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A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

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Monckton to overthrow government..

...or something like that. Lord Monckton is apparently to be the new deputy leader of the UK Independence Party and is wondering if global warming sceptics will now all leave the Conservative Party.


The irrational polemicist

George Monbiot has written the most extraordinary review of the book I'm currently reading - Matt Ridley's Rational Optimist. I'm not sure I've ever read such a bilious review of a book before, and certainly few that have been devoted quite so much space to ad hominems. If anything, Monbiot comes over as slightly deranged. Ridley has nevertheless posted a polite and detailed rebuttal here (James Delingpole weighs in here). But despite appearing to be the rantings of a lunatic, Monbiot's is still an interesting piece - mainly for what it leaves out.

Click to read more ...


Climate lessons

Regular commenter John Shade has started a new blog called Climate Lessons, which will look at the way environmentalism and other green issues are taught in schools.

Why not pay him a visit?


Bob Ward again

Bob Ward is on a roll. Today he has an article in New Scientist in which he gives us his professional opinion as a PR man on how climatology can save itself. This is the bit I found interesting:

"Don't underestimate your critics and competitors". This means not only recognising the skill with which the opponents of climate research have executed their campaigns through blogs and other media, but also acknowledging the validity of some of their criticisms. It is clear, for instance, that climate scientists need better standards of transparency that allow for scrutiny not just by their peers but also by critics from outside the world of research.

I praised Bob yesterday for his call for openness and I'm going to praise him again here for making clear that he doesn't see openness as a limited thing that should apply only to the Royal Society. My one concern here would be the words "for instance". That clearly implies Bob recognises that sceptics have valid criticisms beyond the need for transparency, but the question is, which ones does he think are kosher?

Later in the same piece he says this:

It is also important to engage with those critics. That doesn't mean conceding to arguments based on ideology rather than evidence...

...and again, it's hard to disagree. But arguments based on ideology are a problem from a sceptic perspective too. Can those on the other side let go of the Hockey Stick and the absurd argument that its dramatic shape has been replicated by other studies (conveniently overlooking the flawed ingredients that are behind them)? We can only hope.

The paleo studies are mostly rotten. We just need someone to admit it.


Bob Ward on openness

Bob Ward has an interesting letter in the Times, prompted by the rebellion of Royal Society fellows over the Society's statements on climate change. This is the intriguing bit:

To avoid creating even further misunderstanding about the causes and consequences of climate change, the Royal Society and its Fellows should now open up their internal debate to the public, and clarify whether the criticisms made by the “sceptics” have any validity.

Openness has long been a clarion call for sceptics, so Bob's intervention is most welcome. Let's hope that his enthusiasm for transparency extends to the availability of climatologists' data and code.


Dennis Bray on global warming and Stalin

Must-read post from Dennis Bray over at Klimazweibel, examining the similarities between Stalin's regime and the conduct of global warming science. He makes ten direct comparisons between the warmism and Stalinism. Here are the first couple to whet your appetite:

1. To begin, Koba’s reign of tyranny, was a reign that was indulged by Western intellectuals.

Climate change, particularly its remediation, is a point of contention. It is, however, indulged by Western intellectuals as if there only facts and no assumptions . (See statement by professional/scientific organization)

2. The Cheka - The Extraordinary Commission - (a soviet state security organization) operated by instilling fear in people. People needed to know they were never safe for the Cheka to operate successfully.

The IPCC and Co. tend to let people know they are never safe and people need to be kept this way if the IPCC and Co is to maintain its existence. (Although recently, the IPCC has been accused of understating the potential dangers of global warming and the public are beginning to have their doubts.)


Lovelock on CRU

Hot foot from demanding the suspension of democracy in order that his pet projects can be put into practice, James Lovelock comments on CRU

Globally-respected scientist James Lovelock praised climate researchers at the University of East Anglia at the weekend stating they were some of “the best in the world”.


Analysis of the Russell evidence

I'm grateful to reader, Messenger, who has prepared this analysis of the evidence submitted to the Russell panel (or at least those submissions that have been published so far).

Critical submissions


Defensive submissions





And here's the really interesting part: no less than 33 of the submissions criticised the inclusion of Geoffrey Boulton on the panel. Muir Russell said, remember, that it was important that his review had the confidence of sceptics.

Has he changed his mind?


Muir's new man

Readers will remember the resignation of Nature editor Philip Campbell from the Muir Russell inquiry - Campbell's position became untenable when he was found to have prejudged the outcome of the inquiry by telling a television interviewer that the scientists involved in the Climategate emails had done nothing wrong.

Click to read more ...


Delingpole on Heartland

James Delingpole reports on his appearance at the Heartland conference.

Wow! Finally in my life I get to experience what it’s like to be a rock star and I’m loving every moment. OK, so the drugs are in pretty short supply. As too is the meaningless sex with nubile groupies. But what do I care, the crowd love me and I love them. God bless America! God bless the Heartland Institute’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change!

Read the whole thing.


Bo Christiansen on hockey sticks

Bo Christiansen has a guest post at Klimazwiebel looking at the way that traditional temperature reconstruction methods like RegEm and CPS underestimate past climate variability. He demonstrates a new method he has developed with Anders Moberg and shows that it is much better at capturing low-frequency variation - i.e. climate trends, although with a concurrent worsening of the high-frequency situation.

Click to read more ...


Select committee allocations

Spy Blog reports on the allocation of House of Commons Select Committee chairs to the different parties. Both the Environment and Science/Tech positions are to be filled by Conservatives.

Please let it not be Tim Yeo.


Our disingenuous man in San José

From, a newspaper in Costa Rica:


Here is some good news for the citizens of San José: in the future you are going to find your city a little quieter and the air less polluted and cleaner. Why? Because the Swiss and British ambassadors have just bought electric cars to use for routine trips in the city.

...[the cars], being electric, don't generate emissions.

That last bit ain't true, electric cars merely displacing emissions from the exhaust to the power station.


Huhne out?

A report on the Spectator website suggests that David Laws has resigned as chief secretary to the Treasury.

His successor is understood to be a Lib Dem, probably Chris Huhne or Jeremy Browne. ...getting Huhne out of the environment office may prove a blessing.

Yes indeed.


The Holocene optimum

Current temperatures are unprecedented? Not so says Matt Ridley:

A study of sea sediment cores in the Chukchi Sea shelf in the Arctic Ocean concluded that `during the middle Holocene the August sea surface temperature fluctuated by 5°C and was 3-7°C warmer than it is today.

Yes, you read that right: up to SEVEN DEGREES CENTIGRADE.

Read the whole thing.