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