Category Archives: Climate Unfrocked

Bullsh-t Detector at Work

The ABC’s Agenda-Bending ‘Nobelist’

Penny Whetton was once Peter and a nob catastropharian at the error-prone IPCC, where his shtick was global calamity. Now that she is on the gay-marriage bandwagon, the national broadcaster came calling to bolster its pro-SSM coverage with the view of a Stockholm laureate. He wasn’t and she isn’t

penny whettonAbout climate change, the ABC displays  pitiful ignorance. Holding its tax-fed reporters and producers to account is about as productive as chiding toddlers for wet nappies.

Still, someone needs to supply some elementary  instruction and it might as well be me, although I was planning to wash to dog this morning.

Through yesterday (Sunday) the ABC news site was burbling about Melbourne climate scientist Penny Whetton as a “Nobel Prize winner” a la Albert Einstein and our locals such as Macfarlane Burnett, Peter Doherty and Brian Schmidt.[1] [2]

The story was actually focused on Whetton’s legal same-sex marriage to Greens federal senator Janet Rice. When they married 31 years ago, Whetton was the male and the couple now have two  adult sons. Whetton transitioned to female, while  two females continued in what they say is their loving and legal marriage. All well and gender-good, albeit a tad confusing.

On the flagship 7pm TV news last night, reporter Elias Clure (should that be “Clureless”?) intoned, “Senator Rice and Miss Whetton, a Nobel Prize recipient, are one of the few same sex couples in a legally binding marriage…”

The ABC film crew then cut to a certificate on the couple’s wall, with a replica of the official Nobel picture and screed. The clip moved to a close-up to show the text reading, “Presented to PENNY WHETTON for contributing to the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE for 2007 to the IPCC.”[3]

The certificate is signed by the  IPCC’s  then-chair (2002-15), the porn-novel author and alleged (very) dirty old man Rajendra Pachauri. Now 77, he resigned abruptly in February, 2015, when accused by a 29-year-old female subordinate of an 18-month sexual harassment onslaught.[4] The Whetton certificate is counter-signed by the IPCC’s then-secretary, Ms Renate Christ. It’s a rare example of the ABC taking Christ’s words seriously.

The Peace Prize also has been awarded to the corrupt and murderous late  billionaire Yasser Arafat (1994)[5]  and the tottering and terror-traumatised European Union (2012)[6].

The Peace Prize in 2007 went jointly to electricity-guzzling CO2 hypocrite Al Gore[7] and the IPCC itself for pumping out fake climate-catastrophe warnings (the IPCC’s climate models continue to over-forecast actual warming by two to three times).

IPCC Chair Pachauri wrote on October 16, 2007, to the hundreds of lead authors of the IPCC’s 2007 report saying that they could all now call themselves Nobel laureates:

“I have been stunned in a pleasant way with the news of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC. This makes each of you Nobel Laureates and it is my privilege to acknowledge this honour on your behalf.”

Among the patsies who fell for Pachauri’s hype were our own CSIRO and Monash University, neither of which thought to check Pachauri’s claim with the Nobel secretariat in Oslo. Deakin Univerisity’s vice-chancellor, Jane den Hollander, awarded Nobel Prize status to Pachauri himself. Penny Whetton, then leading the CSIRO’s Climate Change Impact and Risks group, joined the 2007 self-congratulation at the Nobel for herself and her colleagues.[8]

Pachauri hot-footed to the local Snap-Print and ran off personalized Nobel certificates for posting to thousands of contributors to the IPCC since its foundation in 1988, including reviewers, panelists, technical geeks and bureaucrats. For what it’s worth, a Jewish historical society has estimated Australia’s 2007 “Nobellists” alone at 100 to 200 climate careerists.

These certificates have the unimpeachable authenticity of a Zimbabwean 100 billion dollar note, or of the incessant forecasts since 1988 of an ice-free Arctic (current sea ice extent: about 8 million square kilometres).

The epitome of such pomposity is world-leading climate alarmist Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, who in an affidavit   accused his detractors of the brand-new crime of “personal defamation of a  Nobel Prize recipient.”[9]

Certificate recipients include those, I suppose, who fantasised in the Fourth Report (2007) that the Himalayan glaciers would melt in 2035 and leave billions on the Subcontinent bereft of fresh water.[10] A top member of the IPCC cabal, Kevin Trenberth, emailed his pals that Christmas:  “Season’s greetings to all my fellow Nobel Laureates, even if we did not get to go to Oslo.”[11]

This   posturing about “Nobels” got so all-pervasive that someone (I assume the Nobel’s secretariat in Oslo) read the riot act to the IPCC. This forced the IPCC in October 2012 to tell its Nobel-winning myriads  to back-off:

The prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner.” (My emphasis).

Understandably, this IPCC missive was not signed by Pachauri, who had falsely lent his authority to the original fake-Nobel proliferation. The IPCC has also warned,

“No individual, no matter what their involvement with the IPCC, can pass themselves off an a Nobel Laureate. Not even Dr Rajendra Pachauri  is an individual laureate.”[12]

No wonder Oslo was worried. If pseudo-scientists on the IPCC could claim Nobel Laureate status because the IPCC got the Peace Prize, then every one of the 500 million citizens of the European Union is also a Nobel laureates (via the EU’s 2012 Peace Prize).

I have previously urged the IPCC to issue a recall notice for its Nobel  certificates, as these bits of paper continue to befuddle the media innocents at the ABC and elsewhere. Penny Whetton could replace the blank spot on her wall with an equivalent poster, say, of mermaids frolicking with dolphins in a coral wonderland.

Tony Thomas won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his book of Quadrant essays last year, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print. Purchase it here.


[1] Through a stealth edit, the news item today now calls Whetton “a renowned climatologist”.

[2] SBS also treats Whetton as a Nobel laureate

[3] IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

[4] New Delhi police ever since have been trying to get him into court to answer their charges of molestation, stalking, sexual harassment and criminal intimidation. If convicted, he could spend seven years in jail.

[5] Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize parchment is now held by Hamas gunmen, who grabbed it when looting his house a decade ago.

[6] The EU’s prize was “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”. Europe is such a peaceful place these days, just ask any culturally enriched London train passenger. In the case of Australia, the measures mentioned are inducing world-topping electricity prices and the odd blackout.

[7] The swimming pool at one of Gore’ mansions consumes as much electricity for heating as six normal houses in total.

[8] The eight “Nobellists” celebrated by the CSIRO on October 16, 2007 were Penny Whetton, Kevin Hennessy, Roger Jones, Ian Watterson, Barrie Pittock, Bryson Bates, Nathan Bindoff, and Mark Howden.

[9] Mann’s “Hockey Stick” paleoclimate study of 1999 was adopted by the IPCC in 2001 as its landmark justification that current warming is unprecedented in 1000 years, but thereafter became one of the most debunked studies in climate history. Two decades later Mann is still fighting court orders to disclose his underlying data.

[10] This furphy, based purely on a magazine’s scuttle-butt, passed through all IPCC review processes and later led to nine “erratas”, even conceding dud arithmetic.

[11] Trenberth wrote the all-time classic Climategate email:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”

[12] The Punch (5 February, 2010)

 

COMMENTS [9]

  1. ianl

    Yet again the propensity of the MSM, in particular the ABC, to control and censor the public “information” flow to suit a propagandising agenda.

    Now a brief recount of an egregious example of this from last night’s 8pm Sky News (Tuesday Sept 19th 2017) that even Cassandra (my alter ego) had never thought to see (just lacked the imagination, you see). To understand the perniciousness of this incident, one need only know that Foxtel has an “R” rating application it uses for (mostly) films on its’ World Movies channel it has deemed as requiring R-certificate censorship. A screen suddenly fronts that requires a 4-digit code to be fed in before any broadcast is allowed to continue – the TV screen is black-blocked, sound off, with only this code requirement showing until you dutifully obey or change channels to something apparently less deemable.

    So, most unusually, I tuned into Jones & Credlin (Channel 601) a few minutes prior to 8pm because the promos had said something like Credlin and guest Abbott would be robustly discussing the energy mess we have. Although Credlin is not much on hard policy detail (at least the few times I’ve seen her), she does have access to the public megaphone for cross-examination of the slimy ones.

    Suddenly, just before the Jones/Credlin segment was due to start, the sound from the TV stopped. I turned around to see what had gone wrong (not paying attention till then), and there was the deemable R-certificate censorship screen, demanding I feed in the release code so I could watch a segment of political commentary (not some soft-porn film).

    For me, a minor inconvenience and a large belly laugh at the juveniles running Sky. But it seems likely that the more casual of the audience may have concluded that violence/sex unacceptable to family life was about to be screened and so changed channels, or even not noticed for some time that the broadcast was stopped.

    Foxtel and Sky News deemed a political commentary segment to be of R-certificate content, in the same category as pornography or highly graphic portrayals of violence. As I’ve noted, this censorship possibility had never occurred to me – obviously, I just lacked the imagination. And no, this wasn’t a “mistake” or a programme “glitch”. It was meant by Sky as a pathetically jejune attempt to censor its’ own broadcast segment. This is the abysmal bottom level we have reached on the road to Disenlightenment. The MSM is toxic, repulsive.

  2. StephenD

    The ABC should be privatised or better still just closed down. There is no justification for a government-funded media outlet in this day and age. The ABC was established to ensure there was a media outlet free of commercial influence. However that is the least of our worries now. What we have got instead is taxpayer-funded Green-Left media dinosaur. Like the AHRC, which is also blatantly biased in the same direction, the ABC is tireless in promoting an outdated ideology not shared by at least half of the people who are being forced to pay for it. This is an abuse of government funds.
    I pay for Quadrant, without government assistant. Let people stupid enough to like the ABC pay for the rotten thing themselves. It worked well for the Climate Council, which continues to offer indispensable advice to its adoring public, such as that they should eat their leftovers to help save the planet. The ABC operates at a similar intellectual level, and no doubt has many supporters among the intelligentsia of Australia who will prove more than happy to pay for its indispensable services.

    • Doc S

      What an excellent idea. They could transition to a public subscription service like the US’ PBS (the American ABC equivalent) To quote the Wikipedia entry: “PBS is an independently operated non-profit organization and is the most prominent provider of government-funded educational television programming to public television stations in the United States… PBS is funded by member station dues, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, government agencies, corporations, foundations and individual citizens.” So not entirely off the taxpayer’s teat as it were, but near as dammit AND a perfectly good model for dare I say it, ‘our’ ABC! Just think of the money the government would save – a $billion or two a year – certainly help pay our half-a-trillion deficit nes pa? Get Cory or Pauline to put a private member’s bill up (or one of the more spine-possessing Coalition MPs). Now wouldn’t that be a thing to see?

  3. Jody

    These gender benders only get a glimpse because we live in the ‘Age of the Abnormal’ (my GPs words).

  4. padraic

    The ABC types just make it up as they go along and they do not appear to do any background research. Their pronunciation of rural Australian place names is appalling. That could be because most of their staff are from the northern hemisphere and or possibly because they have never got beyond Newtown railway station.

  5. Patrick McCauley

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Lovely TT … what a lovely mind you have … such a light touch on such heavy things is rare indeed. Thank you. Made my day.

  6. colman moloney

    TT, I bought your book and thought it was sensational. If you keep writing this stuff, you might have to whip out another.

  7. Doubting Thomas

    If he does, I’ll buy it.

Advertisements

Inconvenient Truths for a Gore Groupie

Inconvenient Truths for a Gore Groupie

The literary editor of The Australian’s weekend Review section is a gifted journalist, but it seems he couldn’t grasp a single key element about Al Gore and climate profiteers if a polar bear fell on him. In an effort to foil an otherwise decent newspaper’s promotion of piffle, here’s a remedial primer

typing underwater IIWollongong University senior lecturer in journalism Dr David Blackall lamented in a recent journal article  about the ignorance and bias of  journalists reporting on the global warming scare. The Australian is the country’s most rigorous newspaper by far when it comes to climate reporting, its environment reporter, Graham Lloyd, doing a masterful job in covering even-handedly  the controversies.

So how and why does The Australian elsewhere make itself a laughing stock as an advocate of climate ignorance? There’s more than enough climate drivel  being daily pumped out by the Fairfax press and ABC.[1] So why does The Australian allow itself to sink to the level of addled and withering former broadsheets and the national broadcaster’s taxpayer-funded alarmist collective?

The media’s handling of climate stories is hardly a trivial issue. Britain’s leading alarmist, Lord Stern, is calling for $US90 trillion spending to cut CO2 emissions. In the Third World, the lives of countless millions of peasants will remain nasty, unhealthy and short as we deny them the life-giving benefits of cheap, coal-fired power. In Australia, as Liberal MHR Craig Kelly correctly points out, some among the elderly poor will die from the cold because they can’t afford to pay their power bills.

Turn now to the most recent Weekend Australian and its arty insert Review section.

Suppose a section editor at the News Corp publication wrote that Hitler invaded Poland in 1959, D-Day took place in June, 1964, and Hitler hanged himself in his bunker in 1965. Surely someone, whether a junior sub or a top-level manager, would notice at proof stage and prevent such gross ignorance being published? No such supervision occurred last Saturday, when an equivalent howler on climate made it into print.

The matter was  under the by-line of Stephen Romei, literary editor, who only a fortnight earlier was encouraging his book reviewer Claire Corbett to froth that

“for the average person in the affluent West, soft drinks pose a far deadlier threat than terrorists.”

This time it was Romei himself who bent a shoulder to the wheel of ignorance in his review of Al Gore’s latest scare film, An Inconvenient Sequel, writes in his second paragraph, “Perhaps this film will, like its 1986 predecessor, An Inconvenient Truth, be a slow-burner. Made for $US15 million, that film made $US50m, won an Oscar and delivered Gore the Nobel Peace Prize…”

As anyone even slightly acquainted with the climate debate would know, Gore’s first film was not released in 1986 but 20 years later, in 2006.  A typo on the date would be forgivable, but date typos don’t involve three wrong digits out of four. Note also that, within a single  sentence, he peddles a second error. No-one “delivered” to Gore “the Nobel Peace Prize”. That 2007 award was shared 50:50 between Gore and the IPCC as an institution.

That mistake is not a hanging offence – shared winners of (genuine) Nobel Prizes typically ignore the “shared” element.[2] But in context, Romei is writing like a Gore fan-boy who can’t be bothered googling the facts.

Romei is actually proud of his ignorance of the climate debate. “I’m not going to pretend to know how right or wrong Gore is about climate change,” he writes. So why is he  reviewing the film rather than giving the  job, ideally, to a pair of expert reviewers with opposing viewpoints? Immediately, in self-contradiction, Romei then announces that Gore’s new film is “not a polemic, not a rant, not dominated by political dogma or personal anger.”

A conscientious reviewer would at least have revisited Gore’s 2006 Inconvenient Truth, which was indeed a polemic, a rant, and dominated by political dogma, not to mention its progenitor’s commercial interests and profit making imperatives.  Look up the judgement of Burton J. in the UK High Court. His Worship noted nine significant errors, including Gore’s utter nonsense that Pacific Island populations had been evacuated to NZ to escape their drowning isles. Because UK school education must eschew political propaganda (our Australian school system offers no such safeguards), the judge ordered the film not be shown to UK children without the teacher first alerting them to the film’s mistakes and its “partisan political views” of a “one-sided” nature.

Gore’s snake-oil ethics were such that he never re-edited to correct the film’s errors or issued his own errata. Australian teachers have continued to screen its error-laden propaganda to their captive audiences of millions of Australian children.

Romei ignores Gore’s  hypocrisy in telling the hoi polloi to cut their emissions while the failed presidential contender’s Nashville mansion – one of three –  uses as much electricity to heat its pool, as six normal houses in total. This palace in total consumes 21 times the energy of a normal US home. Solar panels account for only 6% of the power used. Gore has also made hundreds of millions with his   Big Green energy trading and through the 2013 sale of his “Current TV” channel to the Qataris’ Al Jazeera, who paid for it with their carbon-steeped oil revenues.

As for whether An Inconvenient Sequel is a rant, I haven’t seen it but I have watched the trailer (“This is climate  change,” Gore lies about random storms).  I also sat through and recorded his 75-minute Melbourne lecture last July 13, publishing a 6000-word transcript to alert the global community to Gore’s fake claims and phony science. To Gore, any and all wild weather is “climate change” happening before our very  eyes,  notwithstanding that the IPCC itself, and numerous recent studies, have found that extreme weather damage is on a falling trend.[3]  Gore is ignorant, a liar or both.

But Romei lacks the energy or smarts to run a check on the readily available studies that refute Gore’s claims. Romei writes:

It’s at ground – and sea and sky – level that a disturbing thriller movie unfolds. We see devastating  natural disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan in The Philippines in 2013, which killed more than 6000 people, and unusual weather events such as ‘rain bombs’ and flooding  in US states such as Florida. Australia wades in, too, with widespread flooding in Victoria[4]…Gore believes such wild weather is due to, or exacerbated by, climate change.

Gore  also suckers Romei in to the fairytale about Georgetown, Texas, as poster-city for supposedly 100% renewable energy.  Georgetown draws its electricity from the Texas grid  powered by 44% natural gas, 29% coal, 12% nuclear and a mere 16% renewables.

By now the public – Romei excepted – is cynical about Gore’s perpetual wolf-crying. Romei is perplexed that the cinema he attended  was “near-empty”. Again, if he’d done any homework, he’d know that the film bombed in its US opening, ranking  15th on its first US week,  or a mere $US5000 per screen.

Getting back to Romei’s initial howler about Gore’s “1986” first film, one has to wonder what Romei believes went on in climate between 1986 and Gore’s 2007 award of half a Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe, like Einstein and Stephen Hawking,  Romei has found mathematical warps in space-time. But let me do him a favour with the actual climate time-line for the modern period. Romei and his fellow climate-media kids  can pin the timeline to their office cubicle partitions as a handy reference.

January 1975: Because the scientific consensus of that era feared a  global cooling phase, PM Gough Whitlam demanded a report from the Australian Academy of Science on the potential cooling threat to Australian agricultural output.  The Academy – which at that time, but not now, avoided political activism – reported in 1976 that climate changed so slowly (over many centuries) that there was really nothing to worry about.[5]

June 23, 1988: the global warming scare was launched in testimony to a US Senate committee by James Hansen of NASA.[6] To make the congressional session more  dramatic, Hansen’s Democrat ally, Senator Tim Wirth, scheduled the hearing on a day forecast to be the hottest in Washington that summer. In addition, Wirth sabotaged the air-conditioning the previous night to ensure the TV cameras could show everyone sweating in the heat.

1988: Maurice Strong, executive director of the UN Environmental Program, helped get the IPCC set up as a combination of UNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation. Strong also organised the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, which woke up the West’s politicians to a new, feel-virtuous campaign involving vast potential tax inflows.[7] In 2007, while investigating corruption in the Iraq Food for Oil program, the FBI came across a cheque to Strong for $US998,000 by a corrupt  South Korean business man via a Jordanian bank. Strong hastened to the first plane for Beijing, China having no extradition formalities with the US, and lived there until his death in 2015 at 86, the cheque still unexplained.

1999: To make its warming story stick, the IPCC needed to show that 20th-century warming was ‘unprecedented’, but the Medieval Warming Period (when Greenland grew grapes) was a fly in the IPCC ointment. A then-youthful scientist, Michael Mann, constructed a 1000-year temperature record using proxies such as tree rings. This graph, the infamously inaccurate ‘hockey stick’, erased both the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age (1550-1850) that followed.

The IPCC featured the Mann chart seven times in its 2001 report, the graph becoming for a while the virtual logo and icon of the organisation. But Mann refused all requests to make his data and algorithms public for verification. In the IPCC’s 2007 report, the hitherto famous ‘hockey stick’ was downgraded to one mention of its controversial nature. In 2017 Mann was still hiding his data, even in defiance of a Canadian court ruling last July that it be provided to defendants in a libel suit Mann himself had  initiated. In Washington, where another libel suit against columnist Mark Steyn has been bogged down down for years, he has been no less coy about revealing the secrets of his climate modelling.

2004: In response to requests for his original data, Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, co-creator and custodian of the HADCRUT global surface temperature record replied with the classic line, “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?” After also advising colleagues to unlawfully delete official emails subject to Freedom of Information requests, Jones later confessed that his raw data no longer existed because he hadn’t stored and backed up the originals.[8]

2007: The IPCC Fourth Report was published claiming warming would melt the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 and deprive billions on the sub-continent of fresh water. The claim was based on a chat between a supposed glacier expert, Syen Hasnain, and a magazine reporter. The relevant page of the IPCC report now contains no less than nine “erratas”, even conceding dud arithmetic. When a genuine glacier scientist, Vijay Raina, challenged the 2035 claim, notiong that melting would actually take many centuries, IPCC chair and dirty old man Rajendra Pachauri derided him for ‘voodoo science’. Pachauri then appointed Syed Hasnain, the original source of the eroneous 2035 claim, to his think-tank and secured millions of dollars in grants to study the faked melting-glacier crisis.

2009: The release of the Climategate emails showed top members of the climate-alarm industry conspiring to keep dissenting science out of the peer-reviewed literature, even boasting of getting a journal editor sacked for publishing such papers. While they publicly denied significant flaws in their warming narrative, they admitted in private that the flaws were real. They boasted of their shoddy practices, such as “using Mike’s (Mann’s) Nature trick… to hide the decline” (i.e. concealing inconvenient results generated by their tree-ring  temperature proxy series).

2010: Unwilling to further endorse the IPCC’s credibility, the InterAcademy Council (the executive composed of 11 national science bodies) ordered an audit of the IPCC.  It urged Pachauri to quit but he refused. The audit found “significant shortcomings in each [i.e. every] major step of IPCC’s assessment process”.

The audit results were swept under the rug by the Australian Academy of Science, notwithstanding that its then-president Kurt Lambeck, was a prominent member of the international audit.[9]

November 14, 2010: Ottmar Edenhofer, then a top-level co-chair of IPCC Working Group 111, is quoted by the Zuricher Zeitung:

Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

February 3, 2015: Christiana Figueres, then executive secretary of the UN body governing the IPCC, announces,

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.

Presumably, Figueres has some sort of socialist or world-government model in mind.

February 24, 2015: IPCC chair (2002-2015) Pachauri, 74, quits abruptly on being charged by New Delhi police with multiple counts of sexual stalking and harassment involving a 29-year-old female employee. Pachauri denies guilt, initially claiming that hundreds of smutty texts to the fixation of his frustrated affections were written by a hacker who somehow took over his emails, text-messaging  and WhatsApp accounts. The case has been winding its way through Indian court  procedures ever since. He had claimed in 2010 that his IPCC chair work was honorary and that all his incidental TERI think-tank earnings went to TERI, not to his own pocket. But he told a court  hearing this month that the charges had destroyed his personal earning capacity as a climate guru, which had previously run at $US376,000  a year.

1998-early 2017: The establishment fought to deny any “hiatus” or pause in global  temperatures was occurring, and retrospectively “adjusted” various past temperature series to create the look and feel, if not the substance, of ongoing warming. They also adduced more than 60 explanations for the failure of their models to replicate actual temperatures. Their rearguard action collapsed a month ago with the publication of a paper by Ben Santer, Michael Mann and other leaders of the orthodoxy,  “Causes of differences in model and satellite tropospheric warming rate”.[10]

2017: Because the narrative of sharply rising global temperatures has failed, alarmists scientists have switched their narrative to “extreme weather” and its alleged hazards. This new story flies in the face of the IPCC’s own SREX special report of 2012 on extreme weather, which conceded that warming could well reduce extremes, rather than increase them. Further, it would be 20-30 years before any climate effects on extreme weather would even be detectable against natural climate variability.[11] The 2013 IPCC report broadly endorsed those findings.

Alarmist scientist Dr Andy Pitman is now claiming that post-2011 research has made the 2013 IPCC findings obsolete.[12] The definitive work on extreme-weather insurance losses is by Dr Roger Pielke Jr., showing a halving of disaster costs as a percent of GDP in the past 27 years. If Pitman wants to claim that Pielke’s work has been rebutted, he should put up or shut up.

If I may conclude with some advice for The Australian:

1/ Ensure your reporters covering climate have some background and expertise in the subject, and a willingness to fact-check purportedly scientific claims

2/ Ensure the climate copy of  loose cannons like Stephen Romei is vetted against howlers such as last week’s issue, and

3/ When the likes of Romei write that they have no idea about distinguishing climate facts from fictions, believe them.

Tony Thomas’ book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here

 


[1] The ABC Science Show on June 24, to be fair, ran a reasonable debate between warmist and sceptic scientists, after years of suppressing  sceptic views

[2] Our Nobel-winning astronomer Brian Schmidt, for example, shared the 2011 Nobel for Physics with two other scientists.

[3] After normalization to account for more sizeable assets at risk in coastal zones, for example.

[4] Romei seems to believe Victoria never had floods before 1940

[5]We conclude that there is no evidence that the world is now on the brink of a major climatic change. There is ample evidence that the world’s climate has changed widely during the geological past, and while there is every expectation that it will continue to change in the future, the time scale of these changes is in the range of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years rather than decades or centuries.”

It cannot be too strongly emphasised that year-to-year variability is an inherent feature of global and regional climates and that…large fluctuations leading to severe droughts and floods are bound to occur from time to time.” (My emphasis)

[6] Hansen later compared coal freight trains to trains carrying victims to  extermination camps.

[7] As Strong said at Rio, “It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class— involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work place air-conditioning, and suburbanhousing — are not sustainable.”

[8] Only Jones’ ‘adjusted’ data remained

[9] The Academy gave the damning audit results no publicity at the time but made a glib mention of them in its annual report seven months later,  “The report released on 30 August 2010 concluded that the process employed by the IPCC had been successful overall but recommended a range of reforms particularly in relation to management structures to strengthen procedures.”

[10] “We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.”

  1. From the SREX: For the next twenty to thirty years, man-made warming effects on climate extremes will be swamped by natural climate variability;
  2. the man-made warming may even be beneficial by reducing the number of extreme events; and
  3. neither IPCC models nor emissions forecasting are good enough to forecast extreme weather events up to the end of the 21st century.

[12] Pitman :  “…a lot of that work that has come out since 2013 has clearly established that heatwaves are getting longer, more intense and more frequent. Rainfall is becoming more extreme, and there is ongoing research looking at whether tropical cyclones, for example, are intensifying.”

Amazing! A Solid Journalism Academic

TONY THOMAS

The adage that ‘those who can’t do teach’ might have been uttered with our universities’ media faculties in mind. There is at least one exception, however, a Wollongong lecturer who gets students to check facts, especially about climate-change claims. Sadly, he is retiring

blackall smallCan you even imagine it! A  journalism lecturer  shows students how to fact-check the climate alarmists’ wild claims and doom-laden forecasts. And he publishes a peer-reviewed commentary, Environmental  Reporting in a Post Truth World,analysing how the media ignores research that runs contrary to the alarmist narrative.

Lordy! How can this fellow get away with it in our all-pervading Left-alarmist academic establishment?

Meet Dr David Blackall (above), senior lecturer in journalism at Wollongong University. His paper is in the journal Asia Pacific  Media Educator. But since he’s in the process of retiring after 25 years with the university, he can rock the boat without fearing for his career prospects.[1]

“I’m packing up my office right now,” he tells Quadrant Online. “I haven’t had any backlash, even though the climate debate seems to be getting increasingly toxic and nasty. Younger academics can’t call out the fake news on climate like I can, because they’d risk their jobs and mortgages.”

The Wollongong Bachelor of Journalism course takes in about 80 entrants a year, plus others from an allied course, Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies. Blackall’s first degree is a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture), and he taught senior HSC agriculture, biology, physics and chemistry for ten years into the 1980s. This broad science background advantages him over non-science journalism academics, and over scientists so over-specialised that they miss the big picture.

Blackall is an ardent conservationist of biodiversity. He has his own 16ha wildlife  refuge reserve ‘Nadjunuga’ at Cambewarra  Mountain, previously a university field station, which he has managed for nearly 40 years. He has also taught and practiced investigative journalism, and last year co-authored an FOI-based study in the Lawyers Alliance journal Precedent on the Ponzi-style fraud and collapse of the Trio Capital Group during 2003-10.

The Blackall Post Truth paper has been re-blogged by leading European sceptic Pierre Gosselin, who asks, “Would it be so difficult for journalists to actually seek scientific verification of their claims before publishing? Or is the pursuit of real-world scientific confirmation too much to expect from journalists and media sources bent on advancing an agenda in this ‘Post Truth World’?”

Blackall writes that journalism students can be defensive about climate because they want careers in corporate media where the “greenhouse warming” narrative holds sway. “Contrary but accurate science journalism  must be generated for balancing societal discourse and demonstrating the Earth’s natural variability,” he writes. Journalists fail to verify facts, including that polar bear populations are increasing, contrary to what he calls the ‘emotional propaganda’ and ‘fake news’ of alarmists.

To deflect being labelled a ‘climate denier’, he gives students assignments on hypotheticals such as the impact of deforestation on clouds and climate. “In previous epochs, CO2 levels were around 400ppm, as they are now, but never in human history has the Earth’s surface been as denuded,” he writes. He cites a study this year that CO2 emissions from land-use changes –  such as tree harvesting and clearing for shifting  agriculture – have been substantially under-estimated.

“However, as a journalism educator, I also recognise that my view, along with others, must be open to challenge both within the scientific community and in the court of public opinion,” he continues.

“It is my responsibility to provide my students with the research skills they need to question – and test – the arguments put forward by key players in any debate.  Given the complexity of the climate warming debate, and the contested nature of the science that underpins both sides, this will provide challenges well into the future.  It is a challenge our students should relish, particularly in an era when they are constantly being bombarded with ‘fake news’ and so-called ‘alternative facts’.

“To do so, they need to understand the science. If they don’t, they need to at least understand  the key players in the debate and what is motivating them. They need to be prepared to question these people and to look beyond their arguments to the agendas that may be driving them. If they don’t, we must be reconciled to a future in which ‘fake news’ becomes the norm.”

He alerts his students to fake climate pictures, such as the use by Reuters of a 2010 photo-shopped image of two Adelie penguins on a block of melting Antarctic ice. The same faked picture (below) had also been used in 2013 to illustrate arctic warming (notwithstanding that penguins aren’t found in the Arctic). He also directs students to look into the  dubious ‘pause-busting” paper by Tom Karl of NOAA, timed to influence the 2015 Paris climate summit. “There are many agendas at play, with careers at stake,” he says.

penguins on ice

Blackall’s paper queries why journalists fail to report the widening gap between climate models’ temperature forecasts and actual temperatures. Similarly, they don’t report the non-acceleration of sea-level rise, a big problem for the alarmist narrative.

His main argument is that human-caused greenhouse gases are not the main source of climate change, as claimed by the climate establishment.  The flat-lining of global temperatures in the past two decades despite massive CO2 increases is an obvious problem for the orthodox narrative, he says. There are multiple interacting and little-understood natural causes, but computer modelling is privileged over other relevant disciplines, such as geology. Alarmists play down the major uncertainties and use ‘consensus’ as a culture of gatekeeping  against contrary views. “Then, and dangerously, dissenters are silenced so that chosen and ‘necessary’ discourses arrive in journals, conferences and boardrooms,” he writes.

Blackall outed himself as a climate sceptic nearly a decade ago. In a 2010 paper also published in Asia Pacific Media Educator   (“Anti-terrorism, climate change and ‘dog whistle’ journalism”) he wrote of the compliant mainstream news media fanning fears on behalf of governments about imaginary climate catastrophes.[2]

Educators of journalists need to give students double skills – of integrity and fearlessness, plus the ability to maintain employability in the mainstream media, he wrote. The students need to become ‘highly adept chameleons’ to further their careers. They are given ‘hypotheticals’ requiring checking narratives against science literature. But the drafts must also be written conservatively. “No newspaper would run anything too removed from the dominant view on climate variability,” Blackall continued.

The media seemed unable to do routine internet searching to act as a ‘watchdog’ on government. This was reflected in its ‘advocacy journalism’ about the 2009 Copenhagen summit and downplaying of the Climategate email leaks, he wrote. [3]

In this paper he was prescient in highlighting the corrupted temperature  data relied on for the alarmist narrative and modelling –  including data from non-existent weather stations and stations affected by the non-CO2 urban heat island effects. In contrast, rural stations typically showed decades of consistent temperatures, he said. “News media have failed to explain or examine  these simple anomalies,” he complained. He also instanced floods being blamed by media on climate change when  the immediate cause was irresponsible local activities upstream, including tree-felling and mismanagement of dams.

He argued that without acutely educated scepticism, journalism graduates fall prey to the seductive and political tune of the dog whistle, such as believing the myth of a ‘climate consensus’.

Blackall’s arguments can be verified by  journalists’ climate ignorance in their use of the nonsense propaganda phrase “carbon pollution” when they actually mean “CO2 emissions”. Not one in a hundred journalists who quote the so-called “97% consensus” on climate alarm would be aware that the John Cook (UQ) study actually found that only 0.3% of 12,000 studies supported the IPCC line that more than half the past 60 years’ warming is human-caused.

Blackall’s critique of journalists can be tested against The Age (Garry Maddox) and The Australian(Rosemary Neill) stories last weekend about Al Gore marketing his climate-alarm film An Inconvenient Sequel in Melbourne.  Neither thought it worth mentioning that anti-emissions campaigner Gore inhabits a 20-room house (one of his three homes) whose pool heating alone uses as much electricity as six average US homes, and whose total electricity consumption is that of 21 normal residences.[4] The Age’s Maddox did not mention that Gore and his business partner from Goldman Sachs, according to Forbes, made nearly $US220m in carbon trading profits from 2008-2011.

The Australian’s Neill commendably reported the accusations of Gore’s enrichment via green schemes, and unlike Maddox, she drew attention to the UK High Court’s 2007 finding of nine scientific and other errors in Gore’s first film. The court also ruled that the film’s partisan stance made it inappropriate for UK school children unless accompanied by balancing  material. Neill should have queried why Gore had not corrected the nine errors or issued an errata, instead permitting the flawed film to mislead further millions of students. The film even asserts in its ignorance that some Pacific nations “have all had to evacuate to New Zealand.”

The Australian, via ex-ABC chair Maurice Newman, reported that Gore’s opposite number, top US sceptic blogger Marc Morano, was in Melbourne concurrently with Gore and promoting his own filmClimate Hustle. The Age and the ABC ignored Morano (while the ABC gave Gore blanket coverage) but Andrew Bolt (Herald Sun) gave Morano a prominent interview.

Dr Blackall’s retirement is a loss to journalist education. Let’s hope there are others like him out there, with the guts, smarts and integrity to take on the “kindergarten science” of climate alarm.

Tony Thomas’ book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.


[1] He was previously an investigative documentary filmmaker with SBS, and an independent filmmaker, to which he is returning in retirement.

[2] Co-authored with Seth Tenkate, formerly of the NSW Transport Workers’ Union.

[3] This paper includes citing a 2009 ABC blog post by ABC political editor Chris Uhlmann – soon deleted – as follows:

“Climate science we are endless told is ‘settled’ … but to make the perfectly reasonable  point that science is never settled risks being branded a ‘sceptic’ or worse a ‘denier’…one of those words like ‘racist’ which is deliberately designed to gag debate…You can be branded a denier if you accept the problem and question the solutions.”

[4] Only 6% of Gore’s home’s electricity is from solar power.

COMMENTS [9]

  1. Bill Martin

    And in spite of all that, so many otherwise seemingly intelligent, rational people – including at least one QOL reader – continue to be obsessed with the false narrative. It boggles the mind!

  2. Ian MacDougall


    Blackall’s paper queries why journalists fail to report the widening gap between climate models’ temperature forecasts and actual temperatures. Similarly, they don’t report the non-acceleration of sea-level rise, a big problem for the alarmist narrative.

    Why should that be a ‘problem?’ Sea level has been trending upwards in a sawtooth pattern since 1993. Some years it rises sharply; some years not so sharply. But the overall trend is ever upward, indicating continuing ice and snow melt, and a global warming bad for coal and other established business.
    Journalists’ failure to report this or that is a problem for journalism; not for science.
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    • en passant

      MacBot,
      Still quoting the same tired mantra you always Omm! Omm!, but never answering the questions concerning the destination you seek?

      If CO2 is such a problem, what is the ideal concentration you would like? I know you cannot, will not, answer as that would provide the climate realists with an objective target to investigate and demolish – and that would NEVAAA do, would it? The answer is that it is easy to prove that we NEED at least 2,000 – 4,000ppm of CO2 to help the planet, plant-life and species generation.

      If increasing temperatures (by a horrendous tipping point of 2 degrees Kelvin {0.63%}) are is such a problem, what is the ideal global average temperature you would like? I know you cannot, will not answer as that would provide the climate realists with an objective target to investigate and demolish – and that would NEVAAA do, would it?
      The answer is that it is easy to prove that we NEED an increased temperature of at least 2 degrees Kelvin for life to flourish and for people to love more comfortably. This increase would help the planet, plant-life and species generation.

      We had a 3-day storm that required me to turn on the coal-fired electric air conditioners for the whole period and observe it through the panoramic plate glass window just metres. I have no idea how much wonderful life-giving CO2 we pumped out, but I hope it was a lot. Curiously, the sea was still where it was before the storm, and just where it was 47 years ago when I took a photo on the same spot. If there has been a rise at all, it is unnoticeable, which YOU, unfortunately, are not.

      Finally, I note in another pseudo-science alarm that we are in the middle of the 7th mass species extinction with 1 million species becoming extinct each year. Complete rubbish, naturally, but you can no doubt name five of them? No, I thought not. I wonder how many NEW species came into being last year?
      You really are an annoying racist troll, but if you did not exist, we (the only friends you have, except the Archangel Gabriel and some cattle you talk to) would have to invent you.

      As it is 300 degrees Kelvin today (plus or minus – 0.5K) the air conditioners are off.

  3. ianl

    Since 1807:

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/tide-gauge-sea-level

    Hard geological evidence dates trivial sea level rise from at least 12,000 years BP

    Tide gauges have had GPS chips attached for 20 years now to help account for isostasy.

    Next !! …

    • Ian MacDougall

      “Tide gauges may also move vertically with the region as a result of post-glacial rebound, tectonic uplift or crustal subsidence. This greatly complicates the problem of determining global sea level change from tide gauge data. Differences in global sea level estimates from tide gauge data usually reflect the investigator’s approach in considering these vertical crustal movements. Tide gauges also monitor meteorological factors that affect sea levels, such as barometric pressure and wind speed, so that these variable factors can be eliminated from long-term assessments of sea level change. Although the global network of tide gauges comprises of a poorly distributed sea level measurement system, it offers the only source of historical, precise, long-term sea level data.”

      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/tide-gauge-sea-level

      This tide gauge stuff gives historical data on sea level where none better is available: ie from before satellite altimetry, the latter being far and away the most accurate: to +/-0.4 mm/yr (CSIRO)

      • en passant

        MacBot,
        “Accurate to +/-0.4mm/year”. OK, I will go with the -0.4.mm.

        Do you realise how stupid this level of supposed accuracy sounds given tectonic shifts, the fact that Earth is a misshapen block of cheese and the gravitational anomolies due to various orbits? You seriously think we should be Chicken Littling because of 4mm sea rise per year? Better send another few $Bn to the kleptocrats and kill every farting cow.

  4. Ian MacDougall

    Readers,
    I post the link below in the faint hope that it might enlighten Eyn Pyssant, trapped as he is in his mental dungeon of compulsive denialism.

    Remember, I did say hope. No guarantees.

    And faint. Please do not forget faint.

    http://www.snopes.com/nasa-data-global-warming/

    • en passant

      Clearly you have not been following the saga that is Snopes (being revealed through a nasty divorce case)?

      Now are you going to tell the world the ideal concentration of CO2 and the ideal average global temperature?

      Just joking as I know you cannot and therefore have no idea of the destination you seek for all of us.

      How about a challenge for you?
      You name seven benefits of +3 degrees and a doubling of CO2 and I (as I have an open, sceptical mind and no mantra) will list seven detrimental effects.

      I predict you cannot accept.

  5. Ian MacDougall

    The Mikkelson’s marriage problems prove something to what passes for the mind of Eyn Pyssant: probably including that the world is flat. Certainly that anything published on Snopes cannot possibly be taken seriously.
    That it appears to be how what passes for the Eyn mynd works.

Climate Science Comes Up Short

July 28th 2017 print

TONY THOMAS

Temperatures refuse to rise, exterminate polar bears, melt the icecaps, engulf coastal cities or make Tim Flannery seem rational. Not that there isn’t company in the upper ranks of ratbaggery. Meet Professor Matthew Liao, who yearns to bio-engineer smaller, drug-ready humans

shrinking manPeople unwilling to act on the climate-crisis narrative should be assisted with drugs that improve and promote conformity, according to eminent bio-ethicist Professor Matthew Liao, of New York University, who also wants to see parents dosing their children with hormones and diets to keep them shorter and less of a burden on the planet.

He wants such people to be given  the ‘love drug/cuddle chemical’ oxytocin. This would increase their trust and empathy and make them more ready to change to emission-saving lifestyles.

As his peer-reviewed study puts it, “Pharmacologically induced altruism and empathy could increase the likelihood that we adopt the necessary behavioral and market solutions for curbing climate change.” He emphasises there would be no coercion. The drugs would merely help those who want to be climate-friendly behaviour but lack the willpower

Once sufficiently drugged, parents would be less likely to reject notions of “human engineering” techniques that will be needed to create Humans 2.0. These amended species will be 15cm shorter than now, hence more energy efficient and less resource-demanding. His study,  Human Engineering and Climate Change, is in  Ethics, Policy and the Environment.[1]

Some US reaction to Liao has been adverse. Investor’s  Business Daily used the headline, “Global Warming Fever Drove This Professor Completely Mad”.[2] It said that warmists are “bummed they can’t find enough naive people to buy into their story”. The looniest tune yet played is Liao’s, it said.

Liao’s study theorises that shorter humans could be achieved through embryo selection during IVF, plus drug and nutrient treatments to reduce birth weights. (High birth weight correlates with future height; low weights obviously correlate with risk to the baby).[3]  Anti-growth hormones could be fed to toddlers by climate-caring parents to create earlier closing of their bubs’ epiphyseal (growth) plates. Oh, and he also wants ecocidal meat eaters bio-altered to induce unpleasant reactions if they put pleasure ahead of planet and tuck into a T-bone.[4]

His paper, although now five years old and sometimes mistaken for a sceptic hoax, features today on his personal website. It merited him a gig at a recent Leftist-stacked Festival of Dangerous Ideas at Sydney Opera House, where he spoke  in front of  a banner, “Engineering humans to stop climate change”. His compere was the respectful Simon Longstaff, boss of Sydney’s  Ethics Centre, who introduced his guest as a “really great speaker…He is on the up, this guy. He is on the up!”

Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Moral Philosophy, Liao is chair of bioethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at New York University’s philosophy department — ranked world No 1 for philosophy, Longstaff said. Liao was earlier deputy director in the Program on the Ethics of the New Biosciences in the philosophy faculty at Oxford University. Longstaff said it was ranked world No 2. The mind boggles at what must go on those university philosophy/bioethics units ranked from third to 100?

Liao began his Opera House talk with a visiting speaker’s typical home-town warm-up, in this instance about Sydney being such a beautiful city. After that, warming to his topic, he fretted that the city “might go underwater” because of rising seas.

Many environmental problems, such as climate change, need collective action, he continued, but humans remain stubbornly individualistic, which why drugs that increase empathy and altruism might bestow the benefits of societal cooperation and engagement. Test subjects given oxytocin hormones were more willing to share money with strangers, behave in more trustworthy ways, and better read other people’s emotions, he said.

He continued,  “Making children smaller may be unappealing, but so is the prospect of having our children grow up in a world blighted by the environmental consequences of our choices and lifestyles…

“To combat climate change we can either change the environment or change ourselves.  Given the enormous risks associated  with changing the environment, we should take  seriously that we need to change ourselves.”

Liao insists his human engineering  is all voluntary, but should be incentivised by tax breaks and health-cost discounts. What he failed to explain is how toddlers could volunteer to restrict their adult height to say, 5ft (152cm).

Liao asked, “Is it ethical for parents to make choices that would have  irreversible effects on their children’s lives? Not all human engineering involving children is necessarily controversial. For example, many parents are happy to give their children [anti attention-deficit disorder] drugs, such as Ritalin, to concentrate better in school.

“Making children small is more controversial so proceed with care. But parents  are permitted to give hormones so a daughter likely to be 6ft 6in (198cm) could instead be 6ft (183cm). On what ground should we forbid parents who want to give hormone treatments so that children become 5ft tall rather than 5ft 5in tall? If climate change would  effect millions of children including one’s own children,  then these children may also later appreciate and consent to the parents decisions.”

Liao’s paper says tall people create energy waste by their food intake, extra fuel for their cars, more fabric for clothes, and more wear and tear on shoes, carpets and furniture.[5] “Think of their lifetime carbon footprint, it is quite a lot,” he told interviewers during his Australian sojourn (he must have arrived by row-boat).

To curb planet-hurting population growth, a  UK doctors’ group had recommended that Britons confine themselves to two children. Liao instead suggested each British family be given emissions targets and within that, be incentivised to have either two normal-height children or multiple smaller ones.[6]

“We think we now have optimal height, and that  we should not do anything to mess with our height, but the reality (can be) much more fluid,” he said, noting that everyone was much shorter in the 19th century with no harm done. He said height is seen by many as a social advantage but that was not a reason to scratch the shortness-creating idea.  As his paper says, bungee jumping, tattoos and running marathons are also minority tastes but legitimate activities.

Ever-hopeful, Liao believes that once a few people started shortening their children, others might be similarly inspired, especially if given tax breaks. He conceded that poorer people are already shorter on average, and should not be encouraged to further shrink their offspring.

He told his audience that many people wanted to give up eating meat but enjoyed the taste too much.  To assist, their immune systems could be  primed to react to meat “and induce some sort of unpleasant experience, very mild. (Laughter). Even if the effect was not for a lifetime, the learning effect could persist a long  time.”

A safe way to induce such intolerance could involve a “meat patch”, akin to a  nicotine patch, that people could wear before going out to eat, he said. Liao concedes that the present “tackling” of climate change by changing behaviour (less travel, LED bulbs etc) and by top-down emissions schemes are inadequate. This has led to drastic and risky geoengineering proposals like   mirrors in space and seeding oceans with iron filings. Better and safer to use existing bio-medical techniques to alter humans instead, he says.

Liao dropped political correctness to remark that US women “of lower cognitive ability” bred faster under 18 years. If they could be cognitively enhanced with Ritalin or Modafinil, which some parents already give their children to improve concentration at school, these women might have lower birth rates. He also pre-empted Pauline Hanson by saying various public health measures are similarly taken, despite risks. He said, “People routinely vaccinate  to prevent acquiring diseases even though vaccinations have sometimes side effects and can even lead to deaths.”[7]

He agreed that bio-engineering against obesity would be climate-effective, “but  I focus on height because the issue of obesity is very politically sensitive,  raising a lot of issues and, on top, some discriminatory aspects –  talk about obesity, you know…a tricky situation.”  So Liao put this planet-saving measure aside because of potential backlash from “obesity identity” activists. Anti-height measures, however, are politically safe because tall people are already advantaged.

Liao wants each person to become carbon neutral, otherwise we should spend more money on space exploration – presumably so mankind find a new home on some other planet. “Scientists tell us we are close to the point of no return,” he said, apparently unaware of the hundreds of failed tipping point predictions.

Question time produced one ripper from an elderly lady, Margaret, who seemed a warmist sympathiser: “What percent of the  population would need to adopt any of these measures before they became effective  in altering the rate at which we are going through climate change?”

Liao, hitherto a picture of confidence, fumbled and stalled, saying it was empirical and had no idea in lieu of further and needed research: “So right now I am just sorting out ideas … we would need to figure out these further questions.”

I can tell him now: if the 7.5 billion people on the planet all shrank by 15cm, it wouldn’t lower global temperatures one jot.

The   climate-catastrophe evidence Liao cites for his Humans 2.0 makeover is the notoriously-flawed UK Stern Report (Stern is now calling for US$90 trillion funding for climate change) and the melting-Himalayan-glacier 2007  IPCC report run by then-IPCC chair and Rajendra Pachauri. [8] This report was so howler-laced that the InterAcademy Council ordered a forensic audit. The report found “significant shortcomings in each major step of IPCC’s assessment process”.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.


[1] Two co-authors are from  Oxford, where Liao did his Ph.D.

[2] September 30, 2015. Broken link but text cited.

[3] The paper says, “Birth weight at the lower edge of the normal distribution tends to result in the adult’s being ≈5 cm shorter. Birth height has an even stronger effect for adult height. If one is born at the lower edge of the normal distribution of height, this tends to produce ≈15 cm shorter adult height.” It continues that certain drugs could potentially regulate birth size and weight.

[4] The paper says “While eating red meat with added emetic (a substance that induces vomiting) could be used as an aversion conditioning, anyone not strongly committed to giving up red meat is unlikely to be attracted to this option. A more realistic option might be to induce mild intolerance (akin, e.g., to milk intolerance) to these kinds of meat.”

[5] The paper says, “Reducing the average US height by 15 cm would mean a mass reduction of 23% for men and 25% for women, with a corresponding reduction of metabolic rate (15%/18%), since less tissue means lower nutrients and energy needs.”

[6] British children were singled out because they each put 160 times more demand on the planet than an Ethiopian child, his paper says.

[7] No Leftist outrage ensued

[8] Pachauri, then 74, in 2015 was charged in New Delhi with sexual harassment and stalking involving a woman staffer less than half his age.  He resigned abruptly from the IPCC, was fired from his own think-tank and   the trial has been delayed via   costly procedural stages.  Strongly asserting his innocence, he is also suing the staffer for defamation.

Surely Your’re Crying, Mr Feynman

June 28th 2017 print

Back in 1974, the US physicist and polymath warned graduating students of ‘cargo cult science’ and the careerist urge to confirm the flawed orthodoxy of earlier and inaccurate results. Climate “science” was then in its infancy but the trajectory of its corruption has confirmed all his worst fears

feynmanThe trouble with mainstream climate scientists is that they’re third-rate scientists, and the reason they’re third-rate is that they’re dishonest. My authority for this statement is physicist Richard Feynman (picturd), who has been dead for 29 years but was ranked by  his peers as one of the ten greatest  physicists of all time. Feynman set out the parameters for honest science in general, and I’ve never yet seen a mainstream climate scientist live up to Feynman’s honesty test.

In 2015 I was transiting through Los Angeles airport and killing time in a bookshop.  I bought Feynman’s paperback   Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman! because it seemed unusual for physicists to take pride in being funny.

In the book’s first essay he tells how, as a small kid, he earned pocket-money repairing people’s radios. A customer would tell him about a fault, and that would be enough to diagnose the problem without even turning on the set.

The book’s final essay – in between there’s wonderful entertainment – is called “Cargo Cult Science”. It’s  the commencement address he gave to freshers at Caltech in 1974. The original cargo cults, as you probably know, involved post-war tribesmen in PNG building mock airstrips and control towers in the hope that this would attract US cargo planes to again deliver their cargoes of desirable goods. “They follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land,” Feynman told the students. He went on to talk about what is missing in bad science – honesty.

 

It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty—a kind of leaning over backwards.  For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked—to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

“Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them.  You must do the best you can—if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong—to explain it.  If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it.  There is also a more subtle problem.  When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

“In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

“We’ve learned from experience that the truth will out.  Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. [Climate science is intrinsically not experimental but its modelling can now be checked against reality].  Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory.  And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work.  And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in Cargo Cult Science.

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.  So you have to be very careful about that.  After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists.  You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

“I would like to add something that’s not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you’re talking as a scientist…I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to do when acting as a scientist.  And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.

“For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a friend who was going to go on the radio.  He does work on cosmology and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the applications of this work were.  ‘Well,’ I said, ‘there aren’t any.’  He said, ‘Yes, but then we won’t get support for more research of this kind.’  I think that’s kind of dishonest.  If you’re representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you’re doing—and if they don’t want to support you under those circumstances, then that’s their decision.

“One example of the principle is this: If you’ve made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out.  If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good.  We must publish both kinds of result.

“I say that’s also important in giving certain types of government advice. Supposing a senator asked you for advice about whether drilling a hole should be done in his state; and you decide it would be better in some other state.  If you don’t publish such a result, it seems to me you’re not giving scientific advice.  You’re being used.  If your answer happens to come out in the direction the government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don’t publish it at all.  That’s not giving scientific advice.

“So I wish to you the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity.  May you have that freedom. [The following para is in the original but not in the book] May I also give you one last bit of advice: Never say that you’ll give a talk unless you know clearly what you’re going to talk about and more or less what you’re going to say.”

What is fascinating about his common-sense tenets of scientific honesty is that today they are forgotten, ignored, corrupted and trampled upon by supposed scientists  in all fields playing ‘publish or perish’ and ‘get that grant’.  The climate scientists are particularly bad because the stakes in grants, influence and reputation are now so high. When the Climate Council’s CEO Amanda McKenzie talks about “carbon pollution”, why don’t the scientists on her board (Flannery, Hughes, Steffen, Bambrick) correct her and say carbon dioxide (not “carbon”) is  a plant food essential to life on earth, not “pollution”?  That’s what Feynman surely would want.

There must now be tens of thousands of peer reviewed mainstream studies relying on the output of temperature computer-modelling for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Since the 5th IPCC report of 2013, each such study, on Feynman’s honesty test, should include in the preamble that the   5th report noted [1] that 111 of 114 such model runs over-estimated actual temperatures from 1998-2012  — and they’re still over-estimating for 2012-2016, as demonstrated by John Christy’s satellite graphs provide in Congressional testimony last March.

A minor negative example: a month ago ABC radio, print and TV was running hot with “coastal koala extinction” stories. Koalas are good talent and we all love these cute little beasties. We learn that, according to the most conservative climate modelling, seas will rise lots and lots between now and 2067 and 2117,  and this will kill the gum trees that many koala populations  feed on – putting them on  “a steady downward run to extinction”.

The tale emanates from research done at the Port Macquarie City Council. It doesn’t seem to have made the published science literature but there is an account of it at a national koala conference at Port Macquarie last month. This account makes no mention of the damning 111/114 fail rate of the main IPCC climate models, and thus it violates Feynman’s integrity test.[2]

Another great Feynman-test fail   is all this science-y stuff about hottest year ever. Surface based records (that have been ruthlessly adjusted by lowering the early-year temperature data) may show recent hottest years, but the 38-year satellite records don’t – at best the 2016 peak was within the margin of error relative to 2015. How can any honest scientist (on Feynman’s definition) fail to mention the awkward satellite data when assessing hottest years? There was even the case in 2015 where NASA put out a press release saying that 2014 was the hottest year since 1880. But within days it had to own up that because of data margins of error, there was only a 38% chance that its ‘hottest year’ tale was valid. Would Feynman say that NASA has scientific integrity? No, I don’t think so.[3]

In my reading on climate over the past decade,  I’ve never seen Feynman’s prescription about honest science referred to in mainstream climate literature. It’s easy to imagine why.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable  – 60 years in print is available here


[1] Chapter 9, text box 9.2, page 769. And why was this crucial information not included in the all-important Summary for Policy-Makers?

[2] Another Feynman-style koala check not mentioned would be the nearest tide gauges, to see how much these seas have risen to date. Port Macquarie gauges only go back 30 years and show a 7.8cm rise, i.e. if extrapolated, about one foot per century. Fort Denison in Sydney Harbor shows a mere 6.5cm per century rise based on 128 years of data.

[3] On checking, I find he’d already written off NASA management as scientific frauds.  “NASA managers claimed that there was a 1 in 100,000 chance of a catastrophic failure aboard the [Challenger] shuttle, but Feynman discovered that NASA’s own engineers estimated the chance of a catastrophe at closer to 1 in 200. He concluded that NASA management’s estimate of the reliability of the space shuttle was unrealistic, and he was particularly angered that NASA used it to recruit Christa McAuliffe [lost in the explosion] into the Teacher-in-Space program. He warned in his appendix to the commission’s report (which was included only after he threatened not to sign the report), “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

The Serpent’s Egg

… a serpent’s egg,
Which, hatch’d, would as his kind grow mischievous.
Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene I

May Issue, Quadrant 2012

In June 1988, US Senators Tim Wirth and Al Gore invited a noted climate scientist to brief their committee on global warming. Dr James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told the senators: “The earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements … The greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now.”[1]

It was a day of fierce summer heat in Washington. The USA in 1988 was in the grip of heat, drought and potential crop failure comparable to the 1930s “dust bowls”. Hansen gave the media a new angle on the heatwave, and they ran with it. Thus the warmist show for the masses got on the road. “The show” is correct because the hearing itself was a piece of stagecraft. Senator Wirth, with pride, told all to the PBS Frontline special in April 2007:

Timothy Wirth: We called the Weather Bureau and found out what historically was the hottest day of the summer. Well, it was June 6th or June 9th or whatever it was [actually, June 23]. So we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo, it was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it.

Deborah Amos: Did you also alter the temperature in the hearing room that day? 

Timothy Wirth: What we did is that we went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right, so that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room. And so when the hearing occurred, there was not only bliss, which is television cameras and double figures, but it was really hot … The wonderful Jim Hansen was wiping his brow at the table at the hearing, at the witness table, and giving this remarkable testimony.[2]

Hansen’s one-time NASA supervisor, the atmospheric scientist John S. Theon, wrote in 2009 that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarmism: NASA in 1988 knew little about any human-caused warming. Theon himself was responsible for all NASA weather and climate research, including Hansen’s.[3]

Hansen’s later activism included being arrested in 2009, 2010 and 2011 during his anti-coal-mining demonstrations. In 2007, in testimony to the Iowa Utilities Board, he likened coal trains to “death trains”, saying they would be “no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species”.[4] Hansen has also called for chief executives of big fossil fuel companies to be tried for “high crimes against humanity and nature”.[5]

Enough of Hansen, typically described as “one of the world’s leading climate scientists”. This article will go back further to see how the warming crisis originated, and where the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has taken this issue by 2012.

The theory that human-caused carbon dioxide warms the planet goes back to the Swedish scholar Svante Arrhenius in 1896. He thought this would be wonderful:

By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.[6]  

However, he hugely underestimated how long the doubling from pre-industrial levels would take: he thought 3000 years; we now think it is likely to happen between 2050 and 2100.

The next big Swede was Bert Bolin. He should be (but isn’t) a household name as the man who galvanised the modern world about carbon dioxide. Bolin pioneered computerised weather forecasting (using the original ENIAC electronic computer) and was quick to endorse the then-sketchy hypothesis that carbon dioxide “pollution” from fossil fuels was a threat to civilisation.

The computerised climate models of those days were ineffably crude—even today, after billions in research funding, climate models are still conceded by the IPCC to have serious flaws and limitations. However, the time was ripe for this new environmental cause. The scare de jour was the Club of Rome’s “limits to growth”; but catastrophic global warming went one better on the angst scale.

Bolin led the science effort, through his chairing from 1964 of the International Council of Scientific Union’s (ICSU’s) key committee on the atmosphere. This high profile led him to chair conferences, become lead editor for reports, and chair successor bodies run jointly with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) from 1967. From there he vaulted to the inaugural IPCC chair (1988–97).

He propagated modelling results predicting that doubling carbon dioxide would boost warming not by the accepted 1 degree Celsius but by as much as 5.5 degrees through hypothesised “feedbacks”. The attention-getter was that this would occur within the time of one’s grandchildren—from around 2030.[7]

Bolin’s able supporter was Mostafa Tolba, Egypt’s head of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) from 1975 to 1992. Tolba’s landmark success was the Montreal Protocol on CFC chemicals and the ozone hole in 1987. He also took up the cudgels against acid rain, which turned out to be localised glitches.

The carbon dioxide politicisation got under way at a key conference at Villach, Austria, in 1985, run by the ICSU, the UNEP and the WMO. Even the conference’s title specified that carbon dioxide was the villain in warming, although this had yet to be demonstrated. One hundred scientists and bureaucrats attended the conference by personal invitation and in their personal capacity. They were encouraged to make their resolutions without accountability to parent bodies.[8] The ICSU had prepared a dire, model-based climate report. After a single day’s discussion, the report was officially adopted, although attendees agreed to tone down the top warming estimate from 5.5 degrees to 4.5 degrees to make it more politically saleable. They also cut the upper limit of the forecast sea-level rise from 165 centimetres to 140 centimetres, for the same reason (hence science by consensus). A fly in the ointment was that the WMO declined to affirm that carbon dioxide was causing global warming, so the report had to be equivocal on that.[9] This Villach science report became the received text for similar environmental conferences and reports that followed, such as the 1987 Brundtland Report (Our Common Future), assembled under the guidance of Bert Bolin.

The UNEP’s style under Tolba was to go over the heads of national politicians direct to green lobbies and the media. This forced the politicians into action. Momentum came to a head at the June 1988 “Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere”, which brought together the governmental, scientific and activist communities. Incidentally, three months prior to this conference Bolin was already calling for a carbon emissions tax.[10]

Of the conference’s 341 delegates (mainly bureaucrats), fifty were green groupers from forty-six countries, and only seventy-six were physical scientists.[11] As for the media, “extra press rooms had to be added to handle the hordes of descending journalists”, according to the late Dr Stephen Schneider, the same media-savvy scientist who told Discover magazine in 1989: “To capture the public’s imagination … we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”[12]

The thirty governments formally represented at Toronto pledged to cut their carbon dioxide emissions voluntarily by 20 per cent (from 1988 levels) by 2005, to head off warming and sea-level rises. They also set their seal on the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with Bolin as first head. The IPCC’s pre-foundation brief was to encourage and sum up the science as guidance for governmental policy decisions—no mention there of “human-caused” climate change. Technically, this was a neutral agenda.[13] In practice, as Tolba put it to the first IPCC session, the IPCC should “bravely inform the world what ought to be done”.[14] In the event, the IPCC charter in 1988 hardened up. It said the goal was to assess “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change”.[15]

Among the embryo IPCC’s keenest backers was the think-tank TERI in New Delhi, run by the IPCC’s future chair, Dr Rajendra Pachauri. TERI ran a manifesto in 1989 which for its tone shocked even IPCC chair Bert Bolin:

Global warming is the greatest crisis ever faced collectively by humankind. Unlike other earlier crises, it is global in nature, threatens the very survival of civilisation, and promises to throw up only losers over the entire international socio-economic fabric. The reason for such a potential apocalyptic scenario is simple: climate changes of geological proportions are occurring over time-spans as short as a single human lifetime.[16]

The newly formed IPCC rushed out its first report by 1990—in two years instead of the later reports’ five or six years—with the intention of making it a key document for the 1992 conference in Rio de Janeiro. This first report was based heavily on the findings of the 1985 Villach conference and on the Brundtland report. To its credit, the 1990 report was moderate in tone. Its key tract was in the Executive Summary of the human-attribution chapter: “The fact that we are unable to reliably detect the predictive [carbon dioxide] signals today does not mean that the greenhouse theory is wrong, or that it will not be a severe problem in the decades ahead.” In Bolin’s memoir he pointed out that “The IPCC conclusions were carefully worded and did not say that a human-induced climate change was under way.”[17] He complained: “It was non-government groups of environmentalists, supported by the mass media, who were the ones exaggerating the conclusions that had been carefully formulated by the IPCC.”[18]

The IPCC’s 1990 report was of course unsatisfactory to the green movement, from top level (UNEP) down. Putting the political cart before the science horse, the UN drew up its “Framework Convention on Climate Change” (UNFCCC) treaty, which asserted human causation in no uncertain terms, and foreshadowed a regime of emission controls. At the famed “Earth Summit” in Rio in 1992, 154 states signed on. In somewhat Orwellian fashion, the “Earth Summit” redefined the term “climate change” to literally mean “human-caused climate change”. Natural climate change was then re-defined as “climate variability”.[19] Additionally, according to Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC charter was modified to explicitly state that it was to support the UNFCCC.[20]

What is missing from my dry tale is the emotional punch generated during that Earth Summit. The pre-summit ceremonies included the “Declaration of the Sacred Earth Gathering”:

The responsibility of each human being today is to choose between the force of darkness and the force of light. We must therefore transform our attitudes and values, and adopt a renewed respect for the superior law of Divine Nature.

The sacred earth drummers maintained a continuous heartbeat near the conference centre, “as part of a ritual for the healing of our Earth to be felt by those who are deciding Earth’s fate”.[21]

The next IPCC report, scheduled for 1995, could hardly maintain the 1990 report’s “neutral” stance, given the Rio and UNFCCC anti-carbon-dioxide politics. In the event, the 1995 all-important summary for policy makers said: “The balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.” This itself was a compromise, watering down the draft’s wording of “appreciable” human influence. Bolin says he also ensured that the conclusion was qualified with a phrase, “fully recognising the uncertainty”, but media, lobbies and governments subsequently ignored it. He also complained that many other points in the summary should have been qualified for uncertainties, but were not.[22]

Given that the 1995 summary gave an elephant stamp to the carbon dioxide pollution story, what (if anything) underpinned that summary? Frederick Seitz, president emeritus of Rockefeller University and chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute, Washington, claimed critical caveats in the 1995 body text were deleted to permit the activist summary. Bolin denied this and said there were merely normal reviews of drafts. The deleted passages cited by Seitz included:

No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic causes …

None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases …

Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced …  

Seitz, a former president of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the American Physical Society, said he had never witnessed “a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events which led to this IPCC report”.[23]

Bolin himself let a cat out of the bag. He revealed that the chapter heads Ben Santer and Tom Wigley had claimed, after inspecting the reviewed draft, that new evidence had arrived in the literature justifying a stronger conclusion on human causation.[24] The chair of the science group, Sir John Houghton, thought this summary-strengthening was warranted and the bulk report was retrospectively amended. Human causation thus became scientific orthodoxy. But tangling the web that way offended some delegates, “who emphasised more the need to safeguard the credibility of the assessment process”, as Bolin put it.[25]

Houghton was highly influential in the IPCC’s first decade. He had been Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Oxford and chief executive of the UK Met Office before leading the IPCC’s hard-science Group 1 team for the 1990, 1995 and 2001 reports. A devout church-goer, he told the London Sunday Telegraph in 1995:

If we want good environmental policy in future, we’ll have to have a disaster. It’s like safety on public transport. The only way humans will act is if there’s been an accident … God tries to coax and woo, but he also uses disasters. Human sin may be involved; the effect will be the same. [26]

He also quoted approvingly in 2002 a study estimating there would be 150 million “environmental refugees” by 2050. This was even scarier than UN’s original “climate refugees” scare of 2005, predicting 50 million by 2010.[27] (When the 50 million failed to show up by 2010, the UN discreetly substituted “2020” for the originally forecast “2010”.)[28]

Melbourne IT expert John McLean, who has studied Houghton’s role in this souping-up of the conclusions of the 1995 report, says that the “new evidence” involved was a five-page draft paper submitted to Nature but not yet reviewed, let alone published. And who co-wrote this draft article? The chapter heads Ben Santer and Tom Wigley, along with about seven authors of the IPCC chapter and five other names.

Sherlock Holmes would conclude that the chapter team, lacking evidence to back up their desired post-review rewrite, had written a paper and sent it off to Nature specifically so they could cite it for the IPCC report. The paper itself was clubby, thirty-two of its fifty-nine references involving papers by the chapter members, according to McLean. Four of the fifty-nine references were not even published work, and eight referred to IPCC documents. Of those, three were circular, referring to the impending 1995 IPCC report itself![29] The Nature paper was not published till July 1996. It was of the “state-of-the-art models suggest” kind, and it concluded rather weakly, “It is likely that this [warming] trend is partially due to human activities, although many uncertainties remain, particularly relating to estimates of natural variability.”[30]

Somehow this conclusion had justified the 1995 IPCC summary: “The balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.” The saga was prolonged when several of the paper’s authors were selected as authors of the 2001 report, which in turn cited the Nature paper approvingly.

With human causation now “consensus”, the 2001 and 2007 reports toughened the language, upping the causation from “likely” (2001) to “very likely” (2007), on the basis of further modelling. The 2001 report also splashed in seven places the now-discredited Michael Mann “hockey stick” graph showing current temperatures to be at their highest for a thousand years. It is not quite true that the hockey stick disappeared in the 2007 IPCC report but the one reproduction there is accompanied by discussion about its validity.[31]

Governments have various ways of pressuring IPCC authors about what they write. For example, the UK Department for Environment (DEFRA) briefed the first scoping meeting for the science section of the 2007 IPCC report:

There is general consensus, presented in the TAR [2001 IPCC report] and widely accepted, that climate change in the latter half of the twentieth century, is due to anthropogenic forcing, and the emphasis for WG1 [the science section] should be on anthropogenic change rather than shorter term variability.

This document went on to urge that the 2007 report writers play down paleoclimate information—how the earth’s climate has behaved over recent geological periods, which is something sceptics like to cite.[32]

The IPCC’s current role, apart from supporting the UNFCCC climate treaties, includes 

to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Note that human causation is a given, and that the charter does not encourage the IPCC to investigate potential natural causation. Such processes could be solar cosmic rays seeding clouds and influencing temperatures, and the mystery mechanism driving the Pacific Decadal Oscillation cycles (which correlate well with the temperature record).[33] [34]

The IPCC charter has instead generated a circular process. Research funds pour into the human-attribution issue. Non-human causation has become the Cinderella of science, starved of funds and likely to kill your promotion prospects. Such research could put the IPCC out of business, and evaporate a lot of the science and technology funding (of which something like $80 billion has been spent since 1989 by the USA alone).

The IPCC’s melting-glacier scandal of 2010 and the “Climategate” e-mail scandals (2009 and 2011) have arguably forced the IPCC into a more disciplined approach, with the determination not to be further caught out on scientific bias. The fruits of this new approach emerged in November 2011 with the IPCC’s special draft report on extreme weather events.[35] Thanks to anodyne IPCC press releases, the mass media (which avoids non-summarised material) failed to notice a bombshell finding. Translated from long-winded science-style language, it says:

  1. for the next twenty to thirty years, man-made warming effects on climate extremes will be swamped by natural climate variability;
  2. the man-made warming may even be beneficial by reducing the number of extreme events; and
  3. neither IPCC models nor emissions forecasting are good enough to forecast extreme weather events up to the end of the century.

These IPCC authors won’t be thanked for giving the IPCC modellers a hotfoot. But the 2001 IPCC report, in a bit of buried text, had said something similar: “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”[36]

Indeed, the IPCC report in 2007 pulled the rug from under its own models. It said that in terms of sixteen major climate forces, the “level of scientific understanding” was less than “medium” for thirteen of them, and for five, it’s “very low”.[37] It is remarkable that IPCC scientists can build climate models—and trumpet the outputs—when they don’t understand climate. But as things now stand, the modellers will nearly all be retired or dead by the time their new grace period of twenty to thirty years is up.

Doubts about modellers’ outputs wouldn’t matter if this was all just a morning tea debate among Kevin Rudd’s “humourless scientists in their white coats who go around measuring things”. One wishes it were only that.

Tony Thomas, a retired journalist, worked for thirty years with the Age and BRW. He contributed “The Fictive World of Rajendra Pachauri” in the March issue.


[6] Worlds in the making: the evolution of the universe, p63 Harper, 1908.

[9] Franz op cit p10

[10] “Introduce a tax on Carbon Dioxide”, Bert Bolin & Mans Lonnroth, in Dagens Nyheter newspaper, 24/3/1988

[11] Wendy Franz, op cit., p25

[13] Bolin, Bert: A history of the Science and Politics of Climate Change, Cambridge UP, 2007, p51

[14] McLean, John, Climate Science Corrupted. SPPI, Nov 20, 2009, p7.

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/climate_science_corrupted.pdf

[16] Bolin, A history op cit P55.

[17] ibid p63

[18] ibid p112.

[20] Laframboise, Donna, Delinquent Teenager, Avenue Press, Toronto, 2011, p41

[22] Bolin: A History op cit p112-113

[24] Bolin, A History, op cit p113

[25] Bolin, A History, op cit p114

[29] McLean, John, We have been Conned – an independent review of the IPCC, p30-32. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/we_have_been_conned.html

[31] (Box 6.4, WG1).

[32] Op cit McLean, Climate Science Corrupted, p17. The quote is from p36 of the un-numbered pdf file cited

[36] P771, chapter 14, TAR.

[37] Table 2.11, p 201, Chapter 2, WG1, IPCC 4AR.

Warmists Fight Their Own Nuclear War

Forget North Korea’s  threat to make Australia a lake of irradiated glass because such an attack would be as nothing in comparison with the civil war amongst tax-supported catastropharians. What set them off? One side’s footnoted paper that renewables can’t hold an organic candle to atomic power

green men fightFights within the climate-alarm community are vibrant entertainment for sceptics. There’s  the fun factor as rival climate alarmists  kick shins and yank each others’ hair. And they deride each other’s extreme and foolish arguments, which saves sceptics some work. Moreover, the unedifying fights reduce the credibility of so-called climate “science” in the eyes of important onlookers like politicians.

A splendid fight-in-the-family broke out this month with the publication of a paper by four advocates of the nuclear-power route to emissions reduction. Their paper,Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems,” is published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,  edited by Lawrence Kazmerski, who visited Australia in 2010 and played a small, proud part in forcing up electricity prices to their current obscene levels.)

The study mercilessly exposes the nonsense of the wind and solar advocates, who imagine a world of 100% electricity from renewables by 2050. These fantasists have induced Australian state and federal governments to set unrealistic renewable energy targets, much as mad dogs infect bystanders with rabies. (The Victorian government, for example, last February passed its Climate Change Act with a net zero emissions target by 2050).

There is the added piquancy that all four authors exposing the technical impossibility of wind/solar regimes established their academic profiles in South Australia, where blackouts have made the state a global cautionary tale against moving to 50% renewables (let alone any  higher percent).

The lead author is Ben Heard, PhD candidate at Adelaide University, the co-authors being Professors Barry Brook (U.Tas), Tom Wigley of National Center for Atmospheric Research at Boulder, Colorado, and Corey Bradshaw (Flinders U.) All are nuclear-power advocates, which enrages their wind/solar-loving peers.

Here’s the gist of the  Heard paper:

“Our sobering results show that  100% renewable electricity supply would, at the very least, demand a reinvention of the entire electricity supply-and-demand system to enable renewable supplies to approach the reliability of current systems.  This would move humanity away from known, understood and operationally successful systems into uncertain futures with many dependencies for success and unanswered challenges in basic feasibility.”

They reviewed 24 scenario studies supporting 100% renewables as the way ahead and found not one passed the technical-feasibility test – let alone any commercial tests. On the Heard scale for technical feasibility, with a top score of 7 , they found only one study that even achieved a score of 4.

Four studies scored zero – these included, of course, the propaganda screeds presented as practial plans by WWF and Greenpeace. Another seven studies scraped up scores of just 1. Among those scoring a mere one out of seven  was a scenario co-authored by the Climateworks (Monash University/Myer Foundation) crowd, headed by Labor’s  John Thwaites, who was once Victoria’s deputy-premier. The Australian Academy of Science relied on that half-baked Climateworks exercise in its 2015 submission to the federal government endorsing the magic zero emissions solution to global warming by 2050.

The Heard paper notes the folly of such targets, remarking that

  • The  100% renewables scenarios depend on vast consumptions of biomass.  “The British scenario is a typical example; even with the assumption of a 54% reduction in primary energy consumption, biomass requires 4.1 million [hectares] of land to be committed to the growing of grasses, short-rotation forestry and coppice crops (17% of UK land area).”  (My emphasis)
  • A WWF scenario demands up to 250 million ha for biomass production for energy, along with another 4.5 billion cubic metres of biomass from existing production forests to meet a scenario of an absolute reduction in primary energy from today.
  • “To meet a target of 80% renewables in Europe by 2050 would demand an additional 228,000 km of transmission grid extensions, a +76% addition compared to the base network.”
  • Long-distance interconnector capacities may need to be 5.7 times larger than current capacities. [i]

 The authors said,

The realization of 100% renewable electricity (and energy more broadly) appears diametrically opposed to other critical sustainability issues such as eradication of poverty, land conservation and reduced ecological footprints, reduction in air pollution, preservation of biodiversity, and social justice for indigenous people.”

The Heard paper stuck it but good to the wind/solar mob, but it has its own foibles. It cites 151 footnotes, including, to my  utter surprise, Footnote 30 — a 2010 article from Green Left Weekly about then-garden variety MP Malcolm Turnbull and former NSW Premier Bob Carr  helping to launch a “Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan”. Green Left Weekly reported “the technology required to move Australia to a 100 per cent renewable energy future within ten years [i.e. by 2020] is already commercially available…and the cost is not prohibitive.”  That our current and for-the-moment Prime Minister should have associated himself with this Melbourne University-led insanity is a worry, quite apart from academics’ reliance on Green Left Weekly in their peer-reviewed publications.

That’s not the only oddity about the Heard paper. It opens with resounding claims, “The recent warming of the earth’s climate is unequivocal (1, 2)…with 2016 confirmed as the warmest year on record.” Heard certifies his “unequivocal” warming[ii]  (Footnote 1 of 151)  partially on the strength of  the notoriously-flawed John Cook “97% consensus” paper, comprehensively rebutted by a peer reviewed paper which found that, on the authors’ own analysis, the true consensus was well below 1%.

As for 2016 being a “record” warm year, sorry, Ben: the increase over 2015 was within the margin of error of the data.

Heard’s co-author Corey Bradshaw exemplifies academic life in the Green-Left cocoon. On his blog he refers to Tony Abbott “seizing power in the 2013 Australian election”, as if voters had wanted someone else. Bradshaw advises fellow-scientists to promote international diversity in their labs:

“Let the right-wing populist xenophobes2 vomit their racist bile all they want while you quietly get on with the job of making the world a smarter, more innovative, multicultural, understanding and collaborative place.”

frog with thing that grew on its bottomBradshaw’s potty-mouthed Footnote 2 here refers incoherently to “2Agent Orange, Marine le Pue, Pauline Han-cock, Nigel Fukstick, …” (I assume “Nigel Fukstick” refers to Brexit’s Nigel Farage). This is, perhaps, what can be expected of a senior academic who wears a frog for a hat.

Bradshaw’s screed on the Flinders University website says, “I joined Flinders University as the new Matthew Flinders Fellow in Global Ecology. I am also a Chief Investigator in the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage.” Perhaps Flinders U could get him to run a new Centre of Excellence for Obscenity and Political Derangement.

Bradshaw’s latest book, with the catchy title Killing the Koala and Poisoning the Prairie: Australia, America and the Environment is co-authored with none other than the world’s greatest living wrongologist Paul Ehrlich, the only environmentalist on the planet who has surpassed Tim Flannery in wildly wrong predictions. For example, Ehrlich in The Population Bomb (1968) said that the battle to feed humanity had been lost and 65 million Americans  would starve to death between 1980-89. By 1999, the US population would decline to 22.6 million, he predicted. He said in 1971, “If I were a gambler, I would take even-money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Fortunately for Ehrlich he is not a bookmaker.

Co-author of Heard and Bradshaw, Tom Wigley, was director of the  Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia until 1993. The Climategate emails reveal him adopting a novel approach to data analysis. He wrote to a later director Phil Jones (27/9/2009) about a problem with sea surface temperatures,

“So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 deg C, then this would be significant for the global mean – but we’d still have to explain the land blip.”

Another email (24/4/2003) also revealed him organising to stop sceptic scientists from having their work published.

“One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work. I use the word ‘perceived’ here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about—it is how the journal is seen by the community that counts.”

However, a number of the Climategate emails show Wigley adopting a more ethical stance than the climate cabal led by Phil Jones. Mind you, Wigley remains an enthusiast for spending truly vast amounts of other people’s money on his obsessions.

“What we need is (sic) policies that put a large amount of money into developing appropriate, carbon-neutral technologies, be it renewable energy, methods for storing carbon dioxide in the ground and so on… We need to be putting, you know, ten to 100 times more money into developing appropriate technologies to reduce the magnitude of global warming.” (My emphasis).

These criticisms of mine about the paper’s authors seem rather mild compared to what Heard’s fellow-warmists dish  out.

Economist John Quiggin (Qld University ) was until last month a member of the federals’ Climate Change Authority. He ripped into the Heard paper on his blog, without even having read it – the   abstract alone enough to make his head explode. Heard wrote to him, sarcastically, “Given how easy it is to reach me, I am amazed that anyone would write a review of a paper without actually reading it.
John, would you like a copy?”

Warmist fans of Quiggin’s blog posted this sort of stuff about the Heard team:

  • They make the three stooges look like three highly skilled experts.
  • I  really wonder at the “green” credentials of the “greens” pushing this. Honestly, I reckon they have been infiltrated by an alt-right 5th column pushing their spurious nonsense.
  • Pro-nuclear advocacy is sliding into the territory of Velikovsky[iii] and the anti-vaxxers.
  • Your [Heard’s] paper is a poor quality opinion piece masquerading as science. I repeat that I am amazed it got through peer review.
  • I think it’s kind of sad. They really really really want a nuclear playset for xmas. Poor things.

The parties on both sides of the fracas give respectful mentions to dark-green spruiker Ted Trainer, 76, Honorary Adjunct Associate Professor in Social Work at UNSW.

Trainer gets three citations in the Heard paper and, indeed, it was Trainer who alerted Quiggin to Heard’s publication. Trainer is an advocate for 90% cuts in Western living standards to help save the planet:

“(P)resent rich world levels of consumption are grossly unsustainable and we will probably have to reduce them by something like 90% if we are to achieve a sustainable and just world. Most people concerned about the state of the planet don’t seem to realise how huge the changes would have to be.”

According to Wikipedia, Trainer lives in a makeshift house at a swampy Pigface Point settlement near Sydney, where he engages in barter and a subsistence lifestyle and his house uses 98% less than average electricity.

That’s great for Ted, who I’m sure won’t starve on his academic super, but he seems somewhat dubious company for anyone trying to solve our electricity problems.

Summing up, the Heard paper provides a searing critique of the wind/solar propaganda, notwithstanding its naivete on ancilliary issues. Sadly, Heard doesn’t  check what difference any reduction in Australian emissions  – even to zero – would make to planetary temperatures. The answer: effectively zero.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable, is available here.

 


[i] A similar leap – not mentioned in the Heard paper – would be required for wind turbine installations. To achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of under 2degC warming, Texas A&M researchers have calculated that, just for wind power, an annual global installation of 485,000 5MW wind turbines would be needed by 2028, compared with an equivalent of 13,000 in 2015.

[ii] Warming in fact started in the 19th century in a rebound from the Little Ice Age, long before any CO2 anomalies

[iii]Velikovsky wrote a best seller in arguing that Earth suffered catastrophic close contacts with other planets (principally Venus and Mars) in ancient times. He became a by-word for pseudoscience.