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global warming

How to download Australia Bureau of Meteorology temperature data (easily)

Australia's BOM would like you to waste a lot of time downloading their temperature data. Here is a simple program that will help you do it quickly.

You need this program:

getthebomdata.bash

and you need the BOM's list of stations:

ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon2/home/ncc/metadata/sitelists/stations.zip

which you unzip.

NOAA's climate.gov is just as bad as Australia's Bureau of Meteorology

NOAA's climate.gov 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 https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/global-warming-frequently-asked-questions 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.

'Nuff said

I just met a lady whose husband is an environmental scientist.

"He's always going on about the rubbish in the paper about global warming," she said. "'Why don't you say something?' I asked. He said 'Because I have to worry about my job.'"

What Is a Scientist?

I blog less often than I would like, and sadly it often happens because I am spurred into action by something ridiculous. So it is today. In a nonsense piece called "Should Scientists go on strike over climate change?", the author writes:

I hesitate to make an estimate, but a brief Google search suggests there are approximately (depending on definitions) six million ‘Scientists’ in the world.

At present, these six million or so Scientists do not have what Marx and Engels referred to as ‘class consciousness’, but they have a great deal to unite around; a shared commitment to certain methodologies, principles, values and practices and a worldview that respects appropriate responses to data and evidence.

From this shared sense of identity and purpose they would generally respect the verdict of their climatologist colleagues (better not to say ‘comrades’…) that climate change is happening because of what governments are allowing people and businesses to do, and that we ought to ‘do something’ rapidly to change that.

I notice he capitalises "Scientist". Capitalisation is used to make something a name rather than a plain descriptor. A scientist is someone who applies the scientific method to discover truth. But who knows what a "Scientist" is? Because scientists certainly do not and should not share a "class consciousness" (a concept odious enough in any context, but vastly more so here). Scientists try to disprove each others' work, because that way, the thing they all respect, truth, is more likely to emerge because the false notions will fail while the correct ones will withstand all challenges.

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. Amazon.com 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:

Breaking: Peer Review Corruption Scandal in Climate "Science"

In 2009 when the ClimateGate scandal broke, we learned that climate "scientists" manipulated the peer review process to prevent publication of research they didn't like. Today we learn that, after publishing papers the went against the consensus, an entire journal has been closed down! You publish what they don't like, you get punished. Never, ever, anyone, ever again suggest that peer review is any kind of authentication for good science.

The full story is on Jo Nova's site. She writes:

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 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):

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?

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