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Jo Chandler: “When science is undone by fiction” a critique

Jo Chandler Photo: Penny Stephens

I was as surprised as anyone when I saw that the Age had given Bob Carter some of its precious column inches   for him to make the argument against the AGW proposition and the Carbon Tax. What surprised me less was that their resident Warminista Jo Chandler should write a piece denouncing Carter.  With a hypocrisy that seems to be consistent with her other writing on the subject  of climate change this piece finds her not addressing the points made by Carter which went to the very fundamentals of the theory, in other words he  went to the  basis of science, the evidence, as the basis of his argument. No what this piece does is use the old favourites of the acolytes of the Warming faith, namely the ad hominem attack and the blind appeal to authority. This morning I will go through her argument and show just how shallow and facile her argument is.

When science is undone by fiction

Jo Chandler

June 29, 2011

The myth of Climate-gate has endured because of media failings.

GEOLOGIST and long-time climate change denialist Bob Carter materialised on this page on Monday, reprising a weary routine – tiptoeing through the scientific archive to find the morsels of data that might, with a twirl here and a shimmy there, contrive to support his theory that global warming is a big fat conspiracy.

Talk about pinning her colours to the mast right from the beginning! Chandler opens with a misleading headline , a dodgy proposition as a subtitle and then an ad hominem attack upon the scientist she wishes to denounce. Its not exactly a piece of balanced journalism, now is it?  Well balanced journalism would not be her style on this subject, especially as she has a book that relies upon the Warminista faith for its commercial success.

Meanwhile, in real news, the journal Nature Geoscience published a paper by American and British scientists that found West Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier is now melting 50 per cent faster than in 1994.

In an effort to better understand the hidden mysteries of ice sheet dynamics, which have obvious implications for every coast on the planet, the team also sent a submarine beneath the floating portion of the ice. It found the glacier had broken free from the ridge that once grounded it, allowing warmer waters to circulate and melt it from beneath. This had long been the theory – now they had some observed evidence.

The hastening retreats of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers have been closely monitored by scientists for decades. Their collapse is a nightmare cited as one of the tipping-point scenarios scientists most fear – potentially pulling the plug to drain the western ice plateau, and possibly even destabilising the sleeping giant next door: the East Antarctic ice sheet.

The uncertainties of these processes are to blame for the wide, wild variations in anticipated global sea level rise – the hottest, most disputed topic in forecasts for a warmer world. So you might imagine that this latest insight would merit a mention. But it didn’t make the cut for publication in any Australian newspapers.

What we are given next is the very old and surprisingly effective technique of “Bait and switch”. As I remember Carter’s piece he does not dwell at all upon Antarctica. In fact I have just re read it and he does not even mention Antarctica  So what is clear is here is that Chandler is trying to create a sense of crisis to demonstrate that the worst case scenario of the AGW theory is actaully happening now. Surely as a “Senior writer” she should have made a point of addressing what Carter actaully argues in his piece rather than using it as an excuse to go on a rather tawdry cavort dragging out the same old Warminista memes that she has employed in previous  writing on the subject.

The murky, under-the-waterline mysteries of media dynamics are no less confounding than those determining the movement of glaciers, and no less potentially catastrophic in terms of implications for informing policy debate and climate action.

But there are no laws of physics or nature to provide a framework to explain the vagaries of the media machine, which seems utterly overwhelmed by the task of telling the story on climate science. There is, in truth, nothing very scientific about the processes that determine what makes news in this critical debate. It’s a crap shoot. Often, you get crap.

I must confess that were I a crueller man I might make a great deal of her closing sentences, and relate it to the author of thsi piece from the Age’s “Senior writer” but this part of Chandler’s piece is meant to tie in her bait and switch strategy to Carter’s argument, Sadly all she gives us is the suggestion that she thinks that his article is “crap”. Its her old pal “ad hominem”, the weakest rhetorical tool in a writer’s armoury,sadly a favourite of this author on this subject.

At the heart of Carter’s argument against the science is the claim that the credentials of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – and hence its authority in underpinning policy such as a carbon tax – were ”badly damaged by the leaked ‘Climate-gate’ emails in November 2009”. He’s right – terrible damage was wrought by the accusations that scientists had behaved without integrity or honesty.

Well No that is not the heart of Carter’s argument at all, in  fact I think the heart of his argument is the dot point fact that he presented in the article that Chandler is supposedly critiquing here. Let just see what they are:

click for source

This is important because what Carter was clearly trying to do was to argue that the Carbon tax proposed by the Gillard/Brown Government was worse than pointless of course that is something for which Chandler and her ilk have no answer. She certainly does not address this in her piece.

What Carter fails to then mention is that, at last count, there have been eight separate inquiries by British and US government agencies, independent panels and universities. Their findings have consistently upheld the honesty and integrity of the scientists. None have identified wrongdoing, and the science was unassailed.

What Chandler fails to mention was that Carter only mentions “Climate Gate” in passing and that the point he makes is an entirely uncontentious one about how the scandal has undermined the public’s previously unquestioning faith in the pronouncements of “climate scientists”. For those of us who think that mindlessly genuflecting to the wearer’s of the blessed white coat is a bad idea the scandals at The University of East Anglia and the IPCC have been a not unexpected revelation that the saints of “climate science” have feet of clay. Now they have to do the actual work of convincing the public that their dire claims about our future are based on real scientific principles, like ones based upon empirical facts rather than the sort of faith that Chandler has.

The great scandal of Climate-gate is the failure of the media to recognise and report the findings of these inquiries. That failure allowed the shadow of Climate-gate to endure, and it has been identified as a powerful, albeit hollow, thief of public confidence in critical, evolving science.

No that is not the scandal here at all, The inquiries were all very well reported (especially in the Age and the UK’s Guardian) and they were all rather flawed designed to get a particular result without even looking at the scientific questions raised by the Emails.

Climate-gate, a triumphant moment in the machinery of manufactured doubt, continues to be used to obscure where the live debate is actually occurring. If you want a taste of the fiery end of it, you might like to pay heed to a gathering in Melbourne next month of international experts contemplating a future with 4 degrees or more of warming. (fourdegrees2011.com.au).

She is approaching her word limit here and still Chandler has not even come close to the substantive argument made by Bob Carter in the piece she is ostensibly critiquing. That is not a good look for a “Senior Writer”. Further she throws in yet another implicit ad hominem by claiming that any doubt in the AGW theory is falsely manufactured by some dark conspiracy.  🙄

It might be argued that the devotion of scientists to identify consensus on climate forecasts – and the sensitivity of the media to brokering anything that might be labelled alarmist – has also nobbled debate.

There is something that I almost agree with here and that is her implicit admission that “consensus” is not such a strong argument for any scientific proposition, but what she is clearly trying to say is that now that the Warministas have to actaully argue their corner rather than just have a gullible public accept their propositions with out question they are not doing so well. 😉

The valiant efforts of scientists to deliver to policymakers and the public a coherent, consensus voice on climate change moderates the messages, substituting worst-case for best-guess, itself a distortion. As veteran British climate writer Fred Pearce reflected in the wake of the 2007 IPCC report, ”some people accuse the IPCC of being alarmist. On the contrary, my reading is that [it] worked so hard to assuage the concerns of its critics that it left out all the things its authors really fear.”

Seems to me that Chandler really wanted more of the  outrageous worst case scenarios front and center because that is what she believes in and through her book hopes to profit from.

Further distortions in the debate are rendered by clumsy efforts of the media to achieve ”balance”, or contrived efforts to drum up controversy. But as new Chief Scientist Ian Chubb argued last week, ”if 99 people say one thing and one person says another thing, the one person has a right to have their view on the table, but they don’t have a right to be given the same amount of time and space as the 99 without qualification”.

Oh hang on, didn’t Chandler just say that “It might be argued that the devotion of scientists to identify consensus on climate forecasts – and the sensitivity of the media to brokering anything that might be labelled alarmist – has also nobbled debate.” ? which is an argument against “consensus” being given too much weight in a scientific case and here she is swinging 180 degrees claiming that those in the majority should be more heard in the public debate than those in the minority. Hmm , am I the only one who thinks that Chandler may just have mastered Orwell’s “double think” here?

Recent surveys of active climate scientists (those publishing in the area) calculate that 97 in every 100 have views which reflect those of the international academies of science: the planet is warming, this is human caused, and it is dangerous. Most are unlikely to ever have the gift of this page to explain their findings.

This is just more “argument from authority” nonsense it would not matter a jot if 999 scientists out of a thousand were to argue that we are living on  a flat earth an only one were to say that our world is a sphere, what matters is the empirical evidence that can test the proposition according to the scientific  method.

Therefore, a more balanced, rigorous and honest rendering of their work is critical to elevating the political and public debate on climate. ”The media has a particular and important role to play,” said Chubb, ”and the sooner they play it better, the better.”

Jo Chandler is a senior writer and author of Feeling The Heat, which tracks climate science field work.

Hang on this is Chandler’s conclusion and yet she has not even addressed the most important proposition that Carter made in the piece in question which is this:

Voters now recognise that in the absence of an international agreement no action that Australia takes can ”stop global warming”. But natural climate hazard in Australia is so dangerous that nonetheless a need remains for a politically feasible, environmentally sensible and cost-effective climate policy. That policy should be to prepare for and adapt to all climatic hazards, as and when they occur and whatever their cause.

Bob Carter

Its truly sad that someone who is a “senior writer” at the Age should write something that is ostensibly a response to a very rare appearance of a pro  AGW scepticism at Fairfax with such a sloppy argument that fails to even address a single substantive part of the argument put by Bob Carter. Instead she has delivered a rather shallow bait and switch rant that is loaded with the usual ad hominem attacks upon scepticism  in general and a reiteration of so many of her previous rants on the subject of climate change. There may well be some good arguments against the ideas put forward by Carter in his June 27 article but the ones mounted by Chandler here  are certainly not anywhere near the topic let alone any concept of sound counter  argument or for that matter journalistic virtue either.

Cheers Comrades


32 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    Was she playing the man and not the ball again, Iain? That’s her forte.

  2. Captain James Mission says:

    “it would not matter a jot if 999 scientists out of a thousand were to argue that we are living on a flat earth an only one were to say that our world is a sphere, what matters is the empirical evidence that can test the proposition according to the scientific method.”

    Iain this little statement is simply silly. The scientific method is used by…er…scientists Iain, so if 999 scientists were to test the empirical evidence, using the scientific method, and the results (evidence tested via the scientific method) showed that the world is flat..well it probably would be Iain. If one scientist disagreed then one would only have to subject his or her results to the scientific method to see if he or she was either mistaken or a denier. That’s the whole point of the climate change issue Iain, the scientific method has been applied, only the mistaken or the deniers continue to lambast against the obvious.

    Thanks for giving me todays LOL.

  3. Captain James Mission says:

    Oh..and while we are at it:

    Bob “laugh a minute” Carter:

    “Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, searched the leading science journals for peer-reviewed papers on climate change written by Professor Carter and other sceptics, and found only one.

    The paper had claimed that natural variation in the climate could account for most of the observed global warming, but when a group of genuine climate change researchers examined the paper they found it seriously flawed. The conclusions made in the paper, wrote a group of eminent scientists in a response in the same journal, were “not supported by their analysis or any physical theory”.

    In other words, Professor Carter and his co-authors had come to a conclusion which even their own analysis had failed to support. With this being Professor Carter’s only foray into the peer-reviewed literature, it is odd that he should be held up as a climate expert.”

    That’s just the latest on good ole Bob from: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2775298.html as he’s been completely debunked all over the place, via the scientific method, for years.

    So do tell Iain, who is using the scientific? Certianly not Bob “I’m here till Wednesday” Carter.

  4. Pine Island Glacier

    “Lead author Dr Adrian Jenkins of British Antarctic Survey said, “The discovery of the ridge has raised new questions about whether the current loss of ice from Pine Island Glacier is caused by recent climate change or is a continuation of a longer-term process that began when the glacier disconnected from the ridge.”

    Tad of uncertainty there.

    Jo: “The hastening retreats of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers have been closely monitored by scientists for decades”

    Dr Jenkins: “Since detailed observations of Pine Island Glacier only began in the 1990s,…”

    Couple of decades then, depending on which end of the 90s they started.

    http://www.physorg.com/news196255601.html

    Don’t give up the holiday house in Torquay yet Jo……..

  5. Iain Hall says:

    Zane

    Iain this little statement is simply silly. The scientific method is used by…er…scientists Iain, so if 999 scientists were to test the empirical evidence, using the scientific method, and the results (evidence tested via the scientific method) showed that the world is flat..well it probably would be Iain.

    You are just deliberately misreading what I said, and adding an implied use of “the scientific method” to that argument by my hypothetical cadre of 999 “scientists”. I deliberately created my example in that form to make the point that no matter how what percentage of people interested in a topic assert one opinion over another about a scientific question what matters is the empirical truth not how many people argue for it.
    You deliberately ignore what I actaully say so that you can genuflect to the Profits of the green faith in their pure white coats vestments…

    So do tell Iain, who is using the scientific? Certianly not Bob “I’m here till Wednesday” Carter.

    🙄
    One of the points that I am making here is that no matter what Bob Carter has to offer as a scientist, Chandler fails to address any of the substantive points that he makes in his OP ed piece.

  6. Captain James Mission says:

    No I may have misread you, but not deliberately. “Scientists” use the scientific method Iain, that’s how they get to be scientists. Once the scientific method has been tried and further tested around any particular set of results those results become proofs not opinions, however much one would like to deny it. When it comes to climate science I am not really interested anything but “the empirical truth”, which is proven through the application of the scientific method Iain. Carter has been proven through the application of the scientific method to his results, to have proved nothing. He is a clown in the pay of polluters, and you are silly enough to fall for it. And it is not a rational argument for you to accuse those who have applied the scientific method, in the exploration of empirical truth, to be similar to followers of a “faith”. That is simply you not liking the empirical truth, that truth having been properly proven and shown through the application of the scientific method. You have no recourse here but to fall back on the huff andf puff of someone who has clearly, empirically been proven to be…wrong.

    You are wrong Iain in your attachment to Carter.

    I have no interest in Jo Chandler at all.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Zane
    the point of my post here is summed up by my conclusion :

    Its truly sad that someone who is a “senior writer” at the Age should write something that is ostensibly a response to a very rare appearance of a pro AGW scepticism at Fairfax with such a sloppy argument that fails to even address a single substantive part of the argument put by Bob Carter. Instead she has delivered a rather shallow bait and switch rant that is loaded with the usual ad hominem attacks upon scepticism in general and a reiteration of so many of her previous rants on the subject of climate change. There may well be some good arguments against the ideas put forward by Carter in his June 27 article but the ones mounted by Chandler here are certainly not anywhere near the topic let alone any concept of sound counter argument or for that matter journalistic virtue either. (added Bold)

    It would not matter a Jot who the scientist being answered by her article is the simple fact of the matter is that the piece is a very poorly argued article that does not address the things that Bob Carter wrote about. That is poor form and bad journalism.
    You must to be suffering intellectual suffocation by having your AGW underpants too tight if you can’t appreciate that.

  8. Captain James Mission says:

    I don’t give a jot what Chandler thinks, says or writes Iain, I have no interest in her at all, in fact I have no real idea who she is.

    I am more interested as to why you continue to support a proven (through the application of the scientific method which you yourself say you support) mountebank like Bob Carter?

    So yes, I guess my posts are technically “off topic” so I imagine that you can convince yourself to legitimately avoid the points about Carter raised in them.

    Avoidance, as is your usual want. And yes, I myself am avoiding comenting on Chandler you are quite right in that, I really don’t care about her at all. Cheerio.

  9. Craigy says:

    Iain, would you say that Chandlers writing is better or worse than Bolt or McCrann on the topic of climate science?

    Is Chandler falling behind the quality of Journalism in our dailies in your opinion?

    Is Bob Carter a much bigger problem than Chandler, because he stands by his discredited paper (and he is a scientist)?

    Just curious about why you go after her and not others, can you shed some light on this?

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Zane

    I don’t give a jot what Chandler thinks, says or writes Iain, I have no interest in her at all, in fact I have no real idea who she is.

    Look you are in the communications game so just take the time to read the Bob Carter piece that she is supposed to be critiquing here and then re=read her piece and you tell me what relationship there is between the two, if you are honest you would have to agree with my thesis that she fails to properly make her case here.

    I am more interested as to why you continue to support a proven (through the application of the scientific method which you yourself say you support) mountebank like Bob Carter?

    There is a big difference between claiming that Bob Carter is in error in his arguments about climate science and claiming that he is being dishonest as you do here, I can see why you think nothing of Chandler’s repeated ad hominem arguments, as you are so fond of that modus operandi yourself

    Craigy .

    Iain, would you say that Chandlers writing is better or worse than Bolt or McCrann on the topic of climate science?

    I’m fairly unfamiliar with McCrann to be honest but I think that Bolt is a far more nuanced writer on thsi topic that Chandler

    Is Chandler falling behind the quality of Journalism in our dailies in your opinion?

    Hmm it depends on just what you compare her too If you ask me.

    Is Bob Carter a much bigger problem than Chandler, because he stands by his discredited paper (and he is a scientist)?

    Bob Carter can and does defend himself and his work and he is still employed at a university so he must be doing something right.

    Just curious about why you go after her and not others, can you shed some light on this?

    I would love to Craigy but threats of legal action prevent me answering your question in public. That is a topic that we can discuss over a latte next time you are up in Queensland 😉

  11. damage says:

    Iain
    What Craigy wants to know is, is adhominem ok for his lefty journos but not for conservative ones?
    Or Nazi ones like Craigy says Bolt is.

  12. Captain James Mission says:

    Nicely avoided yet again Iain, well done.

    So….you do support Bob Carters’ arguments on climate change….or you don’t? I mean all the actual climate scientists that have proven him (not argued opinion with him, proven him) to be consistently (not just once, but consistently) wrong via the application of the scientific method that you yourself support in the search for empirical truth, are, in the main, also employed by one Universitiy or another Iain. So they must be doing something right, yes? But hang on, Universities are just hotbeds of vested interest aren’t they?

  13. Ray Dixon says:

    I object to this post of yours too, Iain. That photo of Jo Chandler is too bloody BG BIG.

  14. Iain Hall says:

    Zane

    Here I talk about what Bob Carter has to say on the subject Now I think that you should do as I suggested in my last comment. and tell us if you think that Chandler comes anywhere near addressing the arguments that he puts in the Age piece in question. Its an hour long audio and slide show presentation so you get back to me when you have taken the time to listen to his argument, rather than relying on the opinions of others who have a vested interest in climate alarmism.

  15. Iain Hall says:

    Refresh your browser Ray 🙂

  16. Captain James Mission says:

    I have seen it Iain, where Bob “does the business” (LOL) and makes a total fool of himself and you. It most certainly does not stand up to any scientific method and bears no relationship to anything like empirical truth. The scienfific method has been applied to it and it has been proven to be flawed, and since you still insist that Carter is worth something then clearly you actually have no real interst in the scientific method, or empirical truth, unless they happen to show what you believe. And then you have the unmitigated gall to regularly accuse others of following a faith!!

    As for vested interest you would well know that Bob is a member of Institute for Public Affairs funded by Woodside Petroleum, Esso Australia (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil), and over a dozen other companies in the energy industry. And that’s just for starters. I mean really, and you expect anyone to take you seriously on the issues? if you are this gullible about climate science then obviously your opinions of other matters may well be as equally unfounded. I would re-think the whole Carter thing Iain.

  17. Iain Hall says:

    Zane
    I really doubt that you could even enunciate, in your own words, what the scientific method is. Yet you are so certain that Carter is wrong. Well you are welcome to try do better than using the appeals to anonymous authority, the old ad hominem and “big oil” arguments that you suggest here.
    Go on explain why you think that he is wrong , in your own words…
    Because it seems to me that when the Profits of the Green faith say “jump” you just meekly respond with “How High?”

  18. gigdiary says:

    The scienfific method has been applied to it and it has been proven to be flawed

    Applied to this presentation by Carter? Could you provide a link for that?

  19. Captain James Mission says:

    Gigdiary, the man is a joke, all his so called science (including the stuff in his “slides”) has been pulled apart all over the place. Look it up..it’s just endless mate, and it’s by real scientists, who according to Iain (his phrasing) use the “scientific method” in search for “empirical truth”.

  20. Iain Hall says:

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for it from Zane GD sigh…

  21. Iain Hall says:

    I knew that you would not be able to meet GD’s challenge Zane 🙄

  22. GD says:

    I disagree that Carter is a joke. On the other hand this guy is truly funny with his predictions…

  23. Iain Hall says:

    Yep GD Zane puts his faith in the likes of Tim Flannery (great clip BTW) and yet he can’t explain why Bob Carter is wrong in his presentation…

  24. Damage says:

    Faith Iain. I have it and admit it. Greens have it too, but won’t admit it.

    The other difference is that I don’t want to tax the rest of the world based on my faith.

  25. Cam says:

    Iain, Jo Chandler has NIL credibility on the subject. I’ve been following a bit of her work for a while now, and her writing actually never goes anywhere on this issue. She just tip toes around throwing enough mud for it to stick somewhere, but no foundation to her writing. Par for the course with the journalists like Jo – short on facts, and high on rhetoric and tired slogans and short-jabs. Just whenever I read through her work, I wait with bated breath – waiting for the punchline – it never actually comes. As an environmental scientist and geologist myself, I have become fascinated in how the media are communicating this issue and how the shril voices in the media are able to get such traction without knowing anything about the science and the theory they are vigorously defending. It really is quite infuriating to see how ‘closed shop’ the media have become, and how vitriolic and vicious they become whenever challenged.

    She just tees off without actually considering the actual argument she’s trying to dismantle. She exhibits what I understand is coined ‘confirmation bias’.

    I too suffered a bout of ‘confirmation bias’ for many years, as a consultant keeping very busy in the greenhouse/climate change field, working for the AGO, big business, Govt departments and the like – feeling very important in assisting them in their policy and strategy work on climate change, as well as in the early days establishing their very first inventories. I felt important. It was a growing industry. It was now. It was big. It was big dollars! However my earth science training (one could call it a scientific conscience) kept at me for years – always a seed of doubt there (all scientists should possess this – to be scientific is to be sceptical), and I poured over the observational data for years, as well as studying the very GC models and the theory that the IPCC presented in their 2AR and 3AR. Things didn’t quite add up for me – yet I was still on the “believer side”, because it was professionally much easier for me to “shut up and believe”. My boss once said “Don’t question it, just go with it. You could have a big career out of it”.

    Well about five years on, and thousands of peer-reviewed reports later, a decade of pouring over the observational data, I have grave grave doubts about this whole damn thing. I won’t dismiss the theory outright (well not yet!), but right now there is nothing of substance to support it. Scare stories (all incorrect I might add) of rising sea levels and Arctic and glacial melts doesn’t prove anything is anthropogenic. And just because a rooster crows every morning, doesn’t mean the rooster is responsible for the sun coming up.

    I could go on forever and a day here of course with my scientific reasoning. In science you develop a hypothesis and then you put that hypotheses up against the observational data. In the late 90s, the observational data we had available appeared to support the theory. Since then though, its done the opposite (esp when the Vostok ice core data was re-analysed and that global warming essentially ceased following the 98 El Nino event. The killer blows are with the OLR data, recent solar research, the CLOUD experiment results coming from theHadron Collider and the lack of equatorial tropspheric warming.

    Trouble is, with this issue, the only ones who’ve compared the theory with the data are the sceptical ones. If you don’t do that, it’s not science – its politics, and if its not politics, then its faith.

  26. Iain Hall says:

    Thanks very much for your comment Cam and welcome to the Sandpit. It certainly confirms the sort of thinking that I have had about the the way that this argument has been prosecuted.
    😉

  27. Sax says:

    Thanks from me as well Cam.
    Nice to see some common sense poke it’s head up in this argument. As I (and many others) have been saying from the beginning, it is all rhetoric, designed to throw everyone into a panicked frenzy, and to allow a vicious new tax to ease through, whilst no one is looking.
    The fact that the Greens have wangled themselves a seat at the big table, just makes the whole thing smell even fouler.

  28. damage says:

    Well put Cam, but there are faithful here and you’ll cop it now.

  29. camjones says:

    Thanks guys. The whole thing has left me a little jaded. There’s little doubt it has slowed my career for not toeing the line – even recently, where as a member of my organisation’s climate change adaptation team, and despite the only one correctly predicting 12 months out the big wet of 2009 up north and the SE Queensland floods of early 2011, was let go from the panel last year.

    As an aside, if you want to know where it all began, go and research the anthropologist Margaret Read and her involvement with the UN in the mid 1970’s and how a small group of UN-sponsored scientists came up with the theory under something proposed as the “Law of the Endangered Atmosphere” – as an ulterior motive to curb population and economic growth. Throw in Schneider, Kellog and Holdren and it was this small clique that kicked things off, and got a few ambitious junior scientists (including one called Hansen) on board as well, and away it went. Their next pet project in the early 80s was to then lobby the UN to establish the IPCC and the rest is history. I felt ill when I first learned of it. Absolutely frightening stuff.

    Anyway I haven’t completely written off the theory because in a pure experimental environment (ie. in a controlled laboratory with simplified, pure conditions) increasing CO2 does lead to greater infrared radiation absorption, however in the most complex laboratory in existence – Mother Earth, with all its systems, cycles, feedback mechanisms and astrophysical inputs, it completely falls apart because right now in 2011 no factual observational evidence can support the theory. Therefore as a scientist I can’t currently support it either.

  30. Sax says:

    Again, nice to hear some common sense in this whole argument Cam.
    I, along with my company, have been collecting and collating raw climate data, from fifty thousand feet, down to one hundred feet, from south america to africa for twenty years.
    To see that data be twisted to fit some whacked out theory, not only makes me sick, but when they actually get credit for their whacked out theories just makes me want to give the whole thing away. I am no scientist, but I am a voter, at least with half a brain. Why the average voter, with at least the semblence of half a brain, cannot see through the rhetoric just shows how apathetic we have all become ?

    Again, in that research I have done over the last twenty or so, indicates that the greatest increase in co2, has occurred guess where ? Not hard to figure out really.
    Off China
    Off South America (i.e. the Amazon region)
    Indonesia and Indo China
    and so on, and so forth.
    Don’t have to be Einstein to figure out what has happened in those regions over that time. Deforestation at a rate never seen, or even tabulated in the entire of human history would be somewhat of a tipoff perhaps ?

    The last couple of years, especially with the fires in Indonesia, studies we have done are now showing particular traces of more than just carbon. Elements never before found in these areas, are now showing up in ever increasing numbers. Elements such as lead, carbon monoxide, zinc, as well as ever increasing levels of co2, all due to the massive deforestation of these areas. Same over the Amazon. Pretty frightening if you stop and think about it for a minute ?

    Added to the above, whatever happened to the massive hole in the ozone layer theory ? Remember that hole, that spends for all time, travelling around this little planet, that we were all going to by cooked by ? Haven’t heard that one for a few years. It might be reincarnated again this summer by the anti cancer council. That is if we manage to actually get a summer this year.

    But it’s AGW time, so look out. Better buy some of that 100+ just in case ? 😉

  31. Cam says:

    Sax, interesting news. Deforestation is having regional climatic impacts too – deforestation in SE Asia is resulting in changes to the Indian Ocean Dipole which has a significant influence on SE Australian rainfall. A reduction in the contribution of available moisture from forested areas, combined with a sea-surface cooling of the northern Indian ocean from solar dimming caused by the ‘Asian Haze’ resulting in less oceanic evaporation. This is resulting in less moisture being carried across the continent by jetstreams from the Timor Sea to SE Australia. I from discussions I had with Matthew England a while back that CSIRO and UNSW are looking into this very issue at the moment. I’d be fascinated to see their results – if they ever come to light.

    The ozone theory is hardly done and dusted either. A wave of new research indicating that as you imply, it is cyclic, significantly influenced by solar wind and cosmic radiation as well as long-term polar circulation.

  32. Sax says:

    That’s one I forgot.
    The sun is dying. There will be no more sunspots

    We hopefully dispelled that little concern on these pages a couple of years back. Perhaps, as I think it may be relevent, perhaps Iain can put that article back up ?
    Would be an interesting read again perhaps, in conjunction with today’s evidence ?

    We are in an unprecedented solar quiet phase.
    Already, some looking for ‘glory’, are already comparing it with the Maunder Minimum But, the first sunspot appeared, and even though the new cycle has started, it has still been over five years since any major solar activity has been noted. As you know, in times of solar minimums, radiation is also at lower levels, solar winds, also at lower levels, flares radiating our ionospheric levels, also at a lower level. There are still some that are confusing solar weather with terrestrial weather, and that is where some of the problems with the entire scientific fraternity originate ?

    Remember what happens to these forest areas, once they are logged. This is the mistake that the logging fraternity always make and attempt to spin. They say, well, we will replant and in twenty, all will be back to where it was. What they forget in the interim, is that when logged, the forest floor dries out, killing the eco system based on that forest floor, and fires start. Indonesia ? The whole eco system changes.

    What is released from these forest regions ?
    O2, situated in these regions is filled with moisture, that makes its way across the regions you specifed. Without this warm o2, rainfall patterns don’t manifest themselves, and we end up in a drought situation. Sound familiar ?

    I may be sounding like a broken record, with my deforestation concept, but after twenty odd years of doing this, it keep cropping up, time and time again. It is a simple, and/or basic concept. The planet has provided us with the perfect (and more importantly) natural atmospheric cleaning system, and we are killing it.
    Then we sit back, and all the white coats sit there scratching their heads saying that reason is too simple, attempt to point the finger some place else. They don’t have to. The answer has been in front of everyone’s eyes for years.
    Pity these egg heads didn’t take any notice of it ?

    Remember the concept of Occam’s Razor ?
    “the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one ?”

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