No vision, no guts, no future

by Gareth on August 10, 2009

targetThe New Zealand government announced this afternoon that NZ would table a conditional emissions target of between 10% and 20% cuts on 1990 levels by 2020 [Scoop, Herald]. The range is supposed to allow for a response to the progress of international negotiations, and the conditions are that there should be a comprehensive international agreement that (according to the MoE Q+A):

…sets the world on a pathway to limit temperature rise to not more than 2°C; developed countries make comparable efforts to those of New Zealand; advanced and major emitting developing countries take action fully commensurate with their respective capabilities; there is an effective set of rules for land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); and there is full recourse to a broad and efficient international carbon market.

Climate minister Nick Smith says that the target will be achieved by a mixture of domestic emission reductions, the storage of carbon in forests, and the purchase of emission reductions from other countries. The MoE Q+A page lists the measures in place to help NZ reduce emissions (#25): it amounts to a watered down emissions trading scheme, a $323 million home insulation and clean heating fund, a new Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research, incentives for new energy technologies like sustainable biofuels, electric cars and solar water systems, Resource Management Act reforms and a National Policy Statement to support renewable electricity generation. No mention of forestry. Are the trees expected to plant themselves?

The target range comes as no surprise, given the signals emerging from the government over recent weeks, but the modest nature of the target and the fact that it is all conditional puts NZ in a weak position internationally. Smith & Co continue to insist that their targets, based on “50 by 50″, are in line with what the science is telling us, but that is only true if they cherry pick the most optimistic IPCC scenario, and ignore the evidence that’s been emerging over the last two years. This is not mysterious stuff, not news. The science and policy community has told the government the facts — it looks like they have chosen to ignore them and pander to those who would rather do nothing.

It is now transparently obvious that this National-led government simply does not understand the real challenges presented by climate change. They do not appreciate the full seriousness of the situation that confronts the planet, they underestimate the need to act, and they have completely failed to make any coherent assessment of what could be done. That amounts to gross incompetence, and they should be held to account for it, both at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion.

[Pusillanimous]

{ 293 comments… read them below or add one }

R2D2 August 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm

So after all the fan fare the government announces a target that is full of wriggle room and completely dependent on what others do. I like it.

And does nto announce any unconditional target.

Macro August 10, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Regretfully, I couldn’t agree more with you Gareth. I am actually surprised that they have even put a figure of 20% out there! – although I understand that figure is highly conditional. So we are expecting the rest of the world to take all the pain, and we will tag along behind. Typical. And yes R2 I have to agree with you on your first sentence. So we can agree about something. But as for your response… I have to say you are sadly lacking in wisdom.

Gareth August 10, 2009 at 7:55 pm

R2′s reply confirms that my judgement is good.

R2D2 August 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Nice to know you respect my opinion :-)

Bryan Walker August 10, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Have I got this right? The economic reports on which the government’s decision is based expect our per capita disposable income to have risen by 2020 from the current $38,500 per annum to $49,000 under a business-as-usual scenario. With a 15% reduction of emissions from 1990 levels this $49,000 would drop to $47,600. With a 40% reduction and a high price of carbon it would drop to $46,000. In other words instead of being 27% richer than we are now we would only be 19% richer. Key and Smith claimed in the news tonight that the target they are putting forward will cost every New Zealander $30 a week whereas Greenpeace’s target would cost $60 a week. Neither of them mentioned that these “costs” would be subtracted from incomes which would have risen by over $200 a week above current levels. I very much doubt that the viewing public tonight – on TV3 news anyway – would understand that the “costs” simply meant getting richer a little more slowly.

I don’t think the government should be basing its decision on questionable economic analysis anyway, but on what the science says is necessary. However if they’re going to use the economic report as their justification for an inadequate response they should make clear what it means. Many people would happily get richer more slowly to avert the disasters which threaten. In fact many of us would happily settle for getting poorer if that was required.

Maybe I’ve misunderstood the economic report. Someone will no doubt let me know if I have.

R2D2 August 10, 2009 at 8:41 pm

You have read the reports right, but the business as usual incomes are not entirely important. Whether you presume 1% economic growth or 5% economic growth from now through until 2020 the comparative costs will be similar. Sharper cuts will cost more.

What is important in an international scheme like this is that we equalise costs amongst nations, recognising differences in national circumstances. Why should NZ spend $60 per week if the US are only willing to spend $7?

The GAINS model does this and suggests that an equailised cost of 0.3% of GDP Annex-1 nations can achieve 20% reductions. Spending 0.3% of GDP will result in New Zealand emissions being almost 20% higher than 1990 levels by 2020.

Sign up at the below website for more info:

http://gains.iiasa.ac.at/index.php/home-page/241-on-line-access-to-gains

Macro August 10, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Economists can’t even predict the cost of money 5 days in advance, so why should we listen to them on the cost of doing something constructive regarding saving the planet and ourselves is beyond belief.
As for continued growth – I’m sorry but that is a fools dream. Economists seem to think that we live in a limitless world of unlimited resources. NO we don’t. 3% growth represents a doubling every 24 years. Or a consumption of a resource at such a rate that we are consuming twice as much 24 years later as we were before. It is simply unsustainable, and at some time in the future we will have to pay! Like we are now having to pay for our unprofligate emissions of CO2. Obviously R2 wants our children and grandchildren to pay.

R2D2 August 10, 2009 at 10:10 pm

OK, if you really want to get into this debate I will have it with you, growth is limitless, and unless you have an understanding of macroeconomics you shouldn’t claim otherwise.

In terms of grandchildren, quite the opposite, if we savage our economy now by rushing into reckless emissions policy our grandchildren will pay by growing up in a poorer world. If we invest the money in technology and capital they will grow up in a wealthier world.

Macro August 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm

ooops! missed the edit button!

Macro August 10, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Well yes I did several papers in economics – and that was enough to convince me that economists really didn’t know what they were talking about. And no growth can never be limitless. Humans will eventually overpopulate the earth. And growth dependent upon chemical energy is limited as well.
Our children and grandchildren will reap the harvest of floods, drought, famine, war (the war in Ethiopia could even now be consequence of a climatic change in the region) and pestilence that are just some of the inevitable consequences of “business as usual”.

R2D2 August 10, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Economic Output (Change in is growth) is a function of Physical Capital (K), Natural Capital (N), Human Capital (H) and Technology (T).

Our consumption is currently linked to non-renewable resources, which poses a problem for growth in the immediate future, although I am sceptical these resources are going to become overly scarce in the next 20 years (please do not respond to this part – only go further off topic). By consuming oil and gas we have consumed more than we produce, but that does not mean growth has a limit.

Long term, ie greater than 100 years, there is no limit to growth. There is no limit to the capital we can invest, there is no limit to the improvement to human capital (skills and knowledge), there is no limit to the level that technology can increase, further increasing production and consumption.

Natural capital may appear fixed, but even natural capital can increase. 2000 years ago we had less natural capital than today. Coal for example had a low capital value before the invention of the steam engine, with the invention of the steam engine the capital value of coal increased. The capital value of uranium increased with the invention of nuclear fission. Perhaps the capital value of hydrogen will increase if we are able to harness the power of nuclear fusion. Also, resources that were too deep to mine did not have capital value, today they do. Perhaps resources on other bodies such as the Moon, Mars or asteroids will have natural capital value in the future. So we can increase natural capital through increasing technology.

The equation is Y = T(K ,H, N), where technology is the multiplier (see Solow model)

So unless one can prove that all of K, H, N and T are limited, then there is no limit to growth.

None of this is related to climate change, but it does not surprise me that a climate change believer would also believe there are ‘limits to growth’, both provide an excuse to dislike industry and wealth, that is what modern extreme environmentalism appeals to.

Macro August 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

“Perhaps resources on other bodies such as the Moon, Mars or asteroids will have natural capital value in the future”
I didn’t think you were of this world R2, now I know it!
100 years – 200 years! that’s just 3 – 4 lifetimes max!
When N approaches zero then, in terms of your equation, so does Y. Quiet frankly it’s meaningless.
5000 years ago the Kings consulted the chief priests and the scribes, today Governments consult economists. Nothing has changed. All decisions are made on the basis of self interest and greed.

Bryan Walker August 11, 2009 at 8:30 am

I seem to have inadvertently opened the way for R2D2′s off-topic fantasy flights. In my original comment I didn’t intend to take a position on the question of economic growth, but rather to point out that in terms of the economic framework within which the government has chosen to operate Key and Smith have not made it clear to the public what is meant by the “costs” of combating climate change. It looks like shiftiness to me.

Whoops August 11, 2009 at 9:24 am

Shifty? Of course it is.

Apples and pears comparisons are a tool in any good politician’s bag of tricks.

Both sides do it, and all is fair in love/war/politics. Don’t be naive enough to imagine logic wins these arguments – it’s ALL about politics… the only difference is from here on for NZ it’s international politics that will drive domestic ones.

Re; growth. Being pedantic, finite systems cannot by definition be limitless… though certainly shifts in technology allow alternate paths around depletion of resource X Y or Z. The issue this civilisation faces is the rate of depletion of energy sources vs the time needed to develop/implement alternate technologies – If you’ve run out of stuff to do things with (oil, materials, food, water, skilled people, political cohesiveness etc etc) even if you know about (eg) solar PV you can’t implement it.

Other civilisations have overshot and fallen, and nothing guarantees this one won’t. I personally think we’re smart enough to sort things out, and have enough time left (just).

Doug Clover August 11, 2009 at 9:30 am

Hmm growth is limitless.

Only one tribe of economists believe that assumption and the related assumption of complete substitution is right

Other economists argue that there are strong indications that these traditional beliefs are wrong or only apply in limited circumstances.

These economists argue that there are limits imposed by the natural environment both in terms of sources (resources) and sinks (the capacity of the Earth to process our waste) and human capital cannot replace this capital completely.

Dewhurst August 11, 2009 at 9:31 am

Unfortunately our pollies do not appear to have the guts to admit that the whole global warming thing is just a scam. There remains though the tiny possibility that they are going along with it on a conditional basis for geopolitical reasons gambling on the whole thing collapsing like a house of cards. Key might just be a little smarter than he looks. let us hope so.

On the arctic read this:

http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/17985562/1524308991/name/Arctic%20Changing.pdf

There should not have been a single polar bear left after 1922!

Roger Dewhurst

Whoops August 11, 2009 at 9:44 am

Thanks Roger.

Doug Clover August 11, 2009 at 9:50 am

Nice to know Roger is keeping abreast of the latest science.

Jeeez 1922 and anecdotal reports as well.

Dewhurst August 11, 2009 at 9:58 am

“Jeeez 1922 and anecdotal reports as well.”

Do you have a problem with eyewitness reports? I would attach more weight to the eyewitness reports of ships’ captains than interpretations of Mann’s fiddled data.

R

Gareth August 11, 2009 at 10:11 am

As I read the 1922 paper in your link, I thought to myself “Roger will give this credence, but reject the hockeystick…” — and lo and behold, you prove me right… ;-)

Owen McShane August 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

No one seems interested in the Agriculture paradox – the real elephant in the ruminant room.
At present, we are the only country which includes agricultural emissions in its Kyoto calculations, and we have chosen to include only the belched methane and nitrous oxides – which account for half of our total emissions.

There is now a call, from the UN and elsewhere, to include agriculture in the next round – but not to punish agriculture, but to allow pastoral farmers to win credits for their carbon sequestration in the soil.

The irony is that many Americans and Candadians are using the Zero Till technology developed in New Zealand by Dr Baker to improve their own carbon sequestration in their soil.

So America, Canada and Australia are already preparing to, or are already paying their pastoral farmers real dollars for their mitigation of climate change.
If we sign up to these terms our Kyoto obligations would almost certainly disappear because, on the basis of the Canadian calculations, we would be a net carbon sink.

I pointed this out in my submission to the Select Committee but the Committee has not yet reported back. What are we doing taking these positions without hearing from the Select Committee?

Here is the full statement from the UN FAO:

“Millions of farmers around the globe could also become agents of change helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alexander Mueller, FAO Assistant Director-General on the occasion of the ongoing UN negotiations.
By keeping higher levels of carbon in the soil – a process known as “carbon sequestration” – farmers can help reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, enhance the soil’s resilience and boost crop yields, according to FAO.
“Agricultural land is able to store and sequester carbon. Farmers that live off the land, particularly in poor countries, should therefore be involved in carbon sequestration to mitigate the impact of climate change,” said Mr. Mueller, who also noted that farmers and their families, particularly in poorer countries, will become victims of climate change.
Farmers can alleviate agriculture’s contribution to climate change by reducing tillage, increasing organic soil matter and soil cover, improving grassland management, restoring degraded lands, planting trees, altering forage and by sustainable use of animal genetic diversity, using fertilizer more efficiently, and improving water management.
However, Mr. Mueller said, “Current global funding arrangements, like the Clean Development Mechanism [CDM] under the Kyoto Protocol, are inadequate and are not offering sufficient incentives for farmers to get involved in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
For example, soil carbon sequestration, through which nearly 90 per cent of agriculture’s climate change mitigation potential could be realized, is outside the scope of the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol.
Neither climate change mitigation, nor food security, nor sustainable development, benefit from this exclusion.”

How could anyone disagree with that?

Gareth August 11, 2009 at 10:14 am

Owen, instead of just cross-posting this stuff at Frogblog and here, why not do a bit of research, and stick it under Bryan’s post on this subject: Carbon farming: part of the solution?.

Doug Clover August 11, 2009 at 10:14 am

No I have no problem with eyewitness reports within a context.

So what were ship captains saying in 1915, 16, 17, 18 ………. 1945?

Doug Clover August 11, 2009 at 10:18 am

Not sure that we are a carbon soil sink at a national level.

I know Landcare Research were doing some research on measuring NZ’s soil carbon in the late 1990s. Does anyone know where that got too?

Owen McShane August 11, 2009 at 10:28 am

Because Bryan’s post, and as far as I know, no other posts or reports in NZ, refer to the statement from the FAO, which is surely relevant to New Zealand as an agricultural nation.

If the FAO is wrong in its claims then I would like to hear the counter arguments.
New Zealand has been sadly remiss in its research into the role of top soils and the exchanges between perennial grasses and atmosphere, and when I look at the work going on elsewhere I am concerned we are falling behind in what appears to be developing in the most valuable area of agricultural research and this is the “world leadership” that counts for us.
The reason I am cross posting is BECAUSE I want to write a column about the FAO statement and these three sites seem the best place to get some feedback.
Won’t get anything from the MSM.

Gareth August 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

There’s a lot of useful information, and good contacts to be found in the comments as well as in Bryan’s article. “More work needed, no magic bullet” would seem like a reasonable overview — but that’s true for just about all approaches to mitigation.

Owen McShane August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am

There is no magic bullet and indeed the performance of pasture varies from place to place and a host of other variables.
However, the evidence from the US and Canada is that carbon mitigation is more readily achieved by modifying soil management than by modifying rumen bacteria.
And there is likely to be resistance to any genetically modified bacteria which will naturally be widely dispersed through the other end of the ruminant tube.
The simple arithmetic is that if a tree sequests carbon then so does a blade of grass and the perrenial root systems we have here are deep and extensive and of course the grass is being chewed up and regrows every day. And we have heaps of pasture. Surely, we need to know as much about this as our trading partners and we should surely include all the parameters in the biological equations.
My main task is to find out if the FAO proposal is up for discussion in this German Round or the Copenhagen round. My searches draw a blank so I would appreciate any information about the agenda for the two meetings to see if we should be preparing for this hot topic.
I would have thought if there was any chance this FAO proposal would be on the agenda we should be preparing for it.
Here is my full submission to the Select Committee which is how I found out about the FAO proposal.
http://www.rmastudies.org.nz/documents/ETSNewDirections.pdf

Any assistance on the Agendas would be much appreciated.

Gareth August 11, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I’ve emailed my contact at the negotiations to see if she can offer any insight. Might take a while to get a reply, though. You might want to check the submissions to the process — they’re all available on the web here.

samv August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am

Government response on this was to blather about soil carbon loss during infrequent events like flooding, “a Nor’westerly across the Canterbury plains”, and difficulty in measuring it.

It’s a real shame because if it’s in the picture then farmers can actually potentially make a buck out of the process of moving to more scientific soil management. That buck is entirely conscience-free and probably would pay for the de-intensification of stock levels (aka “Shooting Cows”, however misguided that analogy is).

I do think it’s significant that the country is actually bargaining on rules that would make forestry more profitable. This might lead to a tangible change to the rules. Would be less embarrassing if we had a position that led us up to 40%.

Well, hopefully this won’t be pinned on “New Zealand” so much as “the Tory countries”, an ever-shifting haze of sickened nations whose voting populous were duped into voting in monetism.

Whoops August 11, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Hi Owen – can you please post a link to this FAO you’re speaking about?

Thanks.

Owen McShane August 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Whoops,
I am not quite sure what you are requesting.
Here is the link to the story on Scoop about the FAO request.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0904/S00047.htm
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN has a web site here:
http://www.fao.org/

Owen McShane August 11, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Gareth,
Thanks for that wonderful link. My searches failed because of two many pages turning up. I did not know where to start. Narrowing did not seem to work.
But once on to that page I found a search box and typed in a few key words and bingo – got this report to the Bonn meeting on agriculture:
http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2008/tp/08.pdf
It’s a gold mine.
How about this on page 4:
B. Mitigation potential and costs
5. The global technical mitigation potential1 of agriculture, excluding fossil fuel offsets from biomass, by 2030 is estimated to be 5.5–6 Gt CO2 eq per year. About 89 per cent of this potential can be
achieved by soil carbon (C) sequestration through cropland management, grazing land management,
restoration of organic soils and degraded lands, bioenergy and water management. Mitigation of CH4
can provide an additional 9 per cent through improvements in rice management, and in livestock and
manure management. The remaining 2 per cent can be achieved from mitigation of N2O emissions from
soils mainly through crop management.
6. The economic potential2 in 2030 is estimated to be: 1.5–1.6 Gt CO2 eq per year (C price:
USD 20t CO2 eq); 2.5–2.7 Gt CO2 eq per year (C price USD 50 per t CO2 eq); and 4–4.3 Gt CO2 eq per
year (C price: USD 100 t CO2 eq). About 30 per cent of this potential can be achieved in developed countries and 70 per cent in developing countries. ‘

How come we are not mentioning that 89% and instead focusing on the 9% and 2%? On the other hand a quick glance and analysis suggest our problem may be that we are already so efficient because or our perrenial grasses and all year outdoor grazing – rather like our current high percentage of renewable energy being a problem.
The counter is of course that if we get penalised for are past achievements then our production simply moves offshore to producers who release more carbon equivalents. And the report shows there are plenty of them.
So it is on the agenda. But we do not seem to be prepared. I suspect too much money has gone to NIWA which has no interest in soils.

Gareth August 11, 2009 at 2:58 pm

As NIWA is the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research, it’s hardly surprising they don’t do much if any work on soils. The fact that our agricultural research community has not done much recent work on soil carbon is probably a consequence of the lack of interest by agricultural leaders (Feds ect) in any meaningful mitigation efforts, as well as the segmentation and funding structures of science in NZ.

Macro August 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm

And the fact that we disbanded the soil research section of the DSIR as it was then back in the late 1970 or early 80′s. It was located in Taita (Lower Hutt) and about 200 scientists and science technicians lost their jobs in one cut. A brilliant piece of foresight.

Owen McShane August 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm

All your points are correct but if you read my submission to the Select Committee NIWA has managed to claim a monopoly on science advice to Government on this matter quite unlike most other countries I was able to survey.
It seems as though Agresearch and others have given up trying to compete and tow the NIWA line to get any crumbs off the table.
It all remains a mystery to me that our management of the science in this area has been so incompetent. In claiming “world leadership” we seem to have been more concerned with symbols than reality.
A bit like our dreadful slogan “100% pure” which should be banned as misleading advertising because nothing is 100% pure – not even our thoughts.

Dewhurst August 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm

We had an excellent Soil Bureau once. I think that it was incorporated into the organization which became NIWA.

Whoops August 11, 2009 at 3:25 pm

The problem is not NIWA.

If you listen to the cynics, the problem is with AgResearch and the fertilizer industry.

I prefer to think that the research streams followed thus far are starting to dry up (marginal returns) and the natural drive of researchers to find new areas of interest and funding will solve the problem. Too late? Possibly, but possibly not.

Whoops August 11, 2009 at 3:25 pm

(also – thank for the link Owen)

Doug Clover August 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I don’t know why there is this fixation with NIWA. Landcare Research contains the soils database

http://soils.landcareresearch.co.nz/contents/index.aspx

Anyhow the soil carbon accounting programme still appears to be active. Not usre how much progress has been made since the late 1990s.
http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/programme.asp?Proj_Collab_ID=105

Also Landcare also has some resources for carbon farming if anyone is interested

http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/services/service_details.asp?Service_Tool_ID=124

Owen McShane August 11, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Please read my submission to the Select Committee for the dominance of NIWA in providing advice to the Government on this matter.
Landcare is getting back into the Act by earning revenue as a certifier of carbon neutrality etc via its CarbonZero programme.
But it seem clear to me that NIWA has dominated the advisory role to an extent not found in the US, Canada and Australia.
Their people have managed to “chair” everything.
It is not me that has the fixation with NIWA. It seems to be the government. NIWA used to be one of the smallest CRIs. It is now one of the largest.

Gareth August 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm

It seems pretty obvious that when looking for advice on climate, you should go to the body charged with studying it. That isn’t a “fixation” with atmospheric science, it’s common sense. The lack of funding for soil science and studies of carbon sequestration in NZ soils hasn’t been caused by NIWA, but by successive administrations screwing up NZ’s research infrastructure – and by the inability of the last government to build a consensus on the action to be taken. And you have to bear some of the blame for that, Owen, because your NZ CSC has been doing its damnedest to prevent any action being taken.

Owen McShane August 11, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Rubbish.
Noother government that I can find has allowed one science agency to have such a monopoly over advice on such a multidisciplinary subject.
I have been involved in investment in research and development for decades and have an international reputation in this field.
Your fixation is that anyone who has the tiniest disagreement with your belief system on such matters is a crank or a fool.
You demean yourself. My position is to ensure that whatever action we take on any such matters is well informed by science and economics.
My speciality is urban economics and resource management and wherever I look at our “action” I find nonsense triumphing over reason.

Gareth August 11, 2009 at 9:19 pm

My position is to ensure that whatever action we take on any such matters is well informed by science and economics.

In that case, why do you align yourself with people who constantly misrepresent the real science? You may claim to have an “international reputation”, but by aligning with the NZ C”S”C, Monckton, Carter and Heartland you demonstrate an extremely poor appreciation of the science of climate.

You also demonstrate, through your consistent misunderstanding of the terms of the Kyoto Protocol (see comments at Frogblog here and following), a remarkable lack of ability to learn from your mistakes if that might compromise your world view.

Doug Mackie August 12, 2009 at 10:24 am

Can this be the same Owen McShane that attached not one but two essays from Monckton to his ETS submission?

That fact says all one could ever hope to say about honesty and credibility. Do you honestly think Monckton is a credible source?

What worries me are the rest of Owen’s Centre for Resource Management Studies:
Don Brash
Roger Douglas
Alan Gibbs
Noel Lane
Dick Quax

Full submission including attachments is available at http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/Documents/Evidence/ and pick “Emissions Trading” in the dropdown box for select committee. Then scroll down. There are 3 parts; a cover letter and two essays by Monckton.

Some damn funny submissions there. And some just pathetic ones.

Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 10:53 am

I would be worried about any list if I saw Michael Mann and you on it.

Gareth August 12, 2009 at 11:04 am

More scintillating debate from Roger…

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 11:12 am

Roger is jealous of real scientists.

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

Sorry Gareth this is a little off topic but in this morning’s Denier-Post (Business section) the new president of Fed-Farmers was running with the old president of Fed-Farmers line (after a little bashing of Kiesha). The argument I think can be summarised as this climate variation is nothing new and we have adapted in the past and we can adapt in the future.

I will move passed his assumption that current CC is nothing that we as a civilisation or species have dealt with before as this can be discussed at a later date. I want to touch on the “adapt or die theme”.

My immediate reaction was OK if that’s the way they want it from now on no more tax payer bailouts for drought or flood relief. Let the market sort out wheat from the chaff in the farming sector. Let’s see how long the dairy industry can operate as it does on the eastern edges of the South and North Island and while we are doing it no more free water let’s charge them the market cost (to be fair that implies urban uses pay as well but I suspect urban users can pay more).

And before someone uses the farming/dairying is special argument I would point out that in your own ideology (neo-classical economics) those arguments just don’t run.

Gareth August 12, 2009 at 11:03 am

Post is in the works… ;-)

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 11:11 am

What also gets me is the naiveté that CC is only going to result in a little light warming and some heavier rains and not have an effect on the geo-political landscape. I look forward to seeing how Fonterra deals with trying to sell milk solids to the Euro-community while it is having to deal with the influx (invasion) of climate refugees from the Sahel region.

Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am

“My immediate reaction was OK if that’s the way they want it from now on no more tax payer bailouts for drought or flood relief. Let the market sort out wheat from the chaff in the farming sector. Let’s see how long the dairy industry can operate as it does on the eastern edges of the South and North Island and while we are doing it no more free water let’s charge them the market cost (to be fair that implies urban uses pay as well but I suspect urban users can pay more).”

Farmers might well be happy with that if they could average their income tax over a period slightly longer than the flood or drought return period.

Clearly you have not the slightest idea of the nature of the market cost of water if indeed there is such a thing outside an area supplied by council scheme.

Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am

“I look forward to seeing how Fonterra deals with trying to sell milk solids to the Euro-community while it is having to deal with the influx (invasion) of climate refugees from the Sahel region.”

Who has to deal……, Fonterra or the EC? Neither actually have to deal with the matter whatever happens in the Sahel.

What we should be asking is what the hell will NZ do with the EC refugees when the cooling gets under way. I am all for a better equipped navy and air force to keep the buggers out. Our navy is more than sufficient at the moment to deal with any refugees from the Sahel if there are any that can swim that well.

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 11:50 am

Apparently climate science isn’t good enough to conclude that the global is warming, yet it is good enough to determine that it is cooling? How does that work?
What I meant, and don’t tell me you are that obtuse, is that a market where there is economic, social and civil disruption due to large influxes of refugees is not going to be growth area for NZ exporters.

I suggest that our migrant problems will be from closer hand, South Pacific and South East Asia.

P.S. you compassion for the suffering of others is an example to us all.

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 11:29 am

Anything that is in limited supply and has competing uses and there is a market to find the price has a market value.

The market price of water is more than the cost of collecting and transporting it.

Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 11:30 am

“Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 11:12 am

Roger is jealous of real scientists.”

I do not see very many around here.

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 11:53 am

I was referring to your obession with Mike Mann.

Macro August 12, 2009 at 11:59 am

“I do not see very many around here.”

You can only be referring to yourself.
Or is there a vid cam on here??

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

“Apparently climate science isn’t good enough to conclude that the global is warming, yet it is good enough to determine that it is cooling? How does that work?”

Quite simply really. It stopped warming a few years ago and started to cool. Sooner or later, and for all we know it could be in the next few years, the climate will head off towards the next ice age. The outcome of that is self evident while the outcome of further warming, if indeed there is any, is very dubious.

“What I meant, and don’t tell me you are that obtuse, is that a market where there is economic, social and civil disruption due to large influxes of refugees is not going to be growth area for NZ exporters.”

You do not seem to have noticed but there is already considerable economic, social and civil disruption going on in almost every EC country due to the influx of refugees from various basket case states in Africa and South Asia. It will get worse without any climatic warming and very much worse when there is major cooling.

“I suggest that our migrant problems will be from closer hand, South Pacific and South East Asia.”

Have you visited south Auckland recently? It seems not.

“P.S. you compassion for the suffering of others is an example to us all.”

Our government is not employed by us to be charitable to people who are not entitled to live here. If you want to be charitable to these people do it out of your own pocket and not mine.

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I am wasting my time, but I will try one time. Your comment

“Quite simply really. It stopped warming a few years ago and started to cool.” Is false or at the very least unproven.

If you knew anything about time series analysis you would know that with 10 years of data you cannot conclude that there has been a change in long term warming trend. The natural variation (noise) overwhelms any long term trend (signal) within that set of data.

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm

“If you want to be charitable to these people do it out of your own pocket and not mine.”

QED

Macro August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm

“Quite simply really. It stopped warming a few years ago and started to cool. Sooner or later, and for all we know it could be in the next few years, the climate will head off towards the next ice age. ”
REALLY!!!
On what planet are you living Roger? On Mars with R2?

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm

“Is false or at the very least unproven. ”

Only to those committed the AGW.

“If you knew anything about time series analysis you would know that with 10 years of data you cannot conclude that there has been a change in long term warming trend. The natural variation (noise) overwhelms any long term trend (signal) within that set of data.”

THAT IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM WITH YOU LOT. It applies as much to the several decades on which you like to rely as on any shorter period.

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm

No there is a difference as over decades the change in the global average temperature is large enough to emerge from the noise (ignoring for the moment the effect of autocorrelation). Then its just a matter of your basic Student T test.

Macro August 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm

“Our government is not employed by us to be charitable to people who are not entitled to live here. If you want to be charitable to these people do it out of your own pocket and not mine.” This isn’t entirely off thread – CC refugees will be seeking refuge somewhere and we arguably are seeing some of them here already. (Somali). And for your information Roger, NZ is a signatory to the UNHCR and has been from the early 1950′s.

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm

“REALLY!!!
On what planet are you living Roger? On Mars with R2?”

Do you really suppose that the sequence of glaciations and interglacials over the last two million years has come to an end? Perhaps you do.

The interglacials have normally lasted for about 10,000 years. This one has already lasted a bit longer than that. On that basis the end of it is pretty well due.

If you think Milankovitch explained everything tell me why there were no glaciations during the Tertiary Period.

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm

“And for your information Roger, NZ is a signatory to the UNHCR and has been from the early 1950’s.”

You might be happy to be governed by the UN but the population of this country never voted for that. If there was a referendum on that I suspect that about 98% would vote against it. No doubt you would be part of the 2%.

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm

When people come around scrounging money to send to basket case states in Africa I am always tempted to drop in the box a .303 bullet, with Mugabe or whatever thug is currently exploiting the peasantry, inscribed upon it. If our government would send the SAS to clean up these criminals I might support the move. Solving the problem in their countries is one thing, bringing that problem here is quite another.

Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I think the point I am making is that the problem will COME here whether we want it or not.

How we prepare and/or mitigate this emerging problem will cost. Not something in the NZIER analysis.

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 1:09 pm

“Doug Clover August 12, 2009 at 11:53 am

I was referring to your obession with Mike Mann.”

How very sweet, Mike to you is he?

Macro August 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Yes I thought you would be dragging that up.
Actually Milankovitch didn’t explain everything that was left to Broecker Denton, and Shackelton et al.
The variations in the Earths orbit and and its wobble do have an effect on Climate. Undisputed! The trouble is, you completely overlook the effect of humans dramatically increasing greenhouse gases, and cutting down forests. Whereas in the past, a slight cooling would increase the albedo of the Earth with increasing ice, leading to further cooling, and dropping into an Age of Ice; the case is now clear, that despite the fact that we may or may not be heading into an orbit which in the past lead to cooling, the Earth is now hotter than it has ever been in a very long time. Certainly warmer than the previous interglacial. And all this CAN BE EXPLAINED in terms of increased Greenhouse emissions, and deforestation, etc. To dispute otherwise is to ignore all the evidence to the contrary.

Macro August 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm

ooops lacking editing again!! “SINCE the previous interglacial”

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 1:28 pm

“QED”

Typical socialist; all for charity with other peoples’ money.

samv August 12, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Typical Tory, all for business built on externalities.

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm

“the Earth is now hotter than it has ever been in a very long time. Certainly warmer than the previous interglacial. And all this CAN BE EXPLAINED in terms of increased Greenhouse emissions, and deforestation, etc. To dispute otherwise is to ignore all the evidence to the contrary.”

What utter rot you spout.

In previous interglacials Britain had a tropical fauna, hippos, crocodiles and the like. In this interglacial it was warm enough for Eric the Red to farm in Greenland and for the Romans to grow grapes near Hadrian’s wall. About 6000 years ago sea level was high enough to create the raised beach near Kaiaua.

Gareth August 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm

We’ve had this discussion before: during the Eemian (last interglacial) global temperatures were a couple of degrees warmer than now, sea level was 5m higher, but CO2 levels got no higher than about 300ppm. We’re currently at 390ppm CO2. The Eemian provides a rather useful object lesson in what we may have in store…

CTG August 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm

And how many people were living in New Zealand when the sea level was that much higher?

If the sea level rises by 6m again, what do you suggest we do, grow gills?

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 9:33 am

None.

IF IF IF ad nauseam.

Sea level has risen roughly 100 metres in the last 10,000 years approximately. That gives an average rate of 10 millimetres per year. The average rate now may be around 2 mm per year but it is masked in many places by isostatic rebound, tectonic effects, subsidence caused by de-watering and surcharge and the growth of coral. That means that, as common sense suggests, the rate of sea level rise is declining. However if the sea continues to rise at the rate of 2 mm per year it will take 3000 years to reach the 6 metres which concerns you. Should it be necessary, and I do not believe it will be, our descendents can build dykes as the Dutch do now.

samv August 13, 2009 at 10:45 am

“Common sense” huh. Yeah, because rapidly receding glaciers, dwindling ice coverage, melting of large areas of the Antarctic… that ought to slow sea level rise, right? Common lunancy.

In the modern world we can be a little more rigorous than just using “common sense”. We have a wealth of scientific knowledge from which we may draw upon.

We have a very accurate record of the exact comings and goings of sea level over the last 5 million years, thanks to the geological record from the Wanganui basin. This verified Milankvitch’s theory about orbital variations driving climate change in line by line detail. We know from the science from the Andrill project that a 3m sea level rise in as little as 100 years is quite possible when the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melts.

Building dykes a solution to sea level rise? You really are from another planet.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 11:06 am

>Yeah, because rapidly receding glaciers, dwindling ice coverage, melting of large areas of the Antarctic… that ought to slow sea level rise, right?

Not happening.

“Building dykes a solution to sea level rise? You really are from another planet.”

I suppose the Dutch are from another planet?
The Dutch engineers are confident of keeping their dykes build faster than any rise in sea level.

CTG August 13, 2009 at 11:44 am

Not happening?

There are none so blind as those who will not see…

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm

See here:
> http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/nsf-adc031809.php
>
> A quote from the page:
> “Based on ANDRILL data combined with computer models of ice sheet behavior,
> collapse of the entire WAIS is likely to occur on the order of 1,000 years,
> but recent studies show that melting has already begun.”
>
> And:
> “The modeling suggests these collapses took one to a few thousand years,”
> Pollard said.”
>

CTG August 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

In the same report: “Whether the beginnings of such a collapse could start 100 years from now or within the next millennium is hard to predict and depends on future atmospheric CO2 levels”. In other words, BAU is likely to speed up such a collapse – maybe not within my lifetime, but within the lifetime of my grandchildren is distinctly possible. That’s a legacy I don’t want to leave them.

But perhaps you’re okay with leaving future generations to clean up your mess?

jonno August 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Did you actually read what you linked to?

‘A five-nation scientific team has published new evidence that even a slight rise in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, one of the gases that drives global warming, affects the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). ‘

What’s your point?

You don’t get it, do you? Don’t cherry pick, or else you come across foolish.

CTG August 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Meanwhile you still haven’t explained where all the Arctic ice has gone.

samv August 13, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Roger I watched Tim Naish’s inaugural lecture where the Andrill work was presented. “Likely on the order of 1,000 years”, but rapid rises in much shorter timespans exist in the geological record which were potentially caused by WAIS disintegrating. Maybe 100 years is an exaggeration but if I recall correctly Naish did float the idea that melt taking less than 200 years was quite possible. Rapid, run-away melting is just what the science shows happens to that sheet.

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

‘….but CO2 levels got no higher than about 300ppm. We’re currently at 390ppm CO2. The Eemian provides a rather useful object lesson in what we may have in store…’

It provides a better one on the irrelevance of carbon dioxide.

Gareth August 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Thanks for giving me a good laugh. You are possessed of a sadly far from unique ability to disregard the evidence staring you in the face.

Roger Dewhurst August 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm

You are the one with that problem. Despite the BILLIONS of dollars thrown at trying to prove the AGW case nothing has been proved and an ever increasing number of scientists are sceptical on the issue. The only growing support you have is among politicians counting votes, academics, lawyers and sundry others feeding at the trough.

samv August 12, 2009 at 9:27 pm

an ever increasing number of scientists are sceptical on the issue

Tripe I once bought. The reality is that none of these scientists are able to challenge the standard models with papers which survive peer review in any reputable journal.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 9:34 am

Pull your head out of the sand.

samv August 13, 2009 at 10:33 am

Already did that, which is why I’m an ex-denialist.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 11:10 am

You missed the paper that the rest of you are throwing atantrum about.

samv August 13, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Who’s the one throwing “atantrum”? You’re barely coherent.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Typo: a tantrum . Gareth.

Tantrums, plural, could be applied to several of you.

CTG August 13, 2009 at 1:02 am

So, Roger, what exactly is making the Arctic ice melt, then?

If the world is indeed cooling, as you claim, wouldn’t that make more ice? And yet, strangely, the Arctic ice melt has been accelerating over the last few years. So who is to blame? Pixies? Al Gore?

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 9:36 am

I suspect that the amount of ice in the Arctic is controlled by warm currents such as the Gulf Stream. Ask yourself why so much of it melted in 1922.

Gareth August 13, 2009 at 11:37 am

So much? You mean your anecdotal report linked above? Pull the other one, Roger. You are showing classic denialist behaviour – you will blindly accept any evidence that supports your viewpoint, however shonky, while dismissing or ignoring the rest.

That might make you comfortable, but it’s no way to run a country.

CTG August 13, 2009 at 1:37 am

Okay, Roger, let’s be absolutely clear here. This is the GISTEMP data series for the last two decades:

Year Anomaly
1991 0.44
1992 0.15
1993 0.18
1994 0.31
1995 0.45
1996 0.36
1997 0.39
1998 0.70
1999 0.43
2000 0.39
2001 0.55
2002 0.67
2003 0.65
2004 0.58
2005 0.75
2006 0.64
2007 0.71
2008 0.54

Average anomaly 1991-2000 = 0.38
Average anomaly 2001-present = 0.64

Earlier you said “it stopped warming a few year ago and started to cool”.

Presumably you mean the kind of cooling where temperatures go up. The only possible way you can construe the temperature record as “cooling” is to cherry-pick a starting point of 1998, an end point of 2008, and to pretend that 2005 and 2007 didn’t happen at all.

Now, if you want to have a converstation that is based on the science, then by all means go ahead. But if you are just going to flat-out deny the scientific evidence that is available to all, then you have nothing constructive to add to this debate.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 11:11 am

That is the least reliable of the three standard sources.

CTG August 13, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Least reliable in your eyes because it is the one that most disagrees with your world view.

In any case, all of the sources show the same thing – the last decade is the warmest on record.

Dappledwater August 12, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Ahh, Roger Dewhurst, another religious zealot. Gareth you’re wasting your time, Roger lacks the mental capacity to understand that previous warming was initiated by orbital & rotational factors, whereas the current warming is attributed to human CO2 emissions. You could tattoo it across his forehead and he still would ignore it.

The ignorant and the selfish are dooming current and future generations to lives of misery. How considerate of them.

Macro August 12, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Roger is a very considerate person. He is only thinking of all the money you and I will have to fork out!

samv August 12, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Why are we having to fork it out? Shouldn’t the burden go on those polluting, not the taxpayer?

Macro August 12, 2009 at 9:50 pm

I agree entirely – but I’m sure Roger doesn’t see it that way.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 11:16 am

The naivety of the greens!!!!!!!!!!

I suppose you cannot afford a car?

Macro August 13, 2009 at 11:50 am

It might surprise you to know that I can! But the status of my wealth is neither here nor there. I at least am prepared to pay for my pollution and have taken measures to mitigate my carbon footprint for a number of years now, and will continue to to so. I have not found it excessively costly – indeed I have found it to be financially positive. For instance, the installation of solar water heating on building my present home and doubling the insulation requirements, 25 years ago has resulted in significantly lower power bills – whereas others I know are paying $600 + per month I pay a quarter of that. The redevelopment of wetlands for instance on my farm has also had significant improvements in the environment and in animal health and welfare. Naive I suppose . But there you go…..

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 11:15 am

I gave up on religious belief in the 1960s. I guess you were not born then.

But you are your lot are doing your best to return us all to the stone age.

Gareth August 13, 2009 at 11:40 am

The irony, of course, is that if we do nothing to restrain carbon emissions we are much more likely to return to the stone age. By denying the evidence, you effectively argue for the end of civilisation as we know it.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm

You go on and on in that vein but despite the vast amount of money thrown at it you have no credible evidence. You have shown warming since the 1800s. Nobody disputes that. If it had not warmed we would still be in the LIA. However CO2 did not really begin to climb until the end of WW2. It is still climbing but the temperature is not. The correlation over whatever period you choose is still crappy. You have your models in which you place far too much faith.

At the end of the day it may not matter. The politicians go where the votes go and turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

They will all go off to Kobenhavn or wherever, blather on about % carbon reduction, and all sit on the fence waiting for the first idiot to jump into the fire. India and China will be laughing in the background and waving two fingers at all and sundry.

Gareth August 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Roger, you really should try and get your facts straight. CO2 began a steady increase from the mid 1800s onwards, with the curve steepening as time passes. And the temperature trend continues upwards: 2005 was warmer than 1998, the years since 2000 are warmer than the 1990s, etc and so on.

Carry on wearing your blinkers. They obviously help you deal with life. The rest of us will get on with finding ways to deal with the problem.

jonno August 13, 2009 at 9:07 am
Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 11:12 am

A crappy argument by the totally ignorant.

jonno August 13, 2009 at 11:01 am

‘IF IF IF ad nauseam’

The irony in your arguments…

Next you will say that there has been no warming over the last 10 years (in reference to 1998, which was over a decade ago now, but silly men like you keep repeating this lie).

jonno August 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

‘I gave up on religious belief in the 1960s’

You didn’t have to get up science as well though.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 1:11 pm

It seems that the Australian Senate have not swallowed AGW hook line and sinker!

“Senate to vote down carbon trading scheme

Print Email

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 12/08/2009

Reporter: Hayden Cooper

The Senate is set to vote down the Government’s emissions trading scheme when debate resumes in the morning. Much of the day has been dominated by the issue, including an 11th hour lobbying effort by Steve Fielding.
Transcript
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Senate is set to vote down the Government’s emissions trading scheme when debate resumes in the morning.

Much of the day has been dominated by the issue, including an 11-hour lobbying effort by Steve Fielding.

In a meeting organised by the Family First Senator, a well-known critic of the climate change debate tried to convince politicians to think twice about the causes of global warming.

From Canberra, Hayden Cooper reports.

HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: Fellow travellers have found each other. And together they’re aiming to convert others to their cause.

Professor Bob Carter is one scientist who believes carbon dioxide is not causing global warming, and at Steve Fielding’s invitation he put the case to any MPs prepared to listen.

PROFESSOR BOB CARTER, JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY: I have no axe to grind. Let the science facts fall where they may. The science facts at the moment indicate, it’s been cooling for the last 10 years, yet carbon dioxide’s been increasing.

HAYDEN COOPER: Behind closed doors, a handful of Liberal and Nationals MPs showed up to the presentation.

WILSON TUCKEY, LIBERAL BACKBENCHER: Well, it’s just a matter of a series of facts being presented and politicians who properly represent their communities, interview all the facts.

NICK MINCHIN, OPPOSITION SENATE LEADER: The scientific debate is certainly not settled and Professor Bob Carter has certainly reinforced that view.

HAYDEN COOPER: But no one from the Government wanted to hear it.

STEVE FIELDING, FAMILY FIRST SENATOR: Not one Labor member had the guts to at least hear the other side of the science.

HAYDEN COOPER: The forum was all part of the last-minute lobbying effort ahead of the Senate vote. But the science on display has been savaged by the Government’s go-to expert on climate change.

PROFESSOR WILL STEFFEN, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Now, we train our first year students not to make those fundamental mistakes in statistical analyses. If I would have seen this in a PhD thesis of an ANU student, we certainly would’ve failed them and would have asked them to go back and get it right.

HAYDEN COOPER: Will Steffen was invited to appear at the same forum but declined.

STEVE FIELDING: I’m extremely disappointed that Professor Steffen refused to present their case as we’ve had Professor Carter present the case against.

PROFESSOR WILL STEFFEN: By going there I would’ve given exactly the wrong impression, simply by being there, that there is a debate.

HAYDEN COOPER: The Senate debate is nearing its acrimonious end.

BILL HEFFERNAN, LIBERAL SENATOR: Goddamn it!

HAYDEN COOPER: And there’s no doubting how the Opposition will vote when the time comes first thing tomorrow.

BILL HEFFERNAN: Can I just cut through all the political bullshit? There is no one in the Government that can give us an answer on whether agriculture is in or out.

HAYDEN COOPER: For Malcolm Turnbull, this week has been about steadying the ship and so far he has succeeded. Dissent in the party room was stifled and the leader is now laying out the path for a future deal on emissions trading.

But there is one other damaging issue that didn’t go his way. The Senate has voted for a new inquiry into the OzCar fake email scandal. The Family First senator provided the crucial vote.

CHRIS EVANS, GOVERNMENT SENATE LEADER: If we don’t refer a case as serious as this, what will we ever take seriously?

BARNABY JOYCE, NATIONALS LEADER: Straightaway we have a political barrow that is about to be pushed.

STEVE FIELDING: This is integrity and it should be taken extremely seriously.

HAYDEN COOPER: Steve Fielding, annoying both sides of politics.

Hayden Cooper, Lateline.”

Macro August 13, 2009 at 2:18 pm

And your point is????
Crappy statistical analysis gets you nowhere…
Generally speaking politicians wouldn’t know a valid statistic if they fell over it, they are too conditioned to “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Disraeli – and he would have known.

Doug Clover August 13, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Bob Carter may be a good sedimentary geologist but he knows nothing (as proven by his latest contribution to the literature) about statisitical analysis.

When someone says definitively that the globe is currently cooling they are either ignorant or lying. You decide which.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Do you think you know more? If so why? Have you any relevant qualifications? Have you any relevant experience?

I have looked at many graphs from the usual sources which show temperature going up and down like a yoyo. You can draw lines through these rats ‘ nests pretty much where you like. You can do least squares regressions until you are blue in the face but whether they have got anything do do with the real world is another matter.

You certainly have definite carbon dioxide trend. Considering its source I wonder how relevant it is however pretty and convincing the picture.

Even if you can show that the pretty picture from the middle of the Pacific correlates with some artifact you have managed to dig out of the aforementioned rats’ nest you are still no further ahead because correlation does not imply causation. A better case can be made for rising temperature causing a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. There is a sound basis for that. Warm a bottle of fizzy drink to prove that for yourself.

Calling people liars because they do not share your point of view is both ignorant and stupid. Thus you brand yourself.

Doug Clover August 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm

“I have looked at many graphs from the usual sources which show temperature going up and down like a yoyo. You can draw lines through these rats ‘ nests pretty much where you like. You can do least squares regressions until you are blue in the face but whether they have got anything do do with the real world is another matter.”

You make my point about the issue of using short term data to determine trends. If you take the last 10 years temp data you can fit any number of trend lines, none of them meaningful so how can you conclude that the globe is cooling from these sets of data? What other data sets are there that can show the globe cooling other than the temperature data? So what in the real world are you referring to that allows you to conclude that the globe is currently cooling?

As far qualifications go one ungrad course in statistics, one in biometrics and one in econometrics and currently working on furthering my statisical skills as part of my PhD studies, but that is not the point I never claimed to be an expert. I am a journeyman at best, but even with my limited skills I can detect the misuse of time series data because it is basic statisitics.

Why are those that are claiming that the data shows cooling aware of these basic statistical principles? I can only conclude that they are not qualified in these techniques (i.e. ignorant) or they are aware but choosing to misrepresent the results (i.e. fibbing). I can’t say which.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm

The data, such as it is, is all out there. Try fitting polynomials instead of straight lines and let us see the results. You might try fiddling with functions like x^.5 too. let us see the results.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Which university are you in and who is your supervisor?

Doug Clover August 14, 2009 at 9:37 am

Why do you need to know?

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 9:51 am

I wonder about the source of your beliefs. And beliefs contrary to those of the supervisor are generally counterproductive.

Doug Clover August 14, 2009 at 11:35 am

Thank you for your concern.

I suppose the source of my beliefs in the area of time series analysis inlcude George Pólya as the instigator of the central limit theorem and Gauss and Markov for OLS.

I have a number of beliefs contrary to my supervisor, which I have to defend rigorously when they impact on my studies.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 2:58 pm

>Roger, you really should try and get your facts straight. CO2 began a steady increase from the mid 1800s onwards, with the curve steepening as time passes.

That proposition requires great selectivity with the data and probably more that a wee bit of Michael Mann fiddlery too.

>And the temperature trend continues upwards: 2005 was warmer than 1998, the years since 2000 are warmer than the 1990s, etc and so on.

That all depends where you put your straight line through that rats’ nest and in which part of the rats’ nest you choose to start it.

>Carry on wearing your blinkers. They obviously help you deal with life. The rest of us will get on with finding ways to deal with the problem.

You have so much faith in politicians. such naivete is so sweet.

mooli August 18, 2009 at 11:57 pm

> That all depends where you put your straight line through that rats’ nest and in which part of the rats’ nest you choose to start it.

So actually it’s not AGW you take issue with – just statistical analysis in general.

Macro August 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

“Roger, you really should try and get your facts straight. CO2 began a steady increase from the mid 1800s onwards, with the curve steepening as time passes.”

You reply – “That proposition requires great selectivity with the data”

Now you really are talking utter ROT!!

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm

If you accept all the data collected by Beck your proposition is trash. To support your proposition you have to be very selective with the data beck collected and, if I recall correctly, there was nothing available before about 1880.

Gareth August 13, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Since Beck simply took every reading at face value, regardless of where or how it was taken, his presentation of huge variations in CO2 conc as fact is just risible. Compare the CO2 readings from ice cores with the start of really accurate readings by Keeling – they line up very nicely.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Whereas your mates carefully select the numbers that will fit their ‘scenario’ and if they cannot find them they invent a few and call it ‘interpolation’ or some such.

If taking the figures at face value is risible what is selection of the figures that you want? Dishonest? And what sort of accusations are you making? What accusations was Clover making today?

Owen McShane August 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

The point is not so much whether the global temperatures are static or falling since say 2000, but that the IPCC models never predicted any curve this flat.
They all assumed that if CO2 continued to rise then temperatures would soar. It did not happen and so this throws the forecasting powers of the model into question. Climate like the macroeconomy is subject to the behaviour described as deterministic chaos. So we should not be surprised. I notice that people still quote Stern with approval even though his economic scenarios did not hint the present global credit crisis. Even I issued a warning in my report to the Reserve Bank in 1995.
I think reasonable people are entitled to ask the modellers “if you could not forecast next years events why should we take much notice of your 100 year forecasts?

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I thought that Stern’s greatest failing was his ludicrously low discount rate.

Gareth August 13, 2009 at 8:02 pm

…the IPCC models never predicted any curve this flat.

Climate models are climate models, not weather forecasting tools. They are designed to project climate states (ie 30 year averages), not year to year variations. But if you look at the individual model runs for AR4 (not the multi-model average, which gives a steadily rising curve) you will see many that exhibit very similar variation to those of the last decade.

One of the big challenges for climate modelling is to see if they can be used to forecast near term (ie multi-year) climate (the “wiggles” in the global temp curve), but this is in its infancy. The Hadley Centre in the UK is working on using current ocean data to initialise its model, to see if it can provide useful projections, and I believe there’s a group in Germany doing the same sort of thing.

Roger Dewhurst August 13, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Ah. the rats’ nest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Owen McShane August 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

RE: Stern’s discount rate.
Yes, at the time of publication that was the major concern and the debate was vigorous.
As a manager of venture capital funds in high technology investments I spent much of my time calculating ROI’s and deciding on discount rates.
In my other fields I spent much time on Cost and Benefit analysis where the choice of discount rate is equally important.
To my mind the main failing of the debate over Stern at that time was the focus on the correct discounting of costs and benefits into the future – which is largely a function of inflation and interest rates. However, the ecological view is that one cannot discount damage to the ecosystem because the consequent costs are infinite. Hence, they say, a low discount rate of say 2% is justified compared to the Treasury rate of say 10%.
But if you chose such a low discount rate you are also assuming your knowledge of the future outcomes is perfect and that there is no “risk” of uncertainty. In Venture capital this is often the dominant factor which is why VC fund managers normally use discount rates of 30% to 40% even when the treasury rate is 10% or less. In my MBA classes I used to ask my students at what number of dollars they would defer payment of 100% in gold coin for one year. Being poor student individuals (Not corporates or treasuries) they typically opted for say $130 – a discount rate of 30%. (Which is why Credit card companies can charge what they do.) But when I switched the payment to NZ dollars on my personal cheque account they typically raised their rate to say 150% a discount rate of 50% reflecting the financial risk of my income status and the volatility of the NZ dollar.
So if we accept Stern’s discount rate of 2% we are saying his 100 year forecasts of outcomes were 100% accurate.
The choice of discount rate always determines the outcome of a CB analysis. And expert CB analyst can always deliver what the client wants by selecting the right discount rate.
Of course if you play fast and loose with discount rates on other people’s money that you are managing you do not stay in business very long.

Gareth August 13, 2009 at 8:29 pm

For an overview on issues related to discounting costs to future generations, Real Climate Economics is a good place to start.

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 9:55 am

The best place to start is your bank. Quote Stern when you apply for a mortgage. Do not be surprised if you are escorted out between two gents in white coats.

Owen McShane August 13, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Do you really expect people to have belief in a model that claims to be able to predict events in 30 years time when it cannot predict next winter?
What do you think of the policy power of the econometric models which could not predict the collapse of the housing bubbles when people like me and many others used basic principles to warn of these outcomes over the last fifteen years?
The economic models are similar in structure to the climate models.
You can torture them into any confession you want.

Gareth August 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Do you really expect people to have belief in a model that claims to be able to predict events in 30 years time when it cannot predict next winter?

Climate models do not predict specific events – they answer what if questions: what will the climate system look like if greenhouse gases are at such and such a level, etc. They are useful tools, not forecasters – after all, who can forecast what humanity will do over the next 20 years? That’s why the IPCC uses scenario analysis.

Economic models are not like climate models. They may be complex, but they are not physical models. Climate models are numerical representations of the atmosphere and oceans and their interactions with land, constrained by physics and measurement.

Doug Mackie August 14, 2009 at 9:55 am

Roger mate,

several times in the last year or so I have told you that EG Beck is full of shit. I have said to you though don’t take my word for it and ask the science adviser of NZC”S”C – Chris de Freitas. Have you done so yet?

He once said to me that Beck was “interesting” but he hadn’t had time to look at it in detail. Interesting? If Beck is right in invalidates de Freitas’ recent work. And he hasn’t had time to look?

So Roger, don’t take my word that Beck is wrong. Ask de Freitas and publish his response here.

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 10:43 am

Beck simply collected and summarised work done before and after 1900. Are you suggesting that he converted published work into shit or the published work was shit in the first place? I suspect that because Beck’s work throws a bit of doubt on your beliefs about carbon dioxide it must, in your view and that of your co-religionists, be shit by definition.

jonno August 14, 2009 at 11:05 am

Don’t know why people even bother with Roger. He sees the world in a totally different way to sane people, where black is white, 5 is 6 and Beck is right and science is wrong.

He simply does not get it. Lucky for us, the guys is powerless in the scheme of things and no one listens to him.

Dappledwater August 14, 2009 at 11:16 am

Jonno, listen to who?.

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 11:29 am

It seems that the Australian Senate is listening to people who share similar views. Had you not noticed?

Your co-religionists had the opportunity for front up and make their case. One at least would not front up and the others muffed it. Carter and the others did a better job and the Senate could see that.

I suppose that you had near 100% support from the scientific community when the debate started. You have a lot less than that now despite the billions of dollars funding that you have had.

jonno August 14, 2009 at 11:54 am

Yet again you lack understanding Roger. The Greens voted down the Australian ETS becuase they see it not good enough.

‘I suppose that you had near 100% support from the scientific community when the debate started. ‘

Can you please stop making things up.

The vast majority of climate scientist agree with AGW, only fools don’t.

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Are you suggesting that the Greens shat in their own nest? Perhaps they did; they are stupid enough. It was touch and go whichever way the Greens would vote. Rudd now has to consider whether the turkeys are going to vote for Christmas.

Do you want to quibble with “…. near 100% ….”?

What is your idea of a climate scientist anyway? Anybody who happens to share your opinion?

You certainly do not have all the meteorologists on your side and you have an even smaller proportion of geologists on your side. The palaeontologists, who are just specialist geologists, are the source of just about all but the recent data. The only people you can really count on are the lawyers, academics and bureaucrats making a living out of AGW.

You only sabotage your case by suggesting that the AGW sceptics are fools, dishonest or in the pay of the oil or tobacco companies. But go on doing so.

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Consider this passage from a book “The Climate Caper” by Garth W. Paltridge (of whom, see below):

“Perhaps the most interesting question in all of this business is how it can be that the scientific community has become so over-the-top in support of its own propaganda about the seriousness and certainty of upcoming drastic climate change. Scientists after all are supposed to be unbiased in their assessment of a problem and are expected to tell it as it is. Over the centuries they have built up the capital of their reputation on just that supposition. And for the last couple of decades they have put that capital very publicly on the line in support of a cause which, to say the least, is overhung by an enormous amount of doubt. So how is it that the rest of the scientific community, uncomfortable as it is with both the science of global warming and the way its politics is played, continues to let the reputation of science in general be put at considerable risk because of the way the dangers of climate change are being vastly oversold?”

Judge for yourself his qualifications:

Emeritus Professor Garth Paltridge is an atmospheric physicist and was a Chief Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research before taking up positions in Tasmania as Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies and CEO of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre. He retired in 2002 and continues to live in Hobart. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. His research ranged from the optimum design of plants to the economics of climate forecasting. He is best known internationally for work on atmospheric radiation and the theoretical basis of climate. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He was in industry for a while as Director of the Environmental Executive of the Institute of Petroleum. He spent various separate years overseas in postings concerned with research or research administration – in the UK, Geneva, New Mexico, Colorado and Washington D.C. In Geneva he was involved in the early development of the World Climate Program. In Washington he was with the US National Climate Program Office at the time of the establishment of the IPCC.

Alan August 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm

We’re all indebted to Gabby Johnson for clearly stating what needed to be said. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, but it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.

‘He was in industry for a while as Director of the Environmental Executive of the Institute of Petroleum.’

What?! You mean this Garth?
http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Garth_Paltridge

Who do you work for by the way or are you just scared your Remuera Taxi is going to be seized?

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Nothing like the ad hominem attack is there?

samv August 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Nothing like trolling is there?

Doug Mackie August 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Roger,
Do you want to post Chris de Freitas’ reply to you here or shall I do it? Tell you what, you ask him for his full assessments and then post it all here.

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Chris de Freitas can post whatever he wants. I am not his keeper.

Owen McShane August 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm

BINGO
There are some things you can depend on in this chaotic world.
It seems I am a better forecaster than the IPCC.
Here is post to the NZClimate Science Coalition I made a short time ago.

“Of course the alarmists will pick up on his work for the petroleum institute and claim that explains everything.
Nonsense but watch them do it.
Roger should post this on Hot Topic just to test the prediction.
Then we could embarrass them with it because a normal laymen does
have some sense of balance.”

And sure enough:
Alan August 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm
We’re all indebted to Gabby Johnson for clearly stating what needed to be said. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, but it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.
‘He was in industry for a while as Director of the Environmental Executive of the Institute of Petroleum.’

Roger Dewhurst
“You may be interested in this passage from a book “The Climate Caper” by Garth W. Paltridge (of whom, see below):
“Perhaps the most interesting question in all of this business is how it
can be that the scientific community has become so over-the-top in
support of its own propaganda about the seriousness and certainty of
upcoming drastic climate change. Scientists after all are supposed to be
unbiased in their assessment of a problem and are expected to tell it as
it is. Over the centuries they have built up the capital of their
reputation on just that supposition. And for the last couple of decades
they have put that capital very publicly on the line in support of a
cause which, to say the least, is overhung by an enormous amount of
doubt. So how is it that the rest of the scientific community,
uncomfortable as it is with both the science of global warming and the
way its politics is played, continues to let the reputation of science
in general be put at considerable risk because of the way the dangers of
climate change are being vastly oversold?”

Judge for yourself his qualifications:
Emeritus Professor Garth Paltridge is an atmospheric physicist and was a Chief Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research before taking up positions in Tasmania as Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies and CEO of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre. He retired in 2002 and continues to live in Hobart. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. His research ranged from the optimum design of plants to the economics of climate forecasting. He is best known internationally for work on atmospheric radiation and the theoretical basis of climate. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He was in industry for a while as Director of the Environmental Executive of the Institute of Petroleum. He spent various separate years overseas in postings
concerned with research or research administration – in the UK, Geneva, New Mexico, Colorado and Washington D.C. In Geneva he was involved in the early development of the World Climate Program. In Washington he was with the US National Climate Program Office at the time of the establishment of the IPCC.”

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm

No answers to BINGO anybody?

jonno August 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Here you go Roger..

let us see his peer reviewed scienice paper… what no… yet again you keep trying, but fail.

I win, you lose.

BINGO!

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I expect that he has written one for every month of your ignorant life. I have no doubt that he spells ‘science’ correctly too.

Doug Mackie August 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Roger,
The science advisor to NZC”S”C says he has serious reservations about the main claim in the paper (that background pre-industrial CO2 globally was higher than current wisdom considers). And he says that he has read critiques of Beck by experts in the CO2 monitoring field and had his serious reservations confirmed.

Do you still stand by Beck?

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I understand that Beck circulated his paper widely for comment before it was published, and peer reviewed. He collated the analyses available. There is in my view nothing to criticise in that.
I looked at the data he used and concluded that there was no substantial case for low levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the time. That is my view. It is not very different from that of Professor Tim Ball. That is as far as I am prepared to go. Where others go is their business. If you had replaced the word ‘wisdom’ with the word ‘propaganda’ your question above would have been rather more sensible.

Doug Mackie August 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Roger,
The word “wisdom” was de Freitas’, not mine. Since the email was to you (and cc’d to me) you surely noticed this?

You disagree with the assessment of the paper by the NZC”S”C science advisor. Does this mean you and/or NZC”S”C will be seeking a new science advisor?

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

I have no control of the administration of the NZCSC and you are becoming more than a little foolish, nearly on a par with jonno.

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 5:09 pm

This is a better exposition of Chris de Freitas position:

“I am not a fan of Beck’s work, but only because he does not convince me
the data he presents are of background CO2 concentrations.

But I would not for a moment suggest that I know of good data that shows
background CO2 concentrations were not higher in pre-20th century time
than they are now.

What bothers me is this.

Background CO2 measurements from Mauna Loa show large (3.5 ppm)
year-to-year fluctuations that are tied to ocean temperature changes
(even IPCC accepts this). We know from the Antarctic ice core data that
long-term warming also causes a CO2 increase (even IPCC accepts this),
just like that we see in the short term. This may be proof of causation,
since coherence of the temperature and CO2 data is so good, at both
short and long time scales.

On the other hand, where is the proof that the 20th century-to-present
global temperature trend is largely due to human-caused CO2 emissions?
[and output from the climate models is not proof]. Surely, the lack of
coherence between the two is reason for rejecting the hypothesis that
human-caused CO2 is a major driver of global temperature.”

I have no quarrel with this.

Owen McShane August 14, 2009 at 4:08 pm

As far as Garth’s academic career goes his most highly cited paper was published in Nature in 1979 cited by 29 other papers.
And Journal Article “Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data” Garth Paltridge, Albert Arking and Michael Pook Theoretical and Applied Climatology. (Peer Reviewed)

Not hard to find these two references.

Doug Mackie August 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Come come Roger,
it is simple. You (and Beck) are right or Chris de Freitas is right. I am keen, nay eager, to hear which it is (and why).

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Try #91

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm

The only certainty is that you, jonno and the rest are making idiots of yourselves.

Owen McShane August 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Actually the NZCSC has ongoing debates about many papers and reports.
This is what science is normally about.
The difference is that scientists in the coalition can have debates and disagreements without ad hominem attacks and labeling which is the normal form of discourse and in similar sites.
Chris disagrees with some of Beck’s conclusions but agrees with others.
Just as some physicists continue to back string theory while others are losing confidence, and the early days of quantum mechanics generated heated debate between the copenhagen school and the camp (Einstein included) who were convinced God doesn’t play dice.
The sciences are never settled. Why do you think they are building the giant collider? When it is built and operating some scientists will be proved right and others wrong.

Beck’s paper alerted people to the uncertainties around CO2 measurement and he made some bold conjectures some of which have been refuted but many of which are now in the mainstream.
There is a reason why one of Karl Popper’s great works was called “Conjectures and Refutations”.

Gareth August 14, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Beck’s paper alerted people to the uncertainties around CO2 measurement and he made some bold conjectures some of which have been refuted but many of which are now in the mainstream.

The “uncertainties” about CO2 measurement have been well understood since at least the 1930s, when Guy Callendar began to look at the figures. He rejected most of the early outliers by applying the quality control Beck so signally ignored, and his final figures were pretty close to those we accept today (from ice cores).

However, I am intrigued to find out which of Beck’s conjectures “are now in the mainstream”. Beck’s paper has made him a laughing stock amongst experts in the field, akthough perhaps I have missed a sudden twist of fate. But then perhaps you are referring to some other “mainstream” than the peer-reviewed literature in the field.

Roger Dewhurst August 14, 2009 at 7:58 pm

If anybody ever selectively massaged data it was Callendar. Quality control indeed! The fellow simply selected the data that fitted the line he wanted. He was a train driver or something? A bit like that Pachauri fellow?

Gareth August 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Roger, if you’re going to parody yourself, you’ll have to try harder to be funny.

CTG August 15, 2009 at 8:16 am

Ah right, so amateurs like Watts and McIntyre who are against AGW are noble crusaders, working to expose the socialist climate change plot; whereas amateurs like Callendar are bumbling fools who don’t know what they’re doing, is that it, Roger?
What category does that put you in?

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 10:59 am

There’s over 9,000 people with PhDs on the US list of 30,000+ who have not swallowed AGW hook, line and sinker.

Just name 5 published scientific papers that show irrefutable proof of manmade warming – not the output of dodgy computer software, not opinion (especially not of those who wrote or use that software), not merely evidence of warming, and not the old “we don’t how else to explain it” line which is a confession of ignorance more than anything else. If you say that there’s heaps of papers, it should be easy for you to name 5.

Until then my views will be closer to those of Professors Carter, de Freitas, Ball, Singer, Plimer, Lindzen, Auer, Kininmonth, Paltridge etc. than to yours.

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 11:10 am

Ok, Roger. Start by reading the full report of the IPCC’s Working Group One. It’s available as free download here, and reviews the scientific literature that covers our understanding of the human-caused nature of the current warming. You’ll find references to all the papers you could reasonably need there.

(Let me predict your response: “IPCC! UN organisation with political agenda, not to be trusted.”)

Alan August 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Owen, did you even look at the link I posted? Anyone that is or has been involved with the petroleum industry and denies AGW is suspect.
I’m not sure how much clearer I could make this at this stage.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 8:53 am

Most of those involved in the petroleum industry are geologists and most non-academic geologists, looking at this with a much longer time perspective, think AGW is drivel. Is that clear?

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 9:02 am

More wishful thinking, Roger.

The Geological Society of America (GSA) supports the scientific conclusions that Earth’s climate is changing; the climate changes are due in part to human activities; and the probable consequences of the climate changes will be significant and blind to geopolitical boundaries. Furthermore, the potential implications of global climate change and the time scale over which such changes will likely occur require active, effective, long-term planning. [here]

You might want to check here for what petroleum geologists think (clue: they accept the science too).

Carol Stewart August 15, 2009 at 10:45 am

Exactly, Gareth. [and take note, Roger].
Ths GSA annual meeting in Portland, which I am going to and will be happy to report on, has the following as one of its keynote Pardee symposia:
P1. Crisis in the Cryosphere: Impacts of Planetary Meltdown
American Quaternary Association (AMQUA); GSA Geology and Health Division; GSA Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division; International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA); National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT); GSA Geology and Society Division
George T. Stone, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee, Wis.; Andrew M. Buddington, Spokane Community College, Spokane, Wash.; Michael E. Mann, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Penn.
Wed., 21 Oct, 1:30–5:30 p.m.
All components of the cryosphere are in decline: ice sheets and outlet glaciers, ice caps and valley glaciers, ice shelves and sea ice, permafrost. This worldwide meltdown presages catastrophic impacts on water supplies, sea level, and coastlines.

Sounds pretty emphatic to me.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 11:12 am

Who is paying for this joyride?

If Mann features the whole show is pretty much discredited.

CTG August 15, 2009 at 1:48 pm

“If Mann features the whole show is pretty much discredited.”

Yeah, because we wouldn’t want them looking at the actual science instead of listening to oil industry PR, now, would we?

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 11:08 am

In 2009, the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) sent a statement to President Barack Obama and other US government officials:

The geological professionals in AIPG recognize that climate change is occurring and has the potential to yield catastrophic impacts if humanity is not prepared to address those impacts. It is also recognized that climate change will occur regardless of the cause. The sooner a defensible scientific understanding can be developed, the better equipped humanity will be to develop economically viable and technically effective methods to support the needs of society.[73]

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Position Statement on climate change states that “the AAPG membership is divided on the degree of influence that anthropogenic CO2 has on recent and potential global temperature increases … Certain climate simulation models predict that the warming trend will continue, as reported through NAS, AGU, AAAS and AMS. AAPG respects these scientific opinions but wants to add that the current climate warming projections could fall within well-documented natural variations in past climate and observed temperature data. These data do not necessarily support the maximum case scenarios forecast in some models.”[69]

Not exactly unqualified support of AGW is it?

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 11:11 am

Not exactly saying “AGW is drivel” either.

Owen McShane August 15, 2009 at 9:16 am

Alan,
That is absolute nonsense.
Note that he was the a Director of the Environmental Executive of the Petroleum Institute. At those times he was probably focusing on the effect of oil spills etc.
We all buy petrol and so we all benefit from petroleum products.
And the petroleum industry pays a huge amount of taxes which contribute to health and welfare spending.

I was a Harkness Fellow in 1968.
So was Alistair Cook and Professor Beaglehole and thousands of others over the life of the Commonwealth Fund – all funded by oil funded foundations.
This curious notion that once you have done some work for someone, or been paid by someone, your thoughts are dictated forever is bizarre.
I am self employed and have worked for all money of agencies and institutions and companies throughout my life – but they do not own me.
Grow up.
Anyhow on this basis the Author of Hot Topic has a vested interest in sales of is book so he is ‘obviously suspect’.
And if not, why not?

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 11:03 am

I prefer to judge a man by his words: the material at Sourcewatch suggests that Paltridge was sceptical about warming in the late 80s/early 90s and has never changed his mind. Admirable consistency or a failure to keep up with the science? You choose.

As far as my “vested interest” is concerned, I can safely say that earnings from the book or this blog have never remotely approached a fair return on the time invested. Nevertheless, I consider it time well spent.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 11:10 am

As far as my “vested interest” is concerned, I can safely say that earnings from the book or this blog have never remotely approached a fair return on the time invested. Nevertheless, I consider it time well spent.

I assure you that you have been most generously rewarded.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 11:14 am

“Ok, Roger. Start by reading the full report of the IPCC’s Working Group One. It’s available as free download here, and reviews the scientific literature that covers our understanding of the human-caused nature of the current warming. You’ll find references to all the papers you could reasonably need there.”

Just cite the five you think prove your case. That is all.

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 11:19 am

On my blog, I set the agenda. Go read WG1, and report back when you’ve finished.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 11:28 am

As I thought. You cannot cite any papers which prove your case.

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Bullshit. I provided a reference – I just refuse to play your silly game by narrowing it down to five papers. Go read WG1. When you can rebut the hundreds of papers and multiple lines of evidence, then I’ll take you seriously. Until then, you’re just pissing in the wind.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm

See below Gareth,

Most of your so-called experts in the IPCC have never been involved in science at all.

You put your money on “the consensus” and the numbers.
You have not got a consensus or the numbers now. The only people you have in your pocket are the politicians, lawyers, bureaucrats and academics sucking on the public tit. How much longer do you expect to have the politicians in your pocket? They count the votes and turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Nonsense, again. The people on the Panel are not the scientists writing the papers reviewed in the IPCC process. You can huff and puff all that you want, but you are wrong about the science, wrong about the consensus, and seem oblivious to what’s actually happening out in the real world. You’ve bought into a fantasy world where physics is trumped by politics. The rest of us, meanwhile, are out there trying to find a solution to a real problem. You and your views are irrelevant to the big picture. I can understand that you find that irritating, but it’s your choice to believe what you do — to fly in the face of the evidence, or deny its existence. Your loss.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 11:43 am

Gareth and the rest of the acolytes,

Try this for size.

http://www.epw.senate.gov/minority

samv August 17, 2009 at 11:39 am

Size 404.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 11:48 am

During the question and answer session of last week’s William Schlesinger/John Christy global warming debate, (alarmist) Schlesinger was asked how many members of United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were actual climate scientists. It is well known that many, if not most, of its members are not scientists at all. Its president, for example, is an economist. This question came after Schlesinger had cited the IPCC as an authority for his position. His answer was quite telling. First he broadened it to include not just climate scientists but also those who have had “some dealing with the climate.” His complete answer was that he thought, “something on the order of 20 percent have had some dealing with climate.” In other words, even IPCC worshiper Schlesinger now acknowledges that 80 percent of the IPCC membership had absolutely no dealing with the climate as part of their academic studies.

Roger Dewhurst August 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm

You have lost the plot altogether Gareth. You might as well surrender.

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 12:53 pm

To a man with a pop-gun? Thanks for today’s best laugh.

jonno August 15, 2009 at 1:12 pm
Dappledwater August 15, 2009 at 6:40 pm

I like this one better, includes the denialist’s favorite, the satellite temperature data.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png

Owen McShane August 15, 2009 at 8:36 pm

And what makes 1983 the magic year.
It’s called cherry picking.
So who pays your beliefs?

Gareth August 15, 2009 at 9:45 pm

It’s OK, Owen, we already know you’ve taken the Heartland shilling.

Roger Dewhurst August 16, 2009 at 8:44 am

What do you charge for your book? A bit more than a shilling I think.

AndrewH August 15, 2009 at 10:13 pm

@Owen

a) The plot starts at Jan 1982 (to be precise)
and
b) It’s not a “cherry-pick” because you can pick almost any year in the UAH record and get a similar positive trend, except for 1998…hence 1998 is a cherry pick, and a most thoroughly picked cherry at that.

Try wood for trees and see for yourself.

Dappledwater August 15, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Geez, that’s funny. If that’s cherry picking, then I’ve just cleaned out the whole damned tree!.

If you had actually read the page you would have seen this:

“Note: In the above figure, there is still a significant discrepancy between the very earliest satellite measurements and the ground based measurements at that time. For this reason only the interval 1982-2005 was used in calculating each trend. Including the earliest years leads to a wider dispersion , with trends of 0.170°C/decade, 0.116°C/decade, and 0.192°C/decade for the surface, UAH, and RSS data respectively. The origin of this discrepancy is unclear.”

Note that the data and trend line now extends past 2005.

What was that about beliefs again?. Me?. I have confidence in the overwhelming majority of working climate scientists. The world wide accelerating loss of ice from glaciers, the Arctic and Antarctic, increasing CO2 emissions, decreasing atmospheric oxygen, carbon radio isotope ratio analysis, increasing global temps, warming night time temps, cooling stratospheric temps, rising sea levels, increasing ocean acidification, flora and fauna migrating away from the equator etc, etc…… yeah that kind of convinces me too. But then I don’t deny the obvious.

Roger Dewhurst August 16, 2009 at 8:42 am
CTG August 16, 2009 at 9:40 am

You really think we should take the word of a TV weatherman? Watts has shown on several occasions that he really does not understand the science in the slightest.

There is a conspiracy of misinformation going on, Roger, but it’s not the climate scientists who are doing it.

Owen McShane August 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

Gareth,
Heartland? Chicken feed.

What about Quest? I won an international contest (run by the Economist) on new marketing ideas, and consequently paid meUS$7,000 to write a paper to present to their annual conference in Florida back in the nineties, and paid my air fare and hotel bills.
Quest is a club of forty of the Fortune 500 companies so I am obviously bought out by each and every one of them.
I have been invited to speak at international conferences for decades (beginnin in 1982 when I was the only representative from the Southern Hemisphere to present a paper to the first international conference on Biotechnology. Again all those biotech and phram companies paid my fare and accommadation. So they all own me too.
You can see there is no way I can have any thoughts of my own.

If you believe that you can believe anything.

You may find it difficult to comprehend but people invite me to speak and pay my fares and even some fees precisely because I DO have some thoughts of my own. Heartland was interested in my views on urban planning, urban economics, and urban transport, and the relations to energy, carbon footprints etc. I was in the policy programme, not the science programme.

Gareth August 16, 2009 at 10:40 am

Heartland was interested in my views on urban planning,

Yeah, right. Nothing whatsoever to do with your membership of the NZ C”S”C and espousal of climate denial.

Your willingness to act as a stooge for US far right and fossil fuel interests says far more about you than I would ever wish to.

R2D2 August 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Yes Gareth, people who are sceptical about dangerous anthropogenic climate change are really just racist / religious / right wingers / corrupt / industry lobbyists.

And anyone who works for the UNFCCC / accounting firms / trading companies / socialist leaning / naturist has no ulterior motive what so ever.

Gareth August 16, 2009 at 9:24 pm

What on earth have you got against naturists?

Roger Dewhurst August 16, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Typo I expect. Try ‘naturally’.

R2D2 August 16, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Hmmm I didnt actually know that it could mean that, I was referring to people who has a thing against everything non ‘nature’, ie organic food consumers. But anyway thats probably going to start a whole new debate, please no responses on the benefits of organic food!

Alan August 16, 2009 at 9:56 pm

The thing is, a lot of high-profile deniers seem to have jumped in bed with certain industries. That you don’t find that the least bit disturbing is confusing to me.

Roger Dewhurst August 16, 2009 at 10:50 pm

A lot of the high profile AGW pushers are paid full time to do so. Do you not find that a little disturbing? You ought to.

Alan August 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Not sure why I couldn’t reply to your post, no matter.
To answer, could you cite some sources please, I’m particularly interested to hear which ‘special interests’ are bankrolling the IPCC. Also, you didn’t answer my question.

Dappledwater August 16, 2009 at 10:13 am

Yep, as soon as the “hockey stick” is mentioned you know you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t have a clue.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/

R2D2 August 16, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Oh, so in deciding if the Hockey stick is flawed we should look at a website that is co-run by two of the three authors of the hockey stick? Thats like asking Paul Wolfowitz if the war in Iraq was necessary!

Alan August 16, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Well, you could try this one

CTG August 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm

You’re right, it makes no sense to ask climate scientists about climate science. Much better to ask the real experts, like geologists or economists. Heck, I’m sure my hairdresser probably knows more about climate science than those silly old climate scientists – should we ask him?

Or we could look in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, where we will find that McIntyre & McKitrick is bunk, and that Mann et al 1998 is not in fact flawed as M&M suggest.

Roger Dewhurst August 16, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Palaeoclimate specialists are palaeontologists and palaeontologists are geologists!

CTG August 17, 2009 at 7:19 am

And what is McKitrick’s publication record on climate? One debunked paper in the hardly renowned E&E. That does not qualify him as an expert.

And yet you think the government should listen to non-experts like M&M and, er, you, rather than Mann, Schmidt and co who actually know what they are talking about. Right.

What exactly is your publication record on climatology?

R2D2 August 17, 2009 at 7:55 am

The problem I have with the hockey stick has nothing to do with who made it. Its just plainly wrong. As first released in that 1998 paper it shows stable temperatures for 1000 years, and then dramatically increasing temperatures over the last 100.

It wouldn’t matter if it was written by Stephen Hawking other reconstructions do not show that, and the article has no new ground breaking discovery that would falsify these other reconstructions. Also historical records all record historical climate variation. It is only since the publication of that paper, and the one claiming the antarctic was warming, that many now distrust work done by Mann.

CTG August 17, 2009 at 10:48 am

Could you cite some peer-reviewed articles that show “Its just plainly wrong”?

No, thought not.

On the other hand, there are independent studies that don’t find any problems with Mann et al’s statistical techniques.

“it shows stable temperatures for 1000 years”

Have you actually read Mann et al? The oldest series they use goes back to 1400, which is 600 years, not 1000. If you are trying to suggest that they do not show the MWP, that would be because the data they used do not cover the MWP.

In any case recent studies that extend the proxies further back do quite clearly show the MWP, and yet the C20 warming still shows up as being exceptional.
See here for freely-accessible figures and futher discussion.

R2D2 August 16, 2009 at 11:13 pm

“It is now transparently obvious that this National-led government simply does not understand the real challenges presented by climate change. They do not appreciate the full seriousness of the situation that confronts the planet, they underestimate the need to act, and they have completely failed to make any coherent assessment of what could be done. That amounts to gross incompetence, and they should be held to account for it, both at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion.”

Gareth, they were voted in on a platform of a ‘balanced approach’ to climate change and on not ‘leading the world’. That seems to me exactly what they are doing.

Do you have any public opinion poles that show the public is unhappy that the government is not doing enough about ‘climate change’?

Gareth August 17, 2009 at 9:07 am

A couple of points: National campaigned on keeping the ETS, but put it on hold as soon as they took power. They ditched as much of Labour’s related policy as possible (thermal generation ban, housing insulation scheme, various efficiency measures) and although they’ve replaced some, it’s mostly been with watered down schemes.
There is no sign that the government has thought through the problem in any coherent way – witness Nick Smith’s position through the laughable target “consultation” process. Not only did he misuse the figures from his own economic report, he completely failed to address a key part of any target — increasing the size of forest carbon sinks.
If there was any real understanding of the climate problem in the government, they would understand the need for a carefully thought-through, interlocking series of measures across a large number of policy areas. Instead, they seem to making it up as they go along. That’s why I consider them incompetent, not because they want to “go slow” — though I think that’s mistaken as well.

Roger Dewhurst August 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm

“It is now transparently obvious that this National-led government simply does not understand the real challenges presented by climate change. They do not appreciate the full seriousness of the situation that confronts the planet, they underestimate the need to act, and they have completely failed to make any coherent assessment of what could be done. That amounts to gross incompetence, and they should be held to account for it, both at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion.”

Perhaps Gareth it is you that does not appreciate the situation. After all most of those who have not swallowed the AGW scam are better qualified and have much more relevant real life experience than you do.

Gareth August 17, 2009 at 9:08 am

Still got that pop-gun, I see.

Dappledwater August 17, 2009 at 10:00 am

“The problem I have with the hockey stick has nothing to do with who made it. Its just plainly wrong” – r2d2

Is it that you don’t understand, or is it simply denial on your part?. What about all the other studies that affirm the anomalous late 20th century warming?. They were shown in the graph in the link I provided (figures 1 &2 in the 5th paragraph). The US National Academy of Sciences also affirmed the findings of Mann’s study back in 2006.

I can provide a “dummies guide” link to the study demonstrating what a crock M&M’s complaints were, but no doubt you wouldn’t understand it. Your software and hardware needs a serious upgrade r2.

Roger Dewhurst August 17, 2009 at 10:38 am

>What about all the other studies that affirm the anomalous late 20th century warming?

It warmed after the LIA. Nobody has any problem with that except those that wish to deny the LIA.

>The US National Academy of Sciences also affirmed the findings of Mann’s study back in 2006.

It was subsequently rubbished by proper statisticians.

If anybody needs a dummies guide it is you.

CTG August 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm

“It was subsequently rubbished by proper statisticians.”

Please cite your sources for that.

AndrewH August 17, 2009 at 9:31 pm

“It warmed after the LIA”
To the extent that a) it warmed and b) it happened after the LIA, your statement is correct, Roger. But it doesn’t exactly address the issue of “anomalous late 20th century warming”, does it. Unless the LIA lasted until 1970.

Any suggestion that the warming is some kind of rebound from the LIA is a flight of fancy….does your ‘climate model’ have some kind of elastic constant in it? With a damping factor too (to provide the appropriate negative feedbacks when needed).

Owen McShane August 17, 2009 at 11:14 am

CTG, the standard Mann Hockey Stick graph is on Wikipedia (as easy reference).
It begins in year 1000 and runs through to the year 2000.
Later in Wikipedia we read:
The BBC described the “hockey stick” as a term coined for the chart of temperature variation over the last 1,000 years.[3] The chart is relatively flat from the period A.D. 1000 to 1900, indicating that temperatures were relatively stable for this period of time. The flat part forms the stick’s “shaft.” After 1900, however, temperatures appear to shoot up, forming the hockey stick’s “blade.” The combination of the two in the chart suggests a recent sharp rise in temperature caused by human activities. The BBC further stated that “The high-profile publication of the data led to the “hockey stick” being used as a key piece of supporting evidence in the Third Assessment Report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001.”

As far as I know you are the only person who claims the hockey stick only goes back 600 years.
Anyhow the little ice age falls within the last 600 years anyhow.
Maybe someone has “reconstructured Mann” to remove the MWM from the graph.

CTG August 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm

LOL – Wikipedia as an authoratative source!

How about the actual paper?

The paper commonly referred to as Mann et al 1998 or MBH98 is “Mann, Michael E., Bradley, Raymond S. & Hughes, Malcolm K. (1998), “Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries”, Nature 392: 779–787″

The graph in Wikipedia is from Mann et al 1999 (Geophysical Research Letters, 26(6): 759-762). The original objection by M&M was to the 1998 paper, which does only go back to 1400.

Get your facts straight.

Owen McShane August 17, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Sorry, the graph commonly known as the Hockey Stick and which was the NIWA logo and was promoted widely by the IPCC was the 1999 paper.
The image on Wikipedia is from the 1999 paper and that is why all commentary (except maybe yours) refers to the 1,000 year time frame of the hockey stick.
I suggest you do an image google search of “hockey stick Mann”and see how many times the 1998 image turns up and the 1999 image turns up.
On the first search page I found the 1998 image only once. And did not see it again for the next three pages and as there are 103,000 hits I decided there was little point on this futile exercise. You may choose to focus on the first paper but you have little company. So yes, the first Mann et al paper goes back 600 years but the image which became known around the world as “Mann’s hockey stick” goes back to the year 1,000. It superseded the earlier one in the public mind because that was the one that was heavily promoted. When NIWA presented the Mann Hockey Stick in its power point presentations it was this 1000 year image they used.
That is a fact.

CTG August 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Owen, I was referring to R2D2′s comment: “As first released in that 1998 paper it shows stable temperatures for 1000 years”
which is incorrect. I’m not disputing that the 1999 version is more commonly used, I’m disputing the claim that MBH98 looked at 1000 years.

CTG August 17, 2009 at 1:04 pm

And I have still not seen either you or Roger produce any peer-reviewed science that contradicts any of Mann’s hockey stick figures.

samv August 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Well, perhaps not – but it was done by von Storch et al (2004), though the flaws in this paper were revealed later (Wahl et al (2006)). (h/t: RC)

Of course if you’ve got denialist vision all you see is the first paper, which is why you’ll hear lots of people talking about the original Hockey stick graph being “debunked” or “discredited”.

CTG August 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Well, that’s my point. The peer review process does not stop at the moment of publication. As we have seen with the McLean et al fiasco, getting a paper published does not mean that what is in the paper automatically becomes part of the scientific canon.

None of the critiques of MBH98 have themselves stood up to peer review, whereas there have been several papers since MBH98 that confirm and extend the original results.

The notion that the whole AGW theory rests on that one paper, and that MBH98 has been proven to be wrong is ridiculous, however many gullible US congressmen might have been fooled by M&M.

R2D2 August 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Nice photo, I knew actors were in the climate change debate, I guess ‘aspiring’ male models are now too lol

CTG August 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

What on earth does that mean?

Dappledwater August 17, 2009 at 8:05 pm

The US National Academy of Sciences also affirmed the findings of Mann’s study back in 2006. – Dappled Water

It was subsequently rubbished by proper statisticians. – Roger Dewhurst.

Please cite your sources for that. – CTG

Source = Roger’s ring piece. Roger seems to obtain a lot of information from this source. That’s why he never provides references for his ridiculous assertions and lies.

No Roger, even a “dummies guide” wouldn’t cure your wilful ignorance and bullshit.

R2D2 August 17, 2009 at 10:00 pm

“And I have still not seen either you or Roger produce any peer-reviewed science that contradicts any of Mann’s hockey stick figures.”

Haven’t we been through this extensively before with D’Arrigo et el 2006?

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~rjsw/all%20pdfs/DArrigoetal2006a.pdf

Of the individual proxy records in this study, only ‘POL’ shows late 20th century warming. All the others show early 20th century warming followed by flat temperatures in the later half of the 20th century.

And this is a paper that is used in the ‘spaghetti graph’ chapter 6 of the WG1 AR4, “Paleoclimate”.

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter6.pdf

(However the spaghetti graph shows the black instrumental record over the proxy records to give the impression of warming in the proxies)

When combining the proxies the authors conclude that, “The NH RCS reconstruction displays pronounced variability, including significant ‘‘MWP’’ and ‘‘LIA’’ departures”.

When analysing the instrumental record the authors conclude that, “After this period [mid nineteen 80's], however, the divergence between the tree-ring and instrumental data results in weakening of calibration results and failed verification statistics.”

And that, “These results suggest how extreme recent warming has been relative to the natural fluctuations of the past millennium.”

And most damming to the IPCC, “It is also possible that the models are themselves biased in some way (e.g., although they incorporate external (solar, volcanic, anthropogenic) forcings, they do not take
into account internal atmosphere-ocean dynamics”

So what does the IPCC say about this study?

“D’Arrigo et al. (2006) used only tree ring data, but these include a substantial number not used in other reconstructions, particularly in northern North America. Their reconstruction, similar to that of Esper et al. (2002), displays a large amplitude of change during the past 1 kyr, associated with notably cool excursions during most of the 9th, 13th and 14th centuries, clearly below those of most other reconstructions. Hegerl et al. (2006) used a mixture of 14 regional series, of which only 3 were not made up from tree ring data (a Greenland ice O isotope
record and two composite series, from China and Europe, including a mixture of instrumental, documentary and other data). Many of these are common to the earlier reconstructions. However, these series were combined and scaled using a regression approach (total least squares) intended to prevent the loss of low-frequency variance inherent in some other regression approaches. The reconstruction produced lies close to the centre of the range defi ned by the other reconstructions.”

So the result depends on the statistical method you use to smooth the data? Which is where I need to rely on someone who has a statistics background, and where the argument of “only trust a climate scientist” falls over.

D’Andrea et el, (who I’m not claiming were statisticians) conclude that:
“On the basis of the above comparisons and analyses, we conclude that the RCS reconstruction is superior to the more traditional STD method with regards to the ability to retain low-frequency (centennial to multicentennial) trends.”

CTG August 17, 2009 at 11:28 pm

“Haven’t we been through this extensively before with D’Arrigo et el 2006? ”

Yes, and you were wrong that time as well. As I noted before, you omitted the fact that later papers have corrected for the divergence problem.

What the tree ring proxies quite clearly show, and which you also gloss over, is that the MWP was not a coordinated, global event – there were significant regional variations in temperature (some regions show no warming at all during the MWP), and the start and end dates for MWP vary widely.

All of which still makes the late C20 warming exceptional.

But of course, you will only look for the science that fits your preconceived notion that AGW does not exist, so it’s pretty pointless having this same debate with you over and over again, when you refuse to learn.

R2D2 August 18, 2009 at 7:47 am

I have no doubt the effects of the MWP period varied depending on location, I never claimed they didn’t.

What you are implicitly claiming is that the effects of modern warming do not vary dependent on location when they quite obviously do also.

You are very critical of sceptics who do not cite sources, yet you cite none when you claim later papers have ‘corrected’ for the divergence ‘problem’.

You accuse me of only looking for the science that fits my bias, and then you refer to observed divergence as a ‘problem’. Why is it a problem? Why do researchers need to ‘correct’ for it? Why is it the proxies that need correcting and not the instrumental records?

Macro August 18, 2009 at 9:22 am

Trouble is CTG they can’t see the truth for the trees!

R2D2 August 17, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Looking at only the proxy reconstruction (and not the instrumental record spliced on the end) in figure 3 a in the paper:

http://wdc.obs-mip.fr/pubs/millennium-camera.pdf

The main difference between MBH99 and other proxies is not the late 20th century warming (none show that), but the lack of variance during the 2nd millennium.

The authors then go on to conclude; “While warmth early in the millennium approaches mean 20th century levels, the late 20th century still appears anomalous: the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium.”

However, they base this conclusion on comparing the proxy to the instrumental record, and recent authors (D’Andrea et el) have shown that the two do not agree now. So this can not be concluded using instrumental data – because if the instrumental record does not match proxy data for the late 80’s, how can we conclude that the same weather stations would not have measured equal warming during the MWP. There for, peer reviewed studies have shown Mann et el 1998’s conclusions to be wrong.

(note: as many proxy records show similar results, and they do not match instrumental records, either or HAS to be wrong. My hypothesis would be that the instrumental records would be wrong)

(Also: many here defend the Mann et el 1999 splice. Do any seriously think it accurately portrays modern warming compared to historical variance? I refer to figure 3a in the link posted)

CTG August 18, 2009 at 7:55 am

It would help if you actually read the references you give. In D’Arrigo et al, the “splice” as you call it shows remarkable agreement between the proxies and the instrumental record for 100 years. It is only post-1980 (when warming was already higher than ever previously recorded) that there is divergence.

As I said, this has already been explained. Part of the reason is that local temperature effects were not accounted for. Part of the reason is that there has been so much warming that many of the boreal trees are facing heat-stress, causing tree-ring growth to be reduced.

The divergence problem is in fact more evidence that today’s warming is exceptional, otherwise these trees would be adapted to warmer temperatures!

R2D2 August 18, 2009 at 7:58 am

You will obviously read from it what you will. You are really sounding foolish though.

The really steep warming in the instrumental record has been since the mid-1980′s, it makes sense this is when the divergence has happened since. My comments were from the paper and not my own opinions. I never saw your opinions in the conclusions of the paper.

CTG August 18, 2009 at 8:14 am

“The really steep warming in the instrumental record has been since the mid-1980’s”

Rubbish. Look at figure 6 – the rate of increase in the early 1900s is just as steep as the later warming. The flat period from 1940-1970 is, as you well know, attributed to the massive increase in sulphates from WW2 and the post-war industrial expansion, ended by the clean air acts of the 70s and 80s. The proxy record is well in accord from the 1880s all the way to the 1980s, so it is completely wrong for you to characterise it otherwise.

“I never saw your opinions in the conclusions of the paper.”

Conclusions like this:
“Taken at face value, our reconstruction indicates that MWP conditions were nearly 0.7°C cooler than those of the late twentieth century.”

Yup, I agree with that. Do you?

CTG WTF August 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm

CTG, I think you just lost all credability with that out of context quote from the article R2D2 referenced.

The full quote has a different meaning to what you are trying to argue it says. The article DOES NOT conclude that the MWP was 0.7C cooler than present. The article does say that tree rings may not be a good proxie when temperatures are very warm, as you say earlier, but goes onto say that it therefore can not be concluded the MWP was not similarly warm, or warmer, than today.

The full quote from the article is:

“Taken at face value, our reconstruction indicates that MWP conditions were nearly 0.7C cooler than those of the late twentieth century. These results suggest how extreme recent warming has been relative to the natural
fluctuations of the past millennium. This conclusion, however, must be taken cautiously. First, there is significant divergence between reconstructed and actual temperatures since the mid-1980s, which, until valid reasons for this
phenomenon have been found, can only question the ability of tree-ring data to robustly model earlier periods that could have been similarly warm (or warmer) than the present. Second, there are presently only very few millennial length records available for direct comparison between the recent
period and the MWP, and these records show trends which are not necessarily coherent over the latter interval, resulting in a ‘‘flattening’’ of MWP conditions compared to recent warming in our reconstruction. Ultimately, many long records from new NH locations and updating of existing records (mainly in Eurasia) to the present are required. Successful
modeling of paleoclimate data with the high temperatures of the late 1990s is essential if we are to make robust, definitive conclusions about past temperature amplitudes and variability.”

CTG August 18, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Oh my, an insult-slinging sockpuppet! I’m honoured.

“CTG, I think you just lost all credability”

Odd, I don’t remember claiming I had any credibility. I’m not a climate scientist, and I’ve made it very clear that I think we should all be listening to the actual climate scientists.

Now, R2 thinks that we should not listen to Mann in particular, and has twice now presented the D’Arrigo et al 2006 paper as “evidence” that Mann deliberately falsified his MWP reconstruction, and that the MWP was as warm as today.

I have pointed out that D’Arrigo et al 2006 does not in fact support that conclusion. It says “These results suggest how extreme recent warming has been relative to the natural
fluctuations of the past millennium.”

There are two caveats to that conclusion: 1) the divergence problem and 2) the paucity of long-term proxy records. These factors are further discussed here by Wilson et al (including D’Arrigo).

One source of the divergence problem is that some proxy records show divergence from local temperatures. As discussed here and here, it could very well be that the recent extreme warming is causing physiological stress for some alpine and boreal tree species, which means that the link between temperature and tree ring growth breaks down once temperatures rise above some threshold – which we have already passed.
To account for this, Wilson et al removed the proxies which show this local temperature divergence, and found that the divergence problem was greatly reduced – without affecting the overall reconstruction. All these things combined suggest that the divergence problem does not in fact contradict the MBH98 hockey stick, and even provides further evidence for recent warming being unusual.

As to the second problem, one of the impacts of having few proxies for the mediaeval period is that this leads to “flattening” of the temperatures in the MWP. But the reason that the temperatures get flattened is because the MWP was not a coordinated, global event like the C20 warming. D’Arrigo et al are quite clear about this: “we can confidently state that the global warming ‘fingerprint’ is globally more homogenous than warming during the MWP”. It is therefore perfectly justified to say that C20 warming is exceptional compared to the last 1000 years.

Of course, it is always better to have more data, and this has been done. As you can see here, there is still a lot of variability in the various proxies over exactly how warm the MWP was, and how long it lasted, but there is no doubt that the recent warming is anomalous in comparison to the MWP, nor is there credence in the notion that we are just “rebounding from the LIA”.

So if both of those caveats are removed, then D’Arrigo et al’s original conclusion stands: “MWP conditions were nearly 0.7°C cooler than those of the late twentieth century.”

But like I said, don’t take my word for it. If you really want to be a skeptic, keep an open mind and ask for more data. Above all, don’t draw conclusions from one paper, and then steadfastly ignore any new evidence that comes along.

Macro August 18, 2009 at 9:28 am

In 2007 – 2008 Mann and his team revisited the whole thing OMITTING all tree ring data, and incorporated even more data from other sources. The results were pretty much the same as before. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7592575.stm

CTG August 18, 2009 at 7:44 am

See, here is the problem with you denialists. You pick and pick at individual parts of the AGW theory, as if all you have to do is prove one thing wrong and it will bring the whole thing crashing down.
But you have no consistent physical model of the earth that explains what is going on if CO2 is not the cause of the recent warming. Look at all of the evidence:
* Most of the glaciers world-wide are retreating. Why?
* Arctic summer minimum ice extent and volume has been diminishing steadily since satellite records began in 1979. Why?
* Methane hydrates have started being released from ocean floor sediments at depths never previously recorded. Why?
* Hurricane activity in the Atlantic has increased substantially in the last few decades. Why?
* Phenological changes have been observed in several continents and at several latitudes (earlier spring, growing regions moving north etc, pollination/insect emergence getting out of synch). Why?

I can explain all of these things with one other observation: atmospheric CO2 concentration has been rising for the last 150 years.

What single model of the earth’s system can the denialists produce that explains all of these observations without CO2-induced warming?

Answers on a postcard, please.

R2D2 August 18, 2009 at 7:53 am

You are too much seriously. The problem with alarmists is that whenever you prove one piece of there world view wrong they move onto another, and then when you prove that wrong they dance back to the original (ie the full circle back to D’Andrea)

All the ‘evidence’ you provide is based on correlation, not a ‘model’.

Here is a ‘model’ for you – when the price of gold goes up, world temperatures rise. All the records since 1890 prove this, there for the price of gold MUST be driving temperature. Can you prove me wrong? I’m putting the onus of proof on you.

CTG August 18, 2009 at 9:24 am

No, all the things I said there are observations of the real world. Not models, not correlations. Observations of things that are going on outside your window, if you would only unblinker your eyes and see.

How can you explain all of those things if CO2 is not causing warming? Forget computer models, forget proxy records, tell me a physical theory that explains these observations.

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

Perhaps whatever caused the LIA stopped causing the LIA?

CTG August 18, 2009 at 10:54 am

Given that we are already 0.7ºC warmer than the MWP (according to the paper that R2D2 thinks is so reliable), it can’t just be that. Otherwise we would have returned to the same temperature profile as the MWP, and seen no further warming.

Roger Dewhurst August 18, 2009 at 9:35 am

* Most of the glaciers world-wide are retreating. Why?

There are no records of most of the world’s glaciers.

* Arctic summer minimum ice extent and volume has been diminishing steadily since satellite records began in 1979. Why?

Arctic ice has been fluctuating for as long as records have been kept (not just satellite records).

* Methane hydrates have started being released from ocean floor sediments at depths never previously recorded. Why?

Perhaps nobody was recording this?

* Hurricane activity in the Atlantic has increased substantially in the last few decades. Why?

It has not.

* Phenological changes have been observed in several continents and at several latitudes (earlier spring, growing regions moving north etc, pollination/insect emergence getting out of synch). Why?

Most plants are triggered by light, or dark, and not temperature.

CTG August 18, 2009 at 10:43 am

Denial, denial, denial.

Glacier retreat

Arctic sea ice decline

Methane hydrate release

Hurricane activity

Phenological changes

You’re going to have to do better than that, Roger.

R2D2 August 18, 2009 at 9:46 pm

CTG, that is evidence for recent warming, but either since 1850 or since 1978. You are saying current warming is caused by CO2 because of correlation and ‘a model’. We are saying the warming is not shown to be unusual by historical proxies.

links:
Glacier retreat: Wikipedia article, “Glacier Retreat Since 1850″
- We have repeatedly acknowledged that the world has warmed since the LIA. Furthermore it is likely large glaciers have been retreating since the end of the last glacial period 11,400 years ago. Sea level records show this.

Arctic sea ice decline: Link is to wikipedia, since 1978. This is the same trick as when sceptics say, “The world has cooled since 1998″. By picking the date the graph starts a negative trend can be established. We do not know what the ice cover was like 1000 years ago. Records from the early 20th century record passages were open that are again opening now.

Methane hydrate release: Again, warming in the Arctic with no available historical reference.

Hurricane activity: Mann hockey stick for hurricanes! Classic! The proxy shows no increase, the instrumental record does. Is it remarkable that more hurricanes are named now than 100 years ago?

Still there is this quote, “Of particular interest is the medieval peak in activity, which matches or even exceeds current levels of activity within uncertainties for the statistical model.”

Phenological changes: Records taken from 2 different people, 1936-1947, and 1976-1998, in the US. Records show warming over later 1900′s. However again there is no historical reference and there is start date bias in the second sample.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.lrg.gif
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt

What longer term proxies can you give us that don’t rely on an instrumental record splice?

(And BTW, bad play on the out of context quote)

CTG August 18, 2009 at 11:50 pm

What out of context quote was that?

You tried to show that D’Arrigo et al was proof that Mann was making up data. I showed that it was no such thing. Who exactly was taking things out of context?

CTG August 18, 2009 at 11:53 pm

The Arctic sea ice graph is from NSIDC, not Wikipedia, and a statistically significant trend over 30 years is very different to a non-significant trend of 10 years. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good rant, R2.

CTG August 19, 2009 at 7:23 am

The full quote on the mediaeval peak in hurricane activity is:

“Of particular interest is the medieval peak in activity, which matches or even exceeds current levels of activity within uncertainties for the statistical model. The peak arises in the statistical model from a combination of (see Fig. 2) La-Nina-like conditions during the medieval era which have been discussed elsewhere and relatively warm SSTs in the tropical North Atlantic at that time.”

In other words, there was a persistent La Nina state during the MWP, which is unlike what we see today with frequent fluctuations from EN to LN. This is further evidence that the MWP was a regional event, not a global event such as today’s.

But go on digging that hole, R2. Can you still see the light?

(BTW, should I now create a sockpuppet to squeal in horror that you took a quote out of context?)

CTG August 19, 2009 at 7:29 am

On phenological changes, go to Google Scholar and type in “phenological change climate”. There have been dozens of studies showing shifts in seasons, mis-timings between plant flowering and insect emergence, bird migration patterns changing etc etc.

CTG August 19, 2009 at 7:33 am

“Most plants are triggered by light, or dark, and not temperature.”

Ask any farmer what is the main thing that affects grass growth. (Hint, it’s not daylight length).

But yes, there are many plants that trigger flowering based on daylight length. However, there are many insect species that trigger emergence on temperature. There have been several recorded instances in recent years of insects emerging before the flowers they depend on have bloomed. Bad news for both plants and insects.

Big Hitter August 18, 2009 at 10:40 pm

“You are saying current warming is caused by CO2 because of correlation and ‘a model’. – CTG

Actually because the basic Science behind CO2 is clear and well understood. CO2 absorbs infrared and hence it warms the surface of the earth. So we have a method of causation, measurement of the increase in causitive factors, and the correlation between the rise in those factors and the result predicted by theory.

“We are saying the warming is not shown to be unusual by historical proxies.” – CTG

http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/8/8f/Ice_Age_Temperature_Rev.png
http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/b/bb/Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev.png

It most certainly is unusual relative to our position in the current interglacial which starts with a rapid temprature increase followed by a slow noisey decline in temperature .

And as you can see from the following chart
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png

It should be noted on this graph the highest temperature shown is 2′C above the pre-industrial average. And these temperatures existed more than 5 million years ago. The projected temperature rise is anticipated to be between 3′C and 5′C over the next 90 years which is well off the chart and clearly unprecedented in the last 5 million years.

“We have repeatedly acknowledged that the world has warmed since the LIA” – CTG

The observed temperature rise since that period has already been three times that decline, which appears mostly to be regional.
In short, the LIA is completely irrelevant.

“Furthermore it is likely large glaciers have been retreating since the end of the last glacial period 11,400 years ago. Sea level records show this.” – CTG

Nope, temperatures have been in decline for thousands years until the recent upward spike due to human CO2 emission since the Industrial revoultion.

CTG August 18, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Er, that woz R2D2 doing the denying, not me.

R2D2 August 22, 2009 at 12:22 am

On the second link you post, showing me unusual temperatures, what is the proxy used to determine 2005 temperatures?

(This link:
http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/b/bb/Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev.png
)

Roger Dewhurst August 21, 2009 at 9:27 am

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Gareth August 21, 2009 at 9:34 am

I presume that, as you are posting these details, you will receive some sort of commission for advertising their services?

[Please, Roger, just post links.]

Roger Dewhurst August 21, 2009 at 9:51 am

There was no link.

I posted this to demonstrate the forces that are now driving the AGW agenda. You carry on about ‘big oil’ funding the ‘denialists’ as you call them but neglect the every increasing number whose income steam is derived from AGW.

jonno August 21, 2009 at 11:01 am

“the forces that are now driving the AGW agenda”

You mean the scientific evidence or the blatant empirical evidence?

[Edit: Jonno, please moderate your tone.]

Alan August 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Do you have something against green jobs and a generally nicer environment to live in Roger? Or would you prefer we keep on despoiling this planet and to hell with the very eco-systems that support us?
I will look into that post in detail should I remember to later on [only so much lunch time].

Roger Dewhurst August 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I am all for a nicer environment. It would be very much nicer if there were very much fewer people on this earth. New Zealand was very much nicer when the population was little more than half what it now is. I suspect that is true of almost every country on this earth. I am all for saving eco systems. I am all for feeding the plants with their most essential food. I would rather feed the plants than feed you. I would rather see trees, animals, birds and fish than humans. Green! I am a damn sight ‘greener’ than you and your ilk. You are not green. You just use a green skin to hide the red inside. Watermelons, the lot of you.

Roger Dewhurst August 21, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Green?
You are no more green that Sue Bradford.
Just a bunch of ineffectual urban terrorists.

CTG August 22, 2009 at 12:49 am

Are you volunteering to be one of the people we get rid of to make the world a better place?

Roger Dewhurst August 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

No. I am not leaving any spawn behind me.

Roger Dewhurst August 21, 2009 at 2:06 pm

(Links only, please, Roger.)

Alan August 21, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Hmm, that was surprisingly easy. You’re into de-population too I see, curious.
I am looking through those various companies listed. I presume that post was copied from a print magazine as I can’t seem to locate any of that blurb online. I was surprised to see you list the UNFCCC, I wasn’t aware that they were a corporation. Can you post actual links concerning scientists, that are involved in the research into this issue, that have financial ties to corporations which might have an interest in the promotion of AGW?
Indeed, are you saying you have no trouble with fossil-fuel companies [who do not care about ethics, look into Nigeria] funding contrarian arguers yet you might have a problem with companies that want to introduce more efficient energy supply among other things and seemingly fomenting a panic? I hope this is not the case.

R2D2 August 22, 2009 at 12:20 am

Your bias is in the tone of your response. If you had been fed different propaganda as a child you would say, “You have no problem with green regulation turning corn into petrol and starving vulnerable people in least developed nations, but you don’t trust companies who would provide cheap non food based petrol to help nations develop?”

Roger Dewhurst August 22, 2009 at 8:59 am

No. The list came to me in an email from the UK. I accept no responsibility for any errors in it.

Companies that have a vested interest in AGW include several of our large legal and accounting firms. Just Google for legal or accounting advice on AGW.

I never mentioned the fossil fuel companies. I favour nuclear power.

R2D2 August 22, 2009 at 12:30 am

CTG: Still yet to see a proxy showing limited temperature increase in MWP and dramatic temperature increase in the late 20th century (that is a temperature graph that does not rely on an instrumental splice to show warming).

CTG August 22, 2009 at 12:48 am

Well, it’s not my problem if you are not prepared to read the science. If you are going to insist that the science stopped in 2006 just because you have one paper that you think supports your moronic point of view, that is your problem.

Meanwhile, those of us who have actually read the science understand what is going on. Mann et al 2008 does show more variation in the MWP, for the reasons discussed above. You reject that purely because of your personal bias against one of the authors. Again, that is your prerogative, but it is not a position that is based on science.

When you understand the science, come back and we’ll talk about what to do about it, but until then you are just making yourself look a bit foolish.

R2D2 August 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm

No I reject that for different reasons. It is interesting that you can only find studies by one author – hardly a representation of ‘the science’ – (when did people start putting a ‘the’ in front of science?).

First of all it has two temperature splices hiding the results:
http://www.realclimate.org/images/m08.jpg

Second, it only shows 20th century warming, and does not show how this compares to previous warming (The; “NH CPS without Tree Rings vs CRU series”, doesn’t actually show late 20th century warming).

http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/articles/MannetalPNAS08.pdf

Then the study proceeds to display the standard ‘spaghetti graph’, where it takes 10 min just to work out what lines go all the way back and what ones stop half way.

When I do look closely,
- Modberg et el 2005 shows comparable warming
– Others do show warming above the MWP, but most of these don’t go back themselves. It is simply very hard to interpret these graphs. Lines over lines – spaghetti.

Show me one proxy. Or a series on different graphs that can be compared the was D’Andrea did. That is why I like it – it is easy to interpret. This is a reconstruction, I have no idea about the statistical method they used, and I’m not afraid to admit that.

But anyway, before you got off onto all sorts of topics, we were talking about the conclusions of Mann in 1999.

Maybe read this:
http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/1000yrclimatehistory-d/Jan30-ClimateResearchpaper.pdf

Covers ‘the science’. And gives plenty of references for you to look into.

Shows that:
a) LIA was worldwide
b) MWP was worldwide
c) Today is about the same as MWP

Roger Dewhurst August 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Soons and Baliunas MUST be working for an oil or tobacco company. It is the only possible explanation.

samv August 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Well, that happens to be true about that one. I have looked into it before.

The fact of its funding aside, here’s the clincher:

Under their method, warmth in China in 850, drought in Africa in 1000, and wet conditions in England in 1200 all would qualify as part of the Medieval Warm Period, even though they happened centuries apart.

Roger Dewhurst August 22, 2009 at 9:41 am
Gareth August 22, 2009 at 10:33 am

No, a complete beat-up by the forces of denial.

Bryan Walker August 22, 2009 at 11:11 am

“Greenpeace porkies”

What excitement Roger. But it’s all codswallop. I watched the Hard Talk programme and reported on it here. Sackur was playing silly games at that stage of the interview, mixing sea ice melt with Greenland ice melt – as if Greenpeace didn’t know the difference. If you want Greenpeace’s response to the denialist blog fever you can see it here:
http://weblog.greenpeace.org/makingwaves/archives/2009/08/greenpeace_admits_bbc_got_it_w.html

And on the point of Greenpeace’s willingness to emotionalise issues, I say so they should. Mark Lynas in his book Six Degrees makes the case for emotional depth: “If I’ve read a paper about coral bleaching or precipitation trends in the Sahel, I need to be able to describe what this means in the real world – grey weed creeping over once-vibrant coral reefs, and Sudanese herders struggling to feed their children as their livestock starves around them and a dust-storm looms on the horizon.”

Dappledwater August 22, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Soons and Baliunas MUST be working for an oil or tobacco company – Roger Dewhurst.

Congratulations, you got something right. Church bells are ringing all over town. Geriatrics everywhere are punching their fists in the air. Baliunas is a classic example of a fossil fuel stooge.

- Between December 1998[1] and September 2001[2] she was listed as a “Scientific Adviser” to the Greening Earth Society, a group that was funded and controlled by the Western Fuels Association (WFA), an association of coal-burning utility companies – (Sourcewatch)

- She serves as Senior Scientist at the George C. Marshall Institute in Washington, DC, and chairs the Institute’s Science Advisory Board – (Wikipedia/Marshall Institute). She is a former board member of the institute. And it just so happens that this is one of those “think tanks” sponsored by Exxon Mobil (amongst others).

Baliunas has written climate denial articles for, and was co-host of TCS daily an online magazine owned at the time by a republican lobby firm DCI group. Once again, one of the sponsors was Exxon Mobil. (sourcewatch/neoconeurope/wikipedia ).

Willie Soon is out of the same denialist mold. Green earthing Society, Western Fuels, Exxon Mobil, yada, yada, yada.

It is the only possible explanation. – Roger Dewhurst.

Bingo!!!!!

Man, some of the comments by Baliunas in particular regarding climate are just comical.

Dappledwater August 23, 2009 at 12:35 am

Covers ‘the science’. And gives plenty of references for you to look into.
Shows that:
a) LIA was worldwide
b) MWP was worldwide
c) Today is about the same as MWP – r2d2.

You mean the Baliunas & Soon 2003 paper?. You’re relying on that?. Oh, dear. The one processed by Chris De Freitas??. Oh, dear, dear, dear. In fact the “paper” is a good example of the peer-review process working properly, it was soundly debunked by the climate science community because it was a load of old cobblers. Some reading from one of the former editorial staff of the journal Climate Research:

http://www.sgr.org.uk/climate/StormyTimes_NL28.htm

Note the following Wikipedia entry on the fallout from that “study”:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallie_Baliunas#cite_note-12

I highlight the following:

“With Soon, Baliunas investigated the correlation between solar variation and temperatures of the earth’s atmosphere. When there are more sunspots, the total solar output increases, and when there are fewer sunspots, it decreases. Soon and Baliunas attribute the Medieval warm period to such an increase in solar output, and believe that decreases in solar output led to the Little Ice Age, a period of cooling from which the earth has been recovering since 1890.[11]
Shortly thereafter, 13 of the authors of papers cited by Baliunas and Soon refuted her interpretation of their work.[12] There were three main objections: Soon and Baliunas used data reflective of changes in moisture, rather than temperature; they failed to distinguish between regional and hemispheric temperature anomalies; and they reconstructed past temperatures from proxy evidence not capable of resolving decadal trends. More recently, Osborn and Briffa repeated the Baliunas and Soon study but restricted themselves to records that were validated as temperature proxies, and came to a different result.[13]”

Whoops, sounds like r2d2 has latched on to a couple of idiots. Dude note who one of the sponsors of that study were – The American Petroleum Institute. Doh!.

R2D2 August 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Dappled Water:

When you say authors of papers cited of course one of those is Michael Manne, whose paper they cited in order to disprove it.

Does it surprise me that Michael Manne disagrees with the paper? Well not really considering it disagrees with everything he has released. But then Michael Manne is a high priest of AGW, he runs a website specifically for the purpose of hyping up global warming fears and producing scathing reviews of any non-alarmist work, he is clearly not neutral.

The reaction also does not surprise me, global warming alarmists are aware that the argument is weak and they are very harsh on anyone who disagrees with them. ie:

http://hot-topic.co.nz/time-to-worry-nbr-editor-lacks-insight-on-climate-change/
http://hot-topic.co.nz/hows-about-telling-a-story/

As for working for big oil, give me a break. Do you think they would be funded by Greanpeace? They need to get money for there research from somewhere, and due to all the fearmongering going-on on websites like this one most organisations wouldn’t go near anything unorthodox. Sorry the study disagrees with your point of view.

Any way I’ll let you get the last word, I’m done with this thread, going no where.

Gareth August 23, 2009 at 10:51 pm

…they are very harsh on anyone who disagrees with them. ie: (links to HT articles criticising NBR and cranks testifying to the ETS review)

I am harsh on people who should know (or perhaps do know) the facts misrepresenting them for political purposes. Facts is facts, what you do with them is where the politics is.

Roger Dewhurst August 23, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Your self richeousness is truly wondrous.

Gareth August 24, 2009 at 8:39 am

As is your spelling.

Dappledwater August 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Yeah, like we should trust big oil and coal, not to lie about climate change. The same climate change that threatens their whole business model. No thanks, their flim- flammery is for the gullible.

The Baliunas and Soon paper has been thoroughly discredited. Get over it. My point of view on it is irrelevant, it didn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. See Osborn and Briffa (2006) for instance :

“The most significant and longest duration feature during the last 1200 years is the geographical extent of warmth in the middle to late 20th century. Positive anomalies during 890 to 1170 and negative anomalies during 1580 to 1850 are consistent with the concepts of a Medieval Warm Period and a Little Ice Age, but comparison with instrumental temperatures shows the spatial extent of recent warmth to be of greater significance than that during the medieval period.”

This thread is going nowhere because, we already know that current warming caused by humans is anomalous in the recent historical record. That’s what the overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed climate research tells us. You just happen to be in denial.

Meanwhile out in the real world the big melt continues………..

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