Prat watch #5: Ignorance is bliss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “Prat watch #5: Ignorance is bliss”

Shapes of things (2012 and all that)

‘Tis the silly season, time for journalists with little real news to report to reflect on the year past and make predictions for the year to come. I don’t normally play that game because there are too many interesting things to write about on the climate beat, but this year I’m going to make an exception. Glenn “Climate Show” Williams persuaded me to have a chat with him on his summer Radio Live show — and yes, we did cover the last year, and the prospects for 2012. The audio’s available to stream for the next week from the Radio Live site (select Dec 28th, then the 1-15pm segment — my bit starts after about 5 minutes). You may regard this post as an expanded version of my comments there (and a bit of recap on the last Climate Show of the year).

So: 2011 was the year of extremes, beyond any shadow of doubt. Wherever you looked around the world, there were record-breaking floods, heatwaves and hugely damaging extreme weather events. The USA alone had 14 separate extreme weather events with billion dollar plus damage bills (NOAA puts it at 12 with 2 more to finalise, the World Meteorological Organisation plumps for 14). The year broke no records for global average temperature — 2011 will probably end up as the 10th or 11th warmest year in the long term record — but it will be the warmest ever La Niña year. Here’s a WMO graph to illustrate the point:

Continue reading “Shapes of things (2012 and all that)”

The Climate Show #23: Durban and the return of the electric car

Grab some holly, deck your halls, heat up some mince pies, and then settle down to the last Climate Show of 2011. We look at the outcome of the Durban conference, discuss heavy rain in New Zealand and record-breaking weather extremes in the USA, and ponder the implications of news of more methane erupting from the seabed off Siberia. Glenn interviews Chris Paine, director of EV documentary Revenge of the Electric Car, and we round off the show with some optimistic news on possible energy solutions.

Watch The Climate Show on our Youtube channel, subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, listen to us via Stitcher on your smartphone or listen direct/download from the link below the fold…

Follow The Climate Show at The Climate Show web site, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Continue reading “The Climate Show #23: Durban and the return of the electric car”

The counsel of failure: Greenhouse Policy Coalition on Durban

“There is a danger that, in trying to encourage major emitters to sign up to a new agreement or to bridge the Kyoto legal gap, New Zealand might commit itself to something short of a global deal that binds us to making economic sacrifices which are not reflective of fair burden sharing.” So wrote David Venables, executive director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, in the NZ Herald this week.

I described the Greenhouse Policy Coalition in a post last year, but I’ll briefly recap. Its members come from a range of New Zealand industry and sector groups covering the aluminium, steel, forestry (including pulp and paper), coal, dairy processing and gas sectors. They include Fonterra, NZ Steel, the Coal Association, Solid Energy, NZ Aluminium Smelters Ltd and others. They are not deniers of climate change and express the cautious opinion that “there is sufficient scientific evidence to warrant the adoption of appropriate precautionary public policy measures”. However their emphasis is strongly on policy which protects what they regard as New Zealand’s international competitiveness.

Continue reading “The counsel of failure: Greenhouse Policy Coalition on Durban”

So many lies – and the liar who tells them

A headline caught my attention yesterday:
Shock News: Disgraced Climategate Scientist Made Top UN Weatherman. It popped up all over the crank web. Climate Realists seemed to get it first, then Morano’s Climate Depot, and soon it was at the gloriously titled “CO2 Insanity“, and many, many more. Here’s the intro and first sentence:

In a shock move a discredited global warming scientist implicated in climate fraud is appointed to a top job at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Jim Salinger, one of the scientists suspected of criminal misconduct in the Climategate scandal has been elected to the prestigious role of President of the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Climate skeptics are aghast at the news.

The author? One John O’Sullivan. HT readers with long memories will remember him being wrong about everything before. In this case, amongst the untruths and libels in those few words is one simple mistake that makes the entire crank echo chamber look stupid for providing O’Sullivan with a platform. Jim Salinger’s election to the presidency of the WMO Commission for Agricultural Meteorology (CAgM) took place in 2006 — as O’Sullivan’s own reference demonstrates! Salinger remains a member of the CAgM, but the president is now
Dr Byong-Lyol Lee of Korea (full WMO membership list here). O’Sullivan’s “scoop” is a mere five years out of date! But wait, there’s more…

Continue reading “So many lies – and the liar who tells them”