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Jan 28, 2010

Scientists, the IPCC wants you

Nomination to the IPCC process is an invitation for public smears, threats and routine attacks on your credibility -- not by your peers, but by newspaper columnists, bloggers and conspiracy theorists.

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Last week the Federal Department of Climate Change advertised for Australian nominees for “Coordinating Lead Author, Lead Author and Review Editor roles” for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report:

IPCC

The Government is seeking nominations from relevant scientists to participate in what the IPCC says is a “demanding” five-year process of establishing the best estimates of the trajectory, impacts and capacity for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

Quite why Australia’s best climate scientists would bother, though, is a very good question. Nomination to the IPCC process is an invitation for public smears, threats and routine attacks on your credibility, not by your peers, but by newspaper columnists, bloggers and conspiracy theorists – and you receive no assistance or funding for the pleasure.

On Tuesday, UNSW Professor Andy Pitman was attacked by News Ltd blogger Andrew Bolt, who suggested Pitman was being less than truthful when he said his IPCC work was undertaken “out of hours, voluntarily for no funding”.  Bolt linked to evidence showing Pitman had been reimbursed for costs incurred as lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”.

The only remuneration IPCC scientists get – as a quick check of last week’s ad would have made clear — is travel costs and living expenses while they are at IPCC meetings.  The IPCC work is on top of their day jobs as academics and researchers. Presumably Bolt and co think scientists should pay their own way for the privilege of undertaking work at the behest of the Australian Government.

Pitman is particularly frustrating for climate denialists because of his record of working with IPCC critics like American scientist Roger Pielke, who has accused the IPCC of cherry-picking data and being too focussed on the impact of CO2.

As a result of Bolt’s attack, a number of his readers sent abusive emails to Pitman.  Some went to an entirely different, and presumably mystified, Andy Pitman. Bolt, to his credit, publicly asked his readers to desist.

In all, Pitman received 240 emails, including some threatening ones (one, evidently written from Irony Central, threatened him if he engaged in “personal attacks” on denialists).  It’s not the first time Pitman has received threatening emails from denialists.

Pitman, unfortunately, has got off relatively lightly.  Crikey understands at least one climate scientist has received death threats.  It appears to be a pattern among some climate denialists – Ben Cubby described a number of death threats received by climate change activists during the Copenhagen conference.

Given the crossover between climate denialism and some quite grotesque conspiracy theories – Christopher Monckton, when not warning of a global Marxist Government or urging the internment of people with HIV, maintains that Jackie Kennedy was responsible for the deaths of 40m people — death threats from some on the fringe of the movement who take seriously the idea that climate change action is a threat to life and freedom cannot be glibly dismissed as idle attempts to intimidate.  But it is continual personal public attacks and consumption of time that would make volunteering for the IPCC process truly unappealing.

Pitman differentiates between genuine sceptics, who are open to being convinced by evidence on climate change, and outright denialists and conspiracy theorists, with whom there is little point in engaging.  “That’s the dilemma about debating and engaging with these people. It’s hard to distinguish between the conspiracy theorists and those with an open mind looking for answers, with whom you really want to engage in debate and hopefully win over,” Pitman told Crikey.

Pitman compares the activities of the former to “Denial of Service” attacks.  “There’s a saying about how it takes a second to lie convincingly but it can take days and weeks to show that it’s a lie.  Responding to attacks and questions takes time, and I think many scientists don’t engage because it takes up so much time that they should be devoting to research,” says Pitman. “But even if you’ve responded to the same question 20 times before, if you fail to respond once you’re attacked as ‘having no answers.’”

Oftentimes scientists don’t even know they’re being smeared and attacked. One denialist blog yesterday ran a series of questions from Monckton to Pitman that the blogger didn’t actually bother to send to Pitman.  That didn’t stop blog commenters, most of them anonymous, attacking him for failing in his “duty to respond” or demanding “alarmist frauds like”  Pitman “be dragged out of their offices in straightjackets”.

There’s an interested party in this process that appears to be looking on with equanimity: the Federal Government.  Crikey understands that the Department of Climate Change does not provide any information or assistance to IPCC nominees on how to deal with media attention and attacks from denialists (not even the simple half-day “How To Handle the Media” courses that many public servants undertake).  A DCC spokesman this morning said that the Department had no plans to provide media training or even a simple (and free) briefing for IPCC nominees.

As for last week’s ad, Pitman said he had decided that, having already undertaken an IPCC role twice, he would be giving the 2010-14 process a miss.  The orchestrated assault on his reputation, though, has made him have second thoughts, and he’s considering nominating again.

Bernard Keane — Politics Editor

Bernard Keane

Politics Editor

Bernard Keane is Crikey’s political editor. Before that he was Crikey’s Canberra press gallery correspondent, covering politics, national security and economics.

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56 comments

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56 thoughts on “Scientists, the IPCC wants you

  1. nugget

    We have already established the best atmosphere for MPM and her ilk is 50% N2, 50% CO , someone please get her back into her airlock !

  2. Andrew

    All a distraction from the REAL ISSUE:

    The dangerous and out-of-control rate of global warming at 2ppm CO2/year, the highest rate recorded in 55 million years of Earth history.

    Those who care about the life of the young and future generations ought to try and follow REAL SCIENCE, for example:

    Schellnhuber (Director of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact):
    “We’re simply talking about the very life support system of this planet.”
    (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE58R3VG20090928)

    If one or more of those components of the climate system) is tipped – especially in the course of global warming – then the age of remarkably stable environmental conditions on Earth throughout the Holocene may end quickly and irreversibly.

    Twenty Years Later: Tipping Points Near
    James Hansen,
    Director, Goddard Institute of Space Science, NASA.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/twenty-years-later-tippin_b_108766.html

    Climate can reach points such that amplifying feedbacks spur large rapid changes. Arctic sea ice is a current example. Global warming initiated sea ice melt, exposing darker ocean that absorbs more sunlight, melting more ice. As a result, without any additional greenhouse gases, the Arctic soon will be ice-free in the summer.

    More ominous tipping points loom. West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are vulnerable to even small additional warming. These two-mile-thick behemoths respond slowly at first, but if disintegration gets well underway it will become unstoppable. Debate among scientists is only about how much sea level would rise by a given date. In my opinion, if emissions follow a business-as-usual scenario, sea level rise of at least two meters is likely this century. Hundreds of millions of people would become refugees. No stable shoreline would be reestablished in any time frame that humanity can conceive.

    Animal and plant species are already stressed by climate change. Polar and alpine species will be pushed off the planet, if warming continues. Other species attempt to migrate, but as some are extinguished their interdependencies can cause ecosystem collapse. Mass extinctions, of more than half the species on the planet, have occurred several times when the Earth warmed as much as expected if greenhouse gases continue to increase. Biodiversity recovered, but it required hundreds of thousands of years.

    The disturbing conclusion, documented in a paper I have written with several of the world’s leading climate experts, is that the safe level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is no more than 350 ppm (parts per million) and it may be less. Carbon dioxide amount is already 385 ppm and rising about 2 ppm per year. Stunning corollary: the oft-stated goal to keep global warming less than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is a recipe for global disaster, not salvation.

  3. Flower

    “You have no proof that carbon dioxide is the culprit.”

    Most Peculiar Mama What proof do YOU have? You have NO proof that CO2 is NOT the culprit so that means you’re coming dead last in this debate and may I suggest that conducting a crash course in environmental toxicology would also enhance your own credibility?

    I must say though that your ignorance on the toxicology of A/CO2, its pre-cursor impacts on ecological, human and animal health, its warming impacts and its atmospheric lifetime, is an excellent strategy to distract readers from the whole gaggle. Problem is Mama, the recipients of your spin are not Grade 5 primary school students. Perhaps you’re Andrew Bolt in drag?

    In fact, just to bring you up to date, the complacent view that CO2 from human activity could never become a problem was overturned during the 1950s by a series of costly observations. This was a consequence of the Second World War and the Cold War, which brought a new urgency to many fields of research. American scientists received increased government funding but notably from military agencies.

    The officials were not aiming to answer academic questions about future climates, but to provide for pressing military needs where the climate could perhaps be manipulated? Among the first products were new data for the absorption of infrared radiation, a topic of more interest to weapons engineers than meteorologists.

    Spencer Weart in his book “The discovery of global warming,” refers to several studies (which denialists also like to corrupt) on previous high emissions of CO2 without human influence. “Geologists turned up evidence that more than half a billion years ago the oceans had actually frozen over, if not entirely then mostly. The conclusions were that over many thousands of years, volcanoes would have continued to inject CO2 into the atmosphere. There the gas would have accumulated, since it could not get into the frozen seas. Eventually a colossal greenhouse effect could have melted the ice.”

    Today humans emit 130 times more CO2 than volcanoes.

    Last year, Peter T . Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman from Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois conducted a survey of professionals. Of the survey participants, 90% were from U.S. institutions and 6% were from Canadian institutions; the remaining 4% were from institutions in 21 other nations.

    More than 90% of participants had Ph.D.s, and 7% had master’s degrees. With survey participants asked to select a single category, the most common areas of expertise reported were geochemistry (15.5%), geophysics (12%), and oceanography (10.5%). General geology, hydrology/hydrogeology, and paleontology each accounted for 5–7% of the total respondents. Approximately 5% of the respondents were climate scientists, and 8.5% of the respondents indicated that more than 50% of their peer-reviewed publications in the past 5 years have been on the subject of climate change:

    1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    Results show that overall, 90% of participants answered “risen” to question 1 and 82% answered yes to question 2.

    So you think your “knowledge” on AGW is superior thus trying to impress us with your unmitigated jabberwonky on “crime and corruption” in faraway places?

    In the event that your AGW assertions are wrong, Big Mama, what’s Plan B? Huh?

  4. gregb

    What’s more, Mr Wilson, all of this info is easily available on various authoritative places on the web. I’m not particularly brilliant, I just read sites where I’m likely to get the real story. You could too with a little effort, but I suspect that you only read and believe what you want to believe.

    With regards to MPM we all know that he/she/it is completely unqualified (and probably incapable) to undertake any verification of any temperature record. He/she/it complains of the lack of data accessibility (it is accessible, you’ve just got to try a bit), but doesn’t understand that even if it was a doddle to get the info, it would be almost impossible for most people to a)interpret correctly, b) mathematically handle correctly. That’s why we have scientists, but no, MPM knows better! The arrogance and cheek of it are truly mind-boggling.

    We are still waiting for MPM to provide us with an alternative hypothesis to explain the warming that has been measured (and which MPM can’t really refute). Gone strangely silent this afternoon, has MPM.

  5. Richard Wilson

    Well GregB this generally clueless person is compelled to ask what makes you so certain that temperature change is constant across the vast region formerly known as the USSR when it isn’t anywhere else on the planet? In addition to many colder points not being checked, changes may well have been substantially different, possibly even in the other direction!

    The additional variance may have changed the overall error estimates substantially putting many of the other figures under a cloud. There is so much in question this stuff. For example, earlier methods of measurement may have been less rigorous, not strictly comparable or downright fudged – we just don’t know. But judging from the escapades of the East Anglia clique, anything could and probably did happen. You guys (I’m guessing you are one otherwise you wouldn’t be so quick to attack we clueless people) aren’t chemists or physicists and even they have been found to adopt questionable methods at times.

  6. gregb

    Um Richard Wilson, do you not know the difference between a temperature anomaly and average temperature? Even if they did remove some of the stations in a cold place (ie Canada), they’re measuring CHANGE in temperature, not the absolute temperature. Unfortunately another example of generally clueless people jumping to conclusions on something they know diddly-squat about.

  7. Richard Wilson

    Greg B..
    I don’t know Mama but can I draw your attention to the comments in my missive above with regard to NASA?

    “NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), is now being accused of cherry-picking the temperature stations. Rather than using all the stations in the world to come up with its global average temperature, GISS appears to have chosen at least some because they would skew its projections in favour of higher averages according to the National Post piece. The Russians are already on record as reporting that the climatologists did not want most of their coldest stations and relied on about 30% of their cherry picked locations”.

    Maybe nothing?

  8. gregb

    Mama says “Just provide me ONE set of raw data for interrogation and verification…” Jimmyf supplies the link to some of the data which you need to download some software to access and can mama even be bothered to do it? Not on your nelly! Mama is a big mouth about “interrogating the data” but can’t even work out how to open the file. Pathetic! I’ll give you some help Mama, go to http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/sources/
    Let’s see if you can make just take one step for yourself, without having to be pointed in the right direction. Not exactly filling me with confidence that you’ll be able to reconstruct a new temperature series. If you can figure out how to open the file, I’m sure you’ll be busy for at least the next ten years doing what James Hansen did years ago. At least you won’t have time to come and troll here. Off you go.

  9. Frank Campbell

    Jimmy: “my impression of those emails from CRU which purport to demonstrate perversion of the peer-review process is that they show frustration with shortcomings of the peer-review process more than anything else.”

    Soon and Baliunas is just one of many papers which infuriated the climate modellers. As I’ve said on Crikey before, “peer review” is an inherently corrupt process. All academics know this. Not just in the physical sciences either.It could hardly be otherwise. Cliques form, incorrigible status anxiety predominates, journals rise and fall, paradigms come and go. Generation tensions are common. Academics are trapped in academia, usually for their entire lives. They tend their tiny patch of turf, then die in obscurity. This was the fate of the modellers, until they hit the jackpot.

    Power corrupts, but the loss of power corrupts absolutely. Read the emails. The modellers brook no opposition. They are acutely sensitive to the slightest deviation in their own ranks- because breaking ranks could be fatal to the hypothesis. They’re barely aware of denialist trolls or crackpots like Monckton. They believe that the only threat comes from within-i.e. within related physical sciences. The modellers missed the crucial political point- that capitalism doesn’t want to change. That’s the message from Copenhagen. The miniscule (and/or long delayed) reductions in anthropogenic CO2 that Rudd is playing with simply reflect the inertia and resentment of established capitalist practices. The rapidly industralising countries are the only ones which might possibly matter (assuming the AGW hypothesis is confirmed) and we saw them trash Copenhagen with relish. Ruddwong’s chorus line of 114 suits looked ridiculous.

    Now Gordon Brown wants to spend $170 billion on vast numbers of wind turbines- all of which will have to be backed up permanently by base-load FF and nuclear powergen. Catastrophic stupidity, but of course it won’t happen.

    Why are people increasingly sceptical? Even Green voters. Mainly because AGW is for many a millenarian cult. Prince Charles says it’s all over by July 2017. People don’t like cults. And recently many of the predictions of this cohort of climate modellers look shaky at best. It’s not just “one or two errors”, but the entire conceptual structure which is being questioned, as well as the sociological context.

  10. twobob

    But mama

    you did not adress the question did you?

    What short of the requirement of proof positive by creating a second planet to use as a control would convince you?

    Is that what you really want before you would enact a precautionary principle?

    Do you think that watching your children suffer in a hell on earth would be enough?

    Just because action would cost you money?

    Do you love the filthy lucre that much?

  11. twobob

    Richard

    Do you deny that the UEA results were independently confirmed by two external studies?
    Do you deny that glaciers in the Himalayas and in the rest of the world are in decline?
    Do you deny that co2 is a greenhouse gas?
    Do you deny that the concentration of it is increasing in the atmosphere?
    Do you deny the false representations made in plimers fairy story?
    Do you deny the immense resources of the oil and coal companies?
    Do you deny the lack of evidence that anything but anthropogenic activity is causing the globe to warm?
    Do you deny the foolishness of not enacting the precautionary principle here?
    Do you deny that the only reason not to be precautionary is money?

    Do you value money more than you value the quality of life that your children and grandchildren will experience?

    Its just my opinion but the gamble of money vs a hell on earth for my children is sheer stupidity. Not something a sane man would ever contemplate
    I’ll forgo money before my children any day!

  12. Most Peculiar Mama

    @JimmyF

    “…MPM, here’s the raw data you require…”

    A restricted access FTP site is the best you’ve got!

    The data supporting the “world’s greatest moral challenge” ought to have a better and more easily accessible repository than that.

    Try again.

    @gregb

    “…Oh please Mama, the raw data and code to the GISS record is freely available on the internet…”

    Then do an old woman a favour, be a good boy and show me where it is would you?

    @twobit

    After I stopped laughing…I realised you had somehow managed to weave “hell on earth” and “larvatusprodeo” into the same reply. An excellent tautology.

    But no thanks, LP has as much analytical credibility as this blog does. I can see you enjoy it though.

  13. Richard Wilson

    To all who want to believe there are fairies at the bottom of the garden!
    Do you deny that the IPCC has manipulated scientific data to support its contention that man-made carbon emissions are altering the world’s climate?
    Do you refute the thousands of emails and computer files leaked last November that show many of the world’s leading climate scientists manipulating their own climate data to overstate the case for global warming?
    Do you reject the evidence that came to light last week that the IPCC reported (AR4) that there was a 90% likelihood that all 15,000 Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 based on a report that was eight years old at the time, had never been peer-reviewed or published, and turned out to have been authored by a man now working at an environmental advocacy group run by the head of the IPCC. Murari Lal, the scientist in charge of the AR4’s glacier chapter, has admitted he was aware at the time that the melt prediction had not been peer-reviewed, but included it anyway because “we thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”
    It turns out the glacier misrepresentation was only the beginning. The Times of London reported last Sunday that the IPCC also misrepresented studies on the link between global warming and the rising damage caused by intensifying storms and other natural disasters based on a 2008 paper in which the authors clearly stated that they had found “insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophic losses.”
    According to an article appearing in the National Post, Jan 27 2010 by Lorne Gunther, over the past week, a total of 16 separate IPCC claims have been revealed to be based on unreviewed or non-scientific reports, most published by environmental groups.
    Calls are coming from all quarters for the compromised and exposed IPCC chairman Pachauri to resign but it is not just the IPCC. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), is now being accused of cherry-picking the temperature stations. Rather than using all the stations in the world to come up with its global average temperature, GISS appears to have chosen at least some because they would skew its projections in favour of higher averages according to the National Post piece. The Russians are already on record as reporting that the climatologists did not want most of their coldest stations.
    This much evidence would almost certainly constitute “reasonable doubt” in a court of law however dubious, unless of course U.N. sponsored! (Just my opinion).

  14. JimmyF

    This is another article showing that global warming has been continuing throughout the last decade as predicted by mainstream climate scientists:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/riddle-me-this/

  15. twobob

    seems like every time you post deluded mama you get smacked down. Your requirement of proof positive can only be achieved by creating a second planet to use as a control. Is that what you really want before you enact a precautionary principle? I wish you could create one so those among us sane enough to be concerned could split from you maniacs who think that for the love of money its worth condemning your own children to the possibility of a hell on earth.

    here is a cool link with some of the information you requested.
    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/01/29/its-been-a-bit-hot-just-about-everywhere/
    please tell us all what you think
    I expect something along the lines of its only one country so here is another piece of info you might be interested in
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/29/2804703.htm?site=sport&section=all

    enjoy

  16. gregb

    Oh please Mama, the raw data and code to the GISS record is freely available on the internet. You septics have been threatening to produce an alternate temperature record for years. And absolutely nada so far. We await your attempt to develop an alternative temperature series with great excitement.

  17. JimmyF

    @MPM, here’s the raw data you require:

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v2/

    @Frank Campbell, if you have a problem with anything on realclimate.org, you can debate there. You’ll notice that they allow very robust conversations to take place in their comments, unlike WUWT which moderates out all dissenting views. Their comments that in a 1600-page report, only 2 errors have been found seems quite reasonable to me, especially considering that the errors are in WG2 (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) and not WG1 (Physical Science Basis). Although I agree that the WG2 section of the report should have been more rigorously compiled, it really has no effect on the WG1 section which was very thoroughly vetted and contains only peer-reviewed research. Similarly, this report (http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/) is an update on WG1, contains only peer-reviewed research and has not been found to contain any errors. I would like to hear your specific issues with the findings of this report.

    And because it’s been brought up once again, my impression of those emails from CRU which purport to demonstrate perversion of the peer-review process is that they show frustration with shortcomings of the peer-review process more than anything else. If you were a scientist in the field and you learnt that such a seriously flawed paper (Soon, W. and Baliunas, S., 2003: Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years. Climate Research, 23, 89-110) had somehow managed to pass the peer-review process, you might react in the same way too in an email to a colleague (with an exclamation mark at the end to make clear you weren’t seriously going to ‘redefine the peer-review process’). Of course, I’m sure you’re aware that the paper was so bad that half the editorial board or Climate Research resigned in protest (http://www.sgr.org.uk/climate/StormyTimes_NL28.htm)?

  18. Evan Beaver

    To clarify then, you’re arguing that nothing is going on?

  19. Most Peculiar Mama

    @evan

    “…what is the alternate theory to the AGW hypothesis that better explains temperature observations for the last 100 years?…”

    Show me where these temperature readings were taken. How they were collected and collated would be useful too.

    I want to audit them for accuracy, consistency and plausibility.

    Just provide me ONE set of raw data for interrogation and verification. That means surface temperature or satellite (Oops, sorry the satellite data only goes back 30 years) readings only.

    Links are fine…after all considering how dire and urgent the circumstances such information should be easily and readily accessible.

    Oh and make it surface. And global temperature record, not just the US.

    You can do that can’t you?

    Then we can debate how a minute sliver of surface temperature readings are being peddled as ‘proof’ positive that the world’s climate system is in perilous danger of collapse and not just normal climatic variation being viewed through a peephole.

  20. JamesK

    @Evan.

    Not that it is strictly necessary for a thinking man but if you are actually interested (and we all know you are not), google: ‘global warming’ and ‘alternative theories’.

    That would keep you busy for hours if you were interested in following the results….. but we already know you are not.

    Which rather begs the question.

  21. Evan Beaver

    If the shoe fits and it quacks like a duck Mama…..

    Okay I’ll try again. Oh exalted holders of the alternate and only way, who run for the high moral ground every time their character is even slightly impuned, please endow me with your knowledge.

    In your own words, or someone elses, what is the alternate theory to the AGW hypothesis that better explains temperature observations for the last 100 years? Now that you’ve given us this theory, what information would disprove this theory?

    Now, no more dodging. Answer the question.

  22. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…Well then right-wing trolls…”

    Such stupid juvenile gambits only serve to demonstrate your inability to engage in discussion as an adult.

    You are as bad as the tools on Bolt’s forum.

    But you can take solace that you are not Robinson Crusoe.

    Would you like to try again?

  23. Evan Beaver

    Well then right-wing trolls, what is the credible theory that better explains the last 100 years of temperature observations? And what data will disprove this theory? If you can’t answer this question, then you’ve just got nothing to offer.

  24. Most Peculiar Mama

    @ stephen

    “…There are whole communities in the Andes who are running out of water because of glacial retreat…”

    Rubbish.

    Are you saying that it never rains in the Andes? The recent flooding in Machu Picchu suggests otherwise.

    How do they get their water if the glaciers don’t melt?

    Would it be preferable if the villagers were forced out by a ‘growing’ glacier?

  25. JamesK

    “the fact that there is no other credible explanation for the increasing temperature of the planet.” says Goosedetector.

    He’s not well named is he?

  26. Most Peculiar Mama

    @Goosestepper

    “…you ignore the fact that there is no other credible explanation for the increasing temperature of the planet…”

    What “fact”?

    You have no proof that carbon dioxide is the culprit.

    You have less than no credibility to discuss this issue as you can’t even get the basic science right.

  27. goosedetector

    FC
    The world IS WARMING and the ONLY explanation found is that the source is anthropogenic.
    With the enormous amount of money available to the oil and coal industries where is their science with some credible explanation for the current warming?

    I notice that your happy to bang on and on about the stolen emails frank but you ignore the fact that there is no other credible explanation for the increasing temperature of the planet.
    AND you choose to heap scorn on the on the scientists who publish verifiable papers while choosing to ignore the litany of errors in plimers book. Why is that?
    Lame stuff indeed old man

  28. presactly

    TwoBob is spot on. The insurance industry and their various representative groups have been regularly speaking out about the risks of global warming since the early 90s – holding conferences, issuing papers, actively lobbying governments. But no one seems to be listening.

    The fact that a group of filthy capitalists has long ago worked out that global warming is going to put their business model at risk should (surely) give the denialists pause?

  29. Frank Campbell

    GooseD: “Not all the tactics used by UEA were above board I concede but when your opponents are like plimer and monkton, when they are prepared to steal emails and pay bloggers like bolt to misrepresent the science it is easy to understand their animosity.”

    Read the emails. The climate modellers hardly mention the likes of Mad Monckton. They do mention Plimer, with contempt, occasionally. So who do they fret about? A very simple answer: other climate scientists and scientists from related fields whose work impinges on theirs in what they consider a negative way. Why? Because they think that credible threat can only emanate from other scientists. They couldn’t give a toss about tossers like Bolt (of course they’ve never heard of him).

    What they DID do was- quite late in the day- establish a website to attack internet and other media opposition (RealClimate.org). They’d woken up to the fact that the net was an essential arena and they were losing ground fast. Gavin Schmidt runs this site and liaised frequently with the senior members of the climate modelling cohort, often with an air of desperation- he was and is their spin doctor, and they often made it hard for him by their sometimes outlandish behaviour and frequent slovenliness.

    The flavour of RealClimate apologetics can be gauged from today’s headline:

    “The IPCC is not infallible (shock!)

    Like all human endeavours, the IPCC is not perfect. Despite the enormous efforts devoted to producing its reports with the multiple levels of peer review, some errors will sneak through…”

    Lame stuff.

  30. JamesK

    315 years Stephen? And merely a total guess at that.

    Such nonsense is the reason that the IPCC is utterly devoid of plausibility at present.

  31. Flower

    Wot – one error in a whole volume? Send them to me, I’ll pay double!

    Albert Einstein said: “A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.”

    However, the disreputable ragtag collection of pseudo-scientists and shills, putting the boots in, continue to publish their “mistakes” as “fact!”

    One comes to mind, the duplicitous Heartland Institute sycophant, Christopher Booker, who published “Scared to Death” and other swill, claiming that “scientific evidence to support the belief that inhaling other people’s smoke causes cancer simply does not exist and that there is “no proof that BSE causes CJD in humans.”

    He claimed that the BBC had “crudely distorted” a debate and “went out of their way to ignore the fact that the proponents of intelligent design are scientists”. Right…. is there anyone in the house who can provide us with scientific data on intelligent design? Any “scientists,” computer God modellers, contrarians or shills with data? Perhaps Andrew Bolt or Monckton could provide us with the evidence? Or what about the Messiah? No, I thought not!

    But I digress. Not content, the predatory Booker and “a number of right-wing lobbyists” misquoted respected astrophysicist, Nigel Weiss:

    http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/now/

    No correction – no apology!

    Oi – empire builders and shills! Get your hard hats on! There’s a sunset clause in your contract to swindle and dupe society, obfuscate virulent lies and send thugs to threaten our scientists. YOU will be held accountable for your treacherous incubator of errors:

    “Climate Cover Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

  32. stephen

    Most Peculiar Mama @2.18pm. Who’s cherry picking? There are whole communities in the Andes who are running out of water because of glacial retreat. Whoopy do if the himalayan prediction is out by a few years.

  33. BoldenwAter

    Most tubercular mama what is a hoot?

    That concerned individuals would try to reduce their own carbon emission as a precaution against greenhouse gas driven global warming?

    Do you insure your home or other valuable possessions?
    Your attitude even if your right is most unpleasant. You do so lower the quality of conversation here that I am surprised that crikey lets you troll upon their site.

  34. goosedetector

    Have a go at how the denialists conduct their science http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2009/12/15/2772906.htm
    Have a peep at the litany of lies perpetrated by lord monkton
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/01/28/hamilton-fran-kelly-falls-for-moncktons-media-manipulation/
    And here is a link about the stolen emails you might find interesting.
    http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/east-anglia-cru-hacked-emails-12-07-09.pdf

    Not all the tactics used by UEA were above board I concede but when your opponents are like plimer and monkton, when they are prepared to steal emails and pay bloggers like bolt to misrepresent the science it is easy to understand their animosity.

    In the end the world IS WARMING and the ONLY explanation found is that the source is anthropogenic.
    With the enormous amount of money available to the oil and coal industries where is their science with some credible explanation for the current warming?
    Answer these questions in an honest manner FC and RW and you will get a Nobel prize.
    But you cant and meanwhile you defend the anti warming lobby. Well you better be right about all you say because if your not our kids are in for a living hell, and I for one would rather a little precaution now. After all its only money. Isn’t it?

  35. j-boy57

    The trouble with the c02 question is that most (all?) of the deniers will be dead
    before the ship comes in. The demographic that matters is under twenty five.
    The poor bastards……..

  36. James Douglas

    Andrew Bolt gets paid quite a lot of money to purvey dodgy statistics on global warming. You could understand that a little more if he was any good at it – at least that way the rag that he writes for would be getting ideological value for money. But of course, he’s not: he can fool the average denialist (how hard could that be?), but he is repeatedly found out – in the pages of Crikey and elsewhere – whenever he ventures into this area.

    So it’s pretty cute when he starts questioning the morality of someone like Andy Pitman, who would actually be worth paying for the work he does voluntarily on climate change. The fact that someone goes on paying Bolt demonstrates, if nothing else, just how thin the ranks of denialists capable of stringing together coherent sentences must really be.

  37. Richard Wilson

    Here we go again…I thought all those crooks had been discredited by now..carbon trading is nothing more than an attempt to refloat the sick world economy with bunny dollars while TPTB usher in uranium as the next big energy resource and derivatives op; which is why the Australian Govt. is sooo enthusiastic. “We gotta whole lot mo’ dat shee than dem other mo’fo’s! “

    And if that doesn’t have some in a lather, I thought I would fly a couple more red rags for Lenin’s useful idiots:

    “You can’t say it’s careless science … it’s one mistake,” says Pachauri, referring to the use of the WWF “grey” reference (i.e., not peer-reviewed) to support the contention that Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035. Nuh Huh! – there were multiple falsifications in this IPCC report (Refer Eureferendum Jan 25, 2010)

    Pachauri must resign at once as head of official climate science panel”, UK Telegraph, Jan 24, 2010, Geoffrey Lean. “It is time for the embattled Rajendra Pachauri to resign as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC). He is steadfastly refusing to go, but his position is becoming more and more untenable by the day, and the official climate science body will continue to leach credibility while he remains in charge”

    ‘Sterngate’: The Influential Stern Review Has Been Secretly Altered
    History re-written instead of re-writing Lord Stern’s report seriously damages the basis of current climate policy. Climate Research News, Jan 25, 2010.”Disaster losses expert Roger Pileke Jr published a so far unchallenged critique of the influential ‘Stern Review’ in 2007. Table 5.2 of the Stern Review contained an order-of-magnitude error in Hurricane damage, which has been quietly corrected following the publication of Pielke Jr’s paper. As Pielke Jr writes on his blog:

    “ The Stern Review Report of the UK government also relied on that paper (i.e. Muir-Wood et al. 2006 paper that was misrepresented by the IPCC as showing a linkage between increasing temperatures and rising damages from extreme weather events) as the sole basis for its projections of increasing damage from extreme events. In fact as much as 40% of the Stern Review projections for the global costs of unmitigated climate change derive from its misuse of the Muir-Wood et al paper. There is no note, no acknowledgment, nothing indicating that the estimated damage for hurricanes was modified after publication by an order of magnitude. The report was quietly changed to make the error go away. ”

    From The Times Online January 28, 2010
    “Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data” Ben Webster, Environment Editor, and Jonathan Leake “The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny. The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to comply with requests for data concerning claims by its scientists that man-made emissions were causing global warming.”

    In my view, climate change real or otherwise, is a dead duck due to the unbelievable level of corruption and greed (real or apparent) of many of the main protagonists and, if I were the PM I would rapidly untether my climate change bullock from that corrupt UN train.

  38. Frank Campbell

    “Nomination to the IPCC process is an invitation for public smears, threats and routine attacks on your credibility, not by your peers, but by newspaper columnists, bloggers and conspiracy theorists – and you receive no assistance or funding for the pleasure.”

    Read the emails Bernard, all of them. They show routine smear, abuse and threat directed at “peers” (and others) by the self-referential group of climate modellers you seek to exonerate. They also corrupted the peer review system. They also vilified and/or tried to capture journals which published their scientific opponents. They also sought to hide/delete data.

    The evidence is not in the handful of well-known emails- it’s in the 14 year context of the 3000 or so emails and other documents.

    If you want readers to take your journalism seriously, read all the emails in chronological order. I’d be interested then in your assessment.

    As for payment, perks etc to IPCC climate modellers, you are simply naive about the workings of academia: the amount of travel is staggering, from Tahiti to Alaska to Russia to…Then consider research grants, the raison d’etre of scientists: little money flowed to the computer modellers in the 1990s, until “hockey stick” alarmism took hold. The grants then skyrocket from the low thousands to many millions. So although the IPCC itself only covers certain expenses, it is the lever which extracts huge grants from corporations, research councils etc.

    When the half a dozen or so emails hit the news in November, I dismissed them in Crikey as just “academics behaving normally”. By this I meant that academia is always a campus novel, a bitchy, vicious struggle for status. I was wrong to be dismissive. I should have realised that if one adds a vast amount of money and the political stakes to revolutionary levels, the campus novel morphs into a Dostoyevsky saga.

    The personal stakes could not be higher for the handful of provincial academics who’ve been propelled to world prominence as oracles of Armageddon. Annabel Crabb was inadvertently right to disparage East Bumcrack universities. The climate modellers hail from provincial institutions and represent a branch (modelling) of a Cinderella science. It’s no wonder panic set in as observational evidence in the 2000s failed to match their bold and detailed predictions. Global warming is not the issue. From the 1970s to 1998 there was a steady increase in global average temps. The subsequent plateau (wrongly called “cooling” by the Denialist side of the cult) provoked Kevin Trenberth’s email outburst: it’s a “travesty”. He didn’t mean the ‘science’ was wrong, just that they couldn’t measure it properly. Temps HAD to be rising. Now Trenberth has
    published a survey paper in which he details the many areas of evidence which are inadequate. It’s starkly obvious that climate modelling is still undeveloped. More research needed, fast. The AGW hypothesis is in distress. Careers, reputation, grants are in the balance.

    I notice you don’t address the fine mess that the IPCC has gotten itself into, Bernard. Glaciers, hurricanes, Pachauri’s conflicts of interest, the Amazon etc. The IPCC’s loss of credibility will turn off more scientists than Denialist abuse.

    And why assume that the carpet-baggers and nutters who infest the Denialist half of the cult are changing anyone’s mind? Do you think people give much credence to a flyblown Thatcherite carcass that has floated by?

    And why excoriate the trollery of AGW denialists when Crikey comments themselves reek of pro-AGW bile? I’ve collected a bucket of Cult invective which should make a cautionary tale in five years time…

    It’s time for some real journalism, Bernard. In the long run, Crikey depends on it.

  39. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Bernard must have been unhinged by the commentary on ABC’s AM this morning from visiting celebrity Christopher Monckton. The guy is just, merely, a celebrity. He is not an oracle. I can’t think of a more thrilling challenge, for an appropriately qualified and experienced scientist, then to take on this IPCC job. The last thing on my mind would be the “.. public smears, threats and routine attacks on your credibility, not by your peers, but by newspaper columnists, bloggers and conspiracy theorists”. Frankly Bernard, I know you’re not a scientist but why would you listen to them? Such attacks count for nought. They’re too low for zero.
    Back in the real world though, I can’t get on the wavelength of Most Peculiar Mama, Lord Monckton or Andrew Bolt for that matter. I’m perfectly happy for them to attack mediocrity in science reporting, in presentation of climate change arguments and any of the numerous shortcomings of the continuing debate between economists, politicians and other participants about the science and its meaning. I get the impression, though it’s never explicitly stated, that MPM and the others want nothing at all to be done about rising CO2 and its impact on temperature, on climate, on sea levels and ocean acidity etc. If they think it is all lies and fabrications by crooks and charlatans, the whole freezing lot of it, then I wish they would clearly state that position. Until then, they are all just celebrities looking for their fifteen minutes of fame and really, Big Brother and Australian Idol would probably have a more appreciative audience.

  40. twobob

    It seems that publishing details of those seeking answers to legitimate questions is a new tactic amongst the denialists.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/jan/27/james-delingpole-climate-change-denial

    Followed up threats of all sorts. Shows the mindset of the denialsts eh?
    ie If your against us we will browbeat you until you conform.
    What an ugly side of humanity it represents

  41. twobob

    you asked for it most deluded mama here is some evidence

    “In the words of the CEO of Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer,

    The figures speak for themselves: according to data gathered by Munich Re, weather-related natural catastrophes have produced US$ 1,600bn in total losses since 1980, and climate change is definitely a significant contributing factor. We assume that the annual loss amount attributable to climate change is already in the low double-digit billion euro range. And the figure is bound to rise dramatically in future.
    http://climateprogress.org/
    The insurance agencies have made up their mind. Probably because to deny the reality of what is before them would be to commit financial suicide. What a shame the deluded conservative voters among us don’t care as much for their children’s future as the insurers do for their money.

    Your also bullshitting about the IPCC-endorsed fabrication and publication of glacial melting data.
    The report’s cited source was a 2005 report by the environment group WWF, which in turn cited a 1999 article in New Scientist.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18420-climate-chief-admits-error-over-himalayan-glaciers.html
    The IPCC admitted their mistake but on your side denialists like plimer just glibly move from fabrication to fabrication never acknowledging the misrepresentations that they seek to delude you with.

  42. Evan Beaver

    You 2 are dreadful hacks. James, didn’t you even read the article? They are not funded by the Government!

    And Mama, just because some accountants said changing the whole world over to renewables will be expensive, doesn’t mean it is impossible in Australia.

  43. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…My original criticism still stands…”

    In 2006 PricewaterhouseCoopers put a price of US$1 trillion to half emissions by 2050.

    A laughably low figure, that neglected to include adaption cost for any of the E7 countries.

    In the same report they admitted that”…if this (a 50×50 scenario) is to be achieved, it will take concerted action by governments, businesses and individuals over a broad range of measures to boost energy efficiency, adopt a greener fuel mix including nuclear energy and introduce carbon capture and storage (LOL) technologies in power plants and other major industrial facilities…”

    A patently ridiculous notion.

    Keep grasping at your “it’s a small world” renewables fantasy though. It’s a hoot.

  44. Evan Beaver

    Nice dodge, you try and shift your personal failings onto me, by trying to prove your assertion is wrong.

    My original criticism still stands.

  45. JamesK

    Jeez I nearly forgot: … and appoint them to the IPCC

  46. JamesK

    Oh those poor Rudd approved scientists such as Professor David Karoly and Professor Andy Pitman who will only be smeared by nasty sceptics funded by evil coal.

    Good job Rudd can fund them to the tune of hundreds of thousands and millions of public taxed dollars.

    So I fund people like David Karoly and Andy Pitman who I believe are much more activists than scientists.

    ‘Tuff sh1t ignoramus’ is apparently is apparently the attitude of progressive elitists like Bern-independent-news-can-only-really-be-provided-by-non-commercial media-Keane’s thinkin’.

  47. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…What expertise do you posess to profess that a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions within 40 years is patently ridiculous?…”

    Show us how it will be done Evan.

    Penny wants 5% by 2020.

    Use that as your starting place.

    BTW, the BRICs are not part of the “reduction” plan.

    Your time starts now.

  48. Evan Beaver

    What a load of horse crap Mama.

    You spend lines bagging someone for unsubstantiated claims, yet open with a doozy yourself. What expertise do you posess to profess that a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions within 40 years is patently ridiculous? You’re a renewable energy and networks engineer then are you? Electrical engineer? Town Planner? Interested nut case?

  49. Most Peculiar Mama

    Three years ago Pitman and his ‘climate’ cohort Matthew England at UNSW advocated a patently ridiculous 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

    Both apocalyptic doomsayers gravely lamented that “many millions of people will be at risk from extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, floods and storms”.

    Instead – as if Glaciergate wasn’t bad enough – the IPCC has been caught out AGAIN with its 2007 Fourth Assessment report in claiming that global warming was leading to an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and floods.

    The data was simply made up…although later enthusiastically seized on by ‘climate economist’ Sir Nicholas Stern who susbsequently advocated a wholesale transfer of wealth from the First to the Third World as penance for the gross materialistic overindulgences wrought by Western Civilisation.

    Within Pitman’s area of expertise, the IPCC wasted no time in endorsing the dire and non-peer-reviewed assessment (by the ‘climate experts’ at the WWF no less) on the destruction of the Amazon rainforest by catastrophic climate change.

    No such data exists. Zip. Maybe Andy can shed some light here?

    Was Pitman part of the peer-review process that allowed these unsubstantiated and erroneous conclusions to “slip through” in the 2007 report he was a lead author on?

    The IPCC is run by crooks, liars and charlatans…headed by an academically-challenged former railroad engineer who knows bupkis about climate.

    To be a lead author on a new paper from such a moral and ethically bankrupt organisation as the IPCC would be considered career suicide.

    No wonder Pitman has decided to pass this time.

  50. Tom McLoughlin

    Kilimanjaro disappearing, north west passage opening up, Greenland farming, 50 year upward trend in global temperatures, Prof Hansen, NASA, increased ocean acidity, increased rate of ocean rise. Earlier spring thaw in Europe. Snow machines in Australia.

    Bring on the creationist nutcases. They make Pittman et al look like Leonardo Da Vinci by comparison.

  51. Gary Johnson

    Sooner or later Conspiracy Deniers are going to have to accept it, that what is mostly coined conspiracy “theory” … is actually just a nuant and slight deviation from the facts.

  52. Most Peculiar Mama

    Nice strawman Bernard.

    You’re still deathly quiet on the IPCC-endorsed fabrication and publication of glacial melting data.

    More cherries perhaps?

  53. Ian

    More old pyjamas

  54. Evan Beaver

    I made the mistake of checking out a post on Bolt’s blog, where one of the commenters had found that job ad.

    They were VERY EXCITED to realise that the job required Top Secret security clearance. This was further evidence of the conspiracy! What are they hiding! I tried pointing out that, well, it’s pretty standard for anyone handling Cabinet documents to be Top Secret vetted. My comment was not published.

  55. John Pye

    “Pitman, unfortunately, has got off relatively lightly.” ???

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