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Planet good for another 1.75 billion years - they just discovered this?

I've been very remiss not to post for so long, and so much has been happening it's hard to know where to start, so you might think my choice is a bit strange. It's this article from Foxnews on the end of life of our good planet. The take-home point is that our planet might not be liveable all the way until the end of life of the Sun. This is because the Sun's heat slowly increases. From being maybe 30% cooler when the Sun first formed, it will end up maybe 30% hotter than it is now. This will mean the Earth will pass from the 'habitable zone' into the torrid zone, the oceans slowly evaporate, the Earth's natural thermostat fails, and the planet suffers runaway heating until all life is gone.

To give you the flavour of it, here is a short clip from the article:

Earth could continue to host life for at least another 1.75 billion years, as long as nuclear holocaust, an errant asteroid or some other disaster doesn't intervene, a new study calculates.

But even without such dramatic doomsday scenarios, astronomical forces will eventually render the planet uninhabitable. Somewhere between 1.75 billion and 3.25 billion years from now, Earth will travel out of the solar system's habitable zone and into the "hot zone," new research indicates.

Very interesting. The only problem is this is old, very old, news. In the "Tree of Life" book Gitie and I wrote in 2003 we discussed this very problem.

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.

Noble Cause Corruption; Fakegate and All

When ethics is kicked out of public life, it returns in the wrong place - denying the ethical wrongness of criminality, denying that there can be expected standards of behaviour, even towards one's opponents, indeed, denying the rights of complete innocents, such as their right to privacy or protection from violence.


Fakegate is the name that has adhered to the latest debacle in the global warming hoax. For the brief background: In 2009 and again in 2011, two series of emails were released from the email archives of the University of East Anglia. It has never been discovered how these were obtained, but they bear all the hallmarks of a whistleblower, since they revealed a long and astonishing history of deceit, possible criminality, and dirty tricks by central figures in the "climate change" aka "global warming" movement. Hence the moniker, "Climategate".

Then, in mid-February, it suddenly appeared as if the tables were turned: an astonishing memo and other documents appearing to come from the Heartland Institute revealed that they were planning a campaign to dissuade teachers "from teaching science" and "keep opposing voices out"! At last, the warmists were vindicated: all the opprobrium they had endured in the wake of Climategates 1 and 2 was about to be repaid upon the skeptics, now exposed as anti-science and anti-free speech, amongst other things.

The only problem: it soon emerged that the memo containing the devastating statements (widely republished by the world's media, whose staff hold journalism degrees and would have been taught to check their sources) turned out to be a fake. The other genuine documents released alongside it were fraudulently obtained from Heartland by the President and co-founder of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, Dr Peter Gleick. Numerous commentators have indicated that they believe he is the most likely, or perhaps only, candidate for concocter of the fake document as well. Donna Laframboise writes:

Mixed messages on climate 'vulnerability' - Oh, Really?

It seems the world is going to be hoodwinked again by those pushing the global warming scam, this time for another 30 years.

And the most discouraging thing about it is: the sane people, those who know CO2 isn’t a significant cause of planetary warming, are showing all the signs of being suckered by the deception yet again.

Roger Pielke Jr’s blog reports on a leaked copy of the IPCC Extremes Report. The show-stopper centrepiece of the leaked report is:

"Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability".

That, of course, makes a complete mockery of the entire global warming theory. Remember that the theory’s only “evidence” is the computer models, which, it is said, cannot account for the late 20th century warming by the mere effects of natural climate variability. And yet, now, after 13 years of flat temperatures, they predict that we could be in for another 30 — 43 years in all! of flat temperatures due to natural variability masking the rise due to CO2-induced warming. Wow! CO2 must be a pretty poor warming agent if, as anthropogenic CO2 emissions rage ahead, temperatures can remain flat for 43 years.

The truth, of course, is that all this makes no sense whatever. If natural variability can cause 43 years of flat temps while CO2 races upwards, then it could also have caused the late 20th century warming without any help from CO2.

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?

Organised Climate Change Denial - or What?

The New York Times published a 'map' of 'organised climate change denial', which is supposed to be 'winning' because of the deep pockets and superior organisation of the hidden movers and shakers in the fossil fuel industry. As I showed before, the Australian fossil fuel industry alone is funding the climate alarmists to the tune of a billion dollars. I would be very much surprised if Andrew C. Revkin, author of the latest piece of work at NYT, can identify even a tenth of that much money spent worldwide on the skeptic side of the argument. In other words, pot - kettle - black.

But in the comments, this neat summary of the whole scare appeared:

Why we need the Principle of Goodness

They Burned a Child for Global Warming

This is one of the most disgraceful doings I could ever hope not to have needed to write about. A violent attack by troops evicted villagers from their homes and burned them to the ground, without even taking the elementary precaution to see if the homes were empty, let alone allow the villagers to remove their property before the attack. As it happened, a sick child in one home was burned to death. But don't worry, as the New York Times put it:

But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.

Oh so that's all right then: it was for a "good cause". Others have written about this terrible tragedy, and I can't better their efforts, so let me try to widen the discussion to get at the root cause of why it was possible for this to happen at all.

The 'Climate Change' Gravy Train

The Australian tells us "ENVIRONMENTALIST and former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery has been appointed to a newly-created position as Australia's climate commissioner."

Unlike many who disagree with the global warming hoax, I do have respect for Tim Flannery. That doesn't mean that on "climate change" he isn't dead wrong. After a month of weather devastation in which everything that was predicted by the warmists about Australia's future climate was directly contradicted by actual events, one would have imagined the government would spend our money on helping the victims rather than appointing a brand new useless committee.

What Are We to Make of "Nature's" New Climate Journal?

Future generations will certainly think people of today have gone cold stark raving loony. "Nature" used to be a highly respected scientific journal. Their recent behaviour in the "climate change" arena has trashed their reputation, possibly for good.

Wattsupwiththat brings us the news that Nature is about to put out a special journal to be called "Nature Climate Change". About the list of climate blogs Nature acknowledges, Anthony Watts writes:

I note RealClimate, Climate Progress, Stoat (William Connolley of Wiki fame), and even the paid Hoggan public relations firm “DeSmog Blog” are listed.

I reckon that skeptical sites like WUWT don’t rate with Nature, even though we have more traffic and reach than those blogs. I suppose that speaks to the tone of this new journal before it is even published.

What caught my notice, though, was this little gem in "Nature's" instructions to authors:

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