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Thursday
Apr082010

FT letters

David Henderson's letter in the FT yesterday has prompted a couple of responses.

Bob Ward seems to admit that there is a problem with a lack of openness, but maintains that the temperature records are sufficiently rigorous. It seems to me that it is quite clear that the temperature records are not sufficiently rigorous because, as everyone agrees (I think), the surface stations do not meet the standards set for them. Whether the result is affected is another, as yet undecided, question, but "sufficiently rigorous" they most certainly are not.

Mike Post meanwhile thinks that FT readers should get hold of a copy of the Hockey Stick Illusion, an idea which to me seems to be very sound advice.

 

Thursday
Apr082010

Josh 16

More cartoons by Josh here.

Thursday
Apr082010

Education or green propaganda?

A guest post by Messenger

The Climate Change Schools Project (CCSP) brings together organisations, schools and teachers around the North East to support a novel approach in bringing climate change to the heart of the national curriculum. The CCSP has established a network of ‘Climate Change Lead Schools’ who [sic] in 2008-2009, consisted of 80 schools across North East England. Thousands of young people took part, representing a minimum of 14,000 hours of climate change related activity across the schools.

For those of you dear old-fashioned things who still think that 14,000 hours of education might be better spent on education in English, maths, science, history, a modern language or two and perhaps art or music or woodwork, think again.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr072010

Royal Society podcasts

Podcasts of the Royal Society meeting on Uncertainty in Science are now available for download. Comments on the contents are particularly welcome.

Wednesday
Apr072010

A letter from Phil Willis

In the wake of the rather peculiar findings of the Science and Technology Select Committee, I wrote a letter to chairman, Phil Willis, explaining the concern among sceptics over the findings and inquiring if he would be able to answer some questions for BH readers.

There was a swift response, indicating that Willis would be willing to answer questions, provided they were within the remit of the report itself.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr072010

David Henderson in the FT

David Henderson has a letter in the Financial Times:

In an area of policy where so much is at stake, and so much remains uncertain and unsettled, policies should be evolutionary and adaptive, rather than presumptive as they are now; and their evolution should be linked to a process of inquiry and review that is more thorough, balanced, open and objective than has so far been the case.

Wednesday
Apr072010

Keith Hunter on climategate

The Royal Society of New Zealand has issued an interesting statement on the shambles that is climate science. Prof Keith Hunter's position is nuanced and seems a long way from the political utterances of the Royal Society. Hunter's is not a sceptic position, but there is at least some common ground.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr072010

WaPo on climate models

The Washington Post has an interesting article on climate models which features Gavin Schmidt making a robust defence of their usefulness:

Put in the conditions on Earth more than 20,000 years ago: they produce an Ice Age, NASA's Schmidt said. Put in the conditions from 1991, when a volcanic eruption filled the earth's atmosphere with a sun-shade of dust. The models produce cooling temperatures and shifts in wind patterns, Schmidt said, just like the real world did.

If the models are as flawed as critics say, Schmidt said, "You have to ask yourself, 'How come they work?' "

Now last time I heard, the models could get into an ice age but couldn't get out again, so I'm not sure whether Gavin is being entirely straight with us here. Perhaps the models have moved on though, although one could still wonder if they could move so quickly from not being able to get out of an ice age to being useful.

Tuesday
Apr062010

Mann and the IG

Fox News is reporting some interesting details of the second investigation into Michael Mann.

It was those e-mails, stolen from British university East Anglia's climate study group, that sparked Penn State's probe into Mann's work. On Feb. 3, he was exonerated on three of four charges, and the investigation of the fourth charge will be concluded by June 3. 

But the final say will be in the hands of a skeptical inspector general at the National Science Foundation, the primary funder of the research into global warming. According to published documents obtained by FoxNews.com, the IG must determine whether Penn State's investigation was adequate.

I'm not sure why they refer to him as a skeptical inspector general though.

Tuesday
Apr062010

Wiki on the Hockey Stick Illusion

There is now a Wikipedia article on the Hockey Stick Illusion.

Tuesday
Apr062010

Henninger in the WSJ

Daniel Henninger has an interesting op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, looking at post-modern science, the precautionary principle and how scientists are going to get themselves out of the pickle they are in.

 

Monday
Apr052010

What is the consensus based upon?

The FT changes tune slightly and admits there might be a tiny problem with climatology. The walls are not exactly tumbling down yet, but it may be that the Pink'un is struggling to hold the line.

Interestingly, they tell us that the IPCC needs to "give weight to all the evidence, not just the consensus". This appears to be an admission that the "consensus" is (a) not a consensus and (b) is based on a partial selection of the available evidence.

I agree with them.

I think, however, that the FT should expect a campaign of criticism.

 

Monday
Apr052010

French academy shames British one

Much excitement in France over the announcement that there is to be a national debate on climate change under the auspices of the French National Academy.

The move appears to have been prompted by the success of L'Imposture Climatique, a book by the sceptic scientist Claude Allegre, who has sold no less than 100,000 copies so far (a number which makes me extremely jealous).

The striking thing about the story though is what it reveals about the attitude of the French Academy of Sciences:

Noting that the Academy does not take sides on the issue, and that the Academy’s website already reports the views of scientists on both sides of the debate, [Academy president, Jean] Salençon aims to defend the scientific method and the principles of scientific inquiry, not any one scientific position. When asked if sanctions might be in the cards for Allegre, a member of the Academy, or any other climate sceptics, he replied: "Under no circumstances! There is no question of ethical sanctions. Even less of an expulsion. The nomination for the Academy of Sciences is perpetual. It cannot be reversed, not even through a resignation.”

Defending the principles of scientific inquiry eh? Not an approach that would win much favour with the grubby lobbyists of the Royal Society, with their guide to Facts and Fictions About Climate Change.

 

Sunday
Apr042010

Rational Optimist

Matt Ridley has a new website up, promoting his new book, the Rational Optimist. There is also a blog, which should be interesting. Welcome to the blogosphere, Matt!

Sunday
Apr042010

Quote of the day

Greenpeace announces its new approach towards climate sceptics:

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

And we be many, but you be few.