. A new study to be published May 1st in the international science magazine “Nature” suggests that a reprieve may be expected over the next decade, as natural climate variations may temporarily offset the long-term warming trend. This result was obtained by researchers from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) in Kiel and the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Meteorology in Hamburg."

    More details about the expected apparent cooling are given and then the article goes on to say:

    “ “ Those natural climate variations could be stronger than the global-warming trend over the next 10-year period, “Wood said in an interview. “Without knowing that, you might erroneously think there's no global warming going on.” “

    The scientific article from Nature referred to is: Keenlyside, N. S., M. Latif, J. Jungclaus, L. Kornblueh, and E. Roeckner, 2008: Advancing Decadal-Scale Climate Prediction in the North Atlantic Sector. Nature, 453, 84-88.

    The news article quoted above can be found at:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aU.evtnk6DPo&refer=worldwide

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  • 283. At 7:03pm on 16 Oct 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Sorry, I meant to add concerning my post #282, that I thought it relevant to post again here since so many of the comments here refer to climate predictions. My apologies for it being away from the main topic of this particular piece.

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  • 284. At 7:22pm on 16 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard Black #280

    You say "
    PAWB46, you raise (and praise) the press release put out by the UK Met Office saying their computer models project ice-free summers will first occur between 2060 and 2080.

    Is the same PAWB46 who's previously shown little confidence in Met Office projections, viz. "I would rather trust Piers Corbyn than the Met Office models" - and indeed labels them "faulty" in this post???"

    Yes that is I, bit I did not raise the Met Office press office release, it was trefjon at #264 who raised it. And I did not praise the Met Office, if you look at my words at #275 I said "the Met Office is slightly more credible than the Catlin crew". That certainly is not praise. I certainly have no faith in the (faulty) Met Office climate models. In my judgement, the Arctic will not become ice-free in my lifetime.

    Enjoy the beer (although it's better where I live, and the food is better too, and so is the air quality, and so is the .....)!

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  • 285. At 7:23pm on 16 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    RobWansbeck at #279. What is rankexploits.com and who is Lucia. I can’t find any information about whether it’s just a random website or something that just makes stuff up. As you guys say, ‘Could you enlighten us as to exactly where it’s coming from or is it just more of the same obfuscation that is being put up here to confuse? Thankyou.
    As davblo2 #246 and I correctly predicted the business as usual people, having become totally confused as to what they actually agree on have opened up a new line on doubting tree ring data (see post #278). Incredible but true! I think some of these people are genuinely trying to understand but are confused because they heard some guy in a pub. The others...well....
    As for atmospheric warming it is progressing very much in accordance with the science and the models. That’s why the models are run back in time to see that they reflect reality. Only a child would believe that a climate model and of course a real climate would proceed as a straight line! Are you all thinking of that Hooke’s law experiment we did at school with a spring and some weights? As you would all say ‘Could you post some data showing ‘empirical’ (one of the fave words) experimental results on anything in science or nature that has the formula y=mx+c (That’s a straight line of gradient ‘m’).

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  • 286. At 7:31pm on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    The phrase "Improved climate predictions" is ambiguous -- I had to read it a couple of times, before following the link to find out what it meant.

    It might mean: predictions of climate improvement (i.e. "the weather getting better")

    Or it might mean: improved predictions of the climate (i.e. "weather forecasts getting more trustworthy")

    I think journalists have an almost sacred duty to avoid such ambiguities.

    Much of the present debate is corrupted by ambiguity, and by the inevitable conceptual confusion they generate. By the way, I'm speaking to both sides here. The above blurs a distinction between the climate itself, and what "climate change scientists" claim to know about it.

    For illustration, headlines often say: "climate change will be even worse than expected".

    The usual reaction to such claims is: "oh no -- the Earth's climate will be terrible, but how right those climate change scientists were to warn us about it, and how modest they were to err on the side of understatement!"

    A better reaction would be: "those climate change scientists' predictions were wrong. So the theory that produced them is discredited."

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  • 287. At 8:01pm on 16 Oct 2009, Bryn wrote:

    #284
    I'd like to thank you, PABW46, for making a prediction we can hold you to. Please tell us how long you expect to live, what you will accept as a definition of "ice free" and an appropriate prize if you are right (some flowers perhaps?) and perhaps we can set something up.

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  • 288. At 8:13pm on 16 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    soveryodd #285

    You say some very odd things. We sceptics don't all have one mind and therefore don't agree on everything ; we accept that there are many unknowns in the climate.

    You are also very patronising and arrogant when you say "the business as usual people, having become totally confused" and "some of these people are genuinely trying to understand but are confused because they heard some guy in a pub". Some of us people are in fact highly qualified scientists.

    You say "Only a child would believe that a climate model and of course a real climate would proceed as a straight line". That linear behaviour is what warmists try and promote with the handles and blades of their hockey sticks before and since fossil fuels were used in large quantities. On the other hand, many of us sceptics have looked at the data and can see that the climate is cyclical but also has random, chaotic behaviour superimposed (as one would expect from such a system).

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  • 289. At 8:16pm on 16 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @soveryodd

    Lucia is an extremely competent mathematician who describes herself as a 'Lukewarmer'.
    The blog is well respected – even Gavin of realclimate fame has posted there:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/arent-end-points-pesky-sciaffetta-responds-to-bs-paper/

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  • 290. At 8:26pm on 16 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    BTW, although Gavin conceded on Lucia's blog that he was not perfect he never brought this to the attention of his realclimate fans.
    When a question on his paper was raised at RC he replied 'stay tuned'.
    As far as I am aware we are still wating.

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  • 291. At 8:31pm on 16 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:


    >> 235. At 10:41am on 16 Oct 2009, you wrote:

    Regards the unsuitable link I provided to demonstrate that CO2 levels were higher during the 1940s, this was a paper entitled:

    180 YEARS OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 GAS ANALYSIS BY CHEMICAL METHODS
    by
    Ernst-Georg Beck

    You will have to Google it - as it has been deemed 'unsuitable'. ie, it does not fit in with the BBC agenda.


    .

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  • 292. At 8:47pm on 16 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @TateLyle

    The BBC doesn't like pdfs, very annoying.

    I would be careful quoting Beck as there are many questions about localized effects.

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  • 293. At 9:10pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Richard Black #247: "davblo2, you're kind of right although..."

    Thanks for trying again.

    Adjustment to fit formatting is one thing...

    But absolute "negation" by inserting "No"...?

    It completely reverses the meaning.

    Rather harder to explain I think.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 294. At 9:12pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Ooops. Should have read...
    Richard Black (BBC) #267: ...
    (Getting lost here)

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  • 295. At 9:21pm on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Having praised Richard Black quite a bit on this blog, I find I have to backpedal a bit:

    In his "Leaders in step on climate" article
    ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/09/in_step_on_climate.html ),

    Richard Black wrote:

    "None of this categorically proves the case for man-made climate change. But it does show, I think, that the publics' and their leaders' perceptions of climate change, in the UK and elsewhere, are not significantly out of step."

    I find the use of the phrase 'categorically proves' rather hard to understand. Would Richard care to explain? The phrase 'categorically proves' seems like the sort of thing a person who hasn't had any real experience of any sort of science would say.

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  • 296. At 9:33pm on 16 Oct 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #295.

    "I find the use of the phrase 'categorically proves' rather hard to understand."

    had you quoted the five preceding paragraphs too, you'd find it easier.

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  • 297. At 9:56pm on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    For the record, here are the preceding five paragraphs:

    > In general, the UK public is more "climate sceptical"
    > than the rest of Europe. Several polls have shown
    > still greater concern over climate change in the
    > developing world, and - interestingly - a greater
    > willingness to make lifestyle changes to deal with it.
    >
    > A poll commissioned by BBC World Service two years ago
    > showed 90% support globally for climate curbs.
    >
    > The last few months have seen a number of reports
    > hinting that the pace of global temperature rise may
    > have abated, for now at least, meaning that the picture
    > of inexorably rising temperatures depicted in the 2007
    > Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report,
    > would turn out to be incorrect in the short-term before
    > the overall warming trend kicked back in in future decades.
    >
    > I wondered if this was being reflected in the intensive
    > negotiations leading up to Copenhagen's UN summit. After
    > all, if governments were sensing a reason not to pledge
    > difficult and potentially expensive transformations to
    > their economies, you would expect them to take it.
    >
    > Last week I had the chance to ask someone intimately
    > involved in those negotiations. "No" was the answer -
    > not reflected at all - in fact, what was being
    > reflected were fears that the picture would be worse
    > than the IPCC painted.

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  • 298. At 10:38pm on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:


    @jr4412,

    Having studied the previous five paragraphs, can you explain what "categorically proves" means, or what anyone's failure to "categorically prove" something might mean?

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  • 299. At 11:09pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #298: "can you explain..."

    categorical
    (also categoric)
    • adjective unambiguously explicit and direct.

    Example of use...

    "A CATEGORICAL PROOF OF THE EQUIVALENCE OF LOCAL
    COMPACTNESS AND EXPONENTIABILITY IN LOCALE
    THEORY"

    (Don't ask me what that means...)

    Can be found at...
    (it's a pdf, so you'll have to cut and paste the address)
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]


    /davblo2

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  • 300. At 11:21pm on 16 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    My #299: Cont'd

    Didn't manage to sneak the pdf link past the mods.

    Anyway; if you just google the title you find the link to the paper;
    or you can just trust me... :-)

    /davblo2

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  • 301. At 11:30pm on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    > what was being reflected were fears that
    > the picture would be worse than the IPCC
    > painted.

    Awww. Sad. Who killed Bambi and all that. And rubbish science.

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  • 302. At 11:58pm on 16 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    When an 'alarmist', I suppose that would include me, cites an article in a highest quality scientific journal, why is it that the 'denialists' virtually never willingly discuss it?

    Not necessarily agree with it, but just give it the consideration that a world ranked scientist deserves.

    Why is empirical evidence never discussed openly - only derided, very often by attacking either the intermediary (the blooger), or the profession of the scientist?

    For example:

    242. At 11:43am on 16 Oct 2009, you wrote:
    With regard to post #239, where it is stated:

    "yet there are numerous places that are significantly cooler- antartica for example has been cooling for the last decade, and new york is colder now than in the 1950's...."
    -----------------------------

    Here, from a January, 2009 article in 'Nature':

    Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year
    Eric J. Steig1, David P. Schneider2, Scott D. Rutherford3, Michael E. Mann4, Josefino C. Comiso5 & Drew T. Shindell6

    Nature 457, 459-462 (22 January 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07669; Received 14 January 2008; Accepted 1 December 2008



    "Here we show that significant warming extends well beyond the Antarctic Peninsula to cover most of West Antarctica, an area of warming much larger than previously reported. West Antarctic warming exceeds 0.1 °C per decade over the past 50 years, and is strongest in winter and spring. Although this is partly offset by autumn cooling in East Antarctica, the continent-wide average near-surface temperature trend is positive."

    - Manysummits -

    Note that I am 'on topic'.

    It is not the science I wish to discuss, it is the question I have raised. Of course, open discussion of the 'empirical evidence', which refutes the denialist blogger's verbatim assertion, would be welcomed.

    - Under the Arch in Calgary - Manysummits -

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  • 303. At 00:43am on 17 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Patronising and arrogant am I, PAWB46? (# 288). Is this the same PAWB46 who said on the 14th September 2009 (#5) on a previous thread ‘Leaders in step on climate’ and I quote:-
    ‘Unless that is you're a politician who can see a way to increase taxation and control, a government employee paid to "prove" global warming or an ignorant greenie’.
    Notice the offensive language you used in the the last three words. Two things. The first is obvious. ‘People in glass houses etc..’ The second is that you will notice that I have only resorted to a more robust approach recently when it became clear that ‘the business as usual people’ use patronizing and arrogant language in just about all their postings going back months. Do you want me to show you? I can post copies from other threads over the next few days if you would like?
    I, many others and just about all major scientific bodies around the world are trying to rise above the white noise you are creating and inform people that we all need to be very serious about our husbandry of this, our one and only home. I mean, this is not a joke. Using derogatory words like eco-fascist, greenie and alarmist is counter productive, especially to your argument, as you then start to sound shrill and desperate.

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  • 304. At 01:18am on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "I, many others and just about all major scientific bodies around the world"

    Another appeal to authority.

    This sort of plodding conformism is never heard from people who have genuinely been touched by the magic of science.

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  • 305. At 02:31am on 17 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #304

    Well said.

    Wouldn't it be nice if some of these people who wrongly believe that peer review is the final word on a paper took the time to form their own opinions?

    manysummits states:
    "When an 'alarmist', I suppose that would include me, cites an article in a highest quality scientific journal, why is it that the 'denialists' virtually never willingly discuss it?"
    When an article is published in any journal, scientists discuss it whereas manysummits and friends would claim that it has been peer reviewed and that the science is settled – no debate is allowed.
    manysummits ignores the discussion of the many hockey-stick papers that have been shown to be questionable then compounds that by citing a paper by Steig et al which includes prolific hockey-stick manufacturers Rutherford and Mann.
    The Steig paper has been the subject of an enormous amount of discussion which has cast serious doubts on the methods used.

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  • 306. At 03:40am on 17 Oct 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    davblo2 #299.

    thanks for that, having "enjoyed" reading the selective quote etc in #304 I think it wasn't worth making the effort.

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  • 307. At 04:41am on 17 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    I am becoming quite amused about this word "Proof"

    What a lovely word and what we all seem to be demanding from the "other" side. We also get quite confused as to what we mean or are prepared to accept as proof. Is it evidential proof, categorical proof, proof positive, circumstantial proof or consensus proof.Then there is empirical evidence and circumstantial evidence and there are probably other terms I've missed.

    As a young schoolboy, now alas so long ago I can hardly remember, there are some things that still stick in my mind. Things that don't require me to be a "rocket scientist" nor a BS or MS or even a "piled higher and deeper". (That's a deep one, work it out for yourselves.)

    The first thing I want to recall is the first time I was able to "prove" Pythagoras. The square on the hypotenuse etc. At the conclusion we were required to ad the letters Q.E.D which I am led to believe means Quad Erat Demonstrandum. To our little egos though, it meant Quite Easily Done!

    More about things I learned at school later.

    Many years later in life I was involved for a short period doing "pure research" for which , like most others, I was being paid. Whenever you are being paid, particularly when doing research, "he who pays the piper calls the tune" and this is true no matter which side of the (climate) argument you are on.
    However I was informed by my tutor that to "prove" something you had to be capable of demonstrating that "something" usually by experiment, the results must be repeatable and consistent and must be capable of duplication by others.
    That's fine if the experimentation can be carried out in the safe confines of a laboratory or similar environment and within an appropriate time-scale.

    Frequently today the search for "absolute" proof is impossible to achieve and there is NO other course of action but to rely on "scientific consensus"

    This becomes known as the "Precautionary Principle"

    For those who are not already familiar with this, I strongly suggest looking it up in Wikipedia for a start. Not only will you find out what it is all about you will also find references to both side of the "story" so it is far from "biased".

    Now...back to school other things I learned in basic chemistry (see....no claim again to any expertise!) was the solubility of Carbon Dioxide in water.
    Thank you SOVERYODD #273. At 4:48pm on 16 Oct 2009, for bringing this up.
    Now, MANGOCHUTNRYUKOK put out the challenge to "prove" that CO2 was a pollutant. I will try here but no doubt it wont be acceptable.
    In the gungho atmosphere of industry, it has long been held (because it's convenient to do so) that "The solution to pollution is dilution"...end quote.
    If that be the case, then concentration NO MATTER HOW LITTLE BY LITTLE is pollution. There are indeed few that argue with the measurements CO2 levels are increasing in both the atmosphere and the oceans. This means we are polluting the atmosphere and the ocean. Little by little by little by little........
    I am no Climate Scientist as I have stated before and neither am I a Marine Biologist but I do know that increased levels of CO2 in water increases the acidity and I understand that many Marine Biologists are concerned at this trend.
    I am also curious as to why MANGO (pardon the shortened version) should be so happy to see us pump more CO2 into the atmosphere, much of which lands up in the oceans and at the same time publish statistics in "Hu's Talking, Who's Listening" relating to "dirty water"

    Just a minor point(of course) but again as SOVERYODD mentions, the American EPA have determined that in their "not-so-humble" opinion, Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant. But then.....that's being arrogant.......others on this "blog" know better.

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  • 308. At 05:03am on 17 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Integrity in Science, Reporting, and Blogging

    I think that the highlighted title above is at the heart of this discussion.

    I also think that I should state my case more clearly. Sometimes one assumes too much. Not everyone is on the same wavelength on this blog. I would imagine that this last statement, with high confidence, is an understatement.

    May I ask the indulgence of the moderator(s) as I present my case as simply as I can, without sacrificing the root of the matter?
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    1) I see from the post just previous to this one (#305), that words are already put in my mouth, as well as those of 'my friends,' i.e.,

    "whereas manysummits and friends would claim that it has been peer reviewed and that the science is settled – no debate is allowed."

    Let me say that I refute this statement, it is anathema to my way of thinking, in both science and in life. The statement is therefore a departure from the truth of the matter. I should know, after all, the person referred to, in whose mouth words were put, is me. I would appreciate the courtesy, 'RobWansbeck', of not claiming to know what I either think or feel, for as you yourself assert, people should take "the time to form their own opinions."

    As for 'my friends,' I will not presume to speak for them. That would be an object lesson in courtesy and in integrity I would think. Don't you agree, 'RobWansbeck'?
    -------------------------

    2)Antarctic Cooling, or Warming

    239. At 11:11am on 16 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    "...antartica for example has been cooling for the last decade..."
    --------------

    I, manysummits, replied:

    "Here, from a January, 2009 article in 'Nature':

    Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year
    Eric J. Steig1, David P. Schneider2, Scott D. Rutherford3, Michael E. Mann4, Josefino C. Comiso5 & Drew T. Shindell6

    Nature 457, 459-462 (22 January 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07669; Received 14 January 2008; Accepted 1 December 2008

    "Here we show that significant warming extends well beyond the Antarctic Peninsula to cover most of West Antarctica, an area of warming much larger than previously reported. West Antarctic warming exceeds 0.1 °C per decade over the past 50 years, and is strongest in winter and spring. Although this is partly offset by autumn cooling in East Antarctica, the continent-wide average near-surface temperature trend is positive." [my emphasis]

    And to paraphrase, lest there be any doubt:

    'antarctica' is warming!

    Now, if one examines the 'Letter's' Figure 2, the year by year temperature anomalies for both West Antarctica and East Antartica are presented, with uncertainty and trends included. There are ups and downs, as there almost always are in weather and climate records.

    So what was your 'real' point LabMunkey, in your sweeping assertion that 'antarctica' has been cooling for a decade? Was it the truth and the full truth that you were attempting to convey, or something else?
    ----------------

    Discussion

    'LabMunkey' 'asserts' that "antartica... has been cooling for the last decade."

    Note that it is 'labMunkey' himself (or herself) who states this.

    Am I, or are we, to assume that you have been in Antarctica yourself, taking measurements of temperature and collecting meteorological data? Or do you have access to an instrumental network of observations? Or that you personally know someone who does?

    Or did you neglect to cite your source, which I would be very much interested in, for whether Antarctica is warming or cooling is of great interest to myself? Perhaps you could elaborate a little, as Antartica is a big place, so I understand?
    ----------

    I, manysummits, have never been to Antarctica, although I have climbed with a man from Mexico who recently climbed its highest mountain. But he was not there to collect meteorological data from 1957 to the present, and I never thought to ask him about that particular topic.

    However, Eric J. Steig, the lead author of the 'Letter' in 'Nature', cited above, is a scientist at the University of Washington, in fact a full professor in the 'Earth and Space Sciences' faculty, and is also Director of the Quaternary Research Center there. I will post a link to confirm this:
    http://earthweb.ess.washington.edu/~steig/

    His email address is also to be found on this link - perhaps you would care to discuss the matter of whether Antarctica is cooling or warming with him, LabMunkey?

    Dr. Steig co-authored this 'Letter' in 'Nature' with several other expert scientists, as follows:

    David P. Schneider; National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado 80307, USA

    Scott D. Rutherford; Department of Environmental Science, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

    Michael E. Mann; Department of Meteorology, and Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA

    Josefino C. Comiso; NASA Laboratory for Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA

    Drew T. Shindell; NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University, New York, New York 10025, USA
    -------------------

    Additionally, the 'Letter', which I have on my desk before me as I write this, has four color figures illustrating the teams' findings, and there is at the end of the 'Letter', a list of twenty-eight scientific articles which have been cited to back up assertions or conjectures present in the 'Letter.'

    There is also a link to Supplementary Information, which goes into more detail as regards the teams' methods etc...

    I see also that the 'Letter', which is four full pages in length (pdf version), was 'received' by the journal 'Nature' on January 14, 2009, and was 'acepted' for publication eleven months later, on December 1, 2009. I presume this would be the 'peer review' mechanism in action.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review

    As for the journal 'Nature' itself, I will post a link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_magazine

    and a short exerpt:

    "Nature is a prominent British scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. Most scientific journals are now highly specialized, and Nature is among the few journals (the other weekly journals Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are also prominent examples) that still publish original research articles across a wide range of scientific fields. There are many fields of scientific research in which some[vague] important new advances and original research are published as either articles or letters in Nature."
    -----------------------

    None of this proves that the Antarctic is warming or cooling, at least not in scientific circles. But it is highly suggestive, variously so, depending on ones' knowledge base and ability in science and in ones' gifts in processing information from disparate sources.
    -----------------

    I hope that this has not been boring. It is my wish to cast some light into a shadowed place, for those of a like mind.

    Intellectually I enjoy most the cutting edge of science, where the world is always new. And viscerally - climbing mountains, where thinking on ones' feet is both Robert Frost's "vocation, and avocation."

    - Manysummits -











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  • 309. At 05:18am on 17 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    Just read this on the internet, might explain BBC's reluctance to publish blogs referring to pdf files.

    People who are unfortunate enough to visit the sites won't see anything unusual. But behind the scenes, a PHP script checks their version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash, and if either is out of date, hijacks their PCs using known vulnerabilities. If both of those programs are up to date, the script tests to see if the system is vulnerable to several bugs Microsoft has patched in the last few months.

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  • 310. At 08:17am on 17 Oct 2009, maninthesky wrote:

    I have watched events on both Paul Hudson's blog and this one unfold. I was going to post my thoughts, and thought the article in the Yorkshire Post summed up my and lots of my friends thoughts very well below. How can something so complex as the planet by accurately modelled by computers? Paul Hudson is right, none of the computers did predict whats happening. You can argue however much you like: but its either a slowdown in warming, a levelling off of temperatures, no warming since 1998, global cooling: fact remains noone told us, ordinary members of the public. So congratulations to the BBC. We pay our licence fee to hear all arguments. Ignore the nonsense by the warming mafia who simply put down anyone who thinks differently to them. Doesn't anyone find it a little unsettling what their reaction has been like? The science is and never can be settled despite whats thrust down our throats day in and day out.

    And lets not forget what's happening on the ground. Yes arctic ice is disappearing. But isn't there a lag of years, and that melt could be down to warming that has now stopped? The summers of 2004, 2007,2008 and 2009 were wet. I thought we were told by these brilliant models that summers were going to get drier and hotter? The Met office forecast a bbq summer. And yet its the same computers that we are supposed to trust for 2080! The general public are not fooled.

    Bill Carmichael: Weathering a climate of hate. Yorkshire post Fri 16th Oct

    Poor old Paul Hudson. The inoffensive cheeky chappy, who presents the weather on the BBC in Yorkshire, has found himself a hate object among the fringes of the environmental movement.
    Hudson's crime? Well, to borrow a phrase, he told "an inconvenient truth" – that global warming has stopped.

    In an article headlined "Whatever happened to global warming?" on the BBC website, Hudson noted that the warmest year of recent times wasn't 2007 or 2008, but 1998, and global temperatures have not increased at all in the intervening 11 years, despite increasing carbon emissions.

    Ignore the provocative headline, for Hudson's piece was, in fact, scrupulously fair. In measured terms, he explored the theories of what could be behind the present period of global cooling, including the ideas of so-called "sceptics", who believe the sun's energy or the oceans' currents, and not man's activities, are primarily responsible for periods of cooling and warming.

    But he also quoted scientists who reckon the dip in temperatures is just a temporary blip and that man-made global warming will return with a vengeance in the near future.

    No one really knows. In climatic terms, a 10-year trend proves nothing –it, as many scientists argue, could be a mere variation on the graph showing an inexorable rise in average temperatures.

    But interestingly, Hudson pointed out that none of the climate models beloved by meteorologists forecast the present temperature trend. It is sobering to note that environmentalists are demanding that we damage our economy and make the poor poorer on the back of climate models that have been proved, in the short term at least, to be wrong.

    But even an ace forecaster like Hudson couldn't have predicted the reaction his article would provoke. It was picked up in the US by the influential Drudge Report website and from there to numerous climate sceptical blogs who gleefully reported on the BBC's U-turn on global warming.

    This, in turn, caused a hysterical counterblast from those who see global warming as a matter of religious faith, rather than scientific debate.

    Hudson was denounced as a denier and a heretic. The Guardian demanded to know why the BBC had allowed his article to be published, and the journal Nature was apoplectic with rage.

    Hudson's mistake was to concede there were differing views on the climate, for we live in a society where, for the first time in modern history, we are told "the science is settled" and "there is no room for debate".

    "Sceptic" has become a dirty word – yet the whole basis of modern science is built precisely on scepticism and inquiry by people brave enough to challenge entrenched views.

    In contrast today, anyone who questions the quasi-religious scientific orthodoxy on global warming will be denounced as not just wrong, but positively evil.

    Paul, keep your head down until this storm blows over.


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  • 311. At 08:25am on 17 Oct 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Re #310 "none of the computers did predict whats happening"

    Actually it would appear that they did. See #282.

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  • 312. At 08:40am on 17 Oct 2009, maninthesky wrote:

    Simon-swede:

    You totally miss the point. We've had 11 years of levelled off temperatures; did they tell us that 11 years ago? Did they say in 1998 that that would remain the hottest year on record for at least 11 years. No they did not.



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  • 313. At 08:48am on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    My #293: Continued

    Richard Black #247: "davblo2, you're kind of right although...[stuff about length and format]"

    I thought I'd answer my own question and save you the trouble Richard.

    It seems to me it's simply the difference between a headline and the title of an article.

    The title of an article indicates the topic of discussion and doesn't necessarily pre-empt the conclusions.

    So here; you have the title...
    "Biases, U-turns, and the BBC's climate coverage"
    ... discuss the subject and do your best to show that there is no bias or u-turning.

    The text shown on the link under "FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS", being on a front page adopts the role of a headline, and headlines are generally taken to summarise the entire topic and conclusion. So a headline "Biases, U-turns,..." would be equivalent to "Bias found at BBC...".

    So the "headline" version is forced to incorporate your conclusion...
    "No bias, U-turn or agenda"

    Do you agree?

    All the best; davblo2


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  • 314. At 09:03am on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    maninthesky #310: "But he also quoted scientists who reckon the dip in temperatures is just a temporary blip and that man-made global warming will return with a vengeance in the near future."

    If that is how the message came across to you then he was negligent (maybe rather harsh) in not explaining, or maybe not understanding himself, that many processes can proceed concurrently. It is especially important because to the general public it is not an easy concept to accept. You may notice the difficulty here in getting even "educated" anti-AGW people to accept it.

    If you look at this graph it's not hard to see the underlying, increasing trend.

    The warming goes on, even when the primary effects are masked by other processes.

    /davblo2

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  • 315. At 09:30am on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    grumpy-mike #309: "BBC's reluctance to publish blogs referring to pdf files."

    The piece you quote is not directly relevant; it mentions "PHP scripts". It is perfectly possible to present a pdf file as a direct link, without involving PHP; and on the other hand "PHP scripts" are common place and used on a large proportion of websites for many other purposes than presenting pdf files.

    I think the main reason the BBC dissuades direct use of pdf's is that they are not supported at 100% of readers "terminals". Many will never have downloaded the free pdf plugin, many mobile phones can surf but not view pdf's, and there are other kinds of browser where the pdf's are not suitable.

    The BBC are just being thoughtful of the minority.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 316. At 10:39am on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits #302

    When an 'alarmist', I suppose that would include me, cites an article in a highest quality scientific journal, why is it that the 'denialists' virtually never willingly discuss it?

    I'm always willing to discuss, manysummits, perhaps you would give me the courtesy of reading my links and discussing too?

    Why is empirical evidence never discussed openly - only derided, very often by attacking either the intermediary (the blooger), or the profession of the scientist?

    Empirical evidence is exactly the thing i want to talk about - please present some

    Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year
    Eric J. Steig1, David P. Schneider2, Scott D. Rutherford3, Michael E. Mann4, Josefino C. Comiso5 & Drew T. Shindell6


    Steig et al have been shown to over extrapolate their data giving erroneous results. See here for details:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6071

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/verification-of-the-improved-high-pc-reconstruction/

    The latter is the better read and includes statistical analysis of Steig's work

    @grumpy-mike #307

    I am becoming quite amused about this word "Proof"

    I think you know what is meant by proof, but whatever word you wish to use, Mike, as far as i can find out, it's still missing

    However I was informed by my tutor that to "prove" something you had to be capable of demonstrating that "something" usually by experiment, the results must be repeatable and consistent and must be capable of duplication by others.

    But it isn't "repeatable" or "consistent". Take the climate models, Gavin Schmidt tells us individual models are incapable of giving the right answer (whatever that means), but the average of all models does give us the right answer.

    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/schmidt09/schmidt09_index.html

    Some models strongly suggest that the American Southwest will dry in a warming world; some models suggest that the Sahel will dry in a warming world. But other models suggest the opposite. ...... With these two models, you have two estimates — one says the area will get wetter and one says it will get drier. What do you do? ....

    ... It turns out that the average of these twenty models is a better model than any one of the twenty models. .... This is odd because these aren't random models. You can't rely on the central limit theorem to demonstrate that their average must be the best predictor, because these are not twenty random samples of all possible climate models.....

    Rather, they have been tuned and they have been calibrated and they have been worked on for many years in trying to get the right answer....

    Yet in the case of climate models, this is kind of what you get. You take all the climate models, which give you numbers between three and five, and you get a result that is very close to four. Obviously, it's not pure mathematics. It's physics, it's approximations, it involves empirical estimates.. But it's very odd that the average of all the models is better than any one individual model.


    ......

    Now, MANGOCHUTNRYUKOK put out the challenge to "prove" that CO2 was a pollutant. I will try here but no doubt it wont be acceptable.

    Not true, Mike, I am always willing to accept I could be wrong

    If that be the case, then concentration NO MATTER HOW LITTLE BY LITTLE is pollution. There are indeed few that argue with the measurements CO2 levels are increasing in both the atmosphere and the oceans. This means we are polluting the atmosphere and the ocean. Little by little by little by little........

    No argument that CO2 levels are increasing, measurements are a wonderful thing aren't they? I can see what you are saying about the drip feed effect, but when you consider CO2 levels have been higher than present for much of earths history is it really a pollutant?

    I am no Climate Scientist as I have stated before and neither am I a Marine Biologist but I do know that increased levels of CO2 in water increases the acidity and I understand that many Marine Biologists are concerned at this trend.

    In reality for increasing the acidity we should be saying diluting the alkalinity of the oceans, since the ocean is alkali not acid. We also know the oceans have been much less alkali in the past and ocean corals etc have survived, even prospered - didn't corals first evolve when oceans were less alkaline than now and aren't the bleached corals bouncing back in several parts of the world?

    I am also curious as to why MANGO (pardon the shortened version) should be so happy to see us pump more CO2 into the atmosphere, much of which lands up in the oceans and at the same time publish statistics in "Hu's Talking, Who's Listening" relating to "dirty water"

    No problem on the name, the only one I don't like is "denier", because of the holocaust connotations.

    I think the question of clean water and sanitation is completely different. We can provide clean water and sanitation and save more peoples lives in a single year, than have ever been lost to global warming. I think that is more important.

    @manysummits #308

    Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year
    Eric J. Steig1, David P. Schneider2, Scott D. Rutherford3, Michael E. Mann4, Josefino C. Comiso5 & Drew T. Shindell6


    I've already mentioned this above

    The thing about the Antarctic is the western peninsular is losing sea ice, although this appears to be ocean currents and / or underground volcanic activity. East Antarctica, the bit where the land ice is, appears to be gaining more ice.

    "Hugh F.J. Corr and David G. Vaughan, two scientists with the British Antarctic Survey, recently published their discovery of the volcanic layer in the journal Nature Geoscience. The discovery is unique according to Dr. Vaughan. He said “This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet.”"

    http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/sciencetech/volcano-not-global-warming-effects-may-be-melting-an-antarctic-glacier/714

    See also NASA's image showing warming of the peninsular and cooling of the east

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=6502

    Note the red bits along the peninsular?

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16988

    Now John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey may say "the effect may last another decade, but there is no evidence that this will or will not happen.

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  • 317. At 10:49am on 17 Oct 2009, Economist123 wrote:

    I've been reading the debate with interest on this blog, and thank everyone for their contributions.

    For the record, I should state that I was very much in the 'poorly informed but believer in AGW' camp not so long ago. This was based on the understanding that CO2 absorbed infra-red radiation emitted from the earth, and ergo, if the CO2 concentration increased in the atmosphere, then it made sense the earth would warm. But now I've found out, as no one had told me (as I'm not trained in the physical sciences beyond an A-level in physics 12 years ago), that the absorption of infra-red radiation by CO2 is on a logarithmic scale, and there is a saturation point. I also was completely unaware that the earth had not warmed since 1998 (and my girlfriend was shocked when she found out too), given I got most of my news from BBC and all we ever hear is doom and gloom. So I am rapidly moving into the skeptic camp. I think the BBC needs to do more to educate people on the realities on both sides of the argument rather than telling me all the time the Arctic has no sea ice, which seems like a scare tactic when one sees the other side of the argument, it puts the facts into a proper perspective.

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  • 318. At 10:52am on 17 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:



    >>This is where the Catlin expedition can be particularly valuable. To
    >>have a group out on the ice taking direct measurements of thickness
    >>across a relatively large region

    Valuable? I think you will find that the Alfred Wegener Institute managed to survey the thickness of vast swathes of the Arctic ice cap from the comfort of the cockpit of 'Polar 5'.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    But the BBC wanted drama, more than science. The BBC also wanted a team that could be relied upon to say that the 'ice was much thinner than we expected' - whereas the Alfred Wegener Institute actually reported that 'ice was much THICKER than we expected'.

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  • 319. At 10:56am on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Economist123 #317

    I too used to believe in AGW, because that's waht we were told and wanted to know what we could do to correct this problem. The more I looked into AGW and read the papers and opinions of others on both sides of the argument, the more I thought it was wrong.

    Welcome

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  • 320. At 10:59am on 17 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Off on a randem thought again
    Surely BOBB is not CO2 friendly? (Bopping Off Bunnies Biofuel)
    Wouldn't it be better to recover some of the meat first, the best parts for human consumption and the rest for pet food? As there is so much starvation in the world how about turning the meat into some sort of protein biscuit to... 'make room,' and for easier long life storage. You could colour the biscuit, say... green to look less like rodent derivative.

    Hi other bloggers who also aren't a greenie, a sceptic, an alarmist, a denialist or just a plain old disturbed personality. Don't you get fed up with the constant slagging match and wouldn't you prefer it if the 'scientists' stuck to the point and didn't get personal ( 'cause they can't take it on the nose themselves). If you are like me you just want to be informed and able to find out for yourself from credible links from this site.

    I am confused about it all now. Sitting on the fence and watching this bun fight between 'scientists', what are they trying to prove, does the most pugilistic and pugnacious win?

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  • 321. At 11:00am on 17 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:


    Regards CO 2 concentrations.

    >>292. At 8:47pm on 16 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    >>I would be careful quoting Beck as there are many
    >>questions about localized effects.

    And you think there will be no 'localised effects' recorded in the ice-core CO2 data??


    In real science, the opposing data and arguments would be addressed and discussed. However, in the fantasy world of the AGW religion, the inconvenient data sets are brushed under the carpet.

    Google:
    180 YEARS OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 GAS ANALYSIS BY CHEMICAL METHODS
    by
    Ernst-Georg Beck

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  • 322. At 11:03am on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @sensibleoldgrannie #320

    Don't you get fed up with the constant slagging match and wouldn't you prefer it if the 'scientists' stuck to the point and didn't get personal

    I've said before we would be better off if we locked Mann, Schmidt, Watts and McIntyre in a room and got them to agree the temperature record, before we start trying to engineer our environment to resolve a problem that may not exist

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  • 323. At 11:40am on 17 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK at 322

    Was that deliberately funny? I googled the names and got quite a few ambiguous alternatives. ;-) LMAO

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  • 324. At 11:52am on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie wrote:

    "Sitting on the fence and watching this bun fight between 'scientists', what are they trying to prove, does the most pugilistic and pugnacious win?"

    They're not trying to "prove" anything conclusively, but they are exploring the reasons that each siude has for its position. Disagreement is the lifeblood of both science and philosophy. That is why the claim that "the debate is over" sounds so scientifically illiterate (to genuine scientists).

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  • 325. At 11:54am on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @sensibleoldgrannie #323

    hmmmm, no, not intended to be funny and i'm not sure which hits you got, but mine seem innocuous enough

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  • 326. At 11:54am on 17 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @TateLyle #321

    “And you think there will be no 'localised effects' recorded in the ice-core CO2 data??”

    Perhaps localized human interference may have been a better way of putting things. This is not such a problem with ice-cores. There are, however, other questions relating to ice-cores so I would also be careful of relying too heavily on those.
    Whichever side of the debate you are on all papers should be questioned whether or not they support your point of view – perhaps especially those that support your point of view!

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  • 327. At 11:56am on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #324

    That is why the claim that "the debate is over" sounds so scientifically illiterate (to genuine scientists).

    And not just to genuine scientists

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  • 328. At 12:07pm on 17 Oct 2009, TateLyle wrote:


    Re: Rising Sea Levels.


    See posting - 233. At 10:22am on 16 Oct 2009, Tatelyle wrote:

    Also see today's news item on the Maldives and rising sea levels:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8311838.stm

    So the BBC is pushing the claims about rising sea levels once again. Yet Mr Richard Black has admitted that Antarctic ice levels are increasing. So I ask you again, Mr Black - how can sea levels rise while Antarctic ice levels are rising??


    Please explain, or is the BBC simply parroting unscientific propaganda?


    .

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  • 329. At 12:26pm on 17 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    @#316. At 10:39am on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    Proof....etc etc etc.

    You still don't get the point do you and until such time as you read all about the Precautionary Principle and understand how that pertains to this whole discussion on Climate Change, proof and "bias",you never will.


    Try entering into this issue with an open mind which means occasionally reading something that you may find tells you why things are happening the way they are and I am not referring to why the climate is or is not changing but why governments etc are approaching this issue in the manner they are, why BBC is reporting on this issue the way they are and what those scientists who are convinced the whole AGW is a load of hogswash must do to "disprove" it

    It won't take you much more than half an hour and you may find it time well spent.

    Then I can answer some of the other points you raised after my earlier blog.....such as whether or not I missed your response to an earlier request I made to you to provide "proof" that AGW is NOT a problem and "children" ...my point?

    However, I am certainly not holding my breath that you will actually read and understand the principle as you are probably already guessing that there is a strong possibility it will pull the rug out from under many of your arguments.

    There is one point that you have made on which I too have serious concerns. Having personally been responsible for accidentally polluting a river in Malaya (now referred to as Malaysia) many years ago with rather disastrous but fortunately short term effects, I too share your concerns for the provision of clean water etc. Since you consider the cost of remedying the problem to be "reasonable" (my interpretation) who exactly do you consider should pay for that in a country like India for example? I presume you have donated generously to the cause after all a certain charity is regularly appealing for donations even here on NZ television.

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  • 330. At 12:35pm on 17 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK at 325

    For an ordinary non scientist blogger who has to do a search on google, the names you gave, without the other bits, produced these results:
    estate agent
    car of the month
    comedian
    mercenary
    children's book illustrator
    film about a man who finally finds out that he did have significance in someone's life.

    That is why I laughed. I think I did find out who you really meant but could you elucidate to help us please.

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  • 331. At 12:47pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 332. At 12:52pm on 17 Oct 2009, Spanglerboy wrote:

    I was interested to note the comments of Economist123. This demonstrates that Paul Hudson’s blog has done some good. I too was an ill-informed believer in AGW. Having taken a keen interest for about a year I can safely say that my scepticism grows stronger with each passing day. One of the great ironies is that it is the rhetoric and the tactics of the proponents of AGW which drive the scepticism. Even the IPCC in their politically motivated summary for policy makers acknowledge that they are not 100% convinced of the hypothesis. This is completely at odds with the claims of the proponents many of whom come across as religious zealots who are 110% sure of the situation.

    When I am constantly told that ‘the science is settled’, ‘the debate is over’, ‘now is the time for action’ my scepticism is reinforced. When the mainstream media constantly presents the output of climate models as scientific fact, my scepticism is reinforced. When I read Vicky Pope from the Met Office telling the world that the focus on catastrophe and exaggeration is harming the cause of climate science, my scepticism is reinforced. When shortly afterwards the Met Office produces yet another scare story scenario as ‘science’ (when it is clear to me that the report is unbalanced) then strangely enough my scepticism is reinforced. When I read on this blog that at least one proponent of AGW acknowledges that the MWP and the LIA existed but states that they were local events and then others claim that proxy reconstructions can somehow show historic global temperatures – presumably for only those parts of the globe where we don’t have a historic record of the MWP and the LIA – then my scepticism is reinforced. When I read that a Professor from CRU has withheld data underlying a year 2000 paper for 9 years, my scepticism is reinforced. When I read comments from proponents that completely misrepresent statements made by opponents, statements I have read, then my scepticism is reinforced.

    Whilst I am not a scientist, I have for many years taken an interest in science in general. The thing that saddens me is that there are many people who make their living from climate science and who call themselves scientists and who are clearly betraying the scientific tradition.

    Economist123, I commend you for your scepticism. I commend you for telling your girlfriend. I recommend you and she tell everyone you know. Part of the proponents tactics, and the reason that the response to Paul’s blog has been so shrill, is to keep people in ignorance.

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  • 333. At 12:53pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    LMAO

    Michael Mann, author of various Hockey Sticks = www.realclimate.org
    Gavin Schmidt, NASA climate modeller = www.realclimate.org
    Steve McIntyre, "amateur" auditor of the science = www.climateaudit.org
    Anthony Watts, meteorologist = www.wattsupwiththat.com

    Make up your own mind which is estate agent, comedian, mercenary and snake oil salesman ;)

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  • 334. At 12:57pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    looks like my post #331 will be refused for breaking the rules on advertising. It's a shame as the charity it advertises, provides clean water to people who need it, and which answer grumpy-mikes question on what i'm doing to help people dying of thirst (i donate every month to the charity and always only buy one water ;)

    hopefully the mods will let it through

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  • 335. At 12:59pm on 17 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @manysummits #308

    ---“ I see from the post just previous to this one (#305), that words are already put in my mouth, as well as those of 'my friends,' i.e.,

    "whereas manysummits and friends would claim that it has been peer reviewed and that the science is settled – no debate is allowed."

    Let me say that I refute this statement, it is anathema to my way of thinking, in both science and in life. The statement is therefore a departure from the truth of the matter. I should know, after all, the person referred to, in whose mouth words were put, is me. I would appreciate the courtesy, 'RobWansbeck', of not claiming to know what I either think or feel, for as you yourself assert, people should take "the time to form their own opinions." ”---

    Sorry if I got your thoughts wrong but my claim was not a rash presumption. It was based on empirical evidence.

    Your post provides yet more evidence. You re-cite the Steig paper and to demonstrate its correctness mention the magnificence of the authors and the splendicity of the journal and then 'presume' that 11 months was spent by people diligently peer reviewing the paper.
    The truth is that there are serious questions over the methods used.

    MangoChutneyUKOK #316 has provided two links where you will find genuine discussion of this paper. There are many more of this paper and of the methods used in general.

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  • 336. At 1:08pm on 17 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #320

    I couldn't agree more except to say that it isn't actually the "scientists" that are "slagging" each other off..........it's some of the bloggers on this site.
    Most of the scientists on both sides of the debate are highly respectful of each other even though they may disagree to the point of completely contradicting each other but rarely do they stoop to slagging. Some of them may even meet over a beer form time to time. Believe it or not it's quite a small world out there in that "rarefied atmosphere" On the other hand, we on this blog site can hide behind pseudonyms and we can never be sure who it is that's making the statement, what their hidden agenda is, what expertise (if any) they have to make such a statement and when debate gets "dirty" you tend to forget that most of the time the blogger is either making totally unsubstantiated claims or is simply quoting someone he/she has never met, is never likely to meet and someone who may totally ignore them if they landed up in the same room and so our ego dictates that at times we are not allowed to lose an argument and so that old adage creeps in "all's fair etc etc."
    Pitiful, isn't it........but regrettably that's human nature for you. A former colleague of mine used to say (unfortunately he's passed on now. He used to come out with pearlers!) quote..."mans' brain is still 90% reptilian!" ...unquote.
    Why do you think it is we continually prove him right?

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  • 337. At 1:14pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @grumpy-mike #336

    Have you never read how RealClimates opinion of ClimateAudit and vice versa?

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  • 338. At 1:25pm on 17 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    grumpy-mike at 336
    Thanks, I hope everything went well and you are OK.
    MangoChutneyOKUK
    Thanks.

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  • 339. At 1:38pm on 17 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To grumpy-mike #336"

    ..."mans' brain is still 90% reptilian!"
    ----------------------------------------

    Carl Sagan wrote a book on the subject, "The Dragons of Eden." The book, published in 1977, sits on my shelf, and is the winner of a Pulitzer Prize.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dragons_of_Eden

    I once knew a parrot, Jimmy was his name. I learned more from him than I have reading all of the non-comments of the denial campaign on this blog.

    After all, Jimmy had a pedigree going back over a hundred million years, whereas we humans are quite possibly on the verge of extinction, unless, of course, the denialists are right, and the alarmists are wrong.

    But "wishin' don't make it so." (Ian Tyson)

    - Manysummits, in a home filled with balloons - to celebrate Cloudrunner's early birthday party -

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  • 340. At 1:40pm on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    grumpy-mike wrote:

    "Most of the scientists on both sides of the debate are highly respectful of each other"

    Maybe, but some of them sure aren't!

    But in any case, we're not just talking about science in this blog -- we're talking about journalistic integrity and matters of public policy. To discuss that sort of thing properly, people have to be comfortable disagreeing with each other. They must not take offence easily, and causing offence must be something that doesn't really matter very much. Of course we must all avoid causing genuine harm, so threats or slander must be avoided, but I don't think mere politeness should be regarded as very valuable in this sort of discussion.

    In my opinion, we live in an age in which politeness is grossly overrated. People too easily confuse mere lack of politeness with the causing of genuine harm. That tends to prevent appropriately robust exchange of views.

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  • 341. At 1:48pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits #339

    I once knew a parrot, Jimmy was his name. I learned more from him than I have reading all of the non-comments of the denial campaign on this blog.

    I was really tempted to say something derogatory at this point, but i will resist.

    Perhaps, if manysummits actually answered my questions and addressed the issues raised, the wisdom of his parrot could be passed on?

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  • 342. At 2:44pm on 17 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Phew! Strange after my post yesterday at #303 we have a lot of posts from new people/organisations who, we are told, believed in man made atmospheric warming but have now had their conversion on the road to Damascus!
    More marketing mantra from our newcomer at #332 quote, ‘my scepticism is reinforced...my scepticism is reinforced’...very rational...very scientific. Maybe he’s been watching Zombie land.
    Post #332 also says, quote, ‘Whilst I am not a scientist, I have for many years taken an interest in science in general. The thing that saddens me is that there are many people who make their living from climate science and who call themselves scientists and who are clearly betraying the scientific tradition.’
    A lot also make a living from fossil fuels, surely? How is your statement above not biased?
    You are not a scientist you declare. Well at least that’s some honesty. So on what rigorous basis do you confidently claim that scientists are ‘clearly betraying the scientific tradition?’ and yet all those who want ‘business as usual’ (note the ironic mantra) are totally ‘credible’?
    Usual bizarre websites referenced...nothing new there, then.
    Post #310 says ‘Ignore the nonsense by the warming mafia who simply put down anyone who thinks differently to them. Doesn't anyone find it a little unsettling what their reaction has been like?’
    Now that’s what I call irony.
    Still no response from PAWB46 to my post #303. It was you, wasn’t it who used the term ‘ignorant greenie’ Of course, that’s not a put down is it post#310?
    Now, please help us save our planet.

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  • 343. At 3:04pm on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Most of the discussion so far has turned on the question of whether or not global warming is actually happening. The words 'denier' and 'denialist' are generally used to refer to those who deny the supposed "fact" of global warming.

    But it seems to me that there should also be some discussion of the question whether global warming would be a bad thing or a good thing (pretending for a moment that it is actually happening). On the face of it, more heat and more CO2 is better for plant growth, which in turn is better for sustaining all life. We might hope to get cheaper food, fewer famines, and more habitable places for humans to live. (We have an entire uninhabited continent, because at the moment it is too cold for humans to live there.) Warmer periods in the past tended to be accompanied by growth of civilization, and cooler periods with decay, disease and famine.

    It seems to me that there should also be some discussion of whether the "cure" would be worse than the "disease" (pretending for a moment that it is actually happening and it would also be a bad thing). To deliberately hobble the world's economies seems very unwise, and unnecessarily harsh to the developing world. For example, limiting the "air miles" of food takes money away from poor African farmers and puts it into the pockets of the Brian Aldridges of Middle England. One might argue that that's downright immoral.

    There are at least three unknowns here: whether it is happening at all, whether it would be a bad thing if it were happening at all, and whether the steps taken to avoid it would be worse that it would be itself -- were it happening at all, were it a bad thing too.

    That's a lot of unknowing. The appropriate attitude to such a lack of knowledge is scepticism.

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  • 344. At 4:00pm on 17 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    The BBC at the Cutting Edge of Science, and a Mayor from Montreal
    (for Cloudrunner)

    In my post #308 I wrote:

    "Intellectually I enjoy most the cutting edge of science, where the world is always new."

    Yet I am not a working research scientist. How can I feel that way?

    I was thinking about that over coffee this morning, and Mayor Jean Drapeau came to mind. "The Mayor" was the visionary force in realizing 'Expo 67 - Man & His World', the Class 1 world's fair held in Montreal for six months in 1967.

    Mayor Drapeau said to us (I am a born and raised Montrealer):

    Go to the Fair, as often as you like. Meet the people of the world, and let them meet you. And here is an inexpensive 'passport' to the Fair, for the entire six months, to 'make it so.'

    I was one of those who spent many many days and evenings meeting the peoples of the world at this magical island in the St. Lawrence River, and I have never forgotten the Mayor who 'made it so.' I wrote him and thanked him in his retirement years, from out West, and I still have his handwritten and heartfelt reply.

    What has this to do with the BBC and the cutting edge of science?

    While only a few of us are actually at the forefront of research, in the field and at the desk, many many more of us can share in the thrill of new discovery, in the expansion of knowledge, in its dicussion and elaboration, and in its prospects for the future.

    How sad that there are nay-sayers who would derail this voyage into the unknown, this adventure of the soul.

    How sad for them.

    For those of us who will rally to this adventure, welcome to "Starship Earth."

    - Manysummits - under a warm and gentle wind from the West -

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  • 345. At 4:09pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits #344

    Actually, manysummits, I too love the cutting edge of science and technology, so at least we have one thing in common. My fear is once the AGW bandwagon has fallen off it's tracks, people will lose their faith in science

    - Mango - not living in cloud cuckoo land

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  • 346. At 4:54pm on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    manysummits wrote:

    "How sad that there are nay-sayers who would derail this voyage into the unknown, this adventure of the soul."

    I don't follow this at all. Sceptics like myself say that if global warming is happening -- I doubt it, but none of us knows for sure -- then we should let it happen, sit back and "enjoy the ride". We may be in for a brighter, warmer future in which people can inhabit land masses such as Antarctica and the interior of Greenland. Let's enjoy the marvels of technology we have already developed such as cheap air travel, instead of trying to live like humans did in the thirteenth century.

    The global warming worriers are the ones who are opposed to change per se, who want to re-create the past, who exerxise a nervous, hidebound conservatism (small C) in almost all matters.

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  • 347. At 5:36pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    Further Evidence That The IPCC Has Provided An Inaccurate Narrow Perspective Of The Role Of Humans Within The Climate System

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/further-evidence-that-the-ipcc-has-provided-an-inaccurate-narrow-perspective-of-the-role-of-humans-within-the-climate-system/

    While this PNAS article is still perpetuating (incorrectly) the dominance of the human input of CO2 as the primary climate forcing, as well as the flawed climate science concept of a “tipping point”, the news reported is quite perceptive. Reading the excellent news article, the message of the PNAS paper is really quite broader than that presented by the IPCC.

    This news story and the associated PNAS article provide further reasons to reject the narrow IPCC viewpoint as represented by the third hypothesis listed above, since a range of other climate forcings are recognized as being first order climate forcings.

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  • 348. At 5:37pm on 17 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Back to the subject of BBC bias. I note a BBC news item today given great prominence: "Maldives cabinet makes a splash". It is under both the 'News' and 'Science and Environment' headings. And yet anyone can do a bit of research and find many "peer-reviewed" papers which say everything is OK with the Maldives and sea level rise. Why doesn't the BBC balance the article with the scientific side of the story instead of just promoting a man made climate change stunt (it appears to be propaganda before Copenhagen (give us Maldiveans money or we're all going to die)? This is an example in response to Richard's asking me about the BBC nearly always being one-sided in promoting 'climate change'. I still await the BBC balancing its coverage by headlining the Met Office forecast of an ice-free Arctic in 2050 or whenever, compared to the non-scientific Catlin propaganda.

    To answer davblo #342. I have come across many ignorant greenies. For example there are those that think 'wind power is free' and will 'save the planet'. They don't realise that all forms of energy are free. It's converting them to a usable high form of energy (say electricity), the research and engineering that are the costs. It is the low power or energy density of wind, the consequential large engineering involved in wind turbines, together with intermittency problems (without considering the environmental damage) that are the true costs. Many green promoters ignore (or are ignorant ) of these facts and don't appear willing to learns about them. I could mention other examples (biomass, biofuel etc), but one example is enough.

    You also say "please help us save our planet", another green slogan that gets to me. My wife is a geologist (not in big oil or any other fossil industry) and always tells me the planet is capable of saving itself as it has done for 4.5billion years. What we should be doing is caring for the environment, whilst maintaining a civilised society, one without hunger, disease etc. You may be surprised to learn that I am very keen on the environment, having been a member of several wildlife trusts, the RSPB and other environmental organisations (and still am a member of some). I own and maintain some coppiced woodland, I own and maintain 200 metres of salmon/trout/otter river, I have planted over 200 trees on my land, I try to grow as much food as possible, I shop locally for seasonal produce and have my own sustainable supply of wood fuel. I also use my car very sparingly, cycle to local shops when I can and rarely fly.

    So I hate being preached to by non-elected bureaucrats and environmentalists who make a career of globe trotting whilst promoting poor science and telling the rest of us how we should live our lives and how we should be taxed.

    Like many who have commented above, I initially believed what I was told about AGW until I started loooking into the science in more detail. Similarly I was ambivalent about wind turbines until a friend asked me as a scientist to look into the claims being made about their effectiveness. In both of these subjects I discovered that there was a lot of propaganda and the claims did not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

    So I officially became a sceptic (or denier, as some people like to call us, implying that we are as bad as holocaust deniers).

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  • 349. At 5:45pm on 17 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Thanks again to all for such a vigorous thread.

    MangoChutneyUKOK, I don't agree entirely with what you write here about the IPCC. I can't speak for them but I'm pretty sure they would argue that they have detected with more than 90% probability an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signature. Or at least that all the various bits of evidence they analysed for the 2007 AR4 report collectively detected the signature with greater than 90% probability.

    Maybe with the aid of a beer or two we could make more progress on that. It would also help me to apologise to PAWB46 for mis-attributing the raising of the Met Office press release on the Arctic melt.

    You raise the Keenlyside and Latif paper, simon-swede, which we also reported on at the time of publication last year - research that has recently been given a further airing at the World Climate Conference in August. It's important to note that this was published after the AR4. So how the IPCC collation and review process would have dealt with it and incorporated it into its overall conclusions remains an open and intriguing question.

    TateLyle, you're obviously either not reading or not understanding the various comments that I and MangoChutneyUKOK and others have posted about how these blogs are moderated. The moderators are deliberately isolated from blog writers - I don't know who they are or where they are, and I have had comments removed in the past too. As far as I understand they just apply the house rules as they see them - and, as MangoChutneyUKOK has demonstrated, without bias.

    Thanks to everyone who commented on bowmanthebard's question about the meaning of "categorical proof". There's no more for me to say.

    davblo2, I sincerely hope you're going to apply for a job on the BBC website soon as you clearly know as much about the minutiae of its operations as anyone working here. You're right; when news articles (the top three, anyway) are displayed on an index page the reader can also see a summary of about four lines, so there's quite a lot to tell him/her about what's in the article. Features promoted on the promo bar don't have the luxury of that summary so yes, the article's headline may be elongated and changed quite a bit. You're also on target about accessibility to all users. It's a real concern of the website's technical staff - users of all browsers and mobile platforms, and blind users who employ screenreading software, should be able to access all material. Some pdfs will break the house rules by containing contact information, as well.

    You're right that increasing CO2 concentrations affects absorption on a logarithmic scale, Economist123. But that doesn't mean changing the concentration has no effect.

    TateLyle, I don't understand why this is a problem. Why, in principle, aren't rising sea levels and expanding Antarctic sea ice compatible?

    There's also the point here - and highly relevant in the coming months - that the story about the Maldives cabinet is political in character rather than scientific. Often I've had complaints about alleged "bias" in articles (usually alleging neglect of the "sceptical" point of view) that deal with the politics of climate change - what governments are doing, whether their policies appear to tally with their avowed ambitions, where the UN process is heading, etc etc. Usually there's no discussion of scientific questions in such articles precisely because the governments are not questioning them at this juncture - they've accepted the IPCC analysis. You might personally wish they hadn't, but there it is - if you don't like it, complain to your government, not to us. We're just reporting what they're doing, and trying to analyse the likely consequences - in other words, doing our job.

    And I'll have to add to RobWansbeck's caution about citing the (in)famous Beck paper (number 2 here) as "proof" that CO2 levels are not higher today than in the first half of the century.

    It is a controversial piece of work and has been heavily criticised by working scientists - check the "comment by R Keeling" link on the same page and this thread at realclimate. Among those criticisms are that Beck has not understood the distinction between a "background" CO2 concentration and local effects.

    While I wouldn't like to offer a judgement on that, I would offer a single and very simple point that I have not yet seen raised publically (though I may have missed it somewhere).

    Beck appears to accept the Mauna Loa data; he writes (first paper here):

    "the pioneering efforts of C. Keeling will stand for he has developed a high precision analytical method and introduced carbon isotopes to find the origin of the carbon source. This remains the prevailing standard..."

    And the graphs he derives from historical "chemical methods" stop at around the time that the Mauna Loa record begins - again suggesting he is not challenging the Keeling curve.

    So he presents a picture of wildly varying readings up until half a century ago, and then a smooth steady curve.

    So one of these conclusions must, it seems to me, be correct:
    - wildly-varying background CO2 concentrations must be normal, and Mauna Loa and the other modern stations are failing to notice these variations
    - about 50 years ago, there was a fundamental change to how the atmosphere works, which saw the era of wild CO2 swings end and the smooth steady upward trend noted at Mauna Loa begin
    - Beck is wrong, Ralph Keeling and his other critics are right; the historical readings from "chemical methods" do not give an accurate picture of background atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and that is precisely why modern mainstream science does not use them.

    Have I missed something?

    bowmanthebard, there is plenty of discussion of the issues you mention - whether curbing greenhouse gas emissions will harm global, national or local economies - if so, what price is worth paying - who stands to gain and lose - how impacts of policies can be ameliorated - and so on. Debates go on within the UN process and even more outside, including sometimes on these pages. Will the cost to the UK economy be too high?Are "food miles" the real issue, and is there a danger of harming developing economies?

    As the UN summit approaches, there is a view in some governments that one or more countries around the Arctic are holding back on a tough treaty because temperature rise may improve their agriculture, and melting ice will open up new possiblities for mineral exploration. We''ll see how those hands are played in the UN negotiations.



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  • 350. At 6:03pm on 17 Oct 2009, maninthesky wrote:

    Davblo2: #314

    And its also very clear from the graph that you show that temperatures have clearly either levelled off, or fallen from the 1998 peak!

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  • 351. At 6:14pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    Richard Black #349

    Richard, the IPCC in chapter 9 page 675 (I think) tell us there will be a signature of AGW (see the diagrams). This is predicted by the models and is "proof" of AGW. Despite searching for 2 decades the AGW signature (fingerprint / hotspot), the signature has never been found

    I think we are at cross purposes here

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  • 352. At 6:28pm on 17 Oct 2009, maninthesky wrote:

    As regards IPCC misrepresentation of sea level rises. This is must read. Why was this not reported on?

    You might have included comments at the end of this article by Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner (head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. He has been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years. His job does not depend on the existence of AGW.

    He talks about the IPCC misrepresentation of sea level data.

    “Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC's] publications,... was a straight line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge... It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” ... I accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow —I said you have introduced factors from outside; it's not a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don't say what really happened.

    And they answered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!

    That is terrible! As a matter of fact, it is a falsification of the data set. ... So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modelling, not from observations. The observations don't find it! I have been the expert reviewer for the IPCC, both in 2000 and last year. The first time I read it, I was exceptionally surprised.”

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  • 353. At 6:36pm on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    PAWB46 #348: "To answer davblo #342."

    See #342

    It was not I.

    Am I haunting you? :-)

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  • 354. At 6:45pm on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    maninthesky #350: "Davblo2: #314. And its also very clear from the graph that you show that temperatures have clearly either levelled off, or fallen from the 1998 peak!"

    In a recent blog here, JRWoodman went to the trouble of finding an analogy to help people understand the way in which signals or processes can overlap, and where a smaller but continuous one can be temporarily masked by a large effect. The smaller process has overall dominance because the larger temporary ones average out to zero.

    Please have a read of his description here and let us know whether it helps.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 355. At 7:01pm on 17 Oct 2009, mattymed wrote:

    What a thread. So much heat, so little light.

    Richard, you must have the patience of a saint.

    There's such a job of work to do in terms of educating the public and raising the level of the debate, it's hard to know where to start (and hard to know whose remit it falls under).

    I'll have a crack at one red herring that's cropped up here repeatedly, expressed by Economist123 most recently- that 'the logarithmic response of temperature to CO2 levels' somehow invalidates AGW theory.

    Of course the response of temperature to CO2 is non-linear. This proves nothing. Tripling or quadrupling CO2 levels will raise global mean temperatures, but of course it won't triple or quadruple them. CO2 levels have been well over 1000 ppm in previous geological ages but that doesn't mean the Earth's temperature at those times was over double what it is now (385 ppm), and it doesn't mean that across the CO2 ranges we're talking about- perhaps the doubling of current levels, for instance- there won't be a rise of a degree or more, which could still have serious repercussions in terms of sea level rises, water scarcity etc. The world won't end, but things could still get uncomfortable for human civilisation.

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2009/04/recent-lower-global-temperatures/
    There's a decent description 4 or 5 paragraphs down.

    This issue of climate sensitivity has been the subject of endless debate within the climate science community, PhD theses have been written on it and countless hours of research have been devoted to it- yet the idea that scientists have somehow just overlooked the issue of the logarithmic relationship of temp to CO2 is beyond a joke.

    I realise that engaging in this kind of debate is like whacking moles, but just couldn't leave that point unanswered...

    There is a real discussion that needs to be had around global warming (what, if anything, we can usefully do, and how quickly we need to do it)- but this thread hardly goes near it.


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  • 356. At 7:05pm on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    maninthesky #352: "...article by Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner"

    Not to pre-judge the guy, but...

    According to Wikipedia...
    "He was elected 'Deceiver of the year' by Föreningen Vetenskap och Folkbildning [Science and Popular Enlightenment] in 1995 for 'organizing university courses about dowsing'..."

    ...maybe not the best start if you want to set about convincing the world of science :-)

    /davblo2

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  • 357. At 7:08pm on 17 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @mattymed

    This issue of climate sensitivity has been the subject of endless debate within the climate science community, PhD theses have been written on it and countless hours of research have been devoted to it

    I've been banging on about climate sensitivity for some months now. Forget about the figures for the moment, do you agree that the IPCC believe sensitivity is high, but observations show it is low?

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  • 358. At 7:11pm on 17 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    davblo2 #353

    Apologies; it was soveryodd!

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  • 359. At 7:13pm on 17 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard #349

    If the Maldives story is political, why does it also appear under "Science and Nature"?

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  • 360. At 7:18pm on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #343: "But it seems to me that there should also be some discussion of the question whether global warming would be a bad thing or a good thing (pretending for a moment that it is actually happening). On the face of it, more heat and more CO2 is better..."

    Thanks for giving me a new one.
    That'll be the 13th contradictory red-herring on my list.
    See below...

    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing

    Thanks (now it's a baker's dozen); davblo2

    PS. Did I miss any?

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  • 361. At 7:47pm on 17 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    PAWB46, the section of the website was re-named Science and Environment just over a year ago in recognition of the fact that "the environment" includes more and more politics and economics, rather than just scientific advances and nature wild and free. See Steve Herrmann's Editors' Blog post on the transition.

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  • 362. At 7:54pm on 17 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @davblo2 #108 #128

    Just clicked on my profile, it only went back to #169 on this blog. My earliest comment on this blog is back at #26. (Possible page throw software bug.)

    This affects our ability to spot sockpuppets.

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  • 363. At 7:56pm on 17 Oct 2009, Bryn wrote:

    Huh Davblo2 - see #51. Copycat!

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  • 364. At 8:02pm on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Richard Black wrote:
    "there is plenty of discussion of the issues you mention - whether curbing greenhouse gas emissions will harm global, national or local economies - if so, what price is worth paying - who stands to gain and lose - how impacts of policies can be ameliorated - and so on."

    I agree, and thanks for the links, but what I said was meant to refer to nothing wider than discussion on this blog. There has been little discussion on this blog so far of whether warming would be good/bad, or of whether the proposed medicine would be worth taking.

    The reason I bother to say it is I'm a sensitive soul, sort of, and object to being called a "denier". A denier is someone who dishonestly or irrationally flies in the face of clear evidence. For example, most Holocaust deniers are anti-Semites who exhibit their political "credentials" by pretending something perfectly obvious and ghastly didn't happen. The rest are psychotic or educationally subnormal.

    But climate change sceptics are not denying anything obvious such as the Holocaust at all. The point I was trying to make was that there are (at least) three "links in the chain" of taking action against global warming, and each of them is in some way rather dodgy, or at least worth more discussion. First link: "climate change science" seems to involve no testing. (Which is wholly unacceptable as "science". Computer modelling is quite unlike genuine science.) Second link: no one knows whether warming would be good or bad. (So why assume it must be bad?) Third link: no one knows how bad any proposed medicine would be. (So before we administer it, we had better really think about its likely effects.)

    There's a fourth link too: we can be reasonably sure that any significant action taken by the West will kill -- i.e. result in the deaths of -- many people in the developing world.

    It all adds up to this: the appropriate attitude is scepticism. We should not fall for simplistic slogans such as "I'm for life -- what are you for?" or "I'm in favour of saving the planet" -- as if skeptics are in favour of destroying the planet. Slogans like that are exactly the sort of thing that journalists should be cutting through, to get to the real heart of the position these slogans are meant to express.

    Unlike the links in the global warming chain action we can be sure will kill many people in the developing world -- and there are good reasons to be skeptical about each link.

    Mattymed wrote:

    "What a thread. So much heat, so little light."

    I wouldn't be so dismissive of "heat" if I were you. When people care about things, they tend to give off a bit of heat. That's not always such a bad thing.

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  • 365. At 8:05pm on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #257: "The BBC comments that Sweden is using rabbits to make biofuel."

    I've just come across the BBC report you mentioned.
    Swedes divided over bunny biofuel

    Which is interesting from the point of view of "perspective" and "completeness" when things are reported.

    I read about this here in a local Swedish newspaper.

    The explanation was (as the BBC say) that the rabbits have become a problem and culling is in progress; but that (not mentioned by the BBC) the bodies were originally dumped on a "tip"; but that because that contravened some EU regulations they were obliged to find another means of disposal. The best they could find was incineration, which just happens to be best carried out by the existing refuse incineration facilities which are already used to generate heating.

    So it's not really (as you may have guessed) a plan to use bunnies for heating.

    I think the BBC chose to present the story in a slightly more controversial version for "entertainment" value.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 366. At 8:31pm on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    "This affects our ability to spot sockpuppets."

    You should pay more attention to what people say than to who says it, or what the people who say it are, or which group they belong to. The word 'sockpuppet' reminds me of the word 'golliwog', and I propose you leave it with your fluffy toys.

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  • 367. At 8:38pm on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Bryn_hill #363: "Huh Davblo2 - see #51. Copycat!"

    Actually, I started my list three blogs ago.
    :-)

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 368. At 8:41pm on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #366: "...[ouch]..."

    Sounds like it hit a nerve.

    /davblo2

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  • 369. At 8:47pm on 17 Oct 2009, rossglory wrote:

    Strewth Richard, you really lit the blue touch paper here. I think it was a good idea to let this lot vent their fury before Copenhagen I just hope that most of them run out of steam in time.

    Maybe it'll also let us discuss some other topics without the constant banging on about AGW which seems to crop up every time.

    Actually, another angle occured to me. Since those that 'deny' AGW in all their colours are implying the most catastrophic failure of the scientific method ever (I certainly can't think of a parallel......hoping nobody is daft enough to mention Copernicus or Einstein.....or start that strange thread on eugenics again) perhaps a more fruitful discussion may be whether there are any lucid suggestions as to how this could possibly happen.

    For my part I feel fairly happy that my conclusions over the past 25 years have coincided with mainstream science but if they hadn't I would certainly like to know what happened in the scientific community to cause them to get it 'sooo wrong'.

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  • 370. At 8:51pm on 17 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    #362: "@davblo2 #108 #128; Just clicked on my profile, it only went back to #169 on this blog. My earliest comment on this blog is back at #26. (Possible page throw software bug.) This affects our ability to spot sockpuppets."

    Yes, I'd noticed before that I couldn't find some of my comments in the list under my profile. I haven't figured out exactly which ones are missing and any possible pattern. It bothers me most when I want to find something I wrote for reference.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 371. At 9:22pm on 17 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 372. At 9:28pm on 17 Oct 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    There are three problems with sockpuppets.

    1. If you argue with someone who has different motives to the ones declared you have a distorted argument which, everything else being equal, you are more likely to lose.

    2. Style and volume can frequently trump content. And style and volume can be paid for.

    3. Sockpuppets reduce the credibility of legitimate posters.

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  • 373. At 9:30pm on 17 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard #361:

    I thought it was called "Science and Environment", but today on the front page of the BBC website it is "Science and Nature". Or am I going mad?

    You say '"the environment" includes more and more politics and economics, rather than just scientific advances and nature wild and free'. IMHO there should be a separate section for science. Keep politics and economics out of science.

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  • 374. At 9:45pm on 17 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Davblo2 at post #360. Good list. You should also add that tree ring data may or may not indicate anything.
    PAWB46 at post #348 is back on. Arrogant and patronising as ever. Re-uses ‘ignorant greenies’ to put a slur on just about everybody and marginalise anyone who doesn’t agree with him! Doesn’t like to be lectured to by anybody especially the ‘unelected’. So there you have it. Be quiet everyone. We have no right to highlight any data.
    A look at your user profile going back months indicates that you, on the other hand, love to preach. Must be great at dinner parties. Although, on a positive note, I’m glad to hear that you are taking care of your farm locally. (and that is heartfelt).
    However, I don’t think I’ll be taking too much notice of your postings in the future as you have stated, we must only listen and learn.
    I do agree with your geological point (as I said at #105) that the earth will, indeed, be here effectively for ever (until the sun goes nova). The thin atmospheric life support system for mankind is quite another thing. I do think we should all be a little bit careful with that bit of the biosphere too.

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  • 375. At 9:52pm on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory wrote:

    "those that 'deny' AGW in all their colours are implying the most catastrophic failure of the scientific method ever (I certainly can't think of a parallel......hoping nobody is daft enough to mention Copernicus or Einstein.....or start that strange thread on eugenics again) perhaps a more fruitful discussion may be whether there are any lucid suggestions as to how this could possibly happen."

    I propose that you and I give this matter a bit of discussion, right here on this blog, where everyone can see what each of us says.

    To start the ball rolling, why don't you give us all a rough idea of what you understand by the "scientific method". Feel free to mention Copernicus or Einstein, by the way.

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  • 376. At 10:21pm on 17 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    soveryodd #374:

    How flattering that you have looked at my user profile going back months. You must have plenty of time time to waste. If you like I will give you a potted history going back decades - school, universities, research, industry.

    You are right about one thing. I don't like to be lectured to by people in power who are unelected (dictators is a good description). I certainly am prepared to listen to a well-presented argument and am willing to change my views based on sound evidence; as I did on AGW. I don't slur "just about everybody" - there are many very good and honest people out there. But there are many people who don't examine the facts and evidence and are dogmatic in their beliefs; those I am prepared to criticise.

    You will be pleased to hear that I will be taking no notice of your, so very odd postings.

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  • 377. At 10:32pm on 17 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    PAWB46, the BBC News website changed section names but the overall BBC site kept the "Science and Nature" appellation because most of that section deals with wildlife, science doocumentaries, etc. I guess that's the explanation. If you're seeing Science and Nature on the front page of the News website, there's what the tech team calls a "bug"...

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  • 378. At 11:57pm on 17 Oct 2009, Researcher 14175758 wrote:

    Sorry, but over the last two and a half years since Channel 4 had the stones to transmit 'The Great Global Warming Swindle', it has been apparent to anyone with an open, enquiring mind that the BBC is inherently biased in its coverage of global warming. It uses public funds to promote the view that there is a consensus among scientists that global warming is happening and that it is caused by Man.

    Anyone that has a basis in science knows with every fibre of his being that there can never be a consensus in science - it's like saying there's a strawberry jelly in mathematics!

    Luckily most of the general public have not been duped by this attempt at indoctrination - attempts to convince them that global warming is a real and imminent danger have failed miserably.

    Unfortunately the disinterest of the general populace could provide the AGW conmen with the entry they are seeking into political power.

    "Joe Public is busy watching 'Strictly', lets pass legislation that means they'll have a carbon allowance, and they can't leave the country unless we allow it"

    "Of course, we and our families can continue to cross the globe as we see fit - no-one will control us."

    How convenient that there were fools that believed we meant it when we said that our reason for highlighting global warming was to help the planet! Yes they are becoming a nuisance - get rid of them!

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  • 379. At 00:24am on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Politics, Economics, the Environment & Science - All of a Piece

    Our world is smaller by the minute, and more holistic ways of viewing it are welcome, in my opinion. As that line in the movie "The Right Stuff" went:

    "What makes a rocket fly?" (or something like that), one of the correct answers is: \\\ Funding ///

    Bill Clinton, receiving an honourary doctorate from McGill University in Montreal late last week (my first University):

    "It's simply going to be impossible for us to build the world we need unless in the wealthy countries, we are ruthlessly honest about where we are wasting money and hanging on to yesterday's way of doing things," Clinton said... ['business as usual']

    Clinton spoke of his philanthropic exploits and called for action on world hunger and climate change."

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091016/national/clinton_doctorate
    -------------

    Looking forward to the run up to Copenhagen.

    My first topic will be methane, I think?

    - Manysummits -

    PS: This blog has provided some interesting insights into human nature for me, not the least being the tendency to take oneself too seriously.

    A laugh, a smile, a sense of humor - a sense of wonder - priceless!


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  • 380. At 00:42am on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    rootundular #378: "Luckily most of the general public have not been duped by this attempt at indoctrination - attempts to convince them that global warming is a real and imminent danger have failed miserably."

    Thank you for adding to my collection.
    That'll be the 14th on my list.
    See below...

    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing
    14. It's all a big con!

    Keep them coming...

    /davblo2

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  • 381. At 00:46am on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rootundular wrote:

    "Anyone that has a basis in science knows with every fibre of his being that there can never be a consensus in science - it's like saying there's a strawberry jelly in mathematics!"

    Yes, but the tide has turned.

    "Luckily most of the general public have not been duped by this attempt at indoctrination - attempts to convince them that global warming is a real and imminent danger have failed miserably."

    Again -- the tide has turned.

    "Unfortunately the disinterest of the general populace could provide the AGW conmen with the entry they are seeking into political power."

    I doubt it. Just look at the anger expessed here on this blog. The general populace feel ripped off by religious claims that "the consensus is X" or we're "saving the planet". It's the same old stuff we saw with the "pro-life" movement. I am personally furious that these scientific illiterates claim to speak for science -- with nothing to show for it apart from conformism and know-nothing appeals to authority.

    It disgusts me that journalists have so far done so little to expose these chartatans and scientific illiterates.

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  • 382. At 00:53am on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    For those who remember "University Challenge"... (and those who don't)...

    Read this and weep. (I did.)

    "The winning team, from the city's Farjano district, reportedly won a rifle, two grenades, a landmine and office supplies worth $1,000 (£613)."

    ...davblo2...

    PS. "But the runners-up did not go home empty-handed, taking away an AK-47 and bullets."

    Oh, that's ok then...

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  • 383. At 01:07am on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #381: "It disgusts me that journalists have so far done so little to expose these chartatans and scientific illiterates."

    That was a tough one; but ok, you're in.
    Congratulations; number 15.

    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing
    14. It's all a big con!
    15. It's the journalists fault for not exposing the chartatan scientists

    Who's next? ... davblo2

    PS; happy weekend

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  • 384. At 01:25am on 18 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    re-# 366. At 8:31pm on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    "This affects our ability to spot sockpuppets."

    You should pay more attention to what people say than to who says it, or what the people who say it are, or which group they belong to. The word 'sockpuppet' reminds me of the word 'golliwog', and I propose you leave it with your fluffy toys.

    VERY INTERESTING indeed.

    I find this comment totally in contradiction to what is most frequently happening on this site. This is true for both parties in this debate. Too often I am requested by one side of the argument to read such and such paper from some learned professor or other which I am supposed to believe "proves" or disproves something. Then the other side of the argument chips in telling me to read a different paper from a different learned professor which "proves" (quite obviously) exactly the opposite.
    And so it goes on ......ad nauseum ...as someone else said.
    So,I switch off.
    On the other hand , when I read someone expressing their OWN opinions, no matter how they have arrived at those opinions I become more open-minded.In the spirit of discussion I would like to respond to many, to those I agree with and those I disagree with and where possible providing my reasoning.

    As such, I would now like to respond to your comments:-

    #364. At 8:02pm on 17 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    First link: "climate change science" seems to involve no testing. (Which is wholly unacceptable as "science".

    Sorry, wrong.

    Let me explain

    As a young student (see my earlier blog but worth repeating) I remember the day I first proved "Pythagoras" Wow! Ultimate truth!

    And then, later, as a research student, by the appropriate rules, experiment, testing, demonstration and then duplication I disproved a previous work on the subject. Wow! Ultimate truth.

    WE have ultimate faith ONLY in the Ultimate truth. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

    Then I got a real job. In Malaya...........a country where malaria was (still is?) a serious problem. Not to worry said the scientists, we've got DDT and we have "PROVED" that is dynamite on mosquitos. And so we covered the "at risk" world with DDT. Unfortunately they hadn't proved it was "safe" in all and every circumstance.

    Later on in life I became the "chemical" adviser to the Fire Service here in Auckland, New Zealand. Our first rule of thumb at a chemical emergency:

    "Treat it as dangerous until proven otherwise"

    That frequently caused significant inconvenience waiting until such proof was forthcoming. However, we did not require "proof by testing!" although on one occasion I witnessed a senior officer stick his finger into a spilled white powder, then finger into mouth and subsequently declare..."that's not poisonous" Wow! Ultimate truth.

    However, industry at large and the chemical industry still had a somewhat gungho approach.As far as they were concerned, these were the "good old days" when it was acceptable (to them at least) to produce a product first and the responsibility lay elsewhere to prove it dangerous.

    Hexa-valent chromium (remember the film.......Erin Brokovitch?

    Dioxins as in Agent Orange

    Pesticides with long term residual problems in the food chain

    Tri-Butyl Tin as in yacht antifoulings (boy.how I miss that stuff!)

    The list goes on

    All this changed in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit

    Principle 15 states (demands)

    "In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation."

    Please note.........."lack of full scientific certainty"....

    One of the drivers for Principle 15 adoption was the success of the Montreal Protocol of 1989 when most of the world began the phasing out of certain ozone depleting chemicals. This was hailed as one of the (few) UN success stories of universal cooperation.
    The Precautionary Principle was at the heart of the Montreal Protocol.

    Consequently today we work in a completely different paradigm in many situations.

    Pure research still relies on "full scientific certainty" principles (witness the recent claim to have discovered "cold fusion"!......Pity it didn't stack up)

    But in many other circumstances "scientific consensus" is not only considered perfectly satisfactory but is almost always the ONLY evidence that is practicaly available.In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.These days we are not allowed to carry out experiments on human beings except in the hallowed world of pharmaceutical drugs and then only after prolonged testing elsewhere and under rigorously controlled conditions.

    Today, the Precautionary Principle rules the roost. and that includes "climate change" policies.

    Treat it as dangerous until proved otherwise.

    Scientific certainty is not a pre-requisite. Scientific consensus is now deemed adequate (IPCC only 90% certainty but no doubt some will dispute the meaning of "consensus")

    At this time then, under the precautionary principle, the onus of proof now lies with the anti-AGW lobby.In the mean time, world governments, being party to the Rio 1992 Earth Summit are obliged to adopt the principle and the EU for example have even enshrined it in law. Not only that, but Richard Black and the BBC in general will continue to report progress in this direction.

    So what should the anti-AGW lobby do? The answer is as above. Prove that the pro-AGW lobby has got it wrong! And the rules are the same for "you" as they are for "them".

    Scientific Certainty is not a pre-requisite. Scientific consensus will do. Just get together a significant group of like-minded scientific experts, gather together all the available data that indicates we are going down the wrong path and present it to the appropriate authority in the appropriate manner.
    Pontificating on this "blog' site may engender more confusion but it won't get you heard in the right places.

    Now, for my part, I would love it if you could reverse the current policies. Both I and my immediate family would welcome assurance and acceptance that we and they and future generations have absolutely nothing to fear from AGW resulting from more and more burning of fossil fuels.And I doubt that I am alone in this.

    Secondly, governments in general will welcome you with open arms.The main reason they are prevaricating at present is the fear that they may have to instigate some very draconian policies that may make them even more unpopular than they already are. We all know what happens when they do that. We vote them out; end to nice comfortable political career;no more political perks; have to get a proper job for a change!
    They will probably pat themselves on the back and claim the responsibility for your efforts for themselves!

    Just think how well that will go down with all those "futures traders'" just waiting to make a killing on the Carbon Credit markets!

    So..go to it. Use the PROPER AVENUES that are available and prove the IPCC wrong. I wish you, sincerely, Best of luck.

    And if you managed to get through all that, thank you for your perseverance.

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  • 385. At 01:31am on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    davblo2 wrote:

    "That was a tough one; but ok, you're in.
    Congratulations; number 15."

    I have no idea what you're on about, or what sort of point you think you're making. Some sort of private joke? -- Hope your privates are laughing, because I find it completely silly.

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  • 386. At 01:48am on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #385: "I have no idea what you're on about..."

    Have you not been paying attention?

    It's a list of all the arguments presented, on this blog, against the principle of AGW.

    You may notice that many are mutually exclusive.

    The challenge is to find a mutually consistent sub set worhty of discussion.

    Be my guest; davblo2

    PS: "Some sort of private joke?"; far from it...



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  • 387. At 01:56am on 18 Oct 2009, Researcher 14175758 wrote:

    DAVROS:
    That was a tough one; but ok, you're in.
    Congratulations; number 15.

    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing
    14. It's all a big con!
    15. It's the journalists fault for not exposing the chartatan scientists


    Hi Hunbun,

    What's your point?

    Roo

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  • 388. At 05:57am on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Hi davblo2!

    I like your list!!! Looking forward to #16.

    Upcoming on CH4:

    1)Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7107/abs/nature05040.html

    2) Thermokarst Lakes as a Source of Atmospheric CH4 During the Last Deglaciation
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/318/5850/633

    Both by Katey Walter et al., University of Alasks Fairbanks

    There's a very good article on Dr. Walter and her work in Scientific American 3.0, summer 2009 issue, "The Peril Below the Ice." You can see it at:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-peril-below-the-ice&page=5

    And her website publication list:
    http://www.alaska.edu/uaf/cem/ine/walter/publications.xml

    - Manysummits -

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  • 389. At 07:04am on 18 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard:

    I note you have just published another biased article which is on the front page under "Climate and Science" (that bug again!) entitled "UK looks to break climate logjam".

    In it there is the statement: '"The rich countries of the Major Economies Forum must urgently put new money on the table to ensure the developing world can grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change which are already putting millions of lives at risk," said Friends of the Earth International climate campaigner Asad Rehman.'

    Where is the statement to balance this unsubstantiated propaganda from FoE? Where is the evidence that millions are at risk? Perhaps Rehman is talking of the impact of a cooling climate, but he doesn't say. We all know that we are more at risk from global cooling than global warming (my unsubstantiaited claim, baased on what happened in the Little Ice Age compared to what happened in the Medieval Warm Period).

    Let's see some balanced reporting on the BBC please.

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  • 390. At 07:39am on 18 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    davblo2:

    I agree with rootundular, what's the point of the list? I'm sure you'e missed plenty: it's the sun; it's the ocean cycles.

    I you are so keen on ridiculous and pointless lists, why don't you stsrt a list from the other side? I could provide you with plenty of examples of ridiculae to get you started: We are about to reach a tipping point (next year, 96 months, 10 years); the Arctic ice will diasappear in summers (next year, 5 years, 10 years, 50 years); clouds are positive feedback; it isn't the sun; the atmosphere warms the oceans; the oceans are acidic; we are all going to die from dangerous climate change; we must stop climate change; the polar bears are dying; sea level rise is accelerating; CO2 drives temperature change; we must not let temperature rise exceed 2C (Canute syndrome, suffered from by politicians); climate models predict.

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  • 391. At 07:42am on 18 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    manysummits #388:

    I haven't time to read the articles at the moment, but if you have read them, can you tell me how come all this methane was not released in previous warm periods and why it did not lead to runaway warming and the release of all methane?

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  • 392. At 07:43am on 18 Oct 2009, NeilHamp wrote:

    It will be interesting to see if the BBC gives as much coverage to Piers Corbyn in London on the 28th October.

    Will it equal that given to Pen Hadrow's recent launch of the findings of the Catlin Arctic Survey?

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  • 393. At 08:46am on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    seems the mods didn't like my first posting #331 of this, so i will try again:

    @grumpy-mike #329

    The precautionary principle:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle

    The precautionary principle is a moral and political principle which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.

    Since you consider the cost of remedying the problem to be "reasonable" (my interpretation) who exactly do you consider should pay for that in a country like India for example? I presume you have donated generously to the cause after all a certain charity is regularly appealing for donations even here on NZ television.

    Costs etc:

    http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/mdg1/en/index.html
    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/334/7594/610

    Also google "Providing the world with clean water" British Medical Journal

    Yes, i think it's reasonable and affordable and yes, I am doing my bit, every month. you can too

    Google "One Water"

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  • 394. At 08:53am on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @grumpy-mike #384

    So what should the anti-AGW lobby do? The answer is as above. Prove that the pro-AGW lobby has got it wrong! And the rules are the same for "you" as they are for "them".

    You mean like showing CO2 is incapable of being the primary driver of warming (#5 on Davblo2' list), the IPCC's AGW signature is missing (not on Davblo2 list) and climate sensitivity is low according to observational evidence (not on davblo2s list)?

    @manysummits #388

    1)Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7107/abs/nature05040.html

    2) Thermokarst Lakes as a Source of Atmospheric CH4 During the Last Deglaciation
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/318/5850/633

    Both by Katey Walter et al., University of Alasks Fairbanks

    There's a very good article on Dr. Walter and her work in Scientific American 3.0, summer 2009 issue, "The Peril Below the Ice." You can see it at:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-peril-below-the-ice&page=5

    And her website publication list:
    http://www.alaska.edu/uaf/cem/ine/walter/publications.xml


    I really do think you need to start reading up on evidence. Everything you have listed is possible evidence of warming, but tells us nothing about what caused that warming.

    Which begs the question, are you being deliberately alarmist to push your own agenda?

    ;)

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  • 395. At 08:55am on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    great :)

    the mods allowed my post

    but there should be a line between the quote from wiki and the next paragrath, which is from mikes post

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  • 396. At 09:13am on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    Another one for davblo2's list:

    The Hockey Stick is broken

    Apparently Mann has been shown to be using upside down data to obtain his Hockey Sticks and prove temperature is higher now than at any time in the last 2000 years:

    Mann didn’t just use one Tiljander series upside down; he used all four of them upside down, a point illustrated in the graphic below from a Japanese language article that rather appealed to me.

    This isn’t an opinion. McIntyre personally verified this data inversion with the researcher, Tiljander, who collected the original proxy data. Yet Mann still denies it, probably because using the data right side up doesn’t produce the desired results.


    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/17/iq-test-which-of-these-is-not-upside-down/#more-11784

    See Figures 1, 2 and 3 and McIntyre's own piece here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7411#more-7411

    Hmmm, here's a thought. Since the BBC paraded the Hockey Stick around London in their programme "Climate Wars" to show how the world was warming, shouldn't they now issue a retraction or at least publish the story that Mann got it wrong - in the interest of balance obviously

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  • 397. At 09:24am on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    Lucia's Blackboard has an interesting article on how to produce Hockey Sticks from nothing:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/tricking-yourself-into-cherry-picking/

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  • 398. At 09:43am on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    davblo2, I think you need to take an introductory course in logic.

    "It's a list of all the arguments presented, on this blog, against the principle of AGW.

    You may notice that many are mutually exclusive."

    A sceptical position is one that does not make claims to knowledge: it undermines claims that others make to know something. It is therefore not constrained to be a "unified" position in the same way as the position it is intended to undermine.

    To see this, suppose someone says: "It's Tuesday". A series of sceptical voices reply: "How do you know? -- It might be Monday", "Or Wednesday", "Or Thursday", "Or Friday", "Or Saturday", "Or Sunday".

    These sceptical positions are mutually exclusive, but that does not undermine the sceptical position that we don't know it's Tuesday.

    The position that we know something and the position that we don't know it are not symnmetrical as you suppose.

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  • 399. At 09:55am on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    PAWB46 #390: "If you are so keen on ridiculous and pointless lists, why don't you start a list from the other side?"

    Maybe you are all missing a point here.

    All the claims on my list have been made on this particular blog site "Earth Watch". If you like I can add the references to the relevant blog comments.

    There may well be more if I expand the scope outside this blog.

    Back at #256 we covered the possibility of creating a list in the reverse direction; but I don't recall having seen the kinds of claims you mentioned actually presented here.

    MangoChutneyUKOK #396: "The Hockey Stick is broken"

    I think that is covered by "_1. There is no warming".

    Similarly, some of the other mentioned above are already covered.
    But keep trying.

    /davblo2

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  • 400. At 10:05am on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    it was meant tongue-in-cheek, mate

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  • 401. At 10:20am on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #400: "it was meant tongue-in-cheek, mate"

    It's hard to tell sometimes :-)

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  • 402. At 10:23am on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    grumpy-mike,

    Testing does not yield certainty. I've never met anyone who claimed it did. What it can do is give you some confidence that your hypothesis is "on to something". The basic pattern is this. A hypothesis (plus some other assumptions) implies that something will happen in the future -- something that can be observed directly, such as "the liquid in that beaker will turn blue" or "the needle on that dial will point to the five". or "most of the mosquitoes that land on the walls will die".

    If the prediction does indeed turn out to be true, the hypothesis (plus the other assumptions that produced it) has managed to get over a "hurdle". So we have a somewhat better reason to think that it's true than we did before. But we never, ever have certainty.

    The computer models of "global climate change science" are not tested like that. Inasmuch as they have produced anything like short-term predictions, those predictions have been wrong. ("Arctic ice even worse than expeceted", and so on.)

    Computer modelling is a highly "creative" endeavour. What a model produces is critically dependent on what it has been given to work on. With climate change computer models, the raw material is a set of approximations, wild guesses, "creative accounting", and cooked data (there is no such thing as a "raw datum"). In the absence of genuine testing, any agreement produced by the computer models implies nothing more than "shared raw material". They're simply "borrowing" each other's guesses and approximations. We should all be extremely sceptical of what these models produce.

    "Computer model science" is based on a misundersting of what science involves -- it assumes that science is just a matter of starting off with some "data" and extrapolating from them using induction. That is a huge misunderstanding of science.

    It breaks my heart to see so many well-intentioned people falling for that misunderstanding. I think they are impressed by numbers, and the superficial appearance of rigour that computers tend to give.

    What we need is testing. We cannot have certainty, and those who claim to have it -- "the debate is over" camp -- are leading us up the garden path.

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  • 403. At 10:52am on 18 Oct 2009, hevipedal wrote:

    I read the post of orumpy mike with interest. The treat first as dangerous is a good position. As a police officer I have conducted risk assessments numerous times, there are only 2 useful answers, High Risk or Unknown Risk.
    As a non scientist and a consumer I am a sceptic. But I have eaten organic free range food where I could get it for the last 25 years. Studies may have shown no nutritional benefit but I continue on the basis - do no harm.
    I would love to be given proof one way or the other but until then I believe we should behave with caution and act as if global warming is caused by human activity. First do no harm.
    Proof of couse does not have to be empirical. In a criminal court we have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt. In civil court, on the balance of probabilities. Neither of these demand empirical proof - but it helps.

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  • 404. At 10:53am on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #398: "davblo2, I think you need to take an introductory course in logic."

    Thank you for the advice.

    bowmanthebard #398: "A sceptical position is one that does not make claims to knowledge:..."

    You may like to rephrase that one.

    But seriously; you are correct that any one sceptic can criticise any part of a theory like AGW. But there are different kinds of sceptics.
    It is one thing to say "I don't believe your claim is true; can you prove it"; but most sceptics here actually go further than that and make counter claims. That actually puts them in the position of a theory proponent, although they generally have little to back up their claim.

    If you look at my list you'll see that most involve counter claims rather than simple disbelief.

    So now we have sceptics making mutually exclusive counter claims, which actually means they should be sceptical of each other.

    Are you?

    /davblo2



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  • 405. At 11:03am on 18 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    davblo at 365

    Someone woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed then? My comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek about bunnies but there were other references too, did you spot them? I threw in a red herring with a few digs at the gratuitous-less-than-polite remarks made by some. I suppose there is a use for the lists, tongue-in-cheek maybe? I couldn't help myself crack a sick funny about bunnies because it links nicely with a reference to a google from 2006, the global warming denialists, which you will have to find yourself. Something to do with down in the burrow (or something like that).

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  • 406. At 11:06am on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Richard Black (BBC) #349: "You're also on target about accessibility to all users. It's a real concern of the website's technical staff - users of all browsers and mobile platforms, and blind users who employ screenreading software, should be able to access all material."

    Just one point I've been meaning to make about pdf's.

    You mentioned "blind users who employ screenreading software".

    The version of Adobe Acrobat which I use actually includes an option to "Read Out Loud", which works extremely well (with a Stephen Hawkins kind of voice) on pdf files with textual content.

    So given an appropriate "set up", is should be possible for blind users to include pdf's in the range of material they can listen to.

    I'd hate to think they are missing more than they need to.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 407. At 11:08am on 18 Oct 2009, Spanglerboy wrote:

    In the spirit of not taking ourselves too seriously, here is a little gem I discovered in my teenage daughter’s latest magazine. It was sandwiched between ‘DOES YOUR BOYFRIND REALLY LOVE YOU?’ and ‘HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ABDUCTED BY ALIENS?’ One of those self-awareness tests, you know.


    CLIMATE SCIENCE: ARE YOU ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

    As before simply answer YES or NO to the following questions and then look at the scores to see if you are on the right track.

    1. Do you commend the IPCC for issuing their summary for policy makers 3 months before the technical report, just to make sure those pesky scientists fall in line with the political message?
    2. With regard to the nit-picking British High Court judge who had the audacity to label Al Gore’s brilliant Oscar-winning science documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ a work of propaganda, do you think the Judge should be removed from the bench?
    3. Is 9 years long enough for a publicly funded climate scientist to withhold data from the public at large?
    4. Do you accept that if the BBC decide only to present the AGW side of the argument, they are entirely entitled to do so? (This keeps us on topic!)
    5. Do you agree that the postings of a blogger with many years experience carry a lot more weight than those of a newcomer?

    Scoring.

    Did you spot the trick question? Yes, it’s number 3. Give yourself 1 mark whether you answered yes or no. in all other cases give yourself 1 mark if you answered yes.

    What do the scoes mean?

    Score – 5 – Congratulations you are well equipped to enter the kingdom of Realclimate where the high priest Gavin will embrace you with open arms and clasp you to his bosom. (hope that word is allowed Moderator?)

    Score 3-4 – Signs of doubt are never a good sign. You may have been influence by unsuitable contacts in your early life. Remember doubt is the enemy of Mann.

    Score 1-2 – Oh dear, who’s not going to get an invite to the Copenhagen Summit

    Score 0 – Sinner. Denying the word of Mann et al Gore takes you straight to the gates of purgatory where you will learn the Truth (from the BBC)


    On scepticism

    This is the term that is widely used by you CC people. I regard myself as an agnostic. The AGW hypothesis is possible. The point I wish to make is that the way the proponents present their case BREEDS scepticism.


    On the precautionary principle

    I can see there is some sense in this but unfortunately the proponents do not generally present their case in this way.

    To all -l have a nice day

    Sockpuppet

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  • 408. At 11:18am on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #398: "A sceptical position is one that does not make claims to knowledge:..."

    davblo #404: "You may like to rephrase that one."

    I don't see why. A sceptic is some who says "we don't know X -- it is a mistake to claim that we know X."

    I'm a sceptic about global climate change. I'm saying that we don't know whether the climate is getting warmer, or cooler, or staying the same.

    Getting warmer and getting cooler are mutually exclusive. The fact that the climate can't be doing both doesn't undermine my claim that we don't know what it's doing. I am not contradicting myself by saying it might be doing one or the other (or neither).

    "most sceptics here actually go further than that and make counter claims. That actually puts them in the position of a theory proponent, although they generally have little to back up their claim."

    I'm only speaking for myself, but... You are referring to these other people as "sceptics", so presumably you have some reason to use the word 'sceptic'. The usual reason to call someone a "sceptic" is that they cast doubt on a theory, in other words they say some knowledge-claims are unwarranted.

    "If you look at my list you'll see that most involve counter claims rather than simple disbelief."

    I think you have simply misread them. Do you think I'm claiming, above, that the climate is getting cooler, AND that the climate is getting warmer, AND that it is staying the same? Don't be silly. I am simply saying that we do not know that it is getting warmer, because the so-called "science" that says it is getting warmer is pseuoscience.

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  • 409. At 11:55am on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @davblo2 #399

    Thinking about this, i think you are wrong, my points are new to your list:

    Broken hockey sticks are not a denial of warming, it means the warming is not unprecedented

    Missing AGW is not a denial of warming, it shows the IPCC's predictions are wrong

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  • 410. At 12:05pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #408: "The usual reason to call someone a "sceptic" is that they cast doubt on a theory..."

    Yes, I noticed the way you express your doubt about AGW...

    Here I'll remind you.

    bowmanthebard #381: "It disgusts me that journalists have so far done so little to expose these charlatans and scientific illiterates."

    I could go on...

    You say in #408: "I'm saying that we don't know whether the climate is getting warmer, or cooler, or staying the same."

    Did you notice; you are making a claim. You say "we don't know"

    You almost got to be number 16 but I think it's already covered by...

    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway

    ...don't you?

    /davblo2




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  • 411. At 12:45pm on 18 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Thank you grumpy-mike at post #384 for a very cogently argued commentary. I was very impressed with how consensual you were. There were no put downs, just calm rational debate. I agree with your paragraph:
    ‘Now, for my part, I would love it if you could reverse the current policies. Both I and my immediate family would welcome assurance and acceptance that we and they and future generations have absolutely nothing to fear from AGW resulting from more and more burning of fossil fuels. And I doubt that I am alone in this’.
    We all seek such assurances. In Jungian psychology, it’s the parent-child archetype. But we are not children and we have to look after ourselves. As you say, just sticking our head in the sand and carrying on as usual; more cars, more products (I spend a lot of time trying to ‘declutter’ my home) for the ever increasing number of people on this planet, is just not sustainable. There is so much evidence (and not just from climate scientists) that the ecosystem is under strain.
    You could have added tobacco and asbestos to your list. How many people died and are dying as a result of just these two materials. My own grandfather, a heavy smoker, died in agony of a throat cancer. At the end, the cancer invaded his brain and he suffered terrifying delusions.
    At the very beginning, people didn’t understand the incredible toxicity of either substance but when they did, were they immediately banned? No, and I think we all know why.
    The kind of bullying cant that is being deployed just on this blog is much the same as was used back then to silence critics. Witness some of the latest comments on here from the ‘business as usual’ people (sorry about my continued use of this cliché).
    Why do we humans do this? Always shooting ourselves in the foot. I suppose for some in each generation, short term greed and selfishness are very seductive. The huge vehicle, with the massive tyres, massages the ego. In fact, I even saw an advert recently that inferred that if you really want to intimidate other motorists, ‘buy this’.
    So let’s look at what all this ‘development’ is giving us. Twenty years after Beijing went from being a majority bicycle city to a car owning city with massive industries, has the air quality improved? A chap I worked with, who was originally from India, paid a visit to his native Chennai (formerly Madras). He was amazed to find that when he went for a walk in the street, his eyes soon smarted. He hadn’t known this, growing up there as a young man. Palls of pollution often hang over the world’s cities from Los Angeles to Sydney. A stroll down the Marylebone road in London fills your head with massive noise and your nose with soot. The night sky is lit up and invisible to most.
    Consider this: -
    Most people could not survive 5km above the earth’s surface. The earth’s surface area is 510 x 106 km2 including all the oceans and Antarctica, so this is very conservative.
    The volume of breathable air is thus 510 x 106 x 5 = 2.55 x 109 km 3.
    The earth’s population is 6.7 x 109 rising to 9.0 x 109 within 40 years. The volume of breathable air available to each person for all time is thus about 2.55 / 9 = 0.28 km 3 . That is the equivalent of a column of air for you and me only 240 metres square and 5 km in height. Our cars and all our energy requirements are pumping into that tiny volume of space year after year. Please check my maths as I find that rather disturbing.
    I know they’ll say ‘what is your point?’.
    I think we all know from past experience what their point is.

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  • 412. At 12:56pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #381: "It disgusts me that journalists have so far done so little to expose these charlatans and scientific illiterates."

    davblo2 #410: "I could go on..."

    I take it you think you've made a point of some sort here. Would you mind explaining what you think that point is in more detail?

    Here's my position. I think "climate change science" is pseudoscience, and therefore what it says is untrustworthy, and so it should not be believed. That is a claim about science, and the failures of this particular discipline to meet genuinely scientific standards of evidence, which necessarily involve testing. Because "climate change science" is basically computer modelling instead of testing, it fails to meet those standards.

    So I'm sceptical about what "climate change science" says about the climate, and I think journalists should pay more attention to the fact that it is basically unscientific. Of course it calls itself a "science", and many journalists and politicians are prepared to take its word for it -- but not me. Calling something a "science" is not a reliable indicator of genuine sceince. I wish journalists would do more to expose all that, but alas, journalists tend to rise in their profession because of their command of English rather than their grasp of science.

    You say in #408: "I'm saying that we don't know whether the climate is getting warmer, or cooler, or staying the same."

    davblo2 #410: "Did you notice; you are making a claim. You say "we don't know""

    You are playing a tiresome little epistemological game here. Of course I am making a claim. No one can be sceptical about one thing without claiming to know some other things.

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  • 413. At 1:05pm on 18 Oct 2009, Pogo wrote:

    @davblo2 #356, 7:05pm on 17 Oct 2009:

    maninthesky #352: "...article by Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner"

    Not to pre-judge the guy, but...

    According to Wikipedia...
    "He was elected 'Deceiver of the year' by Föreningen Vetenskap och Folkbildning [Science and Popular Enlightenment] in 1995 for 'organizing university courses about dowsing'..."

    ...maybe not the best start if you want to set about convincing the world of science :-)


    I suppose that there's nothing wrong with having interests outside pure science. "A man needs a hobby". :-)

    That said, if, however, your intention in quoting this comment expresses a wish to continue to play the man rather than the ball you should (amongst many others) discount all of Newton's work as he spent the majority of his time studying and publishing on alchemy.

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  • 414. At 1:12pm on 18 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    My post at 371 was referred to the moderators.

    Over 15 hours later, I have no e-mail explanation and the comment has still not been posted.

    An explanation would be appreciated.

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  • 415. At 1:25pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To Davblo2:

    I still like your list. You are in line I understand for the Nobel Prize for 'Patience.'
    ----------------------

    To soveryodd:

    Nice summation @ #411. I remember driving to the Dryden Space Flight Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California some years ago. The route I was taking was in the desert between Los Angeles and Edwards, and at the time downwind of LA. I have never forgotten the pall of pollution that I saw and felt that day - never. It hit my olfactory mechanism like a brick. Sometimes an experience like that is so very much more powerful than intellectual discussion.
    ----------------------

    To PAWB46:

    391. At 07:42am on 18 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:
    manysummits #388:

    I haven't time to read the articles at the moment, but if you have read them, can you tell me how come all this methane was not released in previous warm periods and why it did not lead to runaway warming and the release of all methane?
    -----------------------

    1) I'm not retired, so I'll read them them for you.

    2) Your statement is a logical fallacy in rhetorical dialogue. I am always amused that you have drifted so far away from your training as a physicist! Perhaps being retired is counter productive? They are always looking for good physicists - perhaps you might reconsider your retirement, and join the Hadley Centre? After all, when your new Conservative government takes office, they will sell the Meteorological Division to Private Enterprise, and you will be 'sitting pretty'! They'll probably give you a Golden Parachute for retiring again!!

    Just kidding PAWB46 - after all, one doesn't want to lose one's sense of humor.

    - Manysummits -




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  • 416. At 1:28pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    yertizz #414: "An explanation would be appreciated."

    It sometimes takes a couple of days for an explanatory email to come through.

    I imagine the vetting goes through several levels of checks where they could actually remove the block and allow it to appear. If it fails all the stages of review, which takes time, then you get the email.

    So, "no news" is "bad news" if you like.
    Best to just get on and write a new comment.

    /davblo2

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  • 417. At 1:39pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #412: "Of course I am making a claim. No one can be sceptical about one thing without claiming to know some other things ."

    bowmanthebard #398: "A sceptical position is one that does not make claims to knowledge:..."

    Now who needs "...an introductory course in logic."?

    /davblo2

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  • 418. At 2:00pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    grumpy-mike #384: "Let me explain..."

    I just found time to go back and read your comments.

    A bit late, but I'll second soveryodd's vote of approval.

    You make some excellent points and present them well.

    Thanks; davblo2

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  • 419. At 2:02pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard: "Of course I am making a claim. No one can be sceptical about one thing without claiming to know some other things ."

    bowmanthebard: "A sceptical position is one that does not make claims to knowledge:..."

    davblo2: "Now who needs "...an introductory course in logic."?"

    I'm afraid it's you, because you seem to have a problem understanding scope. To be sceptical about X is to deny that we have knowledge of X. It is not to say that we have no knowledge of anything at all.

    To see this, suppose you know that some politician or other is a liar. You do not trust him, and so are sceptical about what he says. If he claims that P, you will say, "we do not know that P". Because you do know that he is a liar.

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  • 420. At 2:06pm on 18 Oct 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    soveryodd.

    it strikes me that the examples you (and others) give demonstrate that the individual can (must) take responsibility for reducing their environmental impact, ie. cars, smoking.

    agree, but what about the nation states and their governments?
    what about "our" armed forces?

    in #273 you say "..nobody answered my earlier question as to why a 75 kilogram human being needs to drive around in vehicles which weigh between 1000 kg to 2000kg".

    what about a crew of four in a 60t battle tank? (of course, military vehicles are not even designed with efficiency and economy in mind.)

    you do detailed calculations in #411, can you even begin to estimate the amounts of pollutants (CO2, Polonium210, depleted uranium, whatever) released through warfare and by the manufacture of the means necessary? I cannot find any meaningful stats, it seems like a collective "blind-spot".

    can anyone calculate the disasterous costs of the "collateral damage" to the planet and its people?

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  • 421. At 2:09pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #394: "...the IPCC's AGW signature is missing (not on Davblo2 list)"

    Really sorry MangoChutneyUKOK; I overlooked your favourite.
    You can have slot 16.

    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing
    14. It's all a big con!
    15. It's the journalists fault for not exposing the chartatan scientists
    16. The Hotspot hasn't been detected so there can't be any AGW

    How's that?

    /davblo2

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  • 422. At 2:18pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #419: "To see this, suppose you know that some politician or other is a liar. You do not trust him, and so are sceptical about what he says. If he claims that P, you will say, "we do not know that P". Because you do know that he is a liar."

    (a) Then you need to be more careful what you write. In #398 you distinctly said "does not make claims to knowledge" you didn't qualify to any particular type of knowledge.

    (b) Are you implying that you don't trust scientists because you know they are liars? Tell us more.

    /davblo2

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  • 423. At 2:29pm on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    that's great, thanks, but you have still missed

    "temperatures are not unprecedented"

    thank you for your cooperation

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  • 424. At 2:29pm on 18 Oct 2009, simon-swede wrote:


    jr4412 at #420


    UNEP has done some post-conflict environmental impact assessment work. Recently the web-site for these activities was merged with that for post-disaster assessments, but the information is still available.

    The main page is: http://www.unep.org/conflictsanddisasters/

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  • 425. At 2:31pm on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    You're being distracted from the important points

    Like why does manysummmits repeatedly post the same stuff even though I and others have already responded?

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  • 426. At 2:36pm on 18 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    manysummits #415:

    I'll take your comment with tongue in cheek. Like many others before me, I find retirement is busier than work. In retirement one can pursue so many aims, not just physics. I just assumed that as you referenced the papers on methane, you had read them - easy to make false assumptions.

    My "statement" was meant to be a question, but I can see that the word "all" inadvertently slipped in more than was intended.

    It won't be my government, it will be our (UK citizens only) government, for better or worse. I'm not sure the Met Office or Hadley Centre employs physicists - I'll have to fall back on my experience using computer models - just kidding. I still have a sense of humoUr.

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  • 427. At 2:38pm on 18 Oct 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Davblo2

    I know temperature is covered at 11 on your list, but I would like to submit "All the temperature data has been lost/destroyed" as a separate item for your consideration.

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  • 428. At 2:41pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    davblo2 wrote:

    "Then you need to be more careful what you write. In #398 you distinctly said "does not make claims to knowledge" you didn't qualify to any particular type of knowledge."

    Fair enough, I'll try to be more careful in future. When I say I am a sceptic about "climate change science", I mean that I do not trust its pronouncements on the climate. We do not know whether the climate is getting warmer, or cooler, or staying the same. So I do not claim to know about the climate.

    However, that scepticism is supported by knowledge. So I do claim to know something about science in general, and I think I can identify a science when I see one. Physics, chemistry and biology are sciences. "Climate change science" doesn't look like real science to me, because it doesn't involve proper testing. Computer modelling is not an acceptable substitute for testing. And it seems to crucially rely on appeals to authority and consensus.

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  • 429. At 2:47pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #423: "...but you have still missed: temperatures are not unprecedented"

    Isn't that included in...
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about

    Thank you for your patience; davblo2

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  • 430. At 2:49pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #425: "@bowmanthebard: You're being distracted from the important points"

    No, he's just trying to get "your" facts straight.

    /davblo2

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  • 431. At 3:09pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #428: "Fair enough,..."

    Thank you for taking the time to explain your point of view.

    What did you think about grumpy-mike's explanation of the different roles of science and research in his #384?


    There may not be a better way to analyse and judge the results of our effects on the environment.

    Sometimes we just have to use the best tools at our disposal. Do you know of any better ones?

    /davblo2

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  • 432. At 3:14pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    simon-swede #427: "submit "All the temperature data has been lost/destroyed"

    Thanks for that.
    I'm wondering if...
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    ...should be split to cover the different attacks on temperature data and handling.

    I shall think on it.

    All the best; davblo2

    PS. What was this blog about? :-)

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  • 433. At 3:16pm on 18 Oct 2009, jr4412 wrote:

    simon-swede #424.

    the content there highlights many issues but it is all indicators, no data -- I suppose that's contained in the appendices of the publications they sell.

    in their introduction to "Background on Harmful Substances and Hazardous Waste", for instance, there's mention of the "global economy" and the "growth pattern of global production" but not a word about war (or 'conflict', since they use this term).

    anyway, thanks.

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  • 434. At 3:45pm on 18 Oct 2009, yertizz wrote:

    My post at 414 still has not found a response to the referral at 371.
    So please allow me to repeat the original: Richard @349 you say: '....- if you don't like it, complain to your government, not to us. We're just reporting what they're doing, and trying to analyse the likely consequences - in other words, doing our job......'
    If you were doing your job you would be showing IMPARTIALITY as required in the BBC Charter. You are clearly failing in this regard!

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  • 435. At 3:57pm on 18 Oct 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    "The Power of Nightmares: Your comments
    The Power of Nightmares examines how politicians have used our fears to increase their power and control over society."

    BBC headline 3 August 2005 commenting about a programme on the neo-conservatives and Islam but couldn't this oh so appropriately be applied to the latest disgraceful propaganda from govt ie the £6m ad. on the claimed impact of CO2 on the planet via a father reading a bedtime story to his young daughter.
    In your comment at 6 quoting the BBC Trust
    "Having taken soundings from a number of experts, the BBC Trust (which is an independent body) concluded - in addition to the excerpt you quoted - that:
    "these dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. They cannot be simply dismissed as ‘flat-earthers’ or ‘deniers’, who ‘should not be given a platform’ by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view: for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space."

    So then why so little coverage by the BBC of the letter from over 100 scientists to the UN disputing that climate change science was "settled"

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164002

    Surely this was HUGE news and worthy of coverage.
    Or how about this was re. german scientists -

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/2282/Consensus-Takes-Another-Hit-More-than-60-German-Scientists-Dissent-Over-Global-Warming-Claims-Call-Climate-Fears-Pseudo-Religion-Urge-Chancellor-to-reconsider-views

    It is the paucity of coverage on views such as these that merit the charge of BBC bias.

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  • 436. At 3:58pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Way to go guys !!!

    I was actually laughing reading these last number of posts, and I will extend my congratulations to the denialists for being so sporting too!

    Thank you PAWB46 for your reply! One of my climbing partners is a retired professor of chaos theory, and he finds as you do, that retirement is busier than working life. Maybe that's why I am not retired?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 437. At 5:00pm on 18 Oct 2009, Bryn wrote:

    #435 What a hoot. Here's stuff you'll find irrelevant http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/2009/08/about-those-60-german-scientists.html and http://jules-klimaat.blogspot.com/2009/08/open-letter-to-chancellor-angela-merkel.html
    You might also not like this http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/2008/03/great-math-swindle.html
    BBC bias? Er - no.

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  • 438. At 5:05pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To jr4412 #420:

    "can anyone calculate the disasterous costs of the "collateral damage" to the planet and its people?"
    -------------------------------

    Perhaps, in a sidelong sort of way, like using averted vision to spot a faint star:

    \\\ The Advance of Paleoclimatology & the Decline of Civilization ///

    "Crystallization of a new order of civilization into an uncreative minority of powers that be leads to deterioration and ultimate collapse..."
    - Arnold Toynbee, "A Study of History"
    --------------------------------------

    JR:

    I have just returned from my Sunday morning coffee shop outing, which seems to be where I get some of my blog ideas.

    I just read the following article:

    "The role of terrestrial plants in limiting atmospheric CO2 decline over the past 24 million years"
    - Mark Pagani et al; Nature 460, 85-88 (2 July 2009)

    And I have only the abstract, but will order from my library the following: (online only, by subscription)

    "Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Major Climate Transitions of the Last 20 Million Years"
    - Ardhana Tripati et al; Published Online October 8, 2009
    Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1178296
    ------------------------------------

    To make a long story short, we are talking here of the 'long term carbon cycle', and its relationship to CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. The great Robert Berner of Yale, (Mark Pagani is at Yale also), has a diagram of RCO2 throughout the Phanerozoic (last ~ 600 million years), and this was adapted by Peter Ward of the University of Washington in one of his books (I think "Out of Thin Air",) in which the absolutely striking reverse coupling of CO2 and Oxygen concentrations are displayed.(i.e., CO2 high/Oxygen low and vice-versa)

    What I am trying to say is this. The advances in our understanding of paleoclimatology, and in climate science, driven by a clear and present danger, are nothing short of breathtaking to this long in the tooth observer of science.

    At the very same time, in a reverse coupling of the sort demonstrated in Robert Berner's graphs, the dumbing down of society in modern industrial/consumer/entertainment mad civilization and the concurrent "crystallization of civilization into an uncreative minority of powers that be" is occurring.

    So, at a time when we have inadvertenly terraformed a planet, ours! - we are heading for more conservative times politically, as fear grips the population. This may lead to a gutting of scientific research, and the collapse of our civilized ways of life, as you cannot consume your way out of this mess.

    - Manysummits - the Day After -



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  • 439. At 5:15pm on 18 Oct 2009, antiglobalist wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 440. At 5:20pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    davblo2 asks:
    "What did you think about grumpy-mike's explanation of the different roles of science and research in his #384?"

    A few random comments:

    I completely agree with grumpy-mike's idea that we have think for ourselves and judge for ourselves, rather than accepting the supposed "authority" of this or that "learned professor". By all means consult them, and listen to what they have to say -- then get the other side of the case and do the same. "Experts" disagree with each other, and just guessing which "expert" to trust is not a reliable strategy. That's the real reason why we have jury trials: so that a criminal case against someone is presented in reasonably clear and straightforward language that can be understood by ordinary people. If a case is "too complicated" or "too technical" for ordinary people to understand it, then it should be dismissed. I'd say the same should apply to any public policy. I think it's interesting that the general public is becoming distinctly impatient -- rather bored, in fact -- with the hysteria from the "climate change" camp. They're losing their audience.

    I don't think many working scientists think they are establishing anything with certainty. Testing is vital, but certainty has no role at all to play in science. Scientists make mistakes all the time, just like everyone else. For example, I don't think it was a mistake to use DDT, although it should be used judiciously, and it's better sprayed on the inside walls of buildings than ending up in rivers. But these things happen, usually without malice or even culpable neglect. There's an interestingly clear correlation between the use of DDT and the advance/retreat of malaria in Southern Africa. Malaria is still a big killer, and while environmentalists saved a lot of birds by limiting the use of DDT, they indirectly killed a lot of people!

    When we act rationally, ideally we should take account of two things: how valuable our goal is, and how likely our actions are to achieve that goal. For example, buying a lottery ticket for one pound that gives you a one-in-a-million chance of winning two million pounds is a good deal. But a one-pound lottery ticket that gives you a one-in-a-million chance of winning anything less than a million isn't a good deal. "Saving the planet" is obviously a very valuable goal, but we have no good reason to think that the planet would be "destroyed" if we didn't take action, or that it would be "saved" even if we did take action. In the last few thousand years the Earth seems to be in one of its coldest phases since life began (I get this not from "climate chance science" but from the fossil record) and it would be neither surprising nor disastrous to life in general if temperatures returned to the higher levels that seem to be "normal" in the longer term. So the effects on the planet of taking action or not taking action are quite uncertain. However, the effects on the world's economies of taking action are rather easy to predict: there would be increased poverty, and hence increased disease and death. So the wisest thing to do is not take action, although we should keep thinking about it. But less hysteria, please -- "climate change mania" has become a sort of substitute for old-fashioned religion. There is far too much zeal, and far too much sloganeering along the lines of "saving the planet".

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  • 441. At 5:23pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    By popular demand...

    With thanks to simon-swede for reminding me about the "lost temperature data"

    And thanks to Tree_Fan at #29 for the insight into trees and tree-rings.

    Plus a few I remember from recent blogs...

    "The sceptic's view of AGW"
    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing
    14. It's all a big con!
    15. It's the journalists fault for not exposing the chartatan scientists
    16. The Hotspot hasn't been detected so there can't be any AGW
    17. All the temperature data has been lost/destroyed
    18. Trees do not make good thermometers
    19. You can make a hockey stick out of random data
    20. The upturn in the hockey stick was cherry-picked data
    21. Cycles in the solar wind are the primary driver of climate change

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 442. At 6:05pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    davblo2 wrote:

    "The sceptic's view of AGW"

    It would be fairer to call your list "a range of sceptical alternatives to AGW", because it isn't the unified position of a single person, and it doesn't have to be. There isn't anything wrong with it's not being "unified" or internally consistent.

    Let's return to our lying politician. He says he only took £1000 in legitimate expenses, say. Sceptical alternatives are that he took £2000, or £3000, or £4000,... all the way up to £100,000 and beyond. Those alternatives are not consistent with each other, but they don't have to be!

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  • 443. At 6:28pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2, re request for addition of #22 on your list:

    17. At 9:11pm on 30 Dec 2008, toughNeilHyde wrote:
    The "Hockey stick" is the whole basis of "Mannian" and "IPCC" global warming and is completely flawed, from a statistical basis , let alone scientific.
    -------------

    - Manysummits - sweating it out -

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  • 444. At 6:31pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #442: "a range of sceptical alternatives to AGW"

    I haven't had chance to comment your #440 which was rather too long for me to digest rapidly.

    But since you bring up your "lying politician" again.

    As I said, there are several ways of "being sceptical" about something.

    As it happens, the most "benign", saying...

    "I don't believe your claim is valid or warranted based on the evidence";

    ...which is probably the most that laymen are entitled to say, sounds rather weak. So most anti-AGW'ers don't stop at that. They reinforce their objection by saying...

    "Your theory is wrong because...(you name it)..."

    So back to your politician.
    "Sceptical alternatives are that he took £2000, or £3000, or £4000,... all the way up to £100,000 and beyond"

    Now if sceptics said; "he could have taken 2000", "he could have taken 5000" etc. Then they are compatible because they fit the claim "he could have taken xxx".

    But what we get are sceptics saying "No; he took 2000", "No; he took 5000", etc; which are clearly incompatible.

    Do you see the difference?

    See for example 1 and 2 in my list.
    They are claims made here.
    They are incompatible.
    Who should we debate with?

    /davblo2

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  • 445. At 6:35pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    manysummits 443: "toughNeilHyde wrote: The 'Hockey stick' is the whole basis of 'Mannian' and 'IPCC' global warming and is completely flawed, from a statistical basis , let alone scientific."

    Is that covered by 19 and 20?

    19. You can make a hockey stick out of random data
    20. The upturn in the hockey stick was cherry-picked data

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 446. At 6:42pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2:

    Probably! I'll try harder.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 447. At 6:46pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2 re list addition:

    At 5:51pm on 23 Feb 2009, CuckooToo wrote:
    "... I'm just a little concerned that a lot of school kids are having AGW drummed into them, when the science is not even in, let alone settled."
    ------------

    - Manysummits -

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  • 448. At 6:52pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    davblo2 wrote:

    "Now if sceptics said; "he could have taken 2000", "he could have taken 5000" etc. Then they are compatible because they fit the claim "he could have taken xxx".

    "But what we get are sceptics saying "No; he took 2000", "No; he took 5000", etc; which are clearly incompatible."

    If we're judging the personal integrity or rhetorical skills of sceptics, that's a good point. But shouldn't we look instead at what they are saying? If it is so easy to find worrying alternatives to the orthodoxy, then the orthodoxy is in trouble, even if the worrying alternatives are inconsistent with each other.

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  • 449. At 6:53pm on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    It's pretty sad that you guys can go back nearly a year to read what other people wrote

    Are you keeping tracks on us or something or are you saving comments in your virtual scrap book?

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  • 450. At 7:03pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    manysummits #447: "CuckooToo wrote: ... I'm just a little concerned that a lot of school kids are having AGW drummed into them, when the science is not even in, let alone settled.""

    Yes; we haven't had many of the "digs" at the science...
    I'll go for that... 22...

    "The sceptics' view of AGW"
    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing
    14. It's all a big con!
    15. It's the journalists fault for not exposing the charlatan scientists
    16. The Hotspot hasn't been detected so there can't be any AGW
    17. All the temperature data has been lost/destroyed
    18. Trees do not make good thermometers
    19. You can make a hockey stick out of random data
    20. The upturn in the hockey stick was cherry-picked data
    21. Cycles in the solar wind are the primary driver of climate change
    22. The science is not even in, let alone settled

    All the best; davblo2

    PS; Re: bowmanthebard #442; I corrected the position of the apostrophe in the title. (Hope that helps a bit).

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  • 451. At 7:03pm on 18 Oct 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Many thanks to Bryn Hill for simply illustrating my point on the lack of coverage by the BBC.
    And Davblo2 do please keep this up - so refreshing to be reminded that there are so many different standpoints from the "one true religion" approach of the fanatics!!!

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  • 452. At 7:08pm on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    wasn't it Mr Heckles from Friends who kept a book "My Big Book of Grievances"?

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  • 453. At 7:15pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #448: "If it is so easy to find worrying alternatives to the orthodoxy, then the orthodoxy is in trouble, even if the worrying alternatives are inconsistent with each other."

    Glad you see my point.

    Yes, worrying alternatives would be ... well "worrying".

    But; if they are inconsistent, wouldn't it be better to "root" out which one(s) is(are) valid alternatives before trying to determine whether "orthodoxy" can stand up to each and every one of them in turn. I'm sure the list of "alternatives" would be endless (ok 22 so far) so it's not really an efficient way to progress.

    I'm sure the anti-AGW movement would benefit unmeasurably from a broad, self consistent and properly rationalised attack on the orthodoxy. (Ooops; giving them ideas). Don't you?

    /davblo2

    PS MangoChutneyUKOK #449: "It's pretty sad that you guys can go back nearly a year ...". Have you changed your mind?

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  • 454. At 7:32pm on 18 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    OK, guys, whilst you are having fun making lists, perhaps you could answer the following points:

    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic

    Where exactly is the proof that the warming is anthropogenic?

    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2

    Where exactly is the proof that the warming is caused by CO2?

    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about

    Where exactly is the proof that it is anything to worry about?

    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming

    Where exactly is proof to show CO2 is capable of causing the warming?

    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway

    What exactly did happen to the raw temperature data?

    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it

    Where is the proof that CO2 can lead temperature?

    16. The Hotspot hasn't been detected so there can't be any AGW

    Where is the missing AGW signature predicted by the IPCC?

    17. All the temperature data has been lost/destroyed

    So where is it?

    18. Trees do not make good thermometers

    Tree rings are affected by temperature, moisture, CO2 levels etc. Do you have anything to show trees are good thermometers?

    19. You can make a hockey stick out of random data

    This has been demonstrated, so are you denying it is true?

    20. The upturn in the hockey stick was cherry-picked data

    This has been demonstrated, so are you denying it is true?

    22. The science is not even in, let alone settled

    Only in a closed mind is the science settled.

    I don't think for one minute you will answer or be able to answer the above - manysummits in particular has taken to avoid answering any questions, but I guess if you only have your belief to cling to, any questions are inconvenient to the truth

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  • 455. At 7:33pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #452: "wasn't it Mr Heckles from Friends..."

    You watched Friends? :-;

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  • 456. At 7:40pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Out of respect for the disparaging comments, I've added a "0", "fundamental" item to the list. Thanks for prompting; Sparklet #451 and MangoChutneyUKOK #452 and several other.

    "The sceptics' view of AGW"
    _0. This list is a load of rubbish!
    _1. There is no warming
    _2. There is warming but it's not anthropogenic
    _3. There is anthropogenic warming but it's not caused by CO2
    _4. There is anthropogenic warming by CO2 but not enough to worry about
    _5. CO2 has risen but it's not capable of causing warming
    _6. CO2 hasn't risen
    _7. Arctic ice isn't disappearing
    _8. Arctic ice is disappearing but the Antarctic is more important
    _9. It gets cold at night so it can't be warming
    10. It has been warming but now it's cooling
    11. We don't trust the temperature measurements anyway
    12. CO2 has always lagged warming in the past so it can't cause it
    13. AGW may be real; but it could be a good thing
    14. It's all a big con!
    15. It's the journalists fault for not exposing the charlatan scientists
    16. The Hotspot hasn't been detected so there can't be any AGW
    17. All the temperature data has been lost/destroyed
    18. Trees do not make good thermometers
    19. You can make a hockey stick out of random data
    20. The upturn in the hockey stick was cherry-picked data
    21. Cycles in the solar wind are the primary driver of climate change
    22. The science is not even in, let alone settled

    /davblo2

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  • 457. At 8:31pm on 18 Oct 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Post # 440 says:-

    ‘"Saving the planet" is obviously a very valuable goal.....’

    My goodness, that’s quite an insight.

    But post # 440 goes on:-

    ‘but we have no good reason to think that the planet would be "destroyed" if we didn't take action..’

    This made me laugh and think of the Vogons in ‘Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy’. As I said at # 411 above, it’s not the planet we’re worried about. It’s the small amount of gas we call the atmosphere. If that is poisoned by nature then, well, that’s life. If it is poisoned by humankind then that is unforgiveable. We should really have left it to the dolphins.

    He/she also says (#440 again):- ‘In the last few thousand years the Earth seems to be in one of its coldest phases since life began (I get this not from "climate chance science" but from the fossil record)’

    Who collected these ‘fossil records’? Not those pesky scientists, I hope? How can we trust them?

    And again he says: - ‘However, the effects on the world's economies of taking action are rather easy to predict: there would be increased poverty, and hence increased disease and death...’

    How do we know this? I thought we couldn’t predict anything? In fact, equally, we may enter a new age of prosperity where cancer and disease are conquered. After all, are n’t many hydrocarbons carcinogenic? Without them all swirling around in the atmosphere, won’t we all be quid’s in?

    I had hoped for better. At least you could have agreed that the atmosphere is very thin and fragile. I did all that arithmetic, after all (#411).

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  • 458. At 8:36pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2:

    My favorite on your list:

    "_0. This list is a load of rubbish!"

    \\\ Stroke of Genius ///

    - manysummits -

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  • 459. At 8:48pm on 18 Oct 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    For shame Davblo2 - you've spoilt your list - why should 0. be the sceptics view???

    Oh and just another little reminder of who those sceptics are -

    http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

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  • 460. At 8:53pm on 18 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    davblo2:

    Let's face it, we don't know all the causes of a changing climate. We can speculate about historical changes (geological effects, Milankovitch cycles etc), but the reasons for the warmings and coolings of the modern era (Holocene) are still not fully understood. I cannot speak for other sceptics, but I would expect that the warmings and coolings are due to s combination of factors. I don't know how much can be due to the sun (sunspots etc), volcanoes, ocean cycles, and the many other things that people speculate about. Any of these are plausible, but there is no evidence that CO2 drives climate change (the opposite in fact as been discussed before). Thus CO2 is less plausible than the others as a driver of climate change.

    Hope this gives you a few more factors to add to your list.

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  • 461. At 9:01pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    manysummits #458: "My favorite on your list:"

    Glad it wasn't wasted. :-)

    All the best, davblo2

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  • 462. At 9:07pm on 18 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    soveryodd #457;

    I said I wouldn't exchange comments with you, but I have to disagree with your comment that the "atmosphere is very thin and fragile". It is about 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen, with small amounts of other trace gases and varying amounts of water vapour. It has survived enormous changes in the recent past (millions of years), especially from volcanoes and has always survived. To use a term beloved of "climate scientists", the atmosphere may be a thin shell but it would appear to be "robust", not fragile.

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  • 463. At 9:08pm on 18 Oct 2009, Neil Hyde wrote:

    Well I go away for a few months , and I find I'm still commenting on the blogs thanks to other people (#443 and subsequent)

    Nice of you all to bring that up as it has become topical again following the SM expose of Briffa and Yamal. And to return this thread to Richards original intent , where was the BBC reporting of the Yamal controversy ? Where is the reporting of the early snowfalls in the US and nothern Europe ?

    davblo , come on your not trying hard enough , going to bed soon , but would like a laugh before I go , please add some more to your list , it's the funniest thing I have seen since AIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....and about as accurate.

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  • 464. At 9:14pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    soveryodd wrote:

    "it’s not the planet we’re worried about. It’s the small amount of gas we call the atmosphere. If that is poisoned by nature then, well, that’s life. If it is poisoned by humankind then that is unforgiveable."

    Humans are part of nature. Smallpox is part of nature. Hydrocarbons are part of nature.

    "He/she also says (#440 again):- ‘In the last few thousand years the Earth seems to be in one of its coldest phases since life began (I get this not from "climate chance science" but from the fossil record)’

    "Who collected these ‘fossil records’? Not those pesky scientists, I hope?"

    Real scientists, yes -- not "climate change" computer modellers.

    "And again he says: - ‘However, the effects on the world's economies of taking action are rather easy to predict: there would be increased poverty, and hence increased disease and death...’

    "How do we know this? I thought we couldn’t predict anything?"

    Learn how to read, then get back to me.

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  • 465. At 9:19pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    AIT?

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  • 466. At 9:27pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #454: "perhaps you could answer the following points:..."

    Thank you very much for confirming the validity of over have of the items my list.

    :-) davblo2

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  • 467. At 9:31pm on 18 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    In the interest of balance since some are concerned about global warming causing methane levels to rise:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/10/08/the-ups-and-downs-of-methane/

    Difficult things predictions/projections.

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  • 468. At 9:36pm on 18 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #464: "Learn how to read, then get back to me."

    Every now and again now and again, I feel this optimism; that our antagonists are actually humane, compassionate people and that we might just be able to conduct a really constructive discussion and reach some meaningful conclusions.

    And than they go and let me down.

    "Learn how to read" ????

    /davblo2

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  • 469. At 10:17pm on 18 Oct 2009, Bryn wrote:

    #451
    Sparklet, please tell me you're not serious or I may die of irony or laughter. Its not a comfortable way to go either way. I don't expect the BBC reported the death of Bambi either - well not as fact.
    Are you honestly claiming that the BBC is biased because they don't headline this stuff? Please stop, my sides are aching. I am beginning to believe that there are people who can't tell the difference between what gets into Nature and what gets into the Beano. Please tell me it aint so.
    Tell you what, lets get the Dorking Girl Guides troop to write to Frau Merkel telling her that AGW's a myth and challenge the BBC not to headline it. That'll nail them!

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  • 470. At 10:23pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "I thought we couldn’t predict anything?"

    This is such a superficial and lazy misreading of everything I've said, why should I bother wasting my time trying to respond to it? Why should I bother trying to be polite, if this person doesn't bother trying to understand what I've been saying?

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  • 471. At 10:44pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To PAWB46:

    462. At 9:07pm on 18 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:
    soveryodd #457;

    I said I wouldn't exchange comments with you, but I have to disagree with your comment that the "atmosphere is very thin and fragile". It is about 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen, with small amounts of other trace gases and varying amounts of water vapour. It has survived enormous changes in the recent past (millions of years), especially from volcanoes and has always survived. To use a term beloved of "climate scientists", the atmosphere may be a thin shell but it would appear to be "robust", not fragile. [emphasis mine]
    -----------

    Strongly implicit in your statement is the 'fact' of an unchanging atmosphere with "about 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen" (your words).

    Nothing could be further from the full truth of the matter, even though our knowledge, as always, is incomplete.

    I am replying to you in a serious vein on this one, PAWB46, in the hopes that you will 'unretire' long enough to read the following link, which directly addresses your mistaken assumption of a robust atmosphere, which in the context of your post, strongly implies an unchanging atmosphere of composition similar to our present one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_atmosphere#Evolution_of_Earth.27s_atmosphere
    ----------------

    In the interests of scientific discussion, the audience is entitled to know whether you have inadvertenly claimed an essentially unchanging atmosphere, or are simply unaware of the profound magnitude of atmospheric change that has occurred in Earth's long history?

    I will excerpt from the link above to illustrate:

    1) Earliest atmosphere:

    ... this atmosphere would have contained 80% water vapor, 10% carbon dioxide, 5 to 7% hydrogen sulfide, [my emphasis] and smaller amounts of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, methane and inert gases.

    2) Second atmosphere:

    ... Sometime during the late Archaean era an oxygen-containing atmosphere began to develop, [my emphasis] apparently from photosynthesizing algae which have been found as stromatolite fossils from 2.7 billion years ago.

    3) Third atmosphere

    Free oxygen did not exist until about 1.7 billion years ago [my emphasis] and this can be seen with the development of the red beds and the end of the banded iron formations. This signifies a shift from a reducing atmosphere to an oxidising atmosphere. O2 showed major ups and downs until reaching a steady state of more than 15%[15]. The following time span was the Phanerozoic era, during which oxygen-breathing metazoan life forms began to appear.
    ------------------

    In addition, the Phanerozoic Era, roughly the last six hundred million years, and the time of easily visible fossil remains, has itself been extremely variable, according to the work of Robert Berner of Yale and many others.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v426/n6964/abs/nature02131.html
    ------------------

    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/EarthSciences/Geophysics/?view=usa&ci=9780195173338

    Excerpt:

    "This unusually readable research monograph addresses the long-term carbon cycle over the past 550 million years. Berner, a distinguished professor at Yale University, has drawn from decades of pioneering research experiences to give readers a detailed, balanced road map to carbon cycle modeling. Slender but dense, the book examines the processes that lead to the long-term carbon cycle and concludes with a chapter apiece on the evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations... The unique resource, well edited and with clear line graphics, is appropriate for graduate students and above and essential for carbon cycle researchers."
    ------------------------------

    http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2008AM/finalprogram/abstract_146199.htm
    ----------------


    - Manysummits -



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  • 472. At 10:51pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2 re #468:

    "Every now and again now and again, I feel this optimism; that our antagonists are actually humane, compassionate people and that we might just be able to conduct a really constructive discussion and reach some meaningful conclusions.

    And than they go and let me down."
    ------------------------

    Ditto - in spades!!!

    - Manysummits -

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  • 473. At 11:45pm on 18 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    Meant to do this last night (our time NZ) but my browser was acting up making life difficult. Then I remembered I wanted to get up early to watch Formula 1 so shut down the computer without saving the work. Lax computer discipline.

    Let me digress a minute. Retirement!!!! When you "go" to work, you can negotiate your work hours/pay. When you no longer "go" to work, she who must be obeyed.........!!!!!!!!

    Back to continue this discussion, mainly with MANGOCHUTNEY UKOK

    Firstly, Mango, anyone who is prepared to actually do something about something they care about has my utmost admiration. I too am trying to do my bit, it's just a slightly different direction and no doubt for a different reason.

    Secondly, you ask about the "evidence/ scientific consensus" that might be acceptable etc and quoted an example for my consideration. Your question deserves an answer and I'm not at all sure my answer will help.As I have said before I know very little about climate science but I have had considerable experience trying to battle "the powers that be".

    What I found was that the value of the evidence was immaterial compared with the power of the lobby group presenting that evidence. You need a very powerful lobby group, more influential than the IPCC. It's much harder to undo a policy once it has gained any sort of a foothold.

    In my circumstances, the issues I was raising were insignificant compared with this current debate and I was content to "stop bashing my head against the brick-wall of bureaucracy.

    One final comment, raised by:
    re-#440. At 5:20pm on 18 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard when he wrote regarding the use of DDT.

    Every thing he said was perfectly correct but he failed to add two other points not that they detract from his comment but they are pertinent to what I want to end with.

    DDT has been linked to breast cancer although there is a degree of controversy over the results of the research. But just as importantly there is ample data to show that the mosquito has the ability to build-up resistance. This relationship is more widespread than with just insecticides and mosquitoes. Almost invariably wherever an insecticide or pesticide has been used as a control measure, the target has been able to develop a resistance.

    So, when Mango expresses alarm at some of the proposed remedies,some of which have been lauded in the media recently like atmospheric engineering and seeding the oceans, these scare the living daylights out of me.

    So, let's keep this blog light hearted and not resort, as is happening a little bit here, to playing the man rather than the ball! WE can leave that to our No1 Sporting team here in NZ.



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  • 474. At 00:12am on 19 Oct 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re. 471. At 10:44pm on 18 Oct 2009, manysummits

    Interesting isn't it what happens when you put all the graphs together (including Berner's) -

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/16/searching-the-paleoclimate-record-for-estimated-correlations-temperature-co2-and-sea-level/#more-11753

    And unlike the 'alarmists' who can be very coy about their data the sceptics are more than happy to publish!!

    But no doubt this will be too 'detailed' for the BBC to cover - they seem to prefer the simple hockey stick approach!!!

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  • 475. At 00:30am on 19 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #470: "This is such a superficial and lazy misreading of everything I've said, why should I bother wasting my time trying to respond to it? Why should I bother trying to be polite, if this person doesn't bother trying to understand what I've been saying?"

    I recognise your feeling of frustration. But one thing is for sure; impoliteness and insults will not solve it.

    I myself, try to keep my comments as short, simple, logical and to the point as possible, in the hope that that makes them easier to understand.

    We have a tremendous power of communication at our disposal. We ought to have the sense and skill to use it fruitfully.

    /davblo2

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  • 476. At 01:20am on 19 Oct 2009, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @MangoChutneyUKOK #397 wrote:
    “ Lucia's Blackboard has an interesting article on how to produce Hockey Sticks from nothing:
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/tricking-yourself-into-cherry-picking/

    I pointed this out in post #279.

    In post #285 soveryodd wrote:
    “ RobWansbeck at #279. What is rankexploits.com and who is Lucia. I can’t find any information about whether it’s just a random website or something that just makes stuff up. As you guys say, ‘Could you enlighten us as to exactly where it’s coming from or is it just more of the same obfuscation that is being put up here to confuse? Thankyou. “

    After explaining in post #289 soveryodd wrote in post #342:
    “ Usual bizarre websites referenced...nothing new there, then. “

    This is a problem. People post well documented mathematics and soveryodd sees 'bizarre'.

    For an insight into Mann 2008 check out these:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/hockey-stick-cps-revisited-part-1/

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/histori-hockey-stick-pt-2/

    As the blog author Jeff Id says:
    “ Most here probably know I did a lot of this sort of thing. It’s astounding that anyone could pass this through peer review. “

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  • 477. At 01:29am on 19 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    "Negotiators have 50 days to save the world from global warming,.... ."

    Prime Minister of UK at work here!

    Obvious where he is coming from.........wants to look like the good guy!

    Once again..I'm not on either side.........but,see Mango...........that's what you are up against! Pretty powerful stuff, heh?

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  • 478. At 06:33am on 19 Oct 2009, Neil Hyde wrote:

    AIT = An Inconvenient Truth

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  • 479. At 07:02am on 19 Oct 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    bowmanthebard at #428 wrote: “I think I can identify a science when I see one. Physics, chemistry and biology are sciences. "Climate change science" doesn't look like real science to me, because it doesn't involve proper testing. Computer modelling is not an acceptable substitute for testing.”

    If he is equating “climate [change] science” with computer modelling, I think he is greatly mistaken as he would be disregarding a host of other elements of climate science from a range of disciplines, and are underpinned by observation and analysis.

    As for your “real sciences” of physics, chemistry and biology, these cover an immense range of subject areas. They include many fields of research that involve considerable computer modelling – are those bits of physics, chemistry and biology any lesser “real sciences” because of this?

    Computer modelling is a tool. Knowing its limitations and what it can be suitably used for is part of using the tool wisely whatever the field of research.

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  • 480. At 07:27am on 19 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    manysummits #271

    I think you either deliberately misread what people say or deliberately misconstrue what people say or just read carelessly. I deliberately said at #462 "the recent past (millions of years)". So why try and infer I was claiming the atmosphere has been unchanged for billions of years. We all know (or should know) that before the atmosphere was 'poisoned with oxygen' and the biosphere developed, it was a totally different atmosphere.

    In particular I did not say or imply the 'fact' that the atmosphere is 'unchanging' (your words, not mine). No wonder you do not understand what drives the climate if you deliberately misread the written word.

    You obviously do a lot of reading (from the references you keep giving). I suggest that it is more important to read with care rather than skim-read - quality not quantity.

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  • 481. At 08:01am on 19 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    grumpy-mike #473 wrote:

    "when Mango expresses alarm at some of the proposed remedies,some of which have been lauded in the media recently like atmospheric engineering and seeding the oceans, these scare the living daylights out of me."

    You might be entertained by the following article from Newsweek in 1975, which describes a remedy proposed to counter the then big fear of global cooling: cover the polar ice caps with soot, to promote absorption of sunlight and hence warm the planet up:

    http://denisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm

    What a mess!

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  • 482. At 08:01am on 19 Oct 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    davblo2 #466

    You're very welcome

    Care to answer any of the questions or will you and others avoid the questions as usual?

    @grumpy-mike #473

    anyone who is prepared to actually do something about something they care about has my utmost admiration

    Me too and thank you

    You need a very powerful lobby group, more influential than the IPCC. It's much harder to undo a policy once it has gained any sort of a foothold.

    Agreed, which is why it is extremely important that the BBC reports on the doubts expressed by other scientists and don't follow the AGW line. Investigate BBC, that's what some reporters used to do.

    Where is the BBC report on the lost raw data?

    Where is the report on Manns upside down tree ring studies?

    @PAWB46 #480

    You should add "post statements, but then refuse to answer questions based on his posts"

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  • 483. At 08:08am on 19 Oct 2009, grumpy-mike wrote:

    Hi lads. haven't seen #481 or #482 yet, still under moderation but some of this discussion appears to be getting heated.

    Life's too short for that.

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  • 484. At 09:20am on 19 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    Howdy-
    go away for a weekend and the blog doubles- didn't have time to read all- apologies, but i noticed someone asked for references to back up my 'claims'

    = antartica has seen a recent cooling trend:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v415/n6871/abs/nature710.html

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2000JCli...13.1674C

    reasons for artificially high peninsula tempertures (back to cfcs really)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/296/5569/895

    Net ice gain in antarctica

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/295/5554/476


    Oh, and i'll throw in some raw data on sea level rises too-

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/ (you have to navigate the page to get to the data- the average sea rise per year is interesting, and kind of the exact opposite to what gordon brown has JUST claimed).

    Want anymore just ask- tonnes more where this came from.

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  • 485. At 09:29am on 19 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Hmmm. The BBC is now reporting Gordon Brown as saying:'The UK faces a "catastrophe" of floods, droughts and killer heatwaves if world leaders fail to agree a deal on climate change, the prime minister has warned.'

    Sounds like he is reporting computer model projections; very scary; get out the tin hats, our PM has spoken.

    Didn't the Met Office recently warn about the dangers of being too alarmist?

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  • 486. At 09:34am on 19 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    But there's some good news on the BBC: 'Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, telling Newsweek magazine "the prospects that states will actually agree to anything in Copenhagen are starting to look worse and worse".'

    Hope his prediction is right for all our sakes.

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  • 487. At 09:56am on 19 Oct 2009, Pogo wrote:

    Oh dear... Gordon Brown has said that we're all going to fry. Better start buying blanket and heating futures!

    Well done BBC. A very balanced report. Especially the wondrously cherry-picked summary of climate change that unaccountably appears in the "science" section rather than the "politics" which is where one would asssume it should be.

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  • 488. At 10:04am on 19 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    No wonder sceptics keep asking for the evidence to show that CO2 causes global warming. Here is the evidence as provided by an unbiased BBC under the heading "Climate change: The evidence" see [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]This is the first section under the heading "Warmer world". There are also sections on "Gas emissions" "Melting ice" "Rising seas" "The future?"

    'Our world is getting warmer. Over the last 100 years the average global surface temperature has risen by about 0.74C.

    This seemingly small rise has already had a significant effect on our planet.

    For example, the record books have had to be re-written recently, as 11 of the 12 hottest years recorded so far have all taken place since 1995.

    It is "very likely" that the rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the cause of climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, are the primary source behind this increase.'

    Three graphs are also shown, including a hockey stick complete with splicing.

    I suggest there is no evidence there. Having read all five sections, I see no evidence in any of them.

    Richard, I would be interested for you to explain to us what you or the BBC actually think evidence is (preferably scientific evidence).

    Where is the evidence against which the hypothesis that human emissions of CO2 are causing global warming (runaway or catastrophic) can be tested?

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  • 489. At 10:32am on 19 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    LabMunkey #484: "...the average sea rise per year is interesting, and kind of the exact opposite to what gordon brown has JUST claimed)."

    Could you explain how you interpret the graph at the bottom of the page at "Sea level change", (which shows a 50mm rise over 16 years), as being the "exact opposite" of something someone said? Is someone claiming levels fell 50mm?

    /davblo2

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  • 490. At 11:02am on 19 Oct 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Here's one for you to get your teeth into Mango, PAWB, Munk et al...
    (from the BBC no less)

    "Cosmic pattern to UK tree growth"

    "As yet, they cannot explain the pattern, but variation in cosmic rays impacted tree growth more than changes in temperature or precipitation."

    Good luck; davblo2

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  • 491. At 11:08am on 19 Oct 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @davblo-

    i beg your pardon- i was being flippant with regard to the original sea rise estimates, and subsequent claims regarding accelerating sea level rises. I was assuming that gordon brown was reffering to those in his speech- so of course it would only be a direct opposite in respect to the interpretation of the data- i.e. a right one and a wrong one.

    note to self- don't post before the first cup of tea.

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  • 492. At 11:17am on 19 Oct 2009, oldgifford wrote:

    Richard, you say that the BBC is not biased but the Copenhagen Q&A says;

    "Successive scientific reports, notably those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have come to ever firmer conclusions about humankind's influence on the modern-day climate, and about the impacts of rising temperatures."

    Please let us have a balanced view of the climate change debate, the IPCC belief that “it is more than 90% probable that humankind is largely responsible for modern-day climate change” will be catastrophic to many economies if it is wrong, and there is a lot of science, not beliefs, from distinguished scientists that dispute this view.

    So where is the balancing statement "that many distinguished scientists, however, are increasing dissenting from the IPCC view" ?

    Where is the coverage of what must be a notable climate event, Steve McIntyre’s analysis of the tree ring data used to produce the hockey stick curve? I couldn’t find any reference to your blog reporting this controversy, yet the IPCC argument for AGW is built on this graph.

    Please let us have a balanced view, the IPCC have a vested interest, if there is no AGW they would have to pack their bags and go home as their charter is solely concerned with AGW.

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  • 493. At 11:21am on 19 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Re my post #488. The link was to BBC page.

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  • 494. At 11:40am on 19 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    davblo2 wrote:

    "As yet, they cannot explain the pattern, but variation in cosmic rays impacted tree growth more than changes in temperature or precipitation."

    No doubt davblo2 is trawling for a new "crackpot item" for his list!

    I'm sure that cosmic rays have no effect on tree rings, but there might be some co-variation between tree rings and cosmic rays all the same. More cosmic rays reach Earth when the Sun's magnetic activity decreases, i.e. when the Sun is less active, as at the moment (we are in a very deep and long period of solar inactivity). That's also when it heats the Earth least.

    Something similar may be happening with babies born in the month of May. They are wheeled out into the sunshine, where many different adults smile at them and interact with them. Unlike babies born in January, which spend their first few months in the dark isolation of their parents' bedsit. Astrologers are (rightly) scoffed at for suggesting there is a causal connection between position of celestial bodies at birth and personality, but there is probably a correlation all the same, for much more sensible reasons than "mysterious celestial influences".

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  • 495. At 11:48am on 19 Oct 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    davblo2 #490. Very interesting article and conclusion. Thanks for drawing our attention to it.

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  • 496. At 11:53am on 19 Oct 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Progress !!!

    "PM warns of climate 'catastrophe'" [Gordon Brown]

    Agreement at Copenhagen "is possible", he concluded.

    "But we must frankly face the plain fact that our negotiators are not getting to agreement quickly enough. So I believe that leaders must engage directly to break the impasse."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8313672.stm
    -------------

    - Manysummits -

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  • 497. At 12:00pm on 19 Oct 2009, Bryn wrote:

    A question for Richard:
    How many people read your blog and these comments? Life being short and there being so much else to do I don't usually think it's worth replying to the nonsense that swirls around here except a laugh - but I might change my mind if I thought it was having an influence.
    Sadly the nonsense stays the same - but I guess it's good to know what we can rely on.
    #492 No, Oldgifford, the BBC doesn't need to publish such a statement because it isn't true. It would be accused of bias, with good reason, if it did.

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  • 498. At 12:10pm on 19 Oct 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    Monday morning, coffee in hand... time to give what perspectives I can on some of the interesting points you've raised.

    At first I thought we were talking at cross purposes, MangoChutneyUKOK, on this idea of a "signature" of anthropogenic GW. But on a second thought, I don't think we are. You say - and the IPCC agrees - that warming due to greenhouse gases (GHGs) should produce a discernible pattern of effects, spatially and temporally, in the atmosphere, that distinguishes it warming due to natural causes. I went back to Chapter 9 of IPCC WG1. I'm not going to try and summarise it in any detail because it's too tall an order - my suggestion is to read the whole thing - but essentially, as I read it, it boils down to this: the pattern of warming expected from GHGs is well constrained and so are the actual levels of GHGs, but that's not true for other anthropogenic factors affecting the climate, such as sulphate aerosols, black carbon, etc. This leads to the conclusion:

    "It is extremely unlikely (less than 5%) that the global pattern of warming during the past half century can be explained without external forcing, and very unlikely that it is due to known natural external causes alone."

    So clearly, in the IPCC's view, the signature has indeed been found with high probability.

    bowmanthebard, you're right - but this thread has been particularly concerned with alleged bias in reporting of climate science, so I can understand why comments on the wider issues you mention have been relatively absent here.

    You and others have raised the issue of language used between various factions here; and I thought it worth mentioning that on these pages, we have taken the decision not to use the word "denier" as simple short-hand for any group - because it isn't entirely accurate, and because of the historical connotations it carries.

    rootundular - another accusation of "bias" without any evidence. More unwillingness to read or understand the fact that some perceive our "bias" to be in the opposite direction; more unwillingness to confront what that implies about where "bias" really lies.

    PAWB46, thanks for demonstrating perfectly one of the points I made in a previous comment. The article on MEF is about the politics of the issue. The UK government and all the others involved in the MEF meeting are there precisely because they are persuaded that man-made climate change needs addressing. And all governments involved in the UN process - which includes those in MEF - have publically endorsed the UN process as having "primacy". As an organisation that has observed the UN process and other climate negotiations for a considerable while - and that was instrumental in securing the UK's climate change bill - FoE is highly qualified to comment on what is needed in order to achieve the deal that everyone involved says they want.

    In case that's not clear, let me give an analogy. You're writing a news story about government health policies. The government says it wants to achieve an advance that we'll call X in treatment of disease Y. Campaign group Z has been researching and lobbying on that issue for years. Is it biased if a journalist looks for comment from group Z on whether the policies just unveiled will actually achieve advance X? I fail to see how it can be; and neither is the article you mentioned.

    Likewise, yertizz, I hope I've already shown that any simplistic idea of allocating "equal amounts" to each side is not recognised by the BBC Trust as amounting to impartiality in this regard - because there are more than two sides (in fact the spectrum is highly nuanced), and because insofar as you can make a simple divide into "sceptics" and "believers", the see-saw is not evenly weighted. As the Trust says - and as I hope this thread demonstrates - the "sceptical" voice should not be, and is not being, censored.

    NeilHamp, I've already commented on the forthcoming Piers Corbyn presentation.

    Nice to see you back, toughNeilHyde. I've already commented on why I'm not minded to cover the Yamal controversy and similar matters on a blow-by-blow basis. Sparklet, you appear to be insisting that this amounts to bias. I do not agree. As I wrote earlier, if and when there are indications that this line of work promises to have a serious impact on the overall paleoclimatic record, that would of course be something meriting attention. That is almost certainly something that would necessitate papers published in reputable peer-reviewed journals.

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  • 499. At 12:17pm on 19 Oct 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Can there be a positive impact from the collective action of ordinary people?

    I don't know how many people visit this site but if you had the final say in what each individual must do to enable our children to have a reasonable existence in the future, what 10 things would you say we must do?

    In advance of Copenhagen, are there real and positive steps that we as individuals can take or does everything depend on government and major corporation commitment?

    So, instead of a list of crackpot ideas for amusement and entertainment (of which I am just as guilty) can we have a list of serious ideas that will help us know what to do for the best.

    I am sure this will stretch your minds into thinking collectively. As scientists you have relevant information at your disposal and as ordinary people we have willpower and practical determination, which if guided wisely, we will overcome some of the issues heading towards us.

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  • 500. At 12:34pm on 19 Oct 2009, HaloBurn wrote:

    "Nice to see you back, toughNeilHyde. I've already commented on why I'm not minded to cover the Yamal controversy and similar matters on a blow-by-blow basis. Sparklet, you appear to be insisting that this amounts to bias. I do not agree. As I wrote earlier, if and when there are indications that this line of work promises to have a serious impact on the overall paleoclimatic record, that would of course be something meriting attention. That is almost certainly something that would necessitate papers published in reputable peer-reviewed journals."

    Are you saying that all the news on climate change the BBC has reported has peer reviewed papers published supporting them?


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