21 Thoughts on “Weekend open thread

  1. Peter Yates on 01/05/2015 at 11:07 pm said:

    I’m not a scientist, but I often try to remember the wise words of our old teachers :-
    ~ note the scientific need for extraordinary evidence;
    ~ ensure that your hypothesis agrees with the experiments and real-life observations;
    ~ record everything that would falsify your hypothesis;
    ~ recall the story about Kepler preferring the most precise observations, rather than his dearest illusions;
    ~ remember that science isn’t based on consensus or belief, and correlation does not prove causation;
    ~ remember that the ‘claim of consensus’ is used only in situations where the science is not solid enough.
    Am I on the right track? – as they say! Are there any more similar maxims or sayings?

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 10:13 am said:

    Not sure what to make of this:

    ‘The Church of England’s satirical take on climate change’

    By Dr. Jeff Mirus, CatholicCulture.org

    Anglican Bishop Nicholas Holtam has praised Tuesday’s statement on climate change by two pontifical academies. But this praise has all the earmarks of satire.

    “Climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our day,” he begins. Really? It sounds suspiciously like a material or technical challenge to me, not that those do not involve moral responses. In any case only a religious leader who has lost all sense of what Christianity means and what a moral life demands could possibly identify climate change as the “greatest” moral challenge.

    Coming from any other source but the Anglican Church (which never issues a moral judgment without ensuring that it has already been adopted by the dominant culture), this would clearly be recognized as satire. It is certainly more generous to classify it as satire, as we would had the bishop insisted that the recent increase in polar ice presents us with a monumental spiritual task.

    Moreover, understood as satire the text goes from strength to strength. Bishop Holtam says he is delighted that the two pontifical science academies have “so clearly supported the scientific consensus that the major driver of climate change is almost certainly our burning of fossil fuels” (emphasis added).

    Notice again the conflation between the Catholic Church’s moral authority and modern science. Is it a moral or spiritual task to support a scientific consensus? (If you answer yes, you have not yet read Phil Lawler’s recent essay, The Vatican’s dangerous embrace of climate-change theory.) When an obvious departure from reality is stressed this much, we typically assume it is deliberate: We are dealing with satire. Recall, for example, Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal.

    Now notice how the scientific consensus is defined. It is a general agreement that something is “almost certainly” true. But “almost certainly” has never been an acceptable basis for scientific statements, nor is it the stuff of which religious pronouncements are made.

    Rather “almost certainly” calls to mind instances of humor, rather like the famous line which is now being used as a sound bite on a local sports-talk radio station. The announcer intones: “Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.”

    This is a joke. It should help us recognize the category of discourse in question. It provides our final interpretive clue.


    # # #

    If Dr. Jeff Mirus has actually identified satire and a joke by the Church of England at the expense of the Vatican, then he’s also identified 3 glaring defects in the Vatican statement:

    1) climate change as the “greatest” moral challenge

    2) “almost certainly” has never been an acceptable basis for scientific statements

    3) nor is it [“almost certainly”] the stuff of which religious pronouncements are made

    So although there are a myriad of defects in the Vatican statement and “demand”, these 3 would be THE most important from a religious perspective of a document espousing ideological action on the basis of (a very dodgy and fallacious) scientific consensus.

    This from a Catholic writer note. I think he’s making a cogent submission to the Vatican, one that should elicit some embarrassment from them – if it’s taken seriously. Whether this “green” Pope and the Vatican will is yet to be seen.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 10:33 am said:

    >”Am I on the right track?”

    In ordinary circumstances you would be Peter. But the precautionary principle invoked by the man-made climate change proponents appears to gazump the normal course of science – hence the term “post-normal” science.

    Another maxim I can think of, particularly applicable to climate science, is:

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard P. Feynman

    Climate science has discounted this to date but now it’s catching up with them as the graphs of models vs observations are telling, for example:


    How the UN can get away with this model failure (which embodies the AGW theory) is beyond me. There seems to have been collective international brain lapse on the topic.

  4. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 10:41 am said:

    >”I think [Dr. Jeff Mirus is] making a cogent submission to the Vatican”

    If he isn’t intentionally, he certainly is unintentionally.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 11:30 am said:

    ‘Underwater volcano erupts off Northwest coast [Oregon USA]’

    Robert, iceagenow, May 1, 2015

    Axial Seamount, an active underwater volcano located about 300 miles (482 km) off the coast of Oregon and Washington, appears to be erupting, says a news release from Oregon State University.

    More>>>>> (see map)

    At Gareth Renowden’s Hot Topic, underwater volcanoes are “magical”, “mysterious”. and “non-existent”. And of course “mainstream” climate science (think Dr Keven Trenberth) says the atmosphere effects seismicity – not the other way around. Also the main plank of nutcase Bill McGuire (author ‘Waking the Giant’) who made news on CNN recently, linking the Nepal earthquake to climate change.

    My first thought was that the seismic activity probably explains the Pacific “warm blob” in SST off Oregon. I’m not alone going by comments in the article above, viz.:

    “I surmise that Axial Seamount, along with untold numbers of other underwater volcanoes, has been heating the seas for quite some time. That could explain the record-breaking warmth – the so-called “warm blob” – in many parts of the Pacific Ocean right now.” – Robert

    “I suppose this could have been contributing to the “blob” this past winter off the California coast,” says J Bird.

    “Maybe this will explain that the Pacific Ocean “blob,” says Robert Dean, PhD.

    “The eruption site lines up with the warm blob” says Ed. “Could this be a megaplume as mentioned on your blog?”

    “I bet good money that this is where the “pacific ocean blob” is coming from,” says Ronald.

  6. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 11:40 am said:

    ‘UAH V6.0 Global Temperature Update for April, 2015: +0.07 deg. C’

    May 1st, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    Lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average


    # # #

    Strange how the “warmest month ever” is nowhere near the warmest month ever according to satellite observations.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 5:54 pm said:

    Vanuatu’s Prime Minister blamed cyclone Pam on “climate change”.

    Now he’s demanding that ALL aid (including NGO aid) goes through him and he would change the law to achieve that:

    ‘Vanuatu’s prime minister demands aid is channelled through him’


    While aid agencies are happy to work alongside governments, they don’t want to directly hand over the cash.

    Video (2:00)

    ‘Cyclone Pam: Vanuatu slams aid agencies’

    The Vanuatu government has slammed aid agencies swarming into the country in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam, claiming they are slowing down the process of getting help to people in need.

    At a press conference on Wednesday night, national disaster committee deputy chair Benjamin Shing said he had to “state the facts” when asked about whether the country needed more help.

    “If we had more teams and more support we would be able to cover more of the country. At this time we only have five teams going out and doing assessments.”


    # # #

    How [not] to make friends and influence people. NGO’s have said they would walk away rather then submit to that regime.

  8. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 6:38 pm said:

    ”Sydney storms get more intense as engineers begin to adjust to climate change’

    April 29, 2015, Peter Hannam, Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald

    Sydney’s rain is becoming more torrential, particularly during summer, a trend researchers say will increase with further global warming and force engineers to design resilient structures that are able to limit the flood impacts.

    A study of 69 rain gauges in the greater Sydney region from 1966 to 2012 found that the number of short but intense rainfall events increased, while longer-duration deluges decreased, according to research by the University of Adelaide published in Nature Climate Change on Wednesday.


    # # #

    They do the study NOW?

    At least makes a change from Tim Flannery, prognostications of endless drought and permanent El Nino, and the critical need for billion dollar desalination plants – now relegated to expensive white elephant status.

    I guess this is just an alternative interpretation of the term “climate change”.

  9. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 7:08 pm said:

    ‘The Sun Is ‘Blank’ As Solar Activity Comes To A Standstill’

    Written by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller on 01 May 2015.

    A new report from seasoned meteorologists says the sun is “almost completely blank” as the center of the solar system enters its weakest cycle in more than a century.

    “The main driver of all weather and climate, the entity which occupies 99.86% of all of the mass in our solar system, the great ball of fire in the sky has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century,” according to Virginia-based weather forecaster Vencore Weather.

    “The sun’s X-ray output has flatlined in recent days and NOAA forecasters estimate a scant 1% chance of strong flares in the next 24 hours,” Vencore notes. “Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and the current nearly blank sun may signal the end of the solar maximum phase.”

    “Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase,” according to Vencore.

    What does this mean for the climate? For years scientists have been warning that solar activity (a.k.a. sunspots) has been falling, and that could mean cooler global temperatures are on the way.

    Some scientists have even warned that weakening solar activity could spark another “Little Ice Age,” arguing conditions mirror the centuries of global cooling the Earth went through from the late Middle Ages to the mid-19th Century.

    “The stagnation of temperature since 1998 was caused by decreasing solar activity since 1998,” wrote Jürgen Lange Heine, a physicist with the German-based European Institute for Climate and Energy.

    “From 1900 to 1998, solar radiation increased by 1.3 W / m², but since 1998 it has diminished, and could reach values ​​similar to those of the early 20th century. A drop in global temperature over the next few years is predicted,” Heine wrote.

    The “stagnation” in global temperatures since the late 1990s Heine refers to is commonly called the “pause” by climate scientists. Most scientists attribute this “pause” in warming to natural climate cycles that have a cooling effect on the planet, especially ocean oscillation cycles. But it seems that increasingly researchers are looking to the sun for an explanation for the “pause.”

    The sun has a very large impact on temperatures on the Earth’s thermosphere. Temperatures there increase “with altitude due to absorption of highly energetic solar radiation and are highly dependent on solar activity,” according to Vencore.

    “If history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a cooling impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere – and where we all live,” Vencore notes.

    There are two periods with long episodes of low solar activity, according to Vencore. One is called the “Maunder Minimum” and lasted from about 1645 to 1715. The other is called the “Dalton Minimum” and stretched from about 1790 to 1830.

    “Both of these historical periods coincided with colder-than-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many scientists as the ‘Little Ice Age,’” according to Vencore. “In addition, research studies in just the past couple of decades have found a complicated relationship between solar activity, cosmic rays, and clouds on Earth.”

    “This research suggests that in times of low solar activity where solar winds are typically weak; more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, has been found to lead to an increase in certain types of clouds that can act to cool the Earth,” notes Vencore.


    # # #

    I don’t subscribe to the notion that temperatures are immediately influenced by solar activity, planetary thermal lag due to the oceanic heat sink dictates against it. The “pause” is due to the oscillatory component (oceanic cycles as above – the 60 yr climate cycle). It’s the secular trend that correlates with lagged solar, not the oscillatory component. SSN – T lag 30 to 40 years in Antarctica over millennia, See:

    Correlation between solar activity and the local temperature of Antarctica during the past 11,000 years · X. H. Zhao, X. S. Feng (2014)

    However, I hope everyone enjoyed the Modern Climate Optimum just ended – you wont experience one like it again in your lifetimes.

    More is the pity.

  10. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2015 at 7:12 pm said:

    ‘Examine scientific evidence before you make comments on climate change’

    Written by Dr Phillip Bratby, Daily Echo on 01 May 2015.

    IT HAS been brought to my attention that for no apparent reason, in a letter of April 23, Dr Martin Rodger criticised me for having “attacked” the Royal Society and NASA in 2009 and for having “a history of climate-change denying”.

    I don’t know anyone who denies that the climate changes; history and geology have shown us that the climate has always changed.

    As a physicist with many years experience in the fields of fluid flow, heat transfer and thermal-hydraulics, I have a deep understanding of the physical processes which drive the climate.

    Indeed, it would be inconceivable to me that a chaotic, non-linear, multi-variate, open system such as the earth’s atmosphere, could be stable and would not change.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) has stated in one of its many scientific papers that it is impossible to calculate the future state of the climate because of this chaotic nature of the climate system.

    In its political papers the IPCC does not admit this, but the fact that none of over 100 climate models in use was able to predict the fact that there has been no global warming for over 18 years is testament to the impossibility of predicting the future climate.

    It shows that our knowledge of how the climate system works is seriously incomplete.

    I suspect that Dr Rodger is no scientist otherwise he would not just accept statements from a few individuals at the Royal Society and NASA.

    It is no accident that the motto of the Royal Society translates as “take nobody’s word for it”.

    Scientists do not accept arguments from authority but are only interested in scientific evidence.

    Dr Rodger appears to prefer to criticise scientists rather than examine scientific evidence.


    # # #

    >”As a physicist with many years experience in the fields of fluid flow, heat transfer and thermal-hydraulics, I have a deep understanding of the physical processes which drive the climate”

    Climate scientists don’t, which explains their rampant confusion.

  11. Mike Jowsey on 02/05/2015 at 8:02 pm said:

    Well, congrats to Mrs. T. I myself am whisking my beloved away tomorrow to the idyllic travel destination of Oxford. Not the one upon Avon. It is her birthday tomorrow. We are going for a country drive, a lunch and to purchase a book she noticed there and liked the look of – Letters From the Front or Letters Home, or something like that. And then home for dinner with family. I hope Tauranga is marvelous for you two lovebirds.

  12. Richard Treadgold on 02/05/2015 at 10:01 pm said:

    Thanks, Mike. It’s good to get time together and remember who it was you married. Hope it goes well tomorrow. We just got back to the motel (sorry, motor inn) after a wonderful dinner of Thai duck accompanied by deeply satisfying and entertaining conversation. I chose the ‘BBQ’ version of the duck, which arrived sizzling loudly on an iron plate in a drama that drew every diner’s attention. Eating it was an edge of the cliff experience, avoiding the plate and negotiating the hot food, the spicy, exquisitely flavoured vegetables, seaweed and duck. It was sublime, paired with a rich, spicy Australian shiraz. I came home though to discover the Hurricanes beating the Crusaders. Well, life ain’t perfect.

  13. Richard C (NZ) on 04/05/2015 at 2:33 pm said:

    Paul Driessen tells it as it is:

    ‘Silencing skeptics, conservatives and free speech’

    Written by Paul Driessen, 03 May 2015.

    “The abuses and intolerance are becoming broader, deeper, more frightening by the day: from Christendom to Islam and Climate Orthodoxy; from universities to the Congress, Vatican, EU and United Nations.”


  14. Mike Jowsey on 06/05/2015 at 4:33 pm said:

    Good article by Paul Driessen, thanks RC. Reminds me of this:

    One of the vices of those who would repress the opinions of others is that they make themselves prisoners to their own opinions because they deny the means and the right of changing them.

    – Thomas Paine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine)

  15. Richard C (NZ) on 06/05/2015 at 6:05 pm said:

    These people are ideologically driven Mike, they think their opinion reigns supreme – not much chance of a change of mind

    Check out this guy Prof Peter Chisnall in a video at Bishop Hill:

    ‘Academic demands totalitarian response to AGW’

    [BH] – “From about 20 mins, Prof Christoff makes a remarkable call for “climate denial legislation” to criminalise dissent on the issue.”


    In other words, if you disagree with him you are a criminal in his mindset. Monckton’s list of Climate Nazis has plenty of these quotes except for some they prefer the punishment of death e.g.:

    2012: Professor Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz, Austria, recommended the death penalty for skeptics. He later withdrew.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/04/punishing_climate_change_deniers.html#ixzz3XEo0RGvu

  16. Andy on 07/05/2015 at 7:33 am said:

    I saw a great letter in The Australian on the plane on Monday. It said something along the lines about this proposed criminalization of “denial”. ” I can no longer stand the guilt of my skepticism, and wish to hand myself into the authorities. Where can I do this?”

  17. Andy on 07/05/2015 at 2:09 pm said:

    Here is a fun little site

    That suggests a couple of guys who got lost in the Arctic were “murdered” by climate change deniers.

  18. Andy on 08/05/2015 at 9:04 am said:

    BBC Live coverage of UK elections

    Exciting times
    Exit poll suggests Tory majority.

  19. Andy on 08/05/2015 at 3:21 pm said:

    Lib Dems taking a thrashing in the elections. Energy Secretary Ed Davey loses his seat.

  20. Andy on 11/05/2015 at 11:40 am said:

    New breakthrough in solving the non-problem of ruminant methane emissions

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