Global cooling

Posted on timeDecember 26th, 2007 by userPali Gap in catanomalous    flagNo Comments


The Washington Times is carrying a nice litany of global cooling stories here. The list from 2006/2007 includes Argentina, Peru, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, and South Korea, and was compiled by David Deming (a geophysicist, an adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis, and associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma).

Update Jan 13th 2008:

And here we have some climate change protesters outside the State House in Annapolis chilling out:

Cold Climate Change Protesters

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Global warming? Go tell it to the bees!

Posted on timeNovember 28th, 2007 by userPali Gap in catanecdotal    flagNo Comments


I know it is fallacious to cherry-pick convenient and perhaps isolated events as “evidence” for anything. But heck, warm-mongers do it all the time, and why should they have all the fun?

It seems honey prices in the UK are set to soar by as much as 25% in the coming year.

And the reason? A dry spell followed by a cold summer in Argentina. Yes, that’s right, Argentina does not seem to be on the same planet as hothouse Earth.

Not only that, the UK Met Office states (a little vaguely admittedly) that bees in Australia and Eastern Europe “experienced many of the same problems“.

But wait, it gets yet more global – Iranian bees have also been chilling out:

“The average harvest of Honey is 7 to 10 Kilos which shows a downward trend in comparison with that of past years because of long lasting coldness of last year and increased rainfall” – Faraj Allah Molavi, the Executive of the Union of honey bee growers of the province East Azerbaijan here

Perhaps we should not be too surprised. The best efforts to measure global temperature seem to show no warming since 1998. One wonders at what point a blip morphs into a “critical anomaly” for warm-mongers?

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No consensus on “consensus”

Posted on timeOctober 19th, 2007 by userPali Gap in catconsensus    flagNo Comments


When scientists do “philosophy of science” (meta-science) they can often be very naive. Many science text books will include in their introduction a quick theory of knowledge. In the past the stock explanation for “how science works” might be a simple empiricism: “we start out by making some observations. From these we deduce a theory. Further observations confirming the theory then establish that the theory is true“.

It seems to me that one of the by-products of the global warming debate has been the addition of the idea of consensus into the theory of science. Given that the global warming debate is about highly politicised science, perhaps it should come as no surprise that a concept fundamental to political progress (consensus) gets assumed to be at the heart of scientific progress.

(Of course “Consensus” is also one of those Orwellian newspeak feel-good words which modern politicians deploy because it seems to make its own argument).

The alternative view, as wonderfully expounded by Karl Popper for example, stresses the adversarial nature of science. On this view we should (insofar as we wish to think scientifically) never cease to challenge the consensus, to find refutations and look for critical tests. The best theories will be the ones still standing after exposure to the most powerful scepticism. Those who seek to shield their ideas from criticism by, for example, invoking a “closed shop” of men in white coats who alone are qualified to speak on the issue are being profoundly un-scientific. You see this attitude from latter-day warming-mongers like this:

  • “You claim AGW is scientific fact because there is an overwhelming consensus. But what about scientist …..(insert name) who disagrees?” Ah, but he is in the wrong department/in the wrong field/ retired/has a great aunt whose third cousin believed in creationism (delete as appropriate)
  • “But what about this scientist……. (insert name). He is an expert in the field!” Ah, but although he makes these claims, they have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • “But what about this scientist………(insert name)? His work is published in…. (insert peer-reviewed journal)!” Ah, but those are the wrong peers and this is the wrong journal!

A wonderful critique of “consensus” has just been published by John Kay. Here are some things he has to say:

“Consensus finds a way through conflicting opinions and interests. Consensus is achieved when the outcome of discussion leaves everyone feeling they have been given enough of what they want. The processes of proper science could hardly be more different. The accomplished politician is a negotiator, a conciliator, finding agreement where none seemed to exist. The accomplished scientist is an original, an extremist, disrupting established patterns of thought. Good science involves perpetual, open debate, in which every objection is aired and dissents are sharpened and clarified, not smoothed over.”

And: “We do not say that there is a consensus over the second law of thermodynamics, a consensus that Paris is south of London or that two and two are four. We say that these are the way things are.”

And: “Peer review is a valuable part of the apparatus of scholarship, but carries a danger of establishing self-referential clubs that promote each other’s work.”

And: “The notion of a monolithic “science”, meaning what scientists say, is pernicious and the notion of “scientific consensus” actively so. The route to knowledge is transparency in disagreement and openness in debate. The route to truth is the pluralist expression of conflicting views in which, often not as quickly as we might like, good ideas drive out bad. There is no room in this process for any notion of “scientific consensus”.

Wonderful!

http://johnkay.com/political/518.

John Kay is one of Britain’s leading economists

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Danish duplicity

Posted on timeSeptember 30th, 2007 by userPali Gap in catodds 'n' ends    flagNo Comments


May 7th 2007: Connie Hedegaard, the Danish Minister for Environment, leads a roundtable lunch discussion at the GMF entitled “Leading by Example: How Denmark is Showing Europe the Way to a Climate Friendly Economy.”

September 26th 2007: Connie Hedegaard, the Danish Minister for Environment, in the Washington Post: “European leaders are getting a bit impatient, not on our own behalf but on behalf of the planet. China, India and the other industrializing countries will not do anything unless the U.S. is moving.”

September 29th 2007: From Point Carbon: “Denmark’s CO2 emissions rose 16.1 per cent in 2006 compared to the previous year on the back of strong economic growth and electricity exports from coal-fired power plants, according to statistics released today.”

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When protocols collide – carbon credits funding skin cancer

Posted on timeAugust 16th, 2007 by userPali Gap in catodds 'n' ends    flagNo Comments


The Kyoto Protocol is all about reducing carbon emissions.

The Montreal Protocol is all about curbing the gas emissions that damage the ozone layer so that we don’t all get skin cancer.

Now Rajendra Shende, director of ozone issues at the United Nations Environment Programme (which administers the Montreal Protocol) is calling foul, claiming that the Kyoto carbon trading scheme is perversely subsidising an increase in the Ozone depleting refrigerant gas HCFC 22.

What happens is that folks in the West are paying money through “carbon trading” to salve their carbon conscience. Quite a lot of that money is going to Indian and Chinese industry to help pay for the cost of destroying greenhouse gases. One of these – HFC 23 – is a waste product that is produced in the course of manufacturing the ozone-destroying refrigerant HCFC 22.

So carbon credits are making it cheaper to produce ozone-unfriendly gases, and the consequence is, as you would expect, that production of those bad guys is increasing.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions“!

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