Cooling the Language of “Climate Change”.

Ice ShelfCame across a smart and engaging article from The Spectator’s website this morning, about the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) toning down the alarmism in their fifth report.

It’s been a while (2007) since their fourth report, and even that dampened some of the alarmist rhetoric on the concept of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. The rumours are that report five will go even further:

The summary of the fifth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be published, showing that global temperatures are refusing to follow the path which was predicted for them by almost all climatic models. Since its first report in 1990, the IPCC has been predicting that global temperatures would be rising at an average of 0.2° Celsius per decade. Now, the IPCC acknowledges that there has been no statistically significant rise at all over the past 16 years.

Let’s take the 16-year figure with a pinch of salt. Both alarmists and skeptics have been seen to use 1998 as a significant date, but in both cases it’s unfair. When the alarmists like Al Gore used it in the late 90s/early 00s, the huge spike in temperature in ’98 seemed to seal the deal. At the time skeptics were keen to point out that 1998 was the year of the El Nino and so showed disproportionally high global temperatures.

Turns out the skeptics are right, and so the recorded temperatures after 1998 were lower, but what skeptics need to remember, is that the trend of warming continues, and so should exercise caution when using it as a data point now.

However, even factoring 1998 out of the equation, the most interesting thing about our data for a decade and more is that despite the exponential rise in manmade CO2 emissions around the world, the temperature has only slithered up. Rather in-line with the lack of sunspot activity we’ve had, in fact. And much, much less than the 0.2 C rise per decade that we were warned about.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that even though the CO2 we emit contributes to the global temperature, the belief that anthropogenic CO2 is either directly or indirectly the primary driver of our climate is on increasingly shaky ground. As Michael Crichton once put it: “I’m certain there’s too much certainty in the world.” The cost of adaption – even by the IPCCs figures – is a fraction of the cost of mitigation. When will we be able to have that debate in the political sphere without people calling overs “deniers”, etc?

Just on a side bar: I wonder how many mainstream sources will report this in any depth – or at least quickly dismiss the lack of significant warming? For example, it was widely reported by the BBC et al in 2007 that by the middle of September 2013 (you know – right now) there would be no sea ice around the Arctic due to our continuing obsession with pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. This year though, the sea ice is more substantial than any time in the last 12 years and in line with what we’d expect over the last 35 years. But we’ve forgotten the alarmist story now, so we don’t notice. We’re far too busy looking at the next scary story.

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Matt Ridley: Fossil Fuels are ‘Greening’ the Planet

In a special talk for the guys at Reason, an encouraging and fascinating talk from Matt Ridley:

Common Sense From Professor Lindzen

 

Here’s some wise words from Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT. If you don’t know who he is, in summary he’s basically the world’s foremost atmospheric physicist.

In the global warming debate, there’s an awful lot of shrillness on both sides. It’s so good to hear from one very intelligent (and quietly-spoken) chap, with tremendous comprehension of this issue, give a reasoned and understated opinion on what’s happening right now. Here’s his opening lines from a talk given recently in the UK:

Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

There you are. A smart summary we can understand from someone who is neither a “global warming denier” nor an alarmist who thinks we’re all going to die by next Tuesday. You know, I really do enjoy the ranting of James Delingpole and George Monbiot, (who are on opposing sides of the issue), but man, I wish there were more out there by Prof Dick Lindzen.

And it seems I’m not the only one who’s impressed. Check out Simon Carr’s well-written piece on this talk in the Independent here.

 

Climategate – BBC goalpost shift…

Okay, so I was watching BBC News this morning. Full of the usual statements of “fact” about climate change and today part of the spin was about how maybe carbon offsetting wasn’t all it was cracked up to be (you don’t say) and maybe instead we should just…travel less!

So it seems that the general discussion of the climategate scandal involving the Hadley CRU hasn’t phased them at all. I still haven’t seen them discuss it on the BBC News channel and they’re back on the anthropogenic global warming alarmist bus. Or that’s what I thought.

Buried (and it really is well hidden) in the “Sci-Tec” option if you press the red button for Sky/FreeSat/Freeview viewers today, there is a tiny 6-7 line “article” that mentions some crackpot scientists (no names mentioned, interestingly) think that a series of El Nino’s explain why we had the medieval warm period and the maunder minimum (or little ice age) around the late 19th century. Nonsense. The MWP lasted for hundreds of years. El Ninos last months.

But it’s an interesting thing to read. The BBC had long decided that the MWP and LIA didn’t really exist. Since the Hadley CRU emails were leaked and it seems like the MWP & LIA were just “massaged away”, the new tack of Aunty Beeb is to say “Yeah sure, okay, you got us, so they existed. But it was a random freak occurrence.”

Or to put it another way, they’ve acknowledged the validity of the hacked/leaked emails and documents, and so are shifting the goalposts so they can continue to scare us about anthropogenic CO2 being the main driver for the planets changing climate. Seems like the spin and lies will continue on this subject. How many ‘smoking guns’ are the skeptics going to need?

The Biggest Story of 2009?

Oh. My. Buddha.

Now, a quick caveat – we don’t know *100%* if this is real yet, but on the surface, seems far too elaborate to be a hoax. As I type, most of the main news agencies (presumably due to the fact they employ thousands of “environmental journalists” who could loose their jobs if this is is true), haven’t touched this story yet. There seems to be a ban on the story at the BBC for example.

Okay, here’s the news: A load of climate scientists at Hadley’s Climate Research Unit have had their files hacked. Someone has stolen over 1,000 emails and over 70 documents. These files seem to show the scientists twisting the facts to fit their general anthropogenic global warming alarmism. If this is true, then I think it’s the biggest story of the year. The biggest backers of the theory that man’s CO2 is the principle driver for climate might have been making most of it up, by selectively hand-picking data like a creationist.

You can find about it and see loads of the emails here, growing evidence that it’s all genuine can be seen here. Some of the “good” bits are here. More here (with links to the data itself.)

I’m sure an Andy Jones TV episode will be forthcoming…