Sunday, March 23, 2008

If suddenly there were no more global warming... will suddenly become a whole lot more interesting.

A great many founts of authority, from the Royal Society to the UN, most heads of government along with countless captains of industry, learned professors, commentators and journalists will be profoundly embarrassed. Let us hope it is a prolonged and chastening experience.

With catastrophe off the agenda, for most people the fog of millennial gloom will lift, at least until attention turns to the prospect of the next ice age. Among the better educated, the sceptical cast of mind that is the basis of empiricism will once again be back in fashion. The delusion that by recycling and catching public transport we can help save the planet will quickly come to be seen for the childish nonsense it was all along.

The poorest Indians and Chinese will be left in peace to work their way towards prosperity, without being badgered about the size of their carbon footprint, a concept that for most of us will soon be one with Nineveh and Tyre, clean forgotten in six months.

The scores of town planners in Australia building empires out of regulating what can and can't be built on low-lying shorelines will have to come to terms with the fact inundation no longer impends and find something more plausible to do. The same is true of the bureaucrats planning to accommodate "climate refugees".

Penny Wong's climate mega-portfolio will suddenly be as ephemeral as the ministries for the year 2000 that state governments used to entrust to junior ministers. Malcolm Turnbull will have to reinvent himself at vast speed as a climate change sceptic and the Prime Minister will have to kiss goodbye what he likes to call the great moral issue and policy challenge of our times.

It will all be vastly entertaining to watch.

Condemned to an existence of boredom and unrequited schadenfreude is one Christopher Pearson, a writer at The Australian. Detect any frustration-betraying bitterness? I guess global warming just keeps bumping into his world-view.

So what has inspired his flight of fancy, this babbling brook of consciousness, this denialist delight?

Jennifer Marohasy has. She bears news of an "impending collapse of the global warming paradigm" in an ABC Radio National discussion with the similarly excited Michael Duffy.

Duffy: "Can you tell us about NASA's Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we're now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?"

Marohasy: "That's right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you've got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you're going to get a positive feedback. That's what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite ... (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they're actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you're getting a negative rather than a positive feedback."

Duffy: "The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?"

Marohasy: "That's right ... These findings actually aren't being disputed by the meteorological community. They're having trouble digesting the findings, they're acknowledging the findings, they're acknowledging that the data from NASA's Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they're about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide."

Duffy: "From what you're saying, it sounds like the implications of this could beconsiderable ..."

Marohasy: "That's right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer's interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point."

Hmmm, The new NASA Aqua Satellite data, as interpreted by fossil-fuels favourite, Dr Roy Spencer. I expect we'll hear a lot of this from the shills, Bolt; Ackerman; Blair; Devine; and, Albrechton, et al., and it should be interesting to see them construct their narrative. I'll Global Warming Watch this one.

Roy Spencer was the fellow who put out a paper showing satellite data was not correlating with the climate data, and showed cooling. For years and years there was this incongruent satellite data. Then the paper was reviewed by Science Magazine in 2005, whereupon they found that Christy and Spencer had failed to take proper account of satellite drift, which produced a spurious cooling trend to their dataset.

Is there a smell of freshly laid astroturfi? Yahoo7 Answers already have the question up, posed by an eric c

Update 2
Glitch, long-time reader, typically a pleasant chap (but yes, one of those skeptics) is positively rubbing his hands with glee.

LOL, this is just wonderful.... Such VERY BAD good news for the enviro-socialists...

The plot thickens. Someone thunks global warming theory has been debunked, and this is bringing on the long-promised Raptures for the AGW Skeptics. Am I witnessing Deliverance for The Doubtful Loyal?

I checked the headlines, and Reuters. Nothing.

It'll come. It's lurking out there in the gloom, ready to break the water. I'm starting to feel very Old Man Of The Sea-ish. I'm baitin' up big.

Update 3
Spencer's bio at the fossil-fuel funded Marshall Institute site tells us: He currently is the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

It also says: Dr. Spencer is the recipient of NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and the American Meteorological Society's Special Award for his satellite-based temperature monitoring work.

In 1996, from what I can tell. The paper was debunked in 2005. That bio needs updating.

Think I'll check out Realclimate, or Deltoid. See what they have to say.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Earth Hour boomerangs back to Sydney

NSW Premier Morris Iemma, normally botox-expressioned, is suddenly sounding like a global warming alarmist by taking it to the sceptics of symbolism, and the denier of dangerous AGW.

The NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, accused critics of Earth Hour of peddling "utter rubbish" at the launch of the event at Circular Quay this morning.

"The critics and sceptics need to get on board," Mr Iemma told an audience of business supporters of Earth Hour this morning.

"It's utter rubbish to say that symbolism can't lead to change. Yes it's about symbolism but it's a very powerful one - it's about saving the planet."


Some of the world's largest cities would take part in the energy-reducing initiative this year and its adoption worldwide was a vital step in creating "real practical change", Mr Iemma said today.

While cynics may think Earth Hour symbolises a stick — to beat them with — it really is a boomerang.

"What started a year ago in Sydney has become a global movement as more and more cities around the globe join the battle against climate change, and it is a battle in which every one of us can make a difference," Mr Iemma said.

"[When] 2.1 million Sydneysiders just on a year ago switched off the lights, the critics and the sceptics said that it was largely a symbolic gesture.

"I don't agree with that. What the critics and the sceptics fail to understand is that symbolism can be very powerful when it comes to change.

"That's what Earth Hour is about: real practical change."

WWF-Australia, which is organising Earth Hour with the support of Fairfax Media, publisher of the Herald, said that three-quarters of the top 100 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange had agreed to take part.

The WWF said that all of the state's major property companies will join in, as well as 70 per cent of the state's one-, two- and three-hat restaurants, the top five banks and 85 per cent of the state's main hotels. The 50 largest local councils in NSW will also take part.

On the Facebook social networking website, 657,658 people have signed up for more than 150 separate Earth Hour events, while, on the Earth Hour website more than 80,000 people had signalled their willingness to take part, with the figures expected to spike as March 29 draws nearer.


Cities taking part in this year's Earth Hour include Atlanta, San Francisco and Chicago in the United States, Denmark's four largest cities, London, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Bangkok and Christchurch.

Most Australian capital cities are participating, as well as Newcastle in NSW.

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3,500 tigers left — at a crossroads

Bengal tiger crossing road

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright

In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Of Panthera tigris, let not William Blake's immortal poem, or prayer if you like, be the only thing bequeathed to our descendants. Let them not read his words, and wonder what was this marvel of creation... that now is their disinheritance.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that there are 3,500 tigers in the world, all at the corners of Extinction Expressway and Survival Drive.

"In many ways the tiger stands at a crossroads between extinction and survival, and which path it takes is totally dependent on us," said Sujoy Banerjee, director of WWF India's species program.

The WWF's tiger coordinator based in Nepal, Bivash Pandav, said he believed there were 3,500 tigers left in the world. That compared with rough estimates of about 5,000-7,500 in 1982.

Pandav said in Sumatra, Indonesia, the number of tigers had dwindled to about 400 and the situation was now critical as forest areas have been decimated.

The demand for traditional Chinese medicines, and habitat destruction are the main culprits, with flow-on encroachment into human livestock areas also being a major cause. Out of the jungle, the tiger soon comes off second-best.

There is good news, though; tigers will turn the corner.

But additional pressure on governments to stop poaching, in particular from China, and other conservationist measures such as habitat protection could make a huge difference, he said.

"We can easily have 10,000 tigers, if everything goes as per our wish," said Pandav, adding that could be achieved in as little as 10 years.

"I firmly believe that tigers will continue to survive in certain pockets. They're not going to become extinct," he said.

Sarah Christie, a program manager for the Zoological Society of London, highlighted work being done by zoos to protect tigers, saying nearly a 10th of the money spent on tiger protection came from zoos. She said in the case of Sumatra, the total was 60 per cent.

Christie said the world's focus on climate change offered a chance to help the tiger.

"Tigers are indicators of eco-system health, they are indicators of forest health. Saving the tiger is a test. If we pass, we get to keep the planet Earth."

The irony is that you, Homo sapiens, are at the crossroads too. You need those forests as much as Panthera tigris, your children need to appreciate William Blake. Fully. So the only choices are: do you take this road, to find out more — or do you first take a sixty second detour?

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?
What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

- William Blake (1757-1827)

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Deniers' canard blown out the water

Gordon: "No such thing as global warming."

Peter: "Why do you say so?"

Gordon: "In the '70s scientists were predicting global cooling, now they predict global warming."

Peter: "So they got that wrong?"

Gordon: "Sure did."

Peter: "So... I thought you didn't believe in global warming?"


Peter: "Just read Realclimate! They now have a study on what climate scientists really were saying in the '70s."

clipped from
"How can we believe climate scientists about global warming today when back in the 1970s they told us an ice age was imminent?"
If, indeed, climate scientists predicted a coming ice age, it is worthwhile to take the next step and understand why they thought this, and what relevance it might have to today's science-politics-policy discussions about climate change. If, on the other hand, scientists were not really predicting a coming ice age, then the argument needs to be retired.

Between 1965 and 1979 we found (see table 1 for details):

  • 7 articles predicting cooling
  • 44 predicting warming
  • 20 that were neutral

In other words, during the 1970s, when some would have you believe scientists were predicting a coming ice age, they were doing no such thing. The dominant view, even then, was that increasing levels of greenhouse gases were likely to dominate any changes we might see in climate on human time scales.

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Exxon still financing AGW denial


Well I certainly will continue to avoid their Mobil and Esso stations at all cost.

Today I noticed that BP have a 3c per litre discount if you join their 10% ethanol blend frequent fuelers club. I'll settle for a BP when an independent with ethanol blend is inconvenient.

clipped from

Remember last year, when Exxon said that they would no longer fund organizations like the International Policy Network and the George Marshall Institute that misrepresent the science of global warming?

Well, they are still funding them. Also still on the list, are CO2science and the Center for Science and Public Policy.

Hat tip: Brian Schmidt.

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