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Discussion > Matt Ridley at the Royal Society for GWPF

Phil Clarke:

"Don't forget that 2 million or 1 in 5 of those who responded cast a vote for action on climate."

The corollary is that 4 in 5 of those who responded DID NOT cast a vote for action on climate.

Oct 18, 2016 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Phil Clarke, don't forget the Hockey Stick Graph and 97% Consensus. They were real howlers, and far from apologising, climate scientists keep supporting them. But what else have they got to show for a trillion of wasted money? Gergis?

Oct 18, 2016 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A Mini-Fisking. As there is a blog thread and a discussion thread, perhaps it would be entertaining, if not educational, to gather together in one place some of Lord Coal's errors, lies, half-truths and misrepresentations. A full list would take too long, so this is a precis of some of the highlights, bearing in mind that this is the GWPF's annual lecture and so presumably represents something of a highlight for that organisation …

Preamble As Entropic Man observed, there was not a lot new here, indeed the substance of the talk had already been pre-Fisked by Carbon Brief who published an annotated transcript of an Interview that Matt gave to Roger Harribin. The commentary by working scientists there nicely illustrates the gap between Ridley and reality.

Let's start with a lie:

James Hansen in 1988 said that by the year 2000, “the West Side Highway will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there.”

This is a garbled version of a prediction Hansen actually made in a 1988 interview with Bob Reiss who was writing a book on AGW. The only problem is that Hansen was talking about the environment after CO2 had doubled and made no mention of AD2000. The link Ridley gives is to a page at Marc Morano's Climate Depot blog which naturally does not actually mention the story. Nonetheless a cursory fact-check would have shown that it is bollocks. Is this Ridley's idea of science journalism?

Next, how about a spectacularly selective quotation…?

The climate models have failed to get global warming right. As the IPCC has confirmed, for the period since 1998,

“111 of the 114 available climate-model simulations show a surface warming trend larger than the observations”. [IPCC Synthesis report 2014, p 43]

Let's just restore the context that Ridley carefully edited away

For the period from 1998 to 2012, 111 of the 114 available climate-model simulations show a surface warming trend larger than the observations. There is medium confidence that this difference between models and observations is to a substantial degree caused by natural internal climate variability, which sometimes enhances and sometimes counteracts the long-term externally forced warming trend (during the period from 1984 to 1998, most model simulations show a smaller warming trend than observed). Natural internal variability thus diminishes the relevance of short trends for long-term climate change. The difference between models and observations may also contain contributions from inadequacies in the solar, volcanic and aerosol forcings used by the models and, in some models, from an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (the latter dominated by the effects of aerosols). For the longer period from 1951 to 2012, simulated surface warming trends are consistent with the observed trend

So, in 2016 Ridley pretends the period under discussion is 'since 1998', quietly adding an extra 4 years, he ignores the counterbalancing period when the divergence was in the opposite direction and discards the inconvenient truth that over the long term, the models and observations agree. Quality journalism there!

Moving on, a half-truth, here's Matt up on the high horse of outrage about academic freedom

“We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change,” said three professors at the University of Colorado in an email to their students recently.

Um, but the Professors in question are not climate experts, they are Professors of English, Sociology and Chemistry, teaching a course on Medical Humanities, telling their students that they are to take climate change as a 'given' for the purposes of the course, much as a Biology course would not entertain debate about natural selection. Lord 'Coal is wonderful' has some other examples of sceptics being victimised:-

when Philippe Verdier was sacked as weather forecaster in France for writing an honest book. And when Roger Pielke was dropped by the 538 website for telling the truth about storms.

But of course Verdier's book was
far from honest
and Pielke was not telling the truth.

Lastly, and, with a dreary inevitability, Ridley posts up John Christy's multiply-discredited graph of models vs observations.

The above took an hour or so of Google-Fu. Once again, I am disappointed that those who describe themselves as sceptics are prepared to be taken in by such easily, and anciently debunked nonsense.

But apparently, for the GWPF, Ridley is as good as it gets.

Oct 19, 2016 at 1:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil C

Your Verdier link doesn't work (on my computer at least). Do you have another link please? By the way, did you support his sacking for expressing his views in writing? What of his human rights?

Oct 19, 2016 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Apologies, the blog software sometimes seems to mangle links …

Plain text:

It’s a list of some of his errors published in Le Monde.

By the way, did you support his sacking for expressing his views in writing? What of his human rights?

But it was more than just a book of opinions, he effectively accused climate scientists of fraud, accused his employers of a lack of independence from the State and had a potshot at the president, telling him action on climate was useless. And he used his status at the TV station to promote the book. Most contracts have a clause about not bringing the organisation into disrepute. The chief exec initially wanted him to stay but it was the Unions who requested he be dismissed. In France, if your Union doesn't back you it’s a good indication you've done something fairly serious.

And he retains his human right to express himself however he wants, France 2 has denied him the ability to do so using their platform. They have rights too.

Oct 19, 2016 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


Thanks for the links. I thought only peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals were good enough? But a couple of newspaper reports expressing opinions about Phillipe Verdier's opinions as expressed in his book, are good enough for you? You approve of his sacking then? (I didn't notice you condemning it).

"Most contracts have a clause about not bringing the organisation into disrepute. " Did his? Do you know? Or are you just making a supposition? Does expressing an opinion constitute that(bringing an organisation into disrepute)? As a UK (retired) solicitor, I'm pretty confident he would, in this country, have a good claim for unfair dismissal, and rightly so.

Oct 19, 2016 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Why on earth would any academic journal bother with a popular science book by a TV weatherman? Once he submits his theories to a journal for review and publication .... never gonna happen.

And why do you persist with the word 'opinion'? A claim that the IPCC deleted uncertainty bands or that IPCC authors are paid by Governments (both demonstrably false) are rather more than opinions, and speak to his objectivity and basic competence.

Oct 19, 2016 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

I was referring to an opinion piece in the newspaper about his views. You regard that as definitive to condemn him?

I must also assume that you are happy he was sacked for daring to write a book, since you still fail to condemn his sacking. How low can "climate science" get. Dissent, and get sacked.

Oct 19, 2016 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I think you have to be something of a conspracist to believe that 'climate science' has much of a hold over Madam Delphine Ernotte, président de France Télévisions.

I haven't looked into the case in the depth required to form an informed opinion about whether his dismissal was warranted, I was proposing possible explanations, is all. It is rather more complex than 'he was sacked for holding the wrong opinions', it seems to me.

Back on topic, you will recall my original objection was to Matt Ridley's bald characterisation of Verdier's book as 'honest'. I find Le Monde's list of fundamental mistakes, plus what I have read of the book itself, (where he accuses IPCC scientists of blatently erasing data) compelling evidence that it is nothing of the sort. You are free to be unconvinced, of course.

Oct 19, 2016 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

I'm not convinced about all of Ridley's or Verdier's claims; nor am I convinced that Verdier should have been sacked. It's the fascistic intolerance of dissent in the world of climate alarmism that I object to. I'm glad you don't feel you have "an informed opinion about whether his dismissal was warranted" though slightly concerned that it doesn't seem much to bother you. Your starting point, it seems, is to speculate about why he should have been sacked rather than to approach the issue from the point that dismissal from employment is rather extreme and requires extreme behaviour to be justified.

Nor am I convinced that the world of climate alarmism has dealt even remotely with the issue of UHI, despite the links you posted. Climate alarmism has a bigger problem than Messrs Ridley and Verdier, in my opinion.

I've got to go and do other stuff now, so over and out for a while.

Oct 19, 2016 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

It is rather more complex than 'he was sacked for holding the wrong opinions', it seems to me.

It was quite simple, not complex at all. He was sacked for publishing his book. The book appeared. He was suspended at once and sacked shortly after. He compounded his crime by committing it just a few weeks before Paris.

A weather forecaster for French state television has been fired after releasing and promoting a book criticising politicians, scientists and others for what he calls an exaggerated view of climate change.

Oct 19, 2016 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Fascistic is a bit strong. The fact is that he was dismissed, after an internal process, and the justification never made public, far as I know. The Telegraph reported

France Télévisions management declined to comment its decision. However, it reportedly hinged not on his opinions on climate change but the fact that he infringed broadcasting rules by using his TV weatherman status to promote his book.

Which, if you look at the book's page on is clearly true. It is not uncommon for companies to require employees to have such works cleared before publication. (Yes, I am speculating, so shoot me).

BTW, Daniel Schneidermann, writing in Liberation, described the tome (in rough translation) as 'a non-book, a confused book, full of unanswered questions and unsourced graphics, a book that should never have found a publisher, lacking both balance and a bibliography, levelling accusations against mysterious conspirators of eliminating contrary views (what views is never stated).'

Which is not consistent with the coal baron's opinion, to put it mildly.

Oct 19, 2016 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, so the BBC should ban itself from broadcasting for allowing the views of people like Harribin to be broadcast without a disclaimer?

I think you are making the case for taxpayers to disinvest from the BBC aswell as Climate Science.

Oct 19, 2016 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

From the archives. Top French weatherman suspended for forbidden views

Phil - no doubt there was some clause in his employment contract forbidding publication on matters relevant to his employment without approval, as there probably is with most non-academic organisations.

But can anybody reasonably believe that had he published a book saying that
- climate change is the greatest danger facing civilisation
- Paris is our last chance to avoid catastrophe
he would not still be on French TV screens reporting the weather?

Oct 19, 2016 at 7:25 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

That's an interesting hypothetical. Back in the realms of the actual, it is clear that the book he did publish was a steaming heap of excrement.

And he put his employer's name on the cover.

Oct 19, 2016 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, is it ok for all IPCC Reports and Publications to be termed a "steaming heap of excrement", simply because they are written by climate scientists and their loyal disciples, intent on destroying the economies of the developed world?

Oct 19, 2016 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

... it is clear that the book he did publish was a steaming heap of excrement.

Phil - I can understand that you might not agree with some of the things in Verdier's book (were you actually to see it yourself). But take a step back and try to see how what you wrote says about you and your objectivity...?

I have Philppe Verdier's book - here are his 'climate alerts' (with word-for-word translations that I made at the time of my reading the book).

#1 Pendant une conférance climatique, tous les coups bas sont envisageables pour phagocyter la négotiation.

In a climate conference, all dirty tricks to undermine the negotiation are allowed.

#2 Le fonctionnement même d'une conférance climatique la prédestine vers son échec.

The mode of operation of a climate conference ensures its own failure.

#3 Les rapports du giec paraissent tous les sept and et n'intéressent plus personne.

The IPCC reports appear every seven years but now nobody takes any notice of them.

#4 Aucune cellule de crise au giec! À l'époque du big data, la climatologie met des années à éclairer les catastrophes naturelles.

No crisis at the IPCC! In the age of big data, it takes climatology years to understand the statistics of natural disasters.

#5 Depuis vingt ans, l'onu organise sa conférence climatique en décembre, sa plus grande erreur stratégique en terme de mobilisation.

For twenty years, the UN has held its climate conference in December, its biggest strategic mistake in terms of mobilization (of public opinion).

#6 L'information climatique de référence est aujourd'hui complètement verrouillée par les gouvernements.

Climate data is now completely controlled by governments.

#7. La montée des eaux ne menace que faiblement les côtes françaises. La responsabilité du réchauffement reste indéterminée.

Rising sea levels present little threat to the French coasts. The reponsibility for global warming remains unclear.

#8 Les précédentes prévisions du giec pour la france se sont avérées fausses.

Previous IPCC projections for France turned out to be wrong.
#9 En catimini, le giec a abaissé d'un degré sa prévision pessimiste du réchauffement

In secret, the IPCC has reduced its worst-case estimate of global warming by one degree.

#10 Aucune prévision fiable ne peut déterminer l climate de la france et de l'europe entre 2016 à 2050.

No reliable prediction can be made of the climate of France and of Europe from 2016 to 2050.

#11 Les états et non les scientifiques decident des informations climatiques à présenter au public. La liberté de parole du giec est quasi-nulle.

The nations and not the scientists decide what climate information to present to the public. Freedom of speech in the IPCC is virtually nonexistent.

#12 Les bulletins "meteo 2050" sont une communications alarmiste créée et controlée par l'onu dans un but uniquement politique.

The weather forecasts "Meteo 2050" are alarmist communications created and controlled by the UN with a purely political objective.

WMO Weather Reports 2050 - France ("...What are the scientists saying about climate change? That by 2050 we could see scorching hot weather one summer out of four here in France...")

#13 Sous le couvert du climat, les fonctionnaires de l'onu favorisent les mutinationals à placer leurs produits: des éoliennes comme des ogm.

Under the cover of climate, the officials of the UN favour the products of multinationals: wind turbines, as with genetically modified crops.

#14 Advantages, conflits d'interêt, corruption, scandales sexuels: les climatologues de l'onu sont devenus des animaux politiques.

Advantages, conflicts of interest, corruption, sex scandals: the UN climate scientists have become political animals.

Oct 19, 2016 at 11:39 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Game set and match to Verdier. More articulate and believable than Phil Clarke, who is left in a cess pool of his own manufacture.

Oct 20, 2016 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I'll be there in a pale blue jacket, red trousers and wearing a discreet Aldershot Town FC lapel badge...

That's right @Phil smear the man ..that shows your class.

If that's the Climate Skeptic uniform, how is Corbyn supposed to tell his brother from conventioning Shriners and Traitors in the Class War?

Oct 20, 2016 at 12:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell


The Aldershot Town FC badge is an optional accessory to the main couture.

Other (inferior) football clubs are available.

Come on You Shots!

Oct 20, 2016 at 7:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Thanks for making my case for me, Martin. Very whiffy.

Oct 20, 2016 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Golf Charlie

You might be interested in this. In the US the highest tides now wash over the Long Wharf in Boston Harbour.

Oct 20, 2016 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Golf Charlie

Incidentally, this is what it usually looks like.

Oct 20, 2016 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

'Ere anyone falls over in a faint at Entropic's 'shock news' from Boston, here's the actual data for the last 95 years.

The trend is +0.92 feet (11 1/2 inches) per century....

The next time anybody repairs the sea wall, if they were to be so far sighted as to put another 1 foot block on the top that should keep their little New England tootsies dry till 2100....

Like so much of climate alarmism - and of Entropic's credulous repetition of the doom-laden memes and tropes in which he revels - ...this too is Much Ado About Not Very Much At All....

Oct 20, 2016 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder


Forgot the data.

Here it is

Enjoy and share

Oct 20, 2016 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder