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In The Scotsman
A recent survey of those participating in online forums showed that most of the 5,000 respondents were experienced engineers, scientists and IT professionals, most degree-qualified and around a third with post-graduate qualifications.
The survey, carried out by the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum, asked respondents for their views on CO² and the effect it might have on global temperatures.
The results were surprising: 96 per cent of respondents said that atmospheric CO² levels are increasing, with 79 per cent attributing the increase to man-made sources. Eighty-one per cent agreed global temperatures had increased over the 20th century and 81 per cent also agreed that CO² is a warming gas. But only 2 per cent believed that increases in CO² would cause catastrophic global warming.
So what’s going on? Above all, these highly qualified people – experts in their own spheres – look at the published data and trust their own analysis, so their views match the available data.
They agree that the climate warmed over the 20th century (this has been measured), that CO² levels are increasing (this too has been measured) and that CO² is a warming gas (it helps trap heat in the atmosphere and the effects can be measured).
Beyond this, the survey found that 98 per cent of respondents believe that the climate varies naturally and that increasing CO² levels won’t cause catastrophic warming.
Overwhelmingly, participants in this large-scale survey support the science. However, this is not how they have been portrayed in the media, with what are now shown to be false allegations of “denial”.
Climate and energy are important issues, not just for us today but for our children, so now we know the facts about so called “sceptics”, please let’s see an end to this name-calling.
Instead please start listening to those which this survey shows have the qualifications, experience and background to understand the real impacts of changing energy use on our economy: the basic science is right, but the models were not, and the very best “jury” I can imagine says we are unlikely to be heading toward a climate catastrophe.
Whilst waiting for the survey to finish, I’ve been doing some work on maximum length sequences.
First what is a maximal length sequence? In practice they are an apparently random set of numbers all with an equal number of bits, n, such that the length of the sequence is 2^n or often 2^n – 1 (as sometimes one number such as all zeros might never change.)
So, let’s use a simple example where n is 2 so we get a two bit sequence with numbers 0 to 3 .The simplest sequence is that created by the rule that when we get to the maximum number we return to zero as in 0,1,2,3,0,1,2,3,0,1,2,3, etc. . But in general, we can specify any sequence by stating the rules underlying the sequence. If for example we have the following transformations:
00->10, 01 -> 11, 10 -> 01, and 11 ->00
we get the sequence:
00, 10, 01, 11, 00, 10, etc. Continue reading
The Scottish Climate & Energy Forum has been conducting a survey on the background and attitudes of participants to online climate discussions. The survey had a massive response which will take time and resource to process. However initial analysis already shows that the actual views and backgrounds of participants are in sharp contrast with some high-profile statements being made about the participants. Therefore I felt we should make these initial results known as soon as practical to avoid further damage, both to the reputation of those involved in the online debate, as well as those making the unfounded and presumably mistaken accusations of “denial”.
As such, I am releasing the following statement regarding the survey.
A sceptical consensus: the science is right but catastrophic global warming is not going to happen
A recent survey of those participating in on-line forums showed that most of the 5,000 respondents were experienced engineers, scientists and IT professionals most degree qualified and around a third with post graduate qualifications. The survey, carried out by the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum, asked respondents for their views on CO2 and the effect it might have on global temperatures. The results were surprising. 96% of respondents said that atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing with 79% attributing the increase to man-made sources. 81% agreed that global temperatures had increased over the 20th century and 81% also agreed that CO2 is a warming gas. But only 2% believed that increases in CO2 would cause catastrophic global warming.
So what’s going on?
Above all, these highly qualified people – experts in their own spheres – look at the published data and trust their own analysis, so their views match the available data. They agree that the climate warmed over the 20th century (this has been measured), that CO2 levels are increasing (this too has been measured) and that CO2 is a warming gas (it helps trap heat in the atmosphere and the effects can be measured). Beyond this, the survey found that 98% of respondents believe that the climate varies naturally and that increasing CO2 levels won’t cause catastrophic warming.
Overwhelmingly participants in this large scale survey support the science, however this is not how they have been portrayed in the media and this has led to deep and bitter divides between those who hold different viewpoints. This debate should be based on the evidence and that not only includes the scientific evidence on the climate, but also the evidence of the real participants involved in the debate. Given the huge number of responses and detail of questions a full assessment will take up to one year to complete. This is a huge commitment from an organisation that has no outside funding and is reliant on one full-time volunteer (Mike Haseler). We will therefore be approaching the Scottish and UK government with a view to obtaining funding to complete the analysis.
Up early I went to uClimate: “Why’s everyone stopped blogging?” Turned out when I added google it stopped updating other sites. Now fixed!
This is a paper I wrote 2003 and sent to the UK conservative party. No idea if anyone read it, but sad to say, after this paper, the conservatives “went green”.
Although from before I knew there is no real science backing the catastrophic predictions of global warming, not too many embarrassing statements but enough to make me cringe, this one (albeit in an appendix) is particularly awful:
The biggest effect of global warming is likely to be harvest failures in all countries but particularly damaging in undeveloped countries. History shows that this results in political instability, an increase in extremists such as anti-western groupings and a rise population migration.
Sustainable Capital: The intrinsic value of society, environment and economy that remains substantially available over a 25 year period for the next generation.
A paper prepared by:
Michael Haseler BSc. MBA
©Michael Haseler 2003
Capitalism is being blamed for a wasteful society that is causing global warming.
Sustainability is simple common sense, but has received almost a religious status amongst some followers; that it is some mystical force that will “heal of the planet”, if only enough people would forsake the evil of consumption and follow the true “sustainable” way.
This report examines whether capitalism and sustainability can co-exist. It draws the conclusion that the principles have no incompatibility. Moreover, it concludes that the implementation of sustainability would be bettered by taking the long term intrinsic value encompassed in the concept of “capital” and using this as the basis for a model for our economic, social and environmental resources. This model is “Sustainable Capital”
The problem with present UK environmental policy is that it is too focused on environmental issues and ignores the wider economic and social issues. Thus, the UK incurs all the additional environmental costs, without gaining the potential economic opportunities. The result is likely to be an inability to sustain public support as the small number of additional UK jobs is unlikely to replace jobs lost as the UK switches from petroleum and gas. This is literally unsustainable.
Sustainability and capitalism share a more rigorous longer-term perspective. But, the electorate, news media and NGOs all shout about the latest, most “cuddly” and often contradictory issue and few remember the lesson that sustainability is a wider, longer perspective with equity of effort on the environment, society and the economy.
The government have proposed metrics for sustainability, which are a first step. Unfortunately, these are not developed to measure sustainability, but are a selection of “sustainable looking” metrics. The result it that they are too short term, hard to interpret, contradictory and some essential figures such as raw material resource are entirely missing.
Most noticeably, an increase in oil consumption will increase GDP, whereas in fact the raw material resource for future plastics, etc. has decreased. As oil depletion and global warming are major problems for the future, this counter-intuitive rise in “sustainability” with increased oil consumption is grossly misleading.
This report proposes a new form of metric: Sustainable Capital. Just as the asset value of a company complements the short-term metric of turnover, Sustainable Capital, the long term asset value of the whole economy, society and environment, complements current metrics such as GDP: a short term, measure of economic activity.
Measuring Sustainable capital would introduce a regular methodical account of the assets we hold in trust for the next generation. It would focus on the necessary, encouraging proactive considered measures and avoiding the environmental tokenism.
This report does not underestimate the problems of using this new metric. Accountancy overcame similar problems in valuing aspects of a company such as “goodwill”, “training & skills”, etc. and despite similar problems, a useful metric is feasible. Continue reading
The learning curve has long been known to be able to predict the rate of progress in many areas. If one applies it to climate, the results are startling and suggest many centuries until we can predict even the yearly climate forecast as well as we can predict the weather today.
Note: this was written after the Royal Society meeting on climate and any references to “speakers” or similar refers to this meeting.
Scales of Variability
As fig 1 shows, global mean temperature variation in the instrument record increases rapidly when longer periods are considered approximately as follows:
For any change seen over periods of one decade, much greater scale changes are expected over longer periods of centuries but much less change is expected over the year to year scale.
Whilst the causation of this change in scale is not discernible from this graph, it does suggest an upper limit to natural variation which over the climate forecasting time-scale shows a strong increasing upper limit as we approach the century to century scale of forecast and strongly decreasing effect on shorter range forecasts. As Prof Palmer highlighted, Lorenz makes clear that “each scale of motion possesses an intrinsic finite range of “predictability” and the knowledge and skill drawn from day-to-day or even month-to-month month may reflect entirely difference physical phenomena than are present at the decade-to-decade and century-to-century scale. There is therefore little rational based on these different scales of behaviour to suggest that lessons learnt about modelling the physical processes that effect day-to-day changes in weather will provide much insight into the longer-term processes effecting climate. Climate models must be based on appropriate scale data. Month-to-month on month-to-month changes. Year-to-year on year-to-year changes, decade-to-decade on decade-to-decade changes and century-to-century on century-to-century changes.
The Learning Curve Continue reading
Stewgreen dropped me a link to an ABC chat on almost the same subject as my previous article on the end of the UK university.
Here is the transcript:- Continue reading
If you haven’t been to uClimate.com, in a while, it now has a host of new features including what’s currently popular what’s most popular this week and this month. NOW including the latest news from Google!
To see the latest news – just go to uClimate.com.
To see what’s popular – go to the real time list of what’s Popular which shows what everyone has been reading – ideal for the keen enthusiast!
What is uClimate.com? – uClimate is a list of all the latest climate articles from all over the globe, both sceptic and convinced.
Why isn’t ???? on uClimate.com?
uClimate.com uses a list of around 200 sites which are constantly changing. Apart from two sites (Lucia) and one of the bigger convinced sites which are currently having technical problems, if the site has blogged this month, it regularly blogs on climate and is not in the list of active sites then please add the name and url to the comments.
I’d like to be able to …
Suggestions for new features are always welcome. Please add to comments.
In the past big institutions talked to big-institutional news media who then decided what news THEY thought was suitable to tell us plebs. They justified their control, because THEY said they were impartial, using a totally arbitrary split between “left-right”. This view of politics was that you had a choice – because we could choose the “left” views of the Guardian Dinosaur News Media or the “right” views of the Telegraph Dinosaur News Media.
In other words, it was no real choice at all.
I’ve often described this by a new ending to animal farm (A book in which the pigs take over the farm and begin behaving like men – in reference to communism in the USSR):
“… and the pigs gathered all the animals together and said: ‘from now on you will all be free to choose which pigs are to run animal farm’” Continue reading
Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:
We’ve previously covered the absurd claims that “global warming” was the cause of flooding in Somerset, UK here and here , with yesterday, even a senior scientist at the Met Office disagreeing with the spinmistress in charge , Julio Slingo’s claim about an AGW connection. Now we learn the real reason. The ROF pumping station was turned off in 2008 and nothing was done to replace it, while at the same time the Huntspill sluice gates to drain water to the sea seemed to be improperly managed by the EA.
I’m repeating the comment here to give wide distribution.
Bishop Hill writes: Commenter “Corporal Jones’ Ghost’ left this comment on one of the flooding threads.It looks to be quite important.
I want to tell you what really has happened on the Somerset Levels.
I am remaining anonymous for good reason, I think you’ll understand why.
View original 1,217 more words
“to encourage the best quality science and engineering assessment of the impact of human activity on the climate, help determine and assess the impact of any changes to our economies, society & environment and to assist governments to develop the most appropriate policy recommendations”.
After posting this comment as the suggested aims of sceptic, I got a detailed reply from Derek Alker which highlighted some deficiencies but also suggested it might make an interesting conversation. So, I’m posting this as an article in its own right.
This in particular was a very good point:
“Err, humans are having a discernible effect?
“the best quality science and engineering assessment of the impact of human activity on the climate”
Is there a bias in the statement? An assumed guilt?” Continue reading
After many years unpaid work observing academia: during several different stints in University where I several times had a chance to view academic culture anew; after years on various forum, particularly BRITARCH (British Archaeology) and on global warming; after studying the development of renewable energy in the UK compared to Denmark around 2000, and now having set my mind to understand the reason for the hostility in the online climate debate, the survey of online participants to the climate debate, and the reaction to several articles, has now endorsed a theory** I have been developing describing this situation and explaining the nature of the on line debate.
That is the good news.
The bad news is that this theory which I will call “The Cassandra++ Theory”, predicts that nothing I ever write will ever be believed by academia. In other words, my current strategy is not only ineffective but is positively counter productive.
That is not to say that there may be one or two people in academia who are “oddballs” who might appreciate what I say, but in general, the very fact I am not an academic means anything I say will be seen as a threat: it will either be ignored, rejected or as in the global warming debate, viciously attacked in in person or via proxy groups.
Yes I can egg on the crowd of sceptics, yes I can create a huge fuss, but no, nothing I do will ever change the mind of academia, indeed egging on the sceptics & proving we are right will just make academics more hostile and more motivated to reject us.
Indeed, the Cassandra theory strongly suggests, that the single factor that is most likely to elicit this hostile reaction from academia is the one I thought was my strongest: my methodical and academic investigation of the subject in an entirely academic and altruistic way without working for any money at all.
The more I know, the more I will be attacked and the more vehemently anything I write will be rejected. And please note, their reaction is not “motivated” hostility or political hostility, it is simply a consequence of the situation and whilst I don’t like being attacked, I will not blame anyone for doing so. They do not know what they do or why they do it.
So, I’m going to have to think about what I do. There may be a way forward – but I haven’t yet thought of it.
However, there is a strong likelihood that I will stop blogging and it is likely I will close the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum. I also need to think hard about how I handle the survey of the climate bloggosphere. I think the results are dynamite, and there have been so many times in the last few weeks I just wanted to rub certain people’s noses in them and it was heart breaking not being able to do so. But now I realise that may be entirely counter productive.
**I use theory as the word is used in social science which is a descriptive narrative not a testable hypothesis.
++Cassandra was a Greek who was cursed by being given the gift of prophecy – so she could foretell the future, but it was ordained that she would never be believed.
When Richard Black left the BBC – I said he left to spend more time in the environment. When Hansen left NASA – I said he left to spend more time with the environment.
Now Delingpole is going to “pastures new” … how can I say anything else but he is now free to roam the environment soaking up the sun – that filters in between the birdmincer blades.
He might only have a been an English graduate – but he did far more to make sceptics respectable even humorous than almost anyone else. What is more, he had the guts to speak up in the darkest times before Climategate when there were many who were seriously trying to create gulags for sceptics.
He truly deserves an honorary doctorate from the University of Sceptics.
Goodbye Doctor Delingpole.
With the rise of the internet, I’ve been wondering why it is that universities each present basically the same lectures to the same course all over the world, when the whole system could be so dramatically simplified. But then again, why didn’t I as a student just read the text books? Continue reading
From Jo:Nova: UK Met Office in December predicted a 15% chance of Jan-Feb-March being the wettest category
SUMMARY – PRECIPITATION:
Latest predictions for UK-precipitation show a slight signal for near or just above average rainfall during January-February-March
as a whole. The probability that UK precipitation for January-February-March will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 20% and the probability that it will fall into the wettest category is between 10 and 15% (the 1981-2010 probability for each of these categories is 20%).
More proof that we can’t yet predict the climate just a few months in advance to add to the evidence the Met Office cannot predict climate one year or even a decade ahead, to add to the evidence that none of the climate models predicted even something as simple as the pause.
PS. I’m disabling comments as you can comment at Jo Nova and I’ve got other things to do at the moment.
After Mr Connolley’s outrageous behaviour I got a few emails in sympathy amongst which was this link:
Normally I wouldn’t have posted it. But why not? It is hilarious and it so neatly sums up all climate propaganda
“science”. This is no eco activist “warrior”, but just another middle age balding man huffing and puffing on a toy pretending to himself he is achieving something but in reality going nowhere.
Following my post, it has just been pointed out to me that Connolley is not a climate scientist. And yes, as far as I can see has no scientific qualifications and so I apologise for all real scientists and have amended the article to reflect this.
Given that Connolley has been allowed to say his piece, that he has a track record of provoking stupid and pointless discussions and I’ve got far more important things at the moment. I’m disabling comments.
I need to take some time away from blogging to prepare some material.
So, unfortunately, blogging and commenting will be light for the next few weeks.
I’ll be back!
I noticed this letter From Lord Monckton to Charlie on Tallbloke. Interestingly we had a discussion in the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum which divided between monarchists and republican tendencies or polite and not so, and finally decided not to respond. So I am glad to see Lord Monckton has:
Following HRH Prince Charles intemperate remarks about ‘headless chickens’ reported at the talkshop last week, Lord Monckton has written him an open letter, reproduced below
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales,
Clarence House, London. Continue reading