Minister of silly talks

Apparently there’s too much preaching going on from climate scientists. That’s the message from the UK’s new climate change minister, Greg Barker. Of all the things the minister might have found to say this is surely one of the silliest. Reuter’s report found its way into the Waikato Timesand disturbed my evening equilibrium.

Extraordinarily, the platform from which he delivered his remarks was the launching by the UK government of a new interactive Google Earth map showing the impacts of a  4 degrees warmer world.

He had some sensible things to say:

“This map reinforces our determination to act against dangerous man-made climate change.‪‪ We know the stakes are high and that’s why we want to help secure an ambitious global climate change deal.”

But it was the silly statements that gained media attention. He evidently considered the occasion suitable for an accusation that “some experts” have turned people against them by being too forthright and refusing to acknowledge any uncertainties about the science. Apparently they’ve been dealing in absolutes, and it wasn’t necessary. He’s not a scientist but he knows that they don’t have to deal in absolutes.

I haven’t struck any climate science experts who refuse to acknowledge any uncertainties about the science. The IPCC report is very open about uncertainties. Barker’s is a foolish accusation, and a damaging one. It’s all the worse for not specifying who he is referring to. But I suspect he hasn’t got anyone to refer to and is just parroting a complacent perception  that he’s picked up from the circles he moves in.

He acknowledges that the evidence behind the science is overwhelming, but enlarges on his complaints about the experts who have provided that evidence. They should try to be “more realistic, less preachy, more inclusive and a bit more tolerant”.

What on earth does all that mean? Is he accusing climate experts of lacking a sense of how to relate to ordinary people? Does he mean more realistic about what people can be expected to understand? Or is he suggesting they should adjust their findings to make them more palatable? Inclusive and more tolerant of whom? Lower standards of peer review perhaps? Regular dialogue with deniers?

I doubt whether he knows what it means himself in any detail. But it feeds his intention to lay some blame on the scientists for the high level of public scepticism about the science. They’re getting what they’ve deserved.

“There was a slight sense that the climate community, of which politicians of course are a large part, got what was coming to them, just by being a little bit too preachy, a little bit on the higher moral tone.”

Notice the injection of politicians into the accusation. Perhaps that is the key to why he spoke as he did. Perhaps he had the Miliband brothers in mind. Whoever he had in mind he has participated in a fiction and let down the scientific community.

This from the climate change minister in a government which aspires, according to his colleague on the occasion Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham, to be “the ‘greenest’ Government ever”.  Perhaps the reporting was selective. Perhaps he also spoke strongly about the deliberate disinformation campaigns, and the vicious attacks on the climategate scientists. Perhaps he lamented the media failure to convey the strength of the mainstream science. Maybe he enlarged on the importance of the community taking seriously the science that the Google Earth map was established to demonstrate. I hope so. But even if he did, he was still wrong to advance the smug notion that scientists are overplaying the issue and assuming an objectionable air of moral superiority as they do so.

105 thoughts on “Minister of silly talks”

  1. This is certainly disappointing if the reportage is accurate. But not unexpected. The politics of climate change differs from any other problem that humanity has ever faced in the past. In general political leaders have woken up to the problem, but they are still at the stage of making gestures rather than taking anything that is concrete or radical to address the problem. The silly comments are more a result of frustration at those who continue to point out the impending dangers of unrelenting business as usual. Whilst acknowledging the reality of Global Warming and its consequences, on the other hand they are still wedded to the economic world view of Capitalistic economics and unrelenting GDP growth.

  2. The politics of climate change differs from any other problem that humanity has ever faced in the past.
    In what way(s)? If you mean that “political leaders have woken up to the problem, but they are still at the stage of making gestures rather than taking anything that is concrete or radical to address the problem”, then how is that particularly different to a whole range of other political hot potatoes? Don’t they do pretty much the same thing almost across the board?

  3. Perhaps the minister has limited his contact with climate scientists to only Dr James Lovelock?
    To my knowledge, only Lovelock is of the opinion that our gooses are cooked. Perhaps, but nobody else seems willing to agree with his extreme viewpoint.
    But I have a suspicion the good minister does not accept the fact that our climate is already changing.
    That is the only other “absolute” from climate scientists that I am aware of.

  4. “The politics of climate change differs from any other problem that humanity has ever faced in the past.”
    Political problems of the past such as war, natural disasters, famine, plague, collapse of an economy, have immediate catastrophic consequences. Leaders need to take decisive actions to avert further chaos and loss of live etc. Climate Change is gradual but ultimately far more catastrophic. We find it difficult to imagine 2 m sea level rise when the current rate is around 3 cm per decade, We find it difficult to imagine the consequences of a 2 – 3 or more degree C increase in Global temperatures when the current rate of change is measured in fractions of a degree. So it is tempting to ignore these signs of impeding disaster, and to concentrate on the here and now of financial meltdown, oil spills, persistent unemployment, burgeoning levels of debts, and so forth. In other words to pass on the problem to succeeding generations. But as we know, by then it will be too late.
    Bismark considered politics as the “Art of the Possible”. Politicians can only go as far as the electorate will allow them to go. The final solution is ultimately in the hands of the people – you and me.

  5. Macro, perceptive. Climate change indeed is a long term crisis, which sets it apart from all other crises. It requires a very different perspective.

    As a metaphor, I just recently (at ripe old age) got my driver’s licence. Also driving a car requires you to look far ahead, anticipate events over a much larger area, and respond well ahead of time to things that could enter your area of influence. ‘Too late’ happens surprisingly early.

    As a pedestrian, you usually don’t have to look more than a few steps ahead to spot the dog shit on the sidewalk.

    So, perhaps humanity should get their planetary driver’s licence 😉

  6. Nice analogy mustakissa! And yes we need a planetary driver’s licence. The rules of the road are there for us to follow – but I fear we have a tendency to want to drive too fast, and to cut too many corners.

  7. Thanks for clarifying, and I agree that there is a difficulty with the gradualness of climate change in the ways that you have outlined, however, I don’t think this is unique to climate change and I think that it is first a psychological and only secondarily a political problem.

    It is not unique as I believe a similar pattern can be seen in many kinds of ecological problems in which incremental changes (often as the result of pursuing certain immediate objectives that may well be good in their own right) lead to unforeseen consequences “in the pipeline” that may take years, decades or longer to become fully manifest. Declining biodiversity, habitat loss, soil degradation (desertification) and various other issues have a similar shape to them. Climate change may represent the most complex and difficult example, but I’m not convinced that it is the only one. There may even be some social problems that have a similar shape to them (incremental changes ultimately leading to a bad outcome without an obvious line in the sand being crossed and with the full effects of the change only visible years or decades later).

    Second, I think the issue you have outlined is more a psychological than specifically political problem. Or rather, it is the latter because it is first the former. That we are not very good at looking ahead beyond an immediate frame of reference does indeed influence political decision-making, but also personal lifestyle changes and communal action outside of the political sphere.

    And I still think that (many) politicians will nearly always try harder to be *seen* to be doing something than to effect genuine improvement. Where the two overlap, that is a bonus. This applies to basically every issue, whether immediate or gradual.

    A minor point: I’m not looking for any kind of “final solution”. A creative, wise response perhaps, but I’m not sure that this is an issue that will have a “solution”, let alone a final one (which has other overtones to my ear).

    All that said, I do agree with the thrust of your post and think it is a very important part of the psychology of climate change.

  8. Byron. Yes I too agree that difficulty of incremental change is not unique to Climate Change and that halting ecological degradation is just as important to the ultimate health of humanity and the planet, and further that there is no one ultimate solution. What I do believe though is that the process towards addressing all of these issues is impaired by politicians and their “advisors” (who are in the main part are associated with main-stream economic and business interests) who concentrate far too much on the thinking of the (recent) past with its predominance of free-trade market driven philosophy. The problem with this approach is – who stands for the environment (in all its facets)? The environment has always in the past been seen as so large that that any “small alteration” will have little effect. But that thinking has to change. We see some of that in South America, where the realisation that continued deforestation will have vast implications not only in country, but world wide. But where are the G8 political leaders stepping up to the plate?
    “Politicians think of the next election – Statesmen think of the next generation”. What the world needs now are Statesmen. Unfortunately there is a predominance of politicians right now.

  9. Greg Barker:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Barker

    Barker also developed strong links to the Russian oil companies, being Head of Communications at the Anglo Siberian Oil Company from 1998–2000 and also worked in Russia for the Sibneft Oil Group

    Barker was implicated in the 2009 MPs’ expenses scandal for his purchase and sale of London flats.[4][5] Additional information from the MP’s expense claims show that he claimed for: 1. A coffee maker (£39.95) and a “Simon Drew” porcelaim mug (£5.99) 2. A bunch of flowers costing £7 3. A Bounty Kitchen Roll £1.54; Pyramid Tea Bags £1.51; Ground Coffee £1.95

    Barker married Celeste Harrison, an heiress to the Charles Wells brewery fortune, in 1992. Following a diary report in The Observer,[6] Barker confirmed he and his wife had separated and on 26 October 2006. British tabloid the Daily Mirror revealed that he had left his wife and children for another man, William Banks-Blaney

    Your pythonesque reference may not have been too far off the mark, Bryan.

  10. You guys should read more Mark Twain.

    He knew how it worked when he said, “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”

    This is precisely how climate science works these days.

  11. Marco – Yes, I am entirely with you on that last comment and also love the analogy of driving vs walking suggested by mustakissa. The same image can perhaps even be extended to flying, where anticipation has to extend even further ahead, given the velocities involved.

  12. ” on the other hand they are still wedded to the economic world view of Capitalistic economics and unrelenting GDP growth. ”

    Why oh why can’t these wizard financial geniuses make money out of this??

    I rather thought that entrepreneurs could see opportunities where others see little or nothing. Or do they just want to coast – not using imagination, not taking risks, just taking the benefits of more people having more money to spend.

  13. adelady writes:
    Why oh why can’t these wizard financial geniuses make money out of this??

    Indeed, many entrepreneurs are lining up to make money big time out of carbon.
    Not least are the clever chaps who have figured out that you can produce CFCs and then destroy them, gaining a massive 70 times the cost of production though carbon credits.

    Money for nothing, and the Kiwis are free.. (and stupid)
    ,
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/06/perverse-consequences.html

  14. ” gaining a massive 70 times the cost of production though carbon credits.”

    So ……. more coasting. Only this comes directly out of subsidies rather than a flow-on from govt policy.

    Where are the capitalists / entrepreneurs using imagination, research and personal drive to rediscover abandoned (but terrific) technology, or to come up with their own, or find a tame clever clogs to do it for them?

    Capitalists. Entrepreneurs. Are these people emulating the buggy whip makers of a century ago, insisting that the stuff they make is perfectly OK? The fact that no-one will need it or be able to afford it or even want it in a few years time seems to go straight through to the keeper.

  15. Gee, a link to North’s blog! That will turn out to be pure gold, I’m sure…

    There is a link to “real” media in North’s blog (Le Monde)

    But I’d really hate to upset the dogmasphere. Dream on that something good will come of this.

    Even the forestry industry has been shown to be a net emitter of CO2, according to a UN report.(on Nat radio this week)

  16. Right, so people game the system to claim the subsidies and instead of blaming them, Fred blames the system. Next thing you know he’ll be emptying the jails because it’s all the victims fault.

  17. Fred, may I first of all say that the various things you refer to in Greg Barker’s background and personal life are of no interest to me. I was aware of them, but see no relevance to my concern about what he was saying about climate science.
    Second, the New Scientist opinion piece you linked to strikes me as a continuing attempt to make something out of nothing, as Fred Pearce has unfortunately committed himself to doing. I don’t know whether he wrote the piece or not.
    Third, the Clean Development Mechanism which Richard North sneers at is valued by Nicholas Stern as he explains in his book The Global Deal. He makes the case there for the detailed design of a new, greater scale and more extensive CDM mechanism. Peter Newell and Matthew Paterson in their book Climate Capitalism offer an extensive explanation of how the CDM works, in the course of which they acknowledge the criticisms that can be levelled at it to date. But they note in its favour that it offers a glimpse of how carbon markets may help to decarbonise the global economy. All too nuanced for Richard North.

  18. Right, so people game the system to claim the subsidies and instead of blaming them, Fred blames the system

    And your point is?

    If you create a system that allows unscrupulous people to exploit it for personal gain, that is what will happen.

    Look at the massive scams happening in Europe with feed-in tarrifs on solar: Organised crime using arc lamps to shine at solar panels and make money out of the tarrif.

  19. All too nuanced for Richard North

    Bryan
    Are you suggesting that Richard North is a bit thick?

    I think he is a pretty sharp operator. In case you hadn’t noticed, he has blown open the whole Amazongate issue, which has now made it into the Wall Street Journal.

    In other words, the Sunday Times retraction was a load of rubbish,

  20. Fred, this is old ground, well covered in previous Hot Topic posts. In my view there was no Amazongate issue, and making it to the Wall Street Journal is no recommendation in my book. No, I don’t think Richard North is thick, just wrong. But I can see one of those pointless exchanges looming and I’m unlikely to respond further. I suggest you have a final say and then move on. I notice, by the way, that you’re starting to use this thread as an opportunity to introduce denialist old favourites which don’t necessarily relate to the post.

  21. Bryan,
    The Amazongate issue is now in the hands of the legal system.
    North has a complaint against the PCC (Press Complaints Council) and also a defamation case against Monbiot.

    North’s case has been independently verified by Roger Pielke Jr.

    You may choose to claim that the Amazongate issue was settled by the Sunday Times retraction, when it clearly was not.

    Use of pejorative terms such as “denialist” does not cut it with me.

    I certainly don’t want to argue this case with you, when it is clear that your revisionist attitude to these issues has everything to do with dogma and idealogy and nothing to do with truth.

    It might work in some crusty old neo-marxist university sociology department, but it doesn’t cut it in the real world. Sorry

  22. “North has a complaint against the PCC (Press Complaints Council) and also a defamation case against Monbiot.” – Fred.

    Yes, Monbiot was wrong North isn’t just a liar, he’s a moron and a
    liar.

  23. “June Was the Fourth Consecutive Month That Was Warmest on Record”

    How does that relate to any of the above?

    Is this somehow supposed to justify libel and fraud?

  24. “How does that relate to any of the above?” – Fred.

    It relates to physical reality.

    “Is this somehow supposed to justify libel and fraud?” – Fred

    Which has nothing to do with climate science. Climate change deniers however, well it describes them to a tee.

  25. Dappledwater

    Congratulations. You have described the true AGW believer to a tee.

    Whatever the issue, you are always right.

    Whoever critises you, they are a “denier”

    There is no rational thought involved.
    No self-criticism.
    No professional or moral integrity.

    Just mindlessly following the creed.

  26. “Whoever critises you, they are a “denier” – Fred.

    Someone, rather remarkably like yourself Fred, who parrots nonsense which is contradicted by empirical evidence, is indeed a denier. Would you rather be labeled a fantasist?. Just as accurate.

  27. Oh, don’t worry about Fred. He’ll last about 3 minutes when the capacity to vote out of visibility is restored!

    Starts of with what we can only assume is a conspiracy theory – he’s in it with the Russians – about a Tory minister (who’s had dodgy expenses claims – he’d be an orphan there!) and seems somehow to think it’s important that he’s gay. Immediately the alarm bells are ringing.

    Follows with a claim of moderator censorship of posts, and a link an op-ed at New Scientist that bears all the hallmarks of being written by Fred Pearce, and that didn’t really amount to a hill of beans in any case.

    By post 3 New Zealanders are ‘stupid’. By post 6 we understand why he’s such an angry man – the Sunday Times has retracted something merely because they worked out it wasn’t true. Rather letting the side down there!
    Along the way we get the usual projections about ‘dogma’ ‘closed minds’ ‘libel’ ‘fraud’ and ‘abuse’, links to the not-at-all-biased-or-in-any-way-crankish WUWT, ludicrous ‘you’ll be sorry’ claims because Amazongate ‘is in the hands of the legal system’ (woo! even if it gets to an actual court we’d only waste even more money determining the IPCC claims were factually correct but incorrectly referenced, which I can tell you now for free!)

    But thanks for “It might work in some crusty old neo-marxist university sociology department, but it doesn’t cut it in the real world.” I got a genuine laugh out of that one – I hadn’t realised it was still 1986!

    In all, a performance that could hardly have been more cliched – text-book trolling. See, we can read what you type, we just don’t happen to agree with it. And, believe it or not, we have been over the territory a time or two. Some people are worth arguing with, some, on the other hand…

  28. Speaking of the N-A-A-C-O-I-A-W-B WUWT; I apologise for persisting with the OT, but just to prove my point, here’s one hot from the Google cache from yesterday (+ here’s Jo Nova’s take – read the comments below it, including her own interjection and remarkable use of ‘ad hom’ – yes, the saner heads eventually prevailed!)

    Needless to say, a google search reveals only one source for this ‘shocking revelation’ of the evils of green euro-communism – one that most of us would not touch with a barge pole. So much for ‘skepticism’! Getting a bit carried away with the old confirmational bias there, do you think?…

  29. text-book trolling

    and text book responses.

    One would have thought that Jones providing his own evidence for the Oxburgh enquiry might at least ruffle some feathers, but apparently in the twilight zone of climate science this is completely acceptable.
    It also appears that the deletion of emails prior to an FOI request is also completely acceptable.

    And also, on the Amazongate issue, there may well be papers “out there” somewhere that support the assertions made. There are also papers that support opposite views. The issue is that Monbiot accused North of peddling “falsehoods, misinformation and lies” when in fact he was completely correct.

    The complete denial of any quality issues indicates an idealogical viewpoint that would not be acceptable in any other scientific or engineering discipline.

    QED

  30. “The issue is that Monbiot accused North of peddling “falsehoods, misinformation and lies” when in fact he was completely correct.” – Fred

    Except that North was lying. Never read the peer reviewed scientific papers by Simon Lewis and Dan Nepstad?, you know the ones upon which the IPCC claims are based?, the ones which demonstrate how the Amazon reacts to reduced rainfall?. Hell no, you’re just parroting stuff, which is old news:

    http://hot-topic.co.nz/amazongate-closes-on-sunday-times-simon-lewis-fights-back/

    Let us know when you come up with something original.

  31. We can conclude unambiguously that the citation of Rowell and Moore by the IPCC was improper as it was not only “grey literature,” but also devoid of scientific support for the claims that it advanced that were repeated in the IPCC.

    Those claiming that there is nothing to see here are simply wrong — the IPCC botched this one. The various defenses of this issue are an embarrassment. The IPCC simply made a mistake. Pretending that it did not cannot help either the IPCC or the cause for action

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/07/deep-into-amazonian-mud.html

  32. “June Was the Fourth Consecutive Month That Was Warmest on Record” – Dappledwater

    …….meanwhile back in the real world…………

    “Mercury plunges to record lows” says the NZ Herald. I believe we should celebrate! According to the Herald, NIWA say the last few weeks have seen some of the lowest temperatures on record. Air temperatures in the central North Island were the lowest since 1947. Te Kuiti and Turangi experienced the coldest nights for July on record and Blenheim experienced its second-coldest July, while Queenstown enjoyed its third coldest night in 139 years.

    This is wonderful news of course because apparently warming is BAD, ipso facto, cold is great! So obviously we should celebrate the success of the ETS and thank the minister in charge of natural phenomena for saving us from the horrors of global warming.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?_id=1&objectid=10658655

  33. Bill
    “Some people are worth arguing with, some, on the other hand…”
    Couldn’t agree more – and this couple of “useful idiots” (Joe and Fred) fall into the later category.

    Joe for instance can’t tell the difference between “temperature” and “warming”. Waste of time attempting to reason with ignorance like this.

  34. Waste of time attempting to reason with ignorance like this.

    I’ll repeat again for the intellectually challenged amongst you:

    Those claiming that there is nothing to see here are simply wrong — the IPCC botched this one. The various defenses of this issue are an embarrassment. The IPCC simply made a mistake. Pretending that it did not cannot help either the IPCC or the cause for action

  35. …the difference between “temperature” and “warming”. – Macro

    Clot.

    It’s morons like Macro of course who need to build straw men by inventing an issue out of nothing. This is because they lack an argument to begin with. If I had said “coldest temperatures” you might have some hope of making a point, but you’d still be splitting hairs. However, if you read the post, you will see I said “the last few weeks have seen some of the lowest temperatures on record”.

    You needed to build your straw man of course Macro because you were frightened by the news that temperatures here have been plunging to record lows, while all the village idiots like your good self believe (as in a religion) that the planet is heading for some kind of heat Armageddon.

    So bring on the “tipping point”!

    When is it by the way? This so called “tipping point”. I can’t wait.

  36. And in South America…

    In the south of Brazil and central Paraguay thousands of cattle have been reported dead, while in the south of Chile an agriculture emergency was declared and in Buenos Aires at the peak of the winter season, tens of regional flights had to be cancelled because of the extreme weather conditions leaving thousands stranded in the Argentine capital.


    In Argentina the number of dead from hypothermia reached twelve plus another 33 intoxicated with carbon monoxide.


    Bolivia reported 18 deaths because of freezing temperatures, most of them in EL Alto next to the capital La Paz, one of the highest cities of the world.


    Even the east of the country which is mostly sub-tropical climate has been exposed to frosts and almost zero freezing temperatures.

    http://en.mercopress.com/2010/07/20/southern-cone-frozen-100-dead-and-thousands-of-cattle-lost

  37. Joe Fone, so NZ is the globe now?. Deniers don’t seem to get any smarter. One logical fallacy after the other.

    Russia’s way bigger than NZ, but I don’t claim that’s representative of the whole Earth either:

    http://en.rian.ru/photolents/20100628/159607976.html

    And the US?:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7876257/New-York-swelters-in-record-heat-wave.ht

    Meanwhile globally (that’s the whole Earth Joe):

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100718233311.htm

    “June was the fourth consecutive month that was the warmest on record for the combined global land and surface temperatures”

    Understand the difference?.

  38. “We can conclude unambiguously that the citation of Rowell and Moore by the IPCC” – Fred Read

    Bzzzzt. Wrong. Did I mention papers by Simon Lewis and Dan Nepstad?. Well, I believe I did. Read them yet Freddie?.

  39. It’s been cold where I am, too (relatively speaking.) But what happens if we look at a map of global temperature anomalies for June –

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1544

    Now, are there more red dots or blue dots on that chart? And are the red dots relatively larger than the blue dots?

    Sure, that’s only one month – but I’m sure we’re all aware the 1st half of 2010 has been the hottest on record globally, with 4 months in a row of the highest recorded temperatures to date having just completed.

    Sure, that’s only 6 months – though it rather gives one pause for thought re Easterbrook’s coming ‘global cooling’ — so what do we see if we look at the following chart?

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/get-file.php?report=global&file=glob&year=2010&month=6&ext=gif

    I know it’s hard to grasp, but it’s actually possible for the weather to be cold in one area, or several areas, while it’s actually generally much warmer almost everywhere else. It’s actually possible for the globe to heat up overall and cows to still freeze to death in winter!

    People who don’t wish to be beaten over the head with their own silly arguments should really consider that possibility before jabbing at a keyboard!

    And I fail to see how repeatedly quoting from Pielke’s blog makes what he’s saying ‘the truth’ no matter how much you’d like to believe it. (Though that’s a wonderful painting – the Church – on the post.) The inquiries were had, and the results did not come out the way you wanted. So you’re back to your conspiracy theories and pointing out the odd cold-snap…

  40. Bolivia reported 18 deaths because of freezing temperatures, most of them in EL Alto next to the capital La Paz, one of the highest cities of the world. – Fred

    Nice one Fred. That’s an interesting article. But it doesn’t surprise me considering solar activity is at a low ebb and has been for some time. The sun of course is anathema to these AGW twerps because they refuse to allow the possibility it has a powerful influence on Earth’s climate system. No, they think CO2 at a few thousandths of a percent of the atmosphere is far more potent. Makes you wonder what goes on in the head. But then most fundamentalist religions have that effect on the small of mind and the easily led.

  41. And I fail to see how repeatedly quoting from Pielke’s blog makes what he’s saying ‘the truth’ no matter how much you’d like to believe it.

    OK, bill. You can continue to ignore the facts

    Because that’s what deniers like you do.

    The more you continue to ignore this, the bigger hole you will be digging for yourselves.

  42. Funny how Dopplewanger’s argument never seems to apply whenever there’s a heat wave or an Australian bush fire… these events are always banked by the AGW loonies as evidence of manmade global warming, while places experiencing record low temperatures… like say New Zealand (that’s part of the globe dopplewonker!), are just local and it’s just weather. I mean Hansen even believes the heat wave in the US is PROOF of global warming! Go figure.

    Dapplewater says June was the hottest month globally. Except that is for New Zealand where it was colder than average followed by July with RECORD LOW temperatures.

    So “globally” doesn’t include New Zealand then? Is New Zealand not part of the globe? What atlas are you looking at?

  43. “So “globally” doesn’t include New Zealand then? Is New Zealand not part of the globe? What atlas are you looking at?” – Joe Fone.

    Simple experiment, for a simple Joe. Look at an atlas Joe, is New Zealand the whole Earth?. Getting it yet?.

  44. “The more you continue to ignore this, the bigger hole you will be digging for yourselves.” – Fred Read

    Stop digging, start reading Fred. Simon Lewis & Daniel Nepstad. Report back if there’s anything else you don’t understand.

  45. Stop digging, start reading Fred.

    I have read. I have understood. I came to exactly the same conclusion as North and Pielke Jnr.

    Perhaps you would like to contribute something to this discussion, rather than constantly bouncing back with your denialist rhetoric

  46. We’ve had some dolts on this forum at times, but these two really take the cake. Genius Joe doesn’t understand advanced concepts like “global” and “average”, let alone the notion of putting them together. BTW Joe – you can’t even get NZ data right – June was 0.3C warmer than the 30-year average – some colder than average areas in the South Island were trumped by larger warmer than average areas in the North Island plus Nelson. I have nothing but contempt for people who get such easily verifiable things wrong, because they’re too lazy (or scared) to check the facts properly. July is not even over yet, so statements about the overall result are simply premature.

    I could talk in detail about being in South America in June-July 2007, when a very cold spell in much of Argentina and Chile made news – there was very little said about the much larger portion of the continent that was considerably hotter than usual. But I’ll spare the other contributors this.

  47. We’ve had some dolts on this forum at times

    Unable to answer or even look into the questions posed, we resort to personal insult.

    Another characteristic of the true denier.

  48. “is New Zealand the whole Earth?” – Dapplewater

    Interesting how your interpretation of “globally” doesn’t include those regions experiencing unusually low temperatures, like ahmmm New Zealand and South America. But that’s because they don’t fit the manmade GLOBAL warming myth. If the data doesn’t fit the story, change or ignore the data. Whatever you do, don’t change the story… sorry, I mean “religion”, because that would mean having to find another hobgoblin to worry about.

    So are New Zealand and South America not part of the globe then? Maybe it’s you who is on another planet.

  49. “I have read. I have understood. I came to exactly the same conclusion as North and Pielke Jnr.” – Fred Read.

    So you read the wrong papers?, Freddie, Freddie, c’mon leave la-la land for a moment. Simon Lewis & Daniel Nepstad. Try again.

  50. “Interesting how your interpretation of “globally” doesn’t include those regions experiencing unusually low temperatures, like ahmmm New Zealand and South America.” – Joe Fone

    Joe, are you 12 years old?, or simply missing a few chromosomes?. The NOAA, NASA and CRU datasets are from a GLOBAL network of stations, including NZ.

  51. Repeat after me:

    Those claiming that there is nothing to see here are simply wrong — the IPCC botched this one. The various defenses of this issue are an embarrassment. The IPCC simply made a mistake. Pretending that it did not cannot help either the IPCC or the cause for action

    Repeat after me:

    Those claiming that there is nothing to see here are simply wrong — the IPCC botched this one. The various defenses of this issue are an embarrassment. The IPCC simply made a mistake. Pretending that it did not cannot help either the IPCC or the cause for action

    Repeat after me:

    Those claiming that there is nothing to see here are simply wrong — the IPCC botched this one. The various defenses of this issue are an embarrassment. The IPCC simply made a mistake. Pretending that it did not cannot help either the IPCC or the cause for action

    Repeat after me:

    Those claiming that there is nothing to see here are simply wrong — the IPCC botched this one. The various defenses of this issue are an embarrassment. The IPCC simply made a mistake. Pretending that it did not cannot help either the IPCC or the cause for action

  52. Freddie, no need to paste your learning process all over Gareth’s blog. We know the methods by which idjits learn. Why won’t you read the papers referenced Freddie?.

  53. Freddie, not to paste your learning process all over Gareth’s blog. We know the methods by which idjits learn. Why won’t you read the papers referenced Freddie?.

    I have read the papers.
    My conclusion is:

    Those claiming that there is nothing to see here are simply wrong — the IPCC botched this one. The various defenses of this issue are an embarrassment. The IPCC simply made a mistake. Pretending that it did not cannot help either the IPCC or the cause for action

  54. “The NOAA, NASA and CRU datasets are from a GLOBAL network of stations, including NZ”. – Dopplewonka

    Why do you insist on being a moron? It’s not compulsory. This GLOBAL network of fiddled, fudged and manipulated data – especially the CRU dataset – doesn’t mean anything more than that: a network of fiddled, fudged and manipulated data used to support a preconceived politically-correct notion while anything that contradicts it is ignored. You keep referring to GLOBAL temperatures and GLOBAL warming as though there’s nothing else going on. You’re completely distracted by the heat wave in the US while overlooking the opposite occurring in the southern hemisphere. That means whatever ‘warming’ you think you’re seeing is not GLOBAL. The “global warming” bit is merely the result of data-manipulation because there is no “global warming” to speak of.

    But here’s what Lubos Motl had to say on his blog The Reference Frame:

    “It’s very warm in Central Europe – high temperatures in Pilsen reach 35°C – and the global mean temperatures are close to the July 2009 values which were pretty warm.

    But the sea ice tells us a different story. For several months, The Cryosphere Today has been showing the decline of the Arctic sea ice. Several months ago, the anomaly grew and almost reached zero but it stayed slightly negative throughout 2010 and has been dropping, reaching -1.5 million squared kilometers a week ago or so.

    However, the figure has been rising since that time and the newest reading is -1.333. At any rate, the Arctic has returned to a “shortage of ice” while the Antarctic sea ice boasts the good old tendency to grow. It’s currently at +1.337 – so the total global sea ice anomaly is actually positive again, despite the warm global mean temperatures.

    Imagine that. Several decades of news reports about armageddon and melting ice and after 30 years, we’re exactly where we were in 1980.

    So you see Dopplew.nker, it’s very seasonal, very regional, and very changeable. That’s the nature of the beast. The climate changes because that’s what it does.

    Now go outside and play.

  55. “Why don’t I pop back after the lawsuit?” – Fred Read.

    Yeah, we could do with more laughs. Especially when that lying so and so, Richard North, threatened to include the Guardian bloggers in the lawsuit. I was one of the bloggers. Priceless stuff.

    And don’t forget to read Simon Lewis and Daniel Nepstad’s papers, or should we change your name Fred Not Read?.

  56. “This GLOBAL network of fiddled, fudged and manipulated data” – Joe Fone

    Make your mind up, a few posts back, you claimed it didn’t include NZ and South America, now it’s a conspiracy because it does?.

    You are 12 years old aren’t you?.

  57. “But here’s what Lubos Motl had to say on his blog The Reference Frame” – Joe Fone.

    Blog?, or bog?. Perhaps Motl should stick to his wiggly bits of string theory, they haven’t made much progress on that.

  58. Joe Fone: You continue to demonstrate that you have no idea of what a global average is, or even what GW hypotheses actually say. I could try to explain here simple things that many Year 6 kids could understand, but “useful idiots” like you aren’t worth the effort. Bill is right. No wonder Watts and his cronies like having people of your ilk around – to spread your profound ignorance further into the general populace.

  59. Hey, Joe, if this is really a quote from Lubos Motl, it is one of his most hilariously deranged:

    “At any rate, the Arctic has returned to a “shortage of ice” while the Antarctic sea ice boasts the good old tendency to grow.”

    Spot the deliberate inanity – if you can’t, perhaps a nice refreshing swim and a spot of sunbathing will help you figure it out….

  60. Oh, this is a tag-team Poe, surely? You could not make these guys up!

    OK, bill. You can continue to ignore the facts

    Because that’s what deniers like you do.

    The more you continue to ignore this, the bigger hole you will be digging for yourselves.

    Let me guess – we’re all going to be put in camps when the court-case result comes in? Because that will prove once and for all that all those climatologists, and glaciologists – and those biologists who insist on noticing species migrating earlier or moving up altitudes or latitudes as temperatures increase – and people who understand what an ‘average’ is generally are part of one giant conspiracy. Beautiful…

    Why do you insist on being a moron? It’s not compulsory. This GLOBAL network of fiddled, fudged and manipulated data – especially the CRU dataset – doesn’t mean anything more than that: a network of fiddled, fudged and manipulated data used to support a preconceived politically-correct notion while anything that contradicts it is ignored.

    You guys are brilliant – your biting satire of a pair of paranoid far-right dolts is spot on! What you need to do now is claim you’ll be marketing some special non-PC thermometers that won’t deliberately distort the data…

  61. @Dapplewater

    Perhaps you’d all like to publicly sign a petition accusing North and Pielke of lying over the Amazongate issue?

    Full names please.

    I am sure after your victory over Monckton you’d love to put your names forward.

    I have already forwarded this Url to both parties, so they are looking forward to your responses.

    Names.

    Now, please.

  62. You wallies just don’t get basic concepts do you? You throw the term “global” around with gay abandon, while overlooking the inconvenient areas of the planet that are not experiencing this alleged “global” warming, like say here for instance. So let me explain what “global” means: pertaining to the WHOLE world; as in worldwide. Get it? Global means the entire planet, not just the bits experiencing a heat wave or the odd retreating glacier. If your beloved “global” warming aint happening “globally”, then it aint global. It’s just regional. Every time some alarmist twit sees a melting glacier or a bush fire, he gets all excited and thinks ‘WHOA! That’s evidence of GLOBAL warming right there!!”. But if this same twit hears of an advancing glacier somewhere or increasing Antarctic sea ice, or record low temperatures somewhere, he goes quiet and dismisses it as regional weather. You can’t have it both ways.

    You see, the OTHER areas of the planet experiencing unusually low temps, like the Antarctic whose overall ice content has been INCREASING for the past few years, or indeed NZ which has been experiencing record low temperatures (that doesn’t mean normal winter temperatures, it means “record low” temperatures!), are also part of the globe so they really need to be factored into your sad “global” thing.

    So here’s a question: Considering the northern hemisphere has had three winters in a row with RECORD low temperatures and RECORD high snow falls in diverse places, what do you think will happen THIS winter in the northern hemisphere?

    Oh right, I forgot… you get around these RECORD low temperatures and RECORD high snow falls in diverse places by renaming it “climate change”! LOL!!!

  63. Joe Fone, stop wagging school and get back to class. Whilst there ask your teacher about basic statistics, things like what averages are. I know it might be a bit advanced for a 12 year old like yourself, just ask nicely. It’s been explained by other posters here, but you haven’t grasped the concept yet.

    One other thing, is the truncation to JF some sort of street cred thing?.

    “So here’s a question: Considering the northern hemisphere has had three winters in a row with RECORD low temperatures and RECORD high snow falls in diverse places, what do you think will happen THIS winter in the northern hemisphere?” – Joe Fone.

    Bullshit. Read the NOAA website.

  64. JF/Joe Fone: Last chance for you to prove that you might have some grey cells. The “global averages” being talked about are areal averages – that’s right – averaged over the entire planet. Not fundamentally different from averaging the exam scores for your S4/Year 6 class. If your teacher reports that the class did better this year than than they did the previous year, it does NOT mean that EVERY pupil got a better score, but simply that the class average was better than it was last time. The “improvers” outweighed the ones that didn’t. Warming scenarios do NOT mean that every square metre of the planet has to exceed appropriate thresholds at the same time, just that for a given month/year/fixed time period, the global areal average exceeds a standard value. If we had already got to a point where the former was the case, we’d be in a runaway situation (or very close to it) and would be better off planning our limited futures. Warming also does NOT mean that every single year has to be warmer than the previous one.

    All this is terribly elementary, and if you don’t get it, you have no right to be insulting the intelligence of others here – other than Fred, of course.

  65. This is precisely what I mean by global warming NOT being global warming: “Ice has flatlined in the North, while it goes through the roof in the south. The widely claimed polar meltdown continues to be nothing more than bad fiction.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/11/sea-ice-news-13/

    Global warming should henceforth be renamed “globull warming” because what little there has been is part of a natural cycle and has nothing whatever to do with Gareth’s, or Al Gore’s carbon footprint. Besides which the planet now appears to be in a cooling phase as the sun enters a quiet period of low activity.

  66. the last 12 months are the warmest on record according to the NASA datasets

    See my previous comment and link to WM Briggs

    The phrase “warmest on record” has little statistical meaning.

  67. Okaaaay, I did it, I looked at that link.

    What I learned was what I teach high school students about statistics. You have to be careful about interpreting statistics. You have to know what you’re doing. (It is possible to have negative values for average temperatures, it isn’t for average height of school students.)

    “Being careful” with climate and temperature statistics means getting your head around the science and all the other statistical information first. *Then* you check to see if your first (naive, initial, tentative, whatever) reading of the information stacks up.

    If you’re not sure, you look for more information. If you can’t find it, or you can’t understand it when you do, what then?

    Ask an expert!

    If the expert’s advice seems odd, find out why/how they came to their conclusion.

    I’m not a scientist, and I really don’t feel the need to spend weeks or months getting my maths back up to the level required, so I rely on the experts. If you don’t want to do that, you’re in for a long, hard slog with the books.

  68. It’s not just about statistics. It is about language.

    NIWA may state that the last decade was the “warmest on record”, but when it was 0.01degC warmer than the 80s, and the 90s were cooler (as I seem to recall), then the statement is of little use.

    Sorry I don’t have the actual numbers, but hopefully you can see the point

  69. “Bollocks, the last 12 months are the warmest on record according to the NASA datasets” – Dopplewonka

    Clutching at straws. You probably believe the IPCC’s computer models too. They say one thing while Nature says the opposite. But in your book, the models trump Nature’s evidence right in front of your eyes because you’re so dazzled by the IPCC’s authority on the subject you can’t think for yourself. If someone told you the Emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes (because hey let’s face it, he isn’t!), you’d still say “Bollocks! Check out his web site! It says there that he is”.

    You’re a laugh a minute!

  70. “See my previous comment and link to WM Briggs” – Fred

    I did. A cyclic climate?. What waffle. The record warmth is in line with multiple lines of evidence that the Earth is warming due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases.

    Better?.

  71. I did. A cyclic climate?. What waffle. The record warmth is in line with multiple lines of evidence that the Earth is warming due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases

    “Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language. ”

    –Ludwig Wittgenstein

  72. “They say one thing while Nature says the opposite.” – Joe Fone

    Yeah, they say warming and the climate shows……..warming. What were you blathering about?.

  73. The graph means nothing. I don’t like micro-analysing Arctic sea ice (WUWT are guilty of that as much as anyone). Arctic ice is a very capricious beast.

    And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

    —Friedrich Nietzsche

  74. Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies. Nietzsche again. See, I can do it too! And I seriously doubt that if Bertie Russell were alive today he’d have much time for you guys…

    and the 90s were cooler (as I seem to recall)

    Cooler than what? The 80s? No they weren’t. The global temp anomalies relative to a 1951-1980 baseline for the decades in question go +0.18C for the 80s, +0.31C for the 90s, and +0.54 for the noughties.

    So much for –

    NIWA may state that the last decade was the “warmest on record”, but when it was 0.01degC warmer than the 80s… then the statement is of little use

    ‘Is of little use’? Is this some thing that fractions of a degree aren’t important? “I’ve only got 0.05% alcohol in my bloodstream – I can’t be drunk!”? “Why don’t they write 380 ppm as 0.038% and then we’d know it doesn’t mean anything?!”

  75. For us, it’s not a difficult decision which side to believe: scientists who directly observe and measure climate changes and whose accuracy is rigorously tested by their peers, or pundits with little knowledge of climate science whose views are informed by a long-held resentment of environmentalists and government regulation. Yet the latter group, working hand in hand with big energy companies that profit from the filthy status quo, have injected enough doubt into the national debate to paralyze Congress — which seems little closer to imposing greenhouse-gas limits or placing a market price on emissions than it was during the laissez-faire George W. Bush administration — and confuse the public, who in recent polls are increasingly inclined to believe that the threat of climate change has been exaggerated.

    LA Times, ‘You Can’t Explain Away Climate Change’, editorial, 22-07-10

  76. See, I can do it too! And I seriously doubt that if Bertie Russell were alive today he’d have much time for you guys

    What precisely do you mean by “you guys”

    I have been called “far right” in this thread. Would the person who made that claim please step forward and explain what they meant?

    It is the assumption that anyone who questions any aspect of climate science, whatsoever, even if it a load of non-peer reviewed propaganda from the WWF, is “far right”? Were the Nazis “far right?”

    It it your assumption that I am a fundamentalist Christian who hates Gays, women, and is fat and drives a Hummer?

    Please let me know.

  77. Fred, this thread has strayed a long way away from the post, and we have been quite lenient in allowing you to introduce a variety of material unrelated to the topic. You’ve made it clear that you don’t agree with the main thrust of the science and others have explained to you why they do. I think we should leave it at that. You’ve thrown a good many loose accusations around yourself, and I don’t think you can expect to be given space to call to account those you suspect of having been implied about you. I suggest we call a halt.

  78. Ok, Bryan, I give up.
    However, at some stage you will have to face the Amazongate issue.

    North’s complaint against the PCC has been accepted and is being investigated.

  79. Fred, my position on the Amazongate affair is initially set out here. It was further developed here and here. I obviously have a low opinion of North’s motivation and integrity. However liar is not a word I commonly use when writing posts, and I don’t think Dappledwater was claiming to be speaking for me. You’ve had your say on Amazongate and on Richard North. Let’s leave it there.

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