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Kiribati President blames Australians for not knowing climate change science - but doesn't know it himself!

"Our", "Your", whatever, ABC has just shown another beatup interview to attack the Abbott government, this time with the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong. The trigger was a joke told by Immigration minister Peter Dutton: "Time doesn't mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door."

Now before we get to point of this post, let's just think about that for a microsecond or two: Does anyone really think - really, really think - that if a labor/green politician had said it, it would even be reported, let alone blown up into a national issue when we are involved in a war to stop one of the world's most evil movements ever from beheading people, crucifying them or enslaving and raping them? Seriously? Then get your head examined.

But what does "Our" ABC do? This:

NOAA's is just as bad as Australia's Bureau of Meteorology

NOAA's PR effort is designed to deceive us, but it would be nice if they would at least try to do so by twisting the truth, rather than tell outright porkies. On the page under "What is the 'greenhouse effect'?" we find this audacious display of dishonesty:

While it's not a perfect analogy, some say the atmosphere works like a greenhouse. The sun's rays (shortwave energy) enter a greenhouse through its glass ceiling and walls to warm the interior. The glass makes it hard for the heat (longwave energy) to escape, and heat builds up inside the greenhouse until the heat can escape fast enough.

Certain naturally occurring gases in Earth's atmosphere have a similar warming effect on the surface. This warming is referred to as the "greenhouse effect," and the gases that trap heat are called "greenhouse gases." The most important greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. Earth's surface must warm to an average of about 59°F (with present-day concentrations) until enough energy can be emitted by greenhouse gases and escape to space to balance the energy being absorbed from the Sun.

Though these important greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere in varying concentrations, human activities are directly and indirectly increasing their abundance. In addition, other greenhouse gases not normally found in nature are being added to the atmosphere. The net result is to intensify Earth's greenhouse effect, causing Earth's surface to warm.

Let's pull it apart in detail:

Climate drivel from the heads of the EPA

I came across this utter howler of a quote today:

There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth’s atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected…we must continue efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet. The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon. What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.” - WILLIAM D. RUCKELSHAUS, LEE M. THOMAS, WILLIAM K. REILLY and CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN (heads of the EPA under Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush), NYTimes, 8/2/13

The planet is awash with nonsense like this, but this one got my goat, probably because the collective bunch of shysters who penned it have taken a whole lot of taxpayers' money to come up with this dangerous pack of lies. It needs to be taken apart, piece by piece.

James Hanson's “Storms of My Grandchildren”

The other day I found myself outside a newly-discovered library, and so naturally a few seconds later I was walking in. Aha! Book shelves! Walked up, pulled out the very first book on the shelf, and it was James Hanson's “Storms of My Grandchildren”. Hanson is, for those who came late, an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is one of the key promoters of catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming (CAGW), and his testimonies and activism have done much to promote the theory.

The reason I rejected CAGW in 2008 when I first looked at the global warming dispute was that I easily found evidence that contradicted the theory, but, having looked long and hard for solid science backing the CAGW claims, I never found any. So, with Hanson's book in my hand, I wondered if this might be a serendipitous moment; perhaps this book contained what I had been looking for? So I found a comfy chair.

Unfortunately, for a book written by a scientist, it was harder than I expected to find the science. It seemed to me mainly an account of how a plucky and socially conscious scientist (Hansen, of course) with an important message overcame indifference, hostility, and the opposition of the evil fossil fuel industry to finally triumph and alert the world to the evils of carbon dioxide (that's plant food to you and me and all other sane people). Chapters started, continued, and ended with the personal story of his struggle (mixed in with lots of photos of his grandchildren) and, once in a while, a bit of science.

In short, it took less time to read than I thought because all I looked for and read was the science. What I found didn't impress me, but it sure was written in an impressive style, and I could easily imagine non-scientists getting swept up by it. That's a problem, because our political rulers are non-scientists, almost to the last person.

Cause and Effect?

My first issue with Hanson's presentation was centred on the embarrassing fact for the CAGW theory that ice core samples that show how temperature changes precedes carbon dixode changes by about 800 years - a fact that is close, in itself, to disproof of the theory. An effect cannot come before its cause. won't post me a book yesterday because I decide to purchase it today; how clear could a simple fact of life in this universe be? Every philosopher, every scientist, indeed, every sane person for 2,500 years has understood why. On page 38 Hanson talks about these ice cores. He honestly points out this embarrassing fact, but then makes this remarkable statement:

The Ugly Underbelly of Global Warming Hysteria on Display at Oregon State University

As you read the following, please ask yourself why, if this "scientific theory" is so scientific and so well confirmed, all we ever get from its proponents are ratbag acts like the following. Why can't they win by simply convincing us with the weight of evidence? Instead it is pulling down the integrity of the once-respected institutions of society. like universities and governments.

The story is in this email from Gordon Fulks:

Hello Everyone,

In theory at least Oregon State University (OSU) seems to be a bastion of academic freedom, diversity, and tolerance. A wide range of ideas are openly discussed. The most viable rise to the top and the least viable fade away. But it is all a fairy tale, because OSU operates under a politically correct regimen that dictates what is acceptable to say and what is not. Transgressors who dare to be different are eventually weeded out so that the campus maintains its ideological purity.

OSU is not yet as swift or efficient as the Soviet system when Joseph Stalin was trying to quash dissent among biologists who refused to go along with Trofim Lysenko. If warnings to compromise their integrity were not followed, Stalin simply had biologists shot. That quickly thinned the ranks of all biologists and persuaded the remaining ones to comply with Stalin’s wishes. Of course, it also destroyed Soviet biology, because Lysenko was pedaling nonsense. And Russian biology has never recovered.

We learned over the weekend that chemist Nickolas Drapela, PhD has been summarily fired from his position as a “Senior Instructor” in the Department of Chemistry. The department chairman Richard Carter told him that he was fired but would not provide any reason. Subsequent attempts to extract a reason from the OSU administration have been stonewalled. Drapela appears to have been highly competent and well-liked by his students. Some have even taken up the fight to have him reinstated.

The Greatest 1,000-word Lie Ever Told?

A picture is worth  thousand words. And here is the picture I am concerned about:

Global warming scare picture from Cosmos magazine

That's from Cosmos, "Australia's award-winning science magazine". And awards they have, too. Their editorial page tells us they have awards for, amongst other things, Magazine of the year, Editor of the year, Excellence in environmental reporting, Best analytical writing, and on and on.

But does something strike you as a bit fishy with this image? Gosh that's an awfully high sea level! If that is what is in store for us, we are all pretty much doomed. What does that say in the caption? Let's magnify it a bit (I've had to use false colours to show up the red on black of the original):

Free Speech Shuts Down in Australia

One small suppression of free speech in Australia, one giant leap towards the coming dark age.

Gillard's tame ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is threatening businesses with million dollar fines if they have pre-carbon tax sales, or blame price increases on the carbon tax.

A few things: First, to non-Australians, the ACCC used to be a service to the country, but I have seen nothing useful done by them since their former chairman Professor Allan Fels retired. Time and again they seem to be refusing to act for the consumer and making lame excuses for not doing so. They aren't anybody's servant, just another tame bureaucracy doing the biddings of their political masters.

Next, this might seem petty. It is far from petty. When this story was reported on, a commenter got the entire thing backwards:

The Chairman was quite clear about the organisations’s position in his presentation, which is no different than it has been in the past about any other misleading advertising ... “Business costs increase all the time, and businesses are free to set their own prices. However, if a business chooses to raise their prices they should not misrepresent this as a result of the carbon price when it is not the case.”

Baloney. The cause of a price increase is not a misrepresentation of the same kind as pretending prices have gone down when they went up, for example (which has been happening in Australia with the ACCC as usual doing nothing). And everyone, yes everyone, should have special leeway in commenting on government policy simply because governments are so much more powerful than individuals, or even businesses. If you can't risk being wrong when talking about a government, then you can't risk saying anything. As the writer of the story, Willis Eschenbach, explained to the above commenter:

Is the Global Warming Theory Scientific?

A long article has been released with many quotes from the core group of global warming alarmist 'scientists'. Why do I quote that word? - because so far none of them have told us, the intelligent public, a full, proper, scientifically argued case giving evidence of four things:

  1. dangerous,
  2. human-emitted,
  3. carbon-dioxide-caused,
  4. global warming is taking place.

In other words, there are four propositions that must all be substantiated with credible evidence before a scientific theory exists that there is anything to fear from carbon dioxide. My take on the status of these four is: (1) is certainly false, (2) uncertain, (3) most likely largely false, and (4) most likely true, but not as large as it has been represented. But this post is not about the correctness of the theory, but the more basic question whether it is a scientific theory at all.

I think most people know of the concept that scientific theories must be falsifiable. There are a lot of subtleties around that idea that need not concern us now, but we can use it as a rough test for good science. Remember, good science doesn't have to be correct - a theory proposed, tested properly, and rejected for making incorrect predictions is still an exercise in good science, even if it failed to come up with an advance. And contrariwise, a wild guess shoved down people's throats by force without any attempt to test against reality is bad science, even if by some chance the guess happened to be correct.

So we see that the question of whether this is good science is not the same as the question whether it is correct (although the two are obviously related).

So how does the CAGW theory stack up?

What Does China Know That We Don't?

New Scientist has reported that Chinese companies are threatening to release vast amounts of a highly potent greenhouse gas, HFC-23, into the atmosphere unless they are paid a hugely profitable amount in carbon credits. They write:

Nobody needs HFC-23. It is a waste by-product of the manufacture of a refrigerant called HCFC-22, used mostly in developing nations. To curb the release of HFC-23 into the atmosphere, the signatories to the Kyoto protocol agreed to pay carbon credits to refrigerant manufacturers that agree to capture and destroy it. The manufacturers can then sell the credits to western companies that want to offset their obligations to cut emissions of other greenhouse gases, under a Kyoto scheme known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The offer only applies to HCFC-22 plants that were built before 2000. Even so it has proved highly lucrative. By some estimates, the value of the carbon credits is up to 100 times the cost of incinerating HFC-23. The resulting income of Chinese companies alone is estimated to reach $1.6 billion by 2012. ...

As a result, the "waste gas" HFC-23 has become much more profitable to refrigerant factories than HCFC-22 itself. Watchdog groups like the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) say the compensation system ends up providing a strong incentive to overproduce HCFC-22, using methods that maximise the output of HFC-23.

Cutting a long story short, a review was started at the behest of the European Union, a threat was issued to release vast quantities of the gas, and the review was cancelled.

So let's get this clear:

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