Monthly Archives: September 2013

Lack of Interest

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 11.16.13 AMWhatever its merits, and they are few, the IPCC 2013 Summary for Policymakers attracted rather less interest than the IPCC reports of 2007. While there were news stories on the release date the fact is that the number of searchs strongly suggests (95% confidence level) that interest in the whole global warming thing is waning.

Which, of course means that the issue will be pushed down the political agenda.

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The Divergence Problem

The damp squib which is the Summary Report for Policymakers (SOP) for the IPCC’s AR5 has arrived, been torn apart by the sceptics and lauded by the warmists. Mainstream media noted the arrival, parroted the general idea that humans are to blame (for what exactly is unclear) and, judging from today’s papers and sites, moved on. Climate alarmism is no longer of any great interest to the public and the coverage accorded to the SOP illustrates this.

Yet the SOP is important because, unless I miss my bet, when the full report is released on Monday, the entirely political nature of the IPCC enterprise will be starkly revealed. Plus, the IPCC itself has walked back in two critical areas.

The SOP itself is interesting simply because it reflects what green bureaucrats don’t want to discuss about the science. Which is not the same thing as saying the science does not exist; it almost certainly does and that science will be in the full report.

First up: sensitivity. The sensitivity of temperature to CO2 is a, indeed, the critical question at the intersection of climate science and policy. But in the SOP no actual sensitivity estimate was given.

The implication of this footnote is that sensitivity estimates are uncertain. Assuming for the moment that the full report supports the footnote’s conclusion, the key is going to be to examine what actual science that report discusses and why there is such uncertainty.

As I wrote yesterday, without a sensitivity estimate the SOP and the full report are effectively useless for policy purposes. Why would a politician take any measure – sure to be expensive – to reduce CO2 emissions without having at least some idea of what effect such reduction would have on temperature?

It is not as if the IPCC is unaware of this political fact, so why no sensitivity estimate? My own speculation is that the science will suggest that the sensitivity is at the low to extremely low end of the scale. 2 degrees Celsius or below per doubling of CO2. From an alarmist perspective this would be very bad news because it renders attempts to reduce emissions either pointless or cost ineffective. Speculatively, it was better to suppress the science rather than give the IPCC imprimatur to a relatively benign number.

Model failure: A fair amount of ink was spilt in the SOP trying to explain, contextualize, or dismiss the “pause” in global temperature. The SOP invoked faulty end points, ocean hidden heat and a newly discovered 30 year rule for climatic trends to discount the importance of the pause. What the SOP did not do is notice the real importance of the pause.

From the warmist’s perspective the pause is an inconvenient climate fact that nasty deniers are, wrongly, using to suggest global warming is over. While some sceptics have taken that position, most see the pause in quite another light: the pause invalidates the models which failed to predict it.

Whether or not a 17 year pause means global warming is over is not, in my view, a useful question. All the pause is is data. In itself it proves very little about climate save that Nature is complicated.

However, a 17 year period of temperatures and CO2 rise which none of the models predicted is very strong evidence that the models are wrong.

Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. However, this is simply an admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the surface layers and the deeper oceans. However, it is this heat transport that plays a major role in natural internal variability of climate, and the IPCC assertions that observed warming can be attributed to man depend crucially on their assertion that these models accurately simulate natural internal variability. Thus, they now, somewhat obscurely, admit that their crucial assumption was totally unjustified. Dr. Richard Lindzen

The discussion of models in the full report should be illuminating. Politically, there is a great deal of investment in model based climate science. Similarily, the mainstream media has been running model based stories of the form “According to a model of sea level rise Victoria will be under three feet of water in 2100” without, for a second, questioning if the models are valid. Now the IPCC has, in trying to explain the pause, admitted the models are fundamentally wrong.

For many years sceptics have been routinely dismissed because their positions contradict the consensus position of the IPCC. Now, on two fronts – sensitivity and climate models – the sceptic position that we simply do not have science strong enough to use for policy purposes has been vindicated by the IPCC. These are not issues at the margins, they go to the heart of the alarmist position.

The next time a Greenie says “We have to cut CO2 emissions or face _________.” a sceptic can and should say, “That is not what the IPCC says. It says we don’t know what effect cutting CO2 emissions will have.” And the next time a lazy journalist writes a “Models say…” story the sceptic can respond “The IPCC says the models don’t get nature right. The models are wrong.”

No doubt this is not what the IPCC intended; but the fact is that the shaky foundations of a relatively new science could not support the policy weight they have been asked to bear. The gradual collapse of the IPCC edifice comes as no surprise.

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IPCC on the Rocks

(I posted this over at WUWT)

If ever there was a one day wonder the IPCC Summary for Policymakers (SOP) is it. (And it is being largely ignored in the non-committed media.)

However, the fun begins Monday when the actual report is released. At that point we can see what, if any, references to the peer reviewed literature there are to support the ocean heat idea. And we will be able to see the sensitivity which has been left out of today’s summary. And we will be able to see the divergence problems with respect to the Antarctic and models vs observations.

We will also have the opportunity to do the detailed analysis of that the difference is between AR4’s “CO2 caused warming (90%)” and AR5’s “50% of warming caused by humans (95%)”: these are two very different claims. 50% of warming being caused by humans leaves 50% caused by other things….like what?

The fact that sensitivity has been left out of the SOP means that it is now, officially, impossible to determine what, if any, effect reducing CO2 emissions is likely to have. No longer can politicians tout “carbon taxes” or “cap and trade” as having any IPCC sanctioned effect on climate. [Of course, I suspect the sensitivity issue is in the full report but it must be really uncertain if it did not make it into the SOP.)

Finally, the IPCC seems to be of two minds in dealing with the pause. On the one hand they want to claim it takes 30 years to make a trend – which opens a lot of the prior science up to questions and every claim about extreme weather up to derision.) On the other, it is willing to entertain assorted, apparently non-peer reviewed, ideas as to where the heat may have gone. “Into the deep blue sea” is adorable but even the IPCC admits it lacks the data and the instruments to confirm this wild assed guess. Not to mention that there was no indication in the SOP as to when this convenient submersion began. There is much fun to be had here, especially if the pause continues.

Here’s the thing: tomorrow the committed media will have moved on. The public did not give a rats arse before the SOP and there is not the slightest indication that today’s sloppy, ill written, scientifically incoherent, bit of alarmist puffery will change that. And, for the first time, sceptical voices are being heard in the MSM.

There is still a fight ahead. However, that fight will be against a demoralized, confused and divided foe. The IPCC juggernaut has hit the reefs of reality. For the sceptical community the task ahead is to point to the mistakes, incoherence, illogic and lack of scientific rigor or principle which today’s report has exposed.

Should be fun!

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David Gilmour Sins

The offending paragraph:

I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth. hazlitt

Needless to say the academic/pc/CanLitt mob are up in armshow dare he?

It is unlikely that I will ever be asked to teach a literature course at a major, or even minor, university. First because none of my degrees – ancients as they are, are in literature – second, because the only course I would remotely want to teach has the provisional title – Really Long Books. Here is the list:

Parade’s End: Ford Maddox Ford
The Dance to the Music of Time:Anthony Powell
The Balkan and Levant Trilogies: Olivia Manning
Sword of Honor: Evelyn Waugh
The Raj Quartet: Paul Scott
The Alexandria Quartet: Laurence Durrell
A Suitable Boy: Vikram Seth

The alternative title would be “End of Empire”. Only one girl on the list I’m afraid. One and a half gay men (Paul Scott would be the half (though the case can be made for Waugh to a minimal, Etonian, degree).)

Unfashionably enough the point of the course would be social history through the novelists’ eye. Or, put more precisely, an examination of what happened to the two men of the British Officer class with whom Parade’s End opens. What happened to them, to the class they represented, to the ethos they embodied, are, to my mind, the pressing questions of the 20th and, I suspect, the 21st century.

This is not, I am afraid, how English literature is taught these days. No theory, very little engagement with the text – only the last book of Parade’s End is in any sense “modern”. (Durrell is modern but he is not limp enough to be taught that way.) In fact, my poor students would be encouraged to read history along with the novels. Because I would be teaching books I know, love, think I understand and think are illuminating. So there is not the slightest chance such a course would be taught.

Gilmour’s great sin, leaving aside the absence of a few required tokens, is that he seems to like reading. Which means he likes reading some books rather than other books and that, in turn, means he will offer a course which reflects what he likes, indeed loves, reading. And he is honest enough to admit he does not want to teach books he does not love.

Given that this is an optional, 3rd year, course there is no particular reason why Gilmour should teach any particular book. One of his predecessors at Victoria College managed to run quite a little course using nothing more than the Bible, Paradise Lost and Blake.

David Gilmour has sinned by telling the truth about himself, his preferences and his teaching capacities. I am sure the bien pensant of the UofT – and there are none so bien in all the Canadas – are assembling the academic firing squad on the quad lest this sort of impiety gets out of control.

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The IPCC is in a Hell of a mess because nothing in its pending report can really get to the heart of the significant mismatch between what the climate models predict and what reality is serving up. Plenty of “climate scientists” are aware of this mismatch and there have been some papers – too late for inclusion in the current report – confirming the over warming of the models.

But Canada’s own Steve MacIntyre has a must read post up today which sums up the fatal damage years of denial have inflicted on the IPCC. Here’s a quote but make some coffee, put on your thinking cap and read the whole thing.

Gavin Schmidt excused IPCC’s failure to squarely address the discrepancy between models and observations saying that it was “just ridiculous” that IPCC be “up to date”:

The idea that IPCC needs to be up to date on what was written last week is just ridiculous.”

But the problem not arise “last week”. While the issue has only recently become acute, it has become acute because of accumulating failure during the AR5 assessment process, including errors and misrepresentations by IPCC in the assessments sent out for external review; the almost total failure of the academic climate community to address the discrepancy; gatekeeping by fellow-traveling journal editors that suppressed criticism of the defects in the limited academic literature on the topic. climate audit

And, by the way, where is MacIntyre’s Order of Canada? No, seriously, MacIntyre had the wit and the courage to realize that the fairy stories of the IPCC did not stand up to scrutiny. His contribution has brought the IPCC and its enabling scientists under proper scrutiny and, as the wheels fall off the global warming bus, that contribution has certainly saved the world hundreds of billions of misallocated dollars. Which, in turn means that MacIntyre is directly responsible for saving millions of lives which would otherwise have been forfeit had the crazier Green ideas been implemented in their full lunacy.

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Eco Terrorists

“When a foreign vessel full of electronic technical equipment of unknown purpose and a group of people calling themselves members of an environmental rights organization try nothing less than to take a drilling platform by storm, logical doubts arise about their intentions,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement. the corner

Apparently Russian oil platforms are not the soft targets the eco warriors from Greenpeace thought they were.

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Suzuki nailed Downunder

David Suzuki on the very first question is revealed as a complete know-nothing. His questioner tells him that the main climate data sets show no real warming for some 15 years.

Suzuki asks for the references, which he should have known if he knew anything of the science.

His questioner then lists them: UAH, RSS, HadCrut and GISS – four of the most basic measurement systems of global temperature.

Suzuki asks what they are. andrew bolt

In the next couple of weeks I suspect we will see a lot of climate alarmist “experts” melting down as they have to answer fact based questions. There will be plenty of hand waving and appeals to the bogus 97% consensus; but as soon as these loons are confronted with hard questions based on real data they are going to crumple.


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I have been saying the wheels on the climate bus have been falling off since 2008. Now we’re down to the rims:

FV: They certainly find themselves in a serious jam. That‘s why they are now trying to gain time by claiming that the models first become falsified if there has been no warming over a period of 30 years – never mind that the warming of 1977 to 1998 was only 22 years and deemed to be long enough to “prove“ the CO2 theory. A few years ago climate scientist Ben Santer said only 17 years were necessary before we could talk about a real climate trend. Now that reality is pulling the rug from under models, some scientists are having misgivings. Some are praying for an El Nino year, which would allow them to beat the drums of fear again. They’ll hype up every single weather effect to get attention. Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt- no tricks zone

And from Canada’s own Ross McKitrick we have this rather perfect graph:

First, something big is about to happen. Models predict one thing and the data show another. The various attempts in recent years to patch over the difference are disintegrating. Over the next few years, either there is going to be a sudden, rapid warming that shoots temperatures up to where the models say they should be, or the mainstream climate modeling paradigm is going to fall apart. financial post

As the observed climate diverges from the models the “science” based on the models will become less and less plausible. While the warmists try to pretend that the models are somehow not central to the science, the reality is that every scare scenario relies heavily on models which are no longer working.

When the IPCC releases its much leaked AR5 in a couple of weeks we will see the last media hurrah and then the final collapse of climate alarmism. The body will twitch for a decade with every snow storm and heat wave pressed to serve the cause; but the policy makers and politicians will no longer be confronted with a monolithic wall of consensus science. Instead they will realize that they have been taken for a ride.

The public already knows AGW is a crock and they are damned angry as their energy bills rise to pay for useless solutions to a non-problem.

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Looks like loner

ABC has the Washington Naval Yard shooter a 50 something ex? Employee gone postal.


Which, while horrible is much better than any two shooter scenario was likely to be. 


2 shooters

Early hours…but two shooters are obviously not the lone, crazy gunman. So who are they? Were they sent?

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