Solar energy storage — a gift from Gaia

I love the way Viv thinks! Once again he highlights a stunning new aspect of the man-made global warming absurdity. Everyone should hear this: but especially our government, the Greens, the Maori Party, vegetarians, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Gareth Morgan. – Richard Treadgold

There is a massive problem with photo-voltaic solar power. Modern cities and industries require power 24/7 but solar panels can only deliver significant energy from 9am to 3pm on a clear day — a maximum of 25% of the time. Even within this time, energy production peaks at midday and falls off steeply on either side.

Science has yet to develop a solar storage battery suitable for grid power. Continue Reading →

Lawrence Solomon mocks models

via Lawrence Solomon: Model mockery | Financial Post.

Top economist, a true believer in global warming, proves predictions of catastrophe are meaningless

All predictions of global warming doom and destruction rest on meaningless computer models, say climate change skeptics such as Freeman Dyson, America’s best known scientist, and Antonino Zichichi, Italy’s best known scientist. They and other skeptics looked at models touted as reliable and declared them meaningless.

Now these unabashed skeptics are joined by an unabashed true believer in rising sea levels, greater climate variability and other perils associated with global warming: Robert S. Pindyck, a physicist, engineer and Professor of Economics and Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Continue Reading →

Gases, gases everywhere, nor any stop to think

Emissions of greenhouse gases are quoted everywhere to illustrate how humanity is sending the world to hell in a hand basket.

The articles make much of “emissions” from various countries, from the developed and the developing worlds. How many know that these vast, hugely important quantities are not even measured?

They’re only calculated from reported energy use — and they are far from reliable. That’s the first point. The second point is that emissions lead, presumably, to a global temperature increase. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be a problem, would there?

But emissions don’t automatically mean higher temperatures. For a start, about 45% of human emissions — regardless how they increase — are absorbed somewhere in the gigantic natural system. Nobody knows where it all goes. It’s immensely complicated to track our puny emissions of carbon dioxide as they mix with the truly gargantuan streams out of and into forests and the oceans.

So most authors make no attempt to convert the net emissions into a temperature increase, but why not, actually?

The main reason would be that nobody — and I mean nobody, from the IPCC, NASA, the CRU at East Anglia and Al Gore all the way down to me — has the foggiest idea of the temperature that will result from these emissions.

Amazing, eh? There’s no knowledge or evidence of the inconvenient disaster we’re supposed to be creating with our selfish lifestyles. This gives rise to two questions:

  • Why does nobody demand some evidence?
  • What has persuaded everyone, without evidence, that there’s a problem?

Klein denies deniers’ denials

When Naomi Klein uses the word “denier” and its derivatives no fewer than 28 times* in a single article, she telegraphs her belief that those so labelled cannot be motivated by facts. Jo Nova, once again prepared to fearlessly battle climate bigotry, confronts Klein’s vacuous arguments with her usual cutting perspicacity, real science and humorous mockery of her opponent’s weaknesses.

Though there’s little chance of any direct reply from Klein, the sceptical climate scene is sadly lacking in such talented writers and thinkers as our beloved Jo. Here, she’s done it again, treating another breathless Earth-saver with robust scorn.

Naomi Klein’s lengthy ramble is notable for not commenting on the science or refuting sceptical claims. Instead, she rabbits on about opinion polls, political loyalties, age and ethnic groups and, of course, it’s all about America — the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Continue Reading →

UN head calls off sky-dragon slaying

sky dragon

‘Personal mission’ abandoned

No possibility of a ‘single grand deal’

Those unconvinced of the possibility of catastrophic global warming caused by human activity could, perhaps, be forgiven for relaxing their guard a little.

Everywhere you look, there are signs that the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) has been defeated or is in the process of being defeated.

From the revelations of Climategate, where the venal motivations and cynical manipulations of leading climate scientists were made embarrassingly public, to the geological history of the last 5 million years of temperature (which shows a slow decline, meaning the modest modern rise is not a bit unprecedented), mounting evidence of severe quality problems with the surface instrumental temperature record, evidence of declining SSTs and surface air temperatures, no evidence of acceleration in sea-level rise, no increase in ocean acidification or bleaching of coral reefs, natural cycles reported as well capable of accounting for late-20th century warming and strong support for a solar influence on cloud formation moderated through intergalactic cosmic rays, not to mention changing results from opinion surveys around the world, it is beyond doubt that support for the CAGW hypothesis, based almost entirely on human emissions of the minor greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, is evaporating. Continue Reading →

Computer model is not evidence

NZ Herald crest

Letter sent to the Herald on 7 Jan, 2011
quill pen

Dear Sir,

It has come to my attention that you published a (further) letter from a Dr Doug Campbell, again challenging Professor Chris de Freitas’ recent article about the science of global warming. Dr Campbell said: “The facts support anthropogenic global warming with a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting in warming of between 2 °C and 4.5 °C.”

I wish to point out that, as a matter of fact, that is not a fact.

Dr de Freitas was talking about an expected temperature increase from carbon dioxide alone of about 1 °C, and he mentioned that was, “by itself, relatively small” and “not controversial.”

Dr Campbell, if he disagrees with that, should cite his authority for doing so. The only source of temperature increases greater than one degree is various computer climate models. These models give different results on each run. Continue Reading →

Many surprised to learn global warming basics

From the pen of Chris de Freitas comes this short but compelling narrative, inspired and inspiring, and calming, like a cool balm on an inflammation. Read it and watch the heat from the global warming debate dissipate and important issues clarify. Reprinted here with Chris’ kind permission.

Chris de Freitas: Emotion clouding underlying science of global warming

First published in the NZ Herald, 5:30 a.m. Wednesday Jan 5, 2011
Professor de Freitas

Professor de Freitas

Unlike most other hot-button environmental issues, global warming is widely misunderstood. As a climate scientist, thinking about this, it struck me that it was not surprising, since accounts of the scientific basics of global warming almost never appear anywhere in the press.

There is not space here to include all the charts and numbers that might accompany such an account. In their place is a necessarily brief summary.

Most people are not shocked to learn that global warming discussions evoke polarised views, but many are surprised to discover that the scientific basics are not contentious. An awareness of these is helpful in building an understanding of the extent to which there is a problem and how it might be addressed. Continue Reading →

Fighting climate change public insanity

picnic table and chairs set up in the sea

In the NZ Herald last Wednesday, David Venables, executive-director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, talked about world leaders at Cancun soon putting “the finishing touches to a global agreement on climate change.”

Why do we want such an agreement?

Though Mr Venables, oddly, leaves it unsaid, it is to reduce our emissions of “greenhouse gases” or “carbon” to halt what we now call “climate change.”

But is this enough? Will this stop climate change? No, it won’t, and there are two reasons for that: NZ’s tiny emissions and the eternally changing nature of the climate. Continue Reading →

Like diamonds, CO2 is for ever

the head on a glass of beer

Wrong again, huh?

Hot Topic, in a post endearingly headed “I’ve been wrong before“, berates the CCG for reporting a criticism of the Royal Society. Chemist Dr Klaus L. E. Kaiser published evidence of miscalculations by the RS which was supported by Swedish Professor of Applied Mathematics, Claes Johnson.

But unfortunately the confidence shown by Gareth Renowden in rebutting this criticism of the Royal Society does not extend to admitting the extent of uncertainty about the carbon dioxide cycle. To listen to Gareth, you’d think the science was settled, but in fact there are substantial unknowns.

He introduces his rebuttal (ignoring his opening paragraph, which contains ad hominem remarks) with this:

Unfortunately for Kaiser and Sullivan, the Royal Society (otherwise known as the most august of scientific institutions, 350 years old this year) didn’t make any schoolboy errors. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is determined by the interchange of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere. Over the last few hundred years the ocean and biosphere have been doing us a big favour by absorbing two thirds of the CO2 we’ve emitted. The balance has been steadily accumulating, which is why atmospheric CO2 has risen from 280 ppm to 390 ppm.

This seems to be true, although the proportion of human emissions being absorbed by natural processes is specified variously, by different authorities, between about 45% and the 66% Gareth mentions. But whatever figure you take, it does leave a “balance” of an amount which “steadily accumulates”, accounting for a rise in atmospheric concentration from about 280 ppmv to about 390 ppmv now.

But watch the pea under the cup. Continue Reading →

Hal Lewis resigns from the APS in protest

scientist on the rack

Anthony Watts announces what he calls “an important moment in science history.” Professor Harold Lewis reluctantly discards his 67-year membership of the American Physical Society in protest at the global-warming-driven corruption of science (h/t val majkus).

It’s worth reflecting on the significance of this prominent resignation and the reasons he cites for offering it. Here is a sample from his letter:

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Continue Reading →

Seismic shift in climate thinking

Newspapers

by Ben Webster of The Times
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 22:09

The Royal Society, bastion of conventional thinking on global warming, is about to announce a change in its thinking! What a glad day. I cannot wait to read their whole statement.     – Richard

Here’s the full story: Continue Reading →

Hot Topic semi-science now in the Herald

NZ Herald crest
Hot Topic logo

Now we have the NZ Herald echoing Hot Topic’s posts from Sciblogs. Man, the Herald have really burned their bridges on impartiality, haven’t they? By patronising Hot Topic they unquestionably declare their belief in the non-science of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.

Don’t expect any material from them in the near future to be critical of the now-established doctrine of climate change according to the IPCC.

Comments on poll uncover Hot Topic’s dearth of science

Yesterday, they published an article by Bryan Walker, one of Gareth’s support writers, Ask me why – polling the public on climate change. The first thing Bryan does is denigrate the organisation behind the poll; good one, Bryan, ignore the issue — go straight for the man.

Note also Walker’s disconnect from the real world where people must make a living:

But their notion of what constitutes appropriate measures is severely constrained by their determination to protect what they call the competitiveness of all sectors of NZ industry.

“What they call” competitiveness? He says that as though it’s a bad thing. Continue Reading →

New UNFCCC climate chief no worse than the old

Christina Figueres

On 17 May, 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Mrs Christina Figueres as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn, Germany. The appointment was endorsed by the Bureau of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She replaced Yvo de Boer, who resigned in February, 2010, declaring himself “appalled” by the failure of the international community to reach agreement at Copenhagen on “fighting climate change”.

Yvo De Boer

The AP quotes Mrs Figueres as saying today in Beijing, China:

“Countries have felt a renewed urgency to address global warming given this year’s series of frequent and catastrophic disasters, including massive flooding in Pakistan, drought and fires in Russia, and mudslides and floods in China.”

Have they, indeed? First, how does she know this, or is she merely stating what she would like to hear? Continue Reading →

NZ Herald ratifies outrageous rant

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Just four days after Brian Rudman’s diatribe against the Coalition, the Herald unleashed an opinion piece by one Sam Fisher. I’ve just discovered it but that’s no reason to let it stand unopposed.

I shall start at its rear end. His devastating conclusion:

In past years, the nutters were the ones with signs that said: “The world is ending.” Now, the nutters have the signs that say: “The world isn’t ending, it’s all fine.”

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, for it is hard to fault. However, he omits mention of the sanity of those trumpeting the end of the world. So I would express it with a different slant, as it is on the masthead above:

For the first time in history, people shouting “the end is nigh” are somehow
the sane ones, while those of us who say it is not are now the lunatics.

Before that, he enlightens us with: Continue Reading →

AGW a cloak for dishonest science

a cloak

A grey-haired New Zealand geologist has strong words to say about the practice of science, its abasement by proponents of AGW and the likely consequences for us all. Whether a general dishonesty in climate science is true or not, the fact that scientists themselves are now saying so indicates the extent of the perception of dishonesty. He begins by commenting on yesterday’s Christchurch earthquake.

It would be great if scientists could routinely express the uncertainties, by saying in response to some journalist’s question something like: “Well, we are actually not sure what the cause is, nor the actual depth of the shock, but on the very small amount of data that we have at present, we think that ‘THIS’ is likely. But we also think that there are many other possibilities, such as, blah, blah, etc.”

If only this philosophy could be applied to climate science/AGW as well!

A sad world it would be for science if other scientists, not directly connected to funding for ‘climate change,’ took the same attitude as displayed by the AGW-funded beneficiaries and never fronted up about the uncertainties inherent to their own particular branches of science.

To me as a scientist this is the saddest aspect of the AGW proponents — that they have perhaps shown the way for future pseudo-scientists to get away with all sorts of bias and dishonesty, with no skerrick of independent peer review, cloaked within the once-respectable realm of science.

Any scientist who works to the principle that defendably true knowledge is the prime basis for science should be quaking in his or her shoes. Because there seems to be a whole new generation of AGW-funded types who have neither care nor respect for scientific norms, since they are dependent on AGW funding to perpetuate their work.

The Great Global Warming Blunder

How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists

I’ve reposted Roy’s announcement because the book sounds stunning and because of the penetrating comments he makes, such as:

“Believe it or not, [a] potential natural explanation for recent warming has never been seriously researched by climate scientists.”
“Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.”
“When properly interpreted, our satellite observations actually reveal that the system is quite INsensitive.”
“We already know that nature is gobbling up 50% of what humanity produces, no matter how fast we produce it. So it is only logical to address the possibility that nature — that life on Earth — has actually been starved for carbon dioxide.”
The Great Global Warming Blunder

Continue Reading →

Emanations from Royal Society less than lordly

Hot air being blown into a balloon

There’s little of royalty attached to recent climate change missives emanating from the Royal Society. Did I call them missives? I meant to say emissions.

Professor Keith A. Hunter, FNZIC, FRSNZ, Vice-President, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of New Zealand, issued a statement on 7 April entitled Science, Climate Change and Integrity.

He means to support the hypothesis that human activity is dangerously warming the world’s climate. He uses whole sentences and impeccable syntax, but the evidence he cites is wrong.

The package is lovely but the contents rotten.

There are now several of our prominent public scientists who are unaware it is not sufficient merely to tog themselves out in the royal or other esteemed branding — they must actually live up to it and, before all else, speak the truth.

The senior scientists who’ve made misleading public statements about global warming include Peter Gluckman, David Wratt, James Renwick, Brett Mullan, Andrew Reisinger and Jim Salinger.

Their cheeks are smooth and their mouths are smiling but their breath stinks. Continue Reading →

Man-made global warming a science built on sand

Sand castle in imminent danger from ocean

It seems urgent to directly attack the lack of evidence for dangerous AGW. Adaptation should be a no-brainer driver of public policy, but since the Greens stand in the way of that, shouting stridently instead for the nonsensical reduction in our emissions of harmless greenhouse gases, based on the falsehood of sinful human interference in the climate, they should be taken on by courageous politicians and electors alike. I note that some time ago Greenpeace took the cowardly decision to simply fail to respond to anyone questioning the causes of global warming, saying the matter was now decided.

They and the rest must be somehow winkled out of their holes to confront the obvious and lamentable lack of evidence, much as NIWA has recently been forced into admitting some shortcomings. Continue Reading →

FARCE: NIWA don’t have the changes

UPDATE 1 1st Feb, 11:16 pm: The second paragraph should have stated that Jim Renwick was quoted in the Herald, not Jim Salinger. My apologies; this has been corrected.


unadjusted NZ temperature graph

Heads must roll

Turning into farce

In an astounding admission of ineptitude, after their former arm-waving and expostulations of injustice, NIWA have finally confessed that they cannot provide the adjustments they made to the original temperature readings in the official NZ temperature record. Continue Reading →

Rifts in fabric of global warming dream

A tear in the fabric

The IPCC is doomed, Pachauri faces removal

As much as I would like to focus on local facets of the climate change dreamland it is nevertheless impossible to ignore the continuing revelations from abroad that are tearing at the fabric of the “Grand Narrative”, to use Philip Stott’s term at the Clamour Of The Times.

These tectonic changes will demand alterations to or even cancellation of our own ETS and other responses to “global warming”, so we need to know about them. New Zealand needs a dialogue to debate the implications. Continue Reading →

What’s the evidence?

Anybody studying global warming comes across a lot of obscure blogs and online magazines which rail at “sceptics” and “deniers” for destroying the earth with their obstructionism and their oil-industry-funded arguments. They seem to think that it’s impossible for intelligent people to have reasonable questions about a complex, controversial topic and that therefore sceptics are being deliberately difficult. So they must be shouted at.

Quite a few of those articles get my careful attention because I’m looking for evidence of dangerous man-made global warming. I reason that when they talk about the overwhelming weight of evidence, they could be about to mention the evidence. But none of them do.

Nobody tells me the evidence

Actually, to be precise, many of them mention the evidence but none of them reveal it. Many of them point to the IPCC’s latest report, AR4, but, though it waffles around a lot, there’s nothing conclusive that links human emissions with damaging climatic effects. If I’m wrong, I challenge anyone to point it out to me.

Some writers give references to this or that piece of the puzzle, which on examination turn out to be full of holes, guesswork or based on modelling.

Others go into admirable detail about what could happen if warming got bad. They cannot be refuted because they’re probably right — it would happen. They don’t show any link between human activities and the warming they describe but they make me feel guilty for disagreeing with them — as if I don’t care what happens to the natural world.

Real Climate (Schmidt), Open Mind (Tamino) have banned me

Evidence does not consist of statements such as “the weight of evidence indicates…” or “there is a mounting body of opinion that…” or “it is highly likely (95% probability) that…”.

This question will probably be ignored. However, I must ask: what is the evidence for dangerous man-made global warming?

What persuaded you that the global climate is being changed to a dangerous degree by human activities? There must have been something that persuaded you!

Real Climate and Tamino have banned me and Hot Topic insult me and tell me I’m not welcome because I don’t believe them. These people are afraid of honest questions. Still nobody tells me the evidence.

I’m really curious to know how the believers keep going.

Climategate Part 2 — 2,000-page epic of science and scepticism

First published at the National Post: December 21, 2009, 2:33 pm

There’s trouble over tree rings as the Climategate emails reveal a rift between scientists. For Part 1, go here.

In the thousands of emails released last month in what is now known as Climategate, the greatest battles took place over scientists’ attempts to reconstruct a credible temperature record for the last couple of thousand years. Have they failed? What the Climategate emails provide is at least one incontrovertible answer: They certainly have not succeeded.

In a post-Copenhagen world, climate history is not merely a matter of getting the record straight, or a trivial part of the global warming science. In a Climategate email in April of this year, Steve Colman, professor of Geological Science at the University of Minnesota Duluth, told scores of climate scientists “most people seem to accept that past history is the only way to assess what the climate can actually do (e.g., how fast it can change). However, I think that the fact that reconstructed history provides the only calibration or test of models (beyond verification of modern simulations) is under-appreciated.”

If temperature history is the “only” way to test climate models, the tests we have on hand — mainly the shaky temperature history of the last 1,000 or 2,000 years — suggest current climate models are not getting a proper scientific workout.

Two scientists, one British and the other American, straddle the initial Climategate battle over recent global temperature history. Later, the same two scientists appear to abandon their internal disagreements and join forces to present a united front to fight off critics and put down skeptics. Continue Reading →

Climategate Part 1 – 2,000-page epic of science and scepticism

This summary from the National Post of the Climategate emails and what has been discovered in them is the best I have seen. It is especially pleasing to hear Terence Corcoran’s moderate tone. The contents of the released emails and computer code throw strong doubt on the conclusions of the science of global warming. Everything needs further examination and there are signs this re-examination is happening, in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Britain and Russia. — Richard Treadgold

First published at the National Post: December 18, 2009, 8:13 PM

The scientists seem to have become captive to the IPCC’s objectives

Now that the Copenhagen political games are out of the way, marked as a failure by any realistic standard, it may be time to move on to the science games. To get the post-Copenhagen science review under way, the world has a fine document at hand: The Climategate Papers.

On Nov. 17, three weeks before the Copenhagen talks began, a massive cache of climate science emails landed on a Russian server, reportedly after having been laundered through Saudi Arabia. Where they came from, nobody yet knows. Described as having been hacked or leaked from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, the emails have been the focus of thousands of media and blog reports. Since their release, most attention has been focussed on a few choice bits of what seem like incriminating evidence of trickery and scientific repression. Some call it fraud.

Email fragments instantly began flying through the blogosphere. Perhaps the most sensational came from a Nov. 16, 1999, email from Phil Jones, head of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), in which he referred to having “completed Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline” in temperature.

Direct evidence of scientific skulduggery

These words, now famous around the world as the core of Climategate, are in fact the grossest possible over-simplification of what the emails contain. The Phil Jones email and other choice email fragments are really just microscopic particles taken from a massive collection of material that will, in time, come to be seen as the greatest and most dramatic science policy epic in history.

Whether the emails, containing more than 2,000 pages and links to thousands more, are smoking guns and direct evidence of scientific skulduggery is in many ways a secondary issue. The Climategate emails are an unprecedented and unparalleled record of attempts by scientists to crack the mysteries of the world’s climate. They are at the heart of a massive effort to understand the world’s climate history and create models and systems to predict climate hundreds of years into the future. Continue Reading →

What will the world look like after 100 years?

Scenarios are not science

December 21, 2009

Pity the politician in 2010: climate change policies pose an unknown but potentially strong temptation to cross party lines — a bit like abortion brought out single-issue voters a few decades ago.

Some political leaders have a messianic urge to save the planet; others have an ideological aversion to intrusive state controls. A few (perhaps) have studied the science in depth, and all have glanced regularly at fickle opinion surveys. But most are stuck with the muddle in the middle, anxious to do whatever will deliver the best outcomes for the country and their constituents.

Many would begin with the risk-averse approach …”we have to rely on the relevant experts in dealing with highly complex issues. Our official advisers tell us there is a significant risk that human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases are contributing to the recent global warming trend.”

Obvious policy implications of this ‘luke-warm’ stance are solid efforts to improve energy efficiency and to encourage promising new technology — perhaps low-emission fuels. A key consideration for any such programmes is that they are likely to deliver net benefits in any event — even if the warming stops or the causation becomes suspect. Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →