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US climate cuts threaten isolation

Richard Black | 11:35 UK time, Thursday, 24 February 2011

The latest flirtations of the US political right with "climate denial" look set to marginalise the country even further within the global community of nations - at least when it comes to climate change.


Diego Garcia coral atoll, in the central Indian Ocean

Does the US risk isolating itself from the global community?

The key to all this is the advance made by the Republican party - and by relatively right-wing Democrats - during the mid-term elections late last year.

With a majority in the House of Representatives, politicians unconvinced of the case for action on climate change have been able to attack the edifices of climate science and international negotiations in quite dramatic ways.

Budgetary measures passed by the House at the weekend would not only withdraw US funding from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - they would also end financing for the office occupied by Todd Stern, the experienced official who leads US diplomacy within the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) and other fora.

Before these measures could come into law they would have to make it through the labrynthine processes that precede a US budget agreement, including being approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate and signed off by President Obama.

So, you might conclude they'll never make it.

Equally, remembering that they'll be relatively minor ingredients of a vast budgetary package whose negotiation will require extensive horse-trading, it's easy to see how they might make it through these various hurdles if the Democrats judge they're more expendable than other items.

The claims used to back the proposed IPCC cuts are easily countered. Launching his "de-funding" amendment, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer described the panel as:

"...an entity that is fraught with waste and fraud, and engaged in dubious science..."

E-mails taken from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in November 2009 showed, he said, that:

"...leading global scientists intentionally manipulated climate data and suppressed legitimate arguments in peer-reviewed journals. Researchers were asked to delete and destroy e-mails so that a small number of climate alarmists could continue to advance their environmental agenda."

The IPCC has never been found fraudulent by any investigation - indeed, successive reviews, notably by the InterAcademy Council, have found just the opposite.

That being so, to make the allegation outside the legal protection afforded by the political process would potentially lay the speaker open to action for defamation.

Neither has it been shown that UEA scientists intentionally manipulated data - again, the opposite conclusion is eminently more defensible - nor that they had an "environmental agenda".

While criticising proponents of climate action for basing their policies on dodgy ground, Mr Luetkemayer apparently had no problem making allegations demonstrably lacking a factual basis.

You might also ask where the notion of consistency has gone, given that when Sarah Palin's e-mail account is hacked, the Republican party condemned it as "a shocking invasion of privacy and a violation of the law" whereas the same entity apparently brings no criticsm of the hacking of CRU servers.

Nevertheless, this is politics - and facts have always proven to be malleable in that particular furnace.

So what would these measures mean if they all went through?

The IPCC sums are minimal - about $3 million per year. A large proportion goes to fund the Technical Support Unit (TSU) for IPCC Working Group 2 - the group on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, one of the three principle strands of IPCC research.

As the group currently has a US-based co-chair, Chris Field from the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University, the US gets to fund the TSU - the small team that supports the scientific assessment.

With the money gone, the TSU would either have to find another source of funding - which might not be too hard in a US awash with charitable foundations signed up to the need to curb climate change -or, more provocatively, move to Argentina, home of the group's other co-chair, Vicente Barros.

IPCC working groups always have one co-chair from a developed nation and one from a developing country, and the richer partner has always hosted the TSU - which in some peoples' eyes has given too much priority to western concerns.

A switch to the poorer partner - and Argentina is surely rich enough to host a TSU if it wanted - would be a new tweak and one that would reduce US influence over the IPCC's next report.

The House's budgetary bill seeks to lop far greater sums from the climate science budgets of US agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

Cuts along these lines would also weaken the US voice as its dominance in climate research waned.

Putting Mr Stern's office off-line, meanwhile, would significantly curb US influence within the UN climate negotiations.

Critics say its main role recently has in any case been to stall and weaken... but it has been engaged, and undoubtedly highly influential.

At the recent Cancun summit, Mr Stern's delegation implacably fought for and won on a number of points - notably securing World Bank influence over international climate finance in the teeth of vehement opposition from developing countries.

There would surely be a risk that trimming the US presence in the UN process would weaken its capacity to influence such matters.

Mr Stern and his deputy, Jonathan Pershing, have stuck to the line that the US administration will not sign a treaty that the Senate will not ratify. Recently, they've suggested that for now, governments should stop looking for a global deal and concentrate on delivering the unilateral voluntary pledges they made around the time of the Copenhagen summit.

This - though undeniably realistic, given the way political winds are blowing in the US - is also leading some movers and shakers in the UN climate process to question whether they should plan for an immediate future that explicitly leaves the US to one side.

A strategy could be adopted that basically ignores the world's biggest economy - though, of course, leaving a window through which it could re-enter if and when the political winds change.

How this might work and what some of the alternatives are I'll return to in another post.

All of this must be galling for Mr Pershing, especially.

In 2008, before taking up his current post and while working for the World Resources Institute on its climate programme, he argued:

"The Bush administration has avoided significant climate change policy, leaving the US so far a largely ignored observer at these international negotiations... The US holds the key to a succesful global climate change treaty."

Current events suggest the political clock may be turning back faster than anyone thought possible when Barack Obama swept into the White House pledging "global leadership" on climate change.

This time, however, the political landscape is different; and perhaps the US doesn't any longer hold the key to a treaty.

No longer is it the world's biggest emitter. No longer is it the most powerful political entity on the scene - that role has been taken by the BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China).

And climate science - despite Mr Luetkemeyer's interpretation - has hardened, with real-world changes that look very like the signatures of greenhouse warming being registered from the Arctic to the Amazon heightening the concerns of vulnerable nations.

Will the rest of the world wait for the US again - as it did in Copenhagen - especially when its political leaders are apparently bent on downgrading its importance in the climate arena?

Comments

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  • 1. At 12:09pm on 24 Feb 2011, Smiffie wrote:

    Richard, who are you trying to kid by implying that it is only the US that is skeptical? The whole world is waking up to the fact that it has been had.

    On another subject, the unfolding tragedy in Libya may heighten interest in issues that environmentalists have been trying to address for years, namely energy use, energy security, alternative energy sources, mass migration etc. – oh that last one is not going to happen according to Richard’s recent article, but then a week is a long time in eco-politics.

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  • 2. At 12:23pm on 24 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

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

  • 3. At 12:34pm on 24 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Richard Black.

    "..this is politics - and facts have always proven to be malleable in that particular furnace. ... This time, however, the political landscape is different; and perhaps the US doesn't any longer hold the key to a treaty."

    our politics are based on coercion not cooperation; the US of A doesn't have a care about anyone else and uses its military globally to retain 'advantage', but even if they did, we'd still have too many nation states all pursuing different goals. give up.

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  • 4. At 12:53pm on 24 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    I hope that any Americans reading these comments will not assume that jr4412's bigoted attitude towards Americans is shared by all or even many in the UK.

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  • 5. At 1:13pm on 24 Feb 2011, JunkkMale wrote:

    'You might also ask where the notion of consistency has gone, given that when Sarah Palin's e-mail account is hacked, the Republican party condemned it as "a shocking invasion of privacy and a violation of the law" whereas the same entity apparently brings no criticsm of the hacking of CRU servers.'

    Conceding that two wrongs are not the best basis to make a right (ask Mr. Alexander, currently whipping up a storm that may not help those in harm's way one jot, if ably abetted), but not sure raising consistency and/or multiple standards is the best route to adopt, especially from the home of variably applied 'watertight oversight', from [uncertainly acquired?] emails, to Wikileaks revelations, etc.

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  • 6. At 1:18pm on 24 Feb 2011, Roland D wrote:

    The latest flirtations of the US political right with "climate denial"

    Well, that makes it obvious where you stand, Mr Black. And it ain't in the impartial corner.

    The claims used to back the proposed IPCC cuts are easily countered.

    They're easily argued as well. But you clearly see the BBC's role as one and not the other.

    whereas the same entity apparently brings no criticsm of the hacking of CRU servers

    This line is continually trotted out by the BBC. What evidence is there that they were hacked, rather than leaked? You don't seem to have problems with leaked information at the BBC.

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  • 7. At 1:47pm on 24 Feb 2011, Andy wrote:

    Smiffie wrote:

    Richard, who are you trying to kid by implying that it is only the US that is skeptical? The whole world is waking up to the fact that it has been had.

    So it's a fact that we've "been had" is it? Read James Hoggan's "Climate Cover-Up" and then the penny might drop. The facts of climate change science don't depend on World opinion and the vast majority of climate scientists are only interested in uncovering the facts.

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  • 8. At 1:48pm on 24 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #4.

    "I hope that any Americans reading these comments will not assume that jr4412's bigoted attitude towards Americans is shared by all or even many in the UK."

    sigh..

    I've no problem with US citizens (whom, on the whole, I've found to be courteous), I've a problem with their government's policies. now, I'm sure that you will find a way to twist my words (as usual), but frankly, I live in the real world, not in some philosophically redacted fantasy.

    as for my assertions:

    -- do you deny that international politics is based on coercion? if yes, forward an argument.

    -- do you deny that the US uses its military globally (to retain advantage)? if yes, forward an argument.

    meanwhile, here's some data:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_military_bases_in_the_world.svg

    http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/foabroad.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#SIPRI_Yearbook_2010

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zp-heller/us-military-escalation-le_b_222743.html

    there is a lot of information out there, you call me a bigot, but at least I'm keeping my eyes (and mind) open.

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  • 9. At 2:02pm on 24 Feb 2011, The_McCann wrote:

    Essentially the choice is whether or not we can trust the American people. Personally while I think there's some doubt, maybe the doubts arise from (a) the very high noise level of modern media (b) the severe decline of modern journalism (c) the atomization of the American community (d) the regression in our political skills (e)the terrible erosion of the economic life of the middle and lower classes (f) the development of this colossal rootless international malevolent plutocracy and (g) the [temporary] rise of the seditionist right wing Republican Christianists. My belief is that Sarah Palin will lead the rabid lemmings of the Republican party off the cliff of extremism into the dustbin of history

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  • 10. At 2:09pm on 24 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    jr4412 #8 wrote:

    I've no problem with US citizens

    You clearly have exactly the same problems with US citizens as racist bigots have with members of particular races. I suggest you re-consider your own prejudices instead of trying to justify them.

    That's the end of this discussion as far as I'm concerned.

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  • 11. At 2:13pm on 24 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #10.

    "That's the end of this discussion as far as I'm concerned."

    won't save your face since you've been unable to produce an argument.

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  • 12. At 2:13pm on 24 Feb 2011, Ben Vorlich wrote:

    Richard,
    why do you feel it necessary to use the pejorative expression "Climate denial" in the first line?

    Just more of the BBC showing that it has no agenda I guess /sarc

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  • 13. At 3:31pm on 24 Feb 2011, NobodysHero wrote:

    I'd rather call it "physical chemistry denial" for better accuracy, really. I mean, Arrhenius gave the physical basis for climate change back in the 1890s based on (at that time) modern chemistry, and it's not like there has been major revisions to chemistry since then.

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  • 14. At 3:31pm on 24 Feb 2011, Endgames wrote:

    bowmanthebard..........you seem like an eloquent and intelligent individual.......

    Where, then, is your argument to uphold the assertions you made about jr4412.....

    Well......

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  • 15. At 3:49pm on 24 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    Will the rest of the world wait for the US again - as it did in Copenhagen - especially when its political leaders are apparently bent on downgrading its importance in the climate arena?

    Let's hope not. But humans being humans, I suppose the US disengagement might make it much easier for others to back away from unpalatable choices.

    Still, one wonders how long the climate of obstinate obstructionism in Washington will last. There is still a majority of public opinion in the US that accepts the notion of man made effects on climate, and accept that some kind of action is necessary to reduce those effects (Brookings Institute study here).

    Moreover, much of the ameliorative action in the US is taking place at the state level. So maybe a new approach, one that bypasses the Washington logjam, is the way to go.

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  • 16. At 3:58pm on 24 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Ireland doesn't have a care about anyone else and uses its impoverished emigrants globally to sponge off host nations"

    I submit that if someone had said that, he would be regarded as prejudiced, if not quite racially, at least ethnically.

    Both Ireland and the US are democracies with elected governments whose policies broadly reflect the wishes of the people who elected them. If you disagree with the policies of these elected governments, you probably disagree with the wishes of the ordinary people who elected them. In recent US elections, the opposition Republicans gained in exactly the same way as Democrats did when they were in opposition, and as UK opposition parties routinely gain in by-elections.

    Both sides "win some, lose some" in accordance with the changing mood of the electorate. The just-elected mayor of Chicago is a prominent Democrat.

    When you don't like the outcome of an election in a democracy, that is because you disagree with the majority of the electorate. It is not because some sinister right-wing corporate-financed Svengali keeps people "in denial", or that the people are "coerced".

    Grow up!

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  • 17. At 4:07pm on 24 Feb 2011, Robert Lucien wrote:

    This leaves me to muse on America. Once the US was the worlds greatest nation, and back in those days they were always afraid of the enemy within - communist infiltrators from the Soviet Empire. Now 50 years later the US has really been brought to its knees, and it was by the enemy within. But it wasn't a communist infiltrator it was the Republican party and the 'New Right' (and a small part due to the 'ultra liberal left' esp the anti-nuclear lobby).
    Ronald Reagan and Ollie North, George Bushes 'New World Order', George W Bush and his war with Iraq. They have destroyed much American moral reputation, its old impartial honest journalism, and large parts of its constitution. They have destroyed much of its real economy- replacing it with outsourcing and empty jobs and a pile of paper houses. Bringing home the old communist maxim "capitalism is legalized theft". They have switched Americas voice from one of impartial democracy and decency to a screaming voice of near rabid ultra-Christian propaganda. And not only this- by their corrupt back dealing politics, lack of morality, revisionist history, warmongering, and aggressive attitudes on almost everything - they've given most of the world even most of its allies real reasons to hate America.
    In short they have run America more like a bankrupt third world state than a first world nation, a Banana Republic.

    Analyze the current instability in the middle east and behind everything the biggest shift in power all comes from the invasion of Iraq. One of the main things that destroyed Mubarak's popularity was his support of America during the occupation, the same with many of those other dictators America has supported. Do enough deals with the devil it seems and you start to fall into hell... I hope I'm wrong, unfortunately I doubt it.


    You may notice I haven't even mentioned the climate change issue, maybe its just another area where America is surrendering its old position.
    Some may know that I specialize in extrapolations and in 100 years I suspect that America will either be communist, a fascist dictatorship, a hegemony of broken up states, or under the occupation of a global Chinese government. We shall see.

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  • 18. At 4:18pm on 24 Feb 2011, Andy wrote:

    NobodysHero - Nice one. Although it is also necessary to fold in radiative transfer and numerical modelling of the climate system to figure out the overall effect (and the latter ain't easy). But conservation of energy is about as fundamental as it gets, i.e. a law, not just a theory...

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  • 19. At 4:43pm on 24 Feb 2011, Amysmythe wrote:

    The message from this article is twofold.

    1. It would appear that elected politician's in the United States are carrying out some of the policies they were elected to do. Although Richard disapproves of this it is called democracy.

    2. Richard feels that his view should prevail over that of the electorate.

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  • 20. At 4:46pm on 24 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    I think Richard has a point to describe "flirtations of the US political right with "climate denial"" because the funniest thing I saw this month was the following attempt to legislate scientific fact. As if physical reality can be legally enforced in some 1984 sense:

    "The legislature finds that to ensure economic development in Montana and the appropriate management of Montana’s natural resources it is necessary to adopt a public policy regarding global warming.

    (2) The legislature finds:

    (a) global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana;

    (b) reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment; and

    (c) global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it."

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  • 21. At 5:27pm on 24 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    Personally, I think it's about time that those that indulge in "Climate Studies" were given a hard time. The more funding that can be cut the better....

    In terms of the science and the debate on inappropriate scientific behaviour there's a great debate going on at the moment over on Judith Curry's blog:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/

    And continued on:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/23/hiding-the-decline-part-ii/

    Some Truly Great(and I mean that in it's most ironic sense) contributions from Gavin and RC Team - They really are not Happy Bunnies ;-)

    If the IPCC and some of it's contributors want to start doing proper science at some point, then I'd be happy to fund them, but until they start practicing science as it should be practiced it should be cut, cut, cut!

    Perhaps, they'll actually respond if the money dries up, we can but hope.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 22. At 5:55pm on 24 Feb 2011, HumanIndifference wrote:

    As an American, I can honestly say that our lack of commitment to the IPCC is nothing short of expected. Over and over again I've witnessed American government (be it federal, state, or local) shape policies around either the willful ignorance of the public, or by the greed-driven agendas of politicians and lobbyists.

    In specific regard to environmental and ecological issues, this (more often than not) means focusing on a twisted half-truth and turning a blind eye to the actual state of affairs. Our ability to do so is almost staggering, given the amount of poor stewardship and poor practices that cause severe health issues to the population locally, but somehow remain unregulated and out of national view.

    To say that the concept of "fact" is malleable in any political context may have truth to it, however it must (to some extent) only be a reflection of the malleability of the public mind. In the case of the U.S., this seems embarrassingly obvious from the inside. It pains me to say all this - especially with the understanding that I am included in this description . . .

    All this having been said - unless there is some major intellectual movement, I consider it unlikely that we (the US) will have the future willingness to actively address even our more pressing domestic environmental issues, let alone making major contributions to resolution of the global problems.

    Have fun at the IPCC, everyone. If anyone needs us, we'll be poring over the most recent inane decadence of celebrity gossip and garbage pop culture.

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  • 23. At 6:21pm on 24 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    quake #20 wrote:

    the following attempt to legislate scientific fact. As if physical reality can be legally enforced in some 1984 sense

    Law courts routinely make factual decisions or "findings". The idea is not to "legislate scientific fact" but to be able to treat an issue as a settled basis for further legislation or court decisions.

    For example, Julian Assange stands accused of rape. A court will find either that he is or is not guilty of rape -- a factual matter. If it finds him to have committed rape, the court will use that finding to sentence him. It cannot sentence him until that factual matter is settled.

    Now of course there are all sorts of errors that can be made here, and possible complaints. The Swedish legislature's definition of 'rape' is unusual, and you might complain about that. Even if you accept that definition, no court is infallible, and all courts are liable to find someone guilty of something they did not in fact commit. You might legitimately complain about that too.

    But I don't think you can legitimately complain about a court's having to make factual decisions as the basis of future prescription. That's just what law courts do, not what Orwellian villains do.

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  • 24. At 6:36pm on 24 Feb 2011, hikertom wrote:

    With Republicans now in control of the House of Representatives it will be up to the states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    I live in California, which is implementing one of the world's most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction measures. This program includes cap & trade, green building standards, the world's largest solar and wind energy facilities, phasing out all use of coal, energy efficiency, and preserving forest sequestration. This will result in a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 50% by 2050; to be accomplished while the population is growing at more than 1% per year.

    If California was a separate country it would be the eighth biggest economy in the world. Also, California leads the world in developing new energy efficient technology.

    The voters of California demonstrated last November a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Texas oil companies paid to put a measure on the ballot to repeal California's energy efficiency legislation. The California voters solidly defeated this measure.

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  • 25. At 6:49pm on 24 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    HumanIndifference #22 wrote:

    Over and over again I've witnessed American government (be it federal, state, or local) shape policies around either the willful ignorance of the public, or by the greed-driven agendas of politicians and lobbyists.

    Because the US is a democracy, the US government (at all levels) is obliged to shape its policies on the wishes of the public. Even if you think the public as "ignorant", I'm afraid the US government is still obliged to accept their wishes as decisive. There is no "veto" with which a highly educated person like yourself can override the "ignorant" wishes of the commonality.

    There are good reasons why the wishes of the general public -- guided by ordinary common sense -- should remain protected from educational supermen like yourself. One such reason is that you apparently haven't given a moment's thought to what is valuable about science.

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  • 26. At 7:06pm on 24 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    AGW is the biggest scientific scam of all time. Let's hope the Yanks get us out of the mess "tackling climate change" is causing around the world.

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  • 27. At 7:07pm on 24 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    hikertom #24 wrote:

    This will result in a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 50% by 2050; to be accomplished while the population is growing at more than 1% per year.

    Unless they change the current law. No one can predict what laws a future legislature will support almost 40 years from now. Has the California State legislature not overturned or added any new laws since the early 1970s?

    (By the way, birth/death rates and emigration/immigration rates also change over time!)

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  • 28. At 7:12pm on 24 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @quake #20

    LOL

    AGW sceptics being totally unsceptical about AGW being good.

    Always nice to give links when a story sounds a bit daft

    http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2011/billhtml/HB0549.htm


    @bowmanthebard

    What do you think of the 1897 attempt by politicians in the US state of Indiana to legislate pi?

    http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/crd/localgov/second%20level%20pages/indiana_pi_bill.htm

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  • 29. At 7:45pm on 24 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #28 wrote:

    What do you think of the 1897 attempt by politicians in the US state of Indiana to legislate pi?

    That's bad, real bad, obviously, given that the value of pi is not something to be tested or measured.

    But put yourself in the position of the legislature of the State of California (say) in the late 1980s, having to construct new legislation for dealing with AIDS, at the time poorly understood yet clearly "explosive". Should they make special social welfare reforms? Special hospital arrangements? Laws to deal with prejudice about shaking hands, using public lavatories, sharing workspaces, etc.?

    At the time, no one knew whether AIDS was another Black Death, or something much easier to contain. You can see how they might have to had to issue various factual "findings" -- never mind their reliability for now -- as the basis of legislation to deal with the above issues. That's not some sort of Orwellian nightmare, so much as the way legislation has to proceed.

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  • 30. At 7:46pm on 24 Feb 2011, LabMunkey wrote:

    One step forward two steps back Richard huh. Oh well.

    @ bowman- i think your attack on JR4412 was unfounded, i did not read into his post what you did and frankly can't see where you got that from.

    Re the OP.

    Climate Denial in the first line. Brilliant.

    Richard you are supposed to be an impartial journalist for an impartial organisation. I say supposed, as one could hardly call you or the BBC that- but may i ask, just what climate denial is?

    Is this when someone down south pretends that it's too cold up north? or are you, perchance, using a political technique to represent a position of scepticism wrt all or parts of the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory?

    The day i no longer have to fund the BBC cannot come soon enough.

    To echo the posts above- Judith Curry is having one hell of a debate over at her blog- climate etc. The cat is well and truly out of the bag- it's worth a peak.

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  • 31. At 8:01pm on 24 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #28 wrote:

    LOL

    AGW sceptics being totally unsceptical about AGW being good.


    This brings me right back... to this very morning, when I watched the start (episode 2, actually) of Bronowski's The Ascent of Man. (Thank you, BBC!)

    It was a strange moment -- and a moving one for me -- when he located the start of the ball rolling at the point where the ice began to melt, and the climate began to warm. How fashions change!

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  • 32. At 8:13pm on 24 Feb 2011, HumanIndifference wrote:

    bowmanthebard wrote:

    Because the US is a democracy, the US government (at all levels) is obliged to shape its policies on the wishes of the public. Even if you think the public as "ignorant", I'm afraid the US government is still obliged to accept their wishes as decisive. There is no "veto" with which a highly educated person like yourself can override the "ignorant" wishes of the commonality.


    Thanks for that breakdown on democracy, but - a highly educated veto? I don't recall suggesting that . . . and I don't think its too much to ask of US citizens to have a more comprehensive knowledge of a huge issue than can be gained from news reports by the impartial and reputable American media.

    There are good reasons why the wishes of the general public -- guided by ordinary common sense -- should remain protected from educational supermen like yourself.

    So how exactly does that pan out within the context of this discussion?

    "Ordinary common sense" decisions based on an incomplete knowledge of the issues are a good solution in your eyes? If 50% of Americans (I've seen lots of figures, but most seem to hover in that area) don't BELIEVE IN a concept continuously reinforced by scientific research, for what good reasons should the general wishes of that public be protected from educational supermen such as myself? Are they being "protected" from being informed on a subject before formulating a strong opinion on it?

    Make whatever insinuations you want about me having a superiority complex, but if you don't believe in a concept proven by science, that makes you ignorant of relevant information regarding that concept. That is what ignorance means, right? Not knowing something?

    One such reason is that you apparently haven't given a moment's thought to what is valuable about science.

    That's an interesting comment. Care to elaborate?

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  • 33. At 8:17pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Congratulations Richard. You have set a new standard for your 'reporting.'

    #9. The_McCann wrote:

    "Essentially the choice is whether or not we can trust the American people."

    Hardly. The question is whether anyone can trust the supposed 'science' being produced by the AGW research-industrial-financial complex behind this project and, based on their track record to date, we cannot.

    "doubts arise from (a) the very high noise level of modern media (b) the severe decline of modern journalism"

    True. Too often 'journalists' are just propagandists, as are media outlets as a whole. Fortunately the blogosphere has released the public from that Ministry of Truth stranglehold and nobody with any critical thinking skills takes what media networks at face value anymore.

    "the development of this colossal rootless international malevolent plutocracy"

    Yes. Richard calls this "the global community" - the same global elite who invented and promoted the AGW scam and who will profit greatly from it.

    In any case, when it comes to this AGW scam, as Obama would say, God Bless America! Since Canada will tailor its policies to what they do (based on economic reality) this is great news.

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  • 34. At 8:33pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    24. hikertom wrote:

    "I live in California, which is implementing one of the world's most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction measures... If California was a separate country it would be the eighth biggest economy in the world. Also, California leads the world in developing new energy efficient technology."

    If CA was a separate country it would rank as one of the most bankrupt countries in the world. With all the stupid regulations down there businesses are fleeing that state, and raising energy costs is just accelerating that. This is the state that elected Arnold as Governor so, really, what more needs to be said?

    But speaking of CA, or more precisely Hollywood, here's a sign of how absolutely desperate the AGW crisis industry is getting:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/22/the-u-n-failing-to-convince-the-world-turns-to-hollywood-on-global-warming/


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  • 35. At 8:43pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    30. LabMunkey wrote:

    "To echo the posts above- Judith Curry is having one hell of a debate over at her blog- climate etc. The cat is well and truly out of the bag- it's worth a peak."

    I'll say. Have been following that since it got going (and saw your excellent posts there). Now its so full of comments that it is on to Part III. And the response at 'Climate Progress' is certainly revealing, in its tone of nasty desperation, the feebleness of its predictable retorts and in the mere handful of lemming-like comments it generated.

    Here's a link to Part II:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/23/hiding-the-decline-part-ii/#more-2509



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  • 36. At 8:50pm on 24 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    CanadianRockies #35.
    (LabMunkey)

    "..debate ... predictable retorts ... lemming-like comments.."

    maybe that's not all bloggers are human??

    http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Security-firm-proposes-next-generation-fake-identities-for-PR-1193530.html

    http://www.monbiot.com/2011/02/23/robot-wars/


    LabMunkey #30.

    thanks, I think it's simply projection.

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  • 37. At 8:53pm on 24 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    How appalling?

    Richard Black and the BBC calling skeptics "deniers"!

    We all understand the holocaust connotations that come with this loaded word.

    Shame on you Richard.

    Shame on your defense of the scientific fraud exposed by the climategate emails!

    Shameful!

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  • 38. At 8:59pm on 24 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    #36 cont'd.

    oops, forgot, thanks also to Endgames (#14).

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  • 39. At 9:03pm on 24 Feb 2011, Barry Woods wrote:

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

  • 40. At 9:04pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #25. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Because the US is a democracy"

    It is specifically a republic. Significant difference when you get to the details.

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  • 41. At 9:14pm on 24 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 34 Canadian Rockies
    This is the state that elected Arnold as Governor so, really, what more needs to be said?

    You aren't Albertan, by chance? You sure sound like my red neck relatives back home.

    Anyway, going on the presumption that you are from Alberta, that one party state where a gopher would be elected Premier if only he could be made a Conservative, I wouldn't diss California too much.

    And really, Ralph Klein?

    And who was that Stelmucker Stelmucher Stelwhatever person?

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  • 42. At 9:18pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    36. jr4412 wrote:

    "CanadianRockies #35.

    "..debate ... predictable retorts ... lemming-like comments.."

    maybe that's not all bloggers are human??"

    Yes, I see that the powers-that-be are now learning new tricks to try to influence the blogosphere. It was only a matter of time. But if those comments at Climate Progress are done by robots - and there were only 19 of them when I checked last night - they have them programmed to make the AGW dupes look even more dense and lemming-like than usual... so they need to adjust them. And we do know that the AGW industry is good at adjusting things.



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  • 43. At 9:20pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    37. Shadorne

    Do you remember Bagdad Bob?

    How about Monty Python's Black Knight?

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  • 44. At 9:37pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Yes, the bad U.S. Why couldn't they just whitewash everything the way the UK does?

    Here's what happens when you don't allow the AGW gang investigate themselves.

    "sought an explanation for the assertion from NOAA employee and IPCC WG1 Co-Chair Susan Solomon, who was specified in the FOI request.

    Solomon said that she did so on the basis of legal advice from NOAA attorneys. However, the attorneys denied that they had given Solomon such advice. They asked Solomon for evidence that she had received such advice and she was unable to provide any such evidence."

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/02/24/solomons-divergence-problem/#more-13085

    ----------

    What is a whitewash?

    "The UK Information Commissioner said that “more cogent” prima facie evidence of an offence under the FOI Act was impossible to contemplate, but noted a statute of limitations limited their jurisdiction. The UK Parliamentary Committee asked Muir Russell to investigate. Muir Russell refused. Muir Russell pointed out to the Committee in his evidence last fall that asking Jones about delete emails might result in the identification of an offence."

    Sweet. That quote, and an article about what emerges from a real investigation - in the U.S. of course - is here:

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/02/23/new-light-on-delete-any-emails/#more-13073

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  • 45. At 9:42pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #41. chronophobe

    Arnold was an ideal governor for the AGW gang. Dumb as a bag of hammers.

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  • 46. At 9:50pm on 24 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 32 Human Indifference
    "Ordinary common sense" decisions based on an incomplete knowledge of the issues are a good solution in your eyes? If 50% of Americans (I've seen lots of figures, but most seem to hover in that area) don't BELIEVE IN a concept continuously reinforced by scientific research, for what good reasons should the general wishes of that public be protected from educational supermen such as myself? Are they being "protected" from being informed on a subject before formulating a strong opinion on it?

    And the other 50% retort that you refuse to believe in their notion of truth.

    It's up to each side to deal with the political realities of that situation. And I`d suggest that deifying the science on one side of a complex set of problems and analyses is not the way to win hearts and minds. Listen to what the concerns are, and respond to them in a factual and persuasive manner. Listen to and seek compromise with those interests and populations who see the 'climate change agenda' as a threat. Work around legislative bottlenecks. Build consensus. It`s how democratic societies work. And that`s a good thing.

    In fact, it`s the best thing.

    Given the choice between freedom and truth, I`ll take freedom any day. We must have the right to be wrong ... .

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  • 47. At 10:42pm on 24 Feb 2011, quake wrote:

    Being misled isn't freedom

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  • 48. At 10:45pm on 24 Feb 2011, beesaman wrote:

    Gosh Richard, nailed your colours to the mast there haven't you!
    I thought the BBC had a duty to be impartial? Report the news, not make it, that sort of thing.
    Don't duly elected US politicians have a right to debate and vote as they see fit or is this more left wing bias?
    It is a bit shocking that your news article should be so biased, truly shocking.

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  • 49. At 10:49pm on 24 Feb 2011, Robert Lucien wrote:


    Given the choice between freedom and truth, I`ll take freedom any day. We must have the right to be wrong ... .
    Ahhh but grasshopper if you have no truth then you have lost freedom from the begining. If you have no truth then you have no choice but to believe the lies.

    if you think logic or common sense ever win the day against the howling rhetoric think again. The right -and all the rest as well- all know that to get people to do what you want tell them a stream of lies and half truths, stoke their ire. To move your human heard like sheep poke them till they are emotionally engaged (say by offering them lower taxes) - and they will follow you wherever you want even right off the edge of a cliff. - In the US or here its the same - the sparkly thing or the easy option that wins every time and if that doesn't work there's always hate.
    I truly believe science and reason can win but we have to get in the mud pit and fight them bavck on their own terms.

    [To be honest with everyone I'm almost kind of with David Ike on politicians, they are fourteen foot high reptiles that live on human flesh. Just go around the parliament or the offices of the government, doors designed for a fourteen foot high frame and widows that no human could ever look out of, gold plated windows that protect them from the radiation of earths sun..... :) ]

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  • 50. At 10:58pm on 24 Feb 2011, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Canadian @42: Aha - I see what you've done there. JR posts links to articles which include evidence that certain corporations are employing companies to 'astroturf' on blogs about increasing environmental regulation. You cleverly subvert his point by turning the point back onto those evil multinational environmentalists. Only problem is, JR provided evidence and you didn't...

    If I was Richard Black, i'd probably be a bit offended by this whole astroturfing story. There is jack all evidence of it going on his blog, so presumably the high carbon lobbyists don't consider it worth their while!

    Shadorne @37: Last time I checked, the word denier does not automatically have a connection with the Holocaust. Perhaps you have special dictionaries in your part of the world?

    Smiffie @1: "Richard, who are you trying to kid by implying that it is only the US that is skeptical?"

    Fair point, there is Saudi Arabia as well.

    Canadian @33: "Fortunately the blogosphere has released the public from that Ministry of Truth stranglehold and nobody with any critical thinking skills takes what media networks at face value anymore."

    Thought i'd test that sweeping statement. Opinion poll done by Telecom Express found that only 24% trusted blogs and they "were considered the least trustworthy sources of current affairs".

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  • 51. At 11:15pm on 24 Feb 2011, potboiler wrote:

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

  • 52. At 11:30pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    50. Yorkurbantree wrote:

    "certain corporations are employing companies to 'astroturf' on blogs"

    I'm shocked, shocked! And certain government agencies too!!! Now that Egypt etc is again confirming the power of the net I'm sure there will be even more.

    "If I was Richard Black, i'd probably be a bit offended by this whole astroturfing story. There is jack all evidence of it going on his blog, so presumably the high carbon lobbyists don't consider it worth their while!"

    No kidding. Just look at the numbers of comments here. But it is fun, eh?

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  • 53. At 11:32pm on 24 Feb 2011, C Smith wrote:

    Hmmmm, pretty easy to see who the right wing Americans are on here. Maybe they didn't like the inference that they are no longer the most important country in the group, or of any group for that matter, having been overtaken by the likes of India and China in the BASIC group. Even worse, that they might be relinquishing something to Argentina (HQ of the TSU for the IPCC) - a country in the region they consider to be full of (dare I speak the word) "socialists." What did that do for the notion of "American exceptionalism?"

    The sound and sights of an empire slowly imploding are never pretty. It always throws up bigotted viewpoints and false prophets (Palin? Beck? Luetkemeyer?)
    The assertion that you are always right and a refusal to listen is a sure sign of desperation.

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  • 54. At 11:41pm on 24 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    50. Yorkurbantree wrote:

    "Opinion poll done by Telecom Express found that only 24% trusted blogs and they "were considered the least trustworthy sources of current affairs".

    Ah yes, polls. Did the BBC commission that one? What % consider the mainstream media a "trustworthy source"?

    How do those UK numbers compare to say, Libya?

    In any case, if we had to depend on the mainstream media for news coverage of say Climategate we never would have heard about it - although they did do a better job on promoting the whitewashes.


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  • 55. At 11:51pm on 24 Feb 2011, hikertom wrote:

    #34 CanadianRockies wrote:
    "If CA was a separate country it would rank as one of the most bankrupt countries in the world. With all the stupid regulations down there businesses are fleeing that state, and raising energy costs is just accelerating that. This is the state that elected Arnold as Governor so, really, what more needs to be said?"

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) California has a strong industrial base, including the greatest concentration of technology companies in the world. I know people who are doing research in solar and battery technology that will change the world and make the price of oil irrelevant. Plus, California is the biggest agricultural state in the U.S., including fruits, nuts, and wine exported around the world.
    (2) California's state budget crisis is the result of too much democracy. Every election we have 20-30 initiatives on the ballot, put their by any group that can collect enough signatures. The voters have voted for more government spending and lower taxes. One initiative requires a 2/3 majority vote to raise taxes and another to spend $11 billion on high-speed rail. Both initiatives passed by voters who don't seem to understand that if you want the government to spend money you have to raise taxes to pay for it. The other problemn is that public employee unions are very powerful in California. They are the two biggest campaign contributors in the state. This makes it very hard to control government costs.
    (3) Arnold was not a bad governor. I voted for him twice. He did the best job anyone could do under the circumstance.

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  • 56. At 11:54pm on 24 Feb 2011, Feetinthesnow wrote:

    HumanIndifference

    I always love to hear from self-flagellating Americans. Just like the UK, the USA has pretty rubbish politicians in all parties.

    There are many ecological problems to be sorted out in your country and elsewhere - if you think CO2 is one of them you are going to be a very disappointed person.

    BUT it makes no difference really because many countries have already decided that CO2 is a scam - they will cling to the story, even if the world cools (as some think may happen now with such a quiet sun) because most are extracting billions of $£, yen, whatever in tax from their citizens based on AGW.

    BUT the likes of China, India and Brazil will churn ahead come what may, and the new shale gas finds all over the world will get extracted and burnt.

    Many have realised that AGW, and CAGW in particular is not happening and certainly not to the extent that the cheerleaders of the narrative predicted. It has all been exaggerated and now the chickens are starting to come home.

    The Cancun party produced an outcome that admits this if you read between the lines - because all can sign-up to a commitment to hold warming below 2c by the end of this century, because they know it won't warm that much.

    Many at the top of the AGW industry (because that is what it is) are ordering brown trousers because 25% of all the CO2 man has ever released has been added in the last 15 years and in that period there has been no significant warming at all. That isn't final proof, but it is not what has been forecast and just shows that climate science has no idea what has caused the warming of the last 200 years, and has little grasp of what will happen now.

    The first two graphs in this link should give any thinking person cause for deep thought. Note that the data provided by CRU's Phil Jones in the second graph shows that the warming trend of the phase now coming to an end has been at the same rate as the two previous cycles, which were well before man-made CO2 could be an issue. So much for unprecedented warming!!!!!!

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/01/the-warmest-year-antidotes/

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  • 57. At 00:05am on 25 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    Yorkurbantree:

    "Shadorne @37: Last time I checked, the word denier does not automatically have a connection with the Holocaust. Perhaps you have special dictionaries in your part of the world?"

    I find your reference to "special" dictionaries equally offensive. One cannot fail to miss the intended connotations in your choice of words - clearly implying "special" in a derogatory way, as in a person with "special needs" requiring a "special" dictionary.

    Shameful but so true to form for eco-zealots.

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  • 58. At 01:56am on 25 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Shadorne #58.

    when I first read #37, I was tempted to say that it took only #37 posts before someone mentioned Hitler; it seems inevitable that on every forum there's someone who needs to court controversy simply because they've nothing else to say. now I wish I'd posted then.

    "One cannot fail to miss the intended connotations in your choice of words - clearly implying "special" in a derogatory way, as in a person with "special needs" requiring a "special" dictionary."

    and here you are again, proving the point. fwiw, while Wiktionary does indeed list AIDS, Holocaust, and Global Warming as example uses of the word 'denier', more respectable resources, such as the OED, do not.

    btw, I remember you talking about 'sheeple' to make your point, how offensive is that?

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  • 59. At 02:15am on 25 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 47 quake

    Being misled isn't freedom

    Where you see people being mislead, I see people with valid concerns, and perhaps different interests, freely expressing those concerns and interests.

    The goal isn't to 'convert' them to the true Religion, but to seek a modus vivendi.

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  • 60. At 02:40am on 25 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 49 Robert Lucien Ahhh but grasshopper if you have no truth then you have lost freedom from the begining. If you have no truth then you have no choice but to believe the lies.

    No sensei, freedom is the highest truth. Freedom is eros, the longing for fulfilment, and most especially fulfilment in wisdom. It is not the destination, but the journey that defines man.

    [To be honest with everyone I'm almost kind of with David Ike on politicians, they are fourteen foot high reptiles that live on human flesh. Just go around the parliament or the offices of the government, doors designed for a fourteen foot high frame and widows that no human could ever look out of, gold plated windows that protect them from the radiation of earths sun..... :) ]

    I know you are joking, but why this distrust of politics? Both left and right seem to be longing for some sort of Messiah that will put an end to the need to accommodate multiplicity, and obviate the freedom to make meaningful choices. The 'mud pit' of politics is not something to be overcome, or surrendered to some cult of what is True.

    The mud of politics is where we may most explicitly become what we are: free, individuated, and historical.

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  • 61. At 02:43am on 25 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 57 Shadorne

    I find your reference to "special" dictionaries equally offensive. One cannot fail to miss the intended connotations in your choice of words - clearly implying "special" in a derogatory way, as in a person with "special needs" requiring a "special" dictionary.

    Oi. Isn't it well past time that this kind of PC rubbish, whether from the left, the right, or whatever, was buried at sea?

    What a bore.

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  • 62. At 03:53am on 25 Feb 2011, melty wrote:

    Stick to your guns Richard: your articles stand on their merits. It's shameful that these days journalists have to run a gauntlet of criticism by a bunch of ignorant nobodies. I like to just ignore the comments here -- they are just too sickening. I'm only posting this in the hope that it will annoy/shame some of the "contributors" into doing something more productive with their time.

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  • 63. At 03:56am on 25 Feb 2011, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    25. At 11:45am on 19 Feb 2011, MangoChutneyUKOK wrote:

    "But wait, there is also a correlation between the rising cost of American postage stamps and temperature rise, therefore rising temperatures must be caused by American postage stamps!"

    Yes, exactly the same argument about correlation the Tobacco Industry (and the libertarian and right wing propaganda tanks) used in times past. They ended up arguing that smoking was a social good because it caused people to be less of a drain on Social Security, as they died younger (neglecting the economic expense of treating emphysema, lung cancer and heart attacks). We see the same pattern in the AGW deniers. First they say it isn't happening, then they say it isn't caused by increased CO2 in the atmosphere caused by combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation, next they say continued warming is good for you or say it is too late to do anything anyway.

    Bowmanthebard's knowledge of the history of science and math is at best spotty if he thinks psychology was the source of the null hypothesis -- he might try reading a little bit about mathematical statistics and sampling theory and the references therein if you really wants to know how the idea was developed and how it is properly applied. But then his posts have a certain schizoid character when it comes to describing science, alternating between demanding law like behavior and in an other post advocating for conditional theories just waiting to be overturned by new observations. By the way BTB, I think Thomas Jefferson had something cogent to say about the viability of democracy in the absence of an educated public.

    Then we have CR -- sounds like paranoid dementia to me. According to him, the environmentalists are conspiring with the oil companies and the global elite (Koch brothers?) to squeeze more money out of the masses and destroy the Western way of life. I don't know where he gets his news about this, but all the environmentalists I know are quite critical of the oil and coal companies, but then he claimed Al Gore got James Hanson his job at GISS. Must get his history and economics from that FOX historical and economics scholar Glen Beck and of course that other disinterested authoritative source the Washington Times along with the Canadian equivalents. Having grown up in California and visited frequently since I left, I can say his characterization was the least accurate I've seen posted on this stretch of the blog. Hikertom is much closer to the mark. People like government services, they just don't like paying for them.




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  • 64. At 04:17am on 25 Feb 2011, Spencer wrote:

    I was a little surprised that the author claimed that the findings of the Oxburgh commission and other commissions exonerated the scientists involved in the Climategate event. His rather blithe acceptance of the findings of those committees either indicates a bias or an unawareness of some of the serious problems associated with the commissions' manner of enquiry. It does not take a great deal of effort to find well reasoned statements describing why the claims of innocence need to be considered carefully. http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/rmck_climategate.pdf. Also the IPCC leadership were asked to resign before the next IPCC report in the review he referred to.
    There are competing paradigms to the GHG theory emerging from the astrophysics community. It amazes that a journalist of this man's caliber appears to be unaware of the genuine scientific debates that make his statements appear almost quaint.
    Spencer

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  • 65. At 04:46am on 25 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    It is not just the language Richard uses which is alarming, but the assertion that "Neither has it been shown that UEA scientists intentionally manipulated data - again, the opposite conclusion is eminently more defensible..."

    This is not at all consistent with the facts. This is an attempt to re-write history that is worthy of Pravda.

    The facts:

    A UEA scientist admitted in an email to colleagues that he deliberately used recent modern temperature thermometer records to replace the tree ring proxy data where it showed a decline. This was termed "Mike's Nature trick".

    This manipulation deliberately hides the fact that the tree ring proxy may not be a reliable indication of past temperatures, as used to construct the shaft of the famous IPCC "hockey stick". The primary advantage of the "hockey stick shaft" being the absence of the well known medieval warm period.

    Can anyone, without the unnecessary vitriol and personal attacks, please explain how this statement by Richard could be interpreted in any other way than a deliberate misrepresentation of the truth?

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  • 66. At 05:20am on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    63. HungeryWalleye wrote:
    "Then we have CR -- sounds like paranoid dementia to me."

    Tsk, tsk. But smear tactics just won't cut it.

    "According to him, the environmentalists are conspiring with the oil companies and the global elite (Koch brothers?) to squeeze more money out of the masses and destroy the Western way of life."

    Never said that. For one thing, the environmentalists are just useful idiots, not conspirators.

    "then he claimed Al Gore got James Hanson his job at GISS."

    Yes I did throw that out in a comment once, without checking it out first, and I was wrong. We discussed that before. Now I suppose we will never hear the end of it. But since you are such a stickler for accurate details, perhaps you would like to comment on some of these:

    Climate Science Scandals – List Of Gates Balloons To 129

    http://notrickszone.com/2010/12/07/climate-science-scandals-list-of-gates-balloons-to-129/

    As for California, it is bankrupt with all trends pointing downhill from here. Too bad. Beautiful state. Shame what has happened to it. I expect that it is going to look a lot like Wisconsin or much worse soon.

    Well, that's it. Didn't call you names once. See how easy that is?

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  • 67. At 05:27am on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #53. C Smith wrote:

    "The sound and sights of an empire slowly imploding are never pretty. It always throws up bigotted viewpoints and false prophets..."

    Are you from the UK? If so, please tell us about this. After a century of terminal decline you must be an expert. This could explain why the UK has become the vortex of the AGW pseudoscience.

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  • 68. At 05:31am on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    65. Shadorne

    From the Muir-Russell review:

    "On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a “trick” and to “hide the decline” in respect to a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading."

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  • 69. At 05:32am on 25 Feb 2011, RalphieGM wrote:

    " The IPCC sums are minimal - about $3 million per year. " is incorrect - the actual savings to Americans will be $13 million dollars. This leads to a resultant loss of argument points as the article is touts "minimal" costs - and they are certainly not "minimal". Said money would have funded junkets and food for the bureaucrats - you can't buy climate.

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  • 70. At 07:37am on 25 Feb 2011, hikertom wrote:

    Global warming deniers are still bringing up "Climategate", which was a phony "scandal" from the beginning. They went through thousands of emails and took a few words and phrases out of context to support what they wanted to believe in the first place. If you examine these phrases in context it is obvious that there really is no "scandal".

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  • 71. At 07:50am on 25 Feb 2011, JunkkMale wrote:

    62. At 03:53am on 25 Feb 2011, melty
    It's shameful that these days journalists have to run a gauntlet of criticism by a bunch of ignorant nobodies. I like to just ignore the comments here


    I wonder how often in history (quite recent, in some cases) that notion has being allowed to prevail, often with unfortunate consequences.

    Maybe the best thing would be to close for comments, which some too often feel does the trick. Though that has poor historical precedents too.

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  • 72. At 07:59am on 25 Feb 2011, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 70.

    just for some context- had anyone in industry behaved as the staff involved in the climategate debacle, they would in all likelyhood be in prison now.

    Further- they were proven to have breached the FOI law under UK law.
    - secondly, despite yours, richards and every other cAGW-ers continual insistance, there is still no proof that the emails were hacked.
    -thirdly, only one review had the scope to look into the emails thoroughly- the muir enquiry (if memory serves) and they refused. that again, they refused to look at the one aspect that was at the forefront of the climategate debacle.

    The reason this issue won't go away is because it was NEVER resolved.

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  • 73. At 08:26am on 25 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    HungeryWalleye #63 wrote:

    They ended up arguing that smoking was a social good because it caused people to be less of a drain on Social Security, as they died younger (neglecting the economic expense of treating emphysema, lung cancer and heart attacks)

    I don't think smoking is a social good, but are you saying the exchequer loses money through smoking? Last time I heard anything about this, the exchequer was taking about 8 times more in taxes than it was spending on smoking-related diseases.

    I'd be interested in getting a more accurate, up-to-date figure for this.

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  • 74. At 08:31am on 25 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    melty #62 wrote:

    It's shameful that these days journalists have to run a gauntlet of criticism by a bunch of ignorant nobodies.

    Yeah, it should be illegal to disagree with what journalists write. And ignorant nobodies should be made to do manual work so they contribute to society in a productive way.

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  • 75. At 10:18am on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #72 labmunkey

    "just for some context- had anyone in industry behaved as the staff involved in the climategate debacle, they would in all likelyhood be in prison now."

    absolutely labmunkey, all those bankers unethically risking huge sums in dodgy markets knowing full well what they were doing have all...gone.....to...errr...prison?

    nope, in reality that's the most naive comment i've seen on here for a while. you have a touching confidence in the behaviour of corporations.

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  • 76. At 10:25am on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #25 bowmanthebard

    "Because the US is a democracy, the US government (at all levels) is obliged to shape its policies on the wishes of the public."

    another touchingly naive comment, this time about how american politics works.

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  • 77. At 10:39am on 25 Feb 2011, LabMunkey wrote:

    @ 75

    a touching naivity huh. I am not reffering to the banking sector at all- that appears (rather unfortunatley) to be a law unto itself. Though of course you weren't ACTUALLY trying to address my point at all were you.

    In Industry, and in this context i am reffering to the biotech industry- just so we are clear, you are subject to 'drop-of-the-hat' audits at any time.

    If it is descovered that you have misrepresented important data, deleted communications discussing the data or in any other way acted inapropriatley (such as the unprofessional and personal slights against rival scientists) then you will be in significant trouble- usually involving dismissal and in severe cases prosecution.

    I'd suggest you get your facts right next time.

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  • 78. At 10:41am on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    good article richard that really highlights how the agw debate has primarily been polarised by political outlook. it seems the bulk of the anti-agw rhetoric here (and elsewhere) is from those with either an extreme authoritarian or libertarian viewpoint.

    it is very difficult for those moderates in the middle that accept the huge scientific consensus to shape the debate especially when so many insist on so called 'balanced' reporting. obviously anyone that inhabits the extremes of the 'guassian distribution' is by definition in a tiny minority (unless one is measuring western politicians or corporate executives) and this should be reflected in scientific reporting (as per this article).

    the fact that representation in politics and business has become so badly skewed (so that they definitely do not reflect public opinion) would not surprise the likes of orwell or machiavelli.

    btw is there an equivalent of godwins law for mentioning orwell (especially 1984)?

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  • 79. At 10:48am on 25 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    76. At 10:25am on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    another touchingly naive comment, this time about how american politics works

    Another chillingly paranoid comment, this time about Americans being the root of all evil. We see this a lot among recent generations of Europeans. Orwell saw it as a new "sublimated" form of what emerged in earlier generations as European anti-Semitism.

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  • 80. At 10:58am on 25 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    @rossglory #75

    Sorry, but you've got absolutely no idea what you are talking about, I can't say it any clearer than that.

    In scientific fields, knowingly misrepresenting your results can at best get you sacked for gross misconduct and at worst land you in jail.

    Trying to bring the Bankers into the discussion is a truly feeble attempt at misdirection. C (Minus) Must Try harder.......

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 81. At 11:34am on 25 Feb 2011, SR wrote:

    What am I missing?

    Where and how have climate scientists knowingly misrepresented their results?

    Conversely, those who are utterly ignorant of the field are claiming competence. If actions are carried out based on a false or overestimation of one's own competence and your actions are shown to be negligent, you could and should go to jail.

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  • 82. At 11:52am on 25 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    SR #81 wrote:

    those who are utterly ignorant of the field are claiming competence. If actions are carried out based on a false or overestimation of one's own competence and your actions are shown to be negligent, you could and should go to jail.

    It has come to my notice that you have not studied scientific epistemology. You are wholly unfamiliar with the differences between induction and the hypothetico-deductive method. Yet, with culpable negligence, you deem to express an opinion on the legitimacy of climate science.

    I hereby make a citizen's arrest.

    Come quietly, now sir, or I'll be forced to use mechanical means of restraint!

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  • 83. At 11:52am on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #80 blunderbunny

    "Sorry, but you've got absolutely no idea what you are talking about, I can't say it any clearer than that."

    true to type there blunder. i didn't bring in industry one of your lobby did. and please respond to SR, i too can;t see where anyone at cru misrepresented their data.....unless you're just regurgitating nonsense you've read on libertarian web sites.

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  • 84. At 11:54am on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #77 labmunkey

    "Though of course you weren't ACTUALLY trying to address my point at all were you."

    no, because your point is a total fabrication. please show me where data was misrepresented....and while you're at it explain why none of the enquiries came to that conclusion.

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  • 85. At 12:05pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #79 bowmanthebard

    "Another chillingly paranoid comment, this time about Americans being the root of all evil."

    hmmm, that was about as misrepresentative of my post as a times interview of johnny ball.

    life must be lovely behind those rose-tinted specs bowman. just look at the polls of what the majority of americans (and british) want and i think you'll find the politicians aren't doing it....funny that (but nothing to do with whether i'm paranoid or not).

    actually reminded me of a newsnight programme a few nights ago about foreign branch tax breaks (i paraphrase):

    paxman: so multinational corporations are blackmailing national govts.

    reuters analyst: well, yes of course.

    take off those specs, open your eyes (and mind) and you'll see how the world is really run. i think you'll find it's not in the interests of 'voters'.

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  • 86. At 12:05pm on 25 Feb 2011, Robert Lucien wrote:

    #80. At 10:58am on 25 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    In scientific fields, knowingly misrepresenting your results can at best get you sacked for gross misconduct and at worst land you in jail.
    ---------------------------------
    It might get you landed in jail if fraud involving money is part of it, worse for a scientist though is the public destruction of their reputation. But here we are talking about the genuine and deliberate falsification of results.
    The 'Climategate' scandal was far below that level of action as shown in what has happened since. Those howling that the scandal is unfinished are simply missing the point, the scientific community has investigated and judged and they have been found basically culpable of insufficient openness but basically innocent of fraud or malpractice.

    As far as hacking was concerned private emails don't naturally appear in public by themselves, a crime actually had to be committed for those emails to appear. For far as guilty parties are concerned - I could point out the the worlds largest and most aggressive propaganda/ media empire has been waging a concerted war against science and environmentalism and climate theory for years. One of the many aspects of this is that they have been hunting for every tidbit of dirt they could get and throwing every bit of mud at the scientific community they could.

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  • 87. At 12:13pm on 25 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    @SR

    It's all a part of the debate going on over on Judith Curry's blog. Re: Hiding the Decline - Specifically, to do with splicing the modern temperature record onto Biffra's tree ring work, which started diverging after 1961 and then made it into AR4 in a spliced incarnation, with some not terribly useful notes attached to it.

    Essentially, the hockey stick blade and shaft - Gavin's lot have been getting quite upset, I can almost hear them from here ;-)

    Regards,

    One of Lobby

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  • 88. At 12:14pm on 25 Feb 2011, LabMunkey wrote:

    84

    wow. too easy

    My point is nothing of the sort. I can only assume you've not visited Judith Curry's blog recently...

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  • 89. At 12:21pm on 25 Feb 2011, Sonophos wrote:

    Why is there an argument in the worst case where the VAST majority of scientists are fabricating a doomsday scenario and action is taken to curb emmissions we still end up with a cleaner environment using sustainable methods of power generation.
    As far as I can see the argument for climate sceptics is still about spending money now or later if you don't believe in climate change. If you pay later when oil stocks start running too low the cost wil be much much greater as the oil and gas used to generate the energy to manufacture sustainable generation will cost proportionately more.
    These are simple arguments that even a climate sceptic should understand.

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  • 90. At 12:31pm on 25 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    @rossglory

    "please show me where data was misrepresented"

    IPCC AR3 and AR4, and the 1999 WMO document..... This list is actually much longer, but those will do you for a start..........

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 91. At 12:39pm on 25 Feb 2011, SR wrote:

    @82

    The court would find me innocent because any reasonable person faced with the evidence would conclude the same as me. The rejection of all inductivism is not serviceable to the requirements of the human race because we desire an increased level of understanding without the experimental power of an omnipotent being. I would argue that we should continue with these principles for as long as they serve us well and I'm sure reasonable people would not deny that the scientific principle has served us well so far.

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  • 92. At 12:43pm on 25 Feb 2011, JeremyP wrote:

    Who, given that more and more people are becoming sceptical about the warmist's case, are this "global community"? Those who are NOT sceptics, perchance?

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  • 93. At 1:11pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #87 blunderbunny

    "It's all a part of the debate going on over on Judith Curry's blog"

    is that it? that's the source of evidence for criminal behaviour? go back and look at the evidence to find out why this data was spliced.....and this was 10 years ago, typical of the current campaign to discuss minute (and ancient, as in published a long time ago) details and ignore what's obvious today.

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  • 94. At 1:12pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #92 jeremyp

    "given that more and more people are becoming sceptical about the warmist's"

    i'm very sceptical of that comment, especially as it's so vague as to be virtual meaningless

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  • 95. At 1:14pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #90 blunderbunny

    "IPCC AR3 and AR4, and the 1999 WMO document"

    what are you on about? those are big documents. bear in mind i don;t frequent the paranoid 'sceptic' areas of the internet.

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  • 96. At 1:50pm on 25 Feb 2011, JunkkMale wrote:

    95. At 1:14pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:
    ... bear in mind i don;t frequent the paranoid 'sceptic' areas of the internet.


    A definition of what those constitute might be revealing.

    Even so, the notion that many remain within only a comfort zone of like sources and minds explains, if not excuses, much.

    Journalist or groupie, if you don't want alternative opinions, don't create, or frequent a blog. Stick with broadcast only. And restrict access to opt-ins only. Just don't expect all folk to buy what is being produced just because it is... produced.

    Unless, in some unique cases, they do have to pay for it no matter what. Uniquely. Then don't expect all to like it. And if you block pressure valves, the results can be spectacular, eventually. Not in a good way.

    And speaking of pressure, even when things are made 'watertight', if you sink low enough...

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  • 97. At 1:56pm on 25 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    @rossglory

    Sorry mate, but whilst this is old(ish) news, there are definitely new things being said, and being said by people who previously accepted the standard mantra.

    The climate big guns (Well the RC ones) are out in force and the scent of panic, blood and urine are in the air.

    With Regard to the documents I told you what to look for in the previous post. Alternatively, you can quickly pop over to Judith's blog and have a look see for yourself..... How about just doing it in the spirit of scientific enquiry..... it's not as if Judith is what one might call a sceptic, she would previously been considered one of the "Team".

    It's definitely not either a paranoid or sceptical area of the blogosphere, but I think you could probably call it an exasperated area at the moment.

    Obviously, there's a very small danger that you might actually learn something, but I'd say it's worth the risk. It's not like we(my sceptical bretheren) don't read all of your sites ;-)

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 98. At 2:24pm on 25 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    81. At 11:34am on 25 Feb 2011, SR wrote: What am I missing?
    Where and how have climate scientists knowingly misrepresented their results?




    Did you read my post #65? I state clearly the FACTS. There is an investigation ongoing by a US Inspector General into behaviour of NOAA scientists.

    "Emails 'Warrant Further Investigation'"


    "IG Finds NOAA Climategate Emails ‘Warrant Further Investigation,' Top Scientist Thwarts Transparency Law"

    NOAA scientists appear on the same emails as UEA scientists.

    I ask again

    Can anyone please explain how Richard Black's statement, "Neither has it been shown that UEA scientists intentionally manipulated data - again, the opposite conclusion is eminently more defensible...", could be interpreted in any other way than a deliberate misrepresentation of the truth?

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  • 99. At 2:31pm on 25 Feb 2011, Barry Woods wrote:

    A few people have mentioned at Professor Judith Curry's article about 'Hide The Decline'. Judith has said that her blog is read by a number of staffers in congress (where she has spoken on climate science)

    I wonder if this will have any impact on USA politics on the issue.

    The 2 graphs perhaps describe it better, my blog, NOT the other one with a similar name.

    http://www.realclimategate.org/2011/02/hide-the-decline-2-pictures-for-2000-comments/

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  • 100. At 3:05pm on 25 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @98 ..'there is an investigation ongoing by a US Inspector General into behaviour of NOAA scientists..' - Shadorne

    .. which actually says nothing about the veracity of Anthropogenic forcings having a significant effect on Climate.. merely that a number of scientists got fed up with being spammed by right wing political activists, with demands for scientific material.

    McIntyre has been unable to refute the basic conclusions of Mann's study or those of the numerous subsequent studies by other reputable scientists.. and Watts was demonstrated to be in serious error in his claims about Weather Stations -

    "In summary, we find no evidence that the CONUS average temperature trends are inflated due to poor station siting'
    Menne, Matthew J.; Claude N. Williams, Jr., and Michael A. Palecki (2010). "On the reliability of the U.S. surface temperature record". J. Geophys. Res. 115: D11108


    In fact the study concluded there was an 'artificial negative (“cool”) bias in maximum temperatures..' in other words far from proving Watts thesis, the recorded temperatures were actually lower than they should have been...

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  • 101. At 3:31pm on 25 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    89. Sonophos:
    ''As far as I can see the argument for climate sceptics is still about spending money now or later if you don't believe in climate change. If you pay later when oil stocks start running too low the cost wil be much much greater as the oil and gas used to generate the energy to manufacture sustainable generation will cost proportionately more. These are simple arguments that even a climate sceptic should understand.''

    Sometimes I think they just don't want to understand! They seem to just want to argue about wether or not climate change is anthropogenic or not, rather than just accept that it is happening (for whatever reason) and get on with doing something about it.
    Cutting emissions and investing in renewable technologies makes sense irrespective of the causes of climate change.

    And why do people keep refering to blogs like Watts Up with That - it is totally incomprehensible (unless you are part of the incrowd I guess?). I have no idea what that site is trying to say. I think it, Real Climate Gate and Climate etc are all written by the same person! They certainly reference each other enough, are equally poorly written and get comments from the same people!

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  • 102. At 3:33pm on 25 Feb 2011, lanthalus wrote:

    I know this will sound simplistic, but (whether I like it or not) I pay for the BBC and thus for its employees and others in its pay.

    For once I would like to see some properly unbiased coverage of the climate debate.

    The constant pro-warming stance does the BBC no credit whatsoever and portrays it as part of a seemingly vested interest lobby group.

    Can you grow up, please, be a bit more mature and recognise your responsibilities?

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  • 103. At 3:46pm on 25 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    @100 Lamna_nasus

    I find your answer evasive. I asked a simple question regarding the motives of Richard Black...so far nobody seems willing or able to put up a creditable defense, least of all your "smoke and mirrors" reply.

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  • 104. At 3:56pm on 25 Feb 2011, Bickers wrote:

    This article very clearly demonstrates the BBC's trashing of its charter, it's little more than an AGW propoganda piece.

    I've always found it enlightening to follow the money to really see why the AGW agenda is being pushed. As yet there is no AGW theory, which is why great scientists like Freeman Dyson are so sceptical.

    Richard, your use of phrases like 'climate denial' is very unprofessional; most sceptics of AGW recognise that the World is warming (has been doing since the last Ice Age), that climate changes (always has and will) however question whether CO2 & mankind's activities have any meaningful global impact on climate (we know they do locally).

    Climate science is still in its infancy; to trash the world's economy is madness when we still know so little about what makes the climate change. And the argument from authority and numbers (or consensus) is meaningless when applied to scientific discovery

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  • 105. At 4:06pm on 25 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    PragueImp #101 wrote:

    They seem to just want to argue about wether or not climate change is anthropogenic or not, rather than just accept that it is happening (for whatever reason) and get on with doing something about it.

    If it isn't caused by human activity but by something much larger, then human activity is probably powerless to stop it, and our attempts to do so might be much more damaging (to our economies, to the poor in the developing world, etc.).

    You seem to simply assume that whatever the cause of global warming might be, it's a bad thing. But surely you can see that it might not be a bad thing, and that even if it is a bad thing, our attempts to stop it might be more dangerous?

    Let's make sure we follow "The Precautionary Principle" (whatever that is)!

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  • 106. At 4:19pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #102 lanthalus

    i think you'll find that your anti-agw stance gets covered quite well by the bbc. there were a couple of superb programmes that gave christopher monckton and james delingpole ample opportunity to expand on their 'scientific' opinions.

    the problem is you've clicked on the news/science and environment link on the website where you will get primarily scientific reporting.

    and i pay for the bbc as well and am a keen glider pilot but i don't see much coverage of this either (but i accept it is a minority interest.......a bit like agw denial).

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  • 107. At 4:54pm on 25 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    Bard 105
    I'm not thinking of our attempts to stop it (cause) but rather how to alleviate it (effect).
    For example, rising sea-levels. Dosen't matter what is causing them, but we certainly need to do something about it.


    Lanthalus (102) and others.
    Re Mr Black. Just look at the intro to his blog: ''This is my take on what's happening to our shared environment.... ''
    It's his opinion. BBC blogs allow journalists to express their opinions.

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  • 108. At 5:26pm on 25 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    PragueImp #107 wrote:

    Dosen't matter what is causing them, but we certainly need to do something about it.

    We already are doing something about it -- as sea levels have risen, more land has been reclaimed from the sea than lost to it. As long as total land area is increasing, that's good enough, isn't it?

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  • 109. At 5:34pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #97 blunderbunny

    you're talking about the curry stuff i presume. her opinion certainly can;t be dismissed in the same way lindzen, singer, spencer etc can be but i don;t see a groundswell of support for her views (especially the support of the montford book) either.

    i'm glad this stuff is out in the open. seems to me she waded into an area she was not expert in and got burned. she's certainly fallen out with rc and it's all got a bit personal (not unusual in science) but she's put herself out there as a beacon for 'sceptical' climate scientists to support but it doesn;t seem to be happening from what i can tell. so imho she's still out there as an outlier.

    btw - from what i can tell she's not denying agw.

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  • 110. At 6:45pm on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #106. rossglory wrote:

    "i think you'll find that your anti-agw stance gets covered quite well by the bbc. there were a couple of superb programmes that gave christopher monckton and james delingpole ample opportunity to expand on their 'scientific' opinions."

    Hey rossglory, thanks for a good laugh!

    I guess your comment makes sense to you. The BBC is as objective about this topic as you are.

    But I must say, I do miss the good old pre-Climategate days when David Shukman did his Daily AGW Doomsday Report. They were extremely entertaining. And the way he was constantly flying around the world looking for any melting ice he could find just confirmed to me that there was no need to worry about consuming fossil fuels or having a carbon footprint the size of a Bigfoot. Same for all those who flew to Cancun when their reports could have been done on the net. So, if the BBC's message was supposed to be 'do as I say, not as I do' I think they were very effective.

    As for their 'documentary' featuring Delingpole, I never saw it but I understand that it was as objective as an Al Gore film. Maybe the BBC should get a Nobel Peace Prize too? Seems they give those things out to just about anybody these days.

    Anyhow, thanks again for the laugh! Please post again soon.

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  • 111. At 7:12pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #97 blunderbunny

    well, i tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. imho if you are going to criticise the consensus on an important subject like agw you have to get your story absolutely spot on.

    i took one of her comments randomly at face value:
    "The Mann et al. 2008, which purports to address all the issues raised by MM and produce a range of different reconstructions using different methodologies, still do not include a single reconstruction that is free of questioned tree rings and centered PCA."

    and went and looked at the paper to see if she was right(ish) because it's quite a bold claim (especially as she is talking about 'misrepresentation of data'). from what i can gather there are reconstructions without any tree ring proxies in there. so i think she is wrong on at least one absolutely critical point. perhaps you could take a look at the paper and show me where i have got it wrong (it's on pnas: 'Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia').

    in addition, the only reduction in data appears to be screening against instrumental surface temps, no principal component analysis that i can see (unless you can spot it).

    and even without tree rings the recent warming looks unprecedented to me (especially as nobody knows if the mwp was global or not).

    i have an open mind and of course this doesn't prove she's wrong about everything but if i were a 'sceptic' i'd be worried about this kind of inaccuracy on such critical points.

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  • 112. At 7:18pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #110 candianrockies

    "The BBC is as objective about this topic as you are."

    i'm very glad to hear that :o)

    "Anyhow, thanks again for the laugh! Please post again soon."

    i have. btw please feel free to carrying on commenting on programmes you never watched, papers you never read, opinions you never heard etc. it really is an imformative insight into the psychology of climate change denial.

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  • 113. At 7:33pm on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "US climate cuts threaten isolation"

    This title is actually rather ironic. I read this "isolation" as a quarantine, whereby the US reduces its exposure to a dreadful disease.

    And the photo of that island is also rather hilarious. I presume it must be one of those ones that is not being submerged after all.

    But this whole ridiculous propaganda piece reminds me most of "Lord" Sterns impotent threat about trade sanctions if the US doesn't fall for this scam. Stern was 'making them an offer they can't refuse' in good old gangster-extortionist style... but I suppose the threat of a ban on hagus exports just didn't do the trick.

    Three obvious questions. What kind of a country would make Stern a "Lord" and what does that say about the rest of this 'elite'?

    What kind of 'science' requires this kind of extortion and relentless propaganda to be pushed through?

    And why isn't Bagdad Bob blogging for the AGW cause?

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  • 114. At 7:35pm on 25 Feb 2011, John Russell wrote:

    The investigation instigated by James Inhofe, the well known US Senator famous for his aggressive climate change denial, has come to its conclusions. The report, published by the inspector general of the Commerce Department, which runs the NOAA, stated: "We did not find any evidence that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data."

    Senator Inhofe said, “I want to thank the Inspector General for conducting a thorough, objective, and balanced investigation...”.

    Let's hope these conclusions now put an end to the constant regurgitation across the web of the so-called 'Climategate' meme. It was clear from the start to anyone who read, objectively, the key CRU emails, that it was always a fuss about nothing.

    Having said that, ever in denial, Inhofe doesn't want to accept it. I wonder how many more investigations he will instigate in futile attempts to get the result he wants?

    More here...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/science/earth/25noaa.html?_r=1&src=twrhp

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/02/science-is-sound

    Inhofe's quote is reported here...

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/33735

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  • 115. At 7:49pm on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Oh goody! The Dems are helping! They seem to be confusing this process with a UK whitewash. Maybe they should have looked into these "two new studies" a little more carefully before opening this Pandora's box. Oh well, this will be most entertaining.

    "House Dems call for climate science hearings amid GOP efforts to block EPA climate rules

    By Andrew Restuccia - 02/24/11 12:23 PM ET

    Two key House Democrats called on Republicans Thursday to hold a hearing on the latest climate science amid efforts by the GOP to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate authority.

    In a letter to the top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) pointed to two new studies that link climate change to extreme weather.

    “[I]t is imperative that the Committee have an understanding of the science of climate change and the impact carbon pollution may be having on the weather in the United States and abroad. We cannot legislate wisely if we do not know what we are doing,” said the lawmakers in the letter."

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/145937-house-dems-call-for-climate-science-hearings-amid-gop-efforts-to-block-epa-climate-rules

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  • 116. At 7:54pm on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    "Curry’s 2000 comment question: Can anyone defend “hide the decline”?

    February 25, 2011

    Guest post by Barry Woods (please bookmark his blog RealClimategate -Anthony)"

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/25/currys-2000-comment-question-can-anyone-defend-%e2%80%9chide-the-decline%e2%80%9d/

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  • 117. At 8:02pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #blunderbunny

    just read through the exchange between gavin schmitt and judith curry on rc.

    let me get this straight, she goes to rc which is run by some pretty heavyweight climate researchers and contributors to ipcc and basically slags off their work, tells them they're processes are corrupt and explains where she thinks they have gone wrong.

    then, when all her points are pretty well trashed she comes back and effectively says "don;t have a go at me it was just a summary of a book i read, well as best i can remember it".

    this is not the way to create a paradigm shift in an established scientific field.

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  • 118. At 8:03pm on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

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

  • 119. At 8:09pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #114 john russell

    thanks for the links.

    "Having said that, ever in denial, Inhofe doesn't want to accept it. I wonder how many more investigations he will instigate in futile attempts to get the result he wants?"

    my belief is that none of this is about science per se. if the science doesn;t say what you want then attack the science i.e. remove its funding.

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  • 120. At 8:21pm on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #114. John Russell, #119 rossglory

    While those selective reports are interesting and all, you might want to read the whole story before you get too triumphant. Since I know that WUWT is on your list of banned sites which you dare not visit, I did try to post the highlights of this but, alas, that got stuck in 'further review' purgatory.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/24/inspector-general-finds-noaa-climategate-emails-warrant-further-investigation/

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  • 121. At 8:41pm on 25 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    Will nobody counter my assertion that Richard Black is misrepresenting facts?

    Is "it is all a fuss about nothing" really the best anyone can do?

    Is the Eco-zealot cheerleading team actually stumped?

    My question gets to the very heart of the matter: Richard's defense of scientific fraud.

    Can't even ONE of the AGW supporters here discuss the facts and show how it is acceptable science to "hide the decline" by replacing "inconvenient " data at the most critical end piece of a plot that consequently became an alarming poster child hockey stick for IPPC propaganda?

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  • 122. At 8:48pm on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #121. Shadorne wrote:

    "Will nobody counter my assertion that Richard Black is misrepresenting facts?"

    Nobody can.

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  • 123. At 9:09pm on 25 Feb 2011, RobWansbeck wrote:

    @111, rossglory wrote:

    [re Mann et al 2008] “ ….. from what i can gather there are reconstructions without any tree ring proxies in there. so i think she is wrong on at least one absolutely critical point. perhaps you could take a look at the paper and show me where i have got it wrong (it's on pnas: 'Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia'). ….. “

    As you have found, reading the paper gives the wrong impression. You need to look at an addition to the SI quietly made in November 2009. Tucked away in the depths it states that the no-dendro no- Tiljander reconstruction has no statistical validity prior to 1500AD.

    Of course everyone outside of the team and their supporters already knew that.

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  • 124. At 9:15pm on 25 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Shadorne #121.
    (CanadianRockies)

    oh, goody.. open season, let's shoot the messenger.. (again)

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  • 125. At 9:57pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #123 robwansbeck

    not really hidden. it says in the results:

    "When tree-ring data are eliminated from the proxy data network, a skillful reconstruction is possible only back to A.D. 1500 by using the CPS approach but is possible considerably further back, to A.D. 1000, by using the EIV approach."

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  • 126. At 10:10pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #120 candianrockies

    what highlights?

    Emails ‘Warrant Further Investigation’ - they looked into them and found nothing there.

    Potential Breach of NOAA Contracting - some nonsense about creative accounting to pay for a trip

    NOAA Administrator’s Congressional Testimony - Dr. Lubchenco stating the obvious without wading through 10,000 emails

    Thwarting FOIA - not allowing a sceptic denial of service via FOI requests i would guess

    Questions about ‘Objectivity’ - an hilarious cartoon

    when will you guys give up? there's nothing here to challenge agw, if any group in any part of society were investigated like this there would be loads of stuff to criticise and here you have a few tiny crumbs to salivate over.

    you're not really sceptical, contrarian or a denier. in reality you are gullible canadian. anything that supports your world view you lionise like a naive cheerleader.


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  • 127. At 10:15pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #121 shadorne

    "Can't even ONE of the AGW supporters here discuss the facts and show how it is acceptable science to "hide the decline" by replacing "inconvenient " data at the most critical end piece of a plot that consequently became an alarming poster child hockey stick for IPPC propaganda?"

    4 (or is it 5 or 50, i lose count) enquiries have found otherwise. if you spent less time at wuwt, popping out just to post here, you might see things in a different light.

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  • 128. At 10:33pm on 25 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

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

  • 129. At 10:49pm on 25 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    #127 Rossglory

    Another evasive answer which appeals to authority (countless inquiries??) and completely avoids the question of why Richard defends what is quite obviously scientific fraud.

    Discuss the facts - explain to me how "hide the decline" is acceptable scientific practice (as Richard asserts) ...I am all ears.

    In case anyone has forgotten, the facts:

    The facts are:

    A UEA scientist admitted in an email to colleagues that he deliberately used recent modern temperature thermometer records to replace the tree ring proxy data where it showed a decline. This was termed "Mike's Nature trick".

    This manipulation deliberately hides the fact that the tree ring proxy may not be a reliable indication of past temperatures, as used to construct the shaft of the famous IPCC "hockey stick". The primary advantage of the "hockey stick shaft" being the absence of the well known medieval warm period.

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  • 130. At 11:31pm on 25 Feb 2011, James Evans wrote:

    The only kind of "denial" that I am guilty of is the increasing urge to deny the BBC a licence fee.

    Any chance of some genuine investigative reporting of climate science? Thought not.

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  • 131. At 00:01am on 26 Feb 2011, davblo wrote:

    bowmanthebard #108: "as sea levels have risen, more land has been reclaimed from the sea than lost to it"

    References please!

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  • 132. At 00:52am on 26 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 121 Shadorne

    Can't even ONE of the AGW supporters here discuss the facts and show how it is acceptable science to "hide the decline" by replacing "inconvenient " data at the most critical end piece of a plot that consequently became an alarming poster child hockey stick for IPPC propaganda?

    This puzzles me.

    Do you actually suppose this HYS column, however interesting it may be, is a forum superior to the judicial and peer reviews which have quite exhaustively investigated the issue and found no significant wrong doing?

    Are we then to suppose a conspiracy so vast it rises not only to the top levels of the scientific community, but to the judiciary and parliaments across several continents? That only the bold and mavericky Senator Inhofe and his band of merry men stand between us and the evil machinations of these nefarious conspirators? Conspirators who no doubt are also intending to infiltrate Oklahoma with sharia law?

    It is so wacky it must be true. It simply must be them ten foot lizards at work.

    Hallelujah, brother, for I have seen the light!

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  • 133. At 01:35am on 26 Feb 2011, RobWansbeck wrote:

    #125. At 9:57pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    “ ….. not really hidden. it says in the results:

    'When tree-ring data are eliminated from the proxy data network, a skillful reconstruction is possible only back to A.D. 1500 by using the CPS approach but is possible considerably further back, to A.D. 1000, by using the EIV approach.'
    ….. “

    As you note the paper claims that a skilful no-dendro reconstruction is possible back to A.D. 1000 using the EIV approach. However, this reconstruction relies on the Tiljander lake sediment data which is known to be contaminated by building work. In fact the degree of contamination is so great that Mann 08 used the data in the opposite orientation to the interpretation of the original author. The contamination was well known and Tiljander was even able to match spikes in the data to specific building projects.

    When this contaminated proxy is removed both the above mentioned methods fail to validate prior to AD 1500.

    To make things more difficult, the last time I looked the no-dendro/no-Tiljander reconstruction had not been added to the online SI for the PNAS paper but was hidden away on the Penn State site. Anyone linking to the SI from the online PNAS paper would be unaware of the changes.

    Perhaps you can answer this question: How does a chance correlation between building work and temperature allow one to transform a non-valid reconstruction into a valid one?

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  • 134. At 04:40am on 26 Feb 2011, HungeryWalleye wrote:

    102. At 3:33pm on 25 Feb 2011, lanthalus wrote:

    "I know this will sound simplistic, but (whether I like it or not) I pay for the BBC and thus for its employees and others in its pay.

    For once I would like to see some properly unbiased coverage of the climate debate.

    The constant pro-warming stance does the BBC no credit whatsoever and portrays it as part of a seemingly vested interest lobby group."

    Have you considered the possibility that Mr. Black, based on his journalistic work, has concluded that AGW deniers are like those who claim the earth is flat.

    The Koch brothers have invested considerable amounts in creating FUD in relation to AGW. Given that their privately held company is primarily in the petroleum industry, this is not surprising. They also happen to be the 3rd richest persons in the U.S. Follow this link for details

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

    They have also been financing the supposedly populous Tea Party

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/wisconsin-scott-walker-koch-brothers

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/whats-happening-wisconsin-explained

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  • 135. At 07:34am on 26 Feb 2011, PAWB46 wrote:

    Richard. You can't seriously still think that the CRU emails were hacked, can you? Or is that another inconvenient truth that you prefer to mislead your readers about?

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  • 136. At 08:29am on 26 Feb 2011, JunkkMale wrote:

    106. At 4:19pm on 25 Feb 2011, rossglory
    i pay for the bbc as well and am a keen glider pilot


    Sounds fun. I know winching is common, but the other method used to elevate this niche form of pleasure to look down on those below from such heights does seem a bit carbon poor.

    107. At 4:54pm on 25 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:
    It's his opinion. BBC blogs allow journalists to express their opinions.


    Interesting. I was not aware of that. Especially as I am compelled to co-fund it. I wonder, are there any limits to the extent of where such opinion can go? There seems to be some concern within the BBC hierarchy about twitter, for instance.

    Maybe this will help:

    http://commonusers.blogspot.com/2006/05/new-bbc-staff-blog-guidelines.html

    Though I do love this by way of context: 'The views here are mine. They are not those of the BBC.'

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  • 137. At 11:50am on 26 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #136 junkkmale

    "Sounds fun. I know winching is common, but the other method used to elevate this niche form of pleasure to look down on those below from such heights does seem a bit carbon poor."

    it is, i can recommend it. the winch we use is gas powered and on a good day 10 seconds worth can keep you flying for the whole day. obviously training flights on a bad day are more carbon intensive. who knows, maybe a few thousands launches equivalent to a short haul commercial flight seat.

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  • 138. At 11:53am on 26 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #133 robwansbeck

    all very interesting rob but nothing to do with my reason for posting which was the reliability or otherwise of dr curry's comments.

    wrt the whole hockey stick denial cottage industry, that's not something i'm going to demolish here.

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  • 139. At 12:15pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @JunkkMale #136

    Here's some more BBC blogs with journalists expressing their opinions.

    For instance Paul Hudson's comments about climate feedbacks strongly suggest he is a sceptic.
    (Note, his comments on negative feedbacks possibly causing cooling (rather than damping climate changes in either direction) are at best confusing and probably wrong.)
    (Hudson also seems unaware that the IPCC say that some feedbacks are negative, but overall feedbacks very probably positive, and that the IPCC say that cloud related feedbacks are the amongst the most difficult to work out.)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/

    And opinions on finance by some BBC journalists seem to have been proved more realistic and reliable than that from other well publicised sources.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/

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  • 140. At 1:02pm on 26 Feb 2011, ADMac wrote:

    @JaneBasingstoke #139

    I agree that Richard Black uses his blogs to promote his AGW views.

    However in doing so entitles bloggers to disagree with his views without being chastised by people like

    jr4412 #124

    “oh, goody.. open season, let's shoot the messenger.. (again)”

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  • 141. At 1:05pm on 26 Feb 2011, Barry Woods wrote:

    "flirtations of the US political right with "climate denial" look set to marginalise the country even"

    oh look - Richard pus - Climate Denial - into quotes

    that makes it OK, he's being ironic, just thought for a moment his politics were showing ;)

    Anybody asked Professor Beddington to explain (with the aid of these 2 graphs what 'Hide the Delcine' means and Professor Nurse, and the Horizon team....

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/25/currys-2000-comment-question-can-anyone-defend-%e2%80%9chide-the-decline%e2%80%9d/

    From the comments at Climate Etc

    Professor Judith Curry’s repsonse to Gavin, I think is worth repeating.

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/#comment-45770

    curryja | February 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Reply

    "Gavin, the field does not need any more summary graphs of this nature. They have done an enormous disservice to climate science and its credibility. Continuing to defend these kinds of graphs is beyond anything I can understand.

    Leaving out that data and putting a “likely” confidence level on conclusions from that data is bad science, anyway you slice it.

    If you don’t like dishonest, try misguided and pseudoscience.

    There is no way this is defensible scientific practice.

    I really hope we don’t see any more of these kinds of graphs, in the AR5 or elsewhere. I’ve tiptoed around this one long enough, I’m calling it like I see it."

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  • 142. At 1:26pm on 26 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    ADMac #140.

    "..entitles bloggers to disagree with his [RB's] views.."

    quite, which is why you and I are entitled to ours (unless moderated).

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  • 143. At 2:12pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @AdMac #140

    "promote his views"

    "Promote" is way strong.

    He's a warmist writing opinion pieces where his views are going to be obvious. Which is entirely appropriate given that most people with any interest in the debate are going to have views on it. It is also the way that opinion pieces work in other areas of politics. I wouldn't normally expect to have to agree with someone's views before I engaged with their opinions. Do you?

    He is not a warmist giving warmism the hard sell. Which would be inappropriate for a BBC journalist.

    If you don't understand the difference then I suggest you look at some of the warmist blogs criticised by others posting here.

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  • 144. At 3:01pm on 26 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #143 wrote:

    I wouldn't normally expect to have to agree with someone's views before I engaged with their opinions. Do you?

    All the same, a while back you said you weren't likely to read an article I recommended by David Aaronovitch because you were "Not particularly impressed by his commentary on the Iraq war."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/10/from_the_un_convention_on_6.html#P102497093

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  • 145. At 3:39pm on 26 Feb 2011, RobWansbeck wrote:

    #138, rossglory wrote:

    “ ….. all very interesting rob but nothing to do with my reason for posting which was the reliability or otherwise of dr curry's comments. ….. “

    It was you, yourself, who brought up the subject of Mann 08 as evidence of Judith Curry's unreliability:

    “ ….. from what i can gather there are reconstructions without any tree ring proxies in there. so i think she is wrong on at least one absolutely critical point. perhaps you could take a look at the paper and show me where i have got it wrong ….. “

    It was you, yourself, who asked “perhaps you could take a look at the paper and show me where i have got it wrong”.

    I have merely looked at not only the paper but the hidden SI and shown where you have indeed go it wrong.

    Far from being unreliable, Judith Curry was correct. It is your lack of knowledge of the issues that has led you to believe otherwise.

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  • 146. At 3:48pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #144

    I am prepared to engage with someone's opinions when I disagree with their views, as should be obvious from most of my comments here. That would be why many of my posts here disagree with someone else and tackle their actual argument.

    I am not prepared to go out of my way to read up all the suggested reading made in some of these posts. And unlike other recommended material, and other material by Aaronovitch, the relevant Aaronovitch article was behind Murdoch's paywall.

    Meanwhile your earlier recommendation of Aaronovitch could be taken to imply that Aaronovitch was somehow worth reading because he was Aaronovitch. It was solely in this context that I mentioned my opinion of his Iraq material.

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  • 147. At 4:02pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #31

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ascent_of_Man
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11981142 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9P8WcHfskI
    Yeah, loved that series.
    :-)

    Couple of things about your comment.

    Firstly the climate changes at the end of the last ice age did not give man an easy ride. Our ancestors success partly depended on ingenuity and partly on the luck of there being a straightforward technology to pick up, that of cereal farming. This in turn was dependent on there being a suitable food crop available, the cereals.

    (Bronowski waxes lyrical about the sheer improbability of two successive wheat hybridisations both giving fertile offspring. He comments that man's farming activities may have helped this hybridisation.)

    Secondly that technology had immediate costs. Peasant farmers work much longer hours than hunter gatherers.

    Improvements at the end of the last ice age were therefore only indirectly caused by warming and have no clear rationale to cause similar further improvements for contemporary warming. You cannot use the end of the last ice age as some sort of get out of jail free card to defend the sceptic position.

    And please don't use the "open up vast tracts of Siberia for farming" line. If the Earth warms, then all else being equal, the area suitable for today's farming and fishing will tend to move towards the poles, so yes possibly better farming on what is currently Siberian tundra. But we are not living on a cylinder or flat sheet, we are living on a globe, so a shift polewards means a reduction in area.

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  • 148. At 4:21pm on 26 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #147.

    "(Bronowski waxes lyrical about the sheer improbability of two successive wheat hybridisations both giving fertile offspring. He comments that man's farming activities may have helped this hybridisation.)"

    haven't read Bronowski's musings, but it seems to me based on our general lack of knowledge/appreciation re natural mechanisms.

    your comment brought to mind the unplanned spread of GM Canola in the US of A which has been in the news recently:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10859264
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12541465
    http://www.theatlantic.com/food/archive/2011/02/modified-alfalfa-wars-a-response-to-james-mcwilliams/71600/

    last time I managed to get to a very visual map of the Canola distribution (in the US of A) from the first link, but cannot find it now. ;(

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  • 149. At 6:11pm on 26 Feb 2011, JunkkMale wrote:

    137. At 11:50am on 26 Feb 2011, rossglory - obviously training flights on a bad day are more carbon intensive. who knows, maybe a few thousands launches equivalent to a short haul commercial flight seat.

    Sounds a glorious entertainment, and who to deny one that? But there may be some who do think even the small pleasures are too much, so best ensure you have Pastor Neimoller as co-pilot... when training.

    '139. At 12:15pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke'

    Thanks for sharing. Really. Forgive me if, from a slightly different vantage point, citing partiality by fellow BBC journalists is really helping ease my concerns on when reporting becomes advocacy, and an abuse of a powerful pulpit. You may feel Mr. Peston a sage, perhaps because you agree with his views. Others may not.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2008/10/rothschild_v_osborne.html?postId=70475271#comment_70475271

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-impartiality-personal-view/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-impartiality-news-current-affairs-factual/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-impartiality-controversial-subjects/

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  • 150. At 6:38pm on 26 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #112. rossglory wrote:

    #110 candianrockies

    "please feel free to carrying on commenting on programmes you never watched..."

    Yes, in my #110 I did comment on the BBC's now infamous smear job which I did not see, based on what I had read about it from other sources.

    So, that's bad!

    #126. rossglory wrote:

    #120 candianrockies

    "NOAA Administrator’s Congressional Testimony - Dr. Lubchenco stating the obvious without wading through 10,000 emails"

    Yes. Lubchenko, testifying at a congressional hearing stated:

    “The [CRU] emails really do nothing to undermine the very strong scientific consensus and the independent scientific analyses of thousands of scientists around the world that tell us that the earth is warming and that the warming is largely a result of human activities.”

    BUT... “Dr. Lubchenco told us she could not be sure whether she had read any of the CRU emails or received a briefing from her staff on the results of NOAA’s CRU email review prior..."

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/24/inspector-general-finds-noaa-climategate-emails-warrant-further-investigation/

    So, Lubchenko testifies before a hearing, as a supposed authority, without looking at the evidence... but that's OK for rossglory. Because he agrees with what she says. Good standards!

    Also see my #44 for something you conveniently forgot to notice.

    So, when you only see what you want to see, you will.

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  • 151. At 7:57pm on 26 Feb 2011, John Russell wrote:

    If one reads the 'Watts up' article (link already provided by CanadianRockies) it's interesting to see that Anthony Watts provides a quote from Inhofe -- “Also, the IG recommended that certain NOAA-related emails ‘warrant further investigation,’ so I will be following up to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent according to federal law..." etc.

    Fortunately for us, Watts then goes on to print an extract from the report which in fact shows how Inhofe has carefully extracted a phrase out of context in order to promote his denialist aims. The extract in full reads, “We found eight emails which, in our judgment, warranted further examination to clarify any possible issues involving the scientific integrity of particular NOAA scientists or NOAA’s data. As a result, we conducted interviews with the relevant NOAA scientists regarding these eight emails, and have summarized their responses and explanations in the enclosure.”.

    So, analysing this quote from the report we can see that the investigators "found eight emails which... warranted[note: past tense!] further examination... [Note: not 'investigation'] and.. as a result we conducted interviews... and summarized [the] responses...". In other words they found something that required more looking into -- and looked into it. This then completed their investigation and they were able to provide their executive summary to conclude their work. So in spite of what Inhofe says, no further investigation is required. He's deliberately obfuscating.

    So 'Climategate' should now be dead and buried.

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  • 152. At 8:28pm on 26 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #151. At 7:57pm on 26 Feb 2011, John Russell wrote:

    "So 'Climategate' should now be dead and buried."

    You are dreaming. First, the impacts of that event just keep growing, and the results are self evident. Just look at what has happened to the AGW project since that broke.

    I find this quote, from an HONEST writer at a left-leaning magazine, sums things up nicely:

    "I had hoped, not very confidently, that the various Climategate inquiries would be severe. This would have been a first step towards restoring confidence in the scientific consensus. But no, the reports make things worse. At best they are mealy-mouthed apologies; at worst they are patently incompetent and even wilfully wrong. The climate-science establishment, of which these inquiries have chosen to make themselves a part, seems entirely incapable of understanding, let alone repairing, the harm it has done to its own cause."

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/07/climategate-and-the-big-green-lie/59709

    As for that particular review, one thing that promises not to go away was that little detail which I noted in my #44.

    Also, for a clue of what is coming, see my #115. That is just on one front. Here's another one:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/06/yes-virginia-you-do-have-to-produce-those-global-warming-documents/

    You see John, the US is not the UK.

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  • 153. At 9:07pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @JunkkMale #149

    If you are going to couch it in those terms

    1. I don't see any factual errors in either Richard Black's or Robert Peston's pieces. I don't see them going beyond professional opinion in their partiality.

    I would qualify that by saying that a professional opinion normally requires that the professional concerned has a particular point of view, and that the same professional must allow for others having different but reasonable points of view.

    I would also remind you that there are both reasonable and unreasonable warmists, and both reasonable and unreasonable sceptics. (E.g. Lindzen and Spencer produce reasonable climate science, Gerlich and Tscheuschner do not.)

    Some warmists use the d-word to distinguish between reasonable scepticism and unreasonable scepticism, this is normally an allusion to the pop-psychological meaning of the d-word, and only occasionally anything more vile. Personally I avoid the d-word (except when quoting others) because of its association with the viler meaning, and because even the milder meaning involves knowing a significant amount about the position of the relevant individual.

    2. I don't see your problem with the example Peston piece. He's trying to comment on a significant news item by referring to stuff he's been told off the record by first hand witnesses.

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  • 154. At 9:18pm on 26 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #147 wrote:

    that technology had immediate costs. Peasant farmers work much longer hours than hunter gatherers.

    But they must have been doing something right, because the population grew with the conversion to agriculture. That means less (or later) death. It's true that old bones show ubiquitous signs of arthritis from such repetitive activities as grinding grain with a stone; but when medical students or future paleontologists look at my ex-knees they'll see much the same -- from daily cycling into middle age (and I hope well beyond). Will they speculate about the terrible privations my traveling lifestyle involved? Or will they realize guys like me spent much of the day sitting at a computer screen, and preferred to cycle to the shops to more sitting in a car looking for a parking place!

    My point is, it's quite hard to judge what a person's lifestyle was like from a distance. We tend to romanticize it, and one fairly reliable measure of a primitive lifestyle improving is the population's rising.

    In a sense, the lifestyle of both the hunter-gatherer and the peasant farmer is dictated by work. The former have to travel a lot, and a nomadic lifestyle can be awful, even if there are long hours of "leisure" (i.e. setting up camp, lighting a fire, waiting for morning). Most of us have been stranded in an airport for much longer than we'd like, and it was no fun at all even though we were doing our best to have fun. Think of all the "fun" fishermen have as they wait for hours in the rain for a bite.

    A slightly different issue is the remarkable, apparently global explosion of civilization about 2500 years ago. One can only speculate about what might have caused it. It might have been (only "might", mind!) an improvement in the climate, by which I mean a warming, not a cooling.

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  • 155. At 9:20pm on 26 Feb 2011, John Russell wrote:

    I note, CanadianRockies, that you offered nothing to counter my comment 151, just provided more cherry-picked evidence to back up your denial stance.

    I was going to leave it there but I was intrigued by your reference to the quote from an 'honest writer', so I took a look at his posts. I found the one you linked to in July 2010 and then dug a little deeper. Did you know that on Sept 15th he issued no less than two extensive 'corrections and revisions' (his words) posts, in which he apologised for getting things so wrong?

    So it's you that's dreaming, my friend. But you are right about one thing: the US is not the UK.

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  • 156. At 9:30pm on 26 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    Jane @153:"I don't see any factual errors in either Richard Black's or Robert Peston's pieces. I don't see them going beyond professional opinion in their partiality. "

    Really? Richard Black states above, "Neither has it been shown that UEA scientists intentionally manipulated data - again, the opposite conclusion is eminently more defensible..."

    So Richard is actually saying that "hide the deline" is NOT intentional manipulation of data but rather the opposite - presumably some kind of water mark in manipulation of data that provides clear robust scientific conclusions - something presumably to be aspired to?

    And this kind of deliberate "factual error" is permissible because of Richard's partiality - presumably the end justifying the means! This is exactly the kind of thinking that was expressed by the original "hockey stick team" - they only wanted something to get people's attention and so they manipulated the data to get it to look like a "hockey stick".

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  • 157. At 10:17pm on 26 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    155. John Russell wrote:

    "I note, CanadianRockies, that you offered nothing to counter my comment 151, just provided more cherry-picked evidence to back up your denial stance."

    I did, but I guess I need to be more clear because you just cherry-picked that one quote. Their further investigation into those particular emails led to what I noted in my #44. Do you suppose, after finding that, that things will just stop there? Not in America.

    So putting that process into the past tense misses the point.

    Moreover, see the details posted in my #150. Do you think that will just be swept under the carpet too? And with official' witnesses like that, do you think that helps the credibility of the AGW team? Hardly. Just the opposite. At least in the US.

    And there are more serious reviews coming (including #115, 152). So you are indeed dreaming if you think the impacts of Climategate are going away. Again, compare the pre- and post-Climategate eras and the impacts are obvious. There is no putting that toothpaste back in the tube... or the wheels back on that cart.

    Now, thanks for your further research into that Atlantic quote. I was surprised to see it there. The fact that the author later recanted would make sense given that magazine. Guess he wanted to keep writing there. Galileo recanted too.

    On the bright side, if CO2 concerns you, the troubles in the Middle East appear to be sending oil prices higher and that will do more to reduce its use and foster more efficiencies than another massive layer of parasitic government bureacracy et al. So cheer up when you fill up!


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  • 158. At 11:07pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Shadorne #156

    The key word there is "intentionally".

    I remind you that "the decline" was "divergence", the discrepancy between proxies and direct temperature measurements, and had been documented in the scientific literature and discussed in the scientific community.

    Now I am not, never have been, a scientist. If I had been involved in the presentation of the problem Hockey Stick I would have wanted it made very clear where data derived from proxies and where it derived from direct measurements. But that's partly because I can be picky to a fault. And partly because as a non-scientist I am used to communicating with people that are even less informed than me.

    Meanwhile the people involved in the presentation of the problem Hockey Stick were scientists. Scientists as a whole are most used to communicating with other scientists in their own specialism. Away from their work they may tend to socialise with other scientists and the scientifically literate. Some are really not good at seeing things through laymen's eyes.

    And so they mislead because they assume their target audience is picking up on everything they say.

    If someone tells you something, and they don't explain it well, and you misunderstand them, that is not the same as them lying.

    The whole situation has been exacerbated by the likes of Tony Blair and other non-scientist politicians then oversimplifying the science.

    And that's just Hockey Stick presentation to the public. There are related misunderstandings that have tangled the situation further.

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  • 159. At 11:40pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Shadorne #156

    PS, I think Richard's wording was referring to the various inquiries of UEA. You know, the ones that have sceptics saying "whitewash".

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  • 160. At 01:07am on 27 Feb 2011, TJ wrote:

    By their actions (the Republicans in the US) are showing care and support for their citzens by helping us to afford and to be able to keep warm. I know you Brits have had a bad time this winter but spare a thought for us folks. I live in the San Francisco Bay area where we have had recording breaking cold (I mean monthly February not just daily) for the last couple of days and projected for the next few. We've even had snow (a few flakes I confess) at sea level!! The rest of the North West is also in deep freeze.

    Most Democrates still appear to believe we are warming. Would you believe that!!!!

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  • 161. At 05:50am on 27 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    Jane:"If someone tells you something, and they don't explain it well, and you misunderstand them, that is not the same as them lying."

    Agreed, however, in Jones' own words they deliberately tried to "hide the decline". Worse he calls it a "trick". It is pretty obvious that it was not explained well on purpose. Nobody could fail to see that this is indeed inetntional manipulation.

    Jones says:

    "I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

    It could not be more clear that the poster child IPCC "hockey stick" was the result of an intentional manipulation of data.

    What Jones et al. did may not quite qualify as a lie, however, Richard's statement may well be - as Richard vehmently claims that the "hide the decline" trick was NOT intentional manipulation of data even Jones admits it was done deliberately.

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  • 162. At 07:07am on 27 Feb 2011, JunkkMale wrote:

    153. At 9:07pm on 26 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:
    @JunkkMale #149
    If you are going to couch it in those terms


    Not too terribly sure what you mean by 'couch it in those terms'.

    I have proffered an opinion, supported with some fact. By your standards, and in your opinion, you disagree. We are at an impasse. The only thing is for others to assess and come to their view based on what they read.

    As you may have gathered, I tend to contribute here more when some adopt a view that others are not entitled to a view (or, worse, should be censured simply for having, much less expressing it). Doesn't even mean I agree with those being targeted all the time, but I don't feel much of value is served on a blog if it becomes an echo chamber of the author's wise words. Especially if, perhaps, they are not quite hewing close to the impartial line, or letting the chips fall where they may.

    And, with the greatest respect, what you don't see, or do, really amounts to as much as a sulky BBC editor turning up on Newsnight to say they 'got it about right'.

    And your reminder is noted if unnecessary. Just as I accept the climate changes, I appreciate that an impassioned debate throws up extremes from all quarters, so as the topic that inspires it does 'sides'. Just... not so sure its the job of the national broadcaster to be on one of them (any more than I think it should act as an unofficial opposition politically, depending on who has been voted in) , with more than a little multiple standards applied, especially if counter-views are on the table and not shared unless via the few areas that are not 'broadcast only'.

    As to Mr. Peston, et Al, whatever happens 'off the record' by 'witnesses' of whatever hand really matters as much to me as quality of information as a Nick Robinson or Michael Crick 'source' (these quote thingies are useful, aren't they?). All they usually do... for me... is highlight choices made to enhance, or defend, the narrative, and those often throw the spotlight on the power of the editorial suite in spinning the message to suit. Not, IMHO, how things should be.

    And while there may well be two sets of fans at the match, I believe there is a problem when the pitch and ball only fall under the control of those approved of by only one set of supporters, and yet all are required to pay for place on the stand no matter what for the game, whether they watch or not.

    I, personally, find most BBC science-related 'reporting' poor at best in professional terms, and in some areas too often compromised by agenda. That view cannot be taken away from me. Taking away the ability to share it seems the desire and intention of some. Which raises further concerns in turn.

    So, we maybe have to agree to disagree?

    But thank you for the concession in avoiding the 'd-word'. Especially for one of the reasons shared. Little acorns.

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  • 163. At 09:02am on 27 Feb 2011, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    I would love it if both sides of the argument gave us a link to a site to clarify real data.
    Something like:
    diagrams of actual data from opposing camps.
    annotation with little arrows and explanations
    use of colour to highlight the bits we are supposed to be concerned about
    objective analysis
    layman terms

    After all, science must communicate effectively to meet the needs of all enquirers.

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  • 164. At 09:18am on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JunkkMale #162 wrote:

    thank you for the concession in avoiding the 'd-word'.

    I have actually come to welcome the 'd-word'. It makes the people who use it look unbalanced if not completely unhinged. Over and over again it reveals their lack of a sense of proportion and "conspicuously moral" hot-headedness. It is increasingly entering a shared comedic vocabulary (for example, consider jokey references to "child molesters and climate change deniers").

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  • 165. At 09:32am on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    sensiblegrannie #163 wrote:

    I would love it if both sides of the argument gave us a link to a site to clarify real data.

    I would love it if both sides just came straight out and gave us an estimate of what proportion of atmospheric carbon dioxide is the product of human activity.

    Despite the apparent moratorium on ever saying anything explicit on such a vital question, I get the impression their respective estimated would be wildly different, almost crazily different. There can be little real discussion until that vital issue is out in the open.

    Can someone of integrity please suggest a figure?

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  • 166. At 09:37am on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Anyone who thinks American elections are cunningly manipulated by dark coercive forces might be interested in the results of the Irish election. The Green Party has lost every single seat. The people are nearly all completely uninterested or else filled with contempt for a party whose main policy is "saving the planet". (Or whatever. Who cares?)

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  • 167. At 10:08am on 27 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #166 bowmanthebard

    are you ok bowman? your post makes no sense at all.

    "dark coercive forces" - by these i assume you mean the commercial interests that bankroll the political parties......or do you think american/british corporations are charities. over 50% of the uk tory party funding comes from the financial sector, why do you think that is? do you think it may have any effect on their political decisions?

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  • 168. At 10:17am on 27 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #145 robwansbeck

    "Far from being unreliable, Judith Curry was correct. It is your lack of knowledge of the issues that has led you to believe otherwise."

    did i miss one of your posts? curry said that mm08 used pca and showed no analysis without tree rings. you just implied that mm08 was statistically significant only back to 1500 if you removed 50% of the data and used the most ineffective statistical technique (or words to that effect).

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  • 169. At 10:25am on 27 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #147 janebasingstoke

    i remember that episode well. dr bronowksi's ascent of man had an enormous impact on me as a child. i remember my family used to banish me to the unheated back room to watch it on a tiny portable tv sitting on an uncomfortable chair :o)

    he died shortly after making the series which was terribly sad. i wish he had made more tv (and of course david attenborough deserves credit for risking so much on the project).

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  • 170. At 10:27am on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    In democracies such as Ireland and the US, people vote. Corporations do not vote. The financial sector does not vote. Multinational corporations do not vote.

    When political parties do badly in elections, that's because people don't like them. They think the candidates are stupid, or that their policies are misguided or irrelevant.

    All over the world, more and more ordinary people beginning to think that climate change "science" is misguided or irrelevant like that. This is reflected in recent election results.

    People also read and contribute to blogs. When a lot of people express scepticism or contempt in a blog, that is usually because they actually feel sceptical or contemptuous about something, not because big corporations or the financial sector has hypnotized them into a state of submission!

    The left habitually shoots itself in the foot, over and over again, by explaining away its lack of popularity in terms of "the Tory Press", "the financial sector", "multinational corporations", etc., etc..

    It's loser's game.

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  • 171. At 10:41am on 27 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #163 sensiblegrannie

    "After all, science must communicate effectively to meet the needs of all enquirers."

    the real problem is that this is not a scientific debate but primarily a political one. it is impossible to understand all the climate science which is why the scientific process is so important. it also makes it very easy to misrepresent to laypersons like most of us here......and that is why trust has to come into the equation (of course i'll get slagged off for appealing to authority by the usual suspects here).

    i did a degree in environmental studies and work in a statistical field (data matching) but i can still only spot the obvious bloopers (or misrepresentations).

    so although i'm portrayed as a cult follower i know there is a small (very small imho) chance that agw is not an issue to worry about (maybe sensitivity is very low for some odd reason). but to me when i look at those that think it is an issue and those that don't and add it to the science i have learned, to me it is rational to accept the mainstream science and try to do something about it.

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  • 172. At 11:16am on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    171. At 10:41am on 27 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    i know there is a small (very small imho) chance that agw is not an issue to worry about

    Oh no you don't!

    All statistical estimates are estimates of relative frequency, NOT of epistemic probability -- i.e. the degree to which a theory ought to be believed.

    Statistical estimates that supposedly tell us how much we ought to believe something are in fact cobbled together by taking a range of "equally likely possibilities" -- i.e. of what statisticians consider to be be "equally likely possibilities" -- and then seeing what proportion of them have a particular property (such as the property of being a "catastrophic end of the world scenario").

    I'm sure you can see the absolutely vital, inescapable role of what statisticians consider to be be "equally likely possibilities" as input there. Some while ago, I illustrated this with the example of my ten computers. Nine of them have pictures of a sunny summer's day on the desktop. One of them has a picture of a cold rainy day on the desktop. If I began to issue predictions of next summer's weather ("it's 90% likely!") based on what proportion of a purely arbitrarily-selected collection of items have a particular feature, I'd be a con artist. But that is what has been happening with computer-model-based predictions. Everyone pretends that arbitrary input -- the stuff that a makes a model go one way or the other -- is irrelevant. This sort of statistical con-artistry is the intellectual disgrace of our age. You can see it at work every day with successive contradictory reports in the newspapers about "what's good for you and what isn't" -- such as coffee, aspirin, eggs, red meat, etc., etc..

    There's a technical term for that epistemic train wreck. It's called "inductivism". Statisticians will be unfamiliar with the term, because epistemic matters play no part in their "education". They may as well be reading chicken entrails.

    It is a disgrace how badly statistics is taught, and how little grasp statisticians themselves have of what they are doing. In my experience they have zero understanding of epistemic matters (i.e. belief, theory, evidence, the test of a hypothesis, etc.).

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  • 173. At 11:45am on 27 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Shadorne #161

    "Mike's Nature trick" isn't a problem. We've got scientists on both sides happy that "trick" in this context is a near synonym for "technique".

    "Hide" is a bigger problem.

    Shadorne, it's very difficult to properly hide something that everyone already knows about. And as far as the scientists were concerned, everyone did know about divergence. It was well written up in the literature. And debated by the scientists.

    Hiding stuff can be for reasons of deceit. But there is a second possible reason for hiding something, that is presentation. Or as Briffa described it in the emails "present a nice tidy story".

    Here's an everyday example of hiding something for presentation's sake. Most men shave their beards. Are they hiding something by shaving their beards? If a man skips shaving for a couple of days do you say "oh my god, I didn't know men could grow beards, what liars"?

    What the scientists did was wrong. They did not allow for the sheer power of imagery. They forgot (if some of them were ever aware) how many laypeople would have problems with the IPCC text, and turn to the pictures for help. Nor did they anticipate the way the Hockey Stick would be turned into an icon by the non-scientists.

    But I remind you that many scientists can be very geeky/nerdy. Getting a scientist who can actually explain science properly to laypeople is rare. Scientists as a group are not good at putting themselves into laypeople's heads.

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  • 174. At 11:55am on 27 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #sensiblegranny

    #172 is a case in point. i've tried to give you my honest opinion as a 'warmist'. the response from bowman is interesting in its own way but imho rather bizarre.

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  • 175. At 11:58am on 27 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Janebasingstoke

    There are a great many scientists that are not alright about it.

    The graph misrepresented reality and the text was unclear, that's the end of the matter. The rest is just squirming.

    If I'd done this it could have got me fired and possibly landed me in court.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 176. At 12:02pm on 27 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #170
    (@rossglory)

    "In democracies such as Ireland and the US, people vote. Corporations do not vote. The financial sector does not vote. Multinational corporations do not vote."

    Why would they need to if the political party in power responds to its donors by outsourcing its thinking to them?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolving_door#See_also
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobbying_in_the_United_States
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    A representational democracy is only one sort of democracy. Voters have some power. But politicians are not just directly beholden to the electorate.

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  • 177. At 12:06pm on 27 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    @rossglory

    So you think that the politics is the reason for debate and not the science?

    That's very interesting.....

    I think you'll find that for the majority of the rest of us the debate is purely about the science and how it's been presented.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 178. At 12:08pm on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory #174 wrote:

    i've tried to give you my honest opinion as a 'warmist'.

    In #171, you made the following claim to know something:

    i know there is a small (very small imho) chance that agw is not an issue to worry about

    How do you "calculate" this "chance", pray tell? On what grounds do you claim to know this?

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  • 179. At 12:19pm on 27 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @rossglory #174
    (@sensiblegrannie)

    rossglory, to be fair to bowmanthebard this is partially a language issue. (That d*** Bowman dictionary again!)

    With AGW some of the uncertainties can be quantified, but only with assumptions. So we have a range of probable climate sensitivities. Other uncertainties can't be quantified, that includes the reliability of some of the assumptions used to calculate numerical uncertainties, and other caveats such as the contribution by clouds to climate sensitivity being difficult.

    Now some of these unquantifiable uncertainties are tackled in the literature. But they tend to be undervalued because they don't come with a nice scientific looking number.

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  • 180. At 12:53pm on 27 Feb 2011, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    bowmanthebard @ 166:

    Well done for showing your complete ignorance of Irish politics (add it to the list). That is the most inaccurate piece of analysis I have read of the Irish election results anywhere.

    The Irish Green Party lost their 6 seats because they had been in coalition with Fianna Fáil and had helped prop the latter up. The Irish electorate are punishing those who they blame for failing to properly regulate the financial markets and leave the Irish economy in a mess of truly biblical proportions.

    For context, the party that has made the biggest gains in Ireland is the Irish Labour Party - who campaigned on a ticket of sustainable growth (amongst other things). As in Britain last year, 'climate change denial' wasn't an election issue and none of the main parties campaigned on it.

    In the scheme of things, Ireland is a very 'conservative with a small c' country. The Green Party represent a package of policies which are very liberal and to be brutally honest: outside of Dublin they are completely unelectable. However, the issue of tackling climate change and moving away from high carbon energy has become so mainstream, that it is accepted policy across the political spectrum.

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  • 181. At 1:18pm on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Yorkurbantree #180 wrote:

    the issue of tackling climate change and moving away from high carbon energy has become so mainstream, that it is accepted policy across the political spectrum.

    I've lived in Ireland for almost 40 years, and you're wrong.

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  • 182. At 1:29pm on 27 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @rossglory #169

    Life on Earth (Attenborough)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czgc56Vfz4w
    The Body in Question (Miller)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8d4eiqEdmA
    Cosmos (Sagan)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7n71pm0K04
    The Sky At Night (Moore)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLugJEBZnf8
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk7h
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    :-)

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  • 183. At 1:32pm on 27 Feb 2011, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Another question springs to mind. Have scientists begun 'adapting' the climate yet? The graphs that show the effects of solar flares do not appear to show as strong a response as I would have expected for the magnitude of the flares predicted. Perhaps it is because I can't interpret the data effectively. Cloud mass, volcano ash and other stuff must all mess up climate data too. It is all liver and chicken entrails to me.

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  • 184. At 1:32pm on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #179 wrote:

    With AGW some of the uncertainties can be quantified, but only with assumptions.

    I'm afraid these assumptions (of prior probabilities) themselves cannot be quantified, so any attempt at quantification based on these non-quantifiable assumption is also out. Way out. Completely out.

    No scientific theory anywhere says anything at all about how much anything ought to be believed. Belief just isn't a topic of scientific study. A judgement whether or not a theory should be believed is like an aesthetic judgement. And beliefworthiness, like beauty, is to a large extent in the eye of the beholder. The very best minds (such as Bohr and Einstein) in the very best branches of science can disagree sharply on what ought to be believed, never mind by "how much".

    The idea that climate "scientists" have a hot line to God, and so are able to tell the rest of us with breathtaking precision how much their theory ought to be believed is just pure codology. The tragic thing is, these codologists aren't cunningly fooling the general public -- they're fooling themselves, because they don't really have any grasp of what statistics deals with.

    This isn't a bit of semantic quibbling on my part -- I'm pointing out a huge conceptual error.

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  • 185. At 1:35pm on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Yorkurbantree #180 wrote:

    outside of Dublin they are completely unelectable

    Ever hear of Dan Boyle?

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  • 186. At 1:41pm on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #176 wrote:

    But politicians are not just directly beholden to the electorate.

    An Irish political party has just learned what happens if you play golf with the financial sector, and forget that voters are the ones who vote!

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  • 187. At 1:54pm on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Yorkurbantree #180 wrote:

    Well done for showing your complete ignorance of Irish politics

    If you are an English person who assumes he knows more about Irish politics than people who have lived in Ireland for most of their lives, perhaps you should reflect a little on the grotesque decisions English people have made over the course of history, on behalf of Irish people, on the basis of just such an assumption.

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  • 188. At 2:36pm on 27 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #184

    In earlier comments you appear to agree that some aspects of the science are reasonable, like the very basic underlying greenhouse effect (before looking at specifics such as climate sensitivity).

    Meanwhile the semantics of probability are fouling up your explanations. You are being misunderstood because you are being too picky over word definitions. (Hey, Wittgenstein territory again.)

    And it isn't just warmists misunderstanding you. Note the way none of your fellow sceptics are pitching in to help.

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  • 189. At 3:33pm on 27 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Janebasingstoke & @bowmanthebard

    So, what does he need help with - I'll happily chip in.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 190. At 4:16pm on 27 Feb 2011, Robert Lucien wrote:

    #179. JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @rossglory #174
    (@sensiblegrannie)

    rossglory, to be fair to bowmanthebard this is partially a language issue. (That d*** Bowman dictionary again!)

    With AGW some of the uncertainties can be quantified, but only with assumptions. So we have a range of probable climate sensitivities. Other uncertainties can't be quantified, that includes the reliability of some of the assumptions used to calculate numerical uncertainties, and other caveats such as the contribution by clouds to climate sensitivity being difficult.

    Now some of these unquantifiable uncertainties are tackled in the literature. But they tend to be undervalued because they don't come with a nice scientific looking number.

    ---------

    I am sure that the majority of scientists believe in the global warming problem for exactly the same reasons I do. - It is not a matter of proof it is a matter of the balance of probabilities. - Especially when you factor in the costs benefits and consequences of different paths. We don't act knowing what is going to happen, we can only ever act on the possibility of what is going to happen.

    As a simile, its like .... - Imagine that we are planning to send a large space mission to the outer planets to see if we can find life out there - but it can only be given the funding if we can prove that it will find life first. In a case of a single unique system like the Earths environment it is impossible to predict its future with anything like absolute proof UNTIL it happens!.

    The only way we could ever get close to the absolute proofs that the Anti-GW crowd demand is if we developed a method of mechanical precognition... But even it would never be 100% because the very act of prediction changes the outcome future.

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  • 191. At 4:50pm on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #188 wrote:

    the semantics of probability are fouling up your explanations. You are being misunderstood because you are being too picky over word definitions.

    I'm being picky about concepts rather than word definitions. A single word 'probability' stands for two entirely different concepts. Because there is just one word, people mistakenly think there's just one concept.

    Suppose someone wanted to distinguish between 'left' (past tense of leave) and 'left' (opposite of right). Would he be "picky about word definitions"?

    Alas, I'm aware that people find it hard to distinguish between such abstract things as relative frequency and credibility. But they really are very different, and anyone who trades in these abstract items needs to know the difference. This blog is almost entirely devoted to the question of how much a theory ought to be believed, so we are all obliged to be clear on this crucial difference, difficult and all though it may seem at first.

    Wittgenstein's remark that "philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language" is relevant here. I keep wanting to shake people by the lapels and ask, "surely you can see the difference now?" I'm aware that this is probably a hopeless endeavor, but I think I ought to try anyway.

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  • 192. At 6:19pm on 27 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @blunderbunny #175

    Did I say I approved.

    By the way, rather difficult to hand out P45s to unpaid volunteers.

    @bowmanthebard #164

    So long as you remember there are exceptions to most rules. In this case both ultra smarmy types that avoid the d-word because they are smarming. And plain spoken types that may be fully prepared to engage with your argument.

    @blunderbunny #189

    Haven't you noticed Bowman's posts? Latest relevant examples #172 and #191.

    @bowmanthebard #191

    "relative frequency and credibility" That's the clearest you've put it. And yes, when you tell people off for their use of language, but stay in the abstract while telling them off, I'd call that "picky".

    Oh, and your example of the multiple definitions of the word "left". Such multiple definitions allow puns. Notice the way you've been able to differentiate between the two with concrete examples of both being used. Also notice the way that "left" is a good example because it's easy.

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  • 193. At 6:55pm on 27 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #163. sensiblegrannie wrote:

    "I would love it if both sides of the argument gave us a link to a site to clarify real data."

    Here's a graph that shows how wrong Hansen is/was:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/1988-hansen-forecast-fail/

    Perhaps the most revealing graphs are ones which show the difference between the raw surface temperature data and the data 'adjusted'by the AGW gang which shows how they pumped those numbers but I can't seem to find one at the moment. Will try...

    In the meantime...

    IPCC Forecast “Milder Winters”

    9.4.1. Heat Waves

    Global climate change is likely to be accompanied by an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, as well as warmer summers and milder winters

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/page/15/

    That site, by the way, is just post articles galore about historic weather events which put all this 'unprecedented' scare stories into perspective.



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  • 194. At 7:13pm on 27 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    sensiblegrannie

    Forgot to mention... take a look at Barry Woods's link in #99 to see the effects of 'hiding the decline.'

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  • 195. At 7:22pm on 27 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    sensiblegrannie

    Here's a treasure trove of inconvenient information, with plenty of graphs comparing what has been predicted with what has happened, how surface temperature stations have been deleted, and how temperatures have been adjusted.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf

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  • 196. At 7:25pm on 27 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    sensiblegrannie

    In related news:

    "A team of skeptical scientists, citizens, and an Australian Senator have lodged a formal request with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to have the BOM and CSIRO audited.

    The BOM claim their adjustments are “neutral” yet Ken Stewart showed that the trend in the raw figures for our whole continent has been adjusted up by 40%."

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/02/announcing-a-formal-request-for-the-auditor-general-to-audit-the-australian-bom/

    I wonder if they have conveniently 'lost' data the way Phil Jones did?

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  • 197. At 7:34pm on 27 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    186. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "An Irish political party has just learned what happens if you play golf with the financial sector, and forget that voters are the ones who vote!"

    Indeed. I think they should follow Iceland's example and just tell the Pigs of The City to shove it.

    You might find this article interesting, including this realpolitik comment from someone who knows how to play hardball:

    "Declan Ganley, the Irish businessman who led the 2008 No vote to the Lisbon Treaty, said Ireland must "have the balls" to threaten debt default and withdrawal from the single currency. "We have a hostage, it is called the euro," he said. "The euro is insolvent. The only question is whether Ireland should be sacrificed to keep the Ponzi scheme going. We have to have a Plan B to the misnamed bailout, which is to go back to the Irish Punt."

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/first-peaceful-european-revolt-irish-tsunami-ends-60-years-fianna-fail-rule-following-banker

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  • 198. At 7:56pm on 27 Feb 2011, Shadorne wrote:

    Just wanted to add thanks to all the info & links posted by CanadianRockies, Barry, Bowman and others.

    Finally, I want to commend the BBC and Richard for allowing open criticism to appear in the comments section of his blog. This certainly increases his credibility.

    The only thing better (dare one hope?) would be a retraction from Richard over the use of the loaded word "denial" and a correction where he has been caught telling pure "porkies" in his defense of the UEA scientists and the way they intentionally manipulated data in the famous IPCC "hockey stick".

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  • 199. At 8:34pm on 27 Feb 2011, RobWansbeck wrote:

    #168, rossglory wrote:
    “ ….. did i miss one of your posts? curry said that mm08 used pca and showed no analysis without tree rings. you just implied that mm08 was statistically significant only back to 1500 if you removed 50% of the data and used the most ineffective statistical technique (or words to that effect). ….. “

    You can argue about the semantics of Judith Curry's statement which she has clarified and misinterpret my post but the fact remains that Mann 08 contains no credible non-tree-ring reconstruction prior to 1500 AD.

    At no less a blog than RC, Nicolas Nierenberg asked:
    “ Gavin, So just to be clear with regard to your response to 525. Under either method (CPS or EIV) it is not possible to get a validated reconstruction to before 1500 without the use of tree rings, or the Tijlander sediments. I understand, of course, that as you remove proxies that the ability to project backward will naturally diminish. “

    Gavin replied:
    [Response: That appears to be the case with the Mann et al 2008 network. Whether you can say more general things about medieval times using these and other proxies (cf osborn and briffa 2006) is another question. -gavin]

    I assume that you are aware of the issues with the Tijlander sediment data that makes any correlation with instrumental temperature data spurious and therefore precludes their use in any reconstruction that uses correlation to select proxies.

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  • 200. At 8:35pm on 27 Feb 2011, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Bowman @various: Words fail me - for you to be actually living in Ireland and come out with such a disingenuous statement as your 166 is truly unforgivable. If you had been living on the other side of the world, then perhaps people might have been able to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Right to pick me up on my lazily written sentence on the Green Party's 'Dubincentricness'. That said, Dan Boyle was elected in Cork - the countries second city and home to Cork University (i.e. a very similar place conceptually to Dublin). A better example to use would have been Mary White of Carlow–Kilkenny fame - a largely rural constituency. Now that truly was a remarkable election result, but a more sober analysis would point to the joys of the STV electoral system. Old Dan Boyle only came joint 6th in 2002 with just 9% of the vote...

    Incidentally, how do you know I am not Irish? Not that it matters - as you have demonstrated, geographical proximity does not guarantee analytical veracity!

    Anyway, getting back to the point of Richard's article. As the USA remains the only country in the west where there is a significant proportion of the population who are climate 'skeptics' and a comparable group in the political class - how will the rest of the world deal with this problem? I can't see any easy answers, so I guess we are going to have to hope that 'climate denial' is the one thing that James Delingpole et al are right about...

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  • 201. At 9:05pm on 27 Feb 2011, ericsmiff wrote:

    Thanks for this Richard. It's wonderful news that the IPCC is being viewed as a rogue organisation in the USA. Not before time. As is the annihilation of the Green Party in Ireland. The forces of big business are on the run.

    This big business, the biggest corporations on earth.

    International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) members

    BP, Conoco Philips, Shell, E.ON, EDF , Gazprom, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs.

    Not forgetting that Enron used Al Gore to insert carbon trading into article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol and that the head of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri was a director of the Indian Oil Corporation while he was head of the IPCC amongst a number of other conflict of interest controversies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajendra_K._Pachauri

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  • 202. At 10:19pm on 27 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Yorkurbantree #200 wrote:

    Incidentally, how do you know I am not Irish?

    It was your typically English urge to claim that you know more about Ireland than the Irish themselves.

    This is another dead giveaway:

    Dan Boyle was elected in Cork - the countries second city and home to Cork University (i.e. a very similar place conceptually to Dublin).

    For future reference, if you want to dishonestly pass yourself off again as having the slightest familiarity with Ireland, UCC is not generally referred to as "Cork University" by anyone in Ireland. And if you think Cork is "a very similar place conceptually to Dublin" you mustn't have even been to ether place, even as a tourist!

    You wrote:

    Well done for showing your complete ignorance of Irish politics

    No, well done you -- for giving us Irish something to laugh about. I wish English self-confidence (and Irish-slapping) had been a bit more of a laugh in the past though.

    By the way, since English is your native language, you might have a look at your own use of the word 'countries' above. It's a noun in the possessive case and needs an apostrophe. But it's a plural noun. Uh oh -- where to put it?

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  • 203. At 10:19pm on 27 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 191 bowmanthebard

    Alas, I'm aware that people find it hard to distinguish between such abstract things as relative frequency and credibility.

    But when making policy choices, isn't it good that relative frequencies be a factor in the decision making?

    The kind of probability you are talking about comes into play all the time in the insurance industry, banking, military planning, etc. Isn't it also useful information in public policy regarding climate change?

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  • 204. At 11:36pm on 27 Feb 2011, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Janebasingstoke

    Bowman makes the points that one needs to know an informed prior if you want to use bayesian probabilities and that what people traditionally think of as being probability is indeed two separate things. He also takes a swing at the models, which I must say, I agree with.

    The models may eventually useful, but I'd argue that day's quite a long way in the future.

    I might not like the way he sometimes uses language, but people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones..... In other words, I have my own language problems.... To, which many a comma could attest ;-)

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 205. At 11:52pm on 27 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #199 robwandbeck

    "You can argue about the semantics of Judith Curry's statement"

    not semantics, she was wrong. like i said, in this politically charged atmosphere if you want to have the credibility to create a paradigm shift you have to get your facts right especially when criticising the people that are working in the area.

    "but the fact remains that Mann 08 contains no credible non-tree-ring reconstruction prior to 1500 AD"

    the point was, you implied he was hiding it and i said it was clear in the results. again, the fact the non-dendro analysis does not go back before 1500 is not really that important, the original hockey stick only went back to 1400.

    i'm guessing the driver for all this is that the mwp was warmer than temps today and so we can all stop worrying. well i don;t believe enough is known about the extent and scale of the mwp to be completely confident either way.

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  • 206. At 11:53pm on 27 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @highfieldhome #201

    Some serious non-sequiturs there. The carbon trading financial institutions you've listed are all doing great.

    For instance did you know that in the UK Barclays paid a mere £113m tax for 2009. This compares to them having a £3.4bn bonus pool. And profits of £4.6bn (basic). Plus about another £7bn of profits that don't count because they were selling off a subsidiary business.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12511912
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0a6e2c68-1aca-11df-88fa-00144feab49a.html#axzz1FCny7d8d
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9402000/9402383.stm

    You also seem to be under the impression that big financial institutions will just drop carbon trading if asked nicely by politicians. You have the relationship the wrong way round, they tell politicians what to do. They haven't dropped their casino like activities or big bonuses. They are demanding and getting more deregulation and more tax breaks. Why would they give up carbon trading?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolving_door#See_also
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobbying_in_the_United_States
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    In the meantime you may need reminding that many warmists don't like carbon trading.
    http://www.foe.org.uk/resource/press_releases/carbon_trading_05112009.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/10/lovelock-meacher-slam-carbon-trading

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  • 207. At 11:59pm on 27 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @blunderbunny #205

    Whoa! Technobabble alert!

    I happen to know what Bayesian probability is. But many people confused by bowmanthebard's contributions won't.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_probability

    I'm not even sure he's used Bayesian probability related terminology.

    I'm not asking you to explain to me. I think I know where he's coming from, although I could be wrong. I'm asking you whether you can help him create a plain language explanation for laypeople.

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