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« Influential in Germany | Main | Pathological mendacity »
Monday
Feb062012

Black: consensus doesn't matter

A number of readers have emailed me pointing to Richard Black's latest offering, which seems to carry a rather different tone to what has gone before. He is discussing scientific consensus and whether such a thing is of any importance.

A couple of years back, at one of the UNFCCC meetings in Bonn, I had a long chat with Viscount Monckton. As a scholar of Classics, he was able to detail with Classical derivation the reasons why consensus matters far less than simply being right.

And he is surely correct; after all, in more recent times, Galileo, Darwin, Einstein and Hawking are among those whose work broke with the consensus, yet turned out to be correct.

But if the presence of a consensus is irrelevant, so, logically, is its absence; which makes the continued use by sceptics' groups of the "consensus is cracking" meme a bit mystifying.

After all, how many times can you say it's cracking before people start asking "so why hasn't it cracked, then?"

In both cases - consensus and breaking consensus - it's surely the evidence that should count, not the number of people you can get to sign your letter.

 

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Reader Comments (71)

To establish the failure of the consensus, peer-reviewed papers have to be published to show the existing science is wrong.

Lindzen and Choi is a typical example of the pressure placed on journal editors to stop this threat [to the consensus]. However, papers have to be published showing modern warming and end of ice age warming operate by the same non CO2 mechanism, soon, also the IR physics has to be scuppered.

As for the heat transport mistakes, that needs an expert to take apart the present so-called science. it's bunkum./

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Blimey. Sorry, I'm just trying to duck all the flying pigs.

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

From Blacks effort:

A letter to the Financial Post newspaper in 2006 protesting against the "consensus" was signed by 67 scientists, another to the UN in 2009 was signed by 141, while the latest garnered just 16 - and was met by a riposte bearing 37 names.

The numbers tell you precisely nothing of value.

So in the above paragraph he tells us numbers mean nothing but he actually quotes a set of declining numbers to make a subliminal point, just childish guff Black.

Then, playing the faux ingenue.....

A second problem is the absence of clarity over which consensus we are talking about; consensus that the Earth is warming, consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are the main reason, or consensus that it's a problem requiring urgent solution, to name but three?

How many times have we heard the alarmist quote the word consensus? and that magic number 97%......eh Richard?

In conclusion he is all sweetness and learned reason.

Is he unaware of, perhaps he is incurious, or anesthetized to the 'other point of view'. BUT, he and his biased organisation - paid for by the taxpayer - the very people who put gasoline in his car and light his house and provide for his future retirement and children; are entitled to a objective and logical debate -which the beeb has never provided. Only now, does he come to the table still mind you with hauteur intact, now, when the AGW postulation is being trashed. Black, his cohorts at Al beeb are one of the biggest reasons that debate is waiting to happen. Come on Richard consult the consensus.

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

I, for one, have never argued "the consensus is cracking" or paid any heed to this sort of argument.

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

I stopped reading stuff by Richard Black about a year ago and feel much healthier as a result. I came to the conclusion that he is incapable of objective reporting so I decided to keep my blood pressure under control and not waste my time on reading biased propaganda.

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterCat

I gave up commenting on Black about a year ago. There was a time when he occasionally responded to comments. He is so unscientific and dogmatic in his views that it is worthless trying to engage with him. He has BBC-bias tattooed on his forehead and the BBC-bias implant in his brain.

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The most troublesome aspect of the story is Black's use of the word "troublesome"

Why should he as journalist find it "troublesome" that there are people who doubt global warming? (perhaps even growing numbers of them who doubt)

Surely Black's job is to impartially report the facts, including yes facts about the environment, but also facts about how-well different opinions/sides are doing in the debate --- but not to be rooting for one side or the other -- and not to be saying he finds it "troublesome" if one side appears to be making progress.

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterCopner

I swear Cat and I are not in collusion.

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

A quick search suggests that Richard Black rarely uses the word consensus (except perhaps to discuss a political consensus). So perhaps he is not being entirely hypocritical, although as noted by people here, I haven't seen many sceptics argue "the consensus is cracking". This seems to be a bit of a straw man.

Black should really take it up with Prof Steve Jones, who used the term "consensus" extensively in his BBC report to justify limiting the air time of climate sceptics.

Feb 6, 2012 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

Has Black had a kick up the arse? Has some layer in the BBC taken fright at their frighful coverage of climate? Very interesting. Also signs of a sea change in the German media reported here: http://notrickszone.com/2012/02/06/body-blow-to-german-global-warming-movement-major-media-outlets-unload-on-co2-lies/

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Reading between the lines here, I'm optimistic.

I think Black is using the "consensus" strawman as cover for the beginnings of what could be a long and difficult retreat.

He throws his groupies a bone, along the lines of - "the sceptics are claiming the consensus in cracking but so what" - but then endorses quite a few sceptic concepts.

I certainly never thought I'd read this in one of his pieces: -

"I had a long chat with Viscount Monckton. As a scholar of Classics, he was able to detail with Classical derivation the reasons why consensus matters far less than simply being right........And he is surely correct."

Maybe not time to kill the fatted calf yet - but possibly we should give it a feed.

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

At last, he begins to understand.

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

RE John Shade, thanks that was a very interesting link on Germany.

As for Mr Black, he's covered the subject in some detail for years, so he'll have his own doubts, but it's cold outside at the moment so I'll be interested to see if more balanced coverage continues.

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterChu

Well done, Bishop. Die Kalte Sonne seems to have been written in part as the result of the author(s)having read your book.

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

There suddenly seems to be a lot less Global Warmery on the BBC. Green extremists like Black and Harrabin have had a good run, though, and the effect of their propaganda will endure well into the future. These people have softened up public opinion, and allowed the likes of Milliband and Huhne to wreak great damage.

With all the pressing environmental issues worthy of action, how tragic that carbon monomania cornered the market. Billions of pounds are being wasted; over a million citizens thrust into energy poverty. If only Black & Co knew the difference between a wild-arsed conjecture and a testable hypothesis.

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

I found it quite remarkable. In fact I find it so out of character that I am annoyed with myself for not spotting the trip-wire.

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Black is 'the Teams ' BBC bag boy , they made that clear themselves in the leaked e-mails , the quality of his work is indicated by the BS he recently tired to pull over what 'hide the decline ' was about .

Frankly if a wanted honest an in-depth information in this area Black is one of the very last people I would look at , if for no other reason than I know what he will say by looking at the Realclimate web site , as this web site and the people how give Black his briefings seem to be the same people anyway.

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

So, to recap, Black is now effectively calling the senior management at the BBC's strategy on Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Whatever, completely wrong.

Their view that, 'the debate is over' was entirely based on the imaginary 'consensus'. Is the fact that they have been banging on about this and using it as a justification for their one-sided coverage of the subject for ten years supposed to just disappear down the memory hole now? Are we all supposed to pretend they never said it, again and again?

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

In the last three days, the mass-market newspapers the Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror and Daily Express have all run stories critical of aspects of the global warming gravy train. Now we have RB, who seems to be Michael Mann’s best mate, apparently softening his tone.

I wonder whether something might be afoot at the Beeb, a gradual repositioning perhaps, a noting of the public mood, the adoption of a more circumspect tone, and even the surreptitious wiping of egg from face. Could it be that there is genuine embarrassment at the Beeb for its uncritical acceptance of the consensus (and anxiety that it might have nasty repercussions on the forthcoming review of the BBC Charter), or could it be fear that RB might be re-assigned to reporting the traffic news from a remote and windswept corner of the UK?

Feb 6, 2012 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterFZM

"consensus doesn't matter"

Well, I think we can all agree on that!
:(

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

The only times I can recall anything along the lines of "the consensus is cracking" has been in regard to the illusion of a consensus or its relevance at all in scientific discourse. Cracking the consensus was always about breaking the back of the media-fuelled idiocy that has sullied the name of science in recent decades.

There is no logic in Black's assertion that an absence of consensus is equally irrelevant, particularly when it is this false claim of consensus which has been used to such great effect by activists like himself to trick so many normal people into believing the "science is settled", when it so very clearly never was.

Black, it seems to me, is attempting a more gracious journalistic descent than the crash and burn that I personally believe he deserves, for his tabloid-style sensationalism and fearmongery. But his attempt to manage his own descent still comes at the expense of honesty and integrity - qualities of which I've long concluded Black is devoid.

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Slightly OT:

I may be wrong but I seem to have seen far less "of course this is all consistent with global warming" comments appended to every "extreme" weather story in the UK media, both in relation to the mild winter and the snow over the last few days.

Certainly, I was aware in the last few years of far more. Anyone else notice a difference? Is it too much to hope that journalists are either not buying the scare so much or at least think that their audiences won't stand for it any longer?.

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Consensus may not matter. But breaking rank does and we need to encourage it.

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Das Bild: "Die CO2 Luege (lies)"; "Erdewaermung seit 12 Jahren gestoppt". I like it!

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Today Germany’s national tabloid Bild ( which has a whopping circulation of 16 million ) devoted half of page 2 on an article called:

THE CO2 LIE
Renowned team of scientists claim the climate catastrophe is fear-mongering by politics“

Worse, Germany’s flagship weekly news magazine Der Spiegel today also featured a 4-page exclusive interview with Vahrenholt, where he repeated that the IPCC has ignored a large part of climate science and that IPCC scientists exaggerated the impact of CO2 on climate...

This cat is out of the bag – and it’s not going back in.

http://notrickszone.com/2012/02/06/body-blow-to-german-global-warming-movement-major-media-outlets-unload-on-co2-lies/

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:21 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

The statement that "it's surely the evidence that should count" should be welcomed. The next stage is to put forward the argument that evidence in science, like under a court of law, needs to be substantiated, and to be open to cross-examination. In empirical studies, this means publication of data, methods by which results were derived, along with the results.

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicbeancounter

Poor Cook...all that work, for nothing...

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

This is a useful piece. Black is moving his discussion away from weight of numbers and on to correctness. 'We've got more names than you' has long been the game of the IPCC policy wonks who have promoted the myriad experts involved as being of one mind, which was never the case. Same too for the 97% of cats prefer global warming type less-than-honest opinion polls of scientist.

The absence of a consensus is relevant when the existence of the manufactured consensus is one of the pieces of 'evidence' used to support policy decisions. The IPCC reports were spun as thousands of experts from around the world in agreement that rising CO2 caused by human activities was driving temperature increases and our emissions should be restricted, which was never the case. That then becomes tens of thousands of politicians, civil servants at the UN climate gatherings as being in agreement that something must be done. From that you move to 157 varieties of Government agreeing to commit to thinking about talking amongst themselves about the possibility of looking into implementing the opportunities to perhaps lower their emissions.

An example of a specious list: The Kyoto Agreement. It was never a sign that the science was correct merely that enough political horse trading had taken part to get lots of governments to sign up to it.

Black is wrong about the consensus in another way too. If you have a genuine consensus where everyone (and I mean *everyone*) is in agreement about the way forward then it doesn't have to be the correct choice. Everyone is agreed it is the right thing to do and has accepted the consequences whether it is the right or wrong choice. Imo that is what our representatives and the policy advocates have tried to build, first within their own circles and then spread it to the public. They haven't helped their cause by basing it on half truths and hubris.

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Black should add Edwin Hubble to the list of scientists who were right when the consensus was not.

Feb 6, 2012 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

A recent article by Roger Black passed under my radar: "Volcanic Origin for Little Ice Age".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16797075

Would I bring down the tone of this wonderfully rational website by quoting St. Luke? Well, I'll risk it:
"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." I reckon he's 'on the turn'.

Matthu, above, suggested that we should encourage any breaking of ranks in The Team. If Roger Black writes a piece on the Svensmark Hypothesis, he might just deserve to be readmitted to (blimey, why do so many religious metaphors come to mind?!) polite society.

Roger, if you read this, one of the key determinants of CO2's effect on climate is called 'sensitivity'. If CO2 is far-and-away the bete noir, the idea of regulating climate by regulating CO2 makes sense. (The nutter who first proposed this was trying to avert Global Cooling in 1975; since 1989 the exact opposite is fashionable.) But if CO2 is an also-ran behind volcanos, behind the sun, behind water vapour and clouds, then it deserves to be decriminalised. Come on, Roger.... you can do it... on TV and radio, the keynote Roger Black broadcasts entitled "It's the sun wot done it!"

Feb 7, 2012 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Brent Hargreaves @ Feb 7, 2012 at 12:14 AM

"It's the sun wot done it!"

Innit.

Feb 7, 2012 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

@Spence_UK Feb 6, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Black should really take it up with Prof Steve Jones, who used the term "consensus" extensively in his BBC report to justify limiting the air time of climate sceptics.

And ...

@Foxgoose Feb 6, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I think Black is using the "consensus" strawman as cover for the beginnings of what could be a long and difficult retreat.

Seems to me that perhaps "consensus" has morphed into one of those "ideas" that - not unlike "climate change" - according to Mike Hulme, is "so plastic".

Hulme:

“Claims such as ’2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous.

“That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.”

Richard Klein:

[I]t is this line-by-line approval process that results in the actual consensus that the IPCC is famous for, and which is sometimes misunderstood. The consensus is not a consensus among all authors about every issue assessed in the report; it is a consensus among governments about the summary for policymakers.

The above page also contains (along with source links):

Greenpeace:

Scientific consensus

There is, in fact, a broad and overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is caused in large part by human activities (such as burning fossil fuels), and if left unchecked will likely have disastrous consequences. Furthermore, there is solid scientific evidence that we should act now on climate change, and this is reflected in the statements by these definitive scientific authorities.

Union of Concerned Scientists:

Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

Scientific societies and scientists have released statements and studies showing the growing consensus on climate change science. A common objection to taking action to reduce our heat-trapping emissions has been uncertainty within the scientific community on whether or not global warming is happening and if it is caused by humans. However, there is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is indeed happening and humans are contributing to it. [emphasis added -hro]

Oreskes:

The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme, IPCC’s purpose is to evaluate the state of climate science as a basis for informed policy action, primarily on the basis of peer-reviewed and published scientific literature (3). In its most recent assessment, IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities. [...]

IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members’ expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements.[emphasis added -hro]

As Steve McIntyre noted above, he has never made the claim that "the consensus is cracking". Nor am I aware of any skeptic who has made such a claim. OTOH, there is the recent (Jan. 30/2012) report from the "UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability".

Some might interpret their "diplomatic":

As international sustainable development policy is fragmented and, in particular, the environmental pillar is weak, [the United Nations Environmental Program, parent of the IPCC, IPBES, and a host of other acronymic offspring and purveyor of increasingly scary stories since 1972 -hro] UNEP should be strengthened. [emphasis added -hro]

as implying that the "consensus is cracking". But I couldn't possibly comment!

Mind you, come to think of it ... "plastic pillars" certainly do have some inherent weaknesses.

Feb 7, 2012 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Oh drat! Let me try that again:

@Spence_UK Feb 6, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Black should really take it up with Prof Steve Jones, who used the term "consensus" extensively in his BBC report to justify limiting the air time of climate sceptics.

And ...

@Foxgoose Feb 6, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I think Black is using the "consensus" strawman as cover for the beginnings of what could be a long and difficult retreat.

Seems to me that perhaps "consensus" has morphed into one of those "ideas" that - not unlike "climate change" - according to Mike Hulme, is "so plastic".

Hulme:

“Claims such as ’2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous.

“That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.”

Richard Klein:

[I]t is this line-by-line approval process that results in the actual consensus that the IPCC is famous for, and which is sometimes misunderstood. The consensus is not a consensus among all authors about every issue assessed in the report; it is a consensus among governments about the summary for policymakers.

The above page also contains (along with source links):

Greenpeace:

Scientific consensus

There is, in fact, a broad and overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is caused in large part by human activities (such as burning fossil fuels), and if left unchecked will likely have disastrous consequences. Furthermore, there is solid scientific evidence that we should act now on climate change, and this is reflected in the statements by these definitive scientific authorities.

Union of Concerned Scientists:

Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

Scientific societies and scientists have released statements and studies showing the growing consensus on climate change science. A common objection to taking action to reduce our heat-trapping emissions has been uncertainty within the scientific community on whether or not global warming is happening and if it is caused by humans. However, there is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is indeed happening and humans are contributing to it. [emphasis added -hro]

Oreskes:

The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme, IPCC’s purpose is to evaluate the state of climate science as a basis for informed policy action, primarily on the basis of peer-reviewed and published scientific literature (3). In its most recent assessment, IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities. [...]

IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members’ expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements.[emphasis added -hro]

As Steve McIntyre noted above, he has never made the claim that "the consensus is cracking". Nor am I aware of any skeptic who has made such a claim. OTOH, there is the recent (Jan. 30/2012) report from the "UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability".

Some might interpret their "diplomatic":

As international sustainable development policy is fragmented and, in particular, the environmental pillar is weak, [the United Nations Environmental Program, parent of the IPCC, IPBES, and a host of other acronymic offspring and purveyor of increasingly scary stories since 1972 -hro] UNEP should be strengthened.

as implying that the "consensus is cracking". But I couldn't possibly comment!

Mind you, come to think of it ... "plastic pillars" certainly do have some inherent weaknesses.

Feb 7, 2012 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Germany is calling and it's your fault, your grace:

"Vahrenholt decided to do some digging. His colleague Dr. Lüning also gave him a copy of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. He was horrified by the sloppiness and deception he found."

Feb 7, 2012 at 1:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

sort of O/T...

19 Jan: Wired: Noah Shachtman: Air Force’s Top Brain Wants a ‘Social Radar’ to ‘See Into Hearts and Minds’
Chief Scientists of the Air Force usually spend their time trying to figure out how to build better satellites or make jets go insanely fast. Which makes Dr. Mark Maybury, today’s chief scientist, a bit of an outlier. He’d like to build a set of sensors that peer into people’s souls — and forecast wars before they erupt...
“We’re supposed to provide ISR,” says Maybury, using the military acronym for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance. “But our constituents [say], ‘Don’t just give me a weather forecast, Air Force, give me an enemy movement forecast.’ What’s that about? That’s human behavior. And so [we need to] understand what motivates individuals, how they behave.”
Maybury, dressed in his preferred outfit — a double-breasted black blazer and silver, rectangular glasses — discussed his Social Radar notion as part of a 90-minute interview in his Pentagon office, his native Massachusetts accent growing thicker as the discussion drew on...
Well-respected retired generals and top military officials have rejected as hopeless the idea that human societies can be effectively modeled, or that human behavior can really be forecasted. “They are smoking something they shouldn’t be,” retired Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper famously quipped to Science magazine when this push began...
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/social-radar-sees-minds/

Feb 7, 2012 at 1:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Seems to me that green activists are skilled, energetic, influential; normal people have so much on their plate with family and work. When I consider going down to London with a placard saying, "Global Warming Global Schwarming" I end up mowing the lawn or going for a pint instead.

Here's my version of a protest march: another stiff letter to BBC R4's PM programme:

==========

Can we have a piece on the collapse of the Global Warming Myth please?

The blogosphere is humming with stuff about this, e.g., (i) Climatologists suppressing evidence that warming and cooling is normal and goes back centuries (ii) Claims in 2001 that "children just won't know what snow is" contradicted by frozen corpses in Europe (iii) Greenhouse gases have a trivial effect compared to volcanos, solar activity and clouds (iv) Biased BBC reporting adverse weather events as climate-related but cold spells as merely weather (v) Scientists on the gravy train peddling climate change's effects on their pet subject (vi) So-called renewable energy unaffordable and unreliable (vii) Geogg Huhne says the globe is warming (viii) Fred Goodwin owns The Carbon Trust (I made that up, sorry, and can't quite explain why my warped mind draws a parallel).

For a rich vein of material see Bishop Hill and WUWT on t'internet.

Somebody at the Beeb needs to have the guts to challenge the Climate Change Taliban.

=============

That ought to set the world to rights.

Feb 7, 2012 at 1:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

"As Steve McIntyre noted above, he has never made the claim that "the consensus is cracking". Nor am I aware of any skeptic who has made such a claim."--Hilary Ostrov

Nor am I. The nonsense will stop when the watermelon politicians are removed from office and can't spend the public's own money on propaganda.

Feb 7, 2012 at 2:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

This is OT but is important.

There is a vitally important new post at Climate Audit, 6th February.
Steve is going through all the “hide the key climategate documents thing” that has gone through more than three enquiries so far without outcome.

He has it all laid out, chapter and verse and it is really damning.
David Holland and others have chimed in as well with additional evidence.
The issue is the refusal to properly handle FOI (FOIA) requests.
David Holland is talking appeals to the Tribunal and if necessary court cases as well.
This needs every honest seeker after the truth to lend full support.

Now is the time!

The URL is http://climateaudit.org/2012/02/06/acton-tricks-the-ico/#comment-323863

Feb 7, 2012 at 2:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

Brent Haregreaves: Brent I have for some time now been considering writing privately to the Bish suggesting we set up a periodic newsletter to address science that is soldi that cannot be put onto the BBC, because of the right-on bias in its staff. Each newsletter would deal with only one topic and question why the BBC takes this topic to be inappropriate for transmission on its networks. Say start with the little ice age and that show that the temperatures have been rising throughout this period up to today. top level, undeniable, but I'll bet my pension, not generally known. Each would go through the science in an easily digestible way, so that if it falls into the hands of the MSM they can easily publish the data in a form the public can at least grasp. The reason this idea came to me, I doubt I've had an original idea in my life, is I was reminded how devastating the records kept by prisoners of what went on in German cooncentration camps and Japanese POW camps was devastating. While I don't believe there are atrocities committed in the BBC other than with the truth when it defies right-on thinking, I wanted to get a record in place of the truth it was deliberately withholding form the public, for future discussions about whether a state funded right-on organisation best serves the interests of the British people. I may tet write to the Bish because he has access to the gliterati, (if a bunch of sartorially chalenged characters can be called such) to provide the periodic inputs to the BBC Trust and the MSM.

All this came about originally when I read the extraordinarily arrogant Professor Jones' advise to ignore all opinion for broadcast.

One such publication would be a two page synopsis of THSI, which I believe lays open the scar that is the rotteness of those at the heart of the IPPC in easily understood, i.e. grade C GCSE, sorry Black and Harrabin, language.

We should go on the front foot, the time is right, and the BBC is wrong.

Feb 7, 2012 at 2:46 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

If the wheels are publicly coming off CAGW - what is to be done with with the 11th hour conversions to save skins?

Will Bob Ward, Al Gore, David Rockerfeller, Michael Mann , Black , Harrabin and the fellow travellers recant? - not necessarily in that order :-)

Should they be given forgiveness?

Should they be allowed to slither & slide sideways into "Climate Change" ?

I never thought I'd enthuse about an aggressive Inquisition - but it seems appropriate.

Will CAGW look like Y2K does now - a fizzled out non-topic? I honestly hope not - heads must roll.

Feb 7, 2012 at 2:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterTomO

Apologies
I now see that the good Bishop has beaten me to the gun.

Feb 7, 2012 at 3:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

A different viewpoint on consensus was given in 2010 by John Michael Wallace, professor and former chairman of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

He said it is dangerous for the environmental movement to tie everything (floods, heatwaves, cold snaps, drought, biodiversity loss etc etc) to 'global warming', citing the overwhelming scientific consensus, because if the hated denialists can poke a hole through the consensus issue then, as he put it, they "can then trivialise the entire environmental crisis ... simply by casting doubt on the scientific consensus on global warming."

If there's a retreat going on, it is purely tactical.

Feb 7, 2012 at 3:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

OT

Your Grace

It looks as though the wheels are really coming off the Warmism wagon in Germany. And the eminent scientists there - formerly Warmists - whose new book is causing the furore appear to have been much influenced by "The Hockey Stick Illusion".

Congratulations - truth will out in the end.

http://notrickszone.com/2012/02/06/body-blow-to-german-global-warming-movement-major-media-outlets-unload-on-co2-lies/

Feb 7, 2012 at 4:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Anderson

Consensus or Not


The climate community worked for 20 years to establish a consensus. The impact of the consensus probably peaked in 2006-2007, at the time of publication of the AR4. Courtesy of the CRU emails, we now understand the sausage making that went into creating the consensus. Manufacturing a consensus in the context of the IPCC has acted to hyper-politicize the scientific and policy debate, to the detriment of both. Its time to abandon the concept of consensus; consensus matters far less than simply being right and the arguments themselves that ought to be the focus for discussion.

Dr Curry is on the same hymn sheet!

Feb 7, 2012 at 5:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

I notice that Maldives President Nasheed, (the Copenhagen poster boy famous for his underwater cabinet meeting) has resigned. Perhaps another sign of changes afoot?

Feb 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kennedy

Geronimo, your idea of a Ready Reference for the mainstream media is a good one. Look how clever Sceptical Science is: they have a glib answer to every objection to AGW. Almost any fallacy could be shored up with such tactics; this is high-order propaganda skills. The good guys need to match it.

Bish, could you stretch this wonderful website to a Q & A section? Imagine the producer of a BBC news programme wanting to do a piece examining the relationship between global warming and that spectacular footage of iceberg calving. At present, the Beeb's redident greenshirts will shriek, "What? Question the truthfulness of calving? Do you want to murder the planet?"

With the proposed Resource, the greenshirts can be circumvented. Producer visits BH's ConvenientTruth and reads:

Q. Isn't the constant barrage of ice from the edges of the polecaps raising sea levels?
A. Ice is a supercooled fluid; it flows. A tonne of snow falling on Antarctica and Greenland will ultimately reach the sea in a broadly balanced (blah blah). The spectacular footage of a hundred tonnes of ice plummeting into the sea can mislead the viewer unless reference is made to the hundred tonnes of snowflakes falling unspectacularly inland. Sea levels can only be affected by a net change in ice mass on land; estimates of these changes can be found at (blah blah).

Feb 7, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Richard Black's news item on R4 Today about a decline in ladybirds made no mention of climate change. Credit where it's due!

This is another sign that he wants to come in from the cold.

Feb 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Can we have a piece on the collapse of the Global Warming Myth please?

The blogosphere is humming with stuff about this, e.g., (i) Climatologists suppressing evidence that warming and cooling is normal and goes back centuries (ii) Claims in 2001 that "children just won't know what snow is" contradicted by frozen corpses in Europe (iii) Greenhouse gases have a trivial effect compared to volcanos, solar activity and clouds (iv) Biased BBC reporting adverse weather events as climate-related but cold spells as merely weather (v) Scientists on the gravy train peddling climate change's effects on their pet subject (vi) So-called renewable energy unaffordable and unreliable (vii) Geogg Huhne says the globe is warming (viii) Fred Goodwin owns The Carbon Trust (I made that up, sorry, and can't quite explain why my warped mind draws a parallel).

For a rich vein of material see Bishop Hill and WUWT on t'internet.

Somebody at the Beeb needs to have the guts to challenge the Climate Change Taliban.

=============

That ought to set the world to rights.

Feb 7, 2012 at 1:42 AM | Brent Hargreaves

Probably Not. The BBC has an arrogance well beyond normal bounds. My wish is that they Harrabin and Black not be allowed to retreat but be forced to suffer the ignominy of being sacked and the BBC closed down, permanently. I remember when they introduced their rather childish, new weather software and recieved over a 1000 complaints. What they say? Tough, we bought it and we are keeping it, get used to it.

Feb 7, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

"If there's a retreat going on, it is purely tactical"

Correct. These people are liars, deceitful, propagandists.

Feb 7, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

I am sorry, but this is just my BS.

The "deniers" aren't concerned about concwensus. Never have been. We have pointed out the nonsense of relying on "consensus" to make a scientific claim and may no simply be observing one of the foundations of the alarmist argument beginning to crumble.


Now those journalists who have always peddled the "consensus" argument now want to construct a straw man that paints "deniers" as those dependent on this logical fallacy.

Sorry Mr Black,trading one logical fallacy for another won't rub. You are peddling a straw man. We may comment on a crumbing "consensus", but quite logically suggest it isn't the reason why alarmist climate claims are wrong.

Don't try to claim othwerwise.

Feb 7, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

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