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Here come the cavalry...

This thread is for discussion of the McShane and Wyner paper, which looks as though it is going to be a pretty significant contribution to the Hockey Stick debate. Well, it has got Real Climate deleting comments again anyway...


Another cold winter?

Bob Ward has a letter in the Telegraph bemoaning (quite correctly) attempts to link the hot weather in Russia and the Pakistan floods to climate change.

SIR – The recent extreme weather in Pakistan, Russia and China is not “proof of climate change” (report, August 11).

While increases in the intensity and frequency of heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainfall in some parts of the world are consistent with the expected impacts of the rise in average temperature, it is long-term trends in extreme weather that provide evidence for a changing climate.

Researchers must be careful about presenting the evidence for global warming. Every warm or wet event cited as proof may legitimise the erroneous portrayal of outbreaks of cold weather, such as those in northern Europe and eastern North America last winter, as evidence that global warming has stopped or does not exist. Such apparent contradictions increase public confusion.

I read somewhere that we're going to have another cold winter, at least according to some forecasters. I wonder if Bob read the same article.


Big oil day out

Many thanks to the Scottish Oil Club who invited me to attend the talk given by former BP boss, Lord Browne, at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Browne has a book to push, with the self-effacing title: Beyond Business: An Inspirational Memoir From a Visionary Leader. The title of the talk itself was equally understated: The Story of a Corporate Superstar.

I can't help feeling I haven't quite got a handle on the self-promotion angle to being a writer yet.


Scottish Review of Books

A critical review of The Hockey Stick Illusion in the Scottish Review of Books. I was interested to see the Huybers and von Storch critiques of McIntyre's GRL paper mentioned without any allusion to the reasons given in my book as to why they were wrong.

You get a lovely warm feeling when this is the best your critics can come up with...



Josh has been designing a new iPhone app...


(View image for full size)

Cartoons by Josh here.


Email problems

I am having severe email problems. Anything addressed to my normal email address is being bounced. I'm getting odd emails suggesting that spammers are using my domain - ie out of office bounces addressed to non-existent people at my domain.

If anyone can offer advice on how to deal with this, I'd be grateful.

In the meantime, contact me through the contact link on the sidebar.



More evidence of a concerted media push on the biodiversity front. The Guardian is asking what actions government should take ahead of what appears to be a concerted campaign.


They get paid for this stuff... 

[Update: I've just noticed that Gardner's article goes back to May, so it predates some of the findings about how the Oxburgh report was put together. I'll leave the post here anyway, because it's still instructive to see what Dan Gardner said in the light of what we know now.]

There's an interesting piece on global warming sceptics in the Ottawa Citizen, by Dan Gardner. I've never heard of Mr Gardner before but the Telegraph's Tom Chivers called him "the wonderful Dan Gardner" so I thought I would take a look at the article, which is called "Weighing the evidence".

It's well worth it because it turned out to be silly enough to get me laughing out loud.

Click to read more ...


What next for greenery?

Could biodiversity loss be the next big thing for scientific scaremongers and their allies in Big Green? It certainly looks that way from the BBC's latest seminar. Richard Black, the Beeb's online green PR guy was in the chair, alongside a guy from London Zoo and another environmental consultant from PriceWaterHouseCoopers. The video is here and there's an associated blog posting here.

It's Richard's slack-jawed acceptance of the premise of the piece that I find so interesting. I mean, don't we pay the guy to question what greens and scientists are telling us? Do you think a seminar in which the views of the biodiversity crisismongers were challenged might illuminate things more than what we see here?

To me, this looks very much like the BBC staff being briefed on the next narrative. There is no sense of BBC journalists being asked to consider different sides of a scientific debate, no sense that the assembled journalists are meant to question anything. We simply have one scientist saying what he thinks the problem is and another telling the journalists how to convey that scientist's message to the public.

The planning of a propaganda campaign in full public view? What do you think?


More on the Bolivian fish

Bolivia Bella has some more on the "millions of dead fish" story. Apparently there has been some speculation that the deaths may have been caused by chemicals, but this idea looks as though it is a non-starter.


Could Greenpeace go bust?

This is interesting:

Greenpeace needs ‘to bring in more than $700,000 a day just to keep the lights on’

I've always thought that there was something of a flaw in the green business model. Environmental groups depend fundamentally on capitalism - they need it to generate the surplus wealth that leads to donations

Greenpeace is heavily funded by many foundations, among which are the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Bauman Family Foundation, the Blue Moon Fund, the Columbia Foundation, the Compton Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, Ted Turner's Turner Foundation. The organization has also drawn support from numerous celebrities, including singers Sting, Tom Jones, and Elton John, who have sponsored its "save the rainforest" campaigns.

Anti-capitalism, which is at the core of environmentalism, is always eventually going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.


Does Ross McKitrick sleep?

Ross McKitrick has been getting through a power of work. In recent weeks we've had a paper on the quality of the surface temperature record, and now there's the forthcoming paper on the trend in  tropospheric temperatures. The latter looks as though it may drive a coach and horses through the IPCC's position on fingerprinting studies.

And now there's this, a detailed report on the UK inquiries into Climategate. I'm not sure I can keep up.



BBC apologises to CRU

UEA have issued a press release noting that they have received an apology from the BBC. The kerfuffle was over a Today programme piece back in December 2009, in which John Humphrys said:

The facts are that the emails were stolen and they revealed that some researchers in the university's Climatic Research Unit had been distorting the debate about global warming to make the threat seem even more serious than they believed it to be.

The BBC explain that they were open minded on the question of whether data was manipulated and that this doubt over the guilt or innocence of the CRU scientists at the time would have been clear from the rest of the programme. So I think the BBC is probably right to apologise in this instance, since when serious claims are made it is right that they don't appear to have prejudged any investigation.

Of course, now that Muir Russell has pronounced Mike's Nature Trick as "misleading", we know that Humphrys was right all along, but that's another question.

The Mail picks up the story here.


More evidence of changing GW narrative

Interesting to see the success of the Our Climate iPhone app - Anthony reports that it has made the front of the US iTunes store, despite efforts to denigrate it at the Guardian.

All I need now is for Graun to print a really bitchy review of HSI to send my sales stratospheric...


Bolivian cold snap

Severe cold in Bolivia has killed millions of fish in tropical Bolivian rivers.

There's a text report here.