About thirty years ago we first heard reports that the world was warming. The scientific papers noted that levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide were the highest recorded in the last 8 million years (or some large number, depending on the study). The language made it seem that CO2 caused the warming, but it seldom said so directly. At first.
We trusted the scientists and as more and more of these papers appeared we slowly came to accept that the planet was warming because of our CO2 emissions. Continue Reading →
Oddly, NIWA scientists conceal them
UPDATE 1: 28 Mar 1300 NZDT, see below.
John’s letter refers to the WRR article Human role in climate change is clear. The following are excerpts from the AR5 then the WRR article (emphasis added). Notice the stinging observation that WRR failed to disclose what was inconvenient for the IPCC to say, because it contradicted the alarming sounds of doom. Continue Reading →
From left, Drs David Wratt, Andy Reisinger and James Renwick.
Bob Carter and Bryan Leyland published a sceptical article in the Dom Post. Gareth Renowden penned a response which was republished on SciBlogs (run by the Science Media Centre), it’s scatalogical title signalling his customary toxic tone. Continue Reading →
The video begins in German, but after only 41 seconds shifts permanently to English (and later American), so don’t be dismayed. Stick with it.
The German professor, in his words of welcome, describes Professor Salby, from Macquarie University in Sydney:
He is known all over the world as one of the few specialists who really have a view over the whole area of climate development. Despite his long relationship with the most renowned climate institutes, he has preserved his own critical and constructive reasoning, which in some parts is in real contradiction to the official expert opinion and also [opposes] the assessment of the IPCC.
From a correspondent
I think the game is up for the pro-AGW crowd due to the lack of temperature rises over the last 16-23 years.
It looks like Gavin Schmidt might be jumping from the sinking ship now as well. To me, Gavin looks like he’s positioning himself for a back-down on his AGW position – why would he point out the flaws with Nuccitelli’s post otherwise, it’s no concern to him? I think Hansen, even though he admitted the lack of a temp rise over the last 16 years, was given the boot from NASA Continue Reading →
Well, which is it?
Will it be a nightmare or not?
In comments, I cited a statement by Jim Renwick from a few months ago. He said:
I feel a kind of morbid fascination with this stuff. It’s a really fascinating science issue – and I’m really interested to find out what’s going to happen to the climate and how much ice is going to melt and what’s the temperature in 2020 going to be and all the rest of it. It’s intriguing, it’s my bread and butter but you know what I feel is – I look at this and say jeez we’re really doing this, we’re doing this experiment, we’re really playing this game with the Earth, we’re gambling with millions of lives and I sort of feel disgusted with myself that I find it interesting from a scientific point of view. It’s certainly interesting, but it’s more than interesting — it’s a very dangerous game we’re playing.
I was illustrating a comment that only a few climate scientists of the alarmist school venture to tell us we’re destroying the world. Most of them are more cautious, almost as though they’re setting up for the long-term defence that they were never really converts to that alarmist view of climate change they claim is the consensus.
The reader Simon said Continue Reading →
We never said it was fraud
Professor James Renwick’s press release yesterday celebrating NIWA’s court “victory” was wrong. The opening paragraph said:
A group of leading New Zealand climate scientists (listed below) welcomed Justice Geoffrey Venning’s ruling to throw out the claim by the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (CSET, a small group of climate change “sceptics”) that NIWA had acted fraudulently in putting together its ‘7-station’ temperature series.
But the Trust did not claim fraud in its Statement of Claim to the High Court, which nowhere uses any derivative of the word fraud. The Coalition never accused NIWA of fraud and these scientists cannot justify their claim that it did.
This fictitious accusation against members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition and its Trust might have added to the excitement of the press release, but the stimulus came at the expense of the truth.
To people accustomed to hearing ad hominem remarks of the worst kind, accusing climate sceptics of alleging fraud is perhaps of no great concern, but to those devoted to the even-handed, practical pursuit of truth this accusation is deeply distressing.
It must be withdrawn and Dr Renwick must apologise. They need to man up and admit their mistake, apologise and withdraw the press statement.
Would proper scientists expect anything less of others?
Was Villach the start of global warming?
Among the many climate science meetings I have attended, the most significant, at least as far as climate change is concerned, was my involvement in the UN-sponsored international conference held in the beautiful Austrian town of Villach in October 1985.
One hundred experts from 30 countries attended the meeting (in contrast to ten to twenty thousand who now attend such meetings), and I was privileged to be the only New Zealander invited. We were all there as experts – not representing our respective organisations – in various fields of science, endeavouring to do the best we could in looking at the complexities of climate science.
One of the principal findings of this conference was that
“while other factors, such as aerosol concentration, changes in solar energy input, and changes in vegetation, may also influence climate, the greenhouse gases are likely to be the most important cause of climate change over the next century.”
The following article was just published in none other than the Wall Street Journal, signed by the 16 scientists listed at the end of the article. The mood towards catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is surely in some upheaval. It’s wonderful to hear the disgraceful treatment of Chris de Freitas described in sympathetic terms, and the scandalous behaviour of the warmist clique towards him condemned. No doubt those enthusiastic world-savers would love to hide their dirty deeds and save their skins, but one day Salinger (the ring-leader in attacking de Freitas as both editor and academic), Jones and Schmidt, with others who have long flouted scientific courtesy, will reap the consequences of the odious conduct they have sown. Ignorant people might be expected to deny free speech to those who disagree with them, but climatology is alone in science in its disgraceful tolerance of conspiracy to prevent scientific critics being published. It’s a further scandal that the IPCC, while paying mere lip-service to solid science, does nothing to clean it up, even after severe criticism in August last year of its processes and attitudes by the InterAcademy Council (representing national academies of science such as the Royal Society) on behalf of the UN and the IPCC itself. It is left to us to preserve memory of their shameful practices, and we’ll do that despite attempts by our local climate deniers to bully local newspapers into silencing us.
No Need to Panic About Global Warming
A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.
This is an adopted article.
In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: “I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: ‘The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.’ In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?” Continue Reading →
We hear repeatedly about an alleged overwhelming “consensus” of climate scientists who apparently all believe the same thing about the world’s climate. What, precisely, they all believe is not only undefined but also variable, according to whether we’re discussing human emissions of GHG, ocean acidification, the spread of malaria, the “loss” of polar ice caps, altered butterfly populations, extra floods, extra droughts, loss of polar bears, harm to poor people or dangerous sea level rise.
As, for example, in today’s story about NASA noticing a slight fall in sea level over the past year, where the reporter says, all wide-eyed and trusting:
The vast majority of climate scientists agree that the release of greenhouse gases Continue Reading →
This post could be considered tardy. However Donna Laframboise’s illuminating comments lose nothing with the passage of time. They deserve circulation and Auckland’s possibly best-known sceptical climate scientist deserves her thoughtful and eloquent support.
Four weeks ago, on July 16, the Herald published Chris Barton’s attack on Chris de Freitas’s integrity. The next day I posted a defence of a scientist who has given a lot of help to any number of keen climate amateurs like myself and has the courage to say out loud that things are not scientific if to him they appear in fact to be unscientific.
About a week later the uncompromising Laframboise posted a perceptive analysis of Barton’s attempted “critical thinking”. I encourage you to read the whole thing if you have a few minutes. Continue Reading →
Tobacco/cancer comment mere malicious slur
Answers his critic as a true gentleman
See UPDATE below
I was disturbed about the comments I posted last night from a member of ‘Slick’ Hansen’s audience in Massey the previous evening. In an astonishing, unprovoked outburst, Hansen suddenly turned on the absent Dr Dick Lindzen, besmirching his character with outright lies. After trying to verify Hansen’s claim that Dr Lindzen doesn’t believe smoking causes cancer, I sent Lindzen the following email.
Dick’s reply is most thoughtfully written and I commend it for your consideration. As an outstanding example of fine thinking under personal pressure it’s a pleasure to publish it. Jim Hansen should be ashamed of himself for repeating misleading slurs and outright lies. I’m certainly ashamed of him. Continue Reading →
he has nothing else — his climate predictions have failed
he’s a disgrace
I received a report about Hansen’s address at Massey last night. Don says:
I have just returned from James Hansen’s lecture at Massey. The Japan Lecture Theatre was packed; I didn’t count, but there were probably about 200 people in the audience.
At the end I got to ask a question. I was very polite, and said how grateful we all were that such a distinguished expert had come to talk to us about his beliefs, but I was concerned that his whole talk rested on the premise that the science is settled. He had said the only dissenters are those in the pay of the oil industry, and I expressed regret that they hadn’t offered any lucre to me.
His reply was polite, but condescending. He conceded there are a few scientists whose chronic skepticism blinds them to the truth. For example, he said, he knows Richard Lindzen, who is a nice guy, but doesn’t dare, when he’s with other scientists, talk the kind of nonsense he writes in his newspaper columns. Also, Lindzen has never accepted that tobacco causes cancer, so obviously his judgement can’t be trusted.
Afterwards a few members of the audience came up and thanked me for what I had said.
The belief is strong in that one
Thanks for that, Don. That’s an intriguing look into ‘Slick’ Hansen’s attitudes. Continue Reading →
This is in response (slightly delayed by an Easter break) to the list of “proofs” produced by Gareth Renowden, at Hot Topic, in answer to my request of Sir Peter Gluckman, the PM’s scientific advisor, for evidence of a human cause for anticipated dangerous climate change, more properly referred to as the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) theory.
On 17th April, I wrote:
I would remind Sir Peter that evidence is required to establish the following key factors in the global warming debate — evidence that has not surfaced so far. We have been looking for evidence to show:
1. The existence of a current unprecedented global warming trend.
2. That the greenhouse effect is powerful enough to endanger the environment.
3. A causal link between human activities and dangerously high global temperatures.
4. That climate models have a high level of skill in predicting the climate.
5. A causal link between atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and global temperatures.
6. A causal link between global warming and the gentle rise in sea level.
In response to this, Gareth claims “there is plenty of evidence to address every one of his points” and presents some attractive and interesting graphics in support. I’ll comment on what he says to each point.
1. The existence of a current unprecedented global warming trend.
GR: “…is [the current warming] unprecedented…? Well, no.” Continue Reading →
How quickly the climate debate changes
From the Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee comes an announcement with the heading:
Release of an important report on the relationship between evidence and policy formation
One of the key challenges for all governments is how to make the best use of evidence in both policy formation and policy evaluation.
It’s reassuring to hear that the PM’s science advisor is prepared to look for evidence. At least in relation to global warming, it’s not an instinct he’s been noted for. He tells us he’s released a report, Towards better use of evidence in policy formation, and I’d like to read it.
Until I do, I would remind Sir Peter that evidence is required to establish the following key factors in the global warming debate — evidence that has not surfaced so far. Continue Reading →
Lawrence Solomon: 97% cooked stats
First published in the Financial Post, Jan 3, 2011
(h/t Gary Kerkin)
How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2,500 — that’s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2,500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.
To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered they were mistaken — those 2,500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC’s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently. Continue Reading →
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
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 →
A genuine scientist
I was talking to my scientist friend, Bob, earlier today. We were discussing recent developments in disproving the theory of CAGW and he described to me a summary paper he’s about to write, saying he’d get comments on it from competent scientists before offering it more widely to both AGW proponents and sceptics to see what they think of it.
Bob said he would distribute the paper because he wanted to know if he’d overlooked anything. He wasn’t pulling the wool over my eyes on that, he was perfectly genuine. It struck me that he welcomed the notion of criticism. If something in the paper was pulled apart he’d call it an improvement.
I had seen the natural humility of a genuine scientist. It is worth describing again and again because it’s becoming rarer with every IPCC assessment report.
Humility is nothing to do with washing someone’s feet or bowing one’s head in a public show of piety. Humility is simply standing quietly listening to the ignorant opinions of others, taking it all in and remaining open to learning all you can.
This doesn’t mean you must lack ambition, drive or determination to succeed; only that, when in touch with the knowledge, or the question, or the problem, then ego falls away, replaced with that innocent, clear-eyed curiosity that begins every childhood.
Bob could no more declare the debate over, the conversation ended, the science settled, than claim the ability to fly. He welcomes contrary opinions, thrives on them. They are a means to knowledge.
God bless him and all others like him (and I could name dozens) — they’re worth listening to.
Global warming basic maths error
First published at Suite101.com Thursday, October 14, 2010
Top international experts prove British numbers on carbon dioxide are wrong. Royal Society blunder grossly exaggerates climate impact.
This is an adopted article.
German born chemist, Dr Klaus L. E. Kaiser has published evidence that proves the Royal Society (RS), London, has been caught out making schoolboy errors in mathematical calculations over the duration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere. Backed up by a review by a leading Swedish mathematics professor the revelation is a serious embarrassment to the credibility of the once revered British science institute and a major setback for its claims about climate change.
A gaffe in their own basic calculations led the RS to falsely find that CO2 would stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years rather than a dozen or so as per peer-reviewed studies show. Global warming skeptics have been quick to condemn the error and demand an apology and immediate correction.
The Royal Society advises the British government on matters concerning climate change. Due to the scale of the error any forthcoming review will necessarily result in a substantial downward revision of the threat posed by CO2 in the official government numbers. Continue Reading →
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 →
That incomparable writer, Miss Michele Hewitson, of the NZ Herald, has interviewed our Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, and the report appears in today’s edition.
Now, Michele often specialises in the human side of your famous person, not perhaps delving too far into the deeds and sayings for which he might be famous, but humorously describing the ebb and flow of the interview or the sometimes awkward situations that develop as our intrepid prober of public persons boldly goes where few reporters dare.
Michele can be genuinely funny and wondrously insightful by turns. That is how today’s example has turned out, as Miss Hewitson gets her subject to converse on everybody’s favourite topic — themselves. Which she accomplishes by various superficial means, such as asking why he has a beard.
Of all the fascinating and significant aspects of Gluckman’s life and intelligent toil, his beard must be the least important. Continue Reading →
After years of darkness, there are signs of light returning both to climate science and the mainstream media! What is instinctively unacceptable in one (uncontaminated) scientific realm is at last observed as being practically the rule in the (deeply flawed) realm of climate science. (How NZ climate scientists can continue to pretend that the practice of their science has not been besmirched and remains beyond reproach is a mystery.) In this story we hear that a scientific inquiry actually does its job properly, The Times begins to stir and a real journalist concludes we don’t need a neck tourniquet for a nose bleed. Fascinating!
– Richard Treadgold
Here’s the full story: Continue Reading →
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.
UPDATE 18 July – see end (Royal Society)
This is the second instalment of a review of Professor Sir Peter Gluckman’s speech of 9 June, entitled Integrity in Science: Implications from and for the Climate Change Debate. The first instalment was Gluckman stumbles on the truth.
In using the term “denialist”, our Chief Science Advisor descends to the sludge at the bottom of the barrel of scientific debate. It is a matter of profound regret that the CSA imports this malignant, divisive term to his prestigious office and the hallowed halls of the Royal Society.
Soaked in fallacy
There is no reason for an honest man of science to employ erroneous techniques of observation or debate, for what would it profit him? They would only ensure, first, that his argument fails and, second, that his credibility is damaged, the greater for being the higher in rank. So this is an enormous lapse in judgement by our top scientist and deserves the firmest reproach. Endorsement of Sir Peter’s comments, such as by the Royal Society (see below), is similarly reproachable.
In adopting the technique – or logical fallacy, whichever you prefer – of the ad hominem argument by labelling those who disagree with him as denialist and rejectionist, he engages in the worst scientific conduct. It is no less than poisonous, and that this toxic stuff now emanates from the summit of our scientific pyramid gives it a cachet it should never receive.
Whatever familiarity the term has achieved under relentless repetition, the ad hominem fallacy it is soaked in is undiminished and thus it can never be acceptable among the well-educated. Continue Reading →
Our quite new Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, addresses scepticism towards global warming. But he stumbles badly while confirming that the rot that masquerades as public climate science now infiltrates the very top of our national scientific hierarchy.
Talk about confusing the public. What chance is there for the man in the street to keep a clear head when even our top scientist gives the impression the world is about to end? Gluckman doesn’t use those words, but he aligns himself inflexibly with those who do.
In a widely-publicised speech at the Victoria University of Wellington on 9 June (312KB), arranged as part of the Institute of Political Studies series on Key Policy Challenges Facing New Zealand, he addressed the topic Integrity in Science: Implications from and for the Climate Change Debate.
Murky carbon schemes
Sir Peter is one of our truly top-drawer scientists, famous for his world-leading work in paediatrics and endocrinology. Scores of our top researchers, from scientists with decades of experience to fresh new PhD candidates, beaver away earnestly in the Liggins Institute which he established a decade ago. He’s the sort of man people instinctively trust and turn to for guidance; public officials and financiers happily entrust millions of dollars to him to spend on cutting-edge medical research. His knowledge is extensive and his judgement what most people would call flawless.
We ought not to criticise him lightly.
But in this noteworthy speech, he muddies the waters of “debate”, insults those who question the science, wrongly characterises the global warming situation and shamefully, in supporting carbon “trading”, supports those who seek their fortune in the murky, uncontrollable carbon schemes.
Though he raises the topic of climate scepticism he addresses only some insubstantial sceptical issues, virtually ignoring the very things they are sceptical of (which are the scientific observations and theories), concentrating instead, like the ad hominem-riddled warmist rabble, on the sceptics themselves, as though they all share the same faults and motives. Continue Reading →
Here is a statement issued yesterday by Terry Dunleavy, Hon Secretary of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.
UPDATE 21 June: see end of post
Prime Minister John Key has been asked by a former National Party activist either to rein in his Chief Science Adviser, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, or to change his title to more accurately reflect the professor’s global warming propaganda advocacy activities. Continue Reading →
Royal Society dwells in rarified realm
In their philosophical banquet hall they dine on pure science. Their table groans under the weight of hypotheses, complex thinking and evidence. Their huge intellects, beyond the ken of we ordinary folk, address issues we cannot imagine and their highly skilled minds devise solutions to problems we didn’t even know existed.
We are grateful when at last the Royal Society academicians let us know what for our good they have decided to do, then we can express our appreciation for the care they take over us.
Yesterday, the Chief Science Advisor, Peter Gluckman, made a speech at NIWA in Auckland. He addressed, as was proper for a scientist in the exalted position of advisor to our Prime Minister, high questions of science and its practise and development. He referred to the Royal Society, in England, celebrating this year the 350th anniversary of its founding. What a wonderful society, wonderfully inspired and courageous in countless periods as it championed the cause of empirical, evidence-based truth and reason.
Too much dogma…
The good Dr Gluckman bemoaned the fact that “too many decisions are still based on dogma rather than knowledge”. How true that is. But see how that barb lands uncomfortably close to our admirable Royal Society. Does he know that the vexed question of anthropogenic global warming, about which he asserted later in his speech quite firmly: “I am not going to enter the debate about whether the world is warming and whether that warming is anthropogenic,” is ruled by the very dogma he appears to deplore? Continue Reading →
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 →
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 →
A momentous meeting took place last night (Wednesday, 9 December) at Parliament House in Wellington. This exclusive account comes courtesy of the Hon Rodney Hide, who was present.
The meeting was called two weeks back by Nick Smith so that MPs could be briefed by Dr David Wratt, Chief Climate Scientist, on the official NZ temperature graph published by NIWA on their web site, which Rodney Hide had posed questions about in the Parliament.
Knowing NIWA climate scientists would be there, Rodney invited Dr Vincent Gray, leading climate scientist, to accompany him as an advisor.
But before the meeting could begin, the Hon Dr Nick Smith had a surprise for them. He ordered Rodney not to bring Vincent into the meeting. Nick said roughly: “It’s a private meeting of MPs and we do not wish to have outsiders.” But, showing a distinct favouritism, he allowed the outsiders from NIWA to remain. So why did he exclude Rodney’s adviser? Was it because Vincent has known the details of the New Zealand temperature records for more than fifty years? Was NIWA afraid of what he knows? If not, why did Nick Smith refuse to admit Dr Vincent Gray?
It was, of course, a gross discourtesy for Nick Smith to brusquely issue orders to a coalition partner in front of other MPs. But that’s just my opinion.
So Vincent Gray took his leave and subsequently Dr Wratt began his address. They sat through about 25 minutes of a description of the IPCC process, its committees, scientific writers and review procedures. David talked about the climate modelling that underpins the alarming climate predictions and it was quite unnecessary and very boring.
Finally there was a moment for a question. Rodney said: “I’d just like to take you back to the graph on your web site, the one with seven stations. Can I ask about that?”
There were sudden signs of disorder as David Wratt, with the other scientist (Rodney didn’t catch his name) interrupting from time to time, seemed immediately to become angry with the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. He ranted on about their press release and they didn’t want to know this or that. Continue Reading →
An ancient description of a wise man is that he is the same on the inside and the outside. That means that as he thinks, so he speaks and acts. There are other things that might be said of the wise, but this simple description comes to us now as the essence of the modern term “transparency”.
It means that there should be no disjunction, no blemish in concept or communication and nothing obscured when it comes to public decisions and action.
The leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia involve just a small coterie of scientists. However, they have been at the centre of climate science for a long time and their views, aspirations and activities have had effects far beyond their immediate working environments. Continue Reading →
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 →
Here’s a story you haven’t heard, and you should have. An analyst, working for the government, uses computers to crunch numbers and find the truth. Let’s call him “Mann.” The trouble with Mann is, he has an ideology. He knows what he wants his results to be. more…