Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Peter Lilley wipes the floor with warmist-alarmist Stern Review

As a loyal communicant has observed (Mr Barzel) Peter Lilley MP has 'wiped the floor with the warmist-alarmist piece of dreck, the "Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change"'. By this report has HM Government been siphoning off billions from the UK economy on the pretext of 'climate change mitigation'. Mr Barzel observes: 'In a thorough and systematic deconstruction of this document, Mr Lilley exposed scores of errors and lies and may have been the first major Western politician to shout not only that "the Emperor has no clothes," but to show the pictures as well.'

This is indeed a tectonic event; 'one which is sure to embolden conservatives and Conservatives across the Commonwealth and even our cousins in the US who, thanks to Mr Lilley's bravery, might stand up and demand a proper accounting and a good look of this warmist scam under the bright light of the mid-day sun.'

His Grace has been sent a press release on the matter (embargoed until today):
As the cost of government measures to combat climate change hit households and businesses, a new study published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation casts grave doubts on the validity of the "Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change" which the government relies on to justify its policies.

The substantial study, by Peter Lilley MP, is the most thorough analysis of the Stern Review so far undertaken. It takes the IPCC's view of the science of global warming as given, but points out that Stern's economic conclusions contradict the views of most of the world's leading environmental economists and even the economic conclusions of the IPCC itself. The study also catalogues a series of errors and distortions in the Stern Review "any one of which would have caused it to fail peer review".

Because Stern's conclusions endorsed policies adopted by both government and opposition and its highly tendentious assumptions were not explicit, it was initially accepted without public scrutiny.

The new study shows the Stern Review to depend critically on "selective choice of facts, unusual economic assumptions and a propagandist narrative - which would never have passed peer review".

Describing it as "policy based evidence", Peter Lilley argues the government can no longer rely on it to justify expenditure of many billions of pounds and calls for a return instead to "evidence based policies".

Stern's central conclusion that "If we don't act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year now and forever" whereas "the costs of action - reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change - can be limited to around 1% of GDP each year" is found to be entirely fallacious.

Lilley's study demonstrates that the benefits of curbing emissions now and henceforth will not be five times the cost of action, as Stern claims. "It is achieved by verbal virtuosity combined with statistical sophistry. In fact, even on Stern's figures the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100",Lilley points out.

"If we continue to follow Stern's advice, the principal losers, apart from British taxpayers and businesses, would be developing countries who cannot raise living standards without massively increasing their use of fossil fuels and will therefore be responsible for most of the growth of carbon emissions," Lilley argues.

Lilley asks: "why should this comparatively poor generation make the sacrifices Stern demands to improve living standards of people in 2200 who, if we take no action to prevent global warming - even on the worst scenario depicted by Stern - will be 7 times better off than us?

Lilley calls on the government to cease basing its climate change policy on the flawed Stern Review and commission a new independent cost benefit study of alternative strategies.
But will HM Government listen, or is Mr Lilley simply another has-been Tory backbencher, whistling in the vacuum of coalition?


Blogger Charles Foster said...

It's not about the economy, stupid.

4 September 2012 at 08:13  
Blogger G. Tingey said...


ONE] The guvmint's response and economic response particularly to climate change, is, quite frankly, shite, & Peter Liiley is entirely correct to slam it.
The responses are more of the same old - more money for "our friends" the big corporations & power-generators, ripping everyone else off.

TWO] Climate Change itself IS real, and very dangerous.
Unfortunately, givmint is doing NOTING AT ALL about that.
FOr an adequate response we need ...
Nuclear power - right now.
BIG undersea tide-driven turbines, all rouind our coasts ( & I mean 5-metre-diameter, with at least 25 meters between their tops & the surface @ low tide .....
LOTS of water (NOT wind - energy-density is too low) driven turbines, using & re-using every old watermill site in the country.
REAL re-cycling and conservation of energy.
But none of this is being done.

PLEASE, please note that the two issues are different - I can't say this too often.

4 September 2012 at 08:16  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Peter Lilley doesn't go far enough. Accepting the veracity of UNIPPC's "science" as a given is a massive flaw.

Mr. Tingey - climate change is, as you say, very real. It can also be very dangerous. I'd be very interested in your veiws about how the govmint should mitigate against the next ice age. Let's hope there's some money in the pot after they've piddled it up the wall fighting phantom AGW.

4 September 2012 at 08:53  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

And, surprise surprise, not a word of this on the BBC news on Radio 5 this morning!

4 September 2012 at 09:09  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I am prepared to accept that climate change is taking place, it has over millions of years.
What I have never seen is substantial evidence that any such change is man made, and thus that man can reverse the changes.
The amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere is such a tiny percentage of that occurring naturally that I find it difficult to believe that it is responsible - we only need one major volcanic eruption and more CO2 would be produced in a short time than man does in a year (note the silence over the Icelandic eruption a couple of years ago as the fanatic realised this demonstrated the fallacy of their arguments).
Climate change - maybe; man-made - never!

4 September 2012 at 11:27  
Blogger bluedog said...

Excellent work by the Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP and congratulations to Mr Barzel for assisting His Grace with the scoop.

Peter Lilley proves that it is possible to be both a believer in climate change and a disbeliever in Stern's Panacea without being branded as a 'Denier'.

Communicants living in fear of being outed as a denier of the orthodoxy du jour may exhale limited quantities of CO2 in relief.

4 September 2012 at 11:42  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

While I'm not entirely convinced of the case that climate change is man-made, nor am I at all convinced of the bona fides of Peter Lilley. Let's not forget that this man is a Conservative; I don't mean a Tory per se, I mean a creation of Thatcherism; a neo-liberal, in other words, and as such it follows that he cannot be trusted. If the Stern report is a con, what credible rebuttal is there available? (And remember, I said "credible"; that means neo-Liberal sources don't count)

4 September 2012 at 12:16  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Hmm A 'Conservative/ Neo Liberal' cannot be trusted. I suppose by that logic a NuLabourite can? I know damn well who I'd prefer to trust.

4 September 2012 at 13:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

What an honour, Your Grace, thank you! Let me say, though, that the currently ignored and perhaps even suppressed report by Mr Lilley was already noticed and commented on by several climate bloggers, including Anthony Watts' in the US and Joanne Nova's in Australia.

Another thing I should say is that I have a bias in this topic; I've been a climate change skeptic since at least 2003, when there weren't that many of us and when we were accused of all sorts thought crimes. I also should say that although I'm familiar with the broad outlies of the science issues behind the argument, I'm not a scientist, as some of you here may be. The topic first drew my attention because I thought I smelled a scam; the way it was being managed brought back vague mamories of communist programmes and propaganda from my youth.

More later, though; I look forward to the jolly fray.

4 September 2012 at 13:40  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Mr Cheese,

I have the most profound and utter contempt for the Labour Party as I do for the Conservatives; both are neo-liberals. You cannot get a cigarette paper's worth of distinction between them today. In the past, both actually stood for something, and the something each stood for was identifiably different. That day is long gone and I doubt it will ever come back again. What (old) Labour stood for was actually socialism; you didn't have to like it, but it had its points and it probably saved Britain from Communist revolution in the 1920s. Toryism (at least the post-war consensus version of it) was more nebulous, but it had a certain decency and genuine patriotism associated with it. That died the day Margaret Thatcher became the Conservative leader. She - and her acolytes like Lilley - killed that old style Toryism stone dead, and they laughed while they did it. They are the servants of money and absolutely nothing else (just like the modern Labour party), so whatever Lilly and his kind have to say, you must assume the only interest he is serving is the immediate profit of the business community.

4 September 2012 at 14:34  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

Nothing about this on the BBC of course

4 September 2012 at 15:45  
Blogger David B said...

Man made GW deniers are misled and dangerous.

As are those who seek to deny the value of providing access to contraception, so that every child born might be wanted.

Exponential use of finite resources is simply not sustainable.

David B

4 September 2012 at 16:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Alright. First, a succulent target.

Mr Tingey, I've waited two years for this moment...to finally see what your religion is. Now I know. In spite of your declarations of atheism, of a rationalistic, empiricist paradigm, it turns out that you are a faithful congregant in the Church of Econuttery and Global Warming!

I'm astounded that you buy into the unsupported and still-unproven assumption that there is a human-caused, planet-wide warming, the Anthropogenic Global Warming claim (now hedged and obfuscated as "climate change"), that a global warming is bad and that we can and must do something about it. That's quite a stretch of faith, wouldn't you agree?

As someone trained in the sciences, how did you miss the glaringly obvious: The natural, historical trend of our coming out of the Holocene (perhaps the end of it?), where we're still climbing iur way out of an ice age? Eleven thousand years ago the very spot where my home here in Toronto is was burried by a mile-high pile of ice, one which compressed the mountains we had here into piddly little hills and ravines. Now I grow cherry tomatoes and red currants in an otherwise weed-choked mess of a back yard. This ongoing warming, you see, would be the null hypothesis, the one which points to the plain fact that it's warming which is statistically and historically normative for the Holocene age, not a static climate pr, Heavens preserve us, another Maunder Minimum, a civilization-degrading global cooling referred to as a "mini ice age" or worse, a return to the usual ice age conditions and the possible extinction of humkankind and the majprity of the flora and fauna we've come to love and enjoy.

On what empirical evidence did you accept the claims of government-hired computer modellers who somehow conjured up a speculation(not a true theory or even a realistic hypothesis) that carbon dioxide, a trace atmospheric gas and a vital plant nutrient upon which all life on Earth depends, is actually capable of driving Earth's temperature up? Al Gore's reversed and upside-down graphs? You are aware, I hope that in our geological history, CO2 levels in our atmosphere increase after a warming, 800 to 2000years later. Always. Invariably. Like clockwork. An effect you can observe if you warm a bottle of Coke and watch the CO2 bubble up with the rising temperature. You are aware also, I'm sure, that the Earth has been much, much warmer in the past, with ice-free poles, a jungle-covered Antarctic Peninsula, and incredibly hot and humid periods in which life flourished?

What objective evidence made you buy into the ludicrous argument that a global warming is actually bad for humankind? I mean, really, think about the absurdity. The most recent warming periods ...the Minoan, Roman and Mediaeval Maxima... all mark the height of human progress, wealth and achievment. And before all that, the partial end of the last ice age (partial because of ongoing glaciation at the poles and in high altitudes) led to the spread and progress of humankind and in only ten millenia, a geological and anthropological blink in time, we went from hunting and gathering with macrolitic tools to insulting each other over the Internet in real time, whilst continents apart. Do you think a cooling, even by an average of a couple of degrees is actually better? Think again: All the mini ice ages in our past have been marked by destructions of civilizations, famine, warfare and disease. A bella, fame et pestus liberas nos Domine!"

There you have it, Mr Tingey, another little sign that man is by nature a believer, homo religiosis, a creature of hope with a drive to belong and to matter to the world and the universe. In my case it's scripture and the evidence of history, in your case it's a humongous and currently unravelling financial and political scam fronted by government hirelings in white lab coats. That's all took, didn't it, lab coats and some letters after names.

4 September 2012 at 16:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr Tingey, for a great example of a true religious zealot and a zombie tool, not mention a good laugh:

"Man made GW deniers are misled and dangerous. As are those who seek to deny the value of providing access to contraception, so that every child born might be wanted....Exponential use of finite resources is simply not sustainable." (David B)

You will have noticed the shift in your doctrines from "global warming," to "climate change," then to "climate disruption" and since Rio, "sustainability"? Nothing like watching the formation of a new religion in rapid sequences and in real time.

4 September 2012 at 16:23  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Corrigan1: Genetic fallacy, much?

4 September 2012 at 17:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The money spent on exploring space could have terra formed the Worlds deserts by now

4 September 2012 at 17:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Corrigan, the rebuttal document can be found at http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/lilley-stern_rebuttal-2.pdf.

Mr Lilley, btw, is not a full skeptic, but a fairly mild and polite "luke-warmer" in that he still believes that there is an anthropogenic global warming taking place. His argument is merely that our current trillion-dollar "mitigation" activities are agenda rather than science-driven, are mostly useless and harm our economies. Much of the evidence he presents is from data published by the pro-AGW camp, including the UN's IPCC. Of course, if you are mired in your genetic fallacy, as suggested by Mr Keningley, none of that will really matter to you.

4 September 2012 at 17:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Bred in the bone said, “The money spent on exploring space could have terra formed the Worlds deserts by now.”

Correction: The money that is not and should be spent on space exploration may have paid for the beginnings of large scale terra-forming projects among many other things. Technology, whether for space or here, is cumulative and transferable, spreading its benign grace equally, on Earth as in the Heavens.

On the other hand, it’s not merely an engineering challenge; the still-high price of energy today makes such projects currently impractical for financial reasons, as the return on the unimaginably huge investment wouldn’t materialize for millennia...or until our star Sol conks out.

A cheaper terra-forming idea: Why not simply increase our production of CO2, the gas used in commercial greenhouses to increase yields up to 30% and the one most likely responsible for the recent and ongoing greening of the edges of our deserts?

4 September 2012 at 18:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace It takes a very determined and optimistic man to go against perceived wisdom. All the more so when said wisdom is based on a worse case scenario and wet finger held up in the air held together with feminist style hysteria directed towards detractors. And what’s more, we’ve seen it all before - Those who can remember back to the 1980s will know how fortunate we are to be here at all, as human life should have come to an end on this planet a few years back thanks to the hole in the ozone.

The rise in CO2 is not disputed, but it’s not the beginning of the end. Rather than see it like that, a different approach, and a damn cheaper one at that, is to use CO2 for what it’s good at - Growing things. We have the technology to turn vast areas of desert into fertile land. Take the Qattara Depression in Egypt. (A star of the film Ice Cold in Alex). Construct a pipeline or canal from the Nile and you will create one of the largest fresh water lakes around. Irrigation for hundreds of square miles and hydro electricity to boot.

Imagination gentlemen, not knee jerk reactions…

4 September 2012 at 18:35  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A good solution for the short term, to be sure, Inspector. Otherwise, they might as well go for “Plan B” and let in water from the Mediterranean to be used in hydro-electric generation. With no drainage and rapid evaporation due to the aridity and heat, the natural salinity of the imported Nile waters will turn the projected reservoir into a salt lake, and in the long term into a dry salt pan. I wonder too if there are any studies dealing with what might happen with siphoning large quantities of fresh water from the Nile. Will it mean a reduction for existing irrigation projects along the Nile Delta? Take a peek at Google Earth to see the greenery currently fed by the Nile. Anyway, what do you think the chances of such a project getting even to the planning stage under the current Muslim Brotherhood government?

Another problem I’m guessing at is that unless there is a way to transfer huge quantities of nutrient-rich silt and find a way to create drainage (not likely given the below-sea level elevation of Qattara), fresh water seeping into the sterile sands will do little to improve things even in the short term.

So, we may be back to our tongue-in-cheek advice for letting out more CO2; we get to use our ample fossil fuel resources and to power our economies and we continue to enhance the greening already underway. And best of all, the very idea will make the warmists nuts.

4 September 2012 at 19:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Avi has got it 'spot on'.

Those who follow the 'global warming religion' have truly returned to their pagan roots.

The 'Great Earth Mother'(and tending to her needs) was what preoccupied many of the pagans and it is perhaps not to surprising that those who deride Christians have 'come out' in deference to Mother Earth. Their 'new religion' is in fact a very old one.As the Bible states'there is nothing new under the sun'.

4 September 2012 at 19:48  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Thomas Keningley,

It is unfortunate that so many people today go to university. By necessity, the quality of education available there goes down the toilet because the whole point of a university course is to instill an ability for critical thought, not just to act as an exam mill where the students learn clever sounding phrases to make them seem like they're smart. For instance, at one time, the average university undergraduate would be aware that there is a difference between a genetic fallacy and what a lawyer would call impeaching a witness. If there is a reason for a witness to be less than honest, the lawyer would be entirely within his rights (indeed, it is his duty) to point this out to the jury. Peter Lilley is a neo-liberal; from this, it follows that his supreme loyalty is to moneyed interests, not country, party or anything else; it accordingly follows from this that he is motivated to advance those interests by any means necessary. Since the Stern report is a burden on the profitability of moneyed interests, it is entirely logical to question his motivations and accordingly the truth of his statement. It does not follow that he actually is being dishonest, of course, but the jury is entitled to draw what inferences it will.

Look at it this way: suppose I'm an Israeli. I have no claim on the land I'm living on other than the fist and the boot I used to take it from the indigenous population. Unfortunately, the namby-pamby Goyim who prop up my ramshackle tyranny get squeamish about that kind of thing, so it's in my interests to make up a lot of bull about ancient rights and anti-Semitism to allay their nausea and make them feel like they are good people for supporting me. Would you not question my motivations and sincerity in that instance? Well, it's the same with Peter Lilley and global warming. He may be being quite honourable and honest, but he has reason not to be. Let the listener make his own choice.

4 September 2012 at 19:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

We must be men of vision Avi. Went down to Bristol last week, the spiritual home of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Now what a man he was. It was near enough everyone’s opinion that what he had in mind couldn’t be done. Fortunately, he didn't ask for their opinions.

There are without doubt technical difficulties to overcome in Qattara, but out there are the engineers who will provide a solution. Interesting thought you have, about taking too much out of the Nile. Now, there’s a computer model just waiting to built if any !

As for whether the present government there will co-operate, I think we’ll be in no doubt as soon as they get a sniff of green backs. There is money to be made, for international companies and for Egyptian politicians - they’ll soon realise that !

4 September 2012 at 20:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Climate change is not a pagan agenda, pagan cultures where primitive in character prior to being civil

Lineage law has precedence over state law, so our vulgar roots are the solution to the privation of civil rights rather than the problem

The agenda is purely merchantile

4 September 2012 at 21:07  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Avi Barzel @ 16.15 asks Mr Tingey, 'What objective evidence made you buy into the ludicrous argument that a global warming is actually bad for humankind?'

This is the critical point. This communicant is perpetually astonished by the scientific ignorance of the Warmists who seriously think a rise in both the CO2 level and the mean temperature is a bad thing. Okay, the sea-levels may rise a bit and a few Pacific Islanders will have to paddle their canoes to a different atoll, but they always have.

The problem humanity faces is feeding the estimate nine billion inhabitants of the planet, quite a few of who have nuclear weapons and can exercise nuclear blackmail. Fortunately the planet is covered with water as to 70% of its surface. It follows that as the temperature rises there will be increased evaporation and hey presto, increased rainfall. Noticed anything recently? Add elevated moisture levels to increased levels of CO2 and you get a botanical dream-world; great for crop growth. Of course there will be cyclical climatic variability such as the current drought in the US, but that in itself may pressage the end of a La Nina cycle and the start of El Nino, its reverse.

So Mr David B @ 16.07, try seeing the glass as half-full rather than half-empty.

4 September 2012 at 21:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bluedog old pal. Let’s not trouble David B with the idea of thinking for himself. He buys off the shelf Marxist Liberal product every time. Bless him, on another thread he even supports feminists, those home wreckers and single parent by plan advocates. Of course, if he ever does have an original thought, he might tell us...

4 September 2012 at 22:29  
Blogger David B said...

I see that the more sanguine suffer are possessed by Morton's Demon, and appear not to even see my final point.

'Exponential use of finite resources is simply not sustainable'


There are a couple of problems with your analysis.

One being that it ignores the rather important question of whether or not the warming will lead to a positive or negative feedback loop.

Sadly, there is a lot to suggest a positive loop, notably as the result of warming facilitating the release of methane, from melting permafrost and undersea deposits.

You might also consider the effect on food production of a sea rise of even a meter or so on major food producing areas like the deltas of the Ganges, Mississipi, Nile and, closer to home, to much of Holland and parts of Eastern and Southern England.

Some might consider that the evacuation of large parts of London and other coastal cities of Britain might also cut down on the land available for food production.

Another point is that more heat in the atmosphere means the system will have more energy in it, and the sort of extreme weather of the sort that produces storm surges will, both intuitively and in climate models, become more frequent and intense.


Your conflation of Marxism and liberalism betrays your prejudice, and ignorance, both, as indeed does the rest of your post referring to me.

Maybe you should have a change of name to Ostrich the Dude, to pair up with another of the most self opinionated, least open minded, and least educated of the posters here.

David B

4 September 2012 at 23:07  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

What objective evidence made you buy into the ludicrous argument that a global warming is actually bad for humankind?

Rising Co2 levels while essentially forming part of the atmosphere that has so far warmed the planet, if increased will create further warming that will disrupt climate predictability and initiate a rate of change incompatible to sustain most known life forms. Humanity is but one part albeit an arrogant one and depends on the viability of a food chain which rests on the maintenance of a given retention of an ecological status quo.

Knowledge of how the environment is being affected by anthropogenic activity is available in abundance; it is facile to suggest suggest otherwise. Throwing about glib statements such as global warming ain't so bad(if you are being serious that is) - just look at my tomatoes growing in Canada, shows how dumb some intelligent people can be at times.

The Stern report has been out since 2006 and was presumably commissioned by the previous administration but why has it taken so long for it to be 'fisked'?... conspiracy amongst meteorologists and tree huggers perhaps, or because the one thing all politicians have in common is the inability to come clean when they have fucked up.

Clean energy has to be more beneficial to the planet than pumping out uncontrolled toxic gasses in to the atmosphere, the UK found that out and introduced the Clean Air act in 1956(?) So why not try to share the benefits with the rest of the pre industrial world - the question is are they prepared to take it on board? not likely, but that does not make it any less valid. But Lilley is right to challenge the UK's unrealistic financial commitment and contribution which is estimated to be only 2% of the global figure and this needs urgent consideration and if necessary revision, especially if 'Stern' was just another dodgy dossier designed for the political advancement of Tony sodding Blair on the European and World stage.

Environmental science unlike religion, is not and never will be a fait-accomplis. It is and must ever be, the means to an end not the end its self. Science in general unlike religion, is constantly being revised, proved, disproved and applied for the benefit of humanity as a whole in the one life of which we can certain.

Environmental Economics in my view is faux science; it is an excercise in short-termism, nothing more nothing less - how do you put a artificial cash price on the survival of an entire eco-system?

4 September 2012 at 23:14  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Bluedog, yes, increased temperature averages result in greater humidity, as in the Jurassic, which saw an "evolutionary radiation" and appearance of new groups of specie. Not as in the pro-AGW computer models (built in the 80s and based on a flat Earth and a static atmosphere), which "project" desertification. For the frightened Warmies, out there, warm and moist is a Good Thing.

Inspector, even the great Brunel wouldn't be able to drill past Oriental politics. Besides, this isn't really much of an engineering challenge...not even close to the Suez or the Panama Canals. The issue may be that the electricity generated and the temporary agricultural and tourism profits may not bring a return on the investment.

len, I was thinking the same thing and we're not the first to see intriguing parallels between the eco fad and Paganism. It occured to me, although I doubt I'm the only or first to think of this, that the reason atheism is so rare in history is that barely a generation goes by before the atheist groups either adopt the dominant religion around them or until atheism morphs into nature worship.

Gnostic said, ”Mr. Tingey - climate change is, as you say, very real. It can also be very dangerous. I'd be very interested in your veiws about how the govmint should mitigate against the next ice age. Let's hope there's some money in the pot after they've piddled it up the wall fighting phantom AGW.”
Good point. There is evidence and there are arguments that our relatively warm and brief epoch may be grinding to a halt. A recent decrease in Sun-spot activity, a decade-long halt in warming and the recent rapid movement of the magnetic poles have been correlated with radical climate changes in the past.The return of the ice age norm may apparently take as long as ten thousand years...or as little as fourteen. Chilling. If it’s the latter, there go my cherry tomatoes and red currants.

bluedog, rest assured that Mr Lilley will be branded as a "denier" soon. Billions in grants to universities, crony-corporations depending on government subsidies for useless "green" projects and oil companies hoping to shut down coal and double the price of oil, all these and others will be pounding the tables soon enough.

4 September 2012 at 23:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dreadnaught, nice try with my cherry tomatoes, but it's a nonsequitur. How was my mentioning the fact that I live in a part of the world that was once covered by a mile-thick ice sheet and is now in a temperate zone "glib"?

Otherwise, you have repeated UN-IPPC's claim that CO2 causes catastrophic global warming. Or climate change. Or extreme weather. Or whatever they can think of next as each gets knocked down with hard questions and contrary data. The botom line is that in spite of all the hand-waving and billions spent in marketing the global warming scare, there still is not a smidgen of empirical evidence to show that rising levels of CO2 cause rising temperatures. There is corelation between CO2 and temperature, but it's effects are the opposite of the claim: Rising tempratures lead to a rise in CO2.

Then you go on to mix up CO2 with particle and toxic pollution. A strawman. No one is arguing that we should begin polluting; I'm saying that CO2 is not a pollutant, but a benefitial trace gas.

As for the economics of environmentalism, do you think that destroying our industrial base in the West with artificial restrictions and rising energy costs will benefit the poor. Already, the subsidized turning of edible corn into an expensive, "green" engine-clogging fuel has brought about rapid price increases of food and caused famines, rioting and a num,ber of civil wars.

4 September 2012 at 23:33  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

that the reason atheism is so rare in history is that barely a generation goes by before the atheist groups either adopt the dominant religion

More like there is more evidence based knowledge available now and the freedom to express it that blows the lid of ignorance off man made religious claims of creationism and phoney miracles.

4 September 2012 at 23:34  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B. Your conflation of Marxism and liberalism betrays your prejudice, and ignorance, both, as indeed does the rest of your post referring to me.

You seem to mistake Liberal for Libertarian. If you truly believe that this country is not being bounced by people like yourself towards Marxist Liberal thinking, then you are a bigger...

No, it won’t be said, but you are given an idea of this right wing man’s position....

4 September 2012 at 23:46  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I a not prepared to so cavalierly dismiss as you the findings of thousands of scientific submissions that are reviewed by the IPCC.

Your apparent understanding of the ebb and flow of polar glaciations is frankly not sound. There is nothing more non-sequitur than your condensing geological time scales in to something akin to the human record.

My reference to Co2 was not intended to infer that it is 'toxic' in the same manner such as methane, sulphur dioxide etc, more that it's expression as a by product of fossil fuel burning is unseperable from the emission true toxic gasses.

The issue of AGW and the degree to which it affects the environment is debatable but undeniable. You will I hope accept that the extent to which humanity is potentially affected will vary depending on where on the planet one focuses.

Glacial melt is affecting both polar environs and will cause sea changes that will eventually impact across the globe. It wont happen as a major catastrophic volcanic event but as an evolving rate of change to which long established life forms will cease to function. Warmer polar seas are already reducing the summertime areas of ice - this is fact. Less saltier waters will slow the marine thermal conveyor that will usher in the next north European ice age - this is a factually based conclusion.

So enjoy your tomatoes while you can :-)

5 September 2012 at 00:01  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David B has some further points to make:

I see that the more sanguine suffer are possessed by Morton's Demon, and appear not to even see my final point....'Exponential use of finite resources is simply not sustainable.' Righto. Exponential use of the finite sources of flint stone and obsidian is simply not sustainable. Without cutting tools and with the silly little teeth we have humanity is doomed.

...the rather important question of whether or not the warming will lead to a positive or negative feedback loop. That one's easy. Just upgrade the computer models and remove the "feedback" fiction. O, wait, we still can't model a spherical earth with a fluid atmoshere or factor in clouds and water particles, the biggest, baddest and proven greenhouse gas.

Sadly, there is a lot to suggest a positive loop, notably as the result of warming facilitating the release of methane, from melting permafrost and undersea deposits. Yes, a suggestion. A sad suggestion, for there is no testable or falsifiable mechanism to explain this loopy loop. Again, it's a modelling function based on previous modelling of unproven hypotheses.

You might also consider the effect on food production of a sea rise of even a meter or so... If we are lucky enough to see the Holocene continue, it will get gradually warmer and the seas will rise. Given the overall benefits of a warming Earth, we'll cope with gradually rising oceans...not that we'll have a choice. It is worrying though, that the warming appears to have halted in the last decade which may mean either a temporary hiccup due to reduction in solar spot activity or that we may be heading towards a Little Ice Age. That would be bad. Or back to the long-term norm, a full blown Ice Age, which would be much, much worser. In either case, a piddly trace gas has nothing to do with any of it. Focus more on solar activity and Milankovich Cycles. The latter, dealing with the oscillating tilt patterns of our poles relative to the Sun have been corelated to Ice Ages and warming periods. Continuing the hard work on deciphering the patterns of these cycles is a much better use of our spare time.

...more heat in the atmosphere means the system will have more energy in it, and the sort of extreme weather of the sort that produces storm surges will, both intuitively and in climate models, become more frequent and intense. Says who? No corelation between higher temps and increase of "extreme weather" activity has been detected by anyone. Extreme weather is a by-product of temperature and pressure variations, not overall warming, especially by something like one to three degrees annually. In any case, look at the numbers: Surface temperatures have risen slightly, but the atmospheric temprature mean remains the same or has cooled...depending on whose smoothed or adjusted numbers you rely. Exactly the opposite of what would happen if CO2 were responsible for warming the atmosphere, right?

5 September 2012 at 00:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dreadnaught, you are simply repeating that global warming is bad and that we are responsible for it and it is so, because the IPCC says so. So, all I can do is repeat the skeptic position which holds that the world is and has ben warming gradually since the last Ice Age, that warming is proven to be beneficial, that there is no science-based evidence to support the CO2-global warming/climate change/extreme weather corelation hypothesis and that the IPCC is corrupt and has been assisting in perpetuating a corrupt scam. I believe that the evidence for the skeptic's position is overwhelming, which is why the AGW is being dropped by countries like Canada and will be electoral issues in the US and Australia.

5 September 2012 at 00:45  
Blogger Manfarang said...

English Pensioner
"What I have never seen is substantial evidence that any such change is man made"
I have.If a country is stripped of its rain forest cover then expect seasonal weather patterns to be different.

5 September 2012 at 04:00  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Mr. David B should put away his greenie mantra and read up on how climate has behaved in the past. I would like to know how he thinks those poor polar bears survived the warmer Holocene Climactic Optimum, Minoan and Roman warms periods - all of which knock the recent "man made" warming into a cocked hat. It's not like they and their major prey can't haul themselves onto dry land is it?

Perhaps he would also like to explain how the humans of those periods flourished successfully in those terrible, planet harming warm eras. I mean what the heck were people like the Minoans. Egyptians, Greeks and Romans thinking when they allowed their cultures to blossom and expand onto the scene?

So the Arctic sea ice is shrinking. So what. It's not doing anything it hasn't done before. How else did the North West Passage open in the past? Clue - it wasn't down to people using "finite resources".

As for those thrice damned finite resources - if Mr B so concerned about them then perhaps he should stop exploiting them, all of them, before he comes here accusing people of being "deniers" who exploit those climate altering finite resources.

That means all his mod cons must go. Anything containing "finite resources" that have been used in the manufacture of modern technology and energy generation. That includes medicines, refrigeration, central heating, his car, his air conditioning, his bicycle, his TV, his radio, his PC and even the clothes on his back, the shoes on his feet if they contain manufactured materials like synthetics and rubber.

Food also falls under these auspices. No bread, fruit or vegetables that have been harvested and processed using machinery constructed and run using finite resources.

As he exploits modern technology which simply Hoovers up finite resources, which he quite clearly does, I'm afraid his sanctimonious hypocrisy won't cut much ice (sic) around here.

5 September 2012 at 06:16  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Manfarang - which country has been stripped of its rain forest?

Do you mean the Amazon region which is reclaiming what has been lost as loggers move on and farmers abandon the cleared areas because the soil is too thin and poor to sustain crops for more than a handful of years?

How do you accomodate the fact that droughts (which are natural occurences) actually increase photosynthetic activity in rainforests like the Amazon which results in new and rapid growth and regrowth?

How come you never get to read any of these inconvenient facts in greenie propaganda?

5 September 2012 at 06:30  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Gnostic said:-I would like to know how he thinks those poor polar bears survived the warmer Holocene Climactic Optimum, Minoan and Roman warms periods - all of which knock the recent "man made" warming into a cocked hat.

Hardly what one would call an intelligently researched observation and unfortunately wildly inaccurate.

Paleoclimatologists have long suspected that the "middle Holocene" or a period roughly from 7,000 to 5,000 years ago, was warmer than the present day. It is not beyond the realm of reason that by extrapolating the impacts of polar ice melts that there is some correlation between this and what is explained in the bible myth as a god sent flood; in the face of scientific ignorance this would of course seem quite rational.

However, terms like the 'Climatic Optimum' are today pretty much obsolete and the truth of the Holocene temperature pattern is more complicated than originally believed. There exists now a more informed understanding of both the global patterns of temperature change during that period AND what caused them.

Changes in the Earth's orbit have operated slowly over thousands and millions of years to change the amount of solar radiation reaching each latitudinal band of the Earth during each month. These orbital changes have been calculated and predict that the northern hemisphere should have been warmer than today during the mid-Holocene in the summer and colder in the winter.

The paleoclimatic data for the mid-Holocene shows these expected changes, however, there is no evidence to show that the average annual mid-Holocene temperature was warmer than today's temperatures. It is also now know from both data and "astronomical" (or "Milankovitch") theory that the period of above modern summer temperatures did not occur at the same time around the northern hemisphere, or in the southern hemisphere at all.

So Mr Gnostic for you own edification may I suggest you forget about polar bear survival techniques and convenient denier smoke screen conspiracy theories and concentrate a bit more on the wider picture illustrated by scientific research.

5 September 2012 at 09:30  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr David B @ 23.07, fortunately methane oxidises into CO2 and water. Unless a remarkable confluence of factors arises and atmospheric methane exceeds 6ppm there should not be a problem from that particular greenhouse gas. It seems incredibly unlikely that the hydrate methane in the deep oceans would be released under any scenario in which human life is possible.

As to rising sea levels - no escape and never has been. If currently fertile estuaries flood, others will emerge. If Mr Barzel can grow cherry tomatoes in Toronto today, how long before the Inuit are tending rubber trees and making a fortune out of their pineapples and bananas?

And yes, the climate will inevitably become more extreme as the temperature rises. Sell general insurance stocks that don't include an huge excess in their policies.

At least we are avoiding an Ice Age which would cause the copper price to soar as burst pipes were replaced.

Thank heavens for small mercies and chin up, David.

5 September 2012 at 10:16  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Mr. Dreadnought - a large chunk of the AGW alarmist premise was pivoted on using cuddly polar bears as a poster species in a propaganda war against us horrid AGW deniers.

Polar bears are still one of the most familiar icons of the AGW industry for a public either too lazy, too poorly educated or too busy to actually lift the lid on alarmist claims and see what's in the box. Since polar bears are not, in fact, endangered and have thrived rather than declined during the recent warming period, I can't see how my comment can be taken as "wildly inaccurate". On the other hand, I would be happy for you to share your proof. I do like to live and learn you see.

When it come to paleoclimatology it really depends on what proxy you go with. I prefer not to take spliced data as a proxy. But a proxy is still a proxy, not rock solid evidence. Currently the evidence supports warmer periods during the current interglacial. The stable isotope proxy comparing the proprotions of Oxygen 16 to Oxygen 18 is a more reliable proxy than that of the discredited dendrochronology proxy. Trees tend to record the conditions in their immediate vicinities and can differ from adjacent trees or trees in the same geographical area by several magnitudes (depending on their access to water for instance - one could be next to a stream but overshadowed while another could be close by but elevated half way up a valley slope with better access to sunlight) which makes them a poor proxy for temperature.

Perhaps you should take a large dose of your own advice and "concentrate a bit more on the wider picture illustrated by scientific research". It would serve you better than trying to belittle me because you disagree with my comments.

Oh and it's Mrs Gnostic to you.

5 September 2012 at 10:41  
Blogger William said...

Interesting paper just out comparing average atmospheric CO2 increases with average sea, land and atmospheric temperature increases since 1980. Apparently there is a strong correlation, but yet again CO2 lags temperature. So like the longer term ice core samples it seems that temperature drives CO2, not the other way round.

Surely it's time for the green movement to drop their CO2 FUD and start cultivating the next global imperative?

5 September 2012 at 11:57  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Mr. Dreadnought - a thought about the Milankovich cycle theory. While I believe that precession and small changes in axial tilt and orbit over millennia can and do have an effect on the amount of insolation the planet receives it does not take into account the level of solar activity at any given time. When you factor that in you you might just find a solution as to why the Milankovich cycles are not a one size fits all theory.

I find it hard to believe that anthropogenic CO2 has a greater forcing on Earth's climate than the sun. So far no one has produced falsifiable evidence to support such a forcing - outisde of global climate models that is. And so far I haven't read any paper written by an alarmist that explains how anthropogenic CO2 turns the carbon cycle on its head to a point where a trace gas can cause great harm. The earth is one huge carbon sink. As are you, Mr. Dreadnought. As am I.

5 September 2012 at 12:00  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Mr. William, the green movement have already moved on to their next global imperative - bio-diversity.

5 September 2012 at 12:01  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hoo-wee, you folks are rockin'!

Dreadnaught, perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but are you proposing that the optima weren't really optima, as they were somehow cancelled-out by Milankovich cycles? The initial pro-AGW approach was to "nuance" or "disappear" the optima and reduce them to regional or Northern hemispheric events, but as things stand today, the optima have not only been re-established after the "hockey stick" fraudster, Michael Mann, tried to flatten them, but if you go by "consensus," then a consensus is building that the optima were indeed global and more robust than previously thought. New and additional ice core (esp. new samples from a frozen-solid lake near Novaya Zemlya or somewhere near there), sediment and pollen data, a re-examination of Yamal tree-ring proxy data (without cherry-picking a single, anomalous tree), new quantitative analysis of tree ring proxies and so on. These deconstructions are appearing in "mainstream" pro-AGW publications with greater frequency now because there is no way anymore to "hide the decline" or to stop science, real science that is, from leaking out pesky facts.

Take a look at Jan Esper et al., "Orbital Forcing of Tree-Ring Data" which not only brought back the optima, but shows a cooling trend of −0.31 °C per 1,000 years ! This paper managed to sneak by the guard dogs in the pro-AGW journal Nature and it's still there: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1589.html

But science can take care of itself...if allowed to proceed as science. The real problem is that the AGW hypothesis emerged as an agenda-driven Lysenkoist pseudo-science imposed by government decree and defended with billions going into propaganda, or "education" and "communication" if you will. The lime light must stay on the money flow, which is not only unbelievably "energetic" but involves fossil fuel energy corporations as well. And part of this crude PR push involves calling any skeptic or even a researcher whose result differ from the tiny pro-AGW team a "denier." Can't remember the name of the a-hole who came up with the term, but he proudly explained that he coined it with the intent to liken the skeptics to the Holocaust deniers. Since we are merely having an entertaining debate among friends here, perhaps you can desist from hurling that insulting and inaccurate smear at us?

5 September 2012 at 13:17  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

William, wow! Thanks for the link. Up until now we've only had the large-scale models showing CO2 lagging 800-2000 yars behind warming, but this "micro-model" is a bigger burr in the saddle. Hard to bamboozle out of it, as this is true, empirical and falsifiable data. Still, as I've been droning on, this is primarily a PR war, one which has moved away from the science, which is why the pro-AGW camp is moving the goal posts as fast as it can and doubling down on the "sustainability" meme. instead.

5 September 2012 at 13:32  
Blogger William said...

Hi Avi

The "sustainability" meme seems more insiduous to me as they can use it to mean/justify anything they want it to mean/justify, and with Agenda 21 it seems to be creeping into local and national legislation through the back door. At least the CO2 accounting nonsense was out in the open and gave people discretion (in theory) over what to cut.

5 September 2012 at 14:05  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The earth is one huge carbon sink. As are you, Mr. Dreadnought. As am I.

The Earth has carbon sinks; it is not in its self a a carbon sink within the context of the Co2 cycle and the resulting advancing acidification of oceans. As for the latter riposte - Speak for yourself Mrs G.

Reducing the importance of the presence of Co2 in the atmospheric envelope by referring to it as a 'trace gas' and thereby I presume convincing yourself of it's lesser importance, I find rather lame if not a complete joke. I suppose you used the same method of convenient dissemination to side line the relevance of holes in the ozone layer not with standing that all the trace gasses together amount to little more than 1% of the atmosphere.

5 September 2012 at 14:18  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


So true. And now that the unexpected arrival of the Internet has blown the Big Lie, the dependent schemers are forced to make a desperate push while the going's good. Architecture and planning departments are doubling down on enforced high-density urbanism, on making it harder and more expensive to own and operate a car and have even been using bicyclist clubs to push for traffic-killing bicycle lanes and reduction of parking spots in a push to reorganize city centres. Much of this is taking place at local levels, where zealots have taken over planning boards and in collusion with the boards of education are focussing on children and teens. The battle for Europe seems to be well advanced, but the situation here in Canada is a little better and hopefully there will be a Republican administration in the US which will scuttle the agenda of Agenda 21 and Rio. The much-maligned Tea Party movemet in the States is robust and aggressive and while its currently focussed on the national-level issues, if there is a Republican victory, the focus will switch to the local happenings.

An amusing excursus on the "sustainability" thing. Prior to the arrival of metals, microlithic tools show material "recycling" and labourious repairs in the form of re-chipping edges and converting larger implements to smaller ones. What appears to have happenned is that the the three main flint stone and obsidian sources in the Near East began to dry out in terms of raw material access with the low-level technology of the time. I can imagine the neolithic polyannas screaming that the sky is falling and that mankind will die off unable to hunt or cut its steaks. Then, given sufficient pressure, came the advance of metals which even though they were fairly soft as is the case with copper and even bronze and in some aspects inferior to stone and obsidian, they had the advantage in that they could be mass-produced with sand molds and didn't require the years of trainining and expertise that manufacture of stone tools did. Ditto for the Antebellum slave owners who insisted that without the cheap labour of slaves, agriculture would die and the US would starve.

I think that the antidote for fighting the sustainability push will be, again, free flow of information. This is why we must be ready to go to the barricades, threatening to pull down the entire house, if our "managers" continue their attempts to "manage" the Internet. As a blogger by the name of "Pointman" puts it, this isn't a science debate, this is a life-or-death information war.

5 September 2012 at 14:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Funny that you mention the ozone layer, Dreadnaught. When the "holes" were first discovered, thanks to new monitoring equipment, rather than seeing if this a cyclical natural event, the panic was that this is an unprecedented disaster in Earth's history and in no time, the attack on CFCs began. Now that we got CFCs out of the way, the pro-AGW camp put on its "catastrophic weather events" cap and began recycling the ozone layer panic with the claim that it is being depleted by storms caused by global warming: http://www.pnas.org/content/104/50/19719.short. You will find a pdf of the full article on a floating window in right-hand margin.

It appears that the scares are fungible. As soon as one is knocked down, two or three more emerge. Alarmism, conspiracy theories and pseudo-science in general have, unfortunately, a strong advantage over "normal" science in that debunking is timely, expensive and unrewarding as in the publish-or-perish fight does not count as career-adancing original work. On the other hand, stuff like the "global warming super-storms are ripping apart our ozone" shite does.

5 September 2012 at 15:00  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...


On the one hand:

If the Stern report is a con, what credible rebuttal is there available? (And remember, I said "credible"; that means neo-Liberal sources don't count)

On the other hand:

For instance, at one time, the average university undergraduate would be aware that there is a difference between a genetic fallacy and what a lawyer would call impeaching a witness.

I think you’ll find that the claim that neo-Liberal sources “do not count” is the genetic fallacy. The truth of the source should be assessed on the accuracy of the facts used and the strength of its argument, not on the basis of who wrote it. Your argument is patently silly, given the fact that there is no such thing as a neutral source, only degrees of bias, and the fact that someone takes the trouble to write about an issue means they probably have some interest in it.

A court case frequently has to rely on the word of the witnesses of a singular event which is not publically accessible, so their credibility has to be taken into account. But even in this case, a jury would not dismiss, say, a family member witness in the cavalier manner in which you dismiss Mr Lilley.

In a matter where someone has synthesised publically available data, their personal credibility is not relevant. Rejecting a report on the basis of its source is the genetic fallacy par excellence. Read it sceptically, by all means. Check its sources. But your rejection is more wide-ranging than that.

I don’t have the inclination to deal with your thinly veiled attack on my education, or with your grossly inaccurate portrayal of recent Jewish/Palestinian history. I think the fair-minded reader can see it for what it is.

5 September 2012 at 15:28  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Mr. Dreadnought - granted, describing the Earth as being being one huge carbon sink is an over-simplification. But it does have many carbon sinks and they are efficient.

CO2 is a trace gas albeit a very vital one because at less than 150ppm we wouldn't be here because all life, except perhaps for extremophiles, would cease. Despite what you say CO2 constitutes less than 0.004% of the atmosphere. If that isn't trace I don't know what is. I'm not the one who needs convincing. Facts are facts.

Bringing the ozone layer into the discussion is a non sequitur. I don't care how often you tell me I'm wrong because you do not have the evidence to prove I am wrong. If the evidence existed the pro-AGW climatologists would be able to wipe the floor with sceptics. On that day I may very well convert to AGW belief. While alarmists continue to dodge the debate and hurl insults, fudged data and computer projections at sceptics in place of physical, falsifiable science I'll remain a sceptic.

BTW, since you've raised the spectre of the ozone layer I'll save you the trouble of wheeling out the rest of the greenie mantra as directed at sceptics.

I don't work for Big Oil but I am a huge fan of their products - you see I enjoy living in an advance technology world. I would like poor people of whatever race or creed to enjoy the same level of existence. The greenies would rather we all become technology poor - with notable exceptions of course which won't include you or me. When something better than fossil fuels comes along I'll embrace it. Wind turbines and photovoltaic panels aren't it though as our demented government is hopefully finding out.

I don't smoke so I don't contribute to Big Tobacco nor do compare it unfavourably with healthy scepticism that doesn't agree with climate hysteria.

I don't do religion so I'm not into biblical myths or the miraculous sustainable properties of heavily subsidised "green" energy. If it existed the idea of back-up power stations for when wind and sunshine failed would ridiculous.

I don't deny that climate change exists. Never have done, never will. I certainly do not deny the Holocaust took place either. I am a denier though - I deny that evidence-lite, agenda driven climate hysteria should be allowed to dictate national energy policy.

A final word because I can't see the point in extending this discussion since you are bringing nothing but sneering rhetoric to the table - your evidence for the acidification of the oceans is...?

Bearing in mind, of course, that an increased ocean temperature due to global warming releases CO2 from the oceans thereby weakening the astronomically remote potential for dissolved CO2 to form H2CO3 and radically reduce the pH of the oceans. I'm afraid trace concentrations of CO2 can't possibly increase the acidity of seawater (which on average tends to be slightly on the alkaline side of neutral). But then, physical science has nothing to do with the AGW debate does it. Alarmism is the order of play.

5 September 2012 at 16:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Now look what you've done Mr Keningley! You thoughtfully and painstakingly deconstructed (pardon the "post-normal science" jargon) Corrigan's "patently silly argument," as you accurately, but too politely call it, or his stupid drunken gibberish as I would. And now, we'll get another steaming pile dump from him on this thread. O, well, it can be entertaining at times, especially when he's halfway down the bottle and goes on about his working class, pulled-hisself-by-the-bootstraps tale. You won't pin him down with the Lilley report, though, because he won't read it and he doesn't really care about such stuff. To clear up an understandable confusion: The Israel nonsequitur was aimed at me; it's supposed to set off my murderous Zionist rage.

5 September 2012 at 16:10  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Actually I think Avi said it more succinctly. I don't disagree with anything he's said on the subject so far.

5 September 2012 at 16:18  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector, intrigued by the Qattara proposal, I chanced upon a brilliant solution offered by an Egyptian Engineer, Dr Mohammed Mahmoud who proposed running a pipeline either from Rosetta, at the end of the Nile Delta by the sea or out in the Med, near the mouth of the Delta where the the water is presumably still sweet. This would of course eliminate the problem of taking water away from the existing irrigation grid in Lower Egypt. The water would then be piped by gravity through an underground tunnel which follows the coastline for a stretch and upon arriving at the western part of the Depression, would power a hydro-electric plant. Of course, a tunnel of such length and depth would be an engineering marvel.

5 September 2012 at 16:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Gnostic, you got to be kidding! The depth of your knowledge and mastery of the issues far exceed mine. On the topic of ocean acidity, was this not one of those student dissertations submitted by one of the environmentalist NGOs and accepted without a true peer-review by the IPCC? I'm losing track with the unmanagable volume of outright fraud pumped out by the AGW crowd.

5 September 2012 at 16:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. The discharge of the Nile into the Med can be as high as 700 and as low as 50 million cubic metres a day, depending on the season. Thus one suspects a new dam would be required somewhere to maintain supplies to Qattara. There are four existing major dams, so can’t see one more hurting. It really would be in everyone’s interest that it be a freshwater project to invigorate life for the hundreds of square miles anticipated.

Will scour net and see if any data available on evaporation rates, and whether Qattara’s salt pan deposits will compromise the freshness of the water.

5 September 2012 at 18:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Chaps, remember seeing a documentary on BBC 2 informing us that in the last few years the Earth has commenced an orbit that will be cold for at least the next hundred years. As it has done for time immemorial. Now, somebody pass the CO2 blanket over here…

Beware of the Greens. It is in their manifesto they want to turn us ALL vegetarians, for the sake of the lovely animals (…We must pet them from now on, not eat them, you know..). No choice in the matter. Then of course there is the feeding of the future unwanted 2 to 3 billion extra souls the underdeveloped races are going to present to us for nourishment. Apparently, it will be highly immoral to rear any meat because the grain to do it will be needed for fly infested hungry mouths. We’ll see about that when / if the time comes – we could discuss the improbability of feeding the population explosion over Lamb Madrass. Nothing quite like a summit to discuss world hunger at a 5 star hotel, what !

One is also highly suspicious, nay, make that fearful, of any political party that makes out the human population to be ‘carbon offenders’. Offenders tend to get locked up eventually, if not, in extremis, actually put to death.

The Inspector will endeavour to find out if any other nations Greens are similarly vegetarian. He is not holding out much hope they are not. We might even have a ‘right on’ Green follower on this site whom could give us some carefully prepared madcap propaganda. David B, you seem a likely candidate (…just a thought old boy, and nothing to do with ‘madcap’ you understand {…AHEM…}.

Taking orders now fellows - Lentil bake 5 times a week, anyone ?

5 September 2012 at 18:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 September 2012 at 18:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector, evaporation? Well, at 30 cubic metres per second in the Qattara Depression, of course!

Ha! Found it last night on a recent, May 2012, proposal by MIK Technology and the number stuck for some inexplicable reason. But it's for bringing in sea water from the Med, so a gold star (six-pointed, of course) sticker to anyone who can find whether the evaporation rates for salt and sea water differ, as I've got to run out again. Here's the pdf; enjoy:

5 September 2012 at 18:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS: Oops, that was for another proposal, Inspector, for another sub-sea level depression, in Morocco. If you search MIK's site, you quickly find Quattara. Can't imagine that the evaporation rate would be drastically different, though; both places are as hot as Hell.

5 September 2012 at 18:34  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I can't see the point in extending this discussion since you are bringing nothing but sneering rhetoric to the table - your evidence for the acidification of the oceans is...?

Sneering rhetoric? - bit harsh that.

You can't see the point etc... then proceed to pose a question the answer for which is readily available? hmmm

5 September 2012 at 19:00  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


How did the topic of the holocaust get in to this thread?

5 September 2012 at 19:05  
Blogger Gnostic said...

How did the topic of the holocaust get in to this thread?

Mr Dreanought, you brought it up when you mentioned "convenient denier smoke and mirros" in an earlier comment. The term "denier", when used in the context of AGW scepticism, carries with it connotations of Holocaust denial. It's a smear term that is meant to denigrate the sceptic point of view but says more about the person bandying the description around.

As for posing questions, you have avoided providing answers to every one I've fielded whilst hiding behind your sneering rhetoric. To refresh your memory my most recent question was regarding evidence supporting your claim of ocean acidification. You'll be pleased top know I won't be holding my breath.

5 September 2012 at 19:56  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I'm afraid trace concentrations of CO2 can't possibly increase the acidity of seawater (which on average tends to be slightly on the alkaline side of neutral). But then, physical science has nothing to do with the AGW debate does it. Alarmism is the order of play.
I completely disagree; but coming from someone who thinks the entire planet is all one great carbon sink and that that the introduction of carbonic acid in to a body of water will not lower pH, I am not all that surprised (oops - I think that may sound a little sneering but no - merely an observation I assure you). I am interested however, in your understanding of what proportions you deem to constitute ‘trace concentrations’ I must admit this is not a scientific expression with which I am too familiar – a bit oxymoronic surely? . But this is really by the by.
At the ocean’s surface, seawater typically has a pH of about 8 to 8.3 pH units. You are adequately aware of course that the pH of pure water is 7, and stomach acid is around 2. The pH level of a liquid is determined by how many positively charged hydrogen atoms are floating around in it; unless of course you have evidence to the contrary and upon production of your evidence I will yield my position. Until then I maintain that the more hydrogen ions, the lower the pH supportin scientific contention that when carbon dioxide enters the ocean, it lowers the pH by reacting with water – net result = acidification.

The carbon dioxide expelled to the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution has lowered the ocean pH level by .1 (look up the records if you don’t accept my interpretation) To some perhaps that may seem insignificant, but it’s not. The pH scale is logarithmic, meaning that there are 10 times more hydrogen ions in a pH 5 liquid than one at pH 6, and 100 times more than pH 7. As a result, a drop of just .1 pH units means that the concentration of hydrogen ions in the ocean has gone up by about 30 per cent in the past two centuries.

Laboratory experiments in which scientists have reared organisms at different pH levels have shown negative impacts, particularly for species that build skeletons out of calcium carbonate, such as corals and foraminifera. The extra hydrogen in low-pH seawater reacts with calcium carbonate, turning it into other compounds that animals can’t use to build their shells.
This last paragraph touches lightly on the issue raised by Mr Barzel – not alarmist – simply a presentation of scientific research.

5 September 2012 at 20:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One thinks you’ll all find the world is a tough old bird.

5 September 2012 at 21:04  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr William @ Mr Avi Barzel, this communicant is slowly coming to grips with Agenda 21, about which he knows very little.

It does appear to be an issue which is raising justifiable concern, involving as it does a global enforcement of Fabian ideals. Apparently the US state of Alabama has passed legislation banning initiatives associated with Agenda 21. At least some law-makers are on the ball.

We must pray for a Republican victory in the US presidential races before Obama sets the global standard for oppression under Agenda 21. His re-election would be cheered to the rafters in Brussels.

5 September 2012 at 21:40  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Laboratory experiments in which scientists have reared organisms at different pH levels have shown negative impacts, particularly for species that build skeletons out of calcium carbonate, such as corals and foraminifera. The extra hydrogen in low-pH seawater reacts with calcium carbonate, turning it into other compounds that animals can’t use to build their shells.

Mr Dreadnought, if I'm reading you correctly you are saying that the current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have the capacity to acidify the oceans. This acidification adversely affects the formation of calcium shells of marine organisms such as foraminifera.

It may very well be that low pH levels do adversely affect carbonate shell growth - in the laboratory. Unfortunately nature doesn't do clinical laboratory.

Between the Cretacious and Eocene a certain part of the world was inundated with a warm, tropical sea. The temperatures were higher than modern temperatures and the CO2 concentration was estimated to be up to six times the current level. This may be due to a superplume rising up from the mantle and coincides with the formation fo the Deccan traps towards the end of the Cretaceous. The volcanic outgassing of this event would be tremendous, like nothing we have ever seen in modern times.

This tropical sea, bathed in raised levels of CO2, swarmed with microscopic forams and plant coccoliths. When they died their carbonate skeletons settled on the sea floor and built up over eons. Tectonic upheaval transformed these countless little microfossils into chalk. This is what they look like now.

Perhaps your scientists should go back to their test tubes and government grants and explain how, in conditions that are supposed to acidify the oceans, those pesky little forams and coccoliths did the impossible and built a massive, world renowned geological formation with shells they shouldn't have been able to produce. What's more these tiny marine organisms survived conditions of higer than modern day temperature and CO2 for tens of millions of years.

Maybe because the warm seawater actually releases CO2 rather than absorbs it.

Perhaps you could do your sums and let me know how big a drop of carbonic acid will be necessary to alter the pH of the oceans. Let me help you on your way.

Ocean pH has a natural variation of 0.3. I'll let you chose which end of the variation you would like to work from.

Very few observations have been made so the figures of acidification being bandied about are from models. That means the figures are not empirical and may be suject to the bias of the modeller in the way that global climate models are programmed to calculate positive feedbacks from CO2, none of which have been observed in the real world.

The carbonate shells of marine organisms do not react to altering levels of pH in the way that limestone does because they are formed differently.

Not all dissolved CO2 will combine with water to form H2CO3.

The average pH of seawater is 8.1 making it slightly alkaline. You obviously know all about acidification so I'll make this easy for you. How much dissolved CO2 will be needed to form enough carbonic acid to reduce the ocean's pH from 8.1 to 8.0.

Here's your starter. The volume of the oceans is approximately 1.3 billion cubic kilometers. This translates into approx. 1.34700 x 10 to the power of 21 (going on for 1.35 trillion, billion litres) CO2 has an approximate molecular mass of of 44.01 grams per mole. H2O has an approximate molecular mass of 18 grams per mole. How much CO2 will be needed to reduce oceanic acidification by 0.1 pH?

To make it interesting, once you have worked out your solution, perhaps you would like to also work out how much of that CO2 is anthropogenic. We wouldn't want the human race to carry the blame for acidification from naturally produced CO2, would we.

5 September 2012 at 22:56  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You objected to our use of the term "trace gas," Dreadnought. The CO2 content in our atmosphere amounts to a "whopping" 1/25th part of one percent. The CO2 increase since the 1950s is from 350 ppm (parts per million), to 390 ppm, which is under 1/100th part of one percent. I think homeopathic "remedies" contain more junk than that.

Bluedog, people usually react with a guffaw when told about Agenda 21, thinking it's an invented moniker by conspiracy paranoiacs. Until they realise that that's the actual name of the UN program...Agenda 21 for Sustainable Development... and learn about its details. At the current phase, the programs are obscured under a variation of pleasant names and are piped-in by individual activists associated with UN-sponsored NGOs. They pop up in local council meetings, making them look like "grass-roots" initiatives.

The term "sustainable development" is rarely used, but you'll find terms like "cluster development," which is the central planning antidote to the supposed horrors of "urban sprawl," otherwise known as building comfortable single family dwellings with decently-sized back yards. Greenbelt laws are a favourite, where a slew of encircling and development-stopping "wet lands sanctuaries" (i.e., undrained, mosquito-ridden swamps next to your back yard) and "wildlife corridors" are imposed, and here in Toronto serve as conduits for diseased racoons and dangerous coyote packs into our parks and ravines and with which pests we are ordered to "share our environment" with. Other initiatives such as "smart growth," push for dense condominium developments. These and other agenda are being pushed by casually employed activists in the middle of the business day without real public participation through local and municipal councils, often accompanied by batches of cute drawings of the aforementioned pests by kids and are passed without much thought by well-meaning officials.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for reasonable amount of green space in and around cities and I prefer that critters are left alone...until they become a health hazzard and start injuring or killing our children. Just look at a Google satellite view of the greenery in Toronto (I'm in the residential area in the north-west corner of Eglinton-Bathurst streets). But people get all flustered when they hear complaints about too many sanctuaries and corridors because apparently, there is no such thing as "too many." Yet a look at a map may make one wonder why we need more and more, precisely where we are, and precisely where they will act as a barrier to urban and suburban growth.

Ok, venting/off...I feel better now.

5 September 2012 at 23:54  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Gnostic, dude, that was awesome! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

6 September 2012 at 00:00  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Manfarang - which country has been stripped of its rain forest?


There is a massive increase in population but no increase in the amount of arable land available to grow food. So how do you propose feeding all those extra people?

6 September 2012 at 03:59  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Manfarang - yes, the Thai forest is certainly going that way unless the Thai government gets its act together - fast. Fortunately rain forests can and do recover - with a little help from the forests in neighbouring countries.

The will power needs to be in place though in order to stem the illegal logging. Rather strangely some of the forest is being destroyed in the name of mitigating for global warming - to grow palm oil plantations for bio-diesel.

6 September 2012 at 05:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Manfarang. Feeding the massive increase in the hordes is not the Inspector’s responsibility, any more than you being responsible for the welfare of Len’s seven cats. On a practical note, we could abandoning all research into a cure for malaria...

6 September 2012 at 08:58  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mrs G
What I have offered to you as evidence of AGW has clearly not convinced you and it is pointless to be batting back on forth. Science has only testable evidence to sustain its findings until further knowledge is revealed.

Like advocates of religion which demands faith before proof your rebuttals contain no evidence - your ears are closed.

My parting gift to you is this following assessment of the cause and effects of bleaching through acidification in certain bodies of water - not as you have erroneously gleaned from my previous post.

Coral reefs are one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth, providing many critical services to fisheries, shoreline protection, tourism, and to medicine. They are also believed to be among the most sensitive ecosystems to long-term climate change (Nurse et al., 1998). Elevated sea surface temperatures can cause coral to lose their symbiotic algae, which are essential for the nutrition and color of corals. When the algae die, corals appear white and are referred to as "bleached." Water temperatures of as little as one degree Celsius above normal summer maxima, lasting for at least two to three days, can be used as a predictor of coral bleaching events (Goreau and Hayes, 1994). Studies indicate that most coral are likely to recover from bleaching if the temperature anomalies persist for less than a month, but the stress from sustained high temperatures can cause physiological damage that may be irreversible (Wilkinson et al., 1999).

In 1998 coral reefs around the world experienced the most extensive and severe bleaching in recorded history (ISRS, 1998; Wilkinson et al., 1999). Coral bleaching was reported in 60 countries and island nations at sites in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Mediterranean and Caribbean. Indian Ocean corals were particularly severely impacted, with greater than 70 percent mortality reported in the Maldives, Andamans, Lakshadweep Islands, and in Seychelles Marine Park System. Unlike most previous bleaching events in which severe impacts were limited to less than 15 m water depth the 1998 bleaching affected corals at up to 50 m water depth. This mass bleaching followed similar but less severe events in 1987 and 1990. Prior to the early to mid 1980s, bleaching tended to be rare and localized, and corals generally recovered.

The 1998 mass bleaching was coincident with anomalously high sea surface temperatures. That year was the warmest of this century (NOAA, 1999), and tropical sea surface temperatures were the highest in the modern record (Strong et al., 1998). For many parts of the Pacific, the 1997-98 mass bleaching has been linked to the strong El Niño-induced seawater warming. The relationship between El Niño and coral bleaching is less clear, however, for the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, and some parts of the Pacific (Wilkinson, 1999; ISRS, 1998). The geographic extent, regional severity, and increasing frequency of recent mass bleaching events point to an underlying global cause namely a trend of increasing sea surface temperatures in some of the tropical oceans, driven by global warming (US Department of State, 1999).

Global mean sea-surface temperatures are projected to increase by about 1-2°C in the next century (Kattenberg et al., 1996). If the overall warming is accompanied by more frequent periods of sustained high temperatures, mass bleaching events will become more frequent and widespread. Increasing human stresses such as pollution, overfishing, soil erosion, and physical damage from boats and other recreational activities will also weaken corals, limiting their ability to adapt to climate change (Hodgson, 1999; Nurse et al., 1998). Furthermore, as ocean warming coincides with sea-level rise and perhaps more frequent tropical storms and El Niños (e.g., Timmerman et al., 1999), reefs are likely to experience greater coastal erosion, sedimentation, and turbidity, which would add to their demise.

6 September 2012 at 10:58  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Dreadnaught @ 10.58 quotes, 'The relationship between El Niño and coral bleaching is less clear, however, for the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, and some parts of the Pacific (Wilkinson, 1999; ISRS, 1998).

Seen this one before, always good for an outbreak of panic and bonus guilt (It's all our fault). For a start, El-Nino is a Pacific weather influence. The Indian Ocean di-pole is the principal climatic effect on that ocean and the Arabian Sea. What these scientists don't say is that different corals are adapted to different environments with different temperatures and different salinity. Even the UK has a form of coral, adapted to the cool and not terribly salty North Atlantic. But take UK coral to a hot salty sea like the Red Sea and it will die. So when this communicant reads warmist stories about alarming deaths of coral, he knows that the spores of better adapted coral will shortly arrive on an ocean current and colonise the lifeless site.

It's called evolution.

The other point of note, 'Furthermore, as ocean warming coincides with sea-level rise and perhaps more frequent tropical storms and El Niños (e.g., Timmerman et al., 1999), reefs are likely to experience greater coastal erosion, sedimentation, and turbidity, which would add to their demise.'

As the sea temperature rises and evaporation increases the latent heat of evaporation increases it's cooling effect. In tropical waters the sea-shore tends to be inhabited by mangroves in places where there is not a beach or rocks. Corals are typically offshore and well away from the turbity and sediment of the shore-line, which they don't like. At least they got that part right.

6 September 2012 at 11:33  
Blogger William said...

Mr Dreadnaught @ 10.58 quotes

These have nothing to do with acidification!

6 September 2012 at 11:42  
Blogger William said...


"Like advocates of religion which demands faith before proof your rebuttals contain no evidence. Science has only testable evidence to sustain its findings until further knowledge is revealed."

Two things:

1) Science demands faith before proof. Faith in the unprovable scientific method for instance.

2) You have offered nothing but faith in this thread (plus a few Wikipedia quotes). Whereas Mrs. Gnostic has offered to discuss with you in the realm of science.

6 September 2012 at 12:24  
Blogger Gnostic said...

What I have offered to you as evidence of AGW has clearly not convinced you and it is pointless to be batting back on forth. Science has only testable evidence to sustain its findings until further knowledge is revealed.

Mr. Dreadnought, you have offered up no testable evidence, only rhetoric.

Like advocates of religion which demands faith before proof your rebuttals contain no evidence - your ears are closed.

My argument is a scientific one. If you can’t recognise science when you see it then that’s your problem right there.

My parting gift to you is this following assessment of the cause and effects of bleaching through acidification in certain bodies of water - not as you have erroneously gleaned from my previous post.

Another digression. You’ve leapt from the inability of marine organisms to form carbonate shells due to acidification to coral bleaching which has more to do with temperature change, parasites and viruses. Is it so difficult for you to stay on topic?

6 September 2012 at 13:08  
Blogger Manfarang said...

No bananas for you then or any other imported food.
What is the price of a loaf of bread now in the UK?

6 September 2012 at 15:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Couldn't tell you Manfarang. A chap doesn’t worry about the price if he needs something, like a pint of beer on a hot day. Plenty of people going hungry in the UK you know. But closer inspection reveals them to be nearly all unmarried mothers with bastards in tow. Of course, there is no need for that, so one must ask mummy where the money is going. Perhaps mummy could earn a few shillings by going round schools and telling 15 year old schoolgirls not to go down the road she chose, and whether the gals could spare some crusts from their lunchboxes. Not much money getting irresponsibly knocked up and reliant on the poor law, you see. Still they made their choice, no sympathy what so ever...

So endeth this rant, Amen...

6 September 2012 at 18:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dreadnaught, I disagree with most of your arguments and after re-reading the posts and then reading up a bit on ocean acidification, I think that Gnostic bested you. But I must grudgingly salute your knowledge and brave persistence while holding a minority position here in this debate. B'shalom!

6 September 2012 at 21:16  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Manfarang, the deforestation you mentioned in your first post is indeed serious. If I remember the numbers correctly, Thailand is down to less than 20% of rainforest cover it had in the early 1950s and a Google Earth shows the stark contrast between it and its neighbours. The decades-long draught conditions appear to coincide with the deforestation. This deforestation appears to be the joint fault of foreign forestry products companies and their hunger for hardwood, but also of local policies and no small amount of corruption which saw harvesting even after it was banned.

But Thailand, like many other developing countries, has seen it more advantageous to blame its environmental disaster not on the glaringly obvious destruction of its rainforests, but on....global warming, as seen in one of its official reports: "Thailand produces only 0.8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, and has a lower per capita emission rate than the global average (3.25 metric tons in 2002, compared with 3.97 per capita worldwide). As a minor emitter and alleged victim, it stands to receive substantial subsidies if an international carbon credit regime were to succeed. I'd say Thailand is certainly a serious "stakeholder" in the climate debates.

The other issue you mention is that the country cannot feed itself. This problem is being blamed on "climate change" now, but before the issue gained traction, there were more realistic assessments floating about. As recently as the late nineties, it was possible to point to domestic challenges and shortcomings such as that Thailand is a major exporter of food on one hand, but on the other that it suffers from a slew of agricultural problems including inadequate rainfall and occasional flooding, decreasing availability of previously free and plentiful water, inefficient farming techniques, a mess over property rights, government ineptitude, lack of techology and proper pesticide use, and with industrialization, shortage of manpower.**

And this, in a nutshell, is the problem with the "climate change" behemoth; it's become the universal scapegoat for every failing indutry and policy, especially in the developing world. And because of this, and not to mention the huge benefits to universities, traditional and new energy industries, NGOs, banks and tax-hungry governments, ot will be really, really hard to slay this ever-morphing global warming / climate change / catastrophic weather / sustainability beast.


*Wijarn Simachaya, Ph.D, Climate Change Impacts to the
Water Environment: Thailand
(Pollution Control Department
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, 2010). Accessed at http://www.wepa-db.net/pdf/1003forum/28_cc_thai_wijarn.pdf.

**Nipon Poapongsakorn, Martin Ruhs and Sumana Tangjitwisuth, "Problems and Outlook of Agriculture in Thailand," TDRI Quarterly Review,
Vol. 13 No. 2 June 1998, pp. 3-14. See: http://www.tdri.or.th/download/quarterly/text/j98_1.htm

6 September 2012 at 22:16  
Blogger John Magee said...

Ten Thosuand years ago there were mile high glaciers as far south as New York City, London, and Moscow. What a marvelous thing global warming can be. It was especially fortunate for the human race when it started back then. Otherwise all of Northern Europe would still be tundra and ice.

I'm wondering why, if the ice caps are supposedly melting as the global warming fanatics claim, the Netherlands which is about 60% below sea level and protected by an elaborate system of modern dykes from the North Sea has yet to be totally flooded by the North Sea overflowing those dykes from the melting Artic ice making most of Holland a vast lake.

Anyone can look at old photographs of sea ports or beaches from one hundred year ago or older and compare the exact same location with photos taken today or atcually go there and compare the old photo with what they are viewing jusing landmarks or docks to compare then and now and clearly the see for themselves ocean hasn't risen even a fraction of an inch.

Those of us who experienced the record cold and snow during the winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 in North America and read about the record cold and snow in Alaska last winter realize, if they didn't know before, that globa warming is a hoax. The planet wobbling on it's axis or orbit around trhe sun or sun spots cause climate change. Not man.

Didn't Britain and London Experience the coldest December ever in 2010?

Daily Mail

December 18, 2010

Coldest December since records began as temperatures plummet to minus 10C bringing travel chaos across Britain.

6 September 2012 at 23:25  
Blogger CSPB said...

My take on all of this, a versions of which I put online over ten years ago:

Since temperature change has multiple unknown and complex causes, it is imossible to attribute a percentage to the work of man. Temperature unlike mass is an ordinal random variable. Temperature cannot be diced and sliced like mass. It is nonsense to talk about, say, a 50% increase in temperature. Energy, therefore is not even a function of temperature. Water and ice at 0 degrees C have different energies yet the same temperature.

Imagine, for example, a planet that has only only one weather station, which for many centuries records a constant temperature of 16°X. Suppose now, that, in a certain year, two temperature measurements are made and readings of 0°X and 36°X obtained yielding a mean of 18°X. Suppose also that the temperature scale °X is related to a scale °Y (based, say, on tree rings) by a non linear order preserving transformation which converts 0°X to 0°Y; 16°X to 4°Y and 36°X to 6°Y. When °X are used, the data shows a rise of 2°X in the mean. The same data when converted to °Y shows a fall of in the mean of 1°Y. Thus, whether we deduce warming or cooling depends on the scale used.

1934 had long been considered to be one of the warmest year in the US.. “Adjustments” of the NASA GISS data to reduce the temperature difference between 1934 and 1998 actually produced permutations in the list of warmest years. Since linear transformations of temperature data are order preserving, these permutations reveal the use of non linear data processing. As the above example clearly shows, “homogenization” by a non linear functions is physically meaningless and can transform a data set consistent with warming into one in which the average falls. Nonlinear processing does not preserve the mean.

That the description of a physical system be independent of the reference frame is essential to ensure that the laws governing that system are the same for different observers. This principle is violated when the same data set produces diametrically opposed results when diferent scales are used.

7 September 2012 at 00:24  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Avi Barzel
Thailand is a major food producer.
It is Britain that cannot feed itself. The consequences of disrupted agriculture is higher food prices.
In Thailand the cool dry season these days is often not so cool and when it rains in the rainy season the downpours are often more intense and this points to higher mean temperatures as a cause.
In neighboring Burma Cyclone Nargis was a storm of unprecedented intensity and destruction.

7 September 2012 at 03:10  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Bananas are cheap in Thailand.I bought a comb of Klua nam-wa for 15 baht last week and they are just turning yellow.
One of the nicest varieties is the red banana that is available on the Thai-Burma border.

7 September 2012 at 03:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

CSPB, I read your post over and over again, but being a math moron, there is no way I could follow the meat of your explanations. I then played with some search terms, located your article on temperature ordinality, tried to read that and freaked at the numbers and squiggly symbols.

Then, I found that your 2005 "Nonexistence" article by "Phil" is a little more comprehensible. If, in your post here, you had used the example of the doubling of temperature in Celsius versus Fahrenheit and the different effects, or the "Zeldonian's" my lightbulb would have (perhaps) lit up, albeit dimly and temporarily. Pardon my weird vagueness; since you didn't provide a link to your work in your post, I'm assuming that you don't want to ID your website here.

Alas, I still don't get it. Regardless of the numbers system used in a measurement, an increase would still be an increase, no? I mean, temperature is not just a conceptual construct, in the world as we know it...or think we know it. I'll accept your argument that energy is a poor example, so I'll take a shot at it and say that it corelates with measurable degrees of molecular motion; no motion would be absolute zero, which could be our first reference point or benchmark. Rather than choosing the parochial boiling point at sea level as the next benchmark, we could decide on a more universally observable hot phenomenon: nuclear fusion. Even Zeldonians would like that one. In between these two markers, then, we scratch equidistant marks and bingo, bango, bongo, we have the Avi Universal Thermometer...good for the home, school, office and the Alpha Centauri system. And here's the rub: On my scale, as on any other linear scale, warming would show as warming because in all cases it would relate to an absolute and measurable physical event; molecular excitement. So...please don't shake your head like that, Phil...how could anyone else limited to these two "benchmarks" come up with any other answer but that more molecular squiggling is a rise in what we nominally designate as temperature, less is a decline? I suspect I'm missing something either really obvious or sublimely abstract and that I'll probably wind up with egg on my face when you try to explain, but don't worry, go ahead, it'll make many people here happy.

7 September 2012 at 04:38  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Manfarang, the local climate conditions you describe are typical to tropical areas affected by deforestation. Reduced
evaporative cooling by plants and exposed soil means that more solar energy can warm the ground, which warms the air and which in turn raises local temperatures. I suspect that Thailand will go through what every industrializing nation did: Depletion of forests for fuel, raw materials and agriculture followed by a greater reliance on industry, use of coal and oil rather than wood, all of which will result in gradual reforestation. We've gone through that here in the West, you guys are just a few years behind, although at a far faster pace. I don't blame your guv for latching onto the IPCC's global warming shtick for financial reasons and favourable trade deals, but given how Thailand is hell-bent for leather to industrialize, I'm betting the big boys in Bangkok are laughing at this globaloney windfall.

As for "Britain cannot feed itself," I beg to differ. Britain can feed itself, it just doesn't want to. Raise the price of food sufficiently to make it profitable for them and Britain will become a net exporter of anything, including square purple snow-bananas with polka dots within a few years. That's the wonder of advanced, free enterprise economies...they can and will do anything provided they can get affordable energy and keep the guv from gumming-up the system by sucking too much out of it.

And the bananas you're teasing our epicurean Inspector with do sound good, but whatever the colour, name or slightly different taste a banana may have, if it's sweet, seedless and peels easily, it's all the same cultivar from a single tree found in the early 1900s by Mr Cavendish. :)

7 September 2012 at 05:42  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS: Manfarang, forgot to add that the rain patterns you're getting is another function of loosing the forest canopy. It's only recently been discovered that up to half of the rasin fall in tropical forest areas are caused by local evaporation from the same forests. My guess is that in addition to the regular monsoon, you are getting haphazard rain falls from the forests of Cambodia and Vietnam thanks to the near-Equatorial West-ward coriolis drift.

The point I'm trying to belabour is that local climate...which you rightfully argued is affected by (local) human activity... is the simplest explanation; we don't need CO2 and global warming speculations.

7 September 2012 at 05:58  
Blogger John Magee said...

How can someone who believes in evolution, a process that covers millions and billions of years which I agree happened, also believe this is atcually the year 5,773 ????? Literally, 5,773 years after "God" created the earth with his own bare hands, according to Book of Genesis !!!

Kind and decent, but naive Fundamentalist Christians, get mocked and laughed at by those sophistcated purveyors of the theory evolution for believing the earth is 5,773 years old. Yet the the people who ATCUALLY celebrate this is the year 5,773 think they have all the answers and post them here... "Happy 5,773!".

Too funny.

This is the year 2012, two thousand and twelve years ( give or take a few), since our Savior Jesus Christ The Messiah was born on a planet that is at least 3 billion years old His father created so very long ago.

What kind of idiot atcually believes this is the year 5,773?

I guess an idiot who believes this is the year 5,773 thinks dinosaurs existed when the first primitive pyramids in Egypt were being built.

7 September 2012 at 06:09  
Blogger CSPB said...

Avi Barzel. Your posts indicate that you have a very good appreciation of the difficulties and pitfalls surrounding theories of AGW.

I am writing very late but will try to address some of the points you raise.

You remark that: ``Regardless of the numbers system used in a measurement, an increase (in temperature) would still be an increase, no?"

Yes and no. My example shows that even if temperatures increases in both of two distinct scales, and even if this change of scale were order preserving, the average really can increase in one scale and decrease in the other - providing the change is non linear. However, you are correct in saying that an Avi Universal Thermometer would avoid this -provided that no non linear "massaging" of the data were carried out. But temperature data is typically subject to a variety of "adjustments", corrections, and statistical processing. I gave a reason why such processing might be non linear. In the case of proxies like tree rings, the inherent innaccuracy of the interpretation of a tree ring distribution in terms of, say, degrees Avi would likely introduce some none linearity (Any bias in the Avi temperature measurement could be viewed as a small change to a non-Avi scale).

Even, if all temperatures were accurately measured in degrees Avi, one would require a physical justification for "privileging" this scale above other scales in which the average temperature happened to decrease. You correctly note that there are statistical connections between the Kelvin temperature and molecular energy. However, in heterogeneous thermodynamic systems, an energy input can manifest as a change in temperature or as a change in volume or generally as some combination of the two. Thus by adding electrical energy to my freezer every night, I succeed in cooling my beer. The correlation between temperature and energy in this case is negative! A device such as a mercury thermometer cannot distinguish between the energy of water at freezing point and the energy of ice at freezing point and so cannot (alone) measure the warming.

In principle, one could measure net warming from satelite measurements of radiation flux, by taking the difference in total energy entering and leaving the planet (ignoring energy transfer from gravitational coupling which I assume is relatively small). Since the two energies involved are so huge, this is analogous to the problem of measuring the weight of the captain of a supertanker by measuring the total weight with and without the captain. Since the weight of the captain is small compared with the errors involved, precision will likely be low.

7 September 2012 at 06:50  
Blogger Gnostic said...

What kind of idiot atcually believes this is the year 5,773?

I guess an idiot who believes this is the year 5,773 thinks dinosaurs existed when the first primitive pyramids in Egypt were being built.

Classic ad hominem. And religious bigotry too. What a weapons grade numpty you are.

7 September 2012 at 07:16  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"And the bananas you're teasing our epicurean Inspector with do sound good, but whatever the colour, name or slightly different taste a banana may have, if it's sweet, seedless and peels easily, it's all the same cultivar from a single tree found in the early 1900s by Mr Cavendish"
There are 500 varities of banana world wide, 40 in Thailand.The Cavendish is mostly the only one avaiable in non banana growing countries.
Global warming or not living in a polluted environment cannot be anything but harmful.I remember the buses in Bangkok beiching out black exhaust and as for the pong in the klong and toxic chemical emissions in river water by industrial plants, it goes without saying it isn't dangerous!
I am all for a cleaner greener world

7 September 2012 at 07:18  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oof! You're overloading my RAM, Mr C. Thank you so much for your time on this; I hope it's not wasted on me, as I'm on my sixth or seventh re-read of your last post with a few excursions for clarification on the Google bus. But as it's late here too, I will give myself the benefit of doubt and assume for now that my head-scratching is result of the lateness of the hour.

I will for now comment only on your freezer analogy. The corelation between the electricity input and cooling is arbitrary, in that it depends on a "third party," the mechanical system which manipulates the gases or fluids which transfer the freezer box's heat into the surrounding air. I say arbitrary, because the electricity -> cooling process is not direct, or linear, but is dependent on the efficiency of the particular machine. The electricity is not spent on the apparent end-process, "making cold," but on the complex mechanical kinetics of operating a machine with a specific function, one of many possible ones and that process generates heat as well. I hope I'm making sense as much as a layman can.

But I need to look at your post again in the light of day. In my fatigue, though, my mind keeps on wandering off to the disturbing problem of why you store your beer in a freezer. But whilst pondering about how you extract the good stuff from a bottle or can without waiting for it melt, I came upon the idea to steal my kids' popsicle-mold to make "beersicles" for myself. Imagine, being able to carry your solid-state brew into any public place where a grown man sucking on a popsicle after popsicle like a fiend won't attract too much negative attention. But I digress. Good night!

7 September 2012 at 07:58  
Blogger John Magee said...

This is the year 5,773?

Ha ha ha ha ha

7 September 2012 at 08:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Goodness, I think I've punched into the European shift. If His Grace posts more climate stories and you guys keep me up, I'll collapse within a week.

Pay no heed, Gnostic, it's just Magee trying to take a swipe at me. With his signature subtlety of a fart in a bathysphere. He wants a spanking again, but I'm not in the mood and it's too late. He'll need to raid the piggy bank and hire his usual local talent. "Go local," Magee should--it's the eco-friendly thing to do.

Manfarang, it's too late for me to research bananas, but I'm sure I read somehere that all the varieties come from one cultivar, accidentally discovered by a banana plantation owner, a Mr Cavendish. Up until then, bananas were consumed only locally, as a cooked starchy carbohydrate-rich food very much the way plantains are still used. It surprised me that bananas as we know them are so recent. "Cavendish" is now the commercial name of the specific variety we here in the cold climes are used to, a variety bred for size, toughness and long ripening during transport and warehousing rather than taste.

As for the urgency to lower polution, on this I and every global warming skeptic I know can agree on. This is what the UN and its lapdog NGOs should be doing; instead of going after harmless CO2, they should be addressing the crisis of polution in the developing world by helping to mitigate the environmental costs of lunging into industrialisation. Donations of newer vehicles, scrubbers, cheaper oil and gas, advanced clean-coal plants, filtration systems, water treatment plants, consultation on effective controls, rather than billions spent on ad agencies, "climate scientists," conference junkets and trying to control the World's economy.

Ok, good night all...this is for real now.

7 September 2012 at 08:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion topic.

Avi, re the Cavendish banana, the Cavendish family (The family name of the Dukes of Devonshire) were growing these bananas in Derbyshire in the 1830s at Chatsworth House.

John Magee- you can't help yourself can you?

7 September 2012 at 18:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ha! I love food history, Lord Lavendon, and you're feeding my obsession. And I'm off by a century, but I'm not surprised, with citrus and pineapples already growing in the orangeries in the day when there were servants to cart the plants and trees in pots hither yon. Forgive me, but with echoes of Monty Python from the past, my first thought was, "Wot, banaah-naahs, in England?" (Wot, ti-guhs in Africa?).

No, Magee can't help himself, but that's what we're here for. I didn't have the heart to tell him that it's actually 5772 not 5773, he was having so much fun.

It's a great topic these "climate wars" and important one too, as our future seems to hang on the question of when the guv'mints will give up this nonsense and try to get our economies back on track.

A good weekend and a shabbat shalom to you and to all!

7 September 2012 at 19:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Blessings for you on your Shabbat break.

You are quite correct that the whole climate change rot is a pivotal moment in the history of science and our planet. In my heyday the boffins were all positive and not negative, in so much there was the final frontier to conquer; now we are no more than arm chair observers of the galaxy and far too negative about our ability to survive as a species,it seems to me the greens want to turn us back several centuries whilst also turning the west into a giant windfarm.

As for Magee, I am of course duly waiting for the 'Rabbi quote' he has banded around to all and sundry who are either Jewish or are remotely supportive of the Jewish people.

7 September 2012 at 20:21  
Blogger CSPB said...

Thank you so much for your time on this;

No problem Avi. I'll start by clarifying the example.

The following is temperature data from the planet Zeldon
for years 1bc and 2bc (BC = Beforer Cranmer).

Year 1 temperature measurement:

----------- deg X---deg Z


Year 2 measurements:
-------- deg X---deg Z

Notice that the transformation from degrees X to degrees Z preserves order of hotness.
Yet in degrees X the average has increased from 16 to 18 whereas
the same data set when transformed to degrees Y shows a decline in the average from
4 to 3. Thus from the same data set we can deduce either average warming or cooling
depending on which scale is used.

8 September 2012 at 01:44  
Blogger CSPB said...

The correlation between the electricity input and cooling is arbitrary, in that it depends on a "third party," the mechanical system which manipulates the gases or fluids.

Avi. Intelligent design is not necessary for this to happen. The planet is also system in which gasses or fluids move in many and complex ways. For example, air temperature drops as the air rises. Imagine, now, that a very small amount of heat enters the rising air. In this situation, one could have a small net energy increase together with a drop in temperature. Thus a "mechanical" device is not necessary to produce a negative relationship between energy input and temperature
increase. Heat entering ice at 0 deg C to produce water at 0 deg C is an example of zero correlation between temperature and energy.

8 September 2012 at 02:37  
Blogger CSPB said...

"my mind keeps on wandering off to the disturbing problem of why you store your beer in a freezer".

Due to non anthropogenic warming, the temperature in my house during the day is close to 30 celsius.
The trick is to get the beer to freezing point while avoiding a phase change. Removal of the cap can
instantaneously freeze the whole bottle if care is not taken.

8 September 2012 at 02:56  
Blogger John Magee said...

So I was a year off by a few weeks. It's almost 5,773 according to those who believe in the Book of Genesis. Anyway, The world wasn't cretaed 5,772 years ago either.

8 September 2012 at 03:41  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Lord Lavendon, while growing up, the world did seem more optimistic; we had great hopes for the future with advances in medicine, technology and overall improvement of quality of life. Raised on stories of heroism and progress we were; my favourite ones were the futuristic and Positivistic tales by Jules Verne (translated into early 1900s Czech). Then, out of nowhere, as economies began to slow down, the curmudgeons took over. Nowadays kids stress over global warming, "sustainability" and mysterious "values" and read about magic, zombies and vampires. And I'm starting to sound like a Monty Python skit.

9 September 2012 at 03:39  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thanks again, Mr C. If I got what you mean, the choice of metrics can determine how temperature is understood. I doubt, though, that you mean that there is no empirical method of determining a rise or fall of temperature. Perhaps because relativity theory has not penetrated my outdated Newtonian paradigm, but I cannot conceive of there not being a final, empirical and universally valid way to determine whether it's getting colder or warmer. I mean, we can play with scales and adjust gradients, but sooner or later I'll either be switching on the air or looking for a sweater!

Earlier you said that, But temperature data is typically subject to a variety of "adjustments", corrections, and statistical processing. The most recent example of that would be the adjusted GISS and NOAA satellite-based surface temperature data sets. In that case the "raw" measurments were "adjusted" upwards to hide the temprature flatlining or showing a decline by using proxy data such as inadequate and questionable dendrochronology estimates and faulty surface station temperature sets. Another trick seems to involve picking a date or a period which suggests an unusual a temperature incline; the incline may be real, but of no consequence on a graph which, if shown on a longer time scale, trends downwards. But I wouldn't grace such chicanery by calling it "non-linear"; in my book it's plain old pseudoscience and fraud.

By the way, Mr C, have you ever submitted or commented on Anthony Watts' website?

9 September 2012 at 04:13  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Tornadoes were once exceedingly rare in New York, but they have occurred with regularity in recent years.

9 September 2012 at 13:06  
Blogger CSPB said...

Avi. I am not saying that it is impossible to determine warming (in the sense of net energy increase). It is certainly a hard, engineering problem to determine the planet's total energy flux. For small time periods it is likely impossible. Longer time periods would, in principle, permit sufficient satelite measurements and lead to greater accuracy. However, I do believe that average temperature measurements, especially those which include devices such as tree rings and wine thermometers, are not a proxy for energy. Heat entering a system is manifest in changes other than temperature (e.g. latent heat). Unless a mercury thermometer is used as a stirrer, it cannot disinginguish between frozen beer and liquid beer at the same temperature. Latent heat exists at all temperatures. As you correctly point out, information concerning the molecular motion is also required.

Not everything that is conceptually possible is possible. Man is bounded in time by birth and death. We cannot even prove the existence of our past. That is a metaphysical assumption. We are confined to a gravitational well. Our maximum velocity is proscribed for us. There are mathematical statements which lie beyond the reach of all proofs, and for the same logical reasons, no system of axioms for physics can possibly describe more than a small subset of reality. There are "hard" problems which no computer can solve in polynomial time. There exist systems which are chaotic, like the weather, whose long term evolution can never be computed.

Climate scientists who focus on CO2 as the primary cause of heating are engaging in simplism. There are too many competing causes. This makes the attribution of a percentage of warming, say, to the work of man, an exercise in the impossible. Unfortunately, the mathematical training of many climate scientists is limited to a sequence of courses, with condescending titles such as "Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists". Such scientists are ill prepared to distinguish between that which can be achieved, and that which is intractable. Trivial persuit results. One climate scientist actually informed me that "Climate science does not employ the logic of pure mathematics"". He has since redacted his posts on this topic. It is for good reason that more experienced scientists such as Freeman Dyson and Richard Lindzen are more measured in their statments on AGW.

I do read Watt's blog though I have not commented. This topic is a black hole. I do not wish to engage in an endless technical discussions to which I can add little which is original.

The book Climategate: The Crutape Letters by Mosher and Fuller is an excellent account of some of the scientific fraud surrounding this topic.

Best regards


9 September 2012 at 13:17  
Blogger CSPB said...

Manfarang. Rare events, which are randomly distributed in time do tend to occur in clusters. This is a mathematical property of the Poisson distribution.
It is not evidence of global warming.

9 September 2012 at 13:25  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Since my last contributions to this thread I have spent considerable time reading up on the evidence put forward by various anti-agw sources and concede that there is far more material to take into consideration than I was previously aware of. To that extent I admit that my faith in the assessments that Co2 as a result of fossil fuel burning is far from conclusive with respect to global warming as I had been lead to believe.
My position was hardened in the late 80s when the overwhelming weight of evidence indicated a direct correlation between anthropogenically introduced Co2 and rising global mean temperatures.
I concede that in the light of more credible and readily available alternative evidence my position was overstated and thank HG Ms Gnostic and Mr Barzel for providing the opportunity to review my position.

9 September 2012 at 14:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Good read, there, Mr C. Just a quick comment on the latent energy you brought up: Unable to explain the lack of atmospheric ocean and surface temperature warming and where that heat supposedly generated by he miraculous trace gas is, the Warmies have been hinting about there being a repository somewhere, perhaps deep in the oceans or in grandma's bloomer drawer, of an incredible amount of "missing heat" which will undoubtedly plop-up and kill us all one day.

Me, I'm an avid reader of Watts' blog which, I think, should be understood as an ongoing forum for critical and skeptic venue which provides an open-sourced peer-review service. I have rarely commented there, though, as most topics are scientific and my take on it is political. It is imperative that skeptics maintain the science debate, of course, but I think that an exclusive focus on the science is essentially a hunt for the Big Red Herring. While we quibble over Yamal tree rings and Mann's hocket stick, billions continue to be sucked out of our economies not because of the science, but because billions are also being spent on marketing, on paying off the media and acedemia, on local and national government policy directions and on "training" the next generation of Warmie-bots. As another climate blogger, Pointman, insists, this is a war of ideas over our economies and our hard-won fundamental liberties.

Manfarang, tropical hurricanes have been making landfalls in the New York vicinity with regularity. In fact, the historical maps show an undecipherable saturation. After forming off the coast of West Africa, they swing NW due to the coriolis effect, saturate the East Coast of the US and Canada and one or two will appear even as far North as south of Iceland and off the Shetlands. (See a storm map at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/04/nasas-astronomy-picture-of-the-day-double-blunder/). It's my bet that no one at NOAA has dared come up with an argument or evidence for "greater regularity" as there is none to be made. That kind of crude, easily falsifiable alarmism is usually the domain of the lapdog NGOs and is intended for the consumption of the public.

As it's become obvious that "global warming" is a dud, given the lack of evidence and the failed models, Plan B is "catastrophic weather" and increase use of fuzzy terminology, winks and nudges. But it's only a flimsy place holder, since the historical record, it turns out, doesn't show an increase in violent weather...in fact a decrease. Ooops! So, the latest laugh is that ok, maybe there are fewer, but they are more intense! Or, back to good old anecdotal flim-flams, the last refuge of the establishment's climate scoundrels: Yeah, ok, but they never had a storm precisely here!!!"

So, Manfarang, CAGW is going down the way of the last two great and expensive pseudo-scientific scams, eugenics and Lysenkoism; first there is the "unanimous consensus" backed by all the frowning scientists in white lab coats and the whip of the State, then, as real science creeps in and the bull is inevitably exposed, an attempt to slow the crash by attaching the myth to real causes like pollution and a retreat into obscure and difficult to measure opinion-based, anecdotal scare-mongering. The "global warming" story, when the historians get to it, will not be one about the science, but about the dangers of cooperation between industry, institutions, central and international governments. And hopefully, about the ability of real science to correct itself and the power of ordinary people to counter multi-billion dollar propaganda, revenue-grabbing governments, corporate and institutional thuggery and the mendacity of "socialism with a green face."

9 September 2012 at 15:58  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 September 2012 at 16:17  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dreadnaught, you are a rare bird indeed, to step back from the powerful, deeply-embedded AGW culture, the personalized heat of the debate and to examine the science alone and to admit doubt. The issue is so politicised, what with billions at stake, egos, careers and international governance plans, that few remember the crucial rule that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence...not extraordinary efforts to debunk, which is how the debate has been framed and twisted for decades.

9 September 2012 at 16:20  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS, Dreadnaught, I've always argued that the political and economic facets of the AGW phenomenon are even more important as they, not the science, point to its origins and raison d'etre. A good place to start is a look-see at who has directed the scare, who has funded it and who profits...cui bono. It will surprise you, I think, to see the very energy corporations which are accused of funding the skeptics (and are not) are actually funding their erstwhile critics, the big eco organizations, which are multi-million corporations on their own. Another direction to look at is the emergence of the new "green" sector and its cozy relations with governments who have diverted tax money in the form of generous subsidies and who are skewing the energy playing field by favouring them with regulations and legislation. GE, with its legislation-backed poisonous curly-bulbs, Samsung with their useless wind turbines, Solyndra, Enron, etc.....

9 September 2012 at 16:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


A branch is making its way down a river. On board, one ant says to another “I say, we seem to be moving further away from our home, the foot of the tree”. The other replies “Indeed, let’s hold a conference about it...”

In other words, it has happened, it is happening, and there is NOTHING we can do about it. When the industrialised countries of the world met to discuss it, at the same time, China was opening a new coal fired power station every two weeks, and there were quite a few in building. Now, were these state of the art, expensively constructed zero carbon plant – what do you think ?

We could of course forget about two centuries of technology and go back to a way of life so excellently portrayed by Thomas Hardy. But we won’t. So we carry on regardless...

The biggest threat to mankind continues to be the mass population explosion in areas where mankind already lives a dirt subsistence life.

9 September 2012 at 16:55  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

And after closing down its nuclear generating stations, Germany is "quietly" building a slew of coal plants without the MSM making a peep. Bet ya that UK will soon follow by turning back to the miraculous black rock that started it all.

Agreed on all points, Inspector, except for the population worries. Population trends are a function of poverty, not vice versa. The proof in the pudding is the fact that when a country or region edges closer to what we know as middle class standards, population rates begin to plummet. Even in China, where the manufacturing sector is starting on a productivity slow-down trend because of lack of manpoewer. Bear in mind that the "population bomb" scare, which predicted our demise by the 1980s, is the chief driver behind eugenics and "family planning" programmes.

9 September 2012 at 17:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ah, that’s alright then Avi. The Inspector will still be able to eat meat and the piss poor in Africa and Asia will sort themselves out :->

9 September 2012 at 17:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Meat? They still let you have meat in England?

9 September 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mr Barzel - honest debate and enquiring minds have always made for a better understanding of natural phenomena. I must confess my position has shifted from convinced to sceptic in no small measure by re-visiting my long time eco-guru James Lovelock.
There is no shame in acquiring new knowledge and adding to the mix and making adjustment or even totally revising the scientific satus quo as he has proved.

His bottom line is - we simply don't conclusively know. The rush of often conflicting evidence seemingly fogs the picture rather than clarifying it.

The melting Arctic ice is serious especially for northern European weather pattens. I think it would be premature to completely reject the impact or influence of Co2 emissions from fossil fuel burning, the reactive chain may have already been triggered. All of which could pale into insignificance compared to the negative climatic effects likely to be experienced from methane released from softening permafrost and thinning terrestrial ice sheets.

9 September 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dreadnaught, Avi is fine; the me makes me fee I even older than I am.

Yes, that was quite a splash when Lovelock "defected." As for the ice packs and a whole lot of other "signs," we still have the null hypothesis, that we are witnessing a natural climatic cycle or event with new equipment and new methodologies. Extra-ordinary, iron-clad evidence would have to appear, with undeniable proof that not only is an unusual warming happening, that we are the cause of it and that contrary to all past evidence and experience, that it's bad for us.

Just look at long-range climate graphs which will show you just how rare and precious and short warm periods are, how ours is comparably tepid and that there not enough to establish a historical global "norm." Note too how the warm, high-CO2 periods have been times of plenty with explosions of new plant and animal life, whereas the Ice Ages and even the relatively mild cooling periods have been veritable killers. Look too at the effects of the El Nino cycle we recently had, the correlation between the Sun's activity and temperature, the Milankovich cycles of complex axial tilt patterns, orbit anomalies...and the utter ordinariness of our temperature and climate patterns when we include paleohistory and see it all from a greater "distance," rather then from the carefully selected "slices" of time.

Consider also the uncannily convenient rise of CO2 just as the bureaucratically growing UN has been scouring for ways to find a new, massive source source of revenue, one in which national governments can dip into as well. And, we have Big Oil, which is forever looking for ways to raise the price without having to spend more on exploration and development. Then, we have a collection of cockamanie theorists out there including international socialist losers, the UN with its Third World majority and dominance by Muslim states and their sycophants, the high-tech crowd, to massive eco industry, the Club of Rome snobs, the power and revenue-starving EU, all variety of fascists, old and new elitists, hungry local goverments, scientists and educational institutions in search of billions of new funding, organic growers, the new urban planner crowd...the list is practically endless.

No, it's not a conspiracy. A collection of fraudulent and even criminal acts by many players and a lot of misplaced trust by a lot of well-meabing people. I call it "confluence of interests."

And so now, as the edifice crumbles prematurely due to the unexpected emergence of the Internet and the blogosphere the last argument is the precautionary principle, the "better be safe than sorry" meme. Well, no; destroying our economies and giving the keys to the car unelected and shadowy national and international bodies, to governments and NGOs and their cronies in the financial, scientific, industrial and energy sector will make us poorer, not safer. Already incalculable numbers of people have died thanks to a few convenient deals over fuel-from-corn which saw food prices spike, with attending famines and regional conflicts. And who can count the millions of lives that are being affected by fuel poverty, joblessness due to flat-lined economies and constricted opportunities. And that's just the tip of the supposedly melting ice berg. Stuff like this can a keep a man busy, as no doubt you noticed already.

9 September 2012 at 21:14  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Avi, there are certainly more questions than answers but you are right regarding the influence of the internet which was barely alive when I completed my degree. It s sad to reflect that unless eyes are firmly fixed on the backers of scientific research projects it makes sorting wheat from chaff nigh impossible.

When I started following the lines suggested I was amazed at how many independent bloggers were indeed questioning the veracity of the selection screening by ereto highly regarded scientific journals. Lovelock was always a maverick independent and we need more of his calibre not only to beaver away on shoestring or self financed ventures but that they find an honest forum to review their work.

I'm not one who readily latches on to conspiracy theories, especially when they can be linked to heavy political bias. I hope that Lilley's call out on Stern's impartiality and triggers something greater than a mere example of UK sideshow political machinations.

I will be watching for the 4th IPCC report with renewed interest.


9 September 2012 at 23:55  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dreadnaught, the best way to access quick info on the skeptics' position is to monitor the blogs of Anthony Watts in the US (voted the best science blog), Jo Nova in Australia ("follow the money"), your inimitable James Delingpole with the Telegraph and your Tallbloke, who got harrassed last year by the Norfolk constabulary over the East Anglia "Climategate" emails.

Of special mential mention, if I may indulge in a bit of nationalistic puffery, are our Canadian sluggers, the professors and engineers and bland statisticians who were among the first to expose the stinking mess by making FOIA requests and asking awkward questions. And our government listened and acted. Quietly, without enraging Obama and his radical keepers, our national policy switched back to rational energy development. Germany may be on the mend with the mad rush to build lignite coal plants in spite of their numerous and loud Greens, Australia is an election away from reversing the carbon credit tax and we all hope and pray that Romney will take the reigns of the presidency in January and pull us all out of the nightmarish economic and political decline.

I'm waiting for the latest from the IPCC, because rumour has it they are quite stressed out about a slow and graceful exit strategy, probably in the direction of "sustainability" issues pioneered recently at theRio conference. But still, for the latest and the top analysis with hundreds of contributors from the scientific community is Watts' skeptics blog, http://wattsupwiththat.com, where you get daily updates on the latest in climate science from every source. And speaking of Lilley and the Stern Report, if you haven't already checked t out Dellingpole has two posts on the case.

10 September 2012 at 02:37  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Mr. Dreadnought - you will be surprised to discover that many AGW sceptics do not deny that human activity has an effect on climate - just not a very big one and mostly localised.

Avi has mentioned some very informative sources. Anthony Watts and Jo Nova are at the top of their game. You might want to check out Climate Depot too. Rick Morano collates many articles on the climate debate - both for and against - which makes it an interesting go-to source.

Perhaps I could add an extra dimension to your newly awoken AGW scepticism - the Climategate emails. These are a window into the world of climate science. In their own words it describes how they corrupted the data to fit climate models, attempted to freeze out any scientist of a differing opinion from the peer review process and how they manipulated the editors of well known science journals to prevent papers questioning catastrophic AGW from being published.

As for the arctic ice - it is doing nothing it hasn't done before. When the BBC quotes Arctic meltin is the worst since records began, the record they are referring to (the satellite record) is barely thirty years old. Thirty years is nowhere near long enough to compare anything to when it comes to climate change.

If you look at the proxy climate data (which comes from various proxies) stretching back to the Holocene onset or even earlier, you will understand why the climatologists only like the most recent data - the same data they have manipulated to show a warm bias or even made up entirely, and collected in a way that favours the theories they pedal.

Scientists are supposed to put forward theories to support observed data In climate "science" they create the data to fit the theory. Their "proof" is the global climate models, not observed evidence. Hi-tech fortune telling that is wildly inaccurate when compared to the real world. The climate ceased to warm fifteen years ago even though CO2 is rising. No evidence exists that proves CO2 drives temperature. Most of the evidence points the other way.

You wouldn't believe it if you listened to the alarmists but CO2 is at it's second lowest level ever and has been far more abundant in the past. We are currently at 390 parts per million. Greenies want to limit CO2 and reduce it. Photosynthesis, and therefore almost all live on Earth, will cease of the level gets as low as 150 ppm. That level is too close for comfort and we should be rejoicing that the level is rising. CO2 simply doesn't cause the effects the alarmists insists it does. Even some of the most notorious pro-AGW climatologists and supporters have admitted as much which is probably why James Lovelock, an arch alarmist, has come to the conclusion that he has been wrong all along and did a spectacular somersault from the AGW bandwagon.

10 September 2012 at 07:50  
Blogger Gnostic said...

contd comment to Mr. Dreadnought:

While I was never an alarmist I was of the opinion that there was no smoke without fire and accepted the media reports uncritically. Until the alarmist voices became ever more shrill that is. What drew my attention to the notion that all was not well in Alarmist Town is the fact that I live only a couple of hundred yards from a Morecambe Bay beach. I have lived next to the seaa most of my life and you get to understand its moods and changes. You also get to realise pretty quickly that sea levels, at least the ones in this part of the world, are NOT rising. If they were my house would be raised upon stilts already and I would have a boat moored on the drive.

As my suspicions rose I decided to look deeper into the whole AGW affair and what I discovered shocked me to the core. It has also made me rather cross since a major reason our cost of living is so outrageously high stems directly from the AGW scam. AGW isn't about the science. It is about the politics. LibLabCon, with only and handful of exceptions, bought into this BS uncritically and we are being punished for something we are not guilty of. Cold kills and we are entering an age, long thought mostly abolished by modern technology and civilised society, of many thousands of vulnerable people facing the prospect of hypothermia as the climate descends into its natural cooling phase and energy becomes unaffordable.

10 September 2012 at 07:52  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Cheers for that Avi. I had already found wattsupwiththat, ICECAP and John Coleman amongst several others which really woke me up the vast amount which simply cannot be dismissed without a fair hearing. I also found a rather spiritual and simpler form of reminder from Oren Lyons - which rather gave my brain a rest but maintained my focus on the bigger picture. I had not previously heard of the significance of the Pine Island Glacier until now which interests me greatly.

Now to check out what Brits (in addition to Mr Dellingpole) have come up with. As for the political aspect we have the constant spectre of the monolithic EU looking over our shoulder and of whom uk politicians defer far too much. However if as you say Germany is already stealing a march (nothing new here then) in getting back into coal and carbon scrubbing, our economic prospects may yet be revived if we too can resurrect our mining industry economically enough to run in tandem with now existing sources of renewable energy production.

10 September 2012 at 08:02  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Argh! My typo cup runneth over! That'll teach me not to write in a hurry and give the comment anly a cursory check.


10 September 2012 at 08:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Gnostic and Dreadnaught, I really thought I knew it all and all the players until you two rattled off names and sources I had never heard of. For me it'll be crow for dinner tonight...it's ok, a few healthy shots of guid smooth scotch will make it go down easy.

The currently big issue about arctic ice and Greenland's ice cap with which the Warmist crowd is trying to outshout Mr Lilley's demolition of the crooked Stern Report deserves our attention. In an ahistorical society which barely remembers what it had for breakfast, and with so little known about these distant and barely accessible regions until recently, it's easy to select a period and show that the sky is falling. Yet, the North East Passage had been navigated in the 1660s and even from relatively recent history we know that whalers spoke of a warming period and a great variability in the ice pack between 1786 to 1810. And we have this this eye-opening passage from the Royal Society:

It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated...*

The Hudson Bay Company which depended on trading Canadian fur for English manufactured goods observed several times rapid contractions and freeze-ups of the Arctic ice packs, speaking of "unprecedented break-ups" in 1815 and 1816. The great voyages of discovery and the opening of North Americs could not have happened without such periodic thaws and yet now we are expected to panic and hand our economies and freedoms to unelected bureaucrats who will save us from the supposed horrors of warming by taxing us to death and shutting down all viable energy source.

I note, Dreadnaught, that you still hold out hope that "we too can resurrect our mining industry economically enough to run in tandem with now existing sources of renewable energy production." Well, if by "in tandem" you mean that coal will have to back up the near-useless wind turbines and even feed them with power to keep them spinning during idle times, perhaps. Otherwise, relying on surprisingly succesful "clean coal" generation which has reduced particle pollution to nearly zero (but still generates harmless CO2) is still the best options.


10 September 2012 at 16:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

2 (cont'd)

There are many theories on how and why this global warming thing came about. Here is the one I favour: Coal, which is cleaner and environmentally far less damaging than burning of wood and wood charcoal led to the Industrial Revolution and saved Britain's and later Europes rapidly diminishing forests. To see what might have happened we need to look at Anatolia, the Fertile Crescent and the Mediterranean regions which once heavily forested were denuded of heir cover as far back as 8000 years ago. Then came oil, an even cleaner alternative which, amusingly enough, saved the whales, whose refined blubber was the only source of lubricants and the main fuel for lighting. Fast forward to the now, where oil and gas which have become more and more expensive due to geopolitical issues are severely threatened by the only abundant and dirt-cheap source of domestic energy...good old coal. And how do you shut down or radically raise the price of coal? First by attacking its pollution and when that was solved, by going after a harmless by-product of coal-burning, CO2. Given the trillions in investment and past and future profits, getting the corrupt UN and paying off a handful of scientists, institutes and universities with a few baubles to frighten us with "global warming" was easy and dirt cheap. As always, follow the money, and remember cui bono to find the cause and effect.
*President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817, Minutes of Council, Volume 8. pp.149-153, Royal Society, London. 20th November, 1817. From http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm

10 September 2012 at 16:28  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

In answer to the question about water- Salt water takes longer to evaporate than freshwater.

10 September 2012 at 18:05  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 September 2012 at 18:21  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Good thread. A few thoughts :

I can't see if anyone has touched upon extra terrestrial factors when discussing the for and against of AGW (not little green aliens, but the effects of the sun, such as solar flares, the orbit of the earth to the sun, asteroid impacts etc )?

Also in terms of the energy debate, I wonder if Germany is coal mining more because Merkel decided to close all the nuclear power stations in Germany after the Fukushima disaster? (and note Europe gets a huge slice of its energy needs from Russia via a pipeline that can and once was shut off).

This leads us neatly to nuclear power as a clean energy source (in the next 100 years, this could be even cleaner, once a fully functioning commercial fusion plant has been built).

Also other green energy sources - and this is like reinventing the wheel- are hydro power and solar power (not that great in the UK, but workable in other parts of the world).

After that there is the energy sources of the solar system. So we ain't done yet and we don't need to start going back to living in mud huts as some of the greens want us to and we don't need waste of space wind turbines.

Re the food shortages, if we can grown bananas in Britain, albeit using super greenhouses, then there is nothing to stop us from doing that- i.e. growing food- in other unlikely places.

This is what science should be about- looking forward to the future with confidence, not sending ourselves by deliberate action into another dark age.

10 September 2012 at 18:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Excellently put my dear. As I said above, scientists used to be such a forward thinking, not a backward thinking lot, dooming us all forevermore.

Re the arctic ice melting, I think I remember watching one of those nature tv shows and it said that there are tons of oil and gas in that area, now accessible.

That could be interesting, as I'm guessing the US, Canada, Russia and Europe all could have potential claim on it.

Could that be the way Britain finally rids herself of the EU, by being forced to take sides between our kith and kin in the US and the Dominion of Canada and a Russo-European Allianz?

Interesting geo-politics.

10 September 2012 at 19:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi Miss Kavanagh,

The effects of the Sun have been mentioned by a few of us here, but from what I can gather, the hypothesis that the Sun spot cycles which appear to coincide with mild warming and cooling (noticed by ancient Chinese and by a British astronomer in the 1800s who predicted the price of wheat from them) is still under development. The sudden recent lull has some wondering whether we ae heading for another cooling, a Maunder Minimum and more dramatic forecasts mumble darkly about the end of our happy Holocene and a return to Snowball Earth. I'm unable to sort through that debate as the science is way beyond my paygrade and there's a bit of pseudoscience happening in some quarters, something I can't assess on my own.

Me, I'm convinced that the Sun has everything to do with small and large climate changes, given the obvious importance of our celestial energy engine which happens to fuel all life on Earth. The Milankovich cycles are part of the Solar equasion, I think, as they govern patterns of insolation, but lot more needs to be done to understand them. I'm guessing that would be a good way to employ the super-computers universities have been acquiring and NOAA's new Cray array, rather than spinning silly models and trying to concoct a heroe's role for an atmospheric trace gas.

You're right, Germany launched its coal-plant construction after it closed down its reactors and discovered that the "renewable" energy sources were somewhat less efficient than pixie dust and unicorn farts, if you'll forgive my French. And, I forgot about Russian pipeline shut-downs; imagine Germany having to actually rely on Russia for all of its power needs!

In any case "fracking" technologies are opening possibilities for plentiful Polish and even decent quantities of German natural gas, but everyone's scared of Big Ivan, who will collapse in a month or two without gas sales to Europe. A stronger administration is needed in the US before that happens.

I'm convinced that not not only can we grow commercial quantities of banans in the UK or Iceland, we can do all that even under a mile thick mantle of ice, should an Ice Age come back within the next two millenia or so. All it requires is the most important element: Accessible, plentiful and cheap energy. When we accomplish that, all else is a minor engineering challenge. And I'm still marvelling at the fact that as we sit here fretting about running out of energy, we float on a thin 20 km crust under which is an ongoing molten nuclear Hell which wouldn't notice us taking a few frugal sips with a straw now and then.

10 September 2012 at 19:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I didn't conclude was the Cavendish Banana. It was seeded in Chatsworth and then initially grown on a commercial basis on Maritus, or at least that is what Perry said on our curry "Lord's night out" on Friday.

10 September 2012 at 19:59  
Blogger Gnostic said...

An excellent British sceptics blog is Bishop Hill.

There is a blog called Skeptical Science which is actually a warmist blog that attacks AGW sceptics and is AGW consensus driven. Consensus isn't science.

For anyone who wants to understand why AGW sceptics are sceptical that CO2 is a demon gas we must eradicate from our atmosphere there is an excellent free primer by Jo Nova called The Skeptics Handbook.

11 September 2012 at 12:58  
Blogger CSPB said...

Two more excellent sites:

11 September 2012 at 13:11  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Avi,

Thanks for that. Good to be back btw.

11 September 2012 at 13:22  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


Oh okay, if you insist, I'll state my opinion.

The myth of Global Warming is all a plot of the Joos to bankrupt Arabic oil selling countries and attack Russian coal and gas reserves.


11 September 2012 at 20:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Fine, Dodo, but rather lean on the gory details. I'm surprised, though, because usually you have an opinion on everything. Go on, reveal a little; you must have stolen a glance or two at your electricity bills, even if you slept through the wholesale destruction of Britain's economy and haven't noticed the apocalyptic unravelling of Western civilization.

Hi, Ms Kavanagh, good to see you back too. Couldn't help but notice your and you sibling's pleasant discourses with our mutual friend, Magee. High tea with crumpets to follow, I'm sure, so I better shop around for an Edwardian broadcloth dinner jacket. Yes, good links those, Mr C and Gnostic and just for laughs, you should try posting at SkS and watch how fast your post disappears. Use a stop-watch.

Full disclosure: I registered my application as an expert reviewer for the upcoming "...expert Review of the Second Order Draft of the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis." Wanna give Chapter 14 a piece o' mah Redneck mind. Let's not pop champagne corks yet, though, as I'm unlikely to pass review. I'm no longer affiliated with a research organization and my published papers relating to climate science I wrote are over a decade old and on architectural conservation, not climatology. They were on paleoclimate effects on cementitious, clay and calcium-based building materials and especially masonry patina. But the focus was on developing new materials formulae specific to regional and local soil, air and weather conditions, not on theoretical climate studies. The UN-IPCC eggheads in charge of the expert review process will let me know by the end of September if I squeeked by as part of the lofty experts group or whether I'll be back with you guys in the sweaty peanut gallery.

I'll suspect favouritism, though, if I notice Lord Lavendon's admission to the reviewers group on the stregth of his musings on the oirigins of the Cavendish banana and on the impeccable evidence of a curry night lecture by his esteemed peer (and Peer,) Perry.

12 September 2012 at 18:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Avi,

Aimlessly wondering off the topic here, I have to admit that I am slightly jealous because our family never got a banana, not even a blasted pine nut named after us. Perry Cavendish (or more properly Peregrine) is a thoroughly good chap though.

Down to earth and as down as the rest of us about being thrown to the wolves by Bliar and his cronies, but nonetheless a good fine chap- even if he does collect Damian Hurst pieces and has been threatening to give up his title for the past couple of years (this is a chap who has several paintings by Raphael, Van Dyck and Rembrandt, so quite why he is into modern art is beyond me).

12 September 2012 at 22:17  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 September 2012 at 22:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also as I said in the green party thread above (and this applies to the global warming lot as well) , they are a viciously misanthropic, anti-capitalist political organisation funded by deep-green ecoloons who given half the chance would have us all living in Maoist peasant collectives while they busily bombed our economy back to the dark ages.

12 September 2012 at 22:21  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Avi, really, I only express an opinion on matters I am informed about or curious about.

Please, a touch less hyperbole! The world will not end on December 22nd 2012 - I'd stake all I own on this. Wanna a bet?

Actually, my electricy and gas bills have dropped since my three 'children' flew the nest. Less use of washing machines, tumble dryers, computers etc.

And I don't think Britain's economy is in total meltdown; nor is Western civilisation facing an apocalyptic unravelling - yet.

12 September 2012 at 22:22  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Lord L, aimless wandering off topic is quite fine, depending of course on who's doing the wandering and your Lordship qualifies both in terms of hereditary privilegium and personal ability. Perhaps His Grace will one day open up a permanent Wandering Topic page.

Your esteemed friend, Lord Cavendish may have a point about resigning and for that we must be ready to forgive his lapse in taste for treasures such as Beautiful Revolving Sphincter, Oops Brown Painting. This is provided that he doesn't slug it out alone, but inspires a mass resignation of true peers who would unite in an informal assembly, one able to speak with a united voice, focussed on the original mission to serve as upright examples of excellent conduct and genuine wisdom and, to steal from your blog's sub-header, to "defend the weak, help the defenceless and fight for the general welfare of all." As you no doubt know, the end-game is to eventually dissolve nobility and to replace it with an equally hereditary aristocracy based on a cabal of cronies, so might as well end things on your own terms and throw a curve-ball while at it, I say. And, I chortle at the possibility that the people, who have a better sense of authenticity than our leaders imagine, may actually follow with their moral and eventually political support. A delicious situation that would be, where the meritocracy medicine compounded by spiteful, petty-minded educrats and bureacrats can actually scuttle their own designs.

As for the other pressing matter, I'm afraid that the fruits, nuts and even vegetables have all been grabbed and it has become quite difficult to popularize new cultivars. The only open field I can imagine is the recreational botanics one, where an introduction of a newcomer, say Cannabis indica lavendonis, would be greeted with cheers of joy by a wide socio-economic range of enthusiasts. I admit, though, that the law of the land and the optics of such a move may not be what the family had in mind. Nevertheless, dropping a smug aside to Lord Cavendish, whilst lazily spooning a gadjar ka halwa at the curry night table, that the net weight value of your agricultural innovation exceeds his by a factor numbering in the thousands might be priceless.

13 September 2012 at 15:55  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo, I spoke tongue-in-cheek, although the situation of our economies being starved by energy depletion policies is genuinly dire. But I do admire your ability to abstain from a topic you feel inadequately prepared for. Of course, there is the possibility that you might be terrified of expressing a contrary view to your One Who Must be Obeyed....

13 September 2012 at 16:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Avi,

Yes, it would be good for a rambling off thread, but given some of the other chaps here, who knows where that would lead...

As for Cavendish, well you might recognise the name more from his title - the Duke of Devonshire. I think one of his ancestors was a resident of Rideau Hall, as Governor General of Canada (who introduced us to the novel sport of ice hockey) and left a reasonable legacy :

"the appointment of the Duke of Devonshire as Governor General caused brief political problems because Prime Minister Borden's government had not been consulted by the British Prime Minister. Such consultation had become an established practice, and the insult Prime Minister Borden felt at this caused considerable difficulties at the beginning.

But by the time his term ended, the Duke of Devonshire had overcome the initial suspicion surrounding his appointment. He displayed great dignity and wisdom, particularly with the many Canadians he met. Prime Ministers Borden and Meighen both came to view him as a personal friend and a friend of Canada. Borden said of the Duke of Devonshire that, "No Governor General has come with a more comprehensive grasp of public questions as they touch not only this country and the United Kingdom, but the whole Empire."

13 September 2012 at 18:20  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


"But I do admire your ability to abstain from a topic you feel inadequately prepared for. Of course, there is the possibility that you might be terrified of expressing a contrary view to your One Who Must be Obeyed...."

Ah, that's why you wanted me to comment. An opportunity to have a pop at Catholicism and Pope Benedict, eh? Well, why on earth didn't you say so?

I will send the Pope an email and ask him just what I should think and say on this issue- shall I?

13 September 2012 at 22:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Uh, Dodo, nothing as devious or contentious as that. "The One Who Must be Obeyed" would be a moniker for one's wife. Aaaaah, makes sense, don't it?

From the excellent John Mortimer Rumpole of the Bailey books and an also good tv drama series with Leo McKern. Very, very funny and smart stuff. Really big out here in the colonies. Nothing like curling up in the log cabin with a Rumpole tale, while blizzards, polar bears and Eskimos range about outside. I highly recommend it, I guarantee that if you pick up one of the books, you'll read all of them.

14 September 2012 at 00:02  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Lord L, gone are the days Britain used to send its Governor Generals; we now select our own in a pointless, teenager-kind of show of independence. Our economy, national pride and sanity has been saved by a Conservative government in its secod term and the current fellow is a decent and competent chap, but the lady before him was a Haitian-born journalist who had dallied with Quebec separatists. It had become sort of a tradition with our former Liberal governments to select "cool" celebrity visible minorities over "boring white men," especially if they know what they're doing.

Canada does not aknowledge nobility and a petty (French Canadian) Liberal prime minister of ours stripped the newspaper man Lord Conrad Black's citizenship for accepting knoghthood. Yet the head of our gevernment is Her Majesty. Go figure, as they say.

Very kind of you to back my opinion to Miss Kavanagh, your lordship. I suspect these young astrophysicist folks like her are too busy gazing at the Heavens and too quick to asume that everyone has all his or her lights on to figure out the pests nibbling at their ankles. But that's alright, we stand by, watchful and ready with our fly swatters.

14 September 2012 at 02:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Avi,

Yes it is quite strange that there is no nobility in Canada and I do remember being told there are no Crown Jewels either. In respect of the Governor General, I suspect that Britain would do the same and appoint a celebrity to the post, probably via a vote on Big Brother.

Looking up the recent history of the Canadian politics, I wonder if there are any parallels for us in the UK?

1.You have the Bloc Quebec: we have the SNP.

2.you have a Conservative government starting off as a minority party and then went onto win an outright majority after implementing popular policies :

Our conservatives went into a coalition government with a bunch of social democrats and implemented er, o ,hmm perhaps a lesson that Stephen Harper could give David Cameron?

14 September 2012 at 07:58  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Apologies, Avi, and there's me thinking you were being mischievious.

Rumpole of the Bailey is wonderful. I've never read the books (these were spin-offs of the TV series) but have the box-set of seven seasons. I do love good, old fashioned British drama. Another I'd recommend is Kavanaugh QC - available too in a box-set.

14 September 2012 at 13:45  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 September 2012 at 14:04  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo

Classic British Drama. And of course Kavanagh QC, has a nice ring to it don't you think?

14 September 2012 at 14:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


Apologies? What for? That was funny. Your paranoid Jewish side of your ancestry came out to defend the Pope!

The books came after the tv series? Really? Still, try the books, it's a totally different angle and with a lot more and a different kind of depth. Rumpole gets to ruminate quite a bit more and the jusrisprudence philosophy he throws seems like pure humour at first, until you realize that he's making a fairly sophisticated point. Best arguments for traditional Britishness and commonwealth justice I've come across. There is a "sub-terranian" melancholy refrain running under all of the stories, especially where Rumpole loses to crass modernity and petty career climbers. Written at a time when a cadre of shallow yuppies were taking over the law profession. A window on history and disappearing values.

14 September 2012 at 23:18  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

As this post post is about to slide off the event horizon into the sheol of Older Posts, a thank you to all for teaching me more on the subject and His Grace for indulging my passion for the climate debate.

16 September 2012 at 13:03  

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