Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home3/tandem/public_html/golemXIV/wp-content/themes/canvas/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

Ways of seeing Climate Change – A Talk

This Wednesday, October 30th I am giving a talk and showing film clips, offering some ideas on why it is that  scientists have such a hard time communicating about Climate Change. My talk is from 4 – 4.40pm (though I will be there for about 10.30 onwards) in a day long series of talks, events and workshops being held at St James’ Building, 61-95 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FQ.

According to the press release:

The keynote speaker is David Malone, an award winning filmmaker, writer and cultural commentator, he is the creator of the BBC’s ‘Metamorphosis, the science of change’ and author of the Financial blog GolemXIV, previous films include “High anxieties, the Mathematics of chaos” and the award winning “Secret Life of Waves”, about waves and mortality for Channel 4, BBC2 and BBC4.

As an experienced ‘science communicator’ Malone will be presenting his thoughts on why the public find it difficult to understand climate science as people like science to equate with ‘human control of the future.’ This is not possible in understanding climate change as no one knows the full consequences. The science is based on predictions which people feel cannot be ‘true science’. Climate science is about communicating change and the scientists (and the world generally) doesn’t have all the answers of how to change.

The Event is put together by Invisible Dust with the support of Manchester University and Seimens. It aims to bring together scientists and artists ..and me ..and maybe even some of you if you can make it.


Subscribe to posts by email

, , ,

104 Responses to Ways of seeing Climate Change – A Talk

  1. David Sheegog October 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    David, you posted this today, Oct 28th, and your date for your speech is given as Wed Oct 24th.

    • Yakima Canutt October 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

      He’ll reply on Oct 32nd ….
      (run off his feet)

  2. richard in norway October 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    Just wanted to wish you luck in your parliamentary campaign, we need folk like you in such places

  3. Dante October 28, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    The tickets are all sold out David. Quite a late post.

    • Golem XIV October 29, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      Oh, now I feel like a plonker. I am sorry.

      It never occured to me that it would get sold out.

      How spectacularly stupid and thoughtless.

  4. Lars October 29, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    Dear David,

    in your speech, will you touch upon the, surely far-fetched and entirely unlikely, proposition that the difficulty in communicating the dangers of climate change lies in the fact that it’s wholly incomprehensible, not supported by facts, and in violation of common and all other sense (as physics, but they seem to be able to make a case that all is not what it seems, whereas climate “scientists”…), simply allow the possibility that it’s not true and that the masses know it, just like they see through the central bank’s bull on recovery and QE. I have 3 children, and they found out on the scam when in 5 different subjects the wording in all their text book was identical. They understood of themselves that it was just propaganda and indoctrination

  5. Lars October 29, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    Just for precision: The fact that my children are taught the subject of climate cange in a way that arouses their suspicion (and confirms suspicions of their father, that I have never discussed with them) does not disprove the global warming hypothesis. It’s just that the global warming claims never seem to get any more substance than the simplest propaganda. Are we to be convinced because dodgy scientists now “feeel more convinced” than a year or two ago of their claims? Will we see physics text book written with statements on the degree of conviction the author has in the science teached. Can I have the feel-o-meter installed on my computer and check its calibration? Please, David, you’re an intelligent man, give us a break and write more about the Irish situation, where you can really enlighten us. Climate change is junk science, Leave it to the less-gifted, governement-supported and totally useless “scientists” to sell this junk to the public

    • stone October 29, 2013 at 8:14 am #

      Lars, don’t you think science is always and necessarily shaky at the forefront and only becomes solidified with time as new lines of investigation verify what was previously at the forefront? Science extends thin tendrils of knowledge into the unknown that later become solid foundations (or get found out to be mistakes). If you looked at biology or astronomy or whatever, the latest findings would be just as “dodgy” as the latest findings in climate change. It is simply that so much is at stake in climate change that people get offended by science being as it always is when it concerns something so important. People think they deserve the impossible -a totally solid forefront to that science.
      To my mind we have to man up and make our choices facing the reality that we are dealing with somewhat unknowns. It is all too easily to use the uncertainty as a pretext for making the easy choice.

      • Lars Mørk October 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

        Hi, that may be so in sciences in general. What sets climate “science” apart from other sciences is the stubborn need to convince the doubtful masses of its foundation, introducing the novel scientific concept about how subjectively “convinced” its scientists are this year compared to last year. A phycicist can calcalulate the trajectory and send a spaceship to the moon. What can climate science accomplish other than conviction of its truth, which appears to be the main objective?

        The only similar example I can come up with is the Iraq war, when there was an urgent /strong need to convince the doubtful masses of the reallty of the huge threat Iraq posed to the world (something “so important”, in your words). This, of course, poduced the dodgy dossiers and and foreign minister Powell’s shameful lecture to the Security Council. In a similar manner Blair and Powell threw in how convinced they were of the purported facts, facts we now know were un-facts, as the doubtful masses suspected all along.

        • stone October 29, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

          Lars, imagine that the world had depended on the mass population changing what they did ASAP in response to the structure of DNA being a double helix. In 1953, there was very flimsy evidence that that was the structure of DNA. There was no politicking about that, science was left to muddle forward and over time that previously flimsy interpretation became stronger and stronger as more corroboration built up whilst the forefront ahead was where things now were flimsy.
          We could wait a few decades until we are more sure about climate change. I just think the costs of avoiding climate change are so much less than the potential costs of blundering into causing it. Anyway fossil fuels will eventually run out. We may as well deal with them running out before they do and in the same process avoid the risk of causing climate change???

        • Golem XIV October 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

          Hello Lars,

          I would be glad to discuss with you your worries and mine but I don’t want to disrupt this place too much unless it is what people want. We could, if you wanted, discuss via email if you desire.

          Let me know and we could, I am sure, work something out. Or we can chose instead to move on to other things. As you wish.

          For the record you can see some of my thinking on Climate change as well as the financial situation in the film High Anxieties.

    • David Sheegog October 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      Obviously, Lars, you’ve never read the evidence for global warming, and just as obviously you’ve read all the climate change deniers propaganda. But, I can assure you with absolute certainty that nothing substantive will be done about whatever climate change may be occurring. The 3 or 4 scientists who are the hired guns of the big energy companies to put out hasbara attacking the science of the thousands of climate scientists who note with certainty that the earth is absolutely warming must be credited as being great propagandists. We know with certainty that the two great extinction events of the Permian and the Jurassic were caused by global warming accelerated by build up of CO2 in the atmosphere. The science of measuring earth’s temperature is not very complicated – over 150 years of records that anyone can understand – 1.2C rise since 1880. Same with CO2 buildup in our atmosphere, from 250 ppm at the beginning of the industrial revolution to 395 now. The present level is the highest in the past 800,000 years and likely the highest in the past 20 million years.

      For whatever reason the earth is warming, it will not stop from any action by govts, or NGOs, or any other group of humans – not enough desire. We can only hope it stops by some natural action of the earth/solar system itself. I don’t think you have to worry, Lars, about the earth’s warming; it’s happening, but nothing will be done to stop it. So just carry on.

      • Lars October 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

        Thank you, my point exactly: There is nothing to do with the so-called knowledge except attaching some probablity to its truthness, like a confession, and then what? Any kind of action may be futile or countered by events on a scale out of our reach to influence, radiation from the sun, changes in sea streams, the earth’s magnetic fields, whatever

        We may all be extinct in a year from now due to a metor hit, due to a supervolcano outbreak, an extraordinary strong blink of cosmic radiation from a dying star (what are they called again?) or in a million years due to something we have no inkling of today. It’s not possible that we run in all directions to stave off all the scenarios of destruction for our planet.

        If we were to prepare for realistic scenarios, the volcano or super volcano is by far the most likely catastrophe for humans. It is not much more than a hundred years ago the sun was blocked out for months and crops died all over the planet.

        • inorbitt November 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

          As was once pointed out on The Oil Drum website, if we were serious about preventing climate change through limiting emissions from fossil fuels, the solution would be caps on production and supply, (approx 6 nations with potential extra available capacity for oil or coal), not attempting to influence the behaviour of 7 billion consumers.

          This therefore calls into question why we need to communicate it at all? Scientists need to communicate with each other of course, but there is little need to communicate past that, as a limit on production would translate into price increases, which in turn would cause a reduction in use, finally increasing efficiency and availability of other energy sources.

          At least these were the results seen from the 1970s OPEC oli shock.

          So why are we asking people to save the planet by using less, while at the same time attempting to dig out the remaining coal and suck the oil and gas as fast as is possible?

          I think this blog’s analysis of the economic system we are burdened with helps answer these questions..

          As to the questions of whether climate change is real and what is causing it? I’m not a climate scientist and have no way of telling you for sure.

  6. NK October 29, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    > why it is that scientists have such a hard time communicating about Climate Change.

    I think the answer should be self-evident to everyone, but I can’t mention it here for the fear of getting censored 🙂

    • Golem XIV October 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      Hello NK,

      I just wanted to let you know that I have only ever barred one person from this site. I hated doing it and felt it to be a failure on my part as much as the person barred.

      The reason he was barred was nothing to do with his opinions. He was barred because he became abusive to those with whom he disagreed and was intollerant of opinions he disliked.

      I would not barr someone for holding beliefs or opinions that I disagreed with. I would if their insistance passed over into a desire to humuliate, belittle, intimidate or shout down those with whom they disagreed.

      What I hope this place has shown over the years it has existed is that there needs to be and can be places where people LISTEN to each other, really listen. Not just until the other person has finished only then to ignore what the person said and launch in to their own opinion – but to listen to try to understand what lies behind the other person’s opinions. What pit-fall is it that person thinks they are avoiding by holding the opinions they do.

      Many people feel the number one imperative of our time is to find the ‘right’ answer to the problems which face us. I do not agree. It is important that we find better solutions than the failed ones we are currently tied to. BUT I think it is genuinely MORE important that we cultivate within ourselves and between us the ability to listen to those who we disagree with, to try to see behind their opinions to understand what motivates them and to be able to accept that there will always be huge differences of opinion and world view. To pursue the one without the other leads to intollerance and, eventually, to violence

      There are always going to be many ‘right’ ways, many ‘answers’ and each will always attract to it, its own cadre of zealot believers. And they are the danger. Because to find the ‘right’ answer without being able to live alongside those who do not agree with you, ends with firing squads, suicide bombers and thought police.

      Well mannered disagreement, constructive debate, whose purpose is to understand each other not to shout abuse and cast hateful accusations, is welcome here.

      I often think that those whose minds are consumed with the ‘right and true’ way they have discovered and whose gaze is fixed on the glorious day the revolution comes – they forget that the day after the revolution the world will still be full of people who hold contrary opinions and think this new way is as misguided as the last. What then? Round up the unbelievers, shoot those those who have not accepted the new truth?

      Please do not fear being censored. If you can explain why you disagree and listen and really engage with those who disasgree with you, then this is a good place for you. But it takes effort and time. I have found people are not easily nor quickly swayed by logic, or evidence or knock-down arguments. But they will move themselves when shown kindness and understanding by people who take the time to listen to them and their fears.


    • Lars Mørk October 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      I will not bother you with that discussion, David, I’m a jurist of education + throw in a little pilosophy. I’m not really qualified in a relevant science.

      By the latest arguments propagated in Norway, when qualified physiscists, geologists and meteorologist have weighed in on the discussion, nearly nobody is.

      Their critical views have publicly been refuted on the basis of their age (yes, a professor of physics would tend to at least 50-ish) and on the grounds that you cannot really have a valid opinion about climate change unless you cover the whole range of climate science (i. e. already being a fully paying member of the church).

      With my unscientific background, I must limit myself to observations of pecularities about the discourse around climate science that points to it not being fully rational, especially as to the arguments it presents to establish its truth-ness in public. Maybe these pecularities explain some of the communication problems that you will speak about tomorrow.

      Now that I got it off my chest, let’s move on

      • Joseph James January 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

        Your opinion is absolutely relevant and valuable. An absence of the correct training is not a barrier to understanding and judgement. There is a problem in the communication of “Climate Science” and that problem is the failure to fully acknowledge the uncertainties. It is not a matter of how much CO2 affects global temperature but whether it has any measureable effect at all.

        If the talks manage to address this failure to communicate in some way, they will have been very valuable.

        I believed the clearly communicated message of the IPCC until I became troubled by the hyperbole and the changes to the Hockey Stick.

        The message is being changed every year to maintain the maximum fear and hysteria based on an unravelling thread of evidence.

  7. Debra October 29, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I hope that your talk goes well.
    As for scientists having a hard time communicating… (about climate change), I see no..evidence that ANYBODY is finding it easy communicating (a word I rather dislike, anyway).
    There has been great public pressure on scientists to step into “God”s shoes…
    That has been bad for everybody’s health : scientists, and God’s, too, by the way.
    Let’s not forget that the man who, in the 19th century, proudly and publicly proclaimed that God was dead ended up in a particularly unenviable position… for whatever reasons, moreover.
    The overwhelming mass ? public ? desire to eliminate all forms of.. risk, insecurity, uncertitude have put a tremendous burden on scientists. Some of the latter have felt such… idealism go to their heads, and other, more scientific scientists are paying the price.
    But, etymologically, in our civilisation “science” is derived from theology so… I believe that the apple never falls far from the tree, right ?
    It’s getting old and stale listening to people scornfully proclaim that other… believers are stupid fools who have been duped (whatever the belief, moreover).
    Old and stale.

  8. richard in norway October 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm #


    I’ve been looking at the Scarborough and Whitney constituency and there is a sizeable chunk of libdem voters that you can target, they got 20+ % last time and right now their popularity in that region is abysmal, so you should be able to grab a fair chunk of those voters, but otherwise you have a real mountain to climb. I assume that you live in that area because it’s not a natural green party target

  9. Ceilidhman October 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Hi David,

    Best of luck for the presentation. Break a leg, as they say!

    I find that the problem I have is when people, especially the Learned Gentlemen of the subject, conflate climate change with anthropomorphic climate change and use the terms interchangeably. It would be impossible for there not to be change – variation at least – in the climate but whether that change is dominated, affected by or has nothing at all to do with human activities is very much open to debate. I was in the North Pole two years ago and amongst other things was surprised to learn that the North-West passage was navigable by sea not so long ago, around 1300 before closing up again during the Little Ice Age. As an aside, I was taught in primary school (quite some time ago, unfortunately) that we were moving back towards another Ice Age! Go figure.

    Trouble is, I don’t know and I’m sure no-one else really knows what’s happening. One thing is sure, however, reputations and careers are being made on the back of claims of proof regarding its anthropomorphic roots. The silliness that was going on in East Anglia doesn’t help the claimants’ cause and neither does the poor quality evidence that is periodically trotted out, notably by the BBC which, I might add, has officially abandoned impartiality over the issue.

    I, like many climate agnostics, would like to see some decent debate on the topic but I doubt it’s going to happen any time soon, opinions seem to be too entrenched. Meanwhile, I’ll keep reading this cracking blog!

    • steviefinn October 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      The North West passage event coincided with the Vikings settlement on Greenland from the 10th century to the early 15th, during what is referred to as the medieval warm period. According to some scientists we are now into a period of higher temperatures than was then the case. :


      So according to the ship things appear to be warming up again – James Taylor doesn’t think any of it is a big deal :


      However he does work for the Heartland institute :


      On the other hand :


      Then there’s this :


      Perhaps I am biased but I don’t trust Corporate entities & people like the Koch brothers, so I am with those who are concerned about the implications, not least by the Nordic Orion’s recent voyage – whether hairspray or cows farting in Ireland has caused it or not.

      • Brendan October 30, 2013 at 10:36 am #

        That piece by James Taylor in Forbes magazine tries to play down climate change by quoting a survey of geoscientists and engineers. That’s a group of people whose profession pays them to help find CO2-producing fossil fuels and has nothing to do with climate. It’s just like the way that the opinions of economists who work for banks or governments should be able to stand up to scrutiny and should not just be accepted at face value.

        I would put more trust in scientists who specialise in climatology and related fields and who, as far as I know, have absolutely no vested interest in promoting one view or another on climate change, and about 95% of them believe it is very signicant and mostly man-made.

        What convinces me of man-made global warming is not so much the opinions of the experts as the very weak arguments put forward by many deniers. Despite the huge funding for their research, they can only present selective data, usually of the temperatures at some particular place on the planet or at some particular time. These are not relevant when discussing something happening on a global scale over decades and centuries.

        • Clarence October 30, 2013 at 10:48 am #

          “I would put more trust in scientists who specialise in climatology and related fields and who, as far as I know, have absolutely no vested interest in promoting one view or another on climate change, and about 95% of them believe it is very signicant and mostly man-made.”

          Where do you think they get their money from? What a joke. Until a few years ago climatology scientists were a tiny underfunded, unheard of group. Then along came Al Gore and his ilk with unlimited funding based upon a tax on the main element of life, its very foundation. Carbon! What a wheeze. Wow, everlasting funding just to conform and to build ever more incredulous models.

          I was a research scientist for 30 years – dependent on grant funding – and I know how the system works. Essentially it stinks. As does this garbage on AGW. Notice how all of the distinguished detractors are now retired? There is a good, simple reason for this.

          • Brendan October 30, 2013 at 11:35 am #

            I don’t see any significant vested interest in promoting belief in man-made climate change. The renewable energy industry is dwarfed by the oil companies and there is public resistance to controlling greenhouse gas producing activities like car use and meat production.

            As just one example of the opposing side, this month BMW’s main shareholders donated €700,000 Euro to the CDU, the main German government party, just weeks after the general election and days before the government blocked restrictions on CO2 emmissions from cars.

            Even if what you say about Al Gore is true (I don’t know whether it is or not), America is not the world and it does not have a monopoly on climate research.

          • Brendan October 30, 2013 at 11:56 am #

            As I said, I don’t know about Al Gore’s alleged influence on climate change research, but I’m a bit skeptical that it would have survived eight years of government headed by oil industry insiders like GW Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice.

  10. Just me October 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    US to destroy Paradise Island

    Pagan Island, an idyllic Pacific Island in the Marianas, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, some of them unique, and enjoying a perfect ecological balance, is facing Armageddon: in March of this year the US military announced its intention to use the Island as a live-fire training range. In plain English, they plan to blast it to pieces.

    This is not the first time the US military will either take over an island or trash it, and then leave it uninhabitable for decades to come. It has happened before, countless times. It happened in San Clemente, it happened in Diego Garcia, it happened in Vieques, in Ka’ula, in Kaho’olawe, in Farallon de Medinilla, in Kwajelein, Enewetak and Bikini.



    If they have to bomb, why don’t they bomb something of their own for a change, Hawaii? Washington? One of their Virgin islands?

    The UN is dead at the wheel, international law is consigned to history and UNESCO moribund. As for the “international community”, they are probably too busy stuffing their faces with junk food containing GMOs.

    It looks an absolutely beautiful part of the planet.


    Pagan Island also contains a valuable resource – volcanic pozzolan


    Link here.


    • Just me October 30, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      Sorry, I forgot to put quotation marks in above post!, makes it look like I wrote it, I didn’t. You will find the post in the bottom link I give.

  11. Lars October 29, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    Thank you for describing the threat to the island in rational terms, about the probable outcome of intentional human actions with an effect on the near environment, as opposed to the island being doomed because of CO2 emitted on the other side of the planet. I will weigh the options and get back to you, but if the island is uninhabited by humans, it’s doomed, I’m afraid…

  12. CArratiaM October 30, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    Best of luck David,

    and if I can allow myself a loud thought, climate change is just one of the who-knows-what-other-possible-outcomes of our essentially flawed economical/monetary system which can only function on perpetual work. Doomed to failure in a finite world.

  13. Mark Northfield October 30, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Well, this isn’t a climate change blog, but as the subject has come up, the following link may be of interest.


    I know a few people (some of whom I like for other reasons…) who seem to have a very big beef indeed with the idea of climate change. They are invariably politically right-wing and see the whole issue as something invented by left-wing environmentalist types, a line pushed fairly relentlessly in the UK by the Daily Telegraph in particular, but also to varying degrees by the Daily Mail, Express and Murdoch titles.

    The chances of people with this mindset having actually tried reading books like ‘The Burning Question’, ‘Six Degrees’ or ‘Heat’, or blogs like Skeptical Science, RealClimate or The Cost of Energy seems fairly remote, though I have made such suggestions on occasion. It’s a crying shame for the UK that there are people high up in the Conservative party who take this attitude (eg Owen Paterson, George Osborne), but I am reminded of that famous quote by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.” UKIP’s stance on the issue is even more overtly anti-scientific and ridiculous, but they stand to do very well in the Euro Elections next year despite this.

    Others I have spoken with often have that ‘well we don’t really know, do we?/they’ll think of something’ attitude, which is simply a handy way of not having to take responsibility for one’s own actions and a reflection of how prevalent misinformation is that sows confusion. (The BBC’s efforts to date have been sadly rather mixed, most especially in news discussion programmes.) Like other reports issued in recent years, the latest IPCC report is pretty clear about the human element, and their assessment is necessarily a conservative one as it only includes what everyone involved can agree on. Considering the 20-30 year inertia in the climate system, the economic ‘value’ of the fossil fuels left available to us (a massive problem) and potential tipping points such as methane release from permafrost, the chances of us heading along the IPCC’s worst-case scenario – or worse still – are pretty likely. This is an horrific state of affairs to find ourselves in.

    Of course, this aversion to thinking (and acting accordingly) is ‘rational’ in the sense that to go against the grain of western industrial society marks you out as an oddball, which for most people is too uncomfortable to contemplate. We have been sold a dream: we are masters of the natural world, and if we can afford to do something and it gives us pleasure, we should just do it. To do otherwise is to halt the march of our glorious progress! Not fly? Eat less meat? Cycle? Put on more clothing rather than turn the heating on? It’s just not sexy and enjoyable enough. The basic scientific concepts showing that our accumulating carbon budget will have increasingly severe consequences as the century goes on are not impossible to comprehend (even if there are many levels of complexity beyond the basics) but they are simply not pressing enough to break through the wall of desire to carry on with business-as-usual. Better the devil you know, and all that.

    It is a type of debt with hideous levels of interest: what we can ‘afford’ to do now will be paid many times over by generations to come who did not incur that debt. And unlike the financial debt bubble, there is no debt jubilee or reset possible this century, only ‘adaptation’. That innocent little word ‘adaptation’ (one I’m hearing increasingly often from people trying to intellectualise their desire not to have to do anything) masks a grim future for vast numbers of people all over the world. It belongs in the same category as things like ‘collateral damage’ and ‘extraordinary rendition’.

    I realise, David, that you want this place to be one of respect and discussion. That is entirely possible with financial shenanigans, but less so with this subject. The human contribution to climate change is no longer seriously questioned, the questions that remain are: how severe will it be, how do we as a species change our behaviour and the industrial debt/growth society we have fashioned, and how can we convey the seriousness of it to an often misinformed public. To this latter end I commend your efforts wholeheartedly.

    • Clarence October 30, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.”

      Quite correct – but not in the sense that you wish to convey. Please see my response to Brendan above. Most of these ‘climate scientists’ are scientifically truly undistinguished in any broad sense but are second rate non-original political scientists that – until a few years ago – had little impact or credibility. Now, of course, they are all the rage and have tremendous funding and publicity. As the leaked emails show, this political capital is not always expended wisely and surely, with time, will leak away. Note how some genuine physical scientists have (without much publicity of course) dissociated themselves from this group, not least the highly distinguished physicist who resigned from the American Physical Society in disgust over this scam and the Academy backing of it: http://www.thegwpf.org/hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society/

      • Clarence October 30, 2013 at 11:36 am #

        Dear Golem,

        I love 90% of your invaluable, insightful comments on the financial crisis and the corruption involved. But if you look up Gore’s track record he is as crooked as they come too. Just because most of the criticism of the AGW (but not all) comes from the right, that doesn’t mean that – necessarily – it it not a scam. I believe that it is. Please read the letter linked in the above comment by me and post your response.

        In response to Brendan above. The “Climate Scientists” are not funded by renewable energy sources, but by government grants, the only source of funding available to most research scientists. Governments, of course have an affinity to AGW as a source of unending novel taxation methods, so of course they will promote such dutiful “research”.


        • Hawkeye October 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm #


          Just because certain vested interests plan to exploit climate change concerns to implement nefarious schemes (Carbon trading / carbon credits / green taxes etc.) this doesn’t suffice as proof positive that man-made climate change is not / will not happen.

          • Clarence October 31, 2013 at 9:18 am #

            Nor – indeed – as proof of anything. But as a motivating factor for nefarious one-sided opinions, yes definitely.

        • Brendan October 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

          Clarence, if the climate scientists are motivated that much by government funding, they would be more clever to say something like “We’re not sure what’s causing climate change, give us lots of money for research and we’ll find out”.

          Instead, they are doing the opposite by saying almost unanimously that they are almost certain that it is man-made. They are effectively saying that their job is done and that the only benefit of extra funding is slightly better climate forecasts. They are also effectively telling their paymasters in government that it up to them to stop the climate from getting out of control.

          I believe that government’s motivation in financing climate research is the same as when any scandal or crisis erupts. They react by launching an enquiry so as to pretend that they are doing something. For them, the research is an alternative to taking action, but it’s disguised as a step towards action.

          • Clarence October 31, 2013 at 8:52 am #


            You must know very little about government grant funding. Useless initiatives can go on and on for years. But try rocking the boat (say, for example, by being open and honest) and you are straight off the deciding committees and you quickly lose your funding. Dependent research scientists very quickly realise how the game is played and conform accordingly.

          • Brendan October 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

            Clarence, I don’t doubt that a lot of projects waste money for many years and are affected by funding and internal politics. That must be true in science as well as in other areas.

            It’s hard to see, however, that that’s the reason why so many scientists conclude that global warming is man-made. That would have to involve a conspiracy across many countries involving governments and climate research teams with the connivance of the vast majority of scientists involved. Not only that, but they would have to do it under public scrutiny and with powerful opponents who are given plenty of publicity to contradict the findings.

      • Mark Northfield November 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

        Ah, the not particularly credible GWPF:


        And their founder’s coal industry links:


        Did you perhaps miss this bit of the article I linked to:

        ‘There were 209 Lead Authors and 50 Review Editors from 39 countries. Over 600 Contributing Authors from 32 countries. Over 2 million gigabytes of numerical data from climate model simulations. Over 9200 scientific publications cited. The final draft for governments received 1855 comments from 32 Governments. In total there were 54,677 comments from 1089 Expert Reviewers from 55 countries and from 38 Governments. That is a lot of “rationality” that has gone into the process. [1]

        As regards climate science more generally one study searched the university accessible “Web of Science” for peer reviewed scientific articles about climate change published between 1 January 1991 and 9 November 2012 that had the keyword phrases “global warming” or “global climate change.” The search produced 13,950 articles. Only 24 of these rejected global warming – 0.17% of the studies. [2]’

        If what you’re suggesting is that one of the largest and well-documented international collaborations in science (the IPCC) is simply one big conspiracy to deceive, why do you expect to be taken seriously? How is it remotely credible to suggest that amount of falsification of data across the world? If the consequences of inaction weren’t so dire one could perhaps laugh, but this is an absolute tragedy in the making for our entire species.

        The science of how greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere is not new and not remotely controversial; this planet would be a lot cooler without them. We can assess roughly how much we are contributing. If you want to know more about the processes involved, go read up at Skeptical Science or Realclimate. Read the discussions on the latter site from people who work in the field of climate science and have the humility and decency to realise that the majority of people involved are genuine and thorough about what they do.

        The IPCC is by its very nature conservative: it will only report what everyone involved can agree on. At present, potential feedback loops like the release of methane from melting permafrost are not included, and that is a profound worry considering the amount stored there. Taking into account the 25 years or so of climate inertia before actions today take effect and the accumulated carbon budget so far, complacency is the very last thing we need. The deliberate misinformation masquerading as scientific ‘balance’ by fossil-fuel funded interests has lost us precious time when it most matters.

    • Andrea October 30, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      Great post Mark, thx. Respect.

    • Roger November 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Here is an interesting Discussion regarding Climate Science, Meteorology and The performance of Climate Models.


      The comments are very helpful if you have done some reading into the science.

      FOr example this Point here.
      Volker Doormann said… 7
      “Lennart Bengtsson: Global climate change and its relevance for a global energy policy

      Since the end of the 19th century the global warming amounts to about ¾ °C.

      If we translate this to an equivalent CO2-effect it corresponds to an increase from 280 ppm to ca. 490 ppm.

      The global temperature has not increased steadily but in irregular intervals.

      . . finally the last 15 years without any clear warming trend.

      There is no simple explanation to this, except that the planet is capable to get rid of the heat more effectively than in the models.

      There is a need to rethink.”

      Volker Doormann said:

      Dear Lennart Bengtson,

      I think the global climate change only can have relevance for a global energy policy, if the nature of the climate frequencies are understood. The coupling of CO2 to the global warming is an idea, and BTW, the actual value of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.0395%.

      Science is to look for coherence of functions, but as you say, there is no proper coupling of the CO2 content and the complex global temperature function in general, and not for the last 16 years.

      I think it would be a great statement to say, ‘we are confused by facts. We do know nothing about the climate in the future.’

      Simple comparisons of solar system functions with the well known global temperature reconstructions can help to bring light into the climate frequencies:


      From this results it can be drawn a new picture of global climate frequencies. The measured global temperatures are a mix of mainly three effects. One effect is the effect of the solar tide functions from all the relevant planets. This controls the ~900 year climate cycle as well as the high frequency cycles of years and several months. Superimposed to this is the ONI function, which is related to the ocean impedances and last the marginal effect of the CO2, which is of minor relevance to the climate. Strong stable phase correlations of the solar tide function of Mercury/Earth with the main sea level oscillation frequency suggest that there is a mechanism working between the Sun and the Earth. Fourier analyzed (FFT) spectra of the GISP2 sample do show a ~900 year power peak, which means, that this is a cycle repeated > 7 times over >10ky, and this power peak exhibit also in a FFT spectrum of the solar tide time interval of about 6ky. From this it is possible to calculate a climate forecast of about +1000 years.
      A warm climate level has an effect on Earth AND a high CO2 level has an effect on the oceans etc. But what to learn is that there is no causality between.


      There is a web site called science of doom which sets out to explain the basics and moves on to the not so basics of Climate Science according to the consensus approach to this area of politics.


      What’s the blog about?
      Climate science.

      Who’s it for?
      People interested in the science behind the climate stories we read about every day. People who want to learn. People who want to contribute to other people learning about climate science.

      What does the author think about Science?
      Science is not a religion.

      It’s good to ask questions.

      Being skeptical is a positive thing.

      When people of an alternative viewpoint use catchy but insulting labels for you, keep asking questions and thinking for yourself. Science isn’t settled by being able to come up with the best insults, although it can be a lot of fun – even for grown ups.

      What does the author think about Climate Science?
      It’s a fascinating subject and something really worth trying to understand.

      A little more specific?
      Some aspects of current “Climate Science” have become more like a faith. The science has been pressed into a political agenda and consequently the spirit of free inquiry has been squashed.

      After that you may think science of Doom is not on message, that may be so but it presents geniuinely and authentically its own take on the science and advocates for the C02 as greenhouse gas theories.

      And This from Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

      ‘I saw the new moon late yestreen
      Wi’ the auld moon in her arm;
      And if we gang to sea, master,
      I fear we’ll come to harm.’
      (Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence)


      There was a time when, though my path was rough,
      This joy within me dallied with distress,
      And all misfortunes were but as the stuff
      Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness:
      For hope grew round me, like the twining vine,
      And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seemed mine.
      But now afflictions bow me down to earth:
      Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth;
      But oh! each visitation
      Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,
      My shaping spirit of Imagination.
      For not to think of what I needs must feel,
      But to be still and patient, all I can;
      And haply by abstruse research to steal
      From my own nature all the natural man—
      This was my sole resource, my only plan:
      Till that which suits a part infects the whole,
      And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.


      The “tropics” section is flawed. Many factors control surface temperature, particularly those associated with vegetation. I find fault with the statement “When Brazilian ranchers cut down dark, tropical rainforest trees to replace them with even darker soil in order to grow crops, the average temperature of the area appears to increase by an average of about 3 °C (5 °F) year-round, which is a significant amount” as the lack of evapo-transpiration after forest is removed may have far more control over surface temperature than a change in albedo. The statement should be supported with a reference or should be removed.23:47, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
      This page looks weird to me. Some of it is definitely rubbish: the arctic ice stuff (there is no SW in winter…). Is anybody very fond of this page…? [WMC]
      (William M. Connolley 19:55, 15 Sep 2003 (UTC)) OK, no-one spoke up, so I’ve started stripping out stuff that looks especially dodgy to me, and putting it here (note: stuff left is not necessarily OK, just less obviously not). If anyone thinks I’ve been unreasonably harsh, please feel free to revert, or perhaps better make comments on a per-para basis. I’ve put comments on what I’ve removed.

      Connolley was removed as a wikipedia editor for over enthusiastic removal of views contrary to his own on Climate Change?


      And just for good measure Coleridges explaination of of Debt based money ( Bloody opium addicts , we should pay the man no heed!)
      Coleridge expresses it better than I could in Table Talk.
      this from 27th April 1823.
      The national debt has, in fact, made more men rich than have a right to be so, or, rather, any ultimate power, in case of a struggle, of actualizing their riches. It is, in effect, like an ordinary, where three hundred tickets have been distributed, but where there is, in truth, room only for one hundred. So long as you can amuse the company with any thing else, or make them come in successively, all is well, and the whole three hundred fancy themselves sure of a dinner; but if any suspicion of a hoax should arise, and they were all to rush into the room at once, there would be two hundred without a potato for their money; and the table would be occupied by the landholders, who live on the spot.


      • Roger November 4, 2013 at 11:08 am #

        Is this comment awaiting moderation?

        • Roger Lewis November 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

          Can’t delete this from way earlier in this discussion please ignore. the Question.

          Is this comment awaiting moderation.?

  14. Yakima Canutt October 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    It is a sad state of affairs. For years we thought people spoke the truth, but now we know everyone has an agenda, and most scientists are bought and paid for.

    I’m prepared to be convinced mankind is the principal cause of global warming (no I’m not really) if I were given clear, arithmetical, un-doctored facts. But it has all been baloney, all the the ice sheets should have melted by now if we believed the strident doom-mongers, yet this year we are told they are all intact and thriving.

    It is pretty undeniable that we are a pretty bad influence on everything we touch, and don’t control our corporate thugs very well. It is also pretty clear we mess with things we don’t understand, like gene-mischief, fracking, nuclear waste. But whether the turbulent weather swings we now experience are the result of chem-trails, or de-forestation, or sunspots, or orbit cycles, or just the natural occurances of an unstable planet, hasn’t been proved to folks like me.

    And the downside of that is, if we all get sceptical about everything, where does that leave us?

  15. Phil October 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Let’s see who is putting their money where their mouthes are:

    ”The People’s Republic of China is an active participant in the climate change talks and other multilateral environmental negotiations, and claims to take environmental challenges seriously but is pushing for the developed world to help developing countries to a greater extent. It is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, although China is not required to reduce its carbon emissions under the terms of the present agreement.

    The Chinese national carbon trading scheme was announced in November 2008 by the national government to enforce a compulsory carbon emission trading scheme across the country’s provinces as part of its strategy to create a “low carbon civilisation”.[14] The scheme would allow provinces to earn money by investing in carbon capture systems in those regions that fail to invest in the technology.[15]

    In 2010, Premier Wen Jiabao promised to use an “iron hand” to make China more energy efficient. China has surpassed the rest of the world as the biggest investor in wind turbines and other renewable energy technology. And it has dictated tough new energy standards for lighting and gas kilometrage for cars.[16] With $34.6 billion invested in clean technology in 2009, China is the world’s leading investor in renewable energy technologies.[17][18] China produces more wind turbines and solar panels each year than any other country.[19]

    Coal is predicted to remain the most important power source in the near future but China has been seen as the world leader in clean coal technology.[20][21][22]

    Nuclear power is planned to be rapidly expanded. By mid-century fast neutron reactors are seen as the main nuclear power technology which allows much more efficient use of fuel reources.[23]”

    • Clarence October 31, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      “The People’s Republic of China is an active participant in the climate change talks and other multilateral environmental negotiations ….”

      They are desperate to reduce smog and particulate pollution. Full stop. The rest is a smoke-screen (pun intended).

  16. Andrea October 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    In Switz. nobody denies *global warming.* (Climate change is not an accepted expression here.)

    There is nothing like seeing glaciers melt under your eyes, villages being swept away by landslides, roads blocked, crops burnt up, and both dengue and malaria becoming a potential problem in the South (mosquitoes in the Ticino.)

    Pine trees stunted and never growing again. Animals moving up in altitude to escape the heat and finding nothing to eat, dying. Flowers not growing as usual…and the snow aka SKIING industry in all kinds of disarray and uncertainty. (Money, money..)

    The summer of 2003 threw many into despair.

    Vegetation brown and burnt up, stark leafless trees, no greens in the supermarket (and subsequently the price never came down)..Thank Jesus or whomever, community etc. prevented extra elder deaths (as compared to in France and Italy) so that was a source of self-congratulatory pride, but it was a narrow escape, a matter of luck, holiday schedules, culture.

    I remember sitting in a bus at the height of it and about 20 people were weeping silently. The bus was air-conditioned. One person was praying in a quiet silent discrete manner. The children who often sing – rap or crazy yelling or traditional ditties – were totally silent.

    This taste of the Apocalypse is still present in many minds, but has slowly faded with time.

    People do note that the ‘town’ vegetation and ‘local agri’ has completely changed in 15 years or so. We now have olive trees and fig trees .. savannah grasses …of course that doesn’t mean much as such changes can be effected by Gov. decrees and new plant varieties. I made fig jam this year! And it snowed last week. Then, bright sunshine, and there are still flies and bees coming in.. never seen before…such personal anecdotes count for ppl on the ground.

    To make the point, the temperatures of the French town Toulouse is now the same as that of Madrid 50 years ago, see e.g:


    2003 affected work schedules, vacations, work dress (shorts etc. allowed), work time tables (midday pause), all agri plans, tourism efforts, territorial management, road building, and on and on. Including water management and .. pram ads (option: mosquito net.)

    A national plan for dealing with global warming is in place since many years, it is elaborate, worked out, and followed.

    Now, some parts of Switz. have experienced rises in temp. way above the average, up to + 2.5 Celsius over some decades (there is no point in being precise here, take it as huge, the official numbers aren’t meaningful in any clear way over some time span for some territory etc.) because of its up ‘n down and mixed terrain / climate.

    The efforts are all turned to adaption, they are at least partly (?) effective.

    As for how to handle the causes, notable is …semi silence. GDP growth, rising employment, better and more education for kiddies etc. are at the top of everyone’s agenda.

    Hotter may be cool! – ask anyone in Siberia… 🙂

    ..> Not about causes but a perso description from one place of how climate change is experienced.

  17. Patricia October 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Surely arguing about the cause of climate change is just a waste of time. And, if it is true we don’t have time to waste. None of us know for sure what the scientists say is correct but common sense tells you that it is likely to be true. In our own lives we can see the damage man has done to the environment and the consequences of that. If mankind is part of and not separate from the environment then acting on the belief that mankind has caused, and can cause, climate change can do no harm and might do a great deal of good.

  18. steviefinn October 31, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    Lord Franklin & his men’s graveyard surely gives indisputable evidence that ice melt is occurring on a massive scale & it does it without the wrangling of scientists, tree-huggers or right wing pressure groups. The facts are shown through satellite imagery , also major countries are now in dispute over who can use the route & listed here is a history of expeditions through the passage which give a good time frame for the progress of the melting.


    As I mentioned before the Nordic Orion recently passed through, she was carrying 25% more coal than she could take through the Panama canal & following this feat, a number of other freight companies are now planning to do the same. So what could cause this phenomenon if not global warming ?

    Judging by some of the comments above, David has an unenviable task ahead of him.

    Here’s a pic of the Orion :


  19. fanu October 31, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    “No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies” (IPCC AR5);
    “Generally low confidence that there have been discernible changes over the observed record on lack of trends in extremes, exceptions are trends seen in temperature extremes and regional precipitation (but not floods)” (IPCC AR5);
    “Unlike in AR4, it is assessed here…there is low confidence of regional changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones” (IPCC AR5);
    “Low confidence that any reported long term increases in tropical cyclone activity are robust” (IPCC AR5);
    “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency” (IPCC AR5);
    “The current assessment does not support the AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in droughts” (IPCC AR5);
    “Low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale” – “there is currently no clear and widespread evidence for observed changes in flooding” (IPCC AR5);
    “No long-term acceleration of sea level has been identified using 20th-century data alone” (IPCC 2007);
    “It is likely that GMSL (Global Mean Sea Level) rose between 1920 and 1950 at a rate comparable to that observed between 1993 and 2010” (IPCC AR5);
    “Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century. This is not some barmy, right-wing fantasy; it is the consensus of expert opinion. Yet almost nobody seems to know this” (The Spectator, 19 October 2013);
    “A repeat of the Dalton solar minimum which occurred in the early 1800s, which also had its fair share of cold winters and poor summers, is, according to him, ‘more likely than not’ to happen” (“Real risk of a Maunder minimum ‘Little Ice Age’ says leading scientist”, BBC, 28 October 2013)

    • Phil (Mcr) November 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

      I think that’s called cherry-picking.

      Quoting the Spectator – a leading denialist publication – is disingenuous.

      • Joseph James January 4, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

        That’s a sweeping dismissal, an insult plus a casual ad hominim.

        Not much of a contribution.

        I find fanu’s quotes from the IPCC quite interesting.

        And as for cherry picking, isn’t that the basis of the entire IPCC ethos? It doesn’t exactly diverge far from where you would expect it to go, given its name.

        It is not the Independent Panel to Comprehend Climate, it is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It was never going to announce that Climate Change is nothing to do with mankind and governments can now withdraw from the whole policy area, putting Pachauri et al out of lucrative and high profile jobs. It has an agenda and it fulfils it. Given this fact, any (cherry-picked of otherwise) comments in an official IPCC publication which in any way retreat from rampant warmism are notable and significant.

        Even if the publication that highlights them is not to your preferred political hue.

  20. Pat October 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I don’t buy the line that just because something is funded by the government, it must therefore support some hidden government agenda. If climate science is open to this accusation, then why not all scientific research? (Why do they really want a cure for cancer?) Indeed, why not include all arts funding as well? This line of argument fails the Occam’s Razor test. Not to mention that such a conspiracy implies international consensus of an unprecedented kind.

    • Clarence November 1, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      No, Pat. It is neither a conspiracy theory nor an ongoing government agenda. Generally it is a government initiative (often initiated by lobbyists) that morphs into consensus and inertia. Those on the committees that decide funding fit the consensus and are comfortable with the paradigm that has served themselves so well throughout their careers decide on future funding.

      If/when new evidence is presented that is outside of their comfort zone the grant proposal is rejected, often for spurious reasons and, since the same people tend to control journal reviews, any such findings become difficult to publish in decent journals. A vicious cycle that is fortunately changing with the internet and those with the interest to pursue opinions outside of the (“official”) agenda. A good example is Barrie Mitchel’s (eventual) Nobel-winning discovery that Pyloris sphincti (a bug) caused gastric ulcers. He had a hard time getting this work published and his grant proposal was rejected by the Australian NHMRC because – at the time – the drug companies were making a killing with a drug to prevent acid reflux that had to be taken for life. We all have a limited career and money talks.

      • Clarence November 1, 2013 at 9:57 am #

        For young people out there my response might seem somewhat esoteric. But it is this audience that I wish to engage.

        No science is infallible and, generally speaking, the more ‘consensus’, the less debate and the less truthful knowledge. This is especially true in an era of government grant funding pressured by powerful and wealthy lobbyists. With age and power, many scientists become set in their ways – especially if personal or Department grant-funding is involved. I know this because I was in such a powerful position. I am now retired.

        For young Turks who do not need to conform for reasons of advancement or of funding, please be open minded. Listen to the distinguished guys who have retired and no longer need the funding. Keep your minds open and always question motives and agendas.

        • Roger November 1, 2013 at 11:02 am #

          Hi Clarence my own comments echo your point here. The Andrew Marr interview with Noam Chomsky amplifies the point regarding self censorship and Marr seems to start to see the prison in his own mind.


        • Mark Northfield November 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

          ‘…generally speaking, the more ‘consensus’, the less debate and the less truthful knowledge.’

          This is a fairly nonsensical assertion. What do you mean by ‘truthful knowledge’? Climate science is endlessly debated: go to a site like RealClimate and see for yourself (you could post comments there too). The IPCC report is itself a massive collaborative effort.

          Yes, major breakthroughs and turnarounds are occasionally made in science, but far more often than not it’s slow methodical hard graft which just adds further understanding to what is already known. If you’re hoping the greenhouse effect is going to be disproved any time soon, I fear you’re going to be disappointed.

      • Pat November 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

        @ Clarence

        But scientific research does lead to consensus, that is the nature of the project. I accept your caveat about unorthodox opinions finding it difficult to be heard, but the example you cite shows how scientific knowledge progresses by assimilating new discoveries and changing the theory to fit the current evidence. Mitchel’s work was obviously recognised, if not at once then at least within his lifetime.

        I find it more credible that the evidence that is outside the comfort zone of many people, particularly those with the greatest stake in maintaining the status quo, is the evidence of anthropogenic climate change, since the measures required to deal with it – sustainability, more equal access to resources etc – fly in the face of the beliefs that underpin our whole economic system.

  21. steviefinn October 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Some time on my hands today so I have been looking into climate warming but have avoided areas like government research projects due to comments made by Clarence & also avoided anything that looks as though it has been produced to support any vested interest.

    This is an education for me as, although being concerned, I have never looked into it deeply ( more concerned with greed levels rather than sea levels ). I thought I would start with Greenland as it’s part of the polar ice cap & it follows on from my previous waffles. I found a video made by Peter Sinclair who is not a scientist but a cartoonist ( Creative people causing trouble again ) who has recently organised an expedition to the once land of Viking farmers to explore amongst other things the phenomenon of ” Dark snow “.


    I watched the vid which was very scary until the end, then he provides some hope, that is, if we can get our governments arses in gear. What I found fascinating was his description of how the Earth’s rotation & orbit affects the Earth in terms of climate & how the Arctic Ice melt has turned the relatively placid Jetstream into a meandering lunatic. This phenomenon has resulted in amongst other disasters the worst heatwave in Russia for a 1,000 years & the Pakistan flooding in the same year – 2010. He sketches out the knock on effect these events & others like them have on food supplies & political instability:


    This is Rolling Stone’s take on it, featuring Prof. Jason Box who works for the Geological survey of Greenland & Denmark:


    The Sinclair vid concentrates on the basic science of the subject which I found very informative & there is a video clip featuring a Fox news presenter explaining why Germany’s solar power programme is massively more effective than that of the US – Germany gets more sun apparently. Also featured was a small segment from a Ted talk given at the Pentagon by that well known hippie, Rear Admiral David Titley of the US navy, who has been recently appointed as head of Penn. state dept. of meteorology:



    Now maybe Sinclair is fed up of benig a cartoonist & wants to holiday all the time in Greenland – Prof. Box is feeding false info to the governments he works for & Titley has another agenda rather than, amongst other things, wanting to protect US naval bases from rising sea levels. Collectively what they are saying seems to add up which I think is good enough for me, so sorry Russell I will be voting, if I can find someone Green who isn’t Sinn Fein.

    • Joe Taylor October 31, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      > I will be voting, if I can find someone Green who isn’t Sinn Fein.

      So wiil I Stevie!

  22. Roger October 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    I think the powers that be would love a carbon based Fiat Currency, complete with religous duties to honour our covenant to save the planet!


    I was reading Gilles deleuzes Empiricism and subjectivity earlier. The last youtube link is to the film on Deleuze and Guattaris work on control societies is very disturbing. Talk of deniers and Flat earthers by David Milliband is what got me interested in the area, And I am now a very keen reader of Claes Johnsons work on the subject.


    I have been reading alot on the parallels of Capitalism and Freemarket neo liberalism and Religous Catechism. Deleuzes views on Science Empiricism David Hume and Circular reasoning are well worth a look. Indeed Davids Film Dangerous Knowledge touches upon the faith aspects of all we are taught to revere in the coldly rational Sciences. Good old Gödel sent us all back to the drawingboard on that one although most of us don’t know it or ignore it if we do.





    My own humble opinion written shortly after moving to Sweden.

  23. richard in norway October 31, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    The old geysers in western Norway are convinced about climate change, there is a certain type of pine which is planted for the lumber industry, the thing about this pine is that until recently it had to be grown in nurseries before being planted out because the climate here was too harsh for the seeds to germinate themselves. Now the seeds are germinating themselves and this species is starting to spread in the wild, as for whether it’s man made climate change, well anyone that thinks we can spew out as much toxic garbage as we do and it won’t have an effect has got a screw loose, but then there were tons of folk including doctors that swore blind that filling your lungs with tobacco smoke on a constant basis couldn’t possibly do you any real damage, lol

    • Roger Lewis November 1, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      Climate change is a given, we live in a chaotic ever changing Chaosmos´´ such a complex system of which we are a part is bound to be dynamic.

      Mans disrespect of the environment and self deluded attempts to claim mastery over the same are a larger problem than the narrow Anthropogenic ( manmade) CO2 aspects of climate change as enemy.( perhaps even SATAN).

      Claes Jonsons work in the field of applied mathmatics is very important there are also very many Scientists ( generally they tend to be a little older and not so worried about future career prospects are also making contributions to our understanding.

      • Hawkeye November 1, 2013 at 11:04 am #


        Mankind as master of this planet is the ultimate delusion.

        We demand change for change’s sake, and with it growth for growth’s sake. Yet the more we produce, the more we destroy! All the while convincing ourselves of superiority over beast and burden. Can mankind really have a complete and yet neutral control over nature? Utter omnipotence on mankind’s terms, yet nature to never suffer at man’s hands? What mockery this is of both symmetry and logic. To drink ceaselessly from the spring of life, yet expect, nay “demand”, that it refill itself overnight.

        In the thirst for conquest over nature we have resoundingly bled her dry. That humans, merely nature’s blessed offspring, would be so arrogant as to dare to improve upon our parentage, and in so doing to sever the very cord that binds us to our kin.

        • Roger November 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

          You are probably familiar with the famous George Perkins Marsh Quote Hawkeye, for those who are not here it is.

          “Nature, left undisturbed, so fashions her territory as to give it almost unchanging permanence of form, outline, and proportion, except when shattered by geologic convulsions….In countries untrodden by man, the proportions and relative positions of land and water…are subject to change only from geological influences so slow in their operation that the geographical conditions may be regarded as constant and immutable. Man has too long forgotten that the earth was given to him for usufruct alone, not for consumption, still less for profligate waste…. But she has left it within the power of man irreparably to derange the combinations of inorganic matter and of organic life….man is everywhere a disturbing agent. Wherever he plants his foot, the harmonies of nature are turned to discords….[O]f all organic beings, man alone is to be regarded as essentially a destructive power….”(Marsh, 29-37)

          I have no doubt that a great deal of harm is being and will continue to be wrought under the yoke of Capitalism. CO2 is a distraction from many other pressing environmental issues which are creeping under the bar whilst the Magicians hand distracts.
          King Canute
          KING CANUTE was weary hearted; he had reigned for years a score,
          Battling, struggling, pushing, fighting, killing much and robbing more;
          And he thought upon his actions, walking by the wild sea-shore.

          ‘Twixt the Chancellor and Bishop walked the King with steps sedate,
          Chamberlains and grooms came after, silversticks and goldsticks great,
          Chaplains, aides-de-camp, and pages,—all the officers of state.

          Sliding after like his shadow, pausing when he chose to pause,
          If a frown his face contracted, straight the courtiers dropped their jaws;
          If to laugh the king was minded, out they burst in loud hee-haws.

          But that day a something vexed him, that was clear to old and young:
          Thrice his Grace had yawned at table, when his favorite gleemen sung,
          Once the Queen would have consoled him, but he bade her hold her tongue.

          “Something ails my gracious master,” cried the Keeper of the Seal.
          “Sure, my lord, it is the lampreys served to dinner, or the veal?”
          “Psha!” exclaimed the angry monarch, “Keeper, ’tis not that I feel.

          “‘Tis the HEART, and not the dinner, fool, that doth my rest impair:
          Can a king be great as I am, prithee, and yet know no care?
          Oh, I’m sick, and tired, and weary.”—Some one cried, “The King’s arm-chair!”

          Then towards the lackeys turning, quick my Lord the Keeper nodded,
          Straight the King’s great chair was brought him, by two footmen able-bodied;
          Languidly he sank into it: it was comfortably wadded.

          “Leading on my fierce companions,” cried he, “over storm and brine,
          I have fought and I have conquered! Where was glory like to mine?”
          Loudly all the courtiers echoed: “Where is glory like to thine?”

          “What avail me all my kingdoms? Weary am I now and old;
          Those fair sons I have begotten, long to see me dead and cold;
          Would I were, and quiet buried, underneath the silent mould!

          “Oh, remorse, the writhing serpent! at my bosom tears and bites;
          Horrid, horrid things I look on, though I put out all the lights;
          Ghosts of ghastly recollections troop about my bed at nights.

          “Cities burning, convents blazing, red with sacrilegious fires;
          Mothers weeping, virgins screaming vainly for their slaughtered sires.—”
          Such a tender conscience,” cries the Bishop, “every one admires.

          “But for such unpleasant bygones, cease, my gracious lord, to search,
          They’re forgotten and forgiven by our Holy Mother Church;
          Never, never does she leave her benefactors in the lurch.

          “Look! the land is crowned with minsters, which your Grace’s bounty raised;
          Abbeys filled with holy men, where you and Heaven are daily praised:
          YOU, my lord, to think of dying? on my conscience I’m amazed!”

          “Nay, I feel,” replied King Canute, “that my end is drawing near.”
          “Don’t say so,” exclaimed the courtiers (striving each to squeeze a tear).
          “Sure your Grace is strong and lusty, and may live this fifty year.”

          “Live these fifty years!” the Bishop roared, with actions made to suit.
          “Are you mad, my good Lord Keeper, thus to speak of King Canute!
          Men have lived a thousand years, and sure his Majesty will do’t.

          “Adam, Enoch, Lamech, Cainan, Mahaleel, Methusela,
          Lived nine hundred years apiece, and mayn’t the King as well as they?”
          “Fervently,” exclaimed the Keeper, “fervently I trust he may.”

          “HE to die?” resumed the Bishop. He a mortal like to US?
          Death was not for him intended, though communis omnibus:
          Keeper, you are irreligious, for to talk and cavil thus.

          “With his wondrous skill in healing ne’er a doctor can compete,
          Loathsome lepers, if he touch them, start up clean upon their feet;
          Surely he could raise the dead up, did his Highness think it meet.

          “Did not once the Jewish captain stay the sun upon the hill,
          And, the while he slew the foemen, bid the silver moon stand still?
          So, no doubt, could gracious Canute, if it were his sacred will.”

          “Might I stay the sun above us, good sir Bishop?” Canute cried;
          “Could I bid the silver moon to pause upon her heavenly ride?
          If the moon obeys my orders, sure I can command the tide.

          “Will the advancing waves obey me, Bishop, if I make the sign?”
          Said the Bishop, bowing lowly, “Land and sea, my lord, are thine.”
          Canute turned towards the ocean—”Back!” he said, “thou foaming brine.

          “From the sacred shore I stand on, I command thee to retreat;
          Venture not, thou stormy rebel, to approach thy master’s seat:
          Ocean, be thou still! I bid thee come not nearer to my feet!”

          But the sullen ocean answered with a louder, deeper roar,
          And the rapid waves drew nearer, falling sounding on the shore;
          Back the Keeper and the Bishop, back the king and courtiers bore.

          And he sternly bade them never more to kneel to human clay,
          But alone to praise and worship That which earth and seas obey:
          And his golden crown of empire never wore he from that day.
          King Canute is dead and gone: Parasites exist alway.
          Author Notes

          Here Thackeray is retelling the legend of Canute, an early King of Britain.
          Canute after a long and hectic reign was bemoaning his weakness and age whilst walking on the sea-shore one day. His courtiers in an effort to curry favour praised him as an omnipotent personage with God-like powers. (The Jewish captain is a reference to the Old Testament warrior Joshua – see Joshua chapter 10, verses 12-13.).
          The king shows them they are wrong by telling the tide to turn back which, of course, it does not do.
          The final line says that the king is dead and gone but idiotic sycophantic courtiers still remain.
          JS Oldpoetry Team

          © William Makepeace Thackeray. All rights reserved

          To much Danegeld in Academia and Politics I’m afraid.

  24. Robin Smith November 1, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Might it be because the high priests of climate change want us to believe in something rather than to know about it?

    True, we are warming the planet. Have you noticed how everyone avoids the central question: “But Why, when we are not running out of energy or anything else we need to produce wealth.”

    One may find some of the answer here. One may not. It depends on how free one is to think. How much one wants to know rather than just believe.

    Flail and Crook:


  25. ambrosius November 2, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    “Smile….things could be worse. So I did and they were.”

    There are two hundred and seventy seven Flood stories proceeding from most locations in our world and depicting that something that overwhelmed our earth on a global scale with a kind of quantum madness and perhaps not that long ago.
    It is also portrayed in over two thousand old sub stories about that time when nature groaned putting phobia in all human hearts and few survived. We had to start again and we shall probably do it again until we do it right and learn we are all responsible.
    Our past is literally founded on the weather. Climate change involving catastrophes that wipe out civilisations with comets pounding down where genes are altered and evolutionary leaps for the survivors happen too are apparently unavoidable for we repeat the same mistakes. We do not seem to learn.
    Climate change indeed when viruses plus radiation plus electrophonics plus magnetic reversals all centre around our weather. We certainly affect it ; no doubt about that. A disaster of inconceivable proportions is cloud riding already, thank you Fukushima , and soon i will need a geiger counter to discover which are the nuclear fish. Do read about cessium which the body confuses for potassium. The earth is already travailing anew for we are once again ruled by psychopaths. On everybody’s face.

    ” Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge,governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality.”
    [ Michael Elner .]
    Buckle your seat belts boys and girls. Our world weather is proving most alarming to say nothing about their chemtrails which affect our life directly. They most certainly affect the weather and it is highly probable that it is also neural dust.

    ” Oh look a flying fuck. It escaped before i could give it “.
    [ memegenerator.net.]

  26. guidoamm November 2, 2013 at 4:48 am #


    There is a direct and arithmetical relationship between monetary policy and, to mention but the following, the depletion of food stocks and water tables, accelerated deforestation to make way for intensive rearing of live stock and the premature depletion of oil wells.

    Our monetary system is predicated on the expansion of credit markets. Therefore, our monetary system is predicated on inducing credit and monetary inflation aggressively, pervasively, constantly and, most importantly, by any means including criminal negligence.

    Inflation brings forward and compresses in time the demand and production cycles.

    Therefore, inflation induces over investment, the misallocation of resources and, most importantly, over consumption.

    * * *

    By way of first hand experience, the comments above point to empirical climate change.

    What remains to be seen is whether man has anything to do with it.

    For the sake of argument, let us assume that man is indeed capable of altering climate. Let us further assume that Western governments are indeed truly and genuinely concerned by our foot print on the environment. As a final assumption, let us assume that Carbon is indeed the the main driver of climate change.

    If you hold the three assumptions above as true, the question that we must ask is why is government hell bent on, on one hand, ramming through climate change legislation whilst, on the other hand, ramming through ever greater degrees of credit and monetary inflation.

    A corollary to this question should be why governments should want to shift the burden of implementation and monitoring to the United Nations?

    Let me conclude with one of my personal observations.

    I grew up in Fregene a small fishing village outside of Rome in Italy. Our house at the time (70s) was located in the first row of houses directly facing the sea; there was a stretch of beach of about 150m between our house and the shore.
    Growing up at the beach, I myself witnessed the shore line recede year after year. My parents sold the house in 1980. Today, there is a new row of houses between our old house and the sea shore.

    Relevant recent links:



  27. richard in norway November 2, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    I’ve just worked out that 99.5 % of the currency markets is purely speculative, it’s worse than I thought

  28. Findlay Niederle November 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    With respect, I totally disagree with your premise. It is not useful to ask why we cannot better communicate what is doubtful, to people with critical faculties. We are a carbon based species. To attack carbon is to attack ourselves. This is useful for the proponents of Agenda 21 but is terminal for the rest of us. At University I was taught Scientific Method. If you find a situation and think about it, you hypothesize. You test your hypothesis by constructing experiments, micro or macro. You obtain results and compare them with your ideas. If you get observations that agree with your hypothesis you ask others to replicate your experiments and observations, after trying to prove yourself wrong. You then ask others to replicate your findings. This is peer review. Peer review is not asking others to read your papers and say they are fine! Einstein was told that 100 scientists would refute his theory of relativity. He said, “ït won’t take hundreds, it will take only one! He disagreed with Heisenberg but was convinced after a long time by following the logic of the method. Scientific Method is not about the numbers that disagree but is evidence based. Science is never settled. Newton’s ideas were useful but outside the area of usefulness had to be revised to include relativity, for the microscopic and the infinite. What is clear is that the climate changes and that the temperatures increase. Also clear is that sometimes temperatures decrease. Politics and science are bad bedfellows. Global warming exists in computer models. For the past 17 years there has been no global warming observed, explain it how you will. Therefore the models are useless. There are therefore other reasons for continuing the anti-science and these are political and financial. Politically, people can be swayed and fear induced by the sky falling on us. Financially we can have our rears taxed off. So the state loves this. The scientists love the state, which teat they suck from, and the politicos love the control that can be induced. Climate change is continuous! As any observer, of the meanest intellect knows that heat (and therefore energy) comes from the sun. Common sense has therefore to be overcome by the snake oil salesmen of AGW. Thermodynamics has to be overcome. So the sun is supposed to make a minor or insignificant contribution to our planetary heat?. Well, try switching it off! Hypothesize on that! The sun has cycles and the earth’s axis precesses and these are adequate cause for climate change. No weather we have now is worse (or better) than we had during the last name your period. Sea levels do not significantly rise although land rises and falls. Britain’s West side is rising and east side sinking. Is this climate change? Maldives, whose government held an underwater meeting are clever enough to do this to get money from gullible Westerners but why was their archipelago not swamped during the tsunami? Evidence counts. Pie in the sky does not. We do not need to worship the earth, which has many resources we are now told we should not use. Why are we supposed to return to the stone age after being made destitute and dead and who benefits? Ask that question instead of why it is still difficult to communicate falsehoods to ordinary people. Perhaps they are not stupid after all.

  29. Ole Guy November 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Man global warming is a big hoax being pulled on the masses to extract more of their hard earned money and nothing more. Climate change on this planet has happened millions of time throughout this planet 4 billion year history and we have nothing to do with it.

    Get back to me when one large volcanic eruption spews more CO2 then all the CO2 spewed by man’s entire history of being industrialized. Of course this too is scientifically proven but ignored.

    Now man polluting the environment we can chat about, but selling you and I air is a joke on the worlds population. Funny how we have reduced our CO2 emissions and yet the planet continues to get warmer in places. Financial scams run by governments to screw the working people.

    I can remember when people laughed at someone selling them bottled water and now it is a reality. Taxing animal farts because they give off methane please how stupid can it get. Maybe they need to tax us because we fart! Wake up people all the gloom and doom surrounding this science plays on your fears. I happen to not believe it as we are nothing but specks of sand on the planet and natural process trump us every time.

    Kinda sorta like the great barrier reef was bleaching off and dying because of this science only to be debunked when scientists used space based cameras to image the region and find pollutants running off farm land was killing the corals. Again another ignored fact.

    Acidification of the ocean is a process created by volcanic activity the runs 24/7 in the deep oceans spewing sulfuric acid from their spouts. All natural processes. Yet we blame ourselves. I do not care what people believe to be honest as we can bicker all day about this.

    Climate change sure it has and will continue to happen with or without our presences on this planet. I think you should worry more about the fukishima radiation being dumped into the Pacific if you really want something that will cause global problems. The international community could care less about this.

  30. Roger November 4, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    CO2 Radiative Forcing by Modtran/Hitran??

    The warming effect of atmospheric CO2 as a “greenhouse gas” is evidenced by the atmospheric radiative transfer computer code Modtran based on the high-resolution transmission molecular absorption data base Hitran, while direct observational evidence is lacking. CO2 alarmism is thus based on Modtran/Hitran.

    In a previous post I noticed that Modtran assigns 1 ppm of CO2 a radiative forcing or warming effect of 6 W/m2. A very big effect from a very small cause! It is indeed very difficult to believe that one CO2 molecule per one million of O2/N2 molecules can change anything observable. This is like changing one grain of sand in the above picture!

    Clive Best shows in The CO2 GHE Demystified using a radiative transfer model similar to Modtran a radiative forcing effect upon doubling of CO2 from 300 ppm to 600 of 3.52 W/m2 in close correspondence with the 3.7 W/m2 put forward by IPCC. The radiative forcing is shown to result from an increase of the effective altitude of radiation around wave numbers 600 and 750, which are far out on the “shoulders” of the CO2 spectrum centered at the main resonance 667. This is again a big effect of a small cause, since the spectrum on the shoulders is very sparse. The model further shows that the main emission from the band around 667 without shoulders occurs from altitudes of 30-40 km in the very thin stratosphere.

    In both cases CO2 is attributed strong absorptivity away from the main resonce at 667, with very sparse spectral lines depending on concentration. Both results are most remarkable as a big effect of a small cause and as such call for a thorough investigation of the validity of the underlying radiative transfer model as concerns the effect of an atmospheric trace gas.

    But is the evidence credible? Well, the numbers are computed by the commercial software Modtran marketed by Spectral Sciences Incorporated. The numbers are not supported by direct observation. The numbers are surprisingly big and against all forms of physics intuition of the possible effect of an trace gas: 4.5 W/m2 from 1 ppm simply seems impossible!

    In a sequence of posts on OLR I have questioned to ability of a small presence of CO2 to block the radiation from the Earth surface in the entire interval 600 – 800 represented by the ditch. The analysis of blackbody radiation presented on Computational Blackbody Radiation suggests that CO2 even as a trace gas can absorb and emit radiation in a narrow band around its main resonance at 667, but that the emissivity is small away from 667. The analysis thus gives mathematical support of the intuitive conviction that 1 ppm of CO2 cannot cause a radiative forcing of 4.5 W/m2.

    We are thus led to suspect that Modtran does not give a correct description of atmospheric radiation, and therefore that the main evidence of a GHE from CO2 is fabricated incorrect evidence.

    A similar attempt to justify a GHE from CO2 is given on The Science of Doom. It is a remarkable that the most serious attempts to prove GHE are those made by amateur bloggers.

    It is also remarkable that virtually nobody seems to be willing to question the evidence of GHE supplied by Modtran, as if Modtran cannot be questioned. Maybe it is like Coca Cola,which with its secret recipe cannot be questioned.


    Things in this area are far from clear and whilst there is a political consensus the scientific consensus ( whatever that is ) is really rather over stated. The bastardisation of Science, in the manner of the Salem Witch hunts, has overtones of the House Unamerican activitees comittee of 1950`s Mc Carthyism.


    According to Quine, there are two different results of his reasoning. The first is a blurring of the line between metaphysics and natural science. The common-sense theory about physical objects is epistemologically comparable to the gods of Homer. Quine is a Physicalist, in the sense that he considers it a scientific error not to adopt a theory which makes reference to physical objects. However, like Gods of Homer, physical objects are posits, and there is no great epistemic difference in kind; the difference is rather that the theory of physical objects has turned out to be a more efficient theory. As Quine states in Two Dogmas, “The myth of physical objects is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious than other myths as a device for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience”.

    Willard Van Orman Quin
    Originally published in
    The Philosophical Review
    60 (1951): 20-43.
    Reprinted in W.V.O. Quine,
    From a Logical Point of View
    (Harvard University
    Press, 1953; second, revised, edition 1961), with the following
    alterations: “The version printed here diverges from the original in
    footnotes and in other minor respects:
    1 and 6 have been abridged where
    they encroach on the preceding essay [“On What There Is”], and
    3-4 have
    been expanded at points.”
    Except for minor changes, additions and deletions are indicated in
    interspersed tables. I wish to thank Torstein Lindaas for bringing to my
    attention the need to distinguish more carefully the 1951 and the 1961
    versions. Endnotes ending with an “a” are in the 1951 version; “b” in the
    1961 version. (Andrew Chrucky, Feb. 15, 2000)
    Modern empiricism has been conditioned in large part by two dogmas.
    One is a belief in some fundamental cleavage between truths which are
    , or grounded in meanings independently of matters of fact and
    truths which are
    , or grounded in fact. The other dogma is
    : the belief that each meaningful statement is equivalent to
    some logical construct upon terms which refer to immediate experience. Both
    dogmas, I shall argue, are ill founded. One effect of abandoning them is,
    as we shall see, a blurring of the supposed boundary between speculative
    metaphysics and natural science. Another effect is a shift toward


    • CArratiaM November 5, 2013 at 3:37 am #


      I have been reading some of Claes Johnson’s blog and some of his links in which he gives more details of what he claims… it’s bollocks!
      He essentially claims that quantum mechanics and statistical physics are fundamentally wrong (as well as the concept of photon) and proposes instead a new model for black body radiation… He then uses his model to argue that CO2 cannot have an important effect on the radiative budget of the earth…
      I can’t take it seriously.

      • Roger November 5, 2013 at 7:31 am #

        Hi Carrati,

        I happen to agree with Claes regaring Quantum Mechanics and think That Nils Bohr pulled a similar academic bullying stunt to the one we have witnessed in the past decades regarding CO2 Anthropogenic( Man Made) Climate change.

        Even outside of the philisophical aspects of where we ground our scientific limits of accepted or axiomatic knowledge. Co2 has still not exactly been demostrably shown to be holding the smoking gun.

        I am also in agreement with Maurice Cotterals work on Gravity he also shares the same critisicisms that Claes levels at Statistical Physics and other faith based science.

        I’m afraid you charecterisation that ´Íts Bollocks´´fails realy to engage with the solid reasoning that leads some to feel that The quantum Turn in Physics back in the 30’s was a dead end road, interesting but yet ultimately the wrong one. Perhaps you too have read both Shroedingers and Einstiens reservations regarding that particular turn.

        Stephen Hawking said the other day he thought philosophy was dead? I question that and philosophy of science is very important perhaps inconvienient to the good professor but very important. Debra makes the god point earlier I agree with Debra. God PArticles, Seeing the Mind of God doing gods work.

        Do read Claes Dr Faustus of Modern Physics , and also have a thing about the Ptolemaic epicyles that pre saged Copernicus. One wonders where the flatearthers , denialists , Skeptics, Alarmists , Warmists, Luke Warmists, really stand in this debate.

        Lets look at the science lets test the propositions and lets point to the causation the coupling the evidence theres really rather a lot of heat and not so very much light in all the rhetoric.

        Are Co2 claims in Climate science Falsifiable?

        • CArratiaM November 5, 2013 at 11:37 am #


          I find it surprising that on the one hand you seem to question knowledge at a deep philosophical level, yet on the other you support the old fashioned, hyper rationalist/positivist position of Claes defending perfect determinism. This impression I got about Claes was fully confirmed by my reading of the preface of his ‘Faustus’ book, whose ~180 pages I’m not gonna bother to read. I’m familiar with quantum mechanics and statistical physics, I’m aware of some of their limitations but their foundations make a lot of sense to me.

          What seems more surprising to me, and therefore my characterization of Claes’ claims as ‘bollocks’, is that in order to argue against global warming in a supposedly scientific manner, he resorts into a critic of most of 20th century physics…

          • Roger Lewis November 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

            Hi Carratia,

            Claes does not argue against CLimate Change which is about both Global warming and Global cooling. The basis of statistical physics and then its further application to the questions of Radiative forcing and the properties of CO2 and its posited role in the process are flawed or misunderstood or both or may have just as yet not been proven.

            Claes states that the models are not questioned and there are questions worth asking.why they have apparently been at variance with observed data for the past 17 years.

            There is a Procrustean element to the discourse on both sides of the hysteria surrounding this discourse. Some good old fashioned pragmatism is warranted I venture and Claes I feel is merely questioning the emperors wardrobe.

            It will sometimes strike a scientific man that the philosophers have been less intent on finding out what the facts are, than on inquiring what belief is most in harmony with their system.
            Charles Sanders Peirce

            I highly recommend to those that have not read him Peirces essay on how to makes our ideas clear.


      • Brendan November 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

        In the piece quoted above, Claes Johnson casts doubt on the level of CO2’s greenhouse effect because it goes against his intuition. He concludes that the evidence must be fabricated.

        He either doesn’t understand the mechanism of the greenhouse effect or he chooses to ignore it when he says “It is indeed very difficult to believe that one CO2 molecule per one million of O2/N2 molecules can change anything observable.”

        O2/N2 molecules, because they’re not greenhouse gases, are ‘invisible’ to infrared and do not block it from being radiated from the earth into space. Infrared radiation in CO2’s frequency band, on the other hand, has to travel through many kilometres without striking a CO2 molecule that can then radiate infrared in a different direction. It’s therefore the distance as well as the concentration of CO2 that affects the level of blocking.

        I find it hard to argue with CArratiaM’s description of Claes Johnson’s claims as “bollocks”.

        • Roger November 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

          Hi Brendan,

          I think if you read a little more closely and follow Claes reasoning you will find that he understands fully the hypothesis regarding the wavelegnths at which CO2 absorbs energy form the sun through Radiative forcing.

          Consider these discussions for instance.

          ´The effective altitude of OLR emission for wave numbers 580 – 620 on the left shoulder may thus be estimated to increase by 2000 m upon doubling of CO2 until the tropopause is reached, which could mean a temperature drop of 13 C. With a shoulder width of 80 out of a total width of 250 the CO2 ditch between 550 and 800 and 13 C about one fifth of the total temperature drop in the ditch of about 65 C, this gives a warming effect of about 0.3 x 0.2 x 20 = 1.2 W/m2 for one shoulder.

          We thus arrive at a warming effect of about 2 – 3 W/m2 from an increase of CO2 from 300 to 600 ppm, which gives an insight into the background of the crucial 3.7 W/m2 as the starting point of climate alarmism.

          We see that the effect comes from a simple model of line broadening of the weak spectral real lines on the shoulders of the CO2 spectrum around the main resonance at 667. The model is simplistic and the effect is so small that it cannot be measured, and so from scientific point of view it can only be viewed as a speculation which could as well be half or twice as big, thus without much substance.

          Yet this is the main scientific evidence put forward in support of CO2 alarmism. Note that the fact that the number 3.7 W/m2 cannot be trusted as scientific evidence, does not itself give reason to restrictions on CO2 emissions putting more burdens on humanity. Lack of evidence is not a reason to put someone in jail. What would be needed is positive scientific evidence that CO2 can cause global warming with observable negative effects, but that is missing.

          PS When climate skeptics state that for sure they understand very well that there is a CO2 greenhouse effect, as any knowledgable scientist must do, they refer to the radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m2 with 1 C warming from doubled concentration, but then forget that this effect has very weak scientific support. They seem to get caught in an argument stating that even if the effect is too small to ever be detected, the effect is undeniably real as an expression of the line spectrum of CO2.

          But this means violating the essential principle of science to not give a negligible effect a major role, which is required in order to be able to make meaningful predictions as the goal of science´.


          Also see this post here.


          and these comments here regarding a discussion on the point at Science of Doom.

          MS19 februari 2013 12:29
          I linked to this post in the comments at Science of Doom and we are discussing it there if you’d like to join in…



          Claes Johnson19 februari 2013 12:53
          Thanks, but the reception is so hostile that I leave it to you. In any case I think there is substantial evidence showing that 0.039% CO2 cannot block radiation from the Earth surface in the whole band 600 – 800 as given by Modtran, only effectively in 667-669 say, and thus that the total emissivity is very small, smaller than 0.002, and vey little is gained by doubling the concentration. Radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m2 appears to be at least a factor 10 too big, and without those 3.7 W/m2, CO2 alarmism collapses to zero.


          MS19 februari 2013 13:51
          Here’s an analysis done with Spectralcalc which determines doubling of current CO2 levels could only raise surface temperature < 0.2 C, i.e. that climate sensitivity is exaggerated by more than a factor of 10.


          Note. The host at science of doom is not happy with Claes view that statistical pysics was a wrong turn. Claes is not the only person who holds this view, there are many and Einstein and Shroedinger were two of them in fact.

          Another is Maurice Cotteral , heres a snippet of an inbterview with Mauice that touches on Higgs Bosun, the so called God particle and the holy grail informing so much of what is the brunt of the epistomological disagreement between Faith Based and evidence based scientists.


          Cern is announcing getting closer to the Higgs Bosun or God particle. Maurice describes what they think they are seeing as a corridor of Fusion.
          Alternative or different approaches to pursuing this question have not been tolerated for the last 80 years.
          Hear Maurices side of the story of what gravity is made of in this interview?



          • Brendan November 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

            “We thus arrive at a warming effect of about 2 – 3 W/m2 from an increase of CO2 from 300 to 600 ppm, which gives an insight into the background of the crucial 3.7 W/m2 as the starting point of climate alarmism.
            We see that the effect comes from a simple model of line broadening of the weak spectral real lines on the shoulders of the CO2 spectrum around the main resonance at 667. The model is simplistic and the effect is so small that it cannot be measured, and so from scientific point of view it can only be viewed as a speculation which could as well be half or twice as big, thus without much substance.
            Yet this is the main scientific evidence put forward in support of CO2 alarmism.”

            If I read that correctly, he is only claiming that the model is unreliable and has a very large margin of error, but he doesn’t offer any estimate or calculation of his own. That’s a change from his previous posts, based on his intuition, where he seems to dismiss the greenhouse effect of CO2 on the climate as insignificant.

          • Roger November 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

            Hi Brendan, Responding to your post 4.21 pm. ( there isn’t a reply icon beneath sorry.)

            I think you are reading that right Claes is a Professor of applied mathematics at KTH Stockholm and very distinguished one at that.
            As any Scientist or Philosopher would he asks for support for truth claims made by fellow scientists.
            The models seem to have fallen short, we are now being told that the deep oceans do comply with the predictions of the models, that is strange several years ago I wondered why el ninjo wasn’t getting a mention. On cloud formation I recall the Danish physicist who got a terrible berating for some research he published on something that wasn’t in the scripted catechism of the time.

            Climate Changes the drivers of that change are of concern to us all.
            If Co2 is the main culprit the solution should not further disadvantage the already much abused developing world( 3rd world , developing world? The nations who are dispossessed and extracted from to support the countries of the Washington consensus?)
            Ambrosius mentions The Prince below, of course he who pays the piper calls the tune. Claes points out that the CO2 proposals on the table from Kyoto and Copenhagen are highly prejudicial to the life chances of the poorest most disadvantaged peoples of the world. I happen to believe also that this is something we should urgently address whether or not there is Anthropomorphic Climate Change or not!

  31. Roger November 4, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Hi David,

    I was wondering if you could post the notes to your Talk or a transcript here for those of us that couldn’t make it along to the workshop?

    Best Wishes,


  32. averagejoe November 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    My take. Fossil fuels are finite, and in some cases we are passing the point of peak supply, most probably oil supply has peaked. The consumerist/industrialised economy will continue until these natural resource limits force a change or climate change forces a change. I suspect the lack of supplies will be felt first, and this will force, through price, the global reduction of CO2 emissions. Hopefully before any major climate impacts. There are too many vested interests that seek to prevent change, prior to it being forced on us. In addition, politicians always seek to present a future or ‘dream’ for the masses, that they pretend will happen, if you give them your vote. No politician wants to present a future where people have to get by on less energy, with less of the things we take for granted and a much lower standard of living. So the masses will head into the future thinking that society will continue along the lines that it has for the last 100 years. I’ve recently read John Michael Greers Ecotec future. http://www.amazon.com/The-Ecotechnic-Future-Envisioning-Post-Peak/dp/0865716390
    I think he’s on the right path with his thinking. None of this will happen overnight, but will pan out over the next 200 years.

  33. Phil (Mcr) November 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Not much listening going on here, David.

    Good luck in dealing with this one.

    • Roger November 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      What do you mean Phil? we have learned from you that the Spectator is a leading denialist publication, Denialist of what? would it not be constructive to address some of the questions related to the extent to which CO2 as an actor in the climate system is provably controllable to an extent that will stop the trends whether warming or cooling? what of Clouds, Nitrogen oxide and other trace gases like methane. What if acid rain and wider problems of our economic system.What of the Eletro magnetic aspects of planetary interactions at a quantum level as posited by the paper I link to above?
      I am all ears, I am not particularly interested in whether the Spectator is denialis or a leading denialist or the Warmist. Alarmist, Flat earther rhetoric. The models have a problem it seems is it the models or the pesky climate system that is not playing the proper role?

  34. Dana November 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Many thanks to Roger and Clarence for their excellent, thought-provoking contributions to this thread.

    Roger [from comment above]: “CO2 is a distraction from many other pressing environmental issues which are creeping under the bar whilst the Magicians hand distracts”.

    This is the only argument to which I’d like to add additional emphasis. If the IPCC, multitudes of environmental agencies and scientists are are as concerned as they claim to be about the damage our species inflicts on the environment, wouldn’t their concerns include the truly urgent, life-threatening dangers we face presently, which need no scientifically questionable, updated projections?

    Massive destruction of precious topsoil, for example, and the dislocation of the 73% of small farmers who grow the bulk of the world’s food; the inexcusable corporate exploitation, waste and pollution of fresh water resources; the destruction of quantities of life forms due to chemical concoctions … nuclear power, nuclear arms and their infinite dangers. The list is long!

    The question should be: What is the common denominator to [hypothetical] anthropogenic climate change and ongoing, devastating environmental destruction, if not globalized financial capitalism?, which is designed to do precisely what it is doing.

    Either we continue to let ourselves be distracted by institutional propaganda or we shift the focus to issues that require immediate collective attention.

    • Dana November 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      Oh, and I might add. If the IPCC and its satellite agencies are truly concerned about anthropogenic contribution to climate change, they’d be expressing outrage over the two trans-oceanic treaties that are presently under secret negotiation: the Trans-atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] and Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP], which, if implemented, will hand over to supra-national corporations and financial institutions the power to rewrite national environmental and labor laws, and lift what may be any lingering restrictions on global finance.

      The IPPC’s silence is deafening.

  35. johnm33 November 4, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    I started to wonder about the weather back in 76 when it didn’t rain for six months, and then rained for two weeks [IIRC]. There was some suggestion of greenhouse effect and also about the possibility of a return to ice age conditions being overdue. There were so many conflicting articles that I decided to figure it out for myself.
    Weather is chaotic, but it’s driven by the difference in temperature between the poles and the Equator, and by the difference in rotational energy. The elements trying to equalise these global differences manifests locally as weather, but as soon as one bit is sorted it disturbs the equalibrium of the surrounding bits. Even so from any particular standing start eventually patterns will establish thats what we call climate. Because of this chaos it’s pretty hopeless trying to get any meaning from local weather changes. The only place to look is the poles since the whole point of weather is to shift energy poleward. The poles are a special case weather wise since they only have one day per year, 6months day 6months night so there’s ample time for things to cool down at night, or warm up during the day. They are also very different the north being a practically landlocked ocean the south an extensive archipelago alone in the world ocean buried beneath 3miles of ice.
    So it boils down to “are the poles warming?”
    This is a 19 second clip of sea ice volume from 79 to 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnCy-R7mLHI note that this is volume not surface area, to melt any given volume of ice takes the same amount of energy as is required to raise the temperature of that melted ice as water from 0- 70deg so the ice loss in the north represents the loss of coolant from the aircon.
    In the south we have a different scenario evolving, the pacific is warming at depth http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031142738.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+(ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+–+Top+Science)
    and currents are flowing beneath the ice cover melting the grounded ice wherever it meets it, this fresh water then runs out to the ice edge across an inverted landscape beneath the ice. If the ice cover shows at 5 foot above sea level the river below it will be 40 foot below sea level and hence at about 6 times atmospheric pressure consequently the fresh water can be below freezing point when it emerges from the edge of the ice sheet freezing more easily than the surrounding sea water which needs temperatures of minus 11c to cause it to freeze. That is to say that the ice area growth in the south is just as bad as the volume loss in the north. Because Antarctica is an extensive archipelago many ice dams holding back huge volumes of ice are being eroded all around it and it really is only a matter of time before they start to burst!

    • Roger November 4, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

      Hi John,

      Interesting Animation and slightly less interesting article in science Daily.
      Have you in your journey of discovery about weather formed a view on effects induced by Man? I fully accept that as a species we have harmed the environment and done much damage my question revolves around the singling out of our Carbon emissions as our coup de grace in the war against Gia.

      Better house keeping per se on the part of the Capitalist Industrial Complex seems to me to be rather a good idea are CO2 emissions really their worse crime?And ours of course we all participate to some greater or lesser extent in the jollies of western civilisation(if we must call it that?).

      I am personally not convinced with the evidence to convict the CO2 the evidence does not seem to fit and I wonder if there is something of a miscarriage of justice going on with the wrong suspect in the dock. ANd if it woz us wot did it perhaps CO2 is not the weapon used to deliver the fatal blow but serves as a decent frame up leaving the poor carrying the can whilst the Fat necked God fathers of capitalism evade the justice they deserve?

      A bit late in the day here so forgive the stretching of me metaphors and so forth but what would Rumpole say.

      There is no evidence more unreliable than a confession. Don’t imagine people ever tell the truth about themselves.

      • steviefinn November 5, 2013 at 1:33 am #

        Perhaps CO2 in all its tininess is the equivalent of the flap of a butterfly’s wings :

        David’s ” High Anxieties “:


        Chart for the rise in CO2 levels over 2,000 yrs. from the US government dept. CDIAC – Taken from various ice core sites, also Includes methane & Nitrous oxide levels which indicate a steady rise which at first glance appear to coincide with the Industrial revolution :



        • Roger November 5, 2013 at 6:36 am #

          Stevie, The problem with observing one thing and then matching that trend onto something else does not show causation although it is a temptation we humans rarely resist to make association. All of our understanding is built in this way and it sometimes gets us into trouble and causes blind spots.


          I watched a great film the other day, The Ecology of mind about Gregory Bateson His approach to understnding seems to recognise the ammount of inductive thinking which we make and how we so often confuse the descritption of a thing as the thing itself similar to reification of concepts.


          Confirmation Bias is all part of the mix as well.

          Batesons Double Bind, Placebos and double blinds. Homeopathic trace gases and the products of bovine asses.

          You Might say?

          Or from Bastiat Below,

          ”We come to offer you a wonderful opportunity for applying your—what shall we call it? Your theory? No, nothing is more deceptive than theory. Your doctrine? Your system? Your principle? But you dislike doctrines, you have a horror of systems, and, as for principles, you deny that there are any in political economy; therefore we shall call it your practice—your practice without theory and without principle”.

          My own view is that a lot of energy is spent arguing about CO2 amounts which is a bit like economic discussions about GDP and the modeling ignores other huge factors, In Economics Money, In Climate Change the sun.

          A problematical thing for Capitalism the Sun, Air too for that matter and Water How does scarcity deal with abundance how can there be barriers to entry where access is natural Maybe CO2 will turn out to be for us what Salt was to Ghandi and India?

          Economic Sophisms and the “Candlemakers’ Petition”[edit]
          Contained within Economic Sophisms is the satirical parable known as the “Candlemakers’ petition” in which candlemakers and tallow producers lobby the Chamber of Deputies of the French July Monarchy (1830–1848) to block out the Sun to prevent its unfair competition with their products.[7] Also included in the Sophisms is a facetious petition to the king asking for a law forbidding the usage of everyone’s right hand, based on a presumption by some of his contemporaries that more difficulty means more work and more work means more wealth.[8]

          • steviefinn November 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

            Roger – Just teasing, I have no opinion on the cause, I will await the results from the Dark snow project in regard to what is contained in the millions of small black blobs that are increasingly covering Greenland. The results might give an insight into to what is causing that horrible ‘ Positive Feedback ‘.

            The scientific wood is full of a confusion of trees all screaming a babble of different theories. This had led me to try & concentrate on the apparent physical evidence & to see what comes from the analysis of the evidence. I also prefer to listen to them who are on the ground rather than those who pore over statistics etc, whilst sitting in comfortable ivory towers possibly built by vested interest.

            Prof. Jason Block up in Greenland it seems to me has a common sense approach coupled with extensive on the ground experience. His concerns in regard to the undermining of the glaciers by streams of melted fresh water from the rear, & warmer sea water seeping in from below makes sense to me – It reminds me of what happened in Aberfan, due to millions of tons of coal waste being dumped onto natural streams.

            We shall see what those nasty little black blobs are made of – Perhaps the cause of this possible system breakdown was the arrival of the first one in about 1760.

          • Roger November 6, 2013 at 8:14 am #

            Hi Stevie,

            Tease away, I do like a bit of banter and as Schiller said,
            “Man is never so authentically himself as when he is at play.” -Johann Schiller.

            The physical evidence of mankinds vandalism is all around and there are lots of things we can do or demand to secure a better course for our societies.

            My suspicion of the CO2 ´´Scapegoat´´to pose the question David did on Syria `Que Bono´´

            Someone perhaps posed the question posed the question of ´´how can we tax or monopolise the air we breathe´´, it seems to me the answer from the Powers that be, is that we should tax the exhalation and not the inhalation.

            A perfect regressive tax it is too with the burden falling on the poorest.

            I was amused to see that Skeptical science quoted Al Gore the other day, he is warning of a Carbon Bubble. I think he means a rush for Carbon Credits when people realise they need them.

            As a fully paid up tree hugger I am fully in tocuh with my inner Swampy. I am also a country Lad more at home in the Countryside than the city.
            I was struck by something I read the other day concerning Wordsworth and Coleridge and their common muse of nature. They both loved and drew inspiration from it but as a City type Coleridge felt apart from it and almost awkward or shy of it. Wordsworth had a more natural affinity to it.

            I can’t find the exact quote but this is a good blog on Dejection an Ode.


            I’m sorry I can’t go on with this further I have my 4 year ld son to entertain.

  36. johnm33 November 5, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Roger. Personally I’m convinced CO2 is the prime mover but I can’t think of any reasonable and simple proof, that said even before I was convinced I stopped flying for years and reduced my carbon footprint, short of martyrdom. If you consider, as I do that in terms of system breakdown we’re in russia in 1917 and partway through february there’s no longer any point in taking action on CO2 since all the consequences are now baked in, we should be preparing for those consequences. That would mean decomissionong all nuclear plants within say 50m of sea level, relocating all cities to above that height, creating long term food stores for the years when agriculture fails, reducing population levels etc, etc. That’s not going to happen.

    • Roger Lewis November 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      Hi John,

      I have a sense that living our lives in the west on a greener footing is really rather sensible and I have done much the same. We re cycle and do enjoy a creative ascetic life here in Halensåsen. Halensåsen is an interesting area in SOuthern Sweden it is actualy a geological feature left behind by the retreating ice sheet at the end of the last ice age. As well as being a Horst I now discover.



      Recycling and living in a green way is not merely attached to a consideration of CO2 emmisions though surley.

      In a wider context the problem of Capitalism is its failure to admit or take responsibility for Externalities. Take for instance Tar Sands and Shale Gas my opposition to these things does not rest with an argument that they will produce CO2.

      They disposses indigenous peoples,

      They are ecologically damaging

      they continue to support a capitalistic model of a monopoly on Energy production supporting a captured market to be exploited by elite interests.

      I can happilly stand shoulder to shoulder against those things without sharing a belief that the Carbon aspects of the extractive process of Shale and tar sands are teir greatest evil or indeed have any effect at all?

      On consequences of the current State monopoly fascist system of Government by Transglobal Corporate interests my revolutionary acts extend to a Vegtable patch and disengagemnet as far as possible from the system and pursuing a route of self education life long learning and socratic dialogue with my brothers and sisters across cultures , creeds and human experience.

      I’m a my pint is half full sort of a chap so tend to think in terms of the new beginning is near than the end is nigh and have embrace Heidegger’s Dasein
      philosophy of being in the moment.

      Its nice to share our thoughts now thanks for engaging.

  37. johnm33 November 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    These probably illustrate the main points I made rather better than the previous links
    Roger I’m pretty much on the same page politically as David and most of the regular commenters here, but admit to pessimism, given the acts of the ptb.

    • Roger November 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      Hi John,

      Thats a lovely animation of the post 1979 data.
      My own political stance is Anarchist, I am an avid reader of Noam Chomsky and of course it has not escaped my notice that Noam does subscribe to the Man made aspects of climate change and dangers of CO2. I have thought long and hard about that as above everything else I admire Noams intellectual honesty and scientific detachment.
      As with you I decoded to do the reading required and seek an understanding of the science and the issues and for me the Man made contribution through CO2 emmisions remains unproven personally I doubt that it will be and I do find the focus of the debate a distraction away from wanton ways of the PTB. I also mourn our easily bought docility through the bread and circuses of modern control society methods.
      The reason I am interested in seeing Davids transcript from his talk is that I am interested to see his detailed views on where the failures to communicate the findings of Climate science come from.

      I subscribe to Sceptical Science who published this history of Climate Science today.


      Why they are so cursory in the summary of the Hockey Stick? what is the reason for the very defensive and overtly aggressive stances regarding the facts in support and those which are inconvenient.

      I like to read all sides of a question and I am quite happy to read extremist views and seek out the other side I love wikipedia for the talk section where discussion reveals much interesting detail rejected as confusing or away from the main point.

      On the financial Side of this blog for instance I am Very much of a view that usury is a problem embedded in the financial system. My reading tonight is Jeremy Benthams essay in Defence of Usury written in 1787. I have been very interested in the attitudes to usury down the ages and Bentham is considered the father of Utopian Socialism and also credited with influence on many modern mainstream memes we take for granted ( not least that Interest paid on money is perfectly OK.)

      I came across Terry Eagleton the other day and was struck by this that he has said regarding Richard Dawkins

      Dawkins, Hitchens and the New Atheism[edit]
      Eagleton has become a vocal critic of what has been called the New Atheism. In October 2006, he published a review of Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion in the London Review of Books. Eagleton begins by questioning Dawkins’s methodology and understanding: “Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology”. Eagleton further writes, “Nor does [Dawkins] understand that because God is transcendent of us (which is another way of saying that he did not have to bring us about), he is free of any neurotic need for us and wants simply to be allowed to love us.”[14] He concludes by suggesting Dawkins has not been attacking organised faith so much as a sort of rhetorical straw man: “Apart from the occasional perfunctory gesture to ‘sophisticated’ religious believers, Dawkins tends to see religion and fundamentalist religion as one and the same. This is not only grotesquely false; it is also a device to outflank any more reflective kind of faith by implying that it belongs to the coterie and not to the mass. The huge numbers of believers who hold something like the theology I outlined above can thus be conveniently lumped with rednecks who murder abortionists and malign homosexuals.”[15]

      Terry and Gifford Lectures[edit]
      In April 2008 Eagleton delivered Yale University’s Terry Lectures with the title of his subject being, Faith and Fundamentalism: Is belief in Richard Dawkins necessary for salvation? constituting a continuation of the critique he had begun in The London Review of Books. Introducing his first lecture with an admission of ignorance of both theology and science Eagleton goes on to affirm, “All I can claim in this respect, alas, is that I think I may know just about enough theology to be able to spot when someone like Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens—a couplet I shall henceforth reduce for convenience to the solitary signifier Ditchkins—is talking out of the back of his neck.”[16][17] His “Terry Lectures” were published in 2009, in Reason, Faith, and Revolution.

      I am firmly of the belief that we humans award ourselves a significance rather in excess of our actual significance and even in our Science that gets in the way of what we believe is our most excellent objectivity, even climate scientists, and Anarchists are sadly not immune.

  38. ambrosius November 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    There is a ” normalcy bias ” that haunts the awareness of all members of society .
    I can only assume that it is because of our fragility and institutional ignorance and because of our apathy and mind control. The awful truth is that climate change is here like a coiled spring getting progressively wrapped around our diseased society for we have come along way in defecating on our nest and sleeping on it.
    ” A human’s word and memory is cheap and short. ”
    Climate change mirrors the psyche of the human journey and ours is heading to an abyss.
    I think it was William Blackstone the renowned British jurist who said: ” no enactment of man can be considered law unless it conforms to the law of God ” .
    Our conformity is now to the lawless. Why we have earth changes and accurate prognostics for mayor terminal disruptions that we will not be able to avoid. Why we have a nuclear disaster that has gone above the scales in Japan ; poisoning already large chunks of the Pacific west, including Canada, and tomorrow visiting Britain to stay. Why the Gulf is so very sick. Thank you British Petroleum. Why our Earth has lost much of its potency due to the various multi poisonings that it has had to bear, for years ; while GM crops are suicidal measures disguised as help.[ They are causative of more disease and destroy your innards but you are told to eat them and you will.] Surely not I hear you say…I will not become obese.
    ” Any truth is better than make believe…” If you can bear it. The truth for all this is out there and it can be explained to a six year old.
    There is certainly nothing moderate about our situation. It has gone way past that.
    Did not Niccolo Machiavelli write in that most influential political work ” The Prince” that governments are created to lie to the greatest amount of the people the greatest amount of the time ? Do not governments tell us that they are in charge. ?
    That they and their experts have the answers? Well they do not. And the Powers that Be tremble because this is all out in the open.Theirs and our judgement is played out here on the skin of our planet in these Our Times.

  39. johnm33 November 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Hi Roger, I’ll mine the skeptical science link when I have more time.
    I’m no fan of Dawkins, he seems to want us to live in a world of self created narrative, a knowable described reality. Or the world is what we say it is, so quite hubristic. So I view him as a propagandist. I sometimes wonder if the assault on the divine is a consequence of the introduction of sodium flouride as a medication into water supplies, mineralising and atrophying the pineal gland, veiwed as the third or spiritual eye by the ancients, possibly leaving sensitive types feeling spiritually adrift. [ Not to mention all those bloody anti-depressants based on flouride]. If their is a god, and I find it difficult to believe our consciousness sprang from something without it, given the apparent scale of the universe we are pretty insignificant in ‘his’ scheme of things. There’s an account in chapter 9 of this book http://www.eso-garden.com/specials/the_secret_life_of_nature.pdf
    of an encounter with consciousness.
    I’m a fan of Chomsky, I now police my acceptance of belief and realise that only by choosing what to believe can set you apart from what you believe, it’s unfortunate that we are assailed by so much mis/disinformation, leading to a cacophony of belief systems. So whilst I know the world is warming, i’ve simply chosen to believe CO2 is the cause based on there being no other credible candidate for so much bipolar heating, and the unfolding apparently correct predictions of others.
    The whole of banking seems like a scam, usury just one part of it.

  40. Roger November 6, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    Hi John,

    You might enjoy my Improvised performance called 3rd Eye wide stuff its

    a 936 hz drone and I am playing in the key of Eb minor( D#minor) ( tuned to 432hz A.
    Version with introduction.

    Shorter Version.

    On Belief and action this from Bentham on his usury paper.

    ´´These are among the string of propositions which every man finds handed down to him from his progenitors: which most men are disposed to accede to without examination, and indeed not unnaturally nor even unreasonably disposed, for it is impossible the bulk of mankind should find leisure, had they the ability, to examine into the grounds of an hundredth part of the rules and maxims, which they find themselves obliged to act upon´´.

  41. Roger November 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    A thought provoking piece. I must admit that I consider the question very much along these lines.

    Throughout this evidentiary inquiry into anthropogenic climate change, the following connections have been witnessed:

    1) the statistical manipulation and censorship of data by leading anthropogenic climate scientists [Phil Jones, Michael Mann],

    2) the intrinsic bias towards anthropogenic causal forces inherent in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecast models [Herrera, detailing omission of solar activity],

    3) the admission of systemic uncertainties inherent in climate forecast methodologies [UK National Weather Service],

    4) the widespread unknown variables identified by NASA [solar irradiance, aerosols/dust/smoke, clouds, the carbon cycle, ocean circulation, precipitation and sea level rise], 5) the corporate, industrial and banking interests behind major proponents of anthropogenic climate change [Barclays, BP, Endesa, Fortis, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley et al], and

    6) the calculated ideological premise that human beings are the source of all environmental problems and thus an enemy to humanity itself [Club of Rome]. Subsequently, the consequences of this prevailing worldview must be addressed.

  42. Joe Taylor November 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Naomi Klein: Is Earth F**ked? – Science is telling us to revolt!


  43. johnm33 November 15, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    Hi Roger I can’t get the long version to play above barely audible with speakers+utube+comp. on full volume, and await a quiet time to listen again to short, lots of interesting links adjacent to you on youtube, though .
    All of us have to chose what/who to believe, for me with my choices none of the things you mention are issues, simply put if the ice is disappearing, and it is! Then the weather is doing its job, moving excess heat to the poles, and global warming is real. Like you say best be as ‘green’ as can be anyway. What happens when the coolant[polar ice] in our aircon runs out, well last time the system broke down there was 1500 years of climate chaos. That won’t be conducive to the industrial agriculture we billions have come to rely on. We are at dawn in the age of consequences, that means I expect increasingly random extreme events to occur, from prodigious snowfall, drought, rainfall and heat, with systems erratically shifting across lattitudes. No amount of optimism or disbelief is going to affect it. My hope is I’m wrong.
    Anyway decided to get some boron, not as easy as it once was it seems.

  44. Just me December 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    “Over 3 million hectares of land too polluted to farm in China”


Leave a Reply