…Some fish, some barrel

I’m afraid he’s at it again. Wishart, that is. It seems he can’t stop himself from reading Hot Topic and then posting his reactions. In his latest excursion, he reads a comment of mine, and then feels the need to once again demonstrate the depth of his understanding. He begins thus:

Can you believe the chutzpah? The thing that gets me about climate Chicken Littles is the way they repeat bogus claims ad nauseum as if true… this comment from Gareth Renowden at Hot Topic tonight illustrates ignorance on this point:

“In deep time, there have been periods when CO2 has been higher than now (how much higher is a matter of study), but lots of CO2 is inevitably associated with a warmer planet.”

Invariably?? The blue line is temperature, the black line is CO2:

And he whips out the chart you see above (click on the thumbnail to be taken to the source). It features (without credit to source) on page 34 of Air Con. He continues:

I defy anyone, including Renowden, to find a pattern in the historical record that proves CO2 is “invariably” associated with a warmer planet. It will be especially hard for him as the ice cores all show CO2 rise lags temperature increase by several hundred years, not precedes it.

I didn’t have to try very hard to defy Wishart, because the “pattern” is well-established in the literature:

Continue reading “…Some fish, some barrel”

Obama’s new pathways for power

Barack Obama is matching his words with action. Four days after his MIT speech on renewable energy he has announced, under the Recovery Act,  $3.4 billion in grants to improve the US electricity grid. The grants go to 100 partners with plans to install smart grid technologies in their area. The government money will be matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion.

The announcement was made in a speech at Arcadia, Florida, where he was visiting a solar energy centre to open a large-scale solar power plant. In a vigorous statement he explained why the improvement is necessary and what it will accomplish. Continue reading “Obama’s new pathways for power”

Stairway from Heaven

Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science

I popped into my local Paper Plus at the end of last week, and noted that were a few copies of Ian Plimer’s Heaven + Earth stacked up in the pre-Christmas display. Described by the NZ publisher (Ian Wishart’s Howling At The Moon imprint) as “the world’s #1 climate change book”, it makes a good companion for Air Con on any crank’s Christmas wish list. Unlike Air Con, however, Plimer’s book has been extensively reviewed in Australia and elsewhere, and so — as a public service — here are a few extracts that may help members of the reality-based community to decide whether to buy a copy…

Professor Michael Ashley, in The Australian:

It is not “merely” atmospheric scientists that would have to be wrong for Plimer to be right. It would require a rewriting of biology, geology, physics, oceanography, astronomy and statistics. Plimer’s book deserves to languish on the shelves along with similar pseudo-science such as the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Daniken.

Professor Barry Brooke, at Brave New Climate:

Ian’s stated view of climate science is that a vast number of extremely well respected scientists and a whole range of specialist disciplines have fallen prey to delusional self interest and become nothing more than unthinking ideologues. Plausible to conspiracy theorists, perhaps, but hardly a sane world view — and insulting to all those genuinely committed to real science.

Professor Kurt Lambeck, president of the Australian Academy of Science, on ABC’s Ockham’s Razor:

If this had been written by an honours student, I would have failed it with the comment: You have obviously trawled through a lot of material but the critical analysis is missing. Supporting arguments and unsupported arguments in the literature are not distinguished or properly referenced, and you have left the impression that you have not developed an understanding of the processes involved. Rewrite!

Professor David Karoly, on ABC’s Science Show:

Given the errors, the non-science, and the nonsense in this book, it should be classified as science fiction in any library that wastes its funds buying it. The book can then be placed on the shelves alongside Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, another science fiction book about climate change with many footnotes. The only difference is that there are fewer scientific errors in State of Fear.

Bob Ward in the Times (London):

It is easy to see why this book has attracted attention, particularly from right-wing commentators who have long believed that man-made climate change is a conspiracy theory. But this book is so full of errors that readers who believe its content could be seriously misled about the causes and consequences of climate change.

Tim Lambert at Deltoid has much, much more. Plus: you can download a 46 page document prepared by Professor Ian Enting detailing all of Plimer’s errors and misrepresentations.

No surprises, then, if I reveal that it won’t be on my Christmas list…

[The 2:40 version]

Finding better words

ClimatechallengeA sidelight to Gareth’s post about the 4ºC map launched in London last week is the strength of the language used at the event by the Miliband brothers — foreign secretary David (left) and climate change secretary Ed. The Times reported that David Miliband accused the public of lacking a sense of urgency in the face of the potentially devastating consequences of climate change. People have grown apathetic, he said, when they needed to be galvanised into action before Copenhagen.

“For a lot of people the penny hasn’t dropped that this climate change challenge is real and is happening now. There isn’t yet that feeling of urgency and drive and animation about the Copenhagen conference.”

Continue reading “Finding better words”

4500 ways in 174 countries to send a 350 message


350.org‘s planetary day of action is well under way, with schools actions happening all over New Zealand — that’s Remuera Intermediate above, taking their jumpers off for climate action. Tomorrow’s the big day, with over 130 350 Aotearoa actions scheduled all round the country. You can find one near you at 350.org.nz. Lend a hand. Send a message.


This is Jane Filemu, a 9 year-old Samoan girl taking part in 350 Islands For Change, an Oxfam-organised action at Takapuna beach in Auckland today. With Pacific Island nations being hung out to dry by the developed world, islanders waded out to a giant washing line and hung up 350 tee-shirts, each printed with the name of an island. Jane hung up the final shirt, recited a poem and then told the crowd:

“I have a choice to be one of many, to make a better world for the future of Aotearoa, Pasifika, our planet. Everyone has the power to choose wrong or right. Family, we can work together, we can make a change. Alofa, Aroha, Peace!”

My action? Colin King MP is turning up to open Amberley Farmers Market’s summer season. I’ll be having a chat to him about climate reality. 350 words, at the very least (and the mayor won’t escape either). 😉