Brill’s Quadrant rant: a snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings

Barry Brill, the superannuated politician and lack-lustre lawyer1 who rejoices in the position of chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, has been given room for a rant by right wing Aussie magazine Quadrant, and — surprise, surprise — he uses it to air the climate crank cliché du jour: The science is settled: no warming. Here’s Brill’s conclusion:

The statistical fact is that the late 20th century warming trend is history. It is over. It is so yeterday (sic). As Monty Python’s immortal “Dead Parrot” sketch illustrates so vividly, there is a vast gulf between “resting” and “dead”.

Unfortunately for Brill, and to borrow a line from a somewhat more apposite Monty Python sketch, he’s clearly suffering from “grievous mental confusion”, and an inability to construct an proper argument. As the script has it: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.

Brill is happy to contradict the evidence, by ignoring the great scads of the stuff that show warming continues. Global surface temperatures are not the only index of warming, nor do they reflect any standstill. Ice melts and oceans continue to warm, as Jeff Masters points out today — and as numerous others have pointed out since the crank echo chamber decided it was time to push this stupid meme.

Warming will stop only when atmospheric CO2 stabilises and the oceans reach thermal equilibrium, which isn’t going to happen any time soon. In the meantime Brill and his band of cranks, by propagandising for inaction are stealing all our futures. The world will be a much worse place than it need be, and Brill will have to take his share of the blame.

  1. He prepared the case for the NZ CSET’s attempt to sue NIWA, famously described by the judge as “prolix”. []

Prat watch #10: the ice age is here!

Forget all that nonsense about “no warming for 16 years”, to be a real sceptic these days you have to insist that the climate’s currently cooling. But why stop there? To show your real commitment to the coolist cause, you have to go BM (Beyond Monckton) and insist that the next ice age is descending on us. And that’s exactly what Britain’s nuttiest weather forecaster, Piers Corbyn, is proclaiming. Britain’s had a bit of snow and a cold start to March, so Piers jumps on his soapbox and cries “The new Mini Ice Age is upon us!”

CorbynIceAge2013

Here’s Piers:

“This is further evidence of the inevitable plunge from now into the new Mini Ice Age we warned of some years ago — The CO2 story is over. It has been pointing the world in the wrong direction for too long. The serious implications of the developing MIA to agriculture and the world economy through the next 25 to 35 years must be addressed.”

● The CO2 story is over
● World cooling is now ‘locked-in’
● Average solar activity way down
● Jet stream often way south
● Jet Stream develops wild waves giving very extreme weather events – hail, thunder, floods etc.

“Locked in”, eh? I rather suspect that the next El Niño will make Mr Corbyn look rather stupid in all but his own eyes. He won’t notice though, because he’ll be busy reinterpreting history (he’s already reinvented solar physics) in the same way as his nearest NZ counterpart, weather astrologer Ken Ring. In the meantime, it’ll be interesting to see who amongst the usual suspects will be happy to support Corbyn’s frothing. Is no idea too wacky for the coolists?

TDB today: Bursting Bill and Steven’s bubble

In this week’s column at The Daily Blog, I argue that the government is living in a bubble of unreality by refusing to take climate change seriously.

…the government — in the shape of deputy PM Bill English and minister of everything and Novapay Steven Joyce — has done its best to avoid acknowledging [the] threat [of increasing drought] to New Zealand agriculture. The reason is simple enough. If you don’t understand the issue — or you don’t want to understand the issue — then you can’t design sensible policy to deal with it. Bill and Steven and their friends are locked into a bubble of unreality, one they’ve been blowing around themselves since they took power.

Read the rest at The Daily Blog.

Why is Federated Farmers promoting climate denial during a major drought?

The man who believes Obama's birth certificate was faked, promoted by Federated Farmers.
The man who believes Obama’s birth certificate was faked, promoted by Federated Farmers.

You’d think, in the middle of the worst drought in 70 years, with farmers in crisis, that their national political body might be thinking about  the big picture of climate change and how best to communicate that to farmers.

In Marlborough, where the drought is hitting hard, the local Federated Farmers chapter is sponsoring a talk by crank Lord Monckton.   I asked Conor English, Federated Farmers CEO,  what he thought about this and he said:

“We have 24 Provinces and they get all sorts of speakers on all sorts of things. We simply don’t know.”

OK, one renegade chapter. Fair enough. I’m sure Top of the South farmers will be relieved to know climate change isn’t real.

But on March 8, Federated Farmers’ “Friday Flash” weekly email bulletin was mailed to members right around the country, including a full-on promotion, with dates, links, and phone numbers of Monckton’s wander around the country.  The item even questioned the science of global warming, running out the tired old denier “global warming has stalled for 16 years” argument (rebutted here) that is central to Monckton’s theories.

So I went back to Mr English to ask how they could be promoting Monckton’s visit, right in the middle of this terrible drought, the type of  drought farmers are expected to get a lot more of as climate impacts kick in. Continue reading “Why is Federated Farmers promoting climate denial during a major drought?”

Don Easterbrook is a zombie

Don Easterbrook is back, and his misunderstanding of Greenland’s climate history rides again in two remarkable posts at µWatts — attempted demolitions of the new paper every denier worth his (or her) salt is frothing at the mouth to claim has been rubbished, the 11,300 year global paleoclimate reconstruction of Marcott et al1. Unfortunately Easterbrook is as far off the mark in his two essays at µWatts (one, two) as he has ever been, which makes not only him look stupid, but everyone who relies on his “work”2.

The easiest thing for me to do to debunk Don would have been to republish this post from January 2011, because all of the points I make there remain true, and are sufficient to discredit Easterbrook’s interpretation of Greenland temperatures and their relevance to Marcott et al, but this time round Don has actually added a couple of extra mistakes — I presume just to keep people like me on their toes. So, for the record, here are Don’s new errors:

Continue reading “Don Easterbrook is a zombie”

  1. A. Marcott, J. D. Shakun, P. U. Clark, A. C. Mix. A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years. Science, 2013; 339 (6124): 1198 DOI: 10.1126/science.1228026 []
  2. That means the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor, who relies on Easterbrook’s efforts in his latest Forbes article, and looks like a chump because of it. Well, he already looks like a chump in many respects, but this is a doozy, as chump-making status goes. []