Friday, December 01, 2006

Mulching with Miliband (again)

Poor old Davey-boy is not feeling the love, having been brutally attacked on a radio phone-in (only verbally, alas).
When I appeared on the Jeremy Vine programme on Wednesday a number of callers disputed my interpretation of the science of climate change. I said the evidence of cause and effect was unambiguous.

Really, David? Cause and effect unambiguous? You really are going out on a limb there, matey. Perhaps you might like to reconsider that particular comment; whilst most (but not all) accept that climate change is happening, what is causing it is very far from unambiguous—apart from anything else, there is not just one cause and there is still considerable dispute (yes, David, amongst scientists) as to the extent that these multiple variables are causing climate change.
A number of emails after the programme also disputed the facts and I promised to provide links via my blog to the science.

And he then does so. I have written about climate change and Miliband's ignorance so much recently that I'm afraid that I cannot be nothered to go over the whole thing again: instead, I shall provide you with the comment that I left on David's "blog".
And you, David, might do us all a favour and look at, for instance, the Junk Science site; I have posted all the links to their articles on this post.

You might also like to note that the links at this site which back up the claims of Junk Science that it is water vapour causing the majority of cooling, not CO2. Unless, of course, you are calling those Danish scientists liars?

You might also like to consider the global concensus on global cooling from the 70s. Here's a few quotes.
"Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend… But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century."—Peter Gwynne, Newsweek, April 28, 1975.

"[T]he threat of the new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind."—Nigel Calder, International Wildlife, July, 1975.

"The cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people in poor nations… If it continues, and no strong measures are taken to deal with it, the cooling will cause world famine, world chaos, and probably world war, and this could all come by the year 2000."—Lowell Ponte, The Cooling, 1976.

"The continued rapid cooling of the earth since World War II is also in accord with the increased global air pollution associated with industrialisation, mechanisation, urbanisation and an exploding population."—Reid Bryson, Global Ecology: Readings Towards A Rational Strategy For Man, 1971.

"An increase by only a factor of four in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 degrees Kelvin… sufficient to trigger an ice-age."—Dr S I Rasool and Dr S H Schneider, Science, July 9, 1971.

You may also be interested in the tactics of awareness advocated by scientists of the time.
"[W]e have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."—Quoted by Jonathan Schell in The Fate Of The Earth, 1982.

Now, if you substitute "warming" for "cooling", does any of the above rhetoric ring any bells, David?

What I would really like you to do is to learn some of the scientific principles yourself, and to investigate the data rather than simply repeating the briefing that you get from civil servants and scientists desperate for their next grant.

While you are about it, you might like to explain to us all why the hockey-stick model of global warming used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does not include the Mediaeval Warm Period (the answer being, of course, that it would muck up their modelling something chronic)?

I would also like you to be up to speed on the technological developments in power generation. For you, as a minister with responsibility for the environment, to admit a few weeks ago that you knew nothing about wave power when WaveGen have had a wave-power generator, in Islay, pumping energy to the National Grid since the year 2000 amounts to near-criminal negligence.

If you are going to pontificate on global warming and possible solutions, is it too much for us -- the people whom you intend to bleed dry -- to expect that you actually know what you are talking about? You have already demonstrated, publically, your lack of knowledge about wave-power generation, but what do you know about carbon neutral zinc-oxide powerstations, for instance? Or the progress on hydrogen fuel cells (St Andrew's University are, I believe, a world leader in investigating this technology)? What do you know of the Paul Scherrer Institut which is developing scaleable solar generation schemes?

I am eagerly awaiting his answer...

UPDATE: it seems that my comment was not fit to appear on Batshit's site, so I'm glad I recreated it above. Perhaps it will appear later on (ha!) but while we wait with bated breath, The Englishman pulls up yet another report—the World Climate Report—to contradict Batshit's assertions.
The authors place the recent warming into an interesting perspective noting “the global warming observed during the latest 150 years is just a short episode in the geologic history. The current global warming is most likely a combined effect of increased solar and tectonic activities and cannot be attributed to the increased anthropogenic impact on the atmosphere. Humans may be responsible for less than 0.01°C (of approximately 0.56°C (1°F) total average atmospheric heating during the last century)”. Holy cow, can you imagine the letters and e-mails they must have received in response to that conclusion? They even show that over the last 3,000 years, the earth has cooled, or if you look just at the last 1,000 years, the earth has been cooling as well (the earth was in the Medieval Warm Period 1,000 years ago).

Their conclusions with respect to potential policy will more than raise some eyebrows as well as they write “Any attempts to mitigate undesirable climatic changes using restrictive regulations are condemned to failure, because the global natural forces are at least 4–5 orders of magnitude greater than available human controls.” They show that the climatic effects of the Kyoto Protocol would be negligible, leading them to state “Thus, the Kyoto Protocol is a good example of how to achieve the minimum results with the maximum efforts (and sacrifices). Impact of available human controls will be negligible in comparison with the global forces of nature. Thus, the attempts to alter the occurring global climatic changes (and drastic measures prescribed by the Kyoto Protocol) have to be abandoned as meaningless and harmful.”

Our World Climate Reports uncover and present interesting results we find in the peer-reviewed professional scientific journals, and as we have seen over and over, there are many absolutely amazing papers published regularly in outstanding journals. The global warming crusade would denounce this paper as outrageous, but it survived rigorous peer-review, the editor elected to publish it, and like it or not, this paper is part of the serious science literature. Dismissing the paper is made more difficult given the affiliation of the authors and the prestige of the journal.

The debate on climate change is never boring, the debate is full of surprises, and anyone claiming the debate is over is simply dismissing a significant number of papers that appear regularly in the major journals.


Khilyuk, L.F., and G. V. Chilingar. 2006. On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved? Environmental Geology, 50, 899–910.

Sorry, David, what was that again: "the evidence of cause and effect was unambiguous"?

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here: I am calling David Miliband a liar: that's right David, you are a liar. Sorry, I feel I should state this once more, unequivocably and for the record: David Miliband is a liar.

Or, of course, he is so ignorant that he is incapable of doing his job competently. But I think that I will go for "liar".

Now sue me.


Unity said...

Mulching with Milliband?

Are you absolutely sure that's legal and won't put you on the sex offender's register?

Tim Worstall said...

St Andrews. Indeed, a certain Professor John Irvine. Guess who he gets his scandium from? Go on, guess?

Devil's Kitchen said...


You are, of course, the reason that I knew that they were working on hydrogen fuel cells...


dearieme said...

DK, The Blessed Timothy was also pointing out your feral apostrophe.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Ah, of course. Always get confused with place names: I have a problem with writing Prince's Street too...