Climate debate goes mainstream!

There has been the most extraordinary breakthrough in the climate change debate.  For years sceptical views have been ignored or ridiculed by the media.  But in November we saw the first trickle of water through the dam, and during December it became a cascade.  On Nov 18th I hosted a major one-day conference on climate in Brussels, following up with a pre-Copenhagen briefing on Dec 2nd (pictures on the web-site at http://www.rogerhelmer.com).

First the BBC (of all people!) published a piece on its web-site “Whatever happened to global warming?”.  Days later, the Sunday Times ran a big feature “Everything you thought you knew about Climate Change is Wrong”.  A couple of weeks on we had Professor Ian Plimer, the prominent Australian sceptic, interviewed cordially on the BBC’s “Today” flagship news programme, and a fortnight later, Lord (Nigel) Lawson.

The reason for the Lawson interview was the most extraordinary scientific scandal of our era.  A hacker had released a huge trove of files and e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU).  The CRU works closely with the Hadley Centre in the UK and a handful of other meteorological institutes around the world, and is the source of the basic temperature data that underpins the “science” of global warming.  And it now appears that a small coterie of scientists, closely associated with each other and with the IPCC, has been fraudulently manipulating the data, applying “adjustments” to create or exaggerate warming trends, blocking the publication of contrary data and analysis, seeking the dismissal of the editor of a scientific journal that gave space to sceptics, and (perhaps a criminal offence) conspiring to delete data and e-mails which they feared could be subject to Freedom of Information requests.

It is now clear that the IPCC at the very least has failed in due diligence, and has not adequately verified the data it is using, if indeed it has not colluded in the fraud.  Accordingly, I and several colleagues (Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, US Professor S. Fred Singer, and Dutch Professor Hans Labohm), have written to the Chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee in Norway calling on him to withdraw the 2007 Nobel Prize awarded to the IPCC.

This is a worse fraud than the Piltdown Man.  The systematic falsification of data, and the loss or destruction of much of the database, means that we simply can’t know the truth — although independent satellite data have always shown a much smaller warming trend than CRU.  I have always taken for granted the relatively rapid warming from the mid-seventies up to 1998, but now even this is in question.  It may be merely a construct of the conspiracy.

But the story didn’t stop there.  In Australia, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tried for the second time to get a Cap’n’Trade bill through parliament.  He hoped to have the support of the Liberal (Conservative) Party led by Malcolm Turnbull, who supported the bill.  But thanks to a strong l lobbying campaign against the bill by Australian scientists, the Senate voted it down — and the Liberal Party, deeply unhappy with Turnbull’s ultra-green stance, sacked him and appointed a sceptic, Tony Abbott, in his place.  There is a warning here for leaders of centre-right parties who try to push their green credentials too far.

And right on cue, here in Britain former leadership contender David Davis MP published an article in the Independent, in which he set out his deep concerns at the political and economic implications of CO2 emission reduction programmes, while a poll published in the Times shows the majority of British voters (59%) do not believe that human activity causes climate change.  The wheels are well and truly coming off the global warming band-wagon.  For years I have ploughed a lonely furrow on this issue, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I say I am enjoying a warm glow of vindication.

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51 Responses to Climate debate goes mainstream!

  1. Phil Burrows says:

    Correction 1 – The following statement refers to the CRU as “the source of the basic temperature data that underpins the “science” of global warming” is incorrect. The IPCC uses 4 sources, of which only is from the CRU. These sources are GISTEMP, HadCRU, NOAA NCDC, JMA.

    95% of all sources have been freely available for years. They are all available to view at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    Correction 2 – You have not provided an example of how the data was manipulated, instead you have made a sweeping statement. Please can you justify your statement.
    The reason for me asking, is that when the emails are taken out of context, it sounds like data has been manipulated. When they are put back into context, it is clear that the science was done diligently. An example of this is:

    “Hide the decline”. The decline that was “hidden” is clearly not a conspiracy or a cover up, as the process of “hiding” it was written up in Nature in 1998 where the authors suggested not using the post 1960 data. Their actual programs (in IDL script), unsurprisingly warn against using post 1960 data. Added: Note that the ‘hide the decline’ comment was made in 1999 – 10 years ago, and has no connection whatsoever to more recent instrumental records.

    Correction 3 – Climate Research and peer-review: You should read about the issues from the editors (Claire Goodess, Hans von Storch) who resigned because of a breakdown of the peer review process at that journal, that came to light with the particularly egregious (and well-publicised) paper by Soon and Baliunas (2003). The publisher’s assessment is here.

  2. Klem says:

    I know what you mean when you say warm glow of vindication. I take it a step further though, I get great enjoyment when I rub it in the faces of my environmental friends.

  3. Philip Burrows says:

    Firstly you are wrong about the CRU being the source of climate change data around the world. There are four temperature sources, who all work independently of each other. The other three are GISTEMP, NOAA and JMA.

    Secondly, you might find it interesting to read the editorial from one of the most established and well regarded science journals in the world:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7273/full/462545a.html

    Thirdly, you talk about manipulation, but you haven’t given any examples. Have you read all the emails and the research papers they refer to?

  4. Philip Burrows says:

    If the skeptical papers discussed in the SwiftHack emails were supressed, then how come they appeared in the IPCCs 4th assessment?

    (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick Energy Environ. 14, 751–771; 2003 and W. Soon and S. Baliunas Clim. Res. 23, 89–110; 2003)

  5. Philip Burrows says:

    I have noticed that you have been unable to reference the ‘facts’ that you have written in previous articles.
    I take this to mean that you can’t.
    Why should we believe what you say Roger?

  6. Nancy Marks says:

    Can’t you manage to post just one comment – this isn’t a platform for whoever Philip Burrows is. Gets very boring for us readers!

  7. Al says:

    GisTemp is looking shaky – http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/gistemp-a-human-view/

    New Zealand source data seems to have been manipulated – http://nzclimatescience.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=550&Itemid=1

    If 95% of the raw data is freely available how come scientists and statisticians that wish to independently review models have spent years having FOI requests refused or twisted?
    if I produce an idea then I want it to be tested and verified rather than puched through by a clique. What are they so afraid of.

  8. Al says:

    FOI story – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/24/the-people-vs-the-cru-freedom-of-information-my-okole%E2%80%A6/

    Not just emails released but code and notes. Several of these show an ‘unscientific approach’ shall we say. You can put any data in and still get a hockey stick – http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/11/23/the-code.html

    Besides this, the info seems to have been on accessible FTP rather than behind any security, so no actual hacking.

  9. Al says:

    Puched? must be late night finger syndrome.

    I am sure the climate is changing, Greenland is greening and the sahara desert (among others) is greening. Climate has changed slowly and quickly in the past. Greenland still isn’t as green as when it was named. If the alarmists started being truthfull about Medieval Warm Period etc I would give them more credence. Technically we are still in an ice age because the polar caps have not melted yet. No doubt at some point in time the Earth will experience yet another major ice age cycle, glad I won’t be here for that.

    We should be cutting pollution but banging on about CO2 will harm the good cause. We do not create carbon only move it around. That which is now locked up in coal was once in the air to make the plants grow to be squashed down to form the coal.

    • Philip Burrows says:

      It is worth taking a look at the time when that carbon was in the atmosphere.
      I recommend ‘Six Degrees’ by Mark Lynas for a good overview.

    • Philip Burrows says:

      He is pro nuclear, but then so is George Monbiot and James Lovelock. I am on the fence. I don’t know enough to pass judgement.

  10. The first defence of the alarmists is that there are four “independent” sources of data. But the lesson of the e-mails is that they all worked together and communicated with each other. It is the same small group of scientists conmtrolling the alarmist agenda throughout the system, including the IPCC.

  11. Roger Helmer MEP says:

    Philip Burrows seems to be having trouble understanding the implications of the CRU e-mails. He might like to check the following link, where Lord Monckton gives far more thorough analysis of the issue than I can.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/viscount-monckton-on-global-warminggate-they-are-criminals-pjm-exclusive/

    • Philip Burrows says:

      Sadly that article is nothing more than a rant. It too contains no relevant references and expects the reader to ‘believe’ what it says.

      Why would you believe Lord Monckton? He is someone who has:

      Been found to fraudulently make up graphs: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/05/moncktons-deliberate-manipulation/

      and

      In a 1987 article for the American Spectator titled the The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, Monckton wrote that:

      …. there is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month … all those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently.

      Please reference your articles, otherwise it is very hard to believe you.

      • Al says:

        That’s a bit draconian for me but there’s no doubt it would limit the spread of infectious diseases.

        Now prove that if we stop burning anything it would stop climate change.

      • Al says:

        Forgot to add that back in 1987 the ‘consensus’ of scientists were preaching that 25% of the worlds population would be wiped out by AIDS. Sure I could easily find equally mad ideas for limiting climate change now.

      • Philip Burrows says:

        Ok Al, I need to know where you stand with current science.

        Do you acknowledge there is a greenhouse effect? If not then we will have to start with the absorption properties of C02. If you do then we can move on to Beer’s law.

        Once I get an answer we will take a journey, through the multiple lines of enquiry that all point towards man made climate change.

        Any questions that you have on the way, please ask. I am completely open.

        P.S. The reason why we managed to prevent aids from spreading to 25% of the population was because we took positive actions to prevent it. Remember the adverts and the sex education? I agree with you that there are some mad cap ideas for limiting climate change, which is why we need to start discussing them.

  12. fausty says:

    Oh dear! You’ve been targeted by the alarmist trolls, Rgoer. They realise that the game is very nearly up and along with it, their generous handouts from the taxpayers for their iffy ‘science’.

    May they be granted their P45s for Christmas.

    • Philip Burrows says:

      Hi Fausty, can you help me find links/references to the things that Roger says? I am more than happy to believe him if I am given adequate evidence. He doesn’t seem to provide it though.
      Do you think your position is based in facts or belief? If you think it is facts, then you need to reference them.

      • fausty says:

        The warmist alarmists can hardly claim that their case is based on fact, can they, Philip?

        There’s nothing settled about Al Gore’s ‘science’.

      • Philip Burrows says:

        Yes I would.
        What source would you trust and what evidence do you need?

        P.S. It isn’t Al Gore’s science, it is over 200 years of scientists science. Thousands of research papers and millions of hours of investigation.

      • fausty says:

        Not the IPCC or Hadley Centre. Not Al Gore (who’s not a scientist, by the way).

        Many of the scientists on the IPCC’s list had to threaten to sue to have their names removed!

        You want evidence? Try: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/ and http://bit.ly/5w83ac

      • Philip Burrows says:

        Hi Fausty,

        I agree with you, Al Gore isn’t a scientist, which is why I don’t go to him for my science.

        I couldn’t find the article that demonstrates the scientists having to sue the IPCC. Could you link it directly?

        In regards to the Science and Public Policy Institute, it looks like it was funded by big oil. Hardly a source of independent science.

        Ferguson set up the Center for Science and Public Policy in early 2003, after receiving a $100,000 grant from ExxonMobil in 2002. Exxon has continued to fund the Center each year since then, to the tune of at least $50,000 a year. http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=1310

  13. Derek Tipp says:

    <a href=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6738111/Climategate-reveals-the-most-influential-tree-in-the-world.htmlHere's an interesting article by the great Christopher Booker.
    Here’s a good look at one set of emails revealing very subversive activity by climate scientists at CRU.
    And here’s more, this deals with the source code. No doubt Philip Burrows will say “this is fine, nothing wrong here!” But, what would a reasonable man make of it?

  14. Philip Burrows says:

    Thanks for providing the references Derek, I am going to go through every point made in all of those articles. Give me a shout if I miss anything. I intend to respond to a few points each night, this may take a few weeks, but I am sure you will appreciate the results.

    1st – In regards to the hockey stick graph, I recommend you read the article in New Scientist.

    The great thing about reading from the New Scientist, is that, unlike Christopher Booker, the articles tend to be well referenced.

    A few choice paragraphs from this article are:

    1.) What counts in science is not a single study, however. It is whether a finding can be replicated by other groups. Here Mann is on a winning streak: upwards of a dozen studies, some using different statistical techniques or different combinations of proxy records (excluding the bristlecone record, for instance), have produced reconstructions more or less similar to the original hockey stick.

    2.)The subtext of many attacks on the hockey stick is that if the world was warmer 1000 years than it is now, this shows there is nothing unusual going on and we can all stop worrying. Not so, says Briffa. If the world was warmer 1000 years ago, it would suggest the climate system is very sensitive to outside influences, whether past solar cycles or present accumulating greenhouse gases. “Greater past climate variations imply greater future climate change,” he says. From this perspective, it would be most worrying if all the hockey sticks really are wrong.

    Give me a shout when you have read this, and I shall either come back to your points, or I shall move onto the next part of Bookers article.

    Cheers
    Phil

  15. Derek Tipp says:

    Phil, it’s kind of you to go to all this trouble to rebut my points.

    Regarding the hockey stick graph, despite your support for it, it has already been discredited by Steve McIntyre and others, but the newly released data from CRU has confirmed beyond doubt that the tree-ring data was cherry-picked. The New Scientist article was published well before the CRU data release.

    • Philip Burrows says:

      Thanks for discussing the Michael Mann hockey stick graph.

      Can you please explain the other 12 temperature reconstructions that show the hockey stick shape and use different methodologies from the Michael Mann study? (referenced above)

      Can you also explain why Mcintyre did not provide an alternative methodology?

      Please can you also show me the exact phrase in the SwiftHack emails where it shows beyond doubt that the tree ring data was cherry picked.

      You like Roger are failing to provide references.

    • Philip Burrows says:

      Thanks Chris,
      This is the best thing posted yet. Unlike the posts by Roger and Derek, the article provides well sourced data, that I can reproduce at home by taking the temperature record from GHCN and whacking it into excel (crude but it works).
      I will download all the data on the weekend and see if the WUWT article works out. I have no reason to suspect it won’t, but I like to see for myself.
      I will then take a look at how to deal with inhomogeneity.
      Unlike the others, you seem to have brought something new to the debate.
      Thanks again.

  16. Iain Paul Freely says:

    Philip… If you don’t like the posts why do you come here? Set your own blog up. You do seem obsessive with your constant comments, Have you seen how many you have on just this post? Do you like to dominae a discussion or just like to see your name in print? I only ask as you do go on. It does make things tedious to see the same person write comment after comment. Are you just trolling here. Let me guess…. another tedious comment will come before long…. Can you resist?

    • Philip Burrows says:

      I believe that the comments section is here to discuss the article so that is what I am doing. All of my posts are directly related to the topic in question.
      I think that the discussion that has come from the article is worthwhile, do you?
      When I respond to the article, I usually tackle a few points at a time. If on a second or third reading I spot more material worth responding to, I do.
      Do you think I should do it in some otherway? Maybe I should set up a blog to respond to the other blogs? I haven’t thought about it before. Thanks for the suggestion.
      Phil

  17. ChrisP says:

    This subject is too serious, not to be fully debated. Mr Helmer invites people to ‘say it’. And is correct to do so. Mr Burrows has made some good points, that are not being properly answered. This is, of concern to me, viewed from my sceptical position. The truth of this subject, will only be solved by open and thorough investigation. Problems, thus far, have come from hiding data, and closing off of debate.

    …something else that needs investigating…

  18. Iain Paul Freely says:

    Philip has made 16 out of 34 comments on this one subject I believe. He has made the same point in more than one comment. That isn’t debate. Making 5 different comments out of the first 7 isnt debate. Im surprised a spam filter hasnt kicked in given so many comments in such a short space of time with no response from others.

    • Philip Burrows says:

      I admit error on my first two posts. For some reason the first one didn’t show up for quite a while, so I reposted it from memory. My bad.

      Looking back at the posts, I agree I have been a tad excessive and will try and calm it down a bit. I guess I was a little frustrated at Rogers inability to reference decent sources.

      In response to ChrisP, there is an excellent article from http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/07/no-man-is-an-urban-heat-island/

      It is excellently referenced and covers the following:

      Mistaken Assumption No. 1: Mainstream science doesn’t believe there are urban heat islands….

      Mistaken Assumption No. 2: … and thinks that all station data are perfect.

  19. Philip Burrows,

    I heard Lord Monckton on the Alex Jones show change his view on how best to deal with HIV in light of its spread since he made that comment.

  20. Lord Monckton also drew my attention to the terrible consequences of giving over so much land to biofuels. The resulting doubling of food prices in the last 2/3 years has caused millions to starve.

    We need to get to the bottom of the climate change deception and arrest those responsible to face charges for crimes against humanity.

    Climate change is 99% political: Copenhagen and its horrifying purpose

  21. The new president of the EU has kindly spoken on BBC TV to confirm what I have been telling you all for some time:

    Rompuy: “2009 is also the first year of global governance, with the establishment of the G20 in the middle of the financial crisis. The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step towards the global management of our planet.”

  22. Rod Eaton says:

    Mr Burrows

    You certainly have a lot to say on the CRU but do not forget that the emails do not only concern the CRU…others across the Atlantic are implicated and under investigation too.

    I think it is somewhat naive to consider that any ‘fixing’ of the data would be confined to just one of the source sites.

    Your alluding to dates on the emails is also interesting: maybe the ‘official’ investigations will cast some sunlight on this or maybe just whitewash it. The jury is still out on that!

  23. Rod Eaton says:

    Thanks Philip

    I said ‘ANY’ fixing which implies ‘IF’ there was @ANY’ fixing. However, as you press the matter, I believe there is much evidence from this beautiful poster for your wall (Christmas Pressie):

    Click to access 2009.12.23_climategate_30_years_in_the_making_banner.pdf

  24. Tony Leatham says:

    Unless much mistaken, Philip Burrows is a member of Friends of the Earth, which is a rather flawed organisation right now. He’s clearly worried that actually, there is little in the way of compelling evidence to bet the whole of our economy on AGW. And of course, if AGW isn’t a problem (and it really isn’t), then much of the funding for FOE would be in jeopardy.

    Mr. Burrows – spend the time reading through the posts at wattsupwiththat.com and once you have done so, see to what extent you can “magic” credible scientific support for the idea that the 4% man contributes to the 3.6% of green house gases that CO2 accounts for will in anyway affect global warming.

    As we’re currently in the grip of the coldest winter for 30 years, you only need look out of your window to realise what bunkum you believe

  25. Rod Eaton says:

    Dear Tony

    That explains it then. On James Delingpole’s blog he would be termed a troll.

    Thank you for the logical points, much the same as my reading of the issue too.

    Kind regards

    Rod Eaton

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