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COP15 Copenhagen climate summit: Day 3

Richard Black | 15:29 UK time, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

2344 CET: There's a new guest on my blog, as you may have noticed; to the right-hand side of these words, the daily audio diary from my BBC World Service colleague Matt McGrath.

Over the last few years, Matt has been to even more of these gatherings than I have, and in his diary he's bringing you (to mis-quote the words of the inimitable This is Spinal Tap), "the sights, the sounds, the smells of a hard-working climate negotiation on the road".

All I know so far is that initial entries include a deconstruction of some of the jargon we have to deal with in these talks, and a look at some of the - ahem - internal pressures that can keep a deal at bay.

Listen and enjoy.

1857 CET: What a host of issues were raised today with the opening of a rift - I won't go so far as to call it a chasm - between small, relatively poor developing countries and some of their richer and more powerful brethren.

We will have to watch what happens because the plot lines change fast here; but potentially the stand of small island states and some of the poorer African countries will prove to be of major significance.

Countries most vulnerable to climate impacts have chosen the politically risky option of not only criticising the western industrialised powers, which is expected and routine, but also the Chinas and Indias and Brazils of this world.

They simply want all the big emitters to do more - to put tougher constraints on emissions than have been pledged so far - because they feel their survival as countries and cultures is at stake.

Intriguingly, the move has also raised very different reactions among the NGO community here.

Some groups see a split in the developing world bloc as disastrous. They say it is only through having been united for so long that they have gained strength in international negotiations - not only on climate change, but on trade and other issues.

Others feel that's an old-fashioned view; that the world has changed, and small nations need to extricate themselves from the powerful grip of the emerging economies and the Gulf states just as they once had to fight off the yoke of colonial powers.

In the conference hall today, we have been living in interesting times.

1439 CET: So as I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to try and give you a quick look at how the UN climate conferences work - or how they don't.

I'll have to do it in bite-sized chunks, otherwise I risk your sanity as well as mine.

The official negotiations proceed along two "parallel tracks" that - in theory at least - have equal weight.

A man looks at the UN climate conference logo

One is the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Co-operative Action (AWG-LCA) - the other the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP).

The remit of the second is a bit easier to set out, because the Kyoto Protocol already exists. The matters it is looking at include:

• commitments by developed nations still inside the protocol (the vast majority) to cut greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2012
• how the Adaptation Fund is working
• and whether the number of greenhouse gases covered by the protocol should be increased.

The AWG-LCA is a little more nebulous. "Long-term co-operative action"...what is that?

Part of it is emission reductions from developed countries outside the Kyoto Protocol - especially, in this context, the US - and emission curbs from developing countries.

It includes financial mechanisms not covered by the Kyoto Protocol, such as the idea for a "quick-start" fund of $10bn per year proposed by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Another facet is the future shape and operation of the UN climate convention.

How discussions progress in these "tracks", though, is uneven. Sometimes there are plenary sessions in which virtually every country is represented, and sometimes negotiators break into smaller working groups to thrash through a specific issue (the AWG-KP currently has four such groups).

Mainly negotiators work from texts that could form the basis of an eventual treaty, but at the moment they're working from "non-papers" - issue-based documents that do not have the status of official text.

Aside from these two "tracks", there are the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

Lots of technical assessments happen there - although still firmly influenced by politics, of course - on issues such as whether "clean coal" should be eligible for funding under the Clean Development Mechanism.

But this is just the formal stuff. Most of the really interesting and important stuff happens behind the scenes, in closed rooms, where positions are adopted and deals are done.

For more on that, I've included here a feature I made for the BBC radio programme The World Tonight - broadcast last week - in which some of the people who've been deeply involved in negotiations give some insights into how it really works.

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  • 1. At 3:50pm on 09 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    //// Forget about climategate. \\\\

    The link below has already become huge in the US. They're calling it ‘Scepticgate’. It’s clearly a massive conspiracy that could effect the outcome at Copenhagen. Don’t miss:-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?_r=1

    and this:-

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11074-us-climate-scientists-pressured-on-climate-change.html

    Do not read this and do not scroll down to questions 1 to 21:-
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/10/02/q-and-a-responses-to-climate-skeptics-arguments/

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  • 2. At 3:55pm on 09 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    i got to the name 'monobot' and then suddenly found it very hard to trust the article.

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  • 3. At 3:58pm on 09 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    It seems ridiculous to me that 15,000 delegates could negotiate and agree on any outcome. What are they all doing? Do they all sit around and talk at once? What are they doing that couldn't be done by tele-conference? Oh, I forgot, the wining and dining, the expense accounts, the luxury jets, the limos!

    Lock them all in one room and throw away the keys, I say.

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  • 4. At 3:59pm on 09 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Arctic sea ice 1,049,000 square kilometres below the long term average:-

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/iphone.anom.series.html

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  • 5. At 4:03pm on 09 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Nothing in writing, back room deals...politics as usual....but to others this is a great international conspiracy.......I wish the communist were back so they had something else to write about. If you haven't noticed governments are too stupid and inept to get anything done.

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  • 6. At 4:06pm on 09 Dec 2009, minuend wrote:

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

  • 7. At 4:13pm on 09 Dec 2009, LarryKealey wrote:

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

  • 8. At 4:15pm on 09 Dec 2009, LarryKealey wrote:

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

  • 9. At 4:16pm on 09 Dec 2009, HARRY README wrote:

    A conference to plan the world's weather for the next 50 years.

    Am I hallucinating ?

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  • 10. At 4:17pm on 09 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re #1 soveryodd
    The 'science' has been utterly discredited and the foundation stones on which the Copenhagen Conference relied have collapsed so as much as you repeat the propaganda in support, the arguments given against scepticism simply don't hold up.

    For example - the statements
    1. The IPCC is a political body and its reports are scientifically unreliable
    False.

    This has proven to be TRUE with the revelations by in his blog by Roger Pielke SR who resigned in protest (link already given). Similarly Chris Landsea who resigned because of politicisation link below
    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm
    and the testimony of Zorita (link already given)

    2. Science is not about consensus – Galileo was ridiculed by the authorities and the scientific establishment
    True – but misleading [??????]

    There are many many very emminent Scientists who disagree with the AGW theories - Read "The Deniers"


    5. Climate change has been happening throughout geological and human history. What is happening now is not outside the bounds of natural climatic variability.
    Mostly true – but irrelevant.

    IRRELEVANT !!!!! How convenient!

    8. It was warmer during medieval times
    Probably false, but irrelevant anyway.

    Accompanied by Mann's infamous and utterly discredited hockey stick graph!!!
    Oviously hasn't been amended yet for Mann's 'rediscovered' MWP
    Nor can they have seen this
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/the-medieval-warm-period-a-global-phenonmena-unprecedented-warming-or-unprecedented-data-manipulation/#more-13397

    9. Climate models are unreliable
    False.

    Despite failing to predict the cooling since 1998 and wasn't it mentioned somewhere in those e-mails that they thought this was a 'travesty' - but oh how true is the statement that "For any chaotic or complex system it is not possible to construct a simulation that will precisely predict the future time path of the system, except under very strict conditions such as complete, accurate knowledge of all initial parameters and a short prediction horizon. "
    I'm afraid it is this complete, accurate knowledge of all parameters that is so lacking in current climate science.

    11. Global warming ended around 1998 anyway – it’s been cooling since then.
    False. [!!!!!!]

    Obviously haven't checked out the satellite data (link given earlier) and "Scientists don’t cherry pick data like that because it is meaningless" Better tell Briffa that with his Yamal tree series
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/30/yamal-treering-proxy-temperature-reconstructions-dont-match-local-thermometer-records/

    17. Climate change is due to the effects of cosmic rays.
    False

    Hmmm - they really do need to catch up with svensmark
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/10/svensmark-global-warming-stopped-and-a-cooling-is-beginning-enjoy-global-warming-while-it-lasts/

    and so it goes on......................

    In fact the gist of this whole report seems to be that "The overwhelming, broad consensus of the world’s climate scientists is that we cannot explain observed climate changes without taking into account human influence"

    There is absolutely NOTHING in this document to convince me and the more that Climategate goes on the more we discover that there is far from being an 'overwhelming broad consensus' of scientists in support of AGW.



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  • 11. At 4:20pm on 09 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    You've got to give it to soveryodd he trying hard.

    #1 Andrew Revkin NYT lets see this is the guy in the emails that was stated first, as a good outlet and then not to be trusted, and last week was threatened by that same little group of scientists for commenting on climategate. The man seems to have changed somewhat in the last 72 hours, but you know things happen.

    #4 So what????? It is called the "North West Passage" because you could sail through it, last time was in the 1940's happened in 1816 as well.

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  • 12. At 4:22pm on 09 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ richard- i've actually got a qestion related to your post!!! not a climategate flame!!

    Why the two agreements? AWG-LCA and AWG-KP? Why not just one?

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  • 13. At 4:31pm on 09 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

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

  • 14. At 4:35pm on 09 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Larry says at #7:-

    ‘Oh, and perhaps you should stop breathing - and really set an example for us all...’

    At wunce Mein Herr!

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  • 15. At 4:38pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

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

  • 16. At 4:38pm on 09 Dec 2009, LarryKealey wrote:

    #10. At 4:17pm on 09 Dec 2009, Sparklet

    Good show - I must admit I am impressed with your logic and reasoning.
    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 17. At 4:41pm on 09 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    I can't help feeling the set-up described by Richard is so very similar to that in which the Lisbon Treaty was agreed where 500 million people were refused their democratic rights.
    Shame on all those attending the Copenhagen Conference who refuse to listen to those many scientists who refute AGW and instead prefer to adhere to the utterly discredited 'science' provided by those who have been found to have manipulated data, suppressed the evidence of that manipulation by refusing to accede to FOI requests and have conspired to discredit and undermine other scientists whose work they tried to prevent being published.
    These so-called scientists should be prosecuted and an immediate reappraisal of the temperature data should commence by completely independent and trustworthy individuals BEFORE any action is taken which may have devastating effects on the many peoples of the world.

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  • 18. At 4:44pm on 09 Dec 2009, Roland D wrote:

    I see 141 scientists have written to the UN asking where the evidence is for human influence on the climate.

    Evidently I was out of the room when it was discussed. Perhaps it's a fake.

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  • 19. At 4:50pm on 09 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Sparklet wrote at #10

    ‘There is absolutely NOTHING in this document to convince me and the more that Climategate goes on the more we discover that there is far from being an 'overwhelming broad consensus' of scientists in support of AGW.’

    No-one’s trying to convince ‘you’ Sparky. You and I are not important. Only those who inhabit a bizarre narcissistic fantasy world believe it’s all about them.

    ......'overwhelming broad consensus' of scientists.!’

    Is that the thirty old men here?:-

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6948960.ece

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  • 20. At 4:57pm on 09 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re #16 Kealey

    Thanks

    Re #18 Roland

    Excellent news - if anything will help to improve the reputation of the scientific community as a whole it is this. I know many have tried before and their efforts have been ignored, let's hope that this time it will be given the media coverage it deserves.

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  • 21. At 4:57pm on 09 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Hang on, that from Richard is actually a very good report maybe I owe you an apology Richard. I am very interested in this clean coal idea mainly because of the billions Warren Buffet invested in USA coal producers recently.

    As they say follow the money

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  • 22. At 4:57pm on 09 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @soveryodd #143

    Thanks for the links – interesting read.

    What Andrew Revkin fails to tell you is industry ignoring the findings on AGW isn’t news and has been known about for decades. It’s no secret and therefore doesn’t qualify for “ScepticGate”. Also the science has moved on since 1995! We now have published papers to show climate sensitivity is low and there is still no proof that CO2 can actually raise the temperature significantly. Oh, and we also don’t have the AGW signature as predicted by the IPCC.

    The New York Times is also old news

    The Q&A has also been discussed several times on this blog and fails to address sceptical climate scientists concerns, is often out of date and doesn’t even mention published papers that don’t agree with its alarmists agenda.

    So please stop the hand waving, Soveryodd, and stop trying to divert from the real news – Australia temperatures are mis-represented in the IPCC AR4 and have not increased over the last 100 years.


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  • 23. At 5:01pm on 09 Dec 2009, Colin Walker wrote:

    Reading the posts here and previously i think it's clear alot of the skeptics are in fact merely cynical of the political influences involved in the area. I guess we are just a step away from conspiricy theories.

    Anyway I'm now removing myself from the world of the BBC blogs, just a few final points.

    Good luck to the people supporting AGW, hope you convince a few skeptics, but don't hold your breath. Make sure you don't give them more ammo by using exagurated claims or focusing on predictions, go with the evidence.

    To the skeptics, please have an open mind and focus on some of the real issues and problems with the theory, there are areas to be improved and some where it might be wrong, instead of the old cliche arguments.

    To everyone make sure you rememeber that we all agree that looking after the planet in general is a good idea, polution (not CO2) is a bad thing, renewable energy is a good idea and relying on fossil fuels isn't sustainable.

    I really do hope I'm totally wrong about the whole subject.

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  • 24. At 5:19pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    'Reading the posts here and previously i think it's clear alot of the skeptics are in fact merely cynical of the political influences involved in the area.' And you aren't distrustful of politicians demanding we let them save us from ourselves? interesting.

    'Make sure you don't give them more ammo by using exagurated claims or focusing on predictions, go with the evidence.' interesting use of the words 'more' and 'ammo' there. and aye, don't worry about the models we (the taxpayers) have spent millions on in order to umm predict whats going to happen becuase they have patently failed so focusing on that is probably going to disillusion some true believers.

    'to everyone make sure you rememeber that we all agree that looking after the planet in general is a good idea, polution (not CO2) is a bad thing,' I agree. one of the reasons i find this whole shebang so odious is that a genuine passion for biology and the environment i've had since i was 4 can no longer be enjoyed and shared with people because it has been entwined with the proAGW agenda. i can't watch natural history programs (there are no, umm apolitical ones since bellamy became verboten)

    'renewable energy is a good idea and relying on fossil fuels isn't sustainable.' \sigh. if it was viable for sure. as it stands now: build nuke plants, build tidal power generators, use geothermic. these are all constant, reliable methods of power generation, wind and solar et al are not as the technology stands now. also we've got a lot more fossil fuels than your bleeding-heart info-masters are willing to tell you.


    'I really do hope I'm totally wrong about the whole subject.' Luckily enough....

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  • 25. At 5:22pm on 09 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    My heart goes out to you poor old ‘sceptics’. While you’ve been wasting your time on here denying all the science and trying to intimidate people with comments such as Larry says at #7:-

    ‘Oh, and perhaps you should stop breathing - and really set an example for us all...’

    the British Government has moved on and left you all behind. See here:-

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8403593.stm

    Scroll down to:-

    ‘PRE-BUDGET REPORT DOCUMENTS’ PRE-BUDGET REPORT DOCUMENTS

    Download and go to page 115 onwards.

    See, you and the thirty old ‘sceptics’ in a pub in Copenhagen have been bypassed.

    Bye now!

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  • 26. At 5:26pm on 09 Dec 2009, rossglory wrote:

    #18 just took one signee at random and googled. got from wikipedia;

    "The Houston Chronicle later commented on Bastardi's "no-probabilities" method of forecasting in regard to Rita, designating him "worst weather forecaster:""

    and

    "Bastardi seemed to lie at the other end of the spectrum, seeking to scare the bloody daylights out of viewers."

    I'm sure he's an entertaining guy but I want my climate science from climatologists thanks.

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  • 27. At 5:31pm on 09 Dec 2009, rossglory wrote:

    #23 Colin Walker

    Don't blame you one bit. Richard's comment board used to be fairly interesting with some fun banter, now it's just rants and accusations, from both sides, and from me, but that's all you can do when the debate is so low level.

    Other places not so bad so i blog there mostly but still read Richard's posts.

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  • 28. At 5:34pm on 09 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    MangoChutney says at #22:-

    ‘..So please stop the hand waving, Soveryodd, and stop trying to divert from the real news’

    Larry says at #7:-

    ‘....Oh, and perhaps you should stop breathing - and really set an example for us all...’


    Sorry guys, I didn’t realise I wasn’t allowed to have a say. Hang on though, I thought it was the environmentalists who were always accused of being undemocratic’

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  • 29. At 5:45pm on 09 Dec 2009, osbino wrote:

    Why do 80% of climate scientists believe (as a result of their research) that AGW is real, yet only 20% don't? Naturally, with research into any subject there is going to be disagreement but with such a convincing majority surely this poses immediate obstacles to skeptics. How do they defend this majority?

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  • 30. At 5:48pm on 09 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re #19. At 4:50pm on 09 Dec 2009, soveryodd


    I think you'll find that there is an increasingly sceptic public out there in the real world, soveryodd, who are more than able to speak for themselves as many have done on the various blogs including this one.
    And I think you're confusing scientists who are pro AGW with those who are against

    OVER 30,000 AMERICAN SCIENTISTS
    PHYSICISTS
    CHEMISTS
    AN APPEAL TO THE UN BY 160 SCIENTISTS

    Not to mention the many others who have spoken out individually.

    Those politicians who ignore them do so at their peril.


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  • 31. At 5:49pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

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

  • 32. At 5:56pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    osbino:

    Science is not democracy. it is more akin to anarchy, individual scientists bow to no man or government but only to the fundamental laws of the universe which they seek to elucidate through experiment and theory. if you knew anything about science you'd understand what a vacuous point you just raised. the 'democratisation of science' sounds really nice doesn't it? makes it sound almost like you an me are involved or matter. WRONG! it is the death of real science that adheres to the scientific method and the rebirth of lysenkoism. Long Life to the Goracle! Death to CO2!

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  • 33. At 6:02pm on 09 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @soveryodd

    of course you are allowed a voice

    you are just confusing people by stating out of date rubbish

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  • 34. At 6:12pm on 09 Dec 2009, osbino wrote:

    It'd be nice if you knew something about science and didn't just utter rubbish. Well done, you're a literate person but didn't actually the question.

    I'd just like to note, I'm not wholly a believer of pro AGW science, yet one has to remember the underlining physics which were well understood long before the term 'global warming' was even penned. Increased CO2 leads to increasing absorption of radiation. We're releasing CO2 on a level not seen in the history of earth, so are clearly influencing the earth system. Surely, just from a moral point of view CO2 emissions should be curbed. True, we don't know exactly what increasing CO2 levels will do but why wait to find out? It is time to act.

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  • 35. At 6:17pm on 09 Dec 2009, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    #12 LabMunkey: the twin tracks arose because after the US and Australia extracted themselves from the Kyoto Protocol, their delegations weren't able to take part in negotiations on issues that came under the KP framework. Yet they could and did take part in negotiations that came under the overall UN climate convention. The convention is a very basic document, a framework agreement, so there was a lot of detailed stuff to be disussed and so the LCA track was born.

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  • 36. At 6:17pm on 09 Dec 2009, thinkforyourself wrote:

    Agree totally with you rossglory at #27 and Colin Walker at #23.

    This notice board has reached new lows. I think I’ll move on too.

    I think the BBC moderators should not allow the ‘hate’ rhetoric to get through.

    Posts #31 and #32 are totally unacceptable in any rational discourse. Really scraping the barrel. Pretty well sums it up.

    Over and out.

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  • 37. At 6:25pm on 09 Dec 2009, xtragrumpymike2 wrote:

    Re:-
    27. At 5:31pm on 09 Dec 2009, rossglory wrote:

    #23 Colin Walker

    Don't blame you one bit. Richard's comment board used to be fairly interesting.

    Feel exactly the same way!

    Interesting, to see, however that more remarks (snide one-liners) are coming to the attention of the moderators. There are still many (snide remarks) that are getting through.

    To me, this demonstrates on thing .........how desperate the anti-agw lobby are getting!

    Wonder what they will be like in 10 days time!


    "Those politicians who ignore them do so at their peril."

    Is this a threat or a promise? Bet "those politicians are really quaking in their boots right now!

    "you schmucks are so confused."

    Back in the kindergarten playground I see.

    etc etc etc

    Seriously you guys (anti lobby)..if this is your best it certainly isn't surprising that nobody (who matters that is) is listening to you and never will.

    End of my comments but, Richard, I shall still be following your reports just to see how the "horse-trading" turns out.

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  • 38. At 6:48pm on 09 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #23 Colin Walker:

    Before I criticize what you said, I'd just like to say that if 'Colin Walker' is your real name, it's a perfectly fine name, but if it's a nom de guerre for BBC blogs it's brilliant! (I'm a fan of Spaced you see, in which a dog called Colin makes an appearance.) So if you chose that name, please stay on the blogs, as we need clever funny minds like yours!

    OK, now for the "bad news" (smiley face turns to bad cop)...

    You wrote:

    "Make sure you don't give them more ammo by using exagurated claims or focusing on predictions, go with the evidence."

    The trouble is, in science predictions are the evidence.

    I'll try to explain:

    Scientific theories describe stuff that can't be seen directly, such as electrons, viruses, future greenhouse-effect feedback mechanisms, or whatever.

    So scientists don't come up with their theories by just looking around and generalizing from what they see. They have to be really imaginative, and clever, and creative. For example, Kekule is supposed to have thought up the idea that the benzene molecule is ring-shaped after he fell asleep and had a dream about snakes biting their own tails.

    Once a scientist has thought up a crazy idea like that, what reason does anyone have for thinking it's actually true?

    The answer is: the idea is put to the test. Cunning experimentalists (mostly engineer-type people, who are every bit as brilliant as the theoreticians who cooked up the theory in the first place) design clever ways of getting the theory to yield a prediction. Then, a bit later, someone checks to see whether the prediction turns out to be true. It has to be the sort of thing that anyone can check, again and again, unlike whatever God announced to Noah, or the burning bush whispered to Moses.

    I hope you won't be disappointed but instead exhilarated to learn that observational evidence in science consists of predictions that come true.

    Furthermore, since we are supposed to be basing public policy on climate science's ability to predict what the climate will be like if we do/don't limit emissions, shouldn't its ability/inability to reliably predict the future climate be the focus of our attention?

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  • 39. At 6:56pm on 09 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

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

  • 40. At 7:11pm on 09 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    We've had a year on Richards blog of alarmists calling sceptics all sorts of derogatory names, including manysummits saying we had disturbed personalities and now the sensitive souls scurry away because they still can't answer sceptics questions

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  • 41. At 8:04pm on 09 Dec 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    I have been talking to some very young teenagers who did not know anything about Copenhagen. Nor did these children know who Al Gore was. They understood a little bit about global warming (greenhouse gasses) but did not know that world leaders were gathering to discuss climate change. So naturally, we had a discussion about it.

    The pupils were asked to pose three questions to the world leaders about climate change and here are some of the questions for Al Gore (now they know who he is)

    What could we use instead of petrol?
    What should we do to prevent global warming?
    What are you going to do to prevent global warming?
    Why don't you make eco friendly stuff cheaper?
    How are you going to reduce your carbon footprint?
    Why don't they make car exhaust filters to stop CO2?
    Why can't we have solar panels on every house?
    How can our school help at Copenhagen?
    Why do you debate?

    Anyone important care to answer these questions? If you respond I will make sure the pupils receive your answers. Please be polite as this is the first time they have come across this debate and this is new learning for them.
    thankyou.

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  • 42. At 8:20pm on 09 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    What could we use instead of petrol?
    -- Hydrogen, but it takes energy to seperate water to get it.

    What should we do to prevent global warming?
    -- Nothing. You are lucky no one did anything to prevent clobal cooling, the worry that was doing the rounds before you were born.

    What are you going to do to prevent global warming?
    -- Nothing.

    Why don't you make eco friendly stuff cheaper?
    -- They are more expensive to make, but they are worth exploring all the same. DVDs are cheaper now than at first, and windmills will be cheaper in a few years' time.

    How are you going to reduce your carbon footprint?
    -- What the heck is a carbon footprint? Don't go along with what priests tell you about your immortal soul, and be on your guard against such bullshit.

    Why don't they make car exhaust filters to stop CO2?
    -- CO2 is a good gas!

    Why can't we have solar panels on every house?
    -- Too expensive, and too little sunshine in the UK -- but we may, eventually, if growth and technological advance continues.

    How can our school help at Copenhagen?
    -- No. Try to avoid perverts.

    Why do you debate?
    -- Debate gets us closer to truth.

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  • 43. At 8:32pm on 09 Dec 2009, John OSullivan wrote:

    Copenhagen is a political farce based on junk science and the BBC are working full pelt to ply the government's propaganda on us. But the opinion polls make bad reading for the alarmists at the BBC. More than half the population, according to the polls don't believe you.
    The BBC operates an official blanket ban on reporting anything favourable to the sceptics. This is a total disgrace and contrary to public opinion. If our comments on this issue are also censored then I shall join with those who campaign to abolish the licence fee. I'm not prepared to pay another penny to read or watch this crud from Richard Black et al. I want balanced, objective news!!!
    For a start, we now know what those 'experts' who tell us the science is 'settled' really think on this. We just need to look at the emails leaked from the UK's CRU on November 20th 2009. The correspondence between Kevin Trenberth and Tom Wigley of October 2009 speaks volumes:
    “Hi Tom
    How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!
    Kevin”
    Tom’s reply:
    “Kevin,
    I didn’t mean to offend you. But what you said was “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment”. Now you say “we are no where close to knowing where energy is going”. In my eyes these are two different things — the second relates to our level of understanding, and I agree that this is still lacking.
    Tom”
    QED. The propaganda doesn’t fit the facts.

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  • 44. At 8:34pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    i do earnestly apologise if i hurt anyones feelings earlier. I'm doing my best to tiptoe round the political censorship and ++good ProAGW trolls.

    however it is my considerd opinion that while most people are well meaning and sincere in their belief in AGW (reinforced with all the mutual backpatting about recycling and organic food etcetc ad nauseam) they have been indoctrinated without them quite realising it into a kind of scientific religion. please don't accuse someone of spewing hate without being able to solidly back it up. i did mention you guys don't seem to have much of a sense of humour didn't i?


    osbino: come again? how did i miss the point? if just one person can show definitive evidence that a hypothesis is wrong; that hypothesis is wrong. even if 99.9999999999% of all greybearded, bespectacled wiseones are totally behind the hypothesis. Einstein (when you want to impress in scientific matters always quote Einie, picked that up off our dear blog host and his buds) once received a letter signed by 100 prominent physicists telling him he was wrong about general relativity. his response? 'if i were wrong it would only require one of them.' i'm not only literate matey i know how science (normal as in not 'post normal' science) works. post normal science seems to be the use of the authority that is perceived by the public to reside in scientists to ENABLE politicians and pressure groups to dictate and enforce unpopular or counterproductive policy, like the AGW campaign to change hearts, minds and behaviour. i could be wrong. How would you describe the difference between 'normal (modern)' and 'post normal (modern)' science mr osbino?

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  • 45. At 8:44pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    sensiblegrannie:

    the great tradgedy in all this is the kids. not the as-yet-unborn grandkids that we flatearthing climate saboteurs i've been told couldn't give a stuff about but the ones who are seriously frightened by the relentless doomsday scenarios rammed down their (and our, although that is a less effective technique when applied to adults, that would be something to mention to the young'uns) throats courtesy of our kind host and his ilk.

    try telling them that the only thing humanity has ever had going for it was our awesome adaptability and capacity for innovation. however bad things get (or not as i believe positive feedback is incredibly rare in the natural world because its inherently unstable) enough people will do whatever is necessary to shield their kids/family/friends from harm and suffering. I'd also recommend you direct them towards a brief study of Lysenkoism and Goebbels.

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  • 46. At 9:06pm on 09 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The "deniers" think calling the others "alarmist" a counter. The bloggers from the radio propagandist think being obnocitous is the same as being right. Goebbels would have recruited heavily off of this page.
    What will happen will happen and it doesn't matter if you can correctly identify the poisonous snake that bit you.

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  • 47. At 9:09pm on 09 Dec 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    bowmanthebard @ 42
    Thank you for your response but I may be required to hide the expletives and the politically incorrect comment but hopefully you will not think that I am someone who manipulates data for doing this. :-)

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  • 48. At 9:20pm on 09 Dec 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    tears of our forfathers,
    Lysenkoism and Goebbels thanks, but no thanks.

    bowmanthebard,
    If I censor your expletive and your politically incorrect comment am I going to be accused of manipulating raw data?

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  • 49. At 9:31pm on 09 Dec 2009, ScudLewis wrote:

    Very interesting CERN presentation by Jasper Kirkby on his team's work into Solar Cycles and influence on climate (CLOUD Project):

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/175641-climategate-revolt-of-the-physicists

    Puts some perspective on the 'natural forcing' influence that the sun has and how it is treated in the climate models / IPCC documentation.

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  • 50. At 9:33pm on 09 Dec 2009, poitsplace wrote:

    @sensiblegrannie

    > What could we use instead of petrol?
    We could use batteries but with so many vehicles they'd need to be made of less efficient but more abundant materials (like nickel-iron, zinc, etc.) or carbon fiber flywheels. Both these options would still have about the same "carbon footprint" right now though because the power grid is near its limits during the day and the plants they shut down at night are fossil fuel powered. BTW, biofuels are not worth trying because there is not enough arable land on the face of the earth.

    > What should we do to prevent global warming?
    Nothing. Thankfully with 75% of the carbon dioxide increase being since WWII we've only had 2/5 to 1/10 the warming rate suggested by the models. People were simply alarmed when they saw the fast rise during the warming period (which was identical to the rate of increase in the early 1900's when there were NO significant CO2 increases)
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1900/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/mean:12

    > What are you going to do to prevent global warming?
    If the alarmists win, we'll prematurely switch to renewables when its impractical and at a rate that's not easily sustained, resulting in substantial rises in the price of all energy. It likely won't do anything of course...most of the warming was part of the natural warming cycle and an underlying trend.

    Why don't you make eco friendly stuff cheaper?
    Most of the technology is not mature enough at this point and the little that is mature...does not have a mature manufacturing sector. This is not unlike the way initial, large screen HDTVs cost nearly ten thousand pounds...but were unreliable and poorly supported.

    How are you going to reduce your carbon footprint?
    Due to engineering constraints (materials, speed of construction, etc) the only practical way the UK can meet its current plans is to build quite a few nuclear power plants. BTW the UK uses 1 terawatt (Trillion watts) per day. The US uses 11 terawatts per day (and BTW, produces as much power from renewables than the UK uses in total)

    Why don't they make car exhaust filters to stop CO2?
    Even at 50 miles per gallon, your car gets 50mpg your car burns several times its weight in carbon. Making matters worse there is no easy way to capture carbon. ALL methods take a substantial amount of the energy produced by the fuel (about 30% assuming you get industrial scale power use). This reduction in power of course requires that you use more power to get the job done...which of course means you use even more fuel.

    Why can't we have solar panels on every house?
    The world production is far too low to provide the UK with solar cells. If people went with concentrated solar PV there would actually be enough but the systems are more complex and require more maintenance. The good part, however is that the concentrated systems would provide "waste heat" capable of powering driers, warming homes/water and even the bulk of the input energy for air conditioning if necessary (adsorption air conditioners need heat in one of their main processes). The UK is also too far north for plain (unconcentrated) solar PV to be a good option. Concentrated might work but isn't as cost effective as it would be in places closer to the equator.

    How can our school help at Copenhagen?
    It can't.

    Why do you debate?
    For several reasons... (1) the cost of shifting to a low carbon economy is high (estimated at a world-wide cost of over 100 trillion!) and is in fact many times the cost of simply adapting. (2) as much as the "dangers" of general warming have been played up, there is no historical evidence that it hurts mankind. The equatorial region doesn't warm significantly (if at all) and the places that do warm are already rather cold...because of this mankind appears to have ALWAYS done better in the past when it was warmer than today (as opposed to when it was colder). (3) the climate has never shown the sensitivity (especially the feedbacks) suggested by the IPCC during interglacial periods. The temperatures of the interglacial periods are remarkably stable compared to the temperatures of the glacial periods. The IPCC would have us believe that these stable temperatures exist when the feedbacks would tend to provide MASSIVE (even runaway) amplification of warming/cooling...making a stable climate the equivalent of trying to balance a marble on a dome. In reality the climate is currently more analogous trying to balance a marble on a plate or in a bowl...capable of moving around a bit but generally resistant to change.

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  • 51. At 9:59pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    grannie : please tell them this because i think it is very fair:

    the only thing humanity has ever had going for it was our awesome adaptability and capacity for innovation. however bad things get or not enough people will do whatever is necessary to shield their kids/family/friends from harm and suffering. human beings always triumph (we're still here aren't we?) so do not fear the future because we can shape it but we must shape it with the truth. Also beware people who seek to make you afraid because being afraid can affect your judgement.

    I would consider it a signal honour.

    Ghost:

    Regarding Goebbels; i'm pretty convinced he already has a few admirers on these pages. i've kind of been saying that from the start. i meant no disrespect in my earlier post when i mentioned you. you may be sincere and if so i apologise, i consider spirituality a private thing so i might have mistaken your intent. however the tone of your and mr summits posts are typical of a point i was trying to make. personally i'm more of a fan of Edward Bernays http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays check out the documentary 'century of the self' for more about that villain.


    Lysenkoism:

    See Lysenko and Vernalisation

    Stalin began funding an agronomist (The aforementioned Lysenko) who had, supposedly, developed a radical way to increase agricultural yields. Two or even three harvests a year were promised. Mr Lysenko received substantial government largesse and even had his own journal, the Journal of Vernalisation which he reviewed and edited himself. large areas of arable land within the Soviet Union were set aside for 'vernalised' seeds. alas the 'vernalisation process' failed to deliver the promised increase in yields. many people starved or became refugees. No one saw it coming because they were bombarded with scientific, peer reviewed articles from the journal of vernalisation that proved it worked. its been a while since my scientific ethics courses and i'm going from memory not wikipedia but you can't deny the similarities are remarkable.

    I hope i wasn't obnoxious this time.

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  • 52. At 10:10pm on 09 Dec 2009, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    John O'Sullivan: 43 - 'Skeptics' keep recycling this myth that the majority of the population don't accept the science of climate change. The problem is that it is very easy to check the facts. The most recent poll said that 51% of the pop accepted the science and only 7% denied it was happening. Most of the remainder said it wasn't clear either way (remember the enthusiasts on this blog would fall within that 7% category).
    The relativly recent poll before that one said that over 40% of the population accepted the science, over 30% were not sure, 15% said the world was not warming and 10% said it was an eco conspiracy. (Interestingly the 10% figure runs collaborativly to the BNP electoral support level and the 15% equates to UKIP support, which tells you all you need to know about the ideology of skeptics).

    I can't remember exact figures but before the recession kicked in, acceptance of the mainstream science was running at about 50+%, with the bulk of the rest unsure. If you read any analysis from experts in demography, they will tell you that concern for the environment always goes down during a recession. What is interesting is that another poll done by the Guardian recently said that 80% of people in the UK felt about not doing more to lower their carbon footprint.

    The clear conclusions of this, if you look at wider demographic trends, is that skeptics remain a small fringe movement, made up largely of elderly white males (UKIP) and people of lower educational levels (BNP). The only politicians and 'columnists' who promote the contrarian thesis are from this ideological backround.

    If we look at the wider picture, there was a poll last year saying that the majority of the world population accepted the mainstream science (may have been BBC?). I think in Australia 'warmists' are running at 80% of the population. Obviously there will be a majority in Europe but as we all know, skeptics have a majority in the USA.

    As others have said on this blog, no one who has any power will be reading this blog. The only Government who could be clearly described as being 'sceptics' are Saudi Arabia - that major fossil fuel exporter who couldn't possibly have an agenda! The sad thing is the quality of analysis of environmental legislation is diluted by the deluge of 'skeptical' musings. Instead of taking politicians to task for enacting flawed policy (carbon offsetting etc), the lunatic fringe drown out any useful debate. Sad really.

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  • 53. At 10:12pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

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

  • 54. At 10:41pm on 09 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    define hypocrisy:

    Dear blah,
    ....
    The bbc has held a high level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the conclusion that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus. But these dissenters (or even skeptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC's role to close down this debate....

    mr osbino: my reference to a stalinist [redacted] was aimed at my noble ruler. not yourself. it seemed a little contradictory to be both undecided and calling for 'action now'. i'd like to read other peoples opinion on what i consider the betrayal of that which has lifted us from the dark ages; 'post normal science' vs traditional science.

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  • 55. At 11:20pm on 09 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rude-word edit for sensiblegrannie:

    How are you going to reduce your carbon footprint?
    -- I'm sorry to say, my dears, but I don't know what a "carbon foorprint" is. Carbon is in all living things, and whenever a living thing breathes, or eats, or whenever a fire is lit, in fact whenever almost anything naturally warm and life-sustaining happens, carbon dioxide and water are both given off as gases. Both are very welcome to plants.

    Some people think that if you talk to plants, they grow faster. They're proably imagining things, but if you talk near plants, they get bathed in the air you beathe out -- which is warm, moist, and has lots of carbon dioxide in it, which they love.

    Why don't they make car exhaust filters to stop CO2?
    -- We already have car exhaust filters that stop CO2 -- stick a potato onto the end of an exhaust pipe. Now, don't you children try doing that, as it would be bad and wrong. But the only way of stopping CO2 coming out of a car is to stop the engine burning. It's the same with a breathing living person -- the only way to stop CO2 coming out is to suffocate him. But you mustn't do anything like that, children, as it would be bad.

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  • 56. At 11:30pm on 09 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    I would love someone, anyone to explain how any person on earth could guarantee this:

    "Several re-iterated the demand of small island developing states that the rise in the global average temperature be limited to 1.5C, and greenhouse gas concentrations stabilised at 350 parts per million (ppm)"

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  • 57. At 11:38pm on 09 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    43. At 8:32pm on 09 Dec 2009, John OSullivan

    Can you provide a link to this exchange - it is not one that I recognise.

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  • 58. At 11:44pm on 09 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    There was a fantastic programme on Channel 4 last night with Tony Robinson, did anyone see it? Telling in straight terms how man has both profited and lost from the always changing climate.

    Compare that to the whitewash (or should that be blackwash) on the BBC's reporting, coupled with outrageously biased news reporting such as last nights TV item portaying a sceptical scientists meeting in Copenhagen like it was a meeting of a few madmen.


    One important thing I would point out about that news piece, which is VITAL to understand, is if you watched it you will have noticed nearly every scientist in that room discussing the opposing view, was older.

    Why?

    Because retired scientists are concerned about the truth, not getting their next grant.

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  • 59. At 11:46pm on 09 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    @4. At 3:59pm on 09 Dec 2009, soveryodd
    And in your graph is clearly shows a current upward trend, in line with a period of warming in the 80's and 90;s (which itself was after a period of coolin in the 60's and "we are gonna go into an ice age" 70's).

    So recovery after a totally natural period of warming on the way, as shown in the real, unfudged temperature data now emerging.

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  • 60. At 11:51pm on 09 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    Also thanks to David Attenbourgh on BBC2 at 9pm tonight for a wonderful programme on the crisis of over population the world faces.

    More people have, are and will die from that issue, and more species will die from massive human population rates than any of this "proven" lobal warming, sorry climate change as its now called to avoid any issues when things cool down.

    If only the UN and the Governments were focusing time and effort in addressing the population problem, rather than the co2 boogey-monster, we might save a lot more lives.

    But there is no money in that is there and it does not satisfy the clamourings of the now fashionable green-front.

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  • 61. At 11:56pm on 09 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    "29. At 5:45pm on 09 Dec 2009, osbino wrote:

    Why do 80% of climate scientists believe (as a result of their research) that AGW is real, yet only 20% don't? Naturally, with research into any subject there is going to be disagreement but with such a convincing majority surely this poses immediate obstacles to skeptics. How do they defend this majority?"

    In the 70's MOST scientists believed we were heading for an ice age as the temperature dipped. Were the majority right then?

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  • 62. At 11:59pm on 09 Dec 2009, jazbo wrote:

    34. At 6:12pm on 09 Dec 2009, osbino wrote:

    "We're releasing CO2 on a level not seen in the history of earth..."

    Erm, I would beg to differ. At several points earth has had co2 levels well over 2000ppm.

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  • 63. At 00:17am on 10 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    mr jasonskeptic:

    i can only see up to your 11:51 post so at this point your subsequent comments may invalidate what i'm about to say.

    i do not believe that overpopulation is as terrible as you suggest. In the early 1990's when Norman Borlaug received (to my mind the last truely worthy) noble prize, they said he had saved a billion lives. How? Because he used modern biotechnology to increase crop yields in many third world countries many times over and fed many more people than would have been possible before. The 'stop Co2 by sponsoring contraception (and abortion) in the third world' is insidious especialy as many catholics and others opposed to the idea of abortion are fully paid up proAGW folks. We must be free to develop naturally not constrained by the dictats of some anonymous beaurocrats at the UN. Imagine fusion power supplying endless underground hydroponics labs with light and heat. Imagine crops that produce 5x more food per plant than before.

    Hope isn't dead. Norman Borlaug is. The greens didn't bat an eyelid.

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  • 64. At 00:19am on 10 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    52. At 10:10pm on 09 Dec 2009, Yorkurbantree

    Hardly a small fringe movement York.!!

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6916510.ece

    http://page.politicshome.com/uk/climate_change_is_exaggerated_by_the_media_say_tory_voters.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/6425738/Science-Museums-climate-change-poll-backfires.html

    http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2009/12/bombshell-poll-on-climate-change-77-dont-believe.html



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  • 65. At 00:47am on 10 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    re 61: "In the 70's MOST scientists believed we were heading for an ice age as the temperature dipped. Were the majority right then?"

    That's an urban legend. Scientists at the time were and still are saying that within a couple thousand years time (average) we may go into another glacial period.

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  • 66. At 00:57am on 10 Dec 2009, John OSullivan wrote:

    @52 , yorkurbantree, do try to keep on current affairs, please. I fear you are too myopic to see beyond your nose regarding the opinions of today's Australians.Your statement, " I think in Australia 'warmists' are running at 80% of the population" is totally debunked by the sea-change that took place last week ( go Google it -cap and trade is a vote loser down under so they dumped it!). Read these links and weep - it's you who is the political dinosaur.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601130&sid=ax3aE3GpLudQ
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8387653.stm
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/shock-result-as-abbott-wins-liberal-leadership-by-one-vote--ets-dead-20091201-k1uz.html

    ALso, I note you totally overlook any commentary on science in your missive. Perhaps my extract from the CRU leaked emails couldn't be acknowledged in your conscious mind as to do so would certainly render you overwhelmed in a fog of cognitive dissonance. It must be so hard for you to finally concede tha game is up and that your own alarmist scientists admit in private what sceptics accuse them of in public.

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  • 67. At 01:13am on 10 Dec 2009, John OSullivan wrote:

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

  • 68. At 03:09am on 10 Dec 2009, RedGreenInBlue wrote:

    #61 (jasonsceptic):

    "In the 70's MOST scientists believed we were heading for an ice age as the temperature dipped."

    No they didn't.

    You can see in the chart of the numbers of peer-reviewed articles in the 1970s predicting warming, predicting cooling or making no prediction, that in no year were predictions of cooling in the plurality, and that a large majority of articles predicted warming.

    I don't know why this myth persists. These days you don't need to go to a university library to do a proper literature search and debunk it yourself - just launch your browser and go to Google Scholar or ISI WoK.

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  • 69. At 03:16am on 10 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    Mr yorkurbantree:

    to me, i could be wrong, you seem to be an orwellian blend of half truths, outright lies and sly ad hominems.

    out of interest did you notice the last eu election results? approximately 5% of the population of the UK who voted, voted Green. approximately 5% of the population of the UK who voted, voted BNP. whatever the flavour of fascism, its pretty unpopular with the voters.

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  • 70. At 03:30am on 10 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    Mr redgreeninblue:

    perhaps a better name would be traffic light? as in call yourself green because your too yellow to admit you're etc?

    skepticalscience.com is an AGW by numbers for non scientists website. i call foul.

    for an analysis of media reports regarding inclement weather over the last 100 odd years that details how every 30 years or so the papers have switched from 'we're gonna boil' to we're gonna freeze' i recommend this article:

    http://www.businessandmedia.org/specialreports/2006/fireandice/fireandice.asp

    doubtless BMI are big oil shills.

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  • 71. At 04:19am on 10 Dec 2009, TwoWayView wrote:

    Hello. Richard Black(BBC Correspondent)'s page is certainly generating some hot air, going by the comments, here, and for the first two (now three) days of the Summit.
    I'd like to quote Richard from his post above:
    'Countries most vulnerable to climate impacts have chosen the politically risky option of not only criticising the western industrialised powers, which is expected and routine, but also the Chinas and Indias and Brazils of this world.'
    - That'll be China India and Brazil, then Richard, yes?

    I am only being cheeky, sorry, as this is my first comment to BBC website.

    Here is an idea, at 4.15 am GMT, try and switch off your computer & etc, cool down and get some kip. We'll save a packet-load of carbon fallout, and the Summit will rumble on yet. Sweet dreams.
    TWV

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  • 72. At 04:31am on 10 Dec 2009, RedGreenInBlue wrote:

    #50 (poitsplace):

    "BTW the UK uses 1 terawatt (Trillion watts) per day. The US uses 11 terawatts per day (and BTW, produces as much power from renewables than the UK uses in total)."

    The highlighted words in the quote are meaningless in this context:

    The watt is a unit of power, or rate of energy use. The SI unit of energy is the joule (J). 1 watt is equal to 1 joule per second, and as such it already contains the concept of "per unit time".

    The expression "1 terawatt (TW) per day", if taken literally, means that the power consumption of the UK changes by 1 TW every day, i.e. after one year, the power would be 365 TW, after two years 730 TW, and so on - which would be a bit of a nightmare for any electricity utility. (A valid use of such a unit would be to express the rapidity with which global energy use is growing (e.g. "Global demand for electricity is currently growing at x GW/year.")

    You might think this nit-picking, but I'm a science teacher, and this sort of error made by a GCSE physics candidate would indicate to me that said candidate was heading for a D. It does seem a little ironic that many people on the discussion boards make such basic errors and yet presume to tell climate researchers with PhDs and good track records of published results that they don't know what they're talking about. It's not a question of deference to scientists, simply a matter of not gratuitously insulting their intelligence. (Or their motives - why bother with the years of study and the insecurity and mediocre pay of postdoc jobs if they had such an ability to influence politicians and hoover up money?)

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  • 73. At 05:31am on 10 Dec 2009, RedGreenInBlue wrote:

    TooF,

    1. My name is chosen for my ecosocialist politics (red-green) and the rather Tory (blue) area where I live.

    2. Call whatever you want. SkepticalScience happened to contain a copy of the graph I was looking for. I said then, and I'll say again, that you don't have to take anyone's word for it because the raw data (the articles in question) are mostly online. (Though since most people are non-scientists, and given that climate research is a complex area, why not do it "by the numbers"?)

    3. Maybe my earlier comment was unclear. I do not care what the mass media says about global cooling or warming; the standard of scientific illiteracy amongst journalists is not, on the whole, good. What matters (to me at least) is what the researchers in the relevant fields say, in their published work. Even as a Green activist I would be relieved if it turns out that climate change isn't a problem - but as a biology PhD, and based on my reading of the primary literature, I think we do, and that the climatologists called it correctly in the 1970s.

    Re. your comment to yorkurbantree:

    I'm intrigued to know your definition of "fascist" which apparently encompasses both my party and the BNP!

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  • 74. At 06:01am on 10 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    Redgreeninblue, if you caught you physics GCSE student cheating in an exam what would you do? I presume the below would warrant a A

    19 North-European stations measured atmospheric CO2 over a 5 year period from 1955 to 1959. Measuring with a wet-chemical technique the atmospheric CO2 level was found to vary between approximately 270 and 380 ppmv, with annual means of 315 - 331 ppmv, and there was no tendency of rising or falling atmospheric CO2 level at any of the 19 stations during this 5 year period (Bischof, 1960). The data are particularly important because they are unselected and therefore free of potential biases from selection procedures, unlike the CO2 measurements based on the procedures at Mauna Loa (see below). Note that these measurements were taken in an industrial region, and would indeed have shown an increase in CO2 levels if increasing amounts of anthropogenic CO2 were accumulating in the atmosphere during this period.



    During the same period atmospheric CO2 measurements were started near the top of the strongly CO2-emitting (e.g., Ryan, 1995) Hawaiian Mauna Loa volcano. The reason for the choice of location was that it should be far away from CO2-emitting industrial areas. At the Mauna Loa Observatory the measurements were taken with a new infra-red (IR) absorbing instrumental method, never validated versus the accurate wet chemical techniques. Critique has also been directed to the analytical methodology and sampling error problems (Jaworowski et al., 1992 a; and Segalstad, 1996, for further references), and the fact that the results of the measurements were "edited" (Bacastow et al., 1985); large portions of raw data were rejected, leaving just a small fraction of the raw data subjected to averaging techniques (Pales & Keeling, 1965).



    The acknowledgement in the paper by Pales & Keeling (1965) describes how the Mauna Loa CO2 monitoring program started: "The Scripps program to monitor CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans was conceived and initiated by Dr. Roger Revelle who was director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography while the present work was in progress. Revelle foresaw the geochemical implications of the rise in atmospheric CO2 resulting from fossil fuel combustion, and he sought means to ensure that this 'large scale geophysical experiment', as he termed it, would be adequately documented as it occurred. During all stages of the present work Revelle was mentor, consultant, antagonist. He shared with us his broad knowledge of earth science and appreciation for the oceans and atmosphere as they really exist, and he inspired us to keep in sight the objectives which he had originally persuaded us to accept." Is this the description of true, unbiased research?



    The annual mean CO2 level as reported from Mauna Loa for 1959 was 315.83 ppmv (15 ppmv lower than the contemporaneous North-European average level), reportedly rising steadily to 351.45 in January 1989 (Keeling et al., 1989), by averaging large daily and seasonal variations (the significance of all their digits not justified), but still within the range of the North European measurements 30-35 years earlier. Hence a rise in global atmospheric CO2 level has not yet been significantly justified by validated methods and sound statistics.


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  • 75. At 06:02am on 10 Dec 2009, TVGgirl wrote:

    I am very sorry to read that a number of commenters appear to be abandoning ship apparently due to the toxic nature of the debate.

    Thought it might be useful to throw in a few quotes I've come across recently:

    The leading scientific journal Nature, in an editorial: “Nothing in the e-mails undermines the scientific case that global warming is real — or that human activities are almost certainly the cause. That case is supported by multiple, robust lines of evidence, including several that are completely independent of the climate reconstructions debated in the e-mails.”

    Dr Andy Challinor, lecturer in Climate Change Modelling, University of Leeds: "The idea that the many scientists across the globe working on climate change could collude in misrepresenting the fundamentals of the science is ludicrous, since it would be both counter-cultural to science and logistically impossible."

    Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, Industrial Fellow, University of Cambridge BP Institute: "I fail to understand why people want to debate the evidence base for climate change rather than debate what we should be doing anyway to reduce our impact on the planet."

    Dr Stephan Harrison, School of Geography, University of Exeter: "The emails have been seized upon by climate change sceptics as evidence that scientists are involved in a global warming conspiracy. We shouldn't get too carried away, however. Irrespective of what may or may not have been said in some private emails, this doesn't change the physical properties of carbon dioxide, and doesn't change the fact that human activity is warming the planet."

    The Union of Concerned Scientists has gone through the e-mails in some detail and has debunked the claims being made by skeptics who are taking them out of context and twisting their meaning. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/debunking-misinformation-stolen-emails-climategate.html

    Here in Copenhagen, no one (other than Saudi Arabia, which of course is a completely neutral party) is falling for the denial line.

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  • 76. At 07:37am on 10 Dec 2009, ScudLewis wrote:

    @TVGgirl "I am very sorry to read that a number of commenters appear to be abandoning ship apparently due to the toxic nature of the debate".

    Perhaps not the toxic nature but the mere fact that this comments section is straying away from debate - e.g lists and 'streams of consciousness'.

    If people want to contribute to debate (like Richard suggested), make short and pertinent comments about the issue / science. Please let's avoid the tubthumping.

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  • 77. At 07:53am on 10 Dec 2009, poitsplace wrote:

    @RedGreenInBlue

    Were this a scientific paper I would have expressed such energies in a more specific way. However while your power company may word your power bill in joules/second or possibly some kind of mass to energy equivalent...most of the people here get there bills from crazy old power companies that refer to a unit called "kilowatt hours". As such, this is the term they understand. This is not unlike the way people use the term "evolve" even though they do not refer to any sort of biological evolution. If it's really bugging you...perhaps you could convince the power companies to change.

    Side note, you said highlight when you meant bold. Since you had to enter the HTML tag I assume you know the difference (or you'd have at least called it "strong")...that kind of mistake might cause you grief in a lowly, beginner web design class.

    A more interesting thing, however is your stance on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) from #73.
    From your "readings on the primary literature" what would you say the climate sensitivity is? (feedbacks? what would have been the temperature trend had we not emitted CO2?)

    What do you think about the absence of ocean current systems (or whatever drives them) like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation (more a persistent air current that caused the heat waves in europe), etc?

    How do you reconcile the fact that the warming rate of the 80s and 90s was the same as that of the previous warming period...while 75% of the atmospheric CO2 increase has been after the previous warming period? (did we dodge a bullet and miss a return to the little ice age or even a restart of the glacial period?)

    Do you believe water vapor feedback causes warming? (its SUPPOSEDLY responsible for most of the feedback) If so, why is it the outgoing emissions for water vapor's spectrum seem to be locked around its freezing point no matter what the local temperature?

    I'm skeptical of the whole high sensitivity concept when all observational evidence seems to point the other way. I'm more of a luke warmer. Seems that interglacial feedbacks are weak to negative and the most warming we could possibly have is around the theoretical maximum for CO2 forcing (which leaves us about .7C more warming for a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 levels)

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  • 78. At 08:23am on 10 Dec 2009, TVGgirl wrote:

    The World Meteorological Organisation's annual climate statement released today at Copenhagen found temperatures in 2009 reached 0.44 degrees above the 1961-1990 annual average.

    "The decade 2000-2009 is very likely to be the warmest on record," WMO secretary general Michel Jarraud told reporters at the Copenhagen climate summit late on Tuesday, Australian time

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/australia-records-hottest-six-months-on-record-20091209-kjd5.html

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  • 79. At 08:24am on 10 Dec 2009, poitsplace wrote:

    @TVGgirl

    There are kind of two entirely different arguments being put forth by the AGW community. They use one for their "we demand action" stuff and then when questioned by skeptics they fall back to an entirely different argument.

    There's the one argument that CO2 probably causes some warming. This is the ONLY "settled science" and even that isn't so settled that you can assume the climate system will feel the supposed 3.7 watts of forcing (actually its 3.4 when you factor in that the atmosphere isn't infinitely thick and can't drop much below the 220k black body curve but we can go with 3.7) Assuming the atmosphere just magically stays at its current convection rates, this level of forcing would give about 1.2C of warming for a doubling of CO2. From now on I will refer to this as POINT A

    Then there's the crazy, entirely unproven, entirely unsupported climate models...which assume feedbacks that have NEVER been observed and seem to be entirely contradicted by ALL observational data. The lowest of these models cited by the IPCC would project about 2C of warming and even the error bars of that model are higher than increases assumed for POINT A. The highest of these models are climbing ever higher even though the observations show temperatures leveling off (seems odd to me). The high end IPCC models go to about 4C with about 4.5C for the top error bars. I will refer to these crazy model projections as POINT B.

    Copenhagen is about stopping POINT B. The leaked emails are actually about POINT B. Every time I (rightfully) point out that POINT B is rubbish...alarmists throw POINT A in my face and say I'm stupid. I'm not the one saying POINT A = POINT B! You might as well be saying...
    A=1.2 and B>2 therefore A=B

    Sea levels will rise to 2 meters because of POINT B! Yeah, but we're only having rises in temperature and sea levels at or below POINT A rates so POINT B is not valid. But POINT A is settled science! So we must act immediately because of POINT B!

    Do you see my (and most skeptics') problem with what's going on?

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  • 80. At 08:41am on 10 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    Ah Richard, I ses you still have the faith of a religious true-believer in climate models:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8405025.stm

    Such naivety to believe in Met Office propaganda based on climate models. GIGO.

    Beware the end of the Holocene inter-glacial! It could have started and burning all the fossil fuels in the world won't stop nature in its tracks.

    Brrrrr

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  • 81. At 09:10am on 10 Dec 2009, Crowcatcher wrote:

    With regard to the several comments above involving poll results, I have carried out my own "straw" poll amongst my gcircle of aquaintances and found the following :-
    100% of those agreeing with the AGW hypothesis have no science based qualifications.
    100% Of those with science qualifications (or in science related employment) disagree with the AGW hypothesis.
    I think that says quite a lot!
    With regard to my own view, I live in Britain's most geologically diverse county.
    From my bedroom window I can see features from five geological eras - Pre-Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous and my house is built on a glacial moraine.
    This give me an insight into the climate history of the last 700 million years, and this tells me that for 90% of that time the climate's temperature has been a remarkably stable 10C warmer than it is at present (and 15C warmer than this Ice Age's mean) with absolutely no suggestion that there has ever been any "overheating" to the detrement of life.
    However, only 10% of that time has been Ice Ages all of which have had quite severe effects on life.
    So, I ask the question :-
    "What is the problem with our climate getting warmer"
    Answer:- there isn't one, and our Earth would be much more habitable if it were.
    AGW alarmism - complete and utter tosh!

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  • 82. At 09:11am on 10 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ richard. thanks for that- i was a bit confused over the need for two agreements.

    @ everyone. It amuses me that the pro-agw camp accuse the 'sceptics' of having no proof/evidence to back their assertions, despite the fact it is wholly their responsibility to provide the proof.

    All the sceptics need is for the world to not respond as the pro-agw camp predict/suggest. This has happened, ergo their theory is disproven.

    Next question.

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  • 83. At 09:18am on 10 Dec 2009, Dave_oxon wrote:

    #41. sensiblegrannie wrote:

    "I have been talking to some very young teenagers who did not know anything about Copenhagen..."

    A massive thank-you to sensiblegrannie for this post - whichever side of the fence you happen to find yourself on this issue I think there's one thing we can all agree on: that engaging the younger generation and getting them to think critically (and indeed sceptically which is a sound scientific stance) about global issues is incredibly important.

    Some of my thoughts as follow:

    Q: What could we use instead of petrol?
    A: The most developed technology is electricity, either stored in batteries or in hydrogen fuel cells (essentially an efficient battery). The problem then becomes how to produce the electricity... this should be from a huge portfolio of non-polluting sources (I shall ignore the idea of CO2 for the moment and concentrate on economic and direct environmental considerations). In the short term this means nuclear as it is a well-established technology and produces far-less waste per MW.hour than in the past, and no direct environmental pollution such as sulphur and soot. In the longer term it will mean truly renewable energy sources... solar, wind, marine, geothermal etc we will need to exploit them all.

    Q:What should we do to prevent global warming?
    A: The best thing you can do is to look critically at the science (by which I mean the published literature, NOT blogs, NOT websites but properly peer reviewed articles that have already stood up to intense scrutiny - and there are such articles on BOTH sides of the argument - read them all). If you are then convinced global warming is happening and is a threat, the best thing you can do is support things like the Copenhagen summit - by all means unplug your phone-charger, turn down the thermostat etc, but if the problem is to be solved then it will require a huge paradigm shift in our relationship with energy generation and use... something that can only be achieved on the world political stage.


    Q: What are you going to do to prevent global warming?
    A: Working professionally in alternative energy research.

    Q: Why don't you make eco friendly stuff cheaper?
    That is a very good question - at the present time the government (who have convinced themselves that global warming is a threat and are attempting to solve the problem - that doesn't mean that you should believe or trust them though!) seem to be using the "stick" approach in making polluting things more expensive rather than the "carrot" approach of making eco-things cheaper. The idea behind this is to make currently-expensive eco-things more attractive for development thus making them cheaper in the long run due to usual economic forces - a sound economic approach as it has the same (or better) outcome (for the government) whilst not costing the government money.

    Q: How are you going to reduce your carbon footprint?
    A: Personally, by embracing each new technology as it becomes affordable - imagine a 42" TV that uses a few Watts of power rather than half a kilowatt... eventually such a device will be made affordable if the energy demand of the original is taxed (as is the current plan - see my previous answer).

    Q: Why don't they make car exhaust filters to stop CO2?
    A: CO2 is the byproduct of burning petrol and as such there is a LOT of it. Even the most efficient cars produce ~90 grams per km which translates to approx 50 litres of gas which would need to be captured, stored, then subsequently processed or sequestered. This is just not feasible. One could imagine freezing it with a cryogenic liquid to turn it into dry ice and thus reduce teh volume but that introduces another level of complication that is not economically viable.

    Q: Why can't we have solar panels on every house?
    A: Good question - see the example of Germany and write to your MP - it is not hard to imagine legislation to require solar thermal panels on all new build housing (much cheaper and more efficient than solar electric... a good topic for a school science project?)

    Q How can our school help at Copenhagen?
    A If you are convinced about the science and therefore that you should be helping then talk to your science teachers about it who should have more information resources or start from the UK government website:
    http://www.actoncopenhagen.decc.gov.uk/en/

    Q: Why do you debate?
    A: Debate is a necessary process to reach agreement (or in many cases simply agree to disagree!). In this case there are many convinced by the science, and many who are unconvinced. Each side put forwards its arguments to attempte to persuade their opposition that they are correct. On the issue of global warming, the science behind it is incredibly complex and this complexity is then increased by the addition of politics which has, necessarily, a somewhat different agenda. The Copenhagen conference, involving a huge number of countries with different economies, resources and cultures, is and will continue to be an incredibly interesting melting pot for a diverse range of opinions and ideas.


    Finally - many thanks to all those who have genuinely engaged in this debate (bomanthebard, Colin Walker to name but two - the rest know who you are). I feel I have added as much as I am able and will not be placing any further posts. Good luck to all!

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  • 84. At 09:23am on 10 Dec 2009, Barry Woods wrote:

    No doubt everyone has seen the hysterical stories about glaciers melting in the himilayas:

    Don't worry the BBC now say:

    Himalayan glaciers melting deadline 'a mistake'
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8387737.stm

    BUT, notice, where have they put this, in the south asia section of the website?!?!?!?!

    Why not science and environment?

    Why not put it where people who are following the climate change (dare I mention climategate scnadal) might actually get to see it or notice it?

    Or perhaps, because it might show that the scienc eis not settled, and that mistakes are and have been made (let alone the reality of climate gate:

    They choose to bury the story, because it goes against the BBC's AGW religious beliefs...


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  • 85. At 09:26am on 10 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    I don't think anyone can argue that steps need to be taken to lower pollution, find renewable energy sources (practical ones) and educate people on the environment.

    So as far as that goes- yeah, let's do what we can.

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  • 86. At 09:32am on 10 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    wow, great catch Barry woods. Serisously.

    How much more blatant 'fabrication' will it take for people to sit up and think, hang on, maybe all's not as it seems?

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  • 87. At 10:01am on 10 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Dave_oxon #83 wrote:

    "Q: Why do you debate?
    A: Debate is a necessary process to reach agreement"

    Personally, I'm with JS Mill on this one. Disagreement is valuable because it tends to lead us to truth. Agreement tends to lead us away from truth, because it means that there are no alternative theories, and less critical assessment of the everyone agrees on.

    It seems to me that disagreement is the lifeblood of both science and philosophy. That is why the supposed "consensus" on climate change smells all wrong to me.

    I can't say I like the idea of "peer review" much either, but I suppose journals need to have an initial "filter" to reduce the load a bit. But don't get the mistaken idea that if a paper gets through this initial filter, that's a sign that it's likely to be true. It's more a sign that it agrees with the orthdoxy.

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  • 88. At 10:11am on 10 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re #65. At 00:47am on 10 Dec 2009, infinity wrote:
    re 61: "In the 70's MOST scientists believed we were heading for an ice age as the temperature dipped. Were the majority right then?"

    That's an urban legend. Scientists at the time were and still are saying that within a couple thousand years time (average) we may go into another glacial period.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Those of us who lived then remember it well - it's hardly an urban legend - read what the CIA had to say at the time (entitled 'thiry seven page report' in the attached article

    LINKS TO CIA REPORT

    Interesting to read the news headlines in the CIA report - not dissimilar to some of our own today.

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  • 89. At 10:23am on 10 Dec 2009, JunkkMale wrote:

    75. At 06:02am on 10 Dec 2009, TVGgirl wrote:
    I am very sorry to read that a number of commenters appear to be abandoning ship apparently due to the toxic nature of the debate.


    Toxicity is of course, as unwelcome as it is unnecessary. But, sadly, two wrongs can make for a right old ratings-fest on a blog. Or, indeed, in the MSM.

    Who mostly seem quite content to run with 'the science is settled'.

    Which would tend to suggest that there is no debate, which you seem also to feel is pushing it as there patently is. Unlike some some in high office who seem quite firm on the matter (and feel denying that fact is helping one jot):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:William_M._Connolley/The_science_is_settled (threw that one in for balance as, with toxicity, no side is above extremes... or lampooning for them)

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/unsettled-science/

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=11750

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/brown-condemned-by-his-green-guru-1760687.html

    But, what if it is not as settled as some may say (or, ironically, not):

    84. At 09:23am on 10 Dec 2009, Barry Woods:
    No doubt everyone has seen the hysterical stories about glaciers melting in the himilayas:
    Don't worry the BBC now say:

    Himalayan glaciers melting deadline 'a mistake'
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8387737.stm


    Maybe we can simply agree to agree that, at the very least, it's not as clear-cut as some might wish?:

    Thought it might be useful to throw in a few quotes I've come across recently:
    The leading scientific journal Nature, in an editorial:


    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/03/if-i-had-a-subscription-to-nature-id-cancel-it/

    I guess one gravitates to those with whom one feels most comfortable.

    Sadly, when opinions are held, they will differ, and debate will ensue. The problem seems to be as much the willingness of some to allow other views as many of those expressing them being intemperate.

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  • 90. At 10:25am on 10 Dec 2009, Flatearther wrote:

    Why is this site so slow? The BBC has billions of our money to do something about it.

    Yet again, a better summary of Copenhagen is available from Prof Philip Stott

    http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2009/12/9_The_Developing_World_Always_Knew%3A_Global_Warming_is_Neocolonialism.html

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  • 91. At 10:27am on 10 Dec 2009, ScudLewis wrote:

    Apologies for re-posting - but I feel this is a very relevant project currently running at CERN - anyone care to comment?

    CERN presentation by Jasper Kirkby on his team's work into Solar Cycles and influence on climate (CLOUD Project). This project looks like it is making the case that the Sun may be able to take more of the credit for warming, currently attributed to CO2. Also current Solar lull may have important implications.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/175641-climategate-revolt-of-the-physicists

    See also:
    http://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?confid=52576
    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1180849

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  • 92. At 11:07am on 10 Dec 2009, Jack Frost wrote:

    A quick question for the eggheads.

    What is the ideal natural average global temperature for life on earth?

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  • 93. At 11:24am on 10 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    RGIB:

    '1. My name is chosen for my ecosocialist politics (red-green) and the rather Tory (blue) area where I live.'

    very honest, its just that in my experience very few greens are willing to admit their fondness of socialism and i was trying to make a joke. no offense was intended and you have shown that you certainly cannot be described as yellow in this regard :) it can't be fun to hold your views while trapped in a sea of Blue!

    'I'm intrigued to know your definition of "fascist" which apparently encompasses both my party and the BNP! '

    i'm afraid that what the greens seem to want is an almost totalitarian control of anything that affects pollution. that includes all power generation, industry, agriculture, and considerable individual behaviour. even the greens are pretty upfront that we all have to change our 'behaviour' rather than simply opinions in line with their views based on apocalyptic (and somewhat questionable) science. such draconian control of the economy and individual attitudes/behaviour smacks of fascism to me. i get that its supposedly all in a good cause however i am and always will be immensely suspicious of an ever growing government that wants to save us from ourselves. the advice given of documents like 'the rules of the game' which was included in the foia2009.zip suggest that the proAGW camp has gamed the debate as much as it seems they have gamed the science.

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  • 94. At 11:29am on 10 Dec 2009, jon112dk wrote:

    How dare these small nations demand that EVERYONE cuts their emissions.

    Don't they understand that only CO2 from the USA melts polar bears?

    CO2 from China is perfectly harmless - that's why the Chinese are making a 'binding commitment' to increase their emissions.

    Obviously these smaller nations are not keeping up with the impeccable science being used at Copenhagen.

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  • 95. At 11:33am on 10 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    87. At 10:01am on 10 Dec 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:
    Dave_oxon #83 wrote:

    "Q: Why do you debate?
    A: Debate is a necessary process to reach agreement"

    Personally, I'm with JS Mill on this one. Disagreement is valuable because it tends to lead us to truth. Agreement tends to lead us away from truth, because it means that there are no alternative theories, and less critical assessment of the everyone agrees on.

    It seems to me that disagreement is the lifeblood of both science and philosophy. That is why the supposed "consensus" on climate change smells all wrong to me.

    I can't say I like the idea of "peer review" much either, but I suppose journals need to have an initial "filter" to reduce the load a bit. But don't get the mistaken idea that if a paper gets through this initial filter, that's a sign that it's likely to be true. It's more a sign that it agrees with the orthdoxy.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Absolutely agree on this.(Hmmm... not sure I should say that!!!)

    In fact I believe that those who try to stifle debate are actually trying to prevent others from seeking out the truth.

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  • 96. At 11:54am on 10 Dec 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To TVGirl #75...:

    Nice! Hope to hear more from you.

    I have been trying to explain to someone at work the 'robust' nature of the multiple lines of evidence regarding AGW, but I find a mindset which effectively wants it all to go away, and a lack of familiarity with geological history and the scientific method which is near impossible to overcome, at least quickly, or with a short argument.

    However, I think a little time must pass, and things will become more balanced. Perhaps the real job is simply - patience, and the never-ending struggle to dispel ignorance and especially, fear.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 97. At 11:56am on 10 Dec 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To Ghostofsichuan - #130, 'Day 2':

    "Nature has always provided the model for balance but we have distanced ourselves with knowledge. The CO2 not CO2 argument is an excellent example of where knowledge leads. There is no need to be cynical, the human condition is that of suffering. The mountains say nothing, yet provide comfort, what better companion in this life."
    -----------

    Indeed!

    - Manysummits -

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  • 98. At 12:03pm on 10 Dec 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To Richard Black: \\\ The Heart of Copenhagen ///

    " "There's no way you'd get a 50% chance of avoiding 1.5C," Ms Pope told BBC News.

    "If you reduced everything to zero immediately you'd still get about 1.3C [James Hansen - "Target CO2 - Where Should Humanity Aim?"; (2008)] because of the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere."

    Policies to ensure a reasonable chance of remaining under 1.5C would involve "negative emissions" - sucking CO2 out of the air - she said."
    [CO2 air capture]
    -----------------

    I think we are going to need CO2 air-capture. There is apparently a researcher here at the University of Calgary working on it too.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 99. At 12:10pm on 10 Dec 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Addendum to my # 98:

    (Forgot to cite Richard's article:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8405025.stm

    - Manysummits -

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  • 100. At 12:22pm on 10 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    Al Gore:

    Greetings oh glorious green revolutionary! Is it whatever you and Phil Jones and Mike Mann and the lovely people at the IPCC tell us it is by any chance?

    "A: Debate is a necessary process to reach agreement"

    "Disagreement is valuable because it tends to lead us to truth. Agreement tends to lead us away from truth, because it means that there are no alternative theories, and less critical assessment of the everyone agrees on." This is true. The idea of debate being a route to agreement is very post normal science. sounds nice and democratic and non-confrontational but that isn't science or even true debate.

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  • 101. At 12:57pm on 10 Dec 2009, Colonicus wrote:

    So anyway, I'm Colin Walker (and previously Colonicus42) back for one last comment (It is my real name actually, but I'm a massive fan of spaced too). It stems from a discussion with a few friends last night about climate change and having a look at some of the comments being made here since I deleted my account.

    _______________________________________________
    Re:soveryodd, xtragrumpymike2 and rossglory

    The problem is you should never argue with an idiot, they try to drag you down to their level so they can beat you with experience. I much prefer the 'walk the hell away and ignore them' approach, helps to aviod migraines.

    ______________________________________________
    Re: Some (not all) off the sceptics comments being made in general
    Umm, did you miss the link in post numero uno? 21 sceptics arguments systematically dealt with. Try reading those first, if you disagree and still think the point valid then explain why instead of just using old cliché and provably incorrect or misleading arguments.

    ________________________________________________________
    Re:Crowcatcher
    I did a straw poll last night too, we had a group consisting of an astrophysics masters graduate (that'd be me), a guy doing a PhD in Quantum physics, a guy who did a PhD in genetics, and two people from a non science background. We came out as 100% AGW, but then a straw poll is useless in the first place isn't it.
    Looks like the people making the decisions have made their minds up anyway.
    ____________________________________________________
    Re:Labmunkey, Sparkley and bowmanthebard
    The only real sceptics that stood out to me. Actually willing to debate the issue sensibly for the most part, although you do take a step in the wrong direction sometimes (occasionally going closer to the 'It a conspiracy' argument). I suppose it's fair enough to be honest, I've probably stepped further towards the preaching/'don't be a fool' approach on a few occasions.

    ________________________________________________________
    RE:92
    There is no ideal temperature other than one where liquid water can exist and which is generally stable on a decade/century timescale.

    ________________________________________________________
    RE:41
    Out of the mouths of babes eh. Some of the most poignant questions that we face.
    What could we use instead of petrol?
    If you're talking about cars then there's the hydrogen powered option. Look up the Honda Clarity, appeared on Top Gear about a year ago. It's basically an electric car with a cell that combines hydrogen with oxygen to create water. This gives off energy and is converted into electricity to power the car. It's remarkably similar to a normal car, fill up at a pump, reacts/drives like a normal car and doesn't have to be slow.

    What should we do to prevent global warming?
    As much as we can. Personally I'm hoping for some sort of agreement on CO" emission reductions etc. However population growth is also an issue (even if you don't believe in global warming) which needs to be addressed, it can be controversial however so many politicians want to avoid the issue.

    What are you going to do to prevent global warming?
    Us as little electricity as possible, drive less aggressively to reduce fuel consumption and avoid going on holidays abroad. The handy thing about it is that is saves money too.

    Why don't you make eco friendly stuff cheaper?
    Well the problem is that it usually costs more to make something eco friendly, which is why things arn't eco friendly. There should be some sort of tax on things that are very bad for the environment so money can be given as an incentive for companies to make more eco friendly products.

    How are you going to reduce your carbon footprint?
    I've looked at it and I wouldn't be able to make significant changes as I already have a fairly low footprint, other than trying to use as little energy/fuel as possible.

    Why don't they make car exhaust filters to stop CO2?
    It's been tried repeatedly and it's just not practical. The reduction in the fuel efficiency and performance of the car is too big for it to be practical. Never say never though, there might be a way of doing it that hasn't been tried yet.

    Why can't we have solar panels on every house?
    Mainly cost. Plus solar panels aren't as efficient as most people think, plus in Britain we don't have the best conditions for solar power.

    How can our school help at Copenhagen?
    Do your bit to reduce energy consumption. Try walking to school if you can and switch things off when they aren't being used. Doesn't sound like much, but then the biggest changes will come in areas that most of us cannot influence.
    One big thing you can do is remind the older generations that you are the people who will have to look after the planet after we are gone so they owe it to you to keep it in good condition.

    Why do you debate?
    Debate is essential, especially when there is a choice to be made. What you should always remember though is that people who are against something will always shout louder and longer to get their opinions heard. The evidence speaks for itself and doesn't need someone to shout for it, most climate scientists are in agreement on the evidence.
    __________________________________________________
    Re:14 Tears of our forefathers
    The name says it all really doesn't it.
    I think the comment last night was, 'What a self-righteous, ignorant, opinionated so and so' or words to that effect.
    It's always easy to take a swing at someone walking away. However all you managed was a confused mumble about me having some good points, something about choice of words (which is the last calling card of someone unable to construct a reasoned argument), a 'Your wrong anyway!' comment and then you descended in to the conspiracy theories that I predicted would be quick to follow.
    Oh and Organic food is one of the most pointless things in existence as there is no specific definition of what organic means. Also what's wrong with recycling? Surely it's better to make use of some of our waste instead of just burying it.

    Feel free to rant at my back as I leave, hope it makes you feel better.
    __________________________________________________
    Anyway that's me done. Will keep reading Richards Blog, he does seem to have his head screwed on more than most people reporting on the subject.
    Try to have an open mind everyone.
    Remember that the debate looks like it's going to be irrelevant anyway as the powers that be seem to have made their minds up on the issue.
    Try debating about what we can do, technology, taxes/incentives, behaviour changes etc. instead of getting into a who's wrong argument.

    Above all else, be nice. Insults are pointless and achieve nothing.

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  • 102. At 1:13pm on 10 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    re 74 Kamboshigh:

    what a load of psuedoskeptical twaddle.

    Measuring co2 in industrial areas? Obviously that's just going to measure the co2 in...industrial areas. Measuring the well mixed co2 concentration of the atmosphere as a whole takes a bit more effort - the Mauna Loa observatory is well placed to be able to sample this, not many places are.

    There are other observatories set up since - on in Barrow Alaska for example, and we also have satellite, aircraft and tower measurement site records too.

    Your source is effectively claiming co2 measurements in remote locations using methods accurate enough to pick up the annual cycle are worse than measurements taken in the 40s in bias-contaminated industrial areas using less accurate methods that read all over the place...

    Nevermind also the grand conspiracy theory inherent in your quotes.

    A genuine skeptic would have been just as skeptical of the earlier chemical method measurements and then found them wanting. Your source however gives whatever supports their veiw a free pass. That's psuedoskepticism.

    Poits writes: "There are kind of two entirely different arguments being put forth by the AGW community."

    That would be in contrast to thousands of these silly arguments being put forth by pseudoskeptics.

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  • 103. At 1:16pm on 10 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    88. Sparklet:

    The urban legend is that most scientists were predicting global cooling in the 70s. They weren't.

    More studies predicted warming than cooling.

    I don't care what the media were publishing.

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  • 104. At 1:50pm on 10 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    Re #103

    I'm not sure how you can call the CIA - 'the media', Infinity?

    READ THE 37 PAGE REPORT REFERRED TO - VERY INTERESTING

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  • 105. At 1:57pm on 10 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    Dear moderators.

    To help you moderate some of the comments above.

    Goebbels was the Nazi propaganda minister, and a thoroughly nasty chap. And his style of propaganda has very little in common with pro-AGW material.

    Dear fellow posters

    Perhaps a more relevant and less offensive example of propaganda might be the infamous Dodgy Dossier. Or any episode of "The Thick of It".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Dossier
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thick_of_It
    (Warning, clips contain strong language and adult humour)
    (Note to moderators, clips do not automatically run and do come with guidance. They are also already on the BBC website.)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qgrd

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  • 106. At 1:57pm on 10 Dec 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @Richard Black - BBC 1, Programme Hot Planet

    Richard,

    I caught a glimpse of the BBC programme Hot Planet last night (BBC 1 11pm). I will watch the full programme this evening, but i was dismayed to hear Professor Iain Stewart tell us that hurricanes were increasing because of AGW.

    This is a downright lie

    Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Centre, Chen etc have all confirmed that global warming does not increase the number of hurricanes. Surely it is not beyond the wit of the BBC / Professor Iain Stewart to check their facts first?

    Could you comment or confirm or deny the link between hurricanes and global warmings. Could you also ensure that the BBC and Professor Iain Stewart get their facts right in future?

    Thank you

    /mango

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  • 107. At 2:05pm on 10 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    "Re:14 Tears of our forefathers
    The name says it all really doesn't it.
    I think the comment last night was, 'What a self-righteous, ignorant, opinionated so and so' or words to that effect.
    It's always easy to take a swing at someone walking away. However all you managed was a confused mumble about me having some good points, something about choice of words (which is the last calling card of someone unable to construct a reasoned argument), a 'Your wrong anyway!' comment and then you descended in to the conspiracy theories that I predicted would be quick to follow.
    Oh and Organic food is one of the most pointless things in existence as there is no specific definition of what organic means. Also what's wrong with recycling? Surely it's better to make use of some of our waste instead of just burying it."


    welcome back, forgive me for doubting it was a parting shot to the back. i get the feeling all the 'i'm out of here' peeps are simply updating their monikers but hey, i'm a conspiracy theorist apparently.
    ouch. actually that hurts my feelings. i noticed the word 'toxic' a few times but nothing like that!

    the vast majority of the recycling we do requires huge government subsidy hence its pretty pointless especially for instance paper recycling. i have nothing against aluminium recycling or other materials that are extremely expensive to refine/produce or in short supply. i don't like organic food because it decreases agricultural yields and drives up food prices. i have the same opinion of biofuels which are pretty villainous. i think if you can get past my admittedly caustic prose i've made a few vaild points:


    the proAGW campaign has been built up into a kind of scientific religion complete with doomsday endtimes that serve to enlighten us about our current behaviour, ritual and dogma.

    if the 80% co2 reductions by 2050 were ever seriously attempted our standard of living would decline considerably, not a few minor sacrifices here and there.

    post normal science is a perversion of the noble tradition of science.

    a lot of proAGW bloggers are pretty free with the ad hominems, arguments from authority and arguments from ignorance. (this does not excuse my apparent ability to grate when i sometimes use the same tactics, have you read 'the rules of the game'? a guide to communicating sustainability. interesting stuff)

    green activism has prevented the development of nuclear and tidal power generation that is emission free and reliable all the while berating us for our emissions.

    sorry if you don't like those opinions but i don't think they are hugely controversial tbh. i pay my licence fee and have been outraged for the last 10 years or so by the style, temperament and tolerance of dissent shown by the proAGW folks. i'm as entitled to an opinion as any 'self-righteous, ignorant, opinionated so and so'. see you around.

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  • 108. At 2:16pm on 10 Dec 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    poitsplace #50: "BTW the UK uses 1 terawatt (Trillion watts) per day."

    RedGreenInBlue #72: "The highlighted words in the quote are meaningless in this context"

    poitsplace #77: "...most of the people here get there bills from crazy old power companies that refer to a unit called "kilowatt hours". As such, this is the term they understand."

    RedGreenInBlue is correct, and you poitsplace were wrong. You didn't even say "kilowatt hours" you said "terawatt per day". It is a common mistake, but your failure to admit it, and your very poor attempt to argue to the contrary shows obstinacy and lack of understanding.

    Your, so say, "scientific" claims and explanations should be treated with extreme scepticism. (A word you are very fond of believe).

    /davblo

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  • 109. At 2:20pm on 10 Dec 2009, jmb19045 wrote:

    #75 TVGgirl:

    Rather than relying on other peoples interpretations of the emails, why not simply look yourself? That way you can draw your own conclusions rather than the biased ones of the extreme 'denialists' or 'warmists'.

    I have and while it is true that some skeptical sources have been quoting out of context and misinterpreting things, it's hardly as rosy as that UCS article makes it out to be either. These aren't private emails in the sense of ones written to your friends/family outside of work, so that isn't really a valid excuse, I'd never write some of those things in work emails, even if it was just to colleagues. People understandably expect at least some professionalism out of scientists who are being paid by the public purse.

    Then, just taken as a whole, the emails display a very concerning level of underlying scientific bias. Thing that disagree with the 'consensus' are specifically targeted as problems to be solved and automatically assumed as errors or failings of the data. This is not a scientific approach and is not deserving of the label 'science'. The correct approach would be to investigate why the results are unexpected and look at the wider implications of this. If they've used a specific correction for a certain time period then why only this time period? You cannot simply just splice temperature records together picking only the parts from different records that fit the desired result with the only justification being that this is what you want to show.

    The UCS article also fails to address the email about balancing the needs of science against the IPCC, which even taken within the context is hardly 'innocent'.

    The last thing that I find concerning about the emails (and code) is the amount emotion displayed. The general tone of them is not reassuring that rational thought is being used.

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  • 110. At 2:23pm on 10 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/climategate-ordering-a-better-scare-for-australia.html

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  • 111. At 2:34pm on 10 Dec 2009, poitsplace wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke

    I don't know about the propaganda thing...quite a few people have gone so far as to blame the smaller number of skeptics for the inability of governments to take action and I've read several articles in which prominent AGW supporters called for some sort of punishment for skeptics. We might not be on the slippery slope...but its not far away.

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  • 112. At 2:37pm on 10 Dec 2009, Kamboshigh wrote:

    #102 Infinity thanks for reading, but all of that comment at 74 is peer-reviewed published science. The 19 stations were situated in industrial areas and is noted but as can be seen between 1955-1959 CO2 levels were between 270-380ppm. Using a scientific method described and peer-reviewed.

    I can show you again peer-reviewed papers from 1887 showing CO2 levels in Belgium of 370ppm.

    With complaints from warmists about remarks and attacks I present peer-reviewed science on CO2 levels, but rather than debate the science you attacked it and dismissed out of hand. Sorry you either want the peer-reviewed science or not which is it and then we will debate it.

    Shall we start with none acidification of the oceans?

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  • 113. At 2:43pm on 10 Dec 2009, LabMunkey wrote:

    time to jump ship buoys and guls. new blog open

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  • 114. At 3:24pm on 10 Dec 2009, tears of our forefathers wrote:

    poitsplace:

    don't you recall in 2005 when some 'ecopsychologists' and other activist scientists from the university of the east midlands or somesuch institution met to have 'denialism' branded a mental disease? they failed of course, but that seemed pretty off-the-right to me.

    I concede Goebbels is a little harsh, Edward Bernays though is lacking of any nazi stigma and a perfectly legitimate comparison to my mind to the marketing techniques that have been used to sell AGW to the masses. have a look at the Rules of the Game in the FOIA2009.zip documents folder. the 'communication manual' all salesmanship and no science at all.

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  • 115. At 3:46pm on 10 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    re 104 Sparklet:
    "I'm not sure how you can call the CIA - 'the media', Infinity?"

    Well you said this:

    "Interesting to read the news headlines in the CIA report - not dissimilar to some of our own today."

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  • 116. At 4:28pm on 10 Dec 2009, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @poitsplace #111

    The examples that I have come across have been explicit in which sceptics they find problematic, and what form of behaviour they find problematic. We aren't talking about genuine sceptics expressing legitimate opinion or even genuine sceptics making genuine mistakes.

    Perhaps I can reassure you that there are plenty of us on the pro-AGW side that won't stand for unreasonable persecution of climate sceptics. Civil liberties mean nothing if you don't apply them to your rivals.

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  • 117. At 4:44pm on 10 Dec 2009, poitsplace wrote:

    @davblo #108

    "RedGreenInBlue is correct, and you poitsplace were wrong. You didn't even say "kilowatt hours" you said "terawatt per day". It is a common mistake, but your failure to admit it, and your very poor attempt to argue to the contrary shows obstinacy and lack of understanding."

    LOL! I know my own user name, thank you very much. Don't stamp your feet and pout like an angry child. I'm not some graduate student presenting his thesis...that needs to get everything accurate to the nth decimal place. You know what, I even round stuff off sometimes. In my defense I did say that "Were this a scientific paper I would have expressed such energies in a more specific way". I thought that would make it obvious that it wasn't specific enough for technical papers.

    Here, let me say it for those in the group that read at a 4th or 5th grade level.
    I was wrong about the terawatt comment. I could have phrased it differently.

    There we go, all fixed. Now if only we could sort out your reading and logic problems.

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  • 118. At 6:19pm on 10 Dec 2009, John OSullivan wrote:

    More from the 'Climategate' emails-here's a gem >>>
    From: Keith Briffa xxxxxxxxx
    Subject: RE: IPCC revisions
    Date: Wed Sep 22 16:19:06 1999
    “I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.”
    Oh, ok then - and low carbon dioxide back then,too? Wow, so either Kings Canute, Harold, Ethelred, et al. were all irresponsibly driving around in their SUV's or perhaps its NATURE that explains the warmth?

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  • 119. At 7:39pm on 10 Dec 2009, infiniti wrote:

    re 112. KambosHigh "all of that comment at 74 is peer-reviewed published science. The 19 stations were situated in industrial areas and is noted but as can be seen between 1955-1959 CO2 levels were between 270-380ppm. Using a scientific method described and peer-reviewed."

    The co2 level of industrial areas (or urban areas, even rural) can be very different than the well mixed level of co2 in the atmosphere. So no those studies do not show the well mixed concentration of co2 in the atmosphere was 270 to 380ppm (a range so wide that it precludes accurate readings of the well mixed concentration anyway)

    The peer reviewed literature, current science, finds that co2 levels were about 280ppm pre-industry and subsequently rose in an accelerating curve until present.

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  • 120. At 11:51pm on 10 Dec 2009, RedGreenInBlue wrote:

    davblo2, thank you for coming to my aid. It seems to be an almost universal misunderstanding.

    poitsplace, thank you too. It's nothing personal, really. I would get just as crotchety if it were a fellow Green Party member saying it. I simply wanted to make the point that in the end, climate change is about energy budgets and flows, so IMHO it's critical that people understand the concepts of power and energy and the difference between them. It's the science teacher in me.

    I'll calm down now!

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  • 121. At 00:29am on 11 Dec 2009, RedGreenInBlue wrote:

    Sparklet (#104):

    No, the CIA is not part of the mass media. You know it, I know it, I'm sure Infinity knows it. So what?

    Did the CIA document detail original research and new data? No. Was it published in a peer-reviewed journal? No. Do climatologists control the CIA's external communications? No.

    As Infinity and others have said, it doesn't matter what the media said. What matters is what conclusions the climate researchers themselves were prepared to commit to paper and submit to public scrutiny in scientific journals.

    As you are told early on in any research degree: cite the primary literature directly, not via citations in review articles, and certainly don't cite media reports in support of your arguments unless they themselves are the subject of your article.

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  • 122. At 04:16am on 11 Dec 2009, TwoWayView wrote:

    While my other comment is rather long (I apologise for your sore eyes), here is a little jesting to, hopefully, lighten the mood for a moment.

    Firstly, I note, that at 11:29am on 10 Dec 2009, jon112uk (#94) wrote:
    (partial quote, only)
    'How dare these small nations demand that EVERYONE cuts their emissions.'
    Don't they understand that only CO2 from the USA melts polar bears? '

    Nice one, jon112uk

    - Do YOU know that polar bears are a major cause of Methane? And they are right there on the snowy bit, isn'it?

    (For Sci&Phys Graduates only:)
    How many scientists does it take to turn on a light bulb?
    Ans: 3. One to deconstruct it; one to reconstruct it; and one to throw the switch with his/her fingers crossed.

    Yeah, levity is the soul of wit. Goodnight/ morning.
    TWV

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  • 123. At 04:17am on 11 Dec 2009, TwoWayView wrote:

    Thankyou, I have enjoyed the very lively debate and comments from this Day 4 (10 Dec.)
    Noteably: Sparklet; poitsplace (esp @ #79); Crowcatcher; Flatearther; Kamboshigh; Colin Walker, but not dismissing any other.

    Some of you have added URLs to scientific papers and etc; this is going to take me some time to wade through, but helpful it will be, I am sure.

    If those with climate science knowledge are still arguing over the basic premise then what are we, the lay public, supposed to make of it all?
    Personally, I think there is 'evidence' of AWG: micro-climates are effective in cities of high density, this is known; removal of rainforests has also a regional impact. But what of the global picture?

    Are industrial and fossil fuel emissions to blame? It becomes a little laughable when cattle flatulence is cited as a major cause. Is there more CO2 produced now than during the Industrial Revolution?
    It seems to me that air is cleaner now than in the 1960's when the 'Clean Air Act' began to reduce coal-fire smoke that smogged the air terribly.

    Before the Ice Age were there not more volcanoes emitting ash particulates and gases into the atmosphere? Perhaps there is so much less 'dirt' in the polar circle's air for ice crystals to form? (Sorry, if that makes you laugh at me but people want to KNOW, i.e. - 'what the .... is going on').

    Perhaps the terminology should be Climate Disturbance, anyway?

    What appears to be a definite threat is the that of a sea level rise that will impact in a major way: lives literally washed off the global map. International strategies for cooperation must be at the top of the nations' agendas rather than individual 'action' that will inevitably mean a putting-off any real movement in fiscal policies or whatever.

    I can only hope that the COP15 Summit generates some clear outcomes that lead nations to plan for the young and future generations. If it only leads to carbon-trading deals and hiked industrial taxing (and higher domestic energy bills, natch) it will all be a sad failure.
    TWV

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  • 124. At 08:59am on 11 Dec 2009, poitsplace wrote:

    @TwoWayView #123

    I know this thread is pretty much dead so I thought I'd answer your question about volcanoes. In the ice age it's likely that the dust was caused by the truly massive desertification of the world
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Last_glacial_vegetation_map.png

    It should be noted that the albedo of desert is substantially higher (more reflective) than that of forest or grassland. Also note the large ice sheets (high albedo but probably dusty....still quite high albedo). Its also important to realize that the sea ice extended to within less than 50 degrees of the equator.

    If you'll check the satellite view on google maps you will note the pale blue areas that are next to some of the continents...that's the continental shelf. Much of that is exposed during the glacial maximum and ice sheets are were sitting on top of it in some places.

    Earth's climate is a VERY non-linear system. Usually they just say that means "chaotic" but a better way (in my opinion) is putting it like this...there isn't the same, direct "At X temperature, Y climate conditions exist" kind of relationship going on that the public is usually told about. There is, however...an obvious ceiling. The earth's climate doesn't currently have a good way to get over the hump and out of this ice age (we're in an ongoing ice age during an interglacial period...a localized warm spot). You can see this ceiling is kind of evident here
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Vostok-ice-core-petit.png

    But there's a lot more to it than that. There are MANY subsystems and groups of subsystems that vary their impact on climate based on the impacts of everything else. So at the glacial maximum you've got everything pretty much set up for the ice age to fall apart. There are ice sheets but they're not too big. There are deserts that just need access to moist breezes off of an ocean (if only it wasn't covered in ice) and of course the massive amounts of dust streaming off of the deserts shading the oceans and reflecting more light. The tropical oceans however...are likely warmer.

    Aaaaand then the malankovich cycles level off and go toward favoring warming. So here we are with an ice sheet sitting in the middle of what will be an ocean, deserts reflecting themselves and via dust, huge masses of sea ice...and hot tropical oceans that have nowhere to drop their heat because all the ice is in the way (especially at the arctic ocean which is by then ENTIRELY blocked off).

    Suddenly there's a little warming and there's a meltwater pulse and sea level rise...oh look, a bunch of ice sheets are sitting in the middle of an ocean with very little place to dump its heat. The albedo from the ice sheets drop drastically, the meltwater covers nearby patches of desert and they EXPLODE into viable biospheres. Temperatures rise that much more, the oceans keep rising, sea ice retreats. More and more of europe is bordered by WATER so even more of the desert explodes...as the dust levels decline rapidly. Somewhere along the way the explosion of activity and the changing ocean circulations cause africa/australia to green (during the holocene optimum they were actually pretty nice and dotted with lakes)

    Over a period of just a few thousand years the earth goes from something like (rough guestimates) 10% higher ice coverage and 10% higher desert coverage...to a time when the tree line extends part way into greenland (sometimes the greenland ice sheet melts entirely) and a green african/australia. The difference in albedo is probably pushing 10% when you count all the dust in the atmosphere...and that's just energy that never even turns to heat.

    But now all the feedbacks are gone. Eventually africa and australia go into decline and return to desert conditions. Africa starts spewing dust again...accelerating the expansion of the eurasian deserts (I wonder how our intensive agriculture is impacting that). The current conditions just don't favor anything but more cooling. The ice at the poles doesn't extend close enough to the equator that its albedo offsets can offset its own emissions. Desertification has already started, the malankovich cycles are starting to favor cooling.

    I've obviously oversimplified things here. The climate system is unimaginably complex and just about everything we know about RIGHT NOW is useless for predicting some other range of temperatures. We just don't have any detailed measurements for any other periods. Looking at the ice core data...every one of those spikes is a cascade of numerous subsystems. Maybe the warm oceans cause explosive ice coverage on northern continents and ram the temperatures down, shrink the oceans, cut off the pole but then the ice is thinner (but more spread out) and if it happens to warm a little it immediately melts and the regions explode to life again.

    About the only thing I can see that is pretty stable...is that the earth DOES NOT seem to be able to get over that hump of melting the antarctic very easily. Its been millions of years. While many like to say "oh but CO2...", it was also so much hotter that the oceans would have simply spat out that much CO2. There's no evidence it would actually do that. All the feedbacks WE know of are almost entirely played out...or better (yeah, like we'd REALLY hate it if africa was covered in forests and grassland). We have very little idea as to why the antarctic deglaciated last time. I tend to think that in the last few million years or so the many miles the continents have moved managed to close up the arctic ocean enough to change the world's ocean currents.

    Lots of this is pushing plain old speculation...but I do know that the albedo and water vapor changes between glacial/interglacial periods are sufficient to explain ALL of the amplification of the malankovich cycles. Oh and yes, I'd forgotten to mention water vapor as a greenhouse gas in there. About the only thing you can do to get water vapor to amplify the greenhouse effect is to go from constant, subzero temperatures...to above. Water vapor's output from our atmosphere otherwise stays at about the same level (because it's only optically transparent enough due to humidity...when the temperature of the atmosphere is below freezing by a bit) *phew* lots and lots of stuff

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  • 125. At 2:12pm on 11 Dec 2009, John OSullivan wrote:

    Yawn! Stop all this pointless waffle. If our government’s best scientific advisers determined that there was any credibility at all in the alarmist propaganda of 'catastrophic' climate change with associated huge rises in sea levels, then Gordon Brown and his cronies would immediately divert the £10bn for the 2012 London Olympics jamboree into better flood defences for the Thames.
    The Thames Barrier was put there for a reason and if Brown allowed London to be lost to the seas he knows he’d be lynched as a madman. Judge these corrupt people not by what they say, but by what they actually do!

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  • 126. At 3:08pm on 11 Dec 2009, TwoWayView wrote:

    @poitsplace (#124, today)
    Many thanks for going into so much explanation for me. May I absorb this at my leisure but not reply further.
    I put a few open-ended questions in my comment to show that there is so much uncertainty, and miss-information, that the public by and large are confused, mistrusting, and will likely to step back into apathy on this subject (until we learn of another extreme weather event that may indicate AGW)
    My feeling, overall, is that any damage done by man's greenhouse gasses is DONE, and the cycle or track of climate change is to be played out beyond human control.
    Not to be 'alarmist' but I dread a 42 degree C. heatwave in England, it may be coming soon.
    I welcome Gordon Brown's promise of money to poorer countries, but it is only apprx £2 billion per annum over three years. Yes, a drop in the warming oceans.
    Thanks again.
    TWV

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  • 127. At 11:25am on 13 Dec 2009, Sparklet wrote:

    121. At 00:29am on 11 Dec 2009, RedGreenInBlue wrote:
    "Sparklet (#104):

    No, the CIA is not part of the mass media. You know it, I know it, I'm sure Infinity knows it. So what?

    Did the CIA document detail original research and new data? No. Was it published in a peer-reviewed journal? No. Do climatologists control the CIA's external communications? No.

    As Infinity and others have said, it doesn't matter what the media said. What matters is what conclusions the climate researchers themselves were prepared to commit to paper and submit to public scrutiny in scientific journals.

    As you are told early on in any research degree: cite the primary literature directly, not via citations in review articles, and certainly don't cite media reports in support of your arguments unless they themselves are the subject of your article."

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You totally avoid the main point, Red, but that is not unusual in AGW proponents - the CIA report is itself a source document and is indicative of what the ESTABLISHMENT considered important at the time. Just as currently there are many many scientists who are against the AGW theory but whose evidence has been ignored by the Establishment who are controlling the agenda.

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  • 128. At 2:25pm on 13 Dec 2009, John OSullivan wrote:


    In the 1970’s the world’s scientists were convinced the planet was enduring global cooling. The CIA even wrote a 30-page report on this subject despite the warmists claiming this is all an ‘urban legend.’
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    Then things changed and the Earth warmed from 1975-1998. I am a sceptic and even I do not dispute this fact. Nor will any serious scientist dispute that the planet has also shown a warming trend for the past 300 years. I and other sceptics argue that around 280 of those 300 years of warming cannot possibly be due to man - they have been natural. Even on the UN’s exaggerated estimate of CO2’s warming effect, CO2 cannot – repeat cannot – have been to blame for any other than the 23 years of warming that occurred up to 1998. While in secret, their own climatologists admit that there has been no warming this century as shockingly exposed in those leaked Climategate emails as shown by this one example from climatologist, Kevin Trenberth:
    “From: Kevin Trenberth
    To: Michael Mann
    Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
    Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600
    Hi all
    Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming?….The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. “
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1048&filename=1255352257.txt
    Publicly Trenberth, the CRU and NASA GISS tell the world the last decade has seen the warmest five years ever recorded, but in private Trenberth’s leaked email shows they know that is a lie. The world has only warmed if you believe the ground station data wasn’t ‘fudged’ which these liars admit they did in other emails.
    The public now has the absolute proof that what ‘scientists’ admit to in private is opposed to what they say to the public. The actual facts about global temperatures can be found in the more trustworthy ERBE satellite data, which measures the long wave solar radiation exiting the atmosphere. The data from ERBE shows a rate inconsistent with the positive feedback forcing used in the CRU / NOAA / GISS computer models- essentially it proves the models are rigged and thus useless.
    If the Climategate conspirators had been less politicized and less dishonest, they wouldn’t have been having conversations of the kind illustrated in the Trenberth email above. It proves they have spent $50 billion of UN (and our) money doing nothing more than working out ways of bending the data so as to blame more than half of the warming from 1975-1998 on CO2.

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  • 129. At 2:32pm on 14 Dec 2009, John OSullivan wrote:

    It seems a can of worms is now opening up over the CRU Antarctic stations data con. We have more revelations that temperature stations unfavourable to the warmist agenda were dropped by the scientists and their final computations were rigged artificially to show an upward trend of warming. Take a read of the following to see how the scam was put together……
    “From: Tom Wigley
    To: Phil Jones
    Subject: HadCRUT2v
    Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 15:16:28 -0700
    Cc: Tim Osborn , Ben Santer
    Phil,
    Why is there so much missing data for the South Pole? The period Jan 75 thru Dec 90 is all missing except Dec 81, July & Dec 85, Apr 87, Apr & Sept 88, Apr 89. Also, from and including Aug 2003 is missing.
    Also — more seriously but correctable. The S Pole is just represented by a single box at 87.5S (N Pole ditto I suspect). This screws up area averaging. It would be better to put the S Pole value in ALL boxes at 87.5S. I have had to do this in my code — but you really should fix the ‘raw’gridded data. For area averages, the difference is between having the S Pole represent the whole region south of 85S, and having (as now) it represent one 72nd of this region. It is pretty obvious to me what is better. This affects the impression of missing data too of course.
    Tom.”
    Apart from the obvious admission above that data is “missing” we have the smoking gun of more climatologist data fraud as shown by the latest computer analysis of the GHCN Mean Temperatures dataset(s) into an SQL database. It seems the more experts look into these numbers the more ‘fudge’ they find. One analyst has found that of the original 110 dataseries, only 18 are left to compile the official IPCC final numbers. The original 2700+ datapoints are down to around 600. And what do you know – the series shows a whopping slope of 0.0447 which would mean a trend of 4.47 degrees of warming per century!
    It is not possible to accidentally remove all series that show less of an upward trend, and settle for 18 of the most upward trending series (thus raising the warming / century by 3 degrees!). I don’t know how they do things with the GHCN dataset, or who is responsible for this, but just like New Zealand this is pretty damning evidence that all the “adjustments” are done to deliberately corrupt data to cause specific trends. At the Air Vent climate site they have put a lot of work into a Steig Antarctic reconstruction and hope to publish a paper on it soon. However, anyone can independently verify this fraud themselves by setting up an SQL-database and running their own sql-queries – although I suspect it’s mostly IT nerds who know how to do that.

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