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Chasing Rainbows

My review of Tim Worstall's book, Chasing Rainbows, has been slightly delayed, the reason being that my copy has been purloined by the missus. Now this is a rather remarkable thing, as 'er indoors more normally reads Aga-sagas and other genres of girl book. Economics just isn't really her thing.

But that's the nice thing about Chasing Rainbows - as a primer in environmental economics, it's wonderfully approachable, with Tim's good humour and good sense suffusing the whole thing. It's also admirably concise, running to little over a hundred pages, so few people are likely to be frightened off on that score.

Click to read more ...


+++Check this out+++

From Jo Nova

Western countries will jointly provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to an unnamed new UN Fund. To keep this sum up with GDP growth, the West may commit itself to pay 1.5% of GDP to the UN each year. That is more than twice the 0.7% of GDP that the UN has recommended the West to pay in foreign aid for the past half century. Several hundred of the provisions in the Chairman’s note will impose huge financial costs on the nations of the West.

This looks gobsmacking. Needs careful checking though.


House to investigate Climategate?

The new chairman of the House of Representatives' SciTech Committee has now been appointed. Ralph Hall (R-CA) is the man in the hotseat, and is interviewed at, much of the discussion relating to Climategate:

Hall told POLITICO in a recent interview he’s not a climate skeptic. “If they quote me correctly, I've never said it's outrageous to even think about global warming. I want some proof,” he said. “If I get the chair and have the gavel, I'm going to subpoena people from both sides and try to put them under oath and try to find out what the real facts are.”

But he said he does want to question all sides of the issue, including the scientists at the center of the so-called “Climategate” controversy surrounding e-mails stolen from climate researchers last year in England. He said at a hearing last month that the documents exposed a “dishonest undercurrent” within the scientific community. Investigators in the United States and Britain have cleared the scientists of any wrongdoing.

Hat tip - Benny Peiser.


Keenan calling SciTech committee

Doug Keenan has written to the House of Commons SciTech committee again.

Read his letter here.


Temperature records tumble

From Accuweather:

The central England Temperature (CET) from the 1st-7th of December is -1.9, making this the coldest opening week of December since 1879; 1879 is the coldest opening week on CET record, so this week has been the second coldest opening week to December since CET records began in 1659.

The two-week period, last week of November and first week of December is the coldest since CET records began in 1659.

H/T Sara Chan.


Some correspondence with Norfolk Police

A few people have been wondering how Norfolk Constabulary have been getting on with their investigation into the leak/hack at UEA. I had been wondering the same thing myself, and just before the Climategate anniversary, I wrote to the to see how things were coming along. I had had some prior dealings with Norwich's finest at the time of Climategate, when the force's media office had helpfully sent some press releases to me. This meant I had a named contact I could approach directly.

My first letter went out on 5th November:

Click to read more ...



This is a guest post by Roddy Campbell.

There’s been a good thread at CaS on alarmism and doom, what I like to call awarmism, with commenters batting back and forward on whether predicting doom and disaster, as Bill McKibben of does, helps or hinders the CO2 message.

It got me thinking, and then I read this piece at Climate Progress today by Veron, on coral reefs.  It’s very good, very informative on the mass bleaching link with warming, and the upcoming acidification threat.  I know nothing about coral reefs; I enjoyed reading it.

Click to read more ...


The annotated AR4

Donna Laframboise has an article introducing the release of an unofficial annotated version of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report - all three volumes of it.

Canadian blogger Hilary Ostrov and Australian computer programmer Peter B. have given the climate change world a gift this week. Since March they’ve been hyperlinking and annotating the 3,000-page Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in 2007. The result is

Those of us who’ve been taking a close look at the 2007 report (also known as AR4) have identified numerous concerns. Now we have a tool to analyze it more comprehensively than ever before.

The results are very interesting. I'm sure some people will take issue with some of the tags applied to papers, but this shouldn't detract from the overall effect, which is to illuminate our understanding of the AR4 process. Well done Hilary and Peter.

(H/T Ray G)


Josh 60


SCOTUS to hear climate case

Via the blog of the Supreme Court of the United States comes the news that the court will hear the appeal by five businesses that have been sued under the law of common nuisance for emitting carbon.

five entities that were claimed to be the largest sources of greenhouse gases — four electric power companies and the Tennessee Valley Authority — were sued by eight states, New York City, and three land conservation groups.  Their lawsuits were filed under the federal common law of nuisance, a judge-made theory.  The Second Circuit agreed that the lawsuit could proceed on that theory.  The case, however, has not yet gone to trial.

When the electric generating companies appealed to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department, speaking for TVA, urged the Supreme Court to send the case back to the Circuit Court for another look instead of ruling on it now.  The Department argued that the EPA was now moving on several fronts to regulate greenhouses gases under the Clean Air Act, so this activity might displace any claims made under common-law theories.  The Court, however, chose on Monday to take on the case itself at this point, presumably with the aim of deciding whether such a nuisance lawsuit may now go forward as a way of attacking global warming.

Nature's take on the story here.


Josh 59 


Dellers on Durkin on Cox

James Delingpole introduces Martin Durkin's reponse to Prof Brian Cox's RTS lecture.

Cox equates scientific truth with the consensus view of the scientific establishment.  His justification for doing so is the revered practice known as ‘peer review’.  Cox tells us, ‘a peer-reviewed consensus is by definition impartial’.  Now this is an extraordinarily stupid thing for anyone to say, let alone someone like Cox who likes to pretend he’s clever.


AGW indoctrination becomes obligatory?

The bigwigs in Cancun appear to have agreed that global warming propaganda will become compulsory in schools worldwide. That appears to be the gist of this story:

The 16th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP16) on Saturday reached its first consensus by approving a proposal on education, training and consciousness as part of efforts to mitigate climate change.


The proposal commits signatories to promote formal and informal education strategies covering the climate change phenomenon.


HSI - big in Canada

Donna Laframboise's recommendation seems to have had an effect - the Hockey Stick Illusion seems to have leapt up the Amazon Canada chart - currently at 1270. Also another Canadian blog has picked it up here and given it a good plug.

Thanks again Donna.


More on Nature's data policy

Last week I looked at Nature's data policy and was corrected by Eli Rabett on the existence of a formal policy. ER pointed to Nature's advice to authors at the time of Phil Jones' 1990 paper on urban heat islands:

Nature requests authors to deposit sequence and x-ray crystallography data in the databases that exist for this purpose.

As he notes, this paltry sentence doesn't support the idea that there was a formal policy in place requiring authors to make data available. However, Shub Niggurath has been doing some research, and I think his findings put this lone sentence in some perspective, which is quite interesting.

Click to read more ...