What do we get, Dr Smith?

Update

The minister’s reply was received on 22 September. You can read it here.


Yesterday Nick Smith, Minister for Climate Change, told Parliament that our citizens must “contribute” a “significant” amount towards the government’s climate change targets.

He thinks they should give about $30 per week per family. We agree that is “significant”. Barry Brill, former National Energy Minister, who prompted Rodney Hide’s question to the minister, asserted it will be more like $112 per week.

Now that’s more like political suicide. Incredible! Continue Reading →

Drop conspiracy talk, just look at your thermometer

The other day in the Herald, Mr Chris Barton took up the topic of global warming in an article headed “Climate debate adrift on rising tide of lunacy“.

With hardly a mention of the subject, Barton gets stuck into those who question the orthodox view of the subject. He tries various techniques to get the opposition to shut up; in fact, he tries everything except actually, well, listening to them.

He gets a bit confused, too. At one point he says, of the “madness” of the climate change debate, “there is a lot of it about”. But later he’s forgotten that and, trying to mis-characterise the strength of the opposition, he says “Like the rest of the world we have a small but very vocal group spreading their stupidity”.

He picks up on a typographical error by a correspondent and makes merry with the new word as though it represents a marvellous new insight. But it’s just old-fashioned stupidity.

This is a professional journalist who ought to support a vigorous debate for the good of the community, but instead he’s thinking up dirty tricks to silence a well-informed, well-meaning opposition. I’m ashamed of him.

If he wants to be taken seriously, he can address these questions: Why are global mean atmospheric temperatures falling as carbon dioxide rises? Why is the heat content of the oceans falling as carbon dioxide rises? What is the evidence that the temperature increases of the late 20th century were caused by carbon dioxide? What is the evidence that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide will result in dangerously higher temperatures? Is he happy to bring our productive systems into disarray and ruin our lovely environment with noisy, ugly windmills on the basis of climate models that are known to be wrong and without performing any cost-benefit analysis?

If Barton actually observes the climate and its history he will quickly discover for himself why we’re so doubtful that anything dangerous is about to happen. Perhaps then he will hear the shrill voices of alarm as we hear them: as dogs barking and fleas biting but nothing of consequence.

What else can be said to him? I tried this the next day: Continue Reading →

Wow, listen to that—and look who said it!

Eighty prominent physicists have called on the American Physical Society (APS), the nation’s leading physics organisation, to revise its policy statement on climate change.

This could be one of the most influential events of the year. Many scientists, researchers and professional bodies around the world are watching these events unfold. The century-old APS is the premier scholarly group in the U.S. dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of the knowledge of physics.

Oh, that a group of New Zealand scientists might challenge their masters as freely! Are free-thinking members of the Royal Society listening? Continue Reading →

Sea level raises funding hopes

A worrying story surfaced recently of yet another proclamation that global warming grows and grows. The headline was “Rate of Sea Level Rise Increasing“.

That’s scary, and it sounds like a new result, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. It raises fears only as a means to raise funds.

It appeared at SciencePoles, the web site of the International Polar Foundation.

It said a new study in Nature announces that global mean sea-level change has increased from a few centimeters per century over recent millennia to a few tens of centimeters per century in recent decades. Moreover, quoting the abstract, they say: “This tenfold increase in the rate of rise can be attributed to climate change through the melting of land ice and the thermal expansion of ocean water.” The mere mention of “climate change” means it’s our fault, and it’s there to alarm us. Continue Reading →

White roofs might cool a city, but hardly the globe

Brian Rudman, in White roofs are good for society, in the Herald last Wednesday, dredges up Professor Steven Chu’s wacky idea from last May to paint our roofs white, reflect more sunlight and thus temper the severe global warming presently afflicting us.

Professor Chu, US Energy Secretary and Nobel-prize-winning physicist, said lightening roofs and roads in urban environments would offset the global warming effects of all the cars in the world for 11 years.

He doesn’t tell us how long everything must remain painted white to earn those 11 years, or how much we’d need to pay for all the paint.

We can tell him, however, that it wouldn’t make any difference to global warming, although it might reduce the urban heat island (UHI) effect.

How does the UHI work? Well, roads and buildings absorb heat from the sun more than trees or grasslands do. So, as a village becomes a town and the town grows into a city, adding more and more roads and buildings, average temperatures climb, especially at night. This happens in both hot places and cold places, it makes no difference; if you build a city, you raise the temperature.

But if more surfaces were light-coloured instead of dark, more sunlight would be reflected and downtown wouldn’t get so hot.

The trouble is, it’s just not enough to combat global warming. With only about 0.1% of the sun’s energy being reflected away even if every road and building in the whole world was painted white (which would be a miraculous feat of co-operation), we wouldn’t see any change in the global average temperature, which might go down by about 0.1°C.

So we’d pay trillions to keep our parts of the world painted and we wouldn’t see any result for it.

The irony of this proposal is that the US-managed global surface temperature record is contaminated by the UHI effects from urban weather stations all over the world, since so many of them are in towns and cities. Anthony Watts, at Watts Up With That, has gathered evidence of this and for years has been lobbying to have adjustments made to the dataset to remove the spurious UHI warming and see whether we really do have global warming.

There is strong evidence that if this was done most of the surface “warming” recorded over the last part of the 20th century would simply disappear.

How ironic that Rudman picks up on a solution incapable of solving a problem that doesn’t exist, but whose effect could be to remove evidence of the problem.

Uh, so it will solve global warming! White paint, anyone?

By the way, it’s important to remember that this solution only makes sense in low latitudes (closer to the equator), where cooling your building is sensible. In higher latitudes (closer to the poles), where it’s already colder, you must heat the building and you really want darker colours to warm it a bit and save that heating money. So you can’t really paint all the buildings white, only those in the warmer places. And you don’t want to paint the colder roads white, since they ice up more readily.

What a pity. It was such a good idea.

Take it away, take it away, we want it now

You can’t make this stuff up.

Some people are never satisfied, are they? Reuters reports that, after centuries of praying for a local glacier to stop growing, some Swiss villagers are now seeking an audience with Pope Benedict to get his blessing for prayers against the global warming that is causing it to recede.

In 1678, the inhabitants of the Alpine villages of Fieschertal and Fiesch made a formal vow to live virtuously and to pray against the growth of the Aletsch glacier, Europe’s longest, which had caused a lake to flood into their homes.

To reinforce their prayers, they started holding an annual procession in 1862, when the glacier reached its longest during the mini-ice age Europe suffered in the mid-19th century.

But the villagers now want to seek permission from Pope Benedict to change their vow as the glacier is melting fast due to climate change and have requested an audience with him.

“The residents of Fiesch and Fischertal hope that this will happen in September or October and are optimistic that the Holy Father will decide in their favor as he has repeatedly spoken out about climate change,” they said in a statement.

Switzerland’s glaciers shrank by 12 percent over the past decade, melting at their fastest rate due to rising temperatures and lighter snowfalls, a recent study showed.

Oh, a study? Who did it, what does it say? It’s not important enough to tell us, apparently.

It is surprising to hear that a slightly falling temperature has been melting the glacier. Those who know a little about glaciers and where their mass comes from will consider it much more likely that the reported “lighter snowfalls” are in fact responsible for its reduction in size.

It cannot have been higher air temperatures, since temperatures have been going down slightly. Reduced precipitation, on the other hand, will inevitably cause the glacier to slow down through being lighter.

It would be interesting to know if the “study” actually said that all of Switzerland’s glaciers shrank by 12 percent. Odd if they all suffered exactly the same reduction all at the same time. Switzerland’s a big place. Lots of different climate situations.

But who am I to dispute it? After all, they did a “study”. The big implication is that human activities are responsible for all the nice glaciers melting. How, precisely, do they link the melting to anthropogenic carbon dioxide? During a period of declining temperatures! They cannot.

It’s outrageous to imply it.

We should indeed lead on climate change

A letter sent to the NZ Herald. Hope they publish it.

Sir,

Your leader of August 7 headed Seize chance to lead way on climate change, on one level, is easy to support, but on different grounds, for those assumed in your leader are spurious. We must take a lead, indeed—let us be the first to examine the need to respond to climate change.

No matter how far we go along the path towards action, no matter how many people concur that action must be taken, even on marketing grounds, no matter how the arguments for action pluck at our heart strings, no matter that we all want to save the planet, yet if there are no grounds for action, it will be wasted: the taxpayers’ money wasted, the voters’ living spent.

At the risk of sounding repetitive—even a bit shrill, evidence of the catastrophe said to be building around us is yet to arrive, at the very time of decision when its presence is most important. Global air temperatures are recently level, even declining. Even the long-term trend in air temperature is within natural limits. Sea levels are rising no faster than they have for centuries, sea temperatures are not rising, sea ice levels are within normal limits and Tuvalu has still not been evacuated, though an oceanic incursion has been threatened since the 1980s. Glaciers are mentioned only when one is found with pieces conveniently missing; plenty are growing, but unreported. We’re yawning.

The only reason to believe future temperatures will be ruinous are computer models of the climate. But as everyone knows, they are driven in every decisive parameter by human knowledge and its imperfections, not by the climate. They do not deal properly with clouds, which by themselves are capable of overwhelming any temperature change attributed to carbon dioxide or the lack thereof. They do not deal properly with a list of things. They are not reality and they constitute no sort of evidence whatsoever.

So—what is the evidence? Not the propaganda—the evidence!

Regards,

Richard Treadgold
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

Destroy the countryside? What, climate change or the windmills?

The Telegraph says:

Ed Miliband, the [UK] Energy Secretary, last week announced that planning rules would be relaxed to make it easier for an extra 3,500 onshore turbines to be built as part of a £100 billion plan to generate more energy from wind power by 2020.

That’s a lot of windmills—and they’re just the extras. Including offshore windmills, he’s planning to build a total of 10,000 of them. You won’t be able to miss them. No way.

But then, in what could become the quote of the decade, Mr Miliband clarified matters:

“We need to change the default position so that people will come to understand the dangers of climate change to our beautiful countryside.”

The only danger is the unholy havoc Miliband plans to wreak upon the countryside and the drastic weakening he will achieve in energy security. And all for the sake of a tiny reduction in emissions of a minor greenhouse gas which won’t affect the climate.

Nature, not man, responsible for recent global warming

Now the cat is put among the pigeons.

Research recently completed by two Kiwis and an Aussie reveals that natural forces are the dominant influence on climate. They say little or none of the late 20th century global warming and cooling can be attributed to human activity.

John McLean, Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter published their paper, “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature”, in the prestigious Journal of Geophysical Research on July 23, 2009.

“The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean that made warming El Niño conditions more likely than they were over the previous 30 years and cooling La Niña conditions less likely” says co-author de Freitas, quoted at Climate Depot.

“We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis.”

That’s all for now; more later.

UPDATE: 24 July 2009, 23:59

This is one of those (apparently) rare things in the climate debate: a peer-reviewed paper that casts doubt on the theory of strong anthropogenic global warming. Here’s hoping the alarmists note this new paper and grant it the respect it deserves without heaping the authors with ad hominem insults, though I’m not holding my breath. Please note that by ‘respect’ I mean refuting it with observation and reason, not hyperbole and obfuscation.

Abstract

J. D. McLean, C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter
Received 16 December 2008; revised 23 March 2009; accepted 14 May 2009; published 23 July 2009.

Time series for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and global tropospheric
temperature anomalies (GTTA) are compared for the 1958–2008 period. GTTA are
represented by data from satellite microwave sensing units (MSU) for the period
1980–2008 and from radiosondes (RATPAC) for 1958–2008. After the removal from the
data set of short periods of temperature perturbation that relate to near-equator volcanic
eruption, we use derivatives to document the presence of a 5- to 7-month delayed close
relationship between SOI and GTTA. Change in SOI accounts for 72% of the variance
in GTTA for the 29-year-long MSU record and 68% of the variance in GTTA for the
longer 50-year RATPAC record. Because El Niño Southern Oscillation is known to
exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with
tropical temperature anomalies between 20S and 20N. The results showed that SOI
accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics.
Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant
influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except
for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global
tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with
the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to
account for most of the temperature variation.

Citation: McLean, J. D., C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter (2009), Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D14104, doi:10.1029/2008JD011637.

Which side gets the money?

The Climate Industry: $79 billion so far—trillions to come

Jo Nova has just published a document showing where the money has been coming from and which side in the climate debate is getting the benefit. It’s dynamite. Jo describes it:

For the first time, the numbers from government documents have been compiled in one place. It’s time to start talking of “Monopolistic Science”. It’s time to expose the lie that those who claim “to save the planet” are the underdogs. And it’s time to get serious about auditing science, especially when it comes to pronouncements that are used to justify giant government programs and massive movements of money. Who audits the IPCC?

The Summary

  • The US government has provided over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks.
  • Despite the billions, “audits” of the science are left to unpaid volunteers. A dedicated but largely uncoordinated grassroots movement of scientists has sprung up around the globe to test the integrity of the theory and compete with a well funded highly organized climate monopoly. They have exposed major errors.
  • Carbon trading worldwide reached $126 billion in 2008. Banks are calling for more carbon-trading. And experts are predicting the carbon market will reach $2 – $10 trillion, making carbon the largest single commodity traded.
  • Meanwhile, in a distracting sideshow, Exxon-Mobil Corp is repeatedly attacked for paying a grand total of $23 million to skeptics—less than a thousandth of what the US government has put in, and less than one five-thousandth of the value of carbon trading in just the single year of 2008.
  • The large expenditure in search of a connection between carbon and climate creates enormous momentum and a powerful set of vested interests. By pouring so much money into one theory, have we inadvertently created a self-fulfilling prophesy instead of an unbiased investigation?

Continue Reading →

It’s your footprint. What is it to me?

Gareth Hughes, an obviously earnest young man, writing in the NZ Herald recently, advises us breathlessly to take all manner of feel-good actions to stave off global warming and prevent any further drain on the national grid. As though the national grid was not supposed to supply energy for our use. That we pay for.

He seems to take the view that the Earth is a fragile, sensitive object that, without the most rigorous balancing of resources to ensure what is called “sustainability” (but which is never defined), might never recover from the ravages of this human life upon it. Never mind that animals, birds and fish rage and stamp, consume and defecate their mindless ways above, across and under it and in the oceans in their millions willy-nilly. What they do is natural but everything we do is unnatural, artificial—even inhuman, perhaps. Certainly endlessly disagreeable. Continue Reading →

Greenpeace can act illicitly but CO2 is not poisonous

Last Sunday the NZ Herald reported on a Kiwi woman, one Emily Hall, now a Greenpeace activist in the UK, who was in a boarding party that recently attacked what used to be called a collier—a vessel used for transporting coal.

The Herald’s story contained no censure against Greenpeace’s overt lawlessness. It was a sympathetic treatment of Hall’s experiences with Greenpeace and her and its tactics of rebellion against the Establishment in the name of the environment.

But the story incorrectly described carbon dioxide as “poisonous”.

There was nothing wrong with describing the ship’s load as “dirty” coal, since either handling the stuff or burning it inefficiently results in a mess, although modern methods of burning powdered coal, combined with smokestack “scrubbing” of most of the airborne pollutants, is thermally efficient and allows us truly to describe coal as “clean”.

But labelling “carbon emissions” as “poisonous” is just plain wrong. Carbon emissions is a euphemism for carbon dioxide and there is nothing remotely poisonous about that. Neither is it “dirty”, regardless of Greenpeace’s clumsy propaganda attempts to link it with the visible pollutants that come from coal.

Describing this clean, invisible plant food as poisonous simply attempts to justify Greenpeace’s hostility towards carbon dioxide, and thus legitimise an attack on a vessel and its crew going about their lawful business.

The Herald ought to stand aside from the campaign to wrongly vilify carbon dioxide for the activists’ political purposes.

Address on the move

There are two web sites for the Climate Conversation Group: the “main” site at www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz and this one, the blog site.

It was never designed like this (it just happened when I decided to try running a blog) and it is confusing for visitors. Not to mention the extra effort it takes to maintain two sites. So I am in the process of moving all the articles on the “main” site to this blog, which will then inherit the “main” address.

Soon, then, this blog will move to www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz — with no “blog” needed on the end.

If you should find the blog inaccessible in future, please LEAVE OFF “blog” at the end and it should work.

Incidentally, WordShine owns two domains: .co.nz AND .com, so you’ll find that www.wordshine.com and www.climateconversation.wordshine.com work just as well.

If you strike trouble with any of this, fire off an email to me at richard [at] wordshine.com and I’ll do my best to fix it.

Thanks for visiting.

Gore calls for ‘world governance’

If there was any doubt that extreme environmentalists actually want to rule the world more than heal the environment, it can now be dismissed.

For no less a personage than the “High Priest” of global warming, Al Gore, has just expressed a desire for “world governance” to drive plans to control mankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases. How long will it be before our parliament is rendered obsolete, since the UN makes all our important decisions anyway? For the good of the planet, of course.

Mark Morano, at Climate Depot, reported Gore made the comment on July 7, in Oxford, at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment.

Morano went on that Gore’s call for “global governance” echoes former French President Jacques Chirac’s comments on November 20, 2000, during a speech at The Hague, that the UN’s Kyoto Protocol represented “the first component of an authentic global governance.”

“For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance,” Chirac explained then. “From the very earliest age, we should make environmental awareness a major theme of education and a major theme of political debate, until respect for the environment comes to be as fundamental as safeguarding our rights and freedoms. By acting together, by building this unprecedented instrument, the first component of an authentic global governance, we are working for dialogue and peace,” Chirac added.

Admirable sentiments. It’s just a pity he added the bit about “global governance”, since that’s the tyranny part; the part we must resist.

This man Gore is not only getting rich from trading carbon credits but he is also becoming dangerous to good order and freedom.

Attenborough enters deep water over coral

Climate Debate Daily reports that in the Guardian last Tuesday, the wonderful, inimitable David Attenborough warned alleged that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already above the level which condemns coral reefs to extinction in the future, adding the world had a “moral responsibility” to save corals.

This caught my attention. Already condemned to extinction? That is alarming.

But just a moment. Does he know the conditions corals have survived since they evolved? Does he know the current pH level of surface waters and the rate of change? Does he know that bleaching events cannot be linked to global warming? Has he heard of studies that show no change in marine biota even at pH levels ten times less alkaline than now? Continue Reading →

Another environmental disaster…

Reuters announced “Seagrass losses reveal global coastal crisis“, lamenting:

Mounting loss of seagrass in the world’s oceans, vital for the survival of endangered marine life, commercial fisheries and the fight against climate change, reveals a major crisis in coastal ecosystems, a report says.

Crikey! It’s so important, it’s even vital for the fight against climate change. It’s VIG: Very Important Grass.

The story continued: “The study by Australian and American scientists found seagrass meadows were “among the most threatened ecosystems on earth” due to population growth, development, climate change and ecological degradation.”

Why have they used the non-scientific phrase “most threatened”? It’s clear they didn’t measure the level of threat, or they would have explained it. They are simply using hyperbole. The trouble is that when they do that, their science comes under question for their lack of objectivity.

It turns out to be an interesting report concerning marine changes over about 127 years, but it has a more general view, rather than being concerned precisely with global warming (climate change).

Northern Gateway toll road no picnic

  • Based on a letter sent to the NZ Transport Agency on 24th June, 2009.
  • Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, was a clear, sunny day in the East Coast Bays. In the afternoon I drove north with my wife and son to see the new motorway extension and have a nice picnic at Puhoi.

    There was moderate traffic and the drive through the lovely bush-clad hills was a pleasant experience. We passed beneath the gantry and saw the cameras that photograph each vehicle. What a technological marvel they are. The computer software recognises number plates on every kind of vehicle, from the front and the back, at all speeds, in all weather conditions and identifies the registered owners, then matches them up with one payment among thousands; all this without human intervention. Marvellous.

    Nice road, but to pay you must stop

    We spent a mere ten minutes driving along a section of motorway that took over four years to construct, emerging from the northern end of the twin tunnels at two self-service kiosks where one can pay the road toll of $2.00. Travelling north, the kiosks are on the other side of the road and we were unable to stop, but we noticed that only one kiosk was in use and some dozen people stood in the queue, so it was probably taking between five and ten minutes to pay. Paying the toll doubles the journey time. Isn’t technology helpful? Continue Reading →

    Lord Monckton gloomy about democracy

    Christopher Monckton, at the Science and Public Policy Institute, is despondent about the uses being made of the global warming “crisis”. He fumes about the supranational aspirations of the United Nations and speaks darkly of a “fledgling World Government”. I recommend you download the pdf and read him directly; it’s not only a demonstration of excellent writing but also illuminates the situation.

    Does he exaggerate in referring to international arrangements, through treaties, which aim to control our emissions of greenhouse gases, as “this constitutional monstrosity, [this] abnegation of life, this repudiation of liberty, this cancellation of the pursuit of happiness”? Continue Reading →

    Obama — more ignorant than we thought

    President Obama is charming, credible and he fronts well, but he just revealed some of what truly lies within. It was a disturbing insight and I hope his advisors can amend his ignorance.

    It was just last Tuesday — Barack Obama, at a White House press conference, was urging the House of Representatives to pass the Waxman-Markey bill, properly known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, when he let slip that he doesn’t know what carbon dioxide is. Continue Reading →

    Science loses out to hyperbole

    It’s the end of a long day and I lack inclination to read. Warren Meyer at Climate Skeptic has started looking at the Global Climate Change Impacts report released by the Obama administration amid much fanfare. Meyer’s first analysis looks interesting, since he has isolated some of the hyperbole and exaggeration in the report.

    Richard Treadgold

    Obama diminished by association

    President Obama has been promising firm action against global warming, his tone strengthening. Watch out! I think he’s serious… Right — now he’s done it!

    So the Obama administration releases a hard-hitting report on the effects of global warming in America today. It says Americans have been living with the heavy downpours, rising sea levels and blistering summer heat waves produced by man-made climate change for 30 years.

    Oh. Have they, really?

    Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, the first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel: “This is not a work of science but an embarrassing episode for the authors and NOAA.”

    Roger Pielke Jr., professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder: “Imagine if an industry-funded government contractor had a hand in writing a major federal report on climate change. And imagine if that person used his position to misrepresent the science, to cite his own non-peer reviewed work, and to ignore relevant work in the peer-reviewed literature. There would be an outrage, surely…”

    “ So, to summarize: sentence one is not supported by the citations provided, which lead in both cases to selectively chosen non-peer reviewed sources, and the citations that are peer reviewed on this subject come to an opposite conclusion and are ignored.”

    Have a look at some contrary views to this major new report intended to form popular opinion from Climate Depot. Or this one from Climate Skeptic.

    A dreadful trend

    There was a recent post by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit that was difficult for some of us to understand. Fortunately, there’s an exposition of it at Climate Skeptic called “How to manufacture the trend you want” that makes it all clear. It’s regrettable, but please have a look.

    It has to do with rates of calcification in Great Barrier Reef coral growth over the past 400 years. On January 2, 2009, in Science, De’ath et al reported an ‘unprecedented’ decline. But it seems aimed more to alarm than inform us. They showed a graph to support their claims. Steve revealed a graph of a longer time series that tells quite a different story.

    Then we got to see the actual data followed by the deficiencies in the data; well, what a trend! It turned out that ‘unprecedented’ referred only to the last 153 years.

    Richard Treadgold

    Global thermostat — too good to be true?

    This is a stunning piece of work. Have a look. I hope to say more later.

    Who knew that the sun has increased its output by 30% since the far geological past, and yet the earth did not heat up as it did so? It’s called the Faint Early Sun Paradox and it was always a bit tricky to explain, until now…

    The stability of the earth’s temperature over time has been a long-standing climatological puzzle. The globe has maintained a temperature of ± ~ 3% (including ice ages) for at least the last half a billion years during which we can estimate the temperature. During the Holocene, temperatures have not varied by ±1%. And during the ice ages, the temperature was generally similarly stable as well.

    Willis Eschenbach has proposed a thermostat for the control of global temperature. His clear exposition of it has just appeared on Watts Up With That. Will it survive scrutiny? Read it through, have a think, let us know.

    Richard Treadgold

    Clouding the issue

    Clouds are the issue in more than one facet of global warming. Apart from causing rain, clouds have two important effects: cooling and warming. Dr Roy Spencer, one of few scientists studying clouds, has said that a sustained change in cloud cover of just 1%, up or down, can cause a Medieval Warm Period or a Little Ice Age.

    Cooling is achieved by reflecting back the heat from the sun; warming is done by keeping that heat in, like a blanket. I’m not an expert on clouds, but from my reading I’ve got the impression that low-level clouds usually cause cooling and high-level clouds usually keep the warmth in. I also think they might do both, at different times of the day.

    For example, low clouds at night keep things warm — a clear sky means a cold night — while low clouds during the day reduce temperatures. We’ve all experienced the sudden cooling as a cloud moves across the sun on a hot day.

    It’s a current and vexed question to discover just how these conflicting effects are influenced by increasing humidity, whether that acts to raise or to lower air temperatures and what the balance of the effects is around the world. As the global temperature rises (though I’m not suggesting that it is right now) more water evaporates. Where does the resulting water vapour go? What does it do? Are more clouds created, or fewer clouds? Do they warm or cool?

    This post on Watts Up With That introduces and enhances a recent post on Climate Audit describing strong negative cloud feedbacks found by the Climate Process Team on Low-Latitude Cloud Feedbacks on Climate Sensitivity.

    I especially like, as does Anthony Watts, the remarks of the first of Steve’s commenters, Willis Eschenbach:

    Cloud positive feedback is one of the most foolish and anti-common sense claims of the models.

    This is particularly true of cumulus and cumulonimbus, which increase with the temperature during the day, move huge amounts of energy from the surface aloft, reflect huge amounts of energy to space, and fade away and disappear at night.

    I love the stunning picture of cumulonimbus on WUWT and the clarifying diagrams he gives to help us understand. Who can fail to notice that a cloud is not simply a cloud, but an ever-changing expression of shifting forces?

    Richard Treadgold

    Nuclear-free, are we?

    We know of only one large, proven, dependable source of energy that won’t add to our emissions of greenhouse gases. It’s not just large — it’s monumental, and it could provide almost all of our energy needs for thousands of years.

    But to allow us to tap into this inconvenient solution, environmental activists must step aside. The Australian, venturing the other day where few mainstream media providers dare to go, ran some numbers courtesy of a rational climate scientist, who also reveals some of the outdated myths modern greenies still cling to.

    Is this relevant to New Zealand? Perhaps, for we, too, cling to a myth: that Parliament can actually ban from the nation the process of extracting energy from the stuff we’re made of. Nuclear-free: are we, indeed? I mean, how could we ever be? Anyone for a physics lesson?

    Now, anyone for legislating the value of pi?

    Richard Treadgold

    Nobody really wants a new climate treaty

    So, it’s official: the possibility of a replacement being hammered out for the Kyoto Treaty now appears remote.

    It will be “physically impossible” to have a detailed deal to tackle climate change by this December’s summit in Copenhagen, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said on Wednesday in Bonn.

    The “four tough nuts”, as he termed them, were proving extremely difficult to crack because, he said, the “delivery on four political essentials”, on which success in Copenhagen would depend, was turning out to be “impossible”. Continue Reading →

    Greenpeace alarmism unfounded

    Yesterday, Greenpeace set off a siren outside climate talks in Bonn, trying to stir governments negotiating a climate change treaty. They’re not moving fast enough to save the world. They need a hurry-up. Surprisingly, even New Zealand earned a mention.

    According to 7thSpace Interactive: “There is a group of countries who clearly have absolutely no intention of saving the planet from dangerous climate change,” said Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace International. “The US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada are acting as if there is no climate crisis at all, and are putting their own short term political self-interest ahead of this global emergency.”

    Of course, they’re trying to persuade us to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, which they claim contribute to dangerous warming. Such claims are quite unfounded. Continue Reading →

    Bester knows best, uh?

    The Herald let Denise Bester loose on us the other day. She made me feel I’d been mugged by a cuddly toy. Not rigorously scientific, just echoing allegations from the global warming orthodoxy, and so naively confident in proposing ineffective, feel-good solutions incapable of affecting the climate that she must have a vested interest in the solutions. Right at the end we find out she does. She sells them. Continue Reading →

    Set phasers on stun

    Spencer claims that climate sensitivity has been “grossly overestimated” because of confusion over cause and effect between cloud cover and temperature. All the computer models now wrongly treat cloud cover as a positive feedback, amplifying warming. But some clouds directly cause warming (a forcing) and are not the result of warming (a feedback). He gives details and says they’re having to fight to get it published. more…

    Positive feedback from water vapour

    New paper rips the global warming thread

        • by Richard Treadgold — based on an article published in Tool Magazine, March 2009.

    The voices urging us to “change the climate” are shrieking louder than ever. Perhaps they see themselves losing ground against the global cooling of the last seven years. Those sceptical of urgency are insulted more hatefully, science and reason are abandoned and society trembles at the talk of catastrophe.

    It’s the biggest alarm of all: the planet is threatened with destruction because of man-made warming. It couldn’t get any worse than that, could it? The whole planet? Wow!   Continue Reading →

    Our bogus carbon crimes

        • by Richard Treadgold – published in Tool Magazine, September 2008.

    download pdf (542 KB)…

    Once upon a time, street-corner zealots shouting “the end is nigh” and warning us to abandon our sins did it for religious reasons. These days, zealots shout the same message with the same warning about sinning, but they do it for climatic reasons. It’s going on for ever, isn’t it? Scare stories about the planet’s climatic doom proliferate endlessly and there are no signs of it letting up. If there’s light at the end of the tunnel it must be a train coming.

    So the government’s decided to change the climate. Probably just to shut everybody up. We’re all sick of hearing about it. The Greens say the ETS bill is too weak for them—although, hectoring us to change our ways, they seem more concerned with our lifestyles than the actual climate.

    And that’s the thing, isn’t it? There’s so much guilt around AGW (anthropogenic global warming)—we’re not just burning fossil fuels, we’re greedy and selfish—even criminally negligent!   Continue Reading →

    Brian Fallow’s ludicrous doubts

    The NZ Herald today carries Brian Fallow’s lament over a gap that’s arisen “between what the new Government is saying and what it is doing, with respect to the select committee review of the emissions trading scheme.

    He says that National believes that an ETS is the way to go, but the scheme has “some design flaws” and that’s fair enough. But look, he says, at the terms of reference for the select committee!

    It is the Act Party’s wish list “verbatim“, except for what he describes as “the ludicrous suggestion that the committee hear competing views on the science.”

    Why is it ludicrous, Brian? Continue Reading →

    Oxfam and ‘Planet Roulette’

    I just emailed Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand, thus:

    Dear Barry,

    Your article in the Herald today attracted my attention, since I am interested in the general topic of global warming, but I also experienced a certain (perhaps naive) surprise at Oxfam’s connection with global warming. Clearly you believe in the hypothesis of dangerous man-made global warming; I hope you don’t mind if I ask some questions about it.

    First, some facts seem to have come unstuck from reality. Continue Reading →

    This blog is your blog

    TV Works in writing today acknowledged our complaint. They have referred it to their Complaints Committee and say “a formal response will be forwarded to you” after the committee has considered it. Under the guidelines on the BSA web site, they have 20 working days to do this. Then we take it to the Broadcasting Standards Authority if their response is unsatisfactory. So probably nothing more will happen until January.

    If you missed it, you can see our letter of complaint on the CCG web site. You can also view the video of the original news story on the TV3 web site. Have a look — for anyone interested in journalism it’s alarming. For anyone interested in global warming it’s also alarming. It’s just generally alarming. Continue Reading →

    Twisting words bends nature out of shape

    A NZ Herald headline today blares “Oceans’ acidity threatening coral and mussel survival”, making us imagine reefs and shellfish beginning to fight for their lives. The article begins:

    Rising carbon dioxide levels are increasing acidity in the oceans faster than scientists thought, posing a greater threat to shell-forming creatures such as coral and mussels.

    An eight-year project in the Pacific has found that rising marine acid levels will challenge many organisms, because their shell-making chemistry is critically dependent on a less acidic, more alkaline environment.

    The study monitored seawater pH levels at the northeast Pacific island of Tatoosh off Washington state in the United States.

    Notice how the scope of this alarmist item contracts dramatically from “oceans” in the headline, to “the Pacific” in the second paragraph, to “an island” in the third paragraph. That’s an important point: the scientists haven’t been studying the whole ocean, just one bit of it.

    If a scientist claims to know what is happening in the whole ocean after studying a single island, should we award him a medal or just smile politely and agree to humour him? Continue Reading →

    Huge increase in the minuscule is still tiny

    Last Wednesday the NZ Herald tried to shame New Zealand into more grown-up climate behaviour.

    A body grandly known as the UN Climate Change Secretariat, a moniker which smoothly conveys an image of sponging up large amounts of cash for no earthly good, had just released figures showing “the growth in New Zealand’s emissions between 1990 and 2006 to be among the worst in the world’s industrialised nations.” Continue Reading →

    Dr Pachauri, you should desist

    Michael Duffy wrote yesterday in the Sydney Morning Herald that the chairman of the IPCC gave an erroneous presentation. Others have commented on the IPCC’s increasingly discredited reputation. I did some research and posted the following comment on Dr Pachauri’s blog; so far it hasn’t been published:

    Dr Pachauri,

    In January you were quoted in The Guardian as saying you would “look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.” Continue Reading →

    Shock! Horror! CO2 feeds us!

    Written for TOOL Magazine, August 2008

    Once upon a time, street-corner zealots shouting “the end is nigh” and warning us to abandon our sins did it for religious reasons. These days, zealots shout the same message with the same warning about sinning, but they do it for climatic reasons. Continue Reading →

    Water neutrality means death

    21 August 2008 – Is this the real motive of environmentalism — shame at our existence? Brendan O’Neill – Spiked, tells us that after the eco-footprint and the carbon footprint, now we have the ‘water footprint’. We’re told to be ‘conscious’ (which is a PC word for feeling guilty) of how much water we splash on our faces or flush down the toilet. If only the matter rested there… more…

    NZ sustainable energy supplies surprise

    download pdf (92 KB)…

    by Gary Kendall, Engineer
    This paper examines the practicality of replacing base-load power generation in New Zealand with renewable resources, including hydro, wind, solar, geothermal and tidal. It reveals, surprisingly, that introducing significant numbers of electric cars would seriously strain our present power supply. If you’ve heard about the government’s desire to restrict thermal power generation to mitigate climate change, you should read this paper.   pdf (92KB)…

    The chilling costs of climate catastrophism

    • by Ray Evans – Quadrant Magazine
    From the cost of ‘carbon’ to the cost of living to the price of freedom, there’s much at stake should we lose the fight for the air we breathe. It could be called the Battle for Middle Earth. Here’s an opus — a wide-ranging, informative Australian perspective from the secretary of The Lavoisier Group. Get a coffee, find a chair and settle down for a while. more…

    Why pick on carbon dioxide?

    Environmentalists have educated society first to notice, then to condemn and finally to clean up pollution of air, water and land. But now activists focus on carbon dioxide because it warms the planet. We have been induced to fear what we actually prefer.

    Improvements have been achieved over many decades, and it is wonderful that, for example, the United States pollutes a lot less than it used to, has a greater area in forests now than at the end of the 19th century and enjoys cleaner rivers, like many of the developed nations, including New Zealand. Continue Reading →

    Oh God, the environment, God the developing world!

    Following the virtual demise of traditional Western religion, the newly-instituted worship of “the environment” has spread and flourished. Commentators point out how many things are done and called for in the name of the environment, as were once done and called for in the name of God.

    Nothing has changed except the name of the deity. We brook no argument against our deity, nor questioning; we demand blind obedience, for fear of public obloquy. We still call upon people to consider, to fret, to act and to pay handsomely in the name of the deity—just the projects differ. Where once it was a fine new cathedral in Coventry or the Swansea city square statuary, now we want action on poverty or global warming.

    And there’s an even newer deity: it’s the “developing world”. Continue Reading →

    We’re too cold to fight global warming

    Global warming adherents warn of a global temperature rise, saying it will be deadly in various ways.

    Many of us have questioned the reasoning behind the warning, saying (among other things) that, since we prefer to holiday in warm climates, we prefer the summer to the winter, we grow more crops where it’s warm and one finds more living creatures in the tropics than the polar regions, it goes without saying that living things prefer a slightly higher temperature.

    So we have been asking what, exactly, is wrong with a little warming? Continue Reading →

    Enough is enough

    It is beyond dispute that Kyoto, emission trading, the fart tax, carbon credits and climate change legislation contribute nothing to the productive goods and services of this country. All the money spent in these areas is totally unproductive. Furthermore it all comes out of the pockets of the taxpayer and ratepayer.

    Lawyers and accountants are setting up departments to advise on making money or saving money on these matters. Resource management consultants are in for their share too. Councils are appointing staff to ‘manage’ climate change and wringing their hands while removing yet more fleece from their ratepayers — Government bureacrats, too. Major companies are huddling together in meetings to work out how to persuade the government to load their climate change liabilities on to the taxpayer for a little while longer, reduce their liabilities, neutralize them or even make a profit out of the climate change scam.

    There is even an academic department being set up to ‘advise’ on climate change and thus add to the rort on the taxpayer.

    Vultures, all with their bloody heads buried in the carcase of the taxpayer. All these costs, for which there are no benefits whatever to the taxpayer, devolve on the taxpayer who, unknowingly, is paying lawyers and the like $300 per hour, $5 per minute or one dollar every twelve seconds, or more, which costs are finally paid in the increased cost of food, fuel and real goods and services.

    Enough is enough; is there a political party which has the courage to draw a line under this rort?

    The end of consensus

    Dr Naomi Oreskes, in a 2004 essay in Science, claimed that of 928 abstracts published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, 75% of the articles either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, that human activities are affecting the global climate by contributing to warming (admittedly a mild definition of climate change), while none directly dissented from it. Oreskes has been widely quoted in support of the “consensus” among scientists that the science is settled.

    If a consensus truly existed then, it certainly does not now. Continue Reading →