One of the great scandals in the history of science

That the promoters of global warming are prone to exaggerate if not actually lie has made me sceptical of any of the recent nonsense that this is the warmest year ever. It is, unfortunately, a full-time job to keep an eye on the weather-gauge, and with Andrew Bolt on leave, who’s around to do it. Luckily, John Hinderaker at Powerline is onto it. His latest article is Was 2014 Really the Warmest Year Ever? I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t. First he goes back over the long series back a few thousand years, which makes the present one of the coolest periods in the planet’s history. Then he turns to the recent record:

Moreover, contrary to the activists’ claims, 2014 wasn’t even the warmest recent year. The “warmest ever” designation came from NASA and NOAA, which are run by global warming activists. They have distorted surface temperature records by surreptitiously “adjusting” historical records to make the past (e.g., the 1930s) look cooler and the present warmer. This is one of the great scandals in the history of science, which we have written about repeatedly. Since the activists won’t say what changes they have made and why they have made them, their records must be considered hopelessly corrupt. Beyond that, they aren’t even adjusted for the urban heat island effect, which obviously exists. Most temperature recording stations are in urban areas, and they have gotten warmer in recent decades as a result of economic development and population growth, not carbon dioxide.

The only global temperature records that are fully transparent are satellite records in the lower atmosphere. These go back only to 1979. They show no warming during the last 18 years. The satellite records, interpreted by two different groups, find 2014 to be either the third warmest or the sixth warmest since 1979. But the real point is that the differences are infinitesimal. The uncorrupted atmospheric data show that no significant warming is going on.

The corruption, driven as it is by an anti-capitalist, anti-free-market band of vandals – who nevertheless are in large part in it for the grant money it allows them to collect – is merely one of the ways we are being ruined, but as important as any of the rest. The left used to say that capitalism would make the workers poor. Now that we have seen that capitalism has made the workers extraordinarily well off, the left are determined to make sure we all end up poor, and they will certainly succeed if we let them.

MORE REALITY TO ADD TO THE REST: This is from a climate blog linked to at Drudge:

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano: ‘Claiming 2014 is the ‘hottest year’ on record based on hundredths of a degree temperature difference is a fancy way of saying the global warming ‘pause’ is continuing.’

Astrophysicist Dr. Dr David Whitehouse: ‘The NASA press release is highly misleading…talk of a record is scientifically and statistically meaningless.’

Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer: ‘Why 2014 Won’t Be the Warmest Year on Record’ (based on surface data)– ‘We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree’

Climatologist Dr. Pat Michaels debunks 2014 ‘hottest year’ claim: ‘Is 58.46° then distinguishable from 58.45°? In a word, ‘NO.’

No Record Temperatures According To Satellites

Physicist Dr. Lubos Motl: ‘Please laugh out loud when someone will be telling you that it was the warmest year’

Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.: ‘We have found a significant warm bias. Thus, the reported global average surface temperature anomaly is also too warm.’

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry: ‘With 2014 essentially tied with 2005 and 2010 for hottest year, this implies that there has been essentially no trend in warming over the past decade.’

These Australians are so subtle

That Julie Bishop is a political genius. At the moment, the third world is in pursuit of handouts from the first world to encourage these poorer nations along the road towards a greener, less carbonated future. So far as these third world countries are concerned, it is all upside with nothing to lose. Pretend there’s global warming, that they are in danger and then collect billions (trillions?) from the wealthier nations on the planet, at least the ones that are currently wealthier. So she has put the fox into the chicken coop so to speak:

AUSTRALIA has called on China and India to do more to combat climate change as it prepares to challenge the notion that developing countries should have less onerous obligations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

During a meeting on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in the Peruvian ­capital, Lima, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday urged the vice-chair of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Xie Zhenhua, to do more to tackle emissions reductions.

Ms Bishop plans to tell the conference today that the binary definition of developed and ­developing countries “is misleading and doesn’t lead to best outcomes’’ in combating climate change “because the divide is ­arbitrary”.

“It doesn’t matter where the emissions come from, they are global emissions,’’ she will say.

After her meeting with Mr Xie, Ms Bishop told The Australian: “I said I thought there would be more China could do to reduce its emissions and that it was not ­appropriate for China to be claiming to be a developing country.”

Genius. Pure Alinsky. Make them live up to their professed positions on global warming, which everyone knows is nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more. Press them on doing something positive this side of 2034. This is the shortcut to causing the whole system to break down while pretending to do all you can to limit carbon emissions. Very clever when you perfectly well understand that global warming is all nonsense, an academic scam that got out of hand.

All very clever, that is, unless you happen to believe it yourself which, surely, she does not.

Magic thinking

We have all kinds of innovation and we have them all the time, but you cannot decide on what will be invented next. The magical thinking of the global warming crowd who believe that if you make fossil fuels really expensive that a cheaper alternative will simply materialise is so bordering on the insane that I actually don’t know what can be done about it. Making energy more expensive will certainly mean that some of us will use less of it, with the less well off the ones who will suffer the most. And those who live in genuinely poor communities will find their standard of living falling below where it now is. This is not a matter of theory but is an absolute arithmetical necessity. If you have less of something, some people who used to have a particular quantity will have less and some may even have none at all.

Tonight I went along to hear Sinclair Davidson on the great moral question of our time: is coal on its way out as a source of energy. The audience was what I suspect a Q&A audience must be like, all well meaning and quite comfortable, thank you very much, but oh so concerned about the future about a hundred years from now when the oceans have risen and our farmlands have all turned to desert. We must therefore get rid of fossil fuels, and coal in particular, immediately. The replacement technologies are already available; its only the lack of will that prevents us from taking the steps we need to take.

Bob Brown led the offence for the yeas, while Professor Davidson played anchor for the nays stressing the moral case for fossil fuels. Every one of the five speakers except one agreed that global warming and greenhouse gases was the greatest issue of our time. The sixth made the hilarious point that no one really cares about people who will be inhabiting the planet a hundred years from now, evidenced by the fact that they don’t seem to care all that much about people who are inhabiting the planet right at the moment. This brought a strong round of applause from at least one member of the audience, but if there was anyone else applauding at the same time, I think I may have missed it.

Shockingly ignorant about the climate facts of life

For a change, we actually can see the true agenda in the person of Naomi Klein in her new book on global warming:

The thesis of This Changes Everything is that global warming is a war of capitalism against the planet, and that we need a people’s uprising to reclaim true democracy from the venal and corrupt politicians who have been co-opted by Big Oil. If this sounds like the Occupy movement all over again, you’re right. “We need an ideological battle,” Ms. Klein told The Guardian.

The article this is from is actually a fantastic read, in which the writer, Margaret Wente, hews into Klein’s arguments. It’s short but here is a sample where she comments on the ignorance of many of those who write about the climate as if it’s all from first world capitalist economies:

The folks who revere Ms. Klein and gushingly review her books don’t have a clue about this stuff either. I wouldn’t expect Vogue to know. I wouldn’t even expect the Guardian or the Nation to know. The CBC should know, but frequently does not. As for The New York Times – its chief climate drum-banger is currently Mark Bittman, who was formerly the newspaper’s chief recipe-writer. He knows how to make a mean Thai beef salad (you should look it up) but is shockingly ignorant about the climate facts of life. He thinks Ms. Klein walks on water. He, too, says that neoliberalism is the problem and reclaiming democracy is the solution. He thinks we could fix the climate – if only we took on the evil greedy corporations and put our minds to it. As for the rest of the world, he doesn’t seem to know it exists.

There’s not enough of this sort of thing around, but it’s good that there is at least some.

Dangerous lunatics in politics

There are, it seems, quite a few of them. In this case, we are talking about Robert Kennedy Jr who is found to have said this:

Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.”

He knows nothing about the climate, he knows nothing about constitutional protection, and he knows nothing about the problems that beset the US amongst which global warming must be next to last.

Suppose the planet is cooling and not warming

You can find at Quadrant Online a review, taken from the magazine, of Twilight of Abundance by an Australian, David Archibald, that for me was one of the most devastating critiques of the global warming hysteria I have ever read. What made it so extraordinary is not that it began from the premise that global warming is a con and that the planet is not warming and whatever temperature changes there may be are only to a very slight degree affected by human industrial activity. Lots of people say that so there would be nothing new if all he did was add his name to the chorus. Making the book somewhat more remarkable is that he began from the premise that the planet may be cooling and not warming at all which while still unusual is not all that unusual any longer since the evidence of potentially falling temperatures is all around us (did you see, for example, the level of ice cover on Lake Superior in June?).

What, in fact, made the book extraordinary is that he combines the possibility of global cooling with every other green scare I have ever come across, but does it in a way that I find plausible. What he argues is that if we end up with falling temperatures, contracted growing seasons, resource depletion, energy shortages and an over-populated planet, the result is the kind of catastrophe once forecast by Paul Ehrlich which he described as the population bomb. Here is Ehrlich’s famous first sentence, published in 1968, that has kept his name before the public ever since:

The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.

None of this happened, of course, so that I along with many others have become inured to the arguments of catastrophists of every kind. And every one of these has been wrong, including the global warming crowd, for whom the only evidence they ever had has evaporated over the years since around 1999. The planet is not warming even though greenhouse gases continue to pour into the atmosphere. So what exactly are Archibald’s credentials to be discussing any of this:

David Archibald is a Perth, Australia-based scientist working in the fields of oil exploration, climate science, energy and geostrategy. After graduating from Queensland University in geology in 1979, he worked in coal and oil shale exploration in Queensland and then in oil exploration with Exxon in Sydney. A long period in stockbroking in Sydney as an analyst was followed by moving to Perth in 1999 to work for a private investor. He subsequently started the oil exploration company Oilex in 2003 and then joined a Canadian-listed oil exploration company in 2006. Also at that time, he was CEO of the mineral explorer Westgold Resources.

What intrigued me about Twilight of Abundance is that it has proposed an equal and opposite future to everything that the greens have come up with that, if true, is something that is truly frightening. And given that there is as much if not more plausibility in what he has written than in the entire green-AGW campaign which has been discredited at every turn, one wonders why this is not now being thought about as one possible future that needs to be taken on board.

I have been astonished myself that during my lifetime, the population of the world has gone up from around two billion to seven billion. If this has been a consequence of an abnormally warmer climate, the Green Revolution and the abundance of cheap energy, then we should be thinking about what might happen if the warm weather disappears while the cheap energy provided by carbon-based fuels are depleted.

The Greens as well as other parties to the left have grabbed hold of global warming as one more vehicle to attack market economies and give them political power. If Archibald is anywhere near right, it will only be those economies that are capable of adjusting in the face of new circumstances that will avoid the disasters that would follow. I therefore invite you to read the review, and then the book after that. Since none of us know what is really happening, this is one conjecture that ought to be put on everyone’s watch list since things could turn very nasty more quickly and in ways quite different from what most people at the present time are prepared to believe.

Lies, damned lies and rising temperatures

global warming aust

This would not be just a minor fraud but the basis of a tens-of-billions dollar loss to the future growth and wellbeing of Australians. No one would have robbed more people of more of their potential earnings than anyone who might have undertaken this:

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been caught red-handed manipulating temperature data to show “global warming” where none actually exists.

As we motor through the weirdly extraterrestrial stand of windmills you see by the highways all over France, but which I had never run across before, what occurs each time is the phenomenal scandal of the entire global warming con. This story must be big news back home – although a quick look has not seen it mentioned on any of the usual sites. But it is part of a worldwide determination on behalf of the most ignorant to demonstrate that they are right about what appears to be completely unproven, and near enough unprovable.

The ice age cometh

ice age

The stupidity of policies to counter global warming may yet turn out to be one of the most lethal set of policies ever devised by the human race. We found ourselves able after a million years of primitive existence to harness various forms of energy to keep us warm, power our businesses, cook our food and transport us from place to place. For this, we have been using various forms of carbon-based fossil fuels that, because they have defied the leftist fools who predicted capitalist misery, have decided to bring on this misery on their own. They are despicable in their worm-eaten destructive impulse. But in this particular episode, may yet contribute to a catastrophic future of such immense misfortune, that there are no words to describe how misbegotten their effects will be.

Maurice Newman has a review of David Archibald’s The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short in today’s Australian, a book that I have a much longer review of coming out in the September Quadrant. But Newman, whose piece begins by asking What if David Archibald is Right?, spells out what ought to be part of our communal conversation.

Russian scientists at the Pulkovo Observatory are convinced the world is in for a cooling period that will last for 200-250 years. Respected Norwegian solar physicist Pal Brekke warns temperatures may actually fall for the next 50 years. Leading British climate scientist Mike Lockwood, of Reading University, found 24 occasions in the past 10,000 years when the sun was declining as it is now, but could find none where the decline was as fast. He says a return of the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830), which included “the year without summer”, is “more likely than not”. In their book The Neglected Sun, Sebastian Luning and Fritz Varen­holt think that temperatures could be two-tenths of a degree Celsius cooler by 2030 because of a predicted anaemic sun. They say it would mean “warming getting postponed far into the future”.

What worries me even in this review is that it merely suggests that AGW may be wrong. It doesn’t set out what happens if there is an actual global cooling. The effects, if Archibald is anywhere near right, are the deaths of tens of millions of people in a world that can no longer feed, clothe and house its population where energy supplies are lower while growing seasons are cut short. If you think it’s science fiction, the Great Plague wiped out between one-third and half of Europe’s population in the fourteenth century. This is a future we can actually prepare for if we start thinking that we might have to. In the meantime, we are savaging our energy industries and raising the cost of all forms of production, including farm production. Human stupidity knows no upper bounds. If this is yet another instance, well that’s how it will be. But we have been warned, and if you are still of a mind to side with the likes of Obama and Julia Gillard, you may yourself be complicit in one of the greatest crimes in human history.

Climate change alarmism is a belief system

I thought the role of a monarch was to stay above the fray. This is the kind of stupidity you would have thought his more politically tuned-in minders would have saved him from. Apparently not.

Prince Charles has called for an end to capitalism as we know it in order to save the planet from global warming.

In a speech to business leaders in London, the Prince said that a “fundamental transformation of global capitalism” was necessary in order to halt “dangerously accelerating climate change” that would “bring us to our own destruction”.

He called for companies to focus on “approaches that achieve lasting and meaningful returns” by protecting the environment, improving their employment practices and helping the vulnerable to develop a new “inclusive capitalism”.

But with a different perspective, and in this case from someone who understands politics in a way HRH never will, there is this, by Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a presentation with the title, “The Trouble With Climate Change“. And the trouble for him is that many of those who have a different view are beyond any rational discussion of this issue, something he knows from first hand experience. Here is the text:

There is something odd about the global warming debate — or the climate change debate, as we are now expected to call it, since global warming has for the time being come to a halt.

I have never shied away from controversy, nor — for example, as Chancellor — worried about being unpopular if I believed that what I was saying and doing was in the public interest.

But I have never in my life experienced the extremes of personal hostility, vituperation and vilification which I — along with other dissenters, of course — have received for my views on global warming and global warming policies.

For example, according to the Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, the global warming dissenters are, without exception, “wilfully ignorant” and in the view of the Prince of Wales we are “headless chickens”. Not that “dissenter” is a term they use. We are regularly referred to as “climate change deniers”, a phrase deliberately designed to echo “Holocaust denier” — as if questioning present policies and forecasts of the future is equivalent to casting malign doubt about a historical fact.

The heir to the throne and the minister are senior public figures, who watch their language. The abuse I received after appearing on the BBC’s Today programme last February was far less restrained. Both the BBC and I received an orchestrated barrage of complaints to the effect that it was an outrage that I was allowed to discuss the issue on the programme at all. And even the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons shamefully joined the chorus of those who seek to suppress debate.

In fact, despite having written a thoroughly documented book about global warming more than five years ago, which happily became something of a bestseller, and having founded a think tank on the subject — the Global Warming Policy Foundation — the following year, and despite frequently being invited on Today to discuss economic issues, this was the first time I had ever been asked to discuss climate change. I strongly suspect it will also be the last time.

The BBC received a well-organised deluge of complaints — some of them, inevitably, from those with a vested interest in renewable energy — accusing me, among other things, of being a geriatric retired politician and not a climate scientist, and so wholly unqualified to discuss the issue.

Perhaps, in passing, I should address the frequent accusation from those who violently object to any challenge to any aspect of the prevailing climate change doctrine, that the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s non-disclosure of the names of our donors is proof that we are a thoroughly sinister organisation and a front for the fossil fuel industry.

As I have pointed out on a number of occasions, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees decided, from the outset, that it would neither solicit nor accept any money from the energy industry or from anyone with a significant interest in the energy industry. And to those who are not-regrettably-prepared to accept my word, I would point out that among our trustees are a bishop of the Church of England, a former private secretary to the Queen, and a former head of the Civil Service. Anyone who imagines that we are all engaged in a conspiracy to lie is clearly in an advanced stage of paranoia.

The reason why we do not reveal the names of our donors, who are private citizens of a philanthropic disposition, is in fact pretty obvious. Were we to do so, they, too, would be likely to be subject to the vilification and abuse I mentioned earlier. And that is something which, understandably, they can do without.

That said, I must admit I am strongly tempted to agree that, since I am not a climate scientist, I should from now on remain silent on the subject — on the clear understanding, of course, that everyone else plays by the same rules. No more statements by Ed Davey, or indeed any other politician, including Ed Milliband, Lord Deben and Al Gore. Nothing more from the Prince of Wales, or from Lord Stern. What bliss!

But of course this is not going to happen. Nor should it; for at bottom this is not a scientific issue. That is to say, the issue is not climate change but climate change alarmism, and the hugely damaging policies that are advocated, and in some cases put in place, in its name. And alarmism is a feature not of the physical world, which is what climate scientists study, but of human behaviour; the province, in other words, of economists, historians, sociologists, psychologists and — dare I say it — politicians.

And en passant, the problem for dissenting politicians, and indeed for dissenting climate scientists for that matter, who certainly exist, is that dissent can be career-threatening. The advantage of being geriatric is that my career is behind me: there is nothing left to threaten.

But to return: the climate changes all the time, in different and unpredictable (certainly unpredicted) ways, and indeed often in different ways in different parts of the world. It always has done and no doubt it always will. The issue is whether that is a cause for alarm — and not just moderate alarm. According to the alarmists it is the greatest threat facing humankind today: far worse than any of the manifold evils we see around the globe which stem from what Pope called “man’s inhumanity to man”.

Climate change alarmism is a belief system, and needs to be evaluated as such.

It is beyond rational argument and into the realm of good and evil. We must reform capitalism, ruin our economies, devastate living standards in the name of a forecast change in global temperatures for which evidence has evaporated over the past fifteen years.