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Lots of people are telling me to watch this - I haven't had a chance yet though. What do you reckon?

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    The proceeding presentation by Prof. Nir Shaviv on cosmic ray theory, though more technically advanced, is worth a look, especially if you compare the strength of his argument with the IPCC greenhouse theory.

Reader Comments (98)

I like it a lot. It reminds of my studies of atmospheric physics as a humble student listening to more powerful minds sharing their analyses, and clearly being open to other contributions. Alas the subject has degenerated thanks to the machinations of the IPCC activists. It was a good subject, well-suited to the groves of academe. But it has been hijacked by others, and that is a pity since what these 'others' offer is superficial, agitating, overblown, and negative in every important respect. The video clip is well worth watching. If such people had been influential in the IPCC, the world of climate science would be a better place right now.

Mar 31, 2011 at 11:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Oh.. this is blistering stuff. A must watch. He's a scientist! And I mean scientist in the REAL sense of the word, not the Mann/Jones/Beddington sense. What a pleasure to watch!

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

While fully recognizing that Bishops have a full time job to lead sinners to a righteous path, this is worth a look!

Just let a few sinners make it on their own, or not.

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

Excellent - I've stayed up until 1.00am to watch it. Time well invested.

A real scientist with mastery of his subject and a humble way of getting his precise points across.

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterpaulo

excellent presentation ; a barrage of information , and not from a lightweight (He is member of the French academy of Sciences , equivalent to UK FRS)

A strong mention for renewed interpretation of the temperature observations
Interesting his observation of the solar non-linarity

21st century is going to move us away from linear maths to nonlinear interpretation of massive amounts of data..enjoyed the BBS "the joy of stats" btw.. apart from the very questionable (but made mandatory by the BBC myomorph) quip on the cost of the Iraq war, this professor Hans Ronsing is very entertaining.

Another bloke Sir Paul Nurse can drink tea with ?

Apr 1, 2011 at 1:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

I liked it, but the most important thing for me was his comment about correlation and causation. There are so many natural cycles identified that may or may not affect the climate in some degree that it's easy to create plausible correlations without defining the mechanism. Which is much like CO2 and catastrophic warming. There may be correlation, but what is the mechanism. There may be (are) other anthropogenic influences like aerosols, urbanisation or land use changes that are more important than taxing CO2 emissions. The natural cycles we can't do anything about, the anthropogenic we may, assuming the causation is correctly attributed and a cost/benefit analysis makes sense.

Apr 1, 2011 at 1:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

A very well-spent 30 minutes - not only from the scientific point of view, but also by demonstrating that it is possible to talk about this subject while keeping an open mind and not vilifying those who disagree with you.

Apr 1, 2011 at 1:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

An excellent presentation of a complicated and controversial scientific matter.

Apr 1, 2011 at 2:28 AM | Unregistered Commentervivendi

I stayed to the end. Very informative.

Apr 1, 2011 at 2:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Mitchell

I second Simon Hopkinson. This is a real scientist speaking with real intelligence from a base of real knowledge. Well worth the time required to watch.

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJT

It gives you faith that science will survive the Jackals of Post Modern whatever it is.

Apr 1, 2011 at 4:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

So refreshing to see a scientist speaking pure science rather than what we are constantly being fed by politicised media - ie. advocates pushing agendas.

Hats off to Mr Courtillot.

Apr 1, 2011 at 6:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Cortillot, 2025=Nobel

First class brain. The more I think about it, the more amazing it is to we that they deny the sun in all of this.

Apr 1, 2011 at 7:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterShona

A truly excellent presentation - as many have said here.

This guy is a Scientist of the old school, none of this modernist stuff

Will probably put on home page of my personal webpage


Apr 1, 2011 at 7:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndiC

I watched it yesterday after Robin posted the link on the muppet thread(?), but there's so much in it I think I'll watch it again today when I get a chance. As I said yesterday, the solar~magnetic~oceanic correlations highlighted by Prof. Courtillot are not easy to dismiss.

Apr 1, 2011 at 8:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Courtillot's talk is very good - he even speaks pretty good English, so he can put in some nice little rhetorical flourishes and some humour. He makes some apparently very convincing arguments. He is a well known French sceptic, and as someone noted below, he's a member of the French Academie des Sciences. Technically, that is perhaps an even greater accolade than being an FRS, as there are far fewer members of the Academie than Fellows of the Royal Society. Together with his even more famous and eminent earth scientist colleague, Claude Allegre, who is also a sceptic, there have been petitions in France from consensus scientists calling for them to be silenced. He's written a sceptic book, I believe not translated into English. There has been an attempted fisk-ing on RealClimate - surely a sign that he's doing something right ;-). I can't judge whether he's right about everything, but he is a proper high-profile scientific sceptic working in a cognate area, and there are not hundreds of those (Lindzen, perhaps Christy).

Apr 1, 2011 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterj


Apr 1, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Clearly the whole political push for an AGW/CO2 is not about climate, I think it's about energy decent re peak oil.

I know this is a minority view, I'm amazed no-one seems to be making the connection.

Apr 1, 2011 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

As I said in my email to the Bish yesterday, I found this possibly the most compelling and balanced presentation on AGW I have seen, better for example than the always excellent Dick Lindzen. Despite speaking in English (he's French - professor of geophysics at the University of Paris Diderot and Director of the Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris) and speaking very quickly, he held my attention throughout his crisp 32 minutes. To my mind, it's a first rate overview of the current uncertainties of AGW science with an especially interesting summary of solar (cosmic ray) influence.

It really is a must see.

Apr 1, 2011 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobin Guenier

It reminds me that the "climate scientists" are not just lying cun-cun-cun-conspirators, but really dud scientists - dim, ignorant, blinkered. It was hubristic of such dolts to think that they could model climate, and when they failed they decided to lie about it. Bah!

Apr 1, 2011 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Beautiful presentation.

Apr 1, 2011 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Have a good think about the implications of the Tinsley and Heelis (1993) graph showing the downward electric currents from the ionosphere to the earth. This is all ho hum for the plasma science, but somewhat arcane for the gaslight physics generation involved with climate science at present.

While 1-4 pica amperes per square metre might not seem much, realise that electrical forces are 10^39 more powerful than gravitational forces, and that the weak electric currents here are still 10^27 times more powerful than gravitational forces. These weak electrical forces are quite capable of supplying the motive force for the earth's weather, especially so when the earth experiences an electric current surge from impacting CME's.

Apr 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterLouis Hissink


I know this is a minority view, I'm amazed no-one seems to be making the connection.

That's because it doesn't exist. You are a conspiracy theorist.

Apr 1, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

A tour de force. That said, those of us who are regular visitors here and to all the other sites which try to provide a balanced view will have heard most or all of this before. As tempting as it is, I cannot believe that our politicians are too stupid to appreciate the implications of what respectable scientists are saying and think we have to face the fact that the climate change story is just that - a story to cover the real agenda of a tax and control policy.

Apr 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterTime Traveller

The most important part of the excellent talk was the final few minutes. He showed that politicians have been willingly complicit in scaring the general public by cherry picking facts. The fact that we now face huge and crippling green taxes based on a probable fallacy when there are far greater problems facing the world, particularly hunger and urban development is a damning criticism of the political class. The earlier comment that you are only able to speak out on this issue when you are at the end of your careeer is also chilling, and shows how far the green propagandists have won the financial battle of Academe. Well worth the visit, but I doubt if it will be the first item on the news this evening.

Apr 1, 2011 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered Commentertrefjon

Excellent presentation from a proper scientist. What a refreshing change.

Apr 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn in cheshire


That's because it doesn't exist. You are a conspiracy theorist.

I don't know. Perhaps not entirely. It has always seemed to me that there are 3 reasons we might want to get off fossil fuel.

1/ there's probably a finite supply.
2/ the stuff is largely found in the territory of crappy backward kleptocracies, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Scotland.
3/ the emissions may cause global warming.

Any on its own would be good grounds to think about finding an alternative. I suspect that at a political level, the main motivator for backing carbon taxes is, surprise surprise, the tax. Some way down in the mix, though, there is probably also a bit of strategic concern about 1 and 2 above.

All we hear about is 3, however. This is not because it's the most intellectually plausible argument of the 3 (it's the least, and by a long way), but rather because it's the only one that provides an excuse for new government taxes on air - right now, right away. 1, and even 2, are somebody else's problem in the future.

I certainly don't agree that the whole thing has been got up to hide the idea of peak oil. I could be persuaded that if CAGW didn't exist, governments would have to invent it. The government agenda is more likely the obvious appeal of taxes today, jam tomorrow. If energy security is inadvertently improved, or the supply at least diversified, well, that's nice too. But the point is the tax.

Apr 1, 2011 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

The problem with conflating AGW with fossil fuel depletion is that although the means of addressing both issues are similar they are not identical. This can lead to some spectacularly bad decisions being made by politicians. For example, energy efficiency and alternative energy systems that actually work are a good idea from both perspectives. However, CCS is an example of a technology that may reduce CO2 emissions but only at the expense of accelerating the depletion of fossil fuels.

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterEddieO

the (slightly leftwing) establishment just wants another venue to cram dead wood in, their buddies. That's why they are so windmills centric.
Their "free" NHS and educashion educashion educashion, you see, are full, and allread firing at all cilinders producing senseless waste.

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

I always try and guard against the danger of thinking someone is marvellous just because they happen to be saying something I agree with...but what a rapid fire ( thank heavens for the pause and replay buttons!) and yet lucid presentation!
Let us hope his team can get something published. I would like to see the reaction of the general climate modellers to his seemingly well supported premise that they are ignoring such huge influences.

A while ago, much to everyone's annoyance, someone was aways posting a one liner in comment forums along the lines of : "It is the sun, stupid!"

I wonder if he will one day be revered as a prophet?

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage


How dare you describe Iran and Saudi Arabia as 'kleptocracies'.

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones is a terrible slur on kleptocracies!

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Yeah, me and the IEA

Apr 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty


1). You know as well as I do that the IEA is not gospel

2). Your reference has nothing to do with your conspiracy theory

3). Note the use of the word 'may', eg 'may have occurred in 2006'

Peak oil scaremongering is, to my mind, qualitatively identical to climate scaremongering.

Apr 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I just feel that Chris Huhne et al should be FORCED to watch this - and the Biased Broadcasting Corporation should be FORCED to transmit it, at peak time,in its entirety without 'weasel words' of introduction.
Well - you can dream, can't you..??

Apr 1, 2011 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Did I forget to mention that Frosty's link above is to a blog subtitled:

'Peak Energy, Climate Change and the Collapse of Global Civilisation'

Like I say - full-spectrum scaremongering.


Apr 1, 2011 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

For those climate scientists struggling to communicate, Courtillot shows how easy it is (even though English is not his first language):

A clear, concise presentation of verifiable observations joined together by reasoned arguments.


Apr 1, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterR2

Prof Courtillot is factual and indicates when/where there are uncertainties. He shows that "global temperature" is a pretty meaningless concept and that regional temperatures behave differently over decadal periods. I think that political leaders in all countries should watch his presentation.

Merci beaucoup.

Apr 1, 2011 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Pond

An absolutely fascinating exposition by a real scientist who has no problems communicating good science with humour despite using English, which is not his first language.
I found it riveting viewing and have saved it to watch again.
His point about only those at the end of their careers being able to speak out was quite chilling, as was his warning about the availability of potable water and the advancing problems with urban waste.
The entire presentation made me realise how shallow most of the political thinking about climate really is.
I have tried to make the point that regional climates are separate and different and that the idea of an average global temperature is a theoretical construct that has little practical relevance to any particular region.

Apr 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

My second hearing and truly excellent. A great exposition of the IPCC and climate science team failures, and current uncertainties. An appeal for calm and reason, and rational policy making.

Going to fall on deaf ears I'm afraid. We are all doomed.

Apr 1, 2011 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterHector Pascal

@ EddieO

The problem with conflating AGW with fossil fuel depletion is that although the means of addressing both issues are similar they are not identical.

Indeed, and this in a nutshell is why the politicisation of psience is so bloody dangerous. As is actually happening, you paint yourself into a corner where you have to do things that are stupid because you've lied about why you need to do anything at all.

Apr 1, 2011 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

"Peak oil scaremongering is, to my mind, qualitatively identical to climate scaremongering."

shoot the messenger, from the mind of a bigot, nothing new there then.

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

And all that from a 5-man team with no significant funding. The best science value-for-money I have seen in years. Bravo!

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth


'Bigot' ?

Naughty, that.

'Shoot the messanger' - scaremongering and bearing a legitimate message are not the same thing BTW. You just upgraded yourself without any justification.

Instead of calling me names, why don't you show me where I am wrong:

"Peak oil scaremongering is, to my mind, qualitatively identical to climate scaremongering."

Or just - go away...

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Actually Frosty, I'm too irritated with your calling me a bigot just to let it drop.

Examples or apology and retraction - and make it snappy.

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Very watchable even for a non scientist like me.

Anyone interested in an historical view of the interaction of climate with the evolution of us, homo sapiens, over the past 20-30,000 years should take a look at Ian Morris "Why the West Rules~ For Now". Climate change is discussed as one of several influences in human history not least as a driver of prosperity or famine depending on climate trends at particular times. The core theme is human development and the differences between the East and the West.

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Thanks Bish. Much appreciated.

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

Can we all keep a lid on things here please.

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


If someone called you a bigot in the pub, would you require either evidence or apologies and a retraction?

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

This was excellent. I love the way Prof. Courtillot combines conviction and caution - it is what I expect from those who know enough to know the limits of what they and we know and are confident enough to be explicit about it. I would bet that Prof. Courtillot's emails exempify a lack of the hubris that is so evident in many of the Climategate emails. Tonight I am going to forego my usual Chilean Malbec and open a bottle of French Burgundy and drink Prof. Courtillot's continued good health.

Can someone point to other parts of this seminar/workshop that are worth listening to?

Apr 1, 2011 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie

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