A blast from the past (if we knew now what we knew then)

Peter Sinclair’s recent Climate Denial Crock of the Week is fascinating viewing. He has unearthed a video of a talk given by climate scientist Mike McCracken thirty years ago and asks him in a recent interview what he would say differently today.

Very little has changed. The younger McCracken:

“CO2 probably has been very high in past geologic terms but certainly not in past historic times, and so we’re really doing a giant experiment and the question is what is the outcome going to be?”

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Prat watch #5: Ignorance is bliss

What happens when you deny things? Well, if you deny the reality of global warming, and if you are to be in any way self-consistent, then you have to deny every bit of evidence that it might be happening. Here’s a classic example, drawn from New Zealand’s very own little corner of the climate crank echo chamber, Richard Treadgold’s “Climate Conversation Group” blog. Treadgold concludes a recent post thus:

Once more: let’s stop accepting this palpable nonsense that climate change is responsible for anything.

Climate change means global warming. Global warming has not happened for about 15 years, unless you take a micrometer to the thermometer. And if you have to do that just to detect warming, then it’s hardly dangerous, is it?

Oh – if it didn’t happen, then it didn’t cause anything! No droughts, no wildfires, no floods, no storms. No ice melt.

Look at the bit I’ve emphasised. No warming for 15 years? Tell that to the planet, Richard. Here’s what the World Meteorological Organisation says about the first decade of the 21st century:

…climate change accelerated in 2001-2010, which was the warmest decade ever recorded in all continents of the globe.

No warming for 15 years? After we’ve had the warmest decade ever recorded in all continents of the globe?

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Hypocrisy rules: Monckton ducks debate

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Peter Hadfield, aka video blogger potholer54, notes with some interest that while the noble Lord, Christopher, the discount Viscount Monckton of Brenchley has plenty of time on his current US trip to indulge in fantasies about the President’s birth, long Skype chats with classrooms of students, and addresses to California politicians, he has been unable to find the time to respond to the very public debate with Hadfield that he had committed to on Anthony Watts µWatts blog. The uncharitable might suggest this was because he was getting a drubbing. There’s a big difference between winning a debate through oratory, one of the potty peer’s genuine accomplishments, and living by the undeniable facts. Full text of Hadfield’s open letter here, together with a list of his debunking videos. Good value.

See also: Climate Crocks, Barry Bickmore, and Eli’s burrow.

[Lemon Jelly]

Words matter: a politician tells the truth

“The land we call our home, the land owned by this sweet funny brave people is being transformed, as is the rest of the planet. And yes, since the late eighties I have been an unapologetic believer in the grim reality that human activity is changing the earth’s climate.”

These words were spoken by the new Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, in the course of his first speech to the Australian senate last week. I felt a twinge of envy as I tried to imagine a New Zealand Minister in any portfolio, let alone Foreign Affairs, speaking with such directness and entirely appropriate emphasis.  “Grim reality” is exactly the right description, and one from which, once uttered, there is no easy evasion.

Carr well understands the basic science of global warming and the history of its development, as is evident in a video clip of a lecture he gave in 2008 in which he called climate change deniers “the present danger”. In his Senate speech he also made clear that his concern includes the oceans:

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Underneath the shade: Homebrew Crew on climate change

A little something for the weekend: NZ rappers Homebrew Crew with a musical commentary on attitudes to climate change. Slightly not safe for work, but I like it. Y’know, getting down with my homeboys, as I believe the young folks say. Fab gear!